Whoring Around, a novella in six stories, in a series first published by Penguin Books.
Dreaming of Glory
A Sense of Propriety
More and more we lunched at his tennis club. He hadrecently become its honorary treasurer. I rememberan afternoon, with the washed blues and faint yellowsof early winter, when we ate on the terrace. Thestonework was damp where the sun had not touched it.The other tables were empty, so it was early in the week.
Humphrey’s world was a cradle of security, supported by cocktail parties, sporting clubs and fours of Bridge. His wife Mimi derides his effort to take a top position in the Fossil Extracts Conference. She was wrong.
Each of those companies converted fossil deposits intoa convenient form for processing into plastics or fuelsor packaging materials and sold the product to their ownsubsidiaries or to each other. The plants and animals whichhad lain down their lives to bubble into gastric slime hadlived three hundred million years before, dying mindlesslyin geomantic layers for heat and pressure them for thebenefit of posterity. Those companies saw themselves as thatposterity and benefited.
His Cartel takes him to Tokyo, where the pattern of his life falls into early conferences with Japanese executives until late, then sessions in the whore houses of the Ginza and their astonishing practises, which captivate him because he knows Mimi was happy to see him go.
Sitting in a profane and prodigal night-club next to a youngand inexplicable whore was not where he wanted to be. Hefelt a fondness for the banal and lustreless dinner tables ofhis friends and for the comfort of his own rooms andwardrobes, his office and his club. Before the lightsdarkened again for the next act he left the table, to find thetoilet, he told her, paid on his way out, and took a cab backto his hotel.