During my painful divorce, the one who saved me was Hamid al Kadin, my imaginary friend. I mention him because he is important to the plot. In chapters to come, Clark Kent shrinks, seen with chilling realism as an insignificant ant: forgotten, he is finally expunged from the world. Hamid saves my life.
In the saving process I must make a bargain with the devil that will rob me of my human semblance. The human semblance part is a matter of opinion. Either way it is Hamid’s doing.
When my marriage broke up, I was living in London, my home for many years. Hamid would come to my flat to cheer me. He once brought a puppy he had borrowed for the afternoon. I still wear a raincoat he stole for me then from a ridiculous boutique. He made me a compilation cd of maudlin love songs, that becomes funny by the third song, that makes “Love Hurts” the funniest thing in all the world. When I’d stopped eating, he and my friend C would cook me the meals one ate in London then – pasta dishes with stir-fried vegetables; chile from scratch; or dishes from cookbooks that one made with an air of rediscovering simple joys, being humble and human (“I shall make macaroni and cheese from scratch,” one would then think, amazed one had that power) – and pour me cheap red wine. We three sat in the kitchen till all hours. There would be a starry smell from the overgrown back garden, where long grass smelled starry and was the haunt of foxes. Hamid would let me talk about my aivorce, bivorce, civorce, which had become every aspect of the world. The grass was the grass I smelled during my divorce, and wine was the red wine we drank during my eivorce. Big Brother was what was on tv during my fivorce. That’s enough; we have now exhausted interest in my zivorce.
When I decided to go to Colorado, Hamid returned to his life in New York. We fell out of touch. We were seldom in touch during my adult state; it had been years since Hamid al Kalil and I were close. It is like “Puff the Magic Dragon.” Dragons live forever, but not so little boys. I had grown out of imaginary friends and saw Hamid only when I was fallen on hard times, when I regressed, like in the ivorce. His other friends behaved the same, foul-weather friends, of which we will have much to say.
He is a dashing man with olive skin, sloe eyes, the keen face of a leopard. Hamid wears perfect suits and snow white shirts. And Hamid can fly. And Hamid has learned the trick of producing coins from his ear. A lot of how we killed time was him teaching me how to pull coins from my ear, during my