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Gay Times January 08 - Issue 352


Edmund White on his love of Vice

Words: Edmund White…

likes vice

The great French writer Valery Larbaud called obsessive reading "this unpunished vice”. I'm trying to think of other unpunished vices – what about looking at the stranger seated across the aisle on the train and imagining he's got his legs up in the air and you're rimming him by the contented hour? Whenever I have a horrible medical procedure like an MRI, where you have to stay absolutely still and put your head in a bonging cage, I always think about being fucked – about actual times when great guys fucked me deep and hard.
I'm a militant atheist, but that's an opinion one seldom gets to express. However, the other day I had a handsome Haitian cab driver – very black and covered with gold – who was driving me a long way with the religious radio blaring away. I said: "Turn that thing off."
"What, don't you like it?"
"No, I hate it, I hate religion."
"I hate religion too but I believe in God, the Almighty who is…"
"I'll bet you’re a preacher."
"I am – yes how did you know?"
"Well, I'll tell you one thing, if you were God I'd worship you."
He looked completely stunned and not a little bit pleased. So there's a new vice – saying flirty, impious things.


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