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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

LAUGHING    TORSO

I had always wanted to cut off my hair—I never
had very much—but my friend had said, " You must
never cut your hair off." The first thing that I did
was to get it cut. To my delight it curled and I wore
a fringe. I felt a sense of freedom. A large fair
man, who was a poet, was brought to see me the day
after I had come back. He came to see me every
day at five o'clock, and after the fourth day my sobs
ceased at that hour. He took me to dinner one
evening at a restaurant called the Eiffel Tower.
Some artists and poets went there. We had a very
good dinner and the proprietor seemed very pleased
to see him. I soon recovered from my passion and
started to work again. He wrote me a poem which
I still have, but as his handwriting is rather difficult
I can only make out some of it.
I sent a picture to the New English Art Club
which was accepted and which was hung on the line.
Epstein saw it and liked it very much and spoke
about me to people. I knew a man called Redmond
Howard; he was the nephew of John Redmond.
He was a journalist and, like the rest of us, generally
in financial difficulties. Once he pawned all his
possessions and was left only with a top-hat and a
frock coat.
John Flanagan, the painter, lived in Fitzroy
Street and he had supper parties consisting of
sausages and mashed. One day a man came to my
room and bought a drawing. Howard turned up
and I said, " Let's go for a drink.35 He replied, " If
you don't mind do buy me a pair of socks instead/3
We went to Berwick market and got a pair of socks.