The novel’s getting pretty dark, and that worries me. Time for a little comic relief. Real-life Eliot has few friends, we’re told, the natural result of what some people like to call his arrogance, though my Eliot has never thought of it in those terms until now. Arrogant? He’d simply tried to put criminals in jail where they belonged. Wasn’t that his job? Is that any reason he should be friendless now? So I’ll give my Eliot one friend, someone to help him put what he’s done into perspective. I’ll give this friend some of my own cynical humor. Ah, what the hell, I’ll give him my name. Call him Rick. I can change that later with a keystroke. Before everything begins to unravel, Eliot confides to Rick that he’s made a mess of things, betrayed everyone he loves, that he isn’t even sure who he is anymore. But Rick will tell him not to be melodramatic. It’s true that he’s made mistakes, big ones, Rick explains, but they aren’t what Eliot thinks they are. Rick admits he’s outraged that Eliot has spent $80,000 on prostitutes, because it shouldn’t cost that much to get a little action in America. It’s like one of those $500 Pentagon hammers. Downright wasteful. And why order a hammer from New Jersey and pay the shipping? There are perfectly good hammers in Washington — it’s a damned city of hammers, when you think about it. Where on earth did Eliot get the idea that New Jersey hammers were superior? All he wanted to do was nail something, right?

March 15, 2008

The novel’s getting pretty dark, and that worries me. Time for a little comic relief. Real-life Eliot has few friends, we’re told, the natural result of what some people like to call his arrogance, though my Eliot has never thought of it in those terms until now. Arrogant? He’d simply tried to put criminals in jail where they belonged. Wasn’t that his job? Is that any reason he should be friendless now? So I’ll give my Eliot one friend, someone to help him put what he’s done into perspective. I’ll give this friend some of my own cynical humor. Ah, what the hell, I’ll give him my name. Call him Rick. I can change that later with a keystroke.

Before everything begins to unravel, Eliot confides to Rick that he’s made a mess of things, betrayed everyone he loves, that he isn’t even sure who he is anymore. But Rick will tell him not to be melodramatic. It’s true that he’s made mistakes, big ones, Rick explains, but they aren’t what Eliot thinks they are. Rick admits he’s outraged that Eliot has spent $80,000 on prostitutes, because it shouldn’t cost that much to get a little action in America. It’s like one of those $500 Pentagon hammers. Downright wasteful. And why order a hammer from New Jersey and pay the shipping? There are perfectly good hammers in Washington — it’s a damned city of hammers, when you think about it. Where on earth did Eliot get the idea that New Jersey hammers were superior? All he wanted to do was nail something, right?

Richard Russo on the lives of Eliot Spitzer

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