The Gospel of Leander
These are the sayings that Leander Wapshot said and that Leander Wapshot recorded.
1 And he said do what I do not what I say.
2 Leander said that he went skating every Christmas on the frozen pond, drunk or sober, usually drunk, even when he did not want to.
Moses asked him why he did this.
Leander said because it is expected of me.
Coverly said that someone had laughed at Leander, that someone always laughed at Leander.
Leander said that it did not matter, that they needed him to do it, even if they did not know it. They needed him to do it, because he had always done it.
3 Leander said to himself as he pulled out his gun that he hated the feeling of being a public spectacle, of having his actions aired in public.
4 Leander said that he hoped everyone would hear him as he leaned out the window toward the party on the river.
5 Leander said I only want to be esteemed.
6 Leander said that his future esteem depended on his sons’ virility, and that it was his job to prepare them for life.
7 Leander said that his course of instruction would have to be general.
8 Leander said that he cannot explain sex specifically.
9 Leander said that he was not innocent and never claimed to be so.
10 Leander said that man is not simple, with his bare bums hanging out street windows, with him masturbating in YMCA showers.
11 Leander said that he needed his sons to have sons.
And his son Coverly wrote and said that he was a pederast, that he would never discharge this responsibility.
And Leander said that he well could have been a pederast too, and to cheer up.
Leander said that sex problems were a hard nut to crack in the gloom.
Leander said that life has worse trouble, that life has sinking ships. Leander said that he knew that sinking ships were worse.
12 Leander said that he once saw a naked woman through her window, that he didn’t want to see her again, that he saw her naked and being hit and he didn’t want to see her again, that he went to see her again, and that this time he recognized her from church.
13 Leander said he liked church for the fact of the church.
14 Leander said I only want to be esteemed as he looked out the window.
15 Leander said that learning that was not extracted from the rich green soup of life was no better than a half-truth.
15 Leander said that the unobserved ceremoniousness of his life was a gesture or sacrament toward the excellence and the continuousness of things.
(1) He said this just before he went skating on Christmas.
(2) He said this as he got into a bath. He said that cold baths should always be ceremonious. You should always come out smelling more like the ocean than when you had started.
(3) He said this as he put on the coat that he wore to dinner.
(4) He said this before he said grace at the table.
(5) He said this as he took a slow sip of bourbon and clenched his teeth against the sear.
(6) He said this as he threaded a small, pink flower through his boutonniere.
(7) He said this as he raised his axe to fell a tree.
(8) He said this as he plucked and dressed a chicken.
(9) He said this as he made cider with a hand press.
(10) He said this as he sowed, cultivated, harvested.
(11) And as he fished.
16 Leander said the unobserved ceremoniousness of his life was a gesture towards the excellence of things, and this was why he strove to save money.
17 Leander asked, can I have a job? Leander said that he would do anything, that he had no money. Leander asked, how can I have no money? I strove to save money. Leander said I will be an experiment for you.
18 Leander said to his wife that she could not work.
And his wife ignored him and continued planning.
And Leander fell silent.
19 Leander said she has turned my boat into a gift shop.
20 Leander thought an old dory planted with petunias was a pretty sight, but when he found that the bar he was in was made of a bifurcated dory, he said that he had seen a ghost.
21 Leander said that the unobserved ceremoniousness of his life was everywhere when he countersunk a sail, when he steered a boat.
22 Leander said over the intercom that that boat was sinking, that everyone should abandon ship.
23 Leander sung of the night boats.
24 Leander said tie me to the mast Perimedes.
25 Leander said that he liked having music on a boat, and people taking pictures. 26 Leander said that he had never taken a picture and never would, but he liked remembering people taking pictures of the things that he remembered.
27 Leander said tie me to the mast Perimedes.
28 Leander said I saw a small boat from a big boat, and it was an uncommon beauty.
And the captain of the small boat said you have to come aboard, your boat is sinking.
And Leander said yes, I know, and he came aboard.
29 Leander said that all these were things his sons might understand and perhaps copy.
30 Leander said I only want to be esteemed as he looked at what had been his.
31 Leander rolled over in his sleep and said a little more to port and then rolled back onto his left side.
32 Leander said, here’s what matters: Whiskey. Hamburgers. Order.
33 Leander said you must always strive to be the first man in the woods. But not to catch fish.
34 Leander said that one can’t own one’s usefulness.
35 Leander said don’t read a book on how to cook things. Cook things.
36 Leaner said I only want to be esteemed as he readied his gun.
37 Leander said as he read his ancestor’s book that no one should read his book except people who wanted to read it.
38 Leander said my confession is just for me, as he read someone else’s confession.
30 Leander said that his memories are important or unimportant as the case may be, but that he had to try in retrospect to make sense of what he had done.
39 Leander said that he never found the literature of his youth. Leander said that he was not writing the literature of his youth. Leander was writing his youth.
40 Leander said voided bladder so many times, brushed teeth so many times, who cares? Leander said that much modern fiction was distasteful to writer because of above.
41 Leander said that he had no wish to dwell on such sordid manners, on the bestiality of grief.
42 Leander said his name was writer. Leander never said I am writer.
43 Leander said I only want to be esteemed as his finger clenched the trigger.
44 Leander said that he cannot explain love specifically, that all in love is larky or fractious.
45 Leander said it was natural not to see eye to eye with his wife.
46 Leander said I love you to his wife, and Leander never said I love you to his wife.
47 Leander wrote that he loved his wife, but that he had no wish to dwell on sordid manners.
48 Leander looked out the window at his dark wife and said that he often dreamed of his fair wife waiting in a rose bower.
49 Leander said that he believed in love and the leaving of it.
50 Leander said that he was guilty of self-love.
51 Leander said I only want to be esteemed as he leaned as far out the window as he could manage.
52 Leander said that he hated Indians, Chinamen, most foreigners, and that he trailed the smell of Polish earth, Italian Earth, Russian earth, strange earth everywhere.
53 Leander said change everything, ruin everything.
54 Leander said to run everywhere.
55 Leander said I only want to be esteemed. So swear on the American flag, that I am esteemed.
56 Leander said he cannot explain death specifically.
57 Leander said I want Prospero’s speech over my grave.
58 Leander said these our actors were all spirits and all melted into air, into thin air.
59 Leander said that a whisper had turned his soul into cinder, that the smell of the sea, the heat of the spring sun, that berries bitter and sweet seared him.
60 Leander said that he did not want to be a spectacle as he took out his gun.
61 Leander said he wanted to be a spectacle as he leaned out the window and shot his gun at a star
62 Leander said you weren’t supposed to hear that. I just wanted them to think I was dead.
63 Leander looked at his dark wife on his bright boat from the window and said I wanted them to think I was dead, not you.
64 And Leander said swear to me on the American flag, that I am still esteemed.
65 Leander said I am old. I don’t want to be old. Yes. Yes.
66. Leander said we are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep.
67 Leander said to Leander swim until you can’t see land.