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Location: Dublin, Republic of, Ireland

Tuesday, 16 January 2007


Ms Gerty Agoston

I recollected a terrible memory.
I need therapy.
I've remembered my first foray into adult fiction.
No, it wasn't Shakespeare. No, no, not Wuthering Heights which I admit I read too early at 14. And no, definitely not Biggles I assure you, although I stay awed from being introduced to my first murdered corpse in a plane at 11.
No, no, no.
No, it was not Marie Antoinette. Not, not, not.
Before Enid Blyton. Before the harmless Beatrix Potter. Before I attempted the clumsy sunflower adventures of Mr. Busy Bee, the bungling bumblebee.
Before, before, before.

I was 6 years old.

I had spotted my father's forgotten half-opened paperback in the hall.

Feeling impressed and devious, I grabbed it and started to read on.
I was mesmerised.

The paperback was called
My Bed Is Not For Sleeping, and was written by popular Hungarian pulp fiction author and playwright, Gerty Agoston. Agoston who lives in New York also rose to fame with My Carnal Confessions.

I managed up to page 7 before my stunned father came along and snatched the novel away.

I kept asking him why the bed couldn't be slept on. He kept asking me to watch a cartoon. I kept asking him why the bed couldn't be slept on.

My father owned a rich collection of books; he was an avid reader. I hung around him alot with my Batman & Superman cards for my bodyguards. My father was a bit of a colourful character. He took me out for lots of car rides, to the sea and taught me how to bite into sugar cane without hurting my teeth when I was just 3.

Later, he travelled a lot so he never knew what happened with me.

I never told.

My father went to Vietnam during the war. He was a writer but did not pursue this love. He also had drinks once with the notorious killer,
Charles Sobhraj, who had posed under a different name. They chatted by the swimming pool, in a Bangkok hotel. My father remembered Sobjraj as entertaining and congenial. Later, he would read of the murders in the hotel's newspapers and of Interpol's manhunt. He was shocked. Sobraj had mesmering eyes, pleaded my dad. Mesmerising eyes.

Now, I know why my mind is such a mess.
And why I must enter a monastery before I write comedy.

But just look at Agoston. Isn't she beautiful. A writer who discovered herself along the way and is not afraid of her revelations.


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