The Eroticism of Fat Men
Paris gave back Dowson some sparks of his old fire. He was impoverished, but his correspondence has all the joys of his letters of two years previously. He noted cheerfully that O’Riordan smoked and drank nothing so he could afford his two square meals a day, while ‘I tighten my belt in order to allow myself a sufficiency of cigarettes and absinthe.’ This was as much luxury as he could manage: female companionship was too expensive. ‘As for women.’ he remarked, he ‘dare not even look at them.’
In the Latin Quarter he was back among the cafes, restaurants, prostitutes, and above all the literary friends from whom he drew his lifeblood.