The Diary of Geza Csath (11 page)

BOOK: The Diary of Geza Csath
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37. Erno Osvath, editor of Nyugat

 

Erno Osvath

sponded to only .005-.006). This small dose took effect within five minutes, almost like an injection. I needed the foregoing especially because Olga’s brother had been brought back to Pest terminally ill, making free and unconstrained sexual relations impossible, and more than once, an injection was the only way I could stop myself from committing onanism. Today, I still believe that of the two evils, M is the lesser. The other theme of these small regressions was cigarettes. If tobacco didn’t taste good, I always thought of the M euphorias, during which smoking is a great and incomparable pleasure.

On 5 May, when I decided I would go to Stubnya, I returned to the poison again. During the trip I took .015 P. It enabled me to remain sitting in one place, and I was capable of making use of the time, applying it to reading, etc. I was reading Cagliostro’s life at the time, but the pleasure it gave me didn’t approach the enjoyment I got from Casanova’s writings, which made March, of the Mfree months, unforgettable. In the morning following a bath, with a washed heart, drinking coffee and smoking a great
Luxor
or
Gianaclid
, I drank in those lively, charming, and wise volumes, which doubled my appetite for life, and reduced my jealousy as well as my bent for causing sexual complications. During this period I had intercourse with incomparable pleasures, but without any spiritual dimension, and starting from 5 December, I fortunately made the girl pregnant
every month
.

In May, the travelling drove me to use the poison again. On average, I took it every third day, in the afternoon or morning, but only once did I inject .02g P.

I proceeded similarly in June. The boredom at the empty spa on the one hand, worry about success and my medical career, and the desire to attain a confident, calm demeanour all kept me from stopping. To produce the substance, I used the pastilles I had brought myself, dissolving them in boiled water with glycerine and 100% alcohol, then purifying the mixture using the funnel of the urine filter. In this manner, I took 1-2 to 3-4 cm
3
of 3% solution.

In the month of July too, I used the poison only every other day. It completely satisfied me, and I was easily able to complete much work I couldn’t otherwise have borne. There were patients whose treatment irritated me. The faradization of Mrs Daisy Kovacs for example, because of the woman’s exaggerated modesty, her advanced age, kindness, and deafness. I took the first dose before breakfast, in the form of .01 M. Getting dressed and starting work became excruciating, even detestable acts.

Depression was much greater in the morning than at any other time. I arranged things so that I would not inject again until evening or late afternoon, but here at home, after supper, I would employ two or even three doses at short intervals. The strength of today’s dose is clearly justified by my influenza, because while on the preceding days I took .03-.04 M, today .045 P and .013 M were necessary. What shall I do? This week is the last, the one on which I pin all my hopes.

3 1 J A N U A R Y

One after another I recount the bloody defeats I suffer in battles against myself. And still luck does not favour me. The week started well enough with daily doses of .044 and .046, split into three or four parts, but yesterday and today I again fell into the wretched
circulus vitiosus
which is the source of the most shameful self-accusations. The problem at these times is always that I don’t have the strength to wait for the afternoon defecation. If I manage to do this, and the M reabsorbed from the intestines has departed, there is always a pleasant M-hunger that lasts all day and can be satisfied by the normal dose. If, on the contrary, the first sin happens in the morning, while I am still in bed, or before excreting the stool, the dose usually doesn’t bring results or even cause euphoria. Defecation doesn’t happen either, to make matters worse (after lunch I can only produce something with the greatest of suffering), and the poison reabsorbed through the lower intestine makes the morning desperately unhappy. To transgress and to harm myself, and not even to enjoy it – such bitter thoughts pursue me at these times, and often if there were a pistol nearby I would blow my head apart in a second. What do I do instead, however? … Usually I take the second dose early, three or four hours after the first. This normally produces euphoria lasting twenty or thirty minutes, then the most pitiable, miserable state returns, one in which:
1
1. All human action, industry, diligence and work appear

laughable and odious.
1
2. All speech is tiresome and stupid.
1
3. All plans are unworkable and appalling.
1
4. Everything grand, beautiful and noble is unreachable and meaningless.

At these times I smoke one cigarette after another, until I can no longer even taste the smoke. I eat oranges until I am bored. I play the piano with revulsion. I wash. I go to Olga’s. I find life intolerable. I make an effort to entertain her, but I lack real sexual interest, and therefore I am soon very bored at her place. Though my sexual interest is almost nil, and I know why – I forcefully exaggerate it, hugging and kissing her constantly, and whether I need it or not, I insist on coitus, which is carried out with a shameful half-erection, and results in two or three [orgasms] for her and one ejaculation for me. Afterwards I would like most of all to leave; to make staying bearable, I disgustedly inject another .02-.03 in the WC. In the evening, after supper another .02, then .01 and .01 follow – the last shot with the excuse that it counts toward the next day.

An infinitely loathsome, contemptible life is this. I am so revolting, weak, and pitiful that I must genuinely wonder at Olga, that she can still love me and not be unfaithful. That she doesn’t become utterly disgusted with my weak, breathy voice, my constant glancing at the mirror (the natural reflex gesture of the health complex), my cynical and shrivelled penis, my withered face, my witless conversation, my impotent, idle life, my suspicious income, my lack of will, the shamelessness with which I withdraw each day to the WC at length, my stupidity. I think I smell too; on account of my ruined olfactory sense, I cannot perceive the smell of my poorly wiped arse or my decayed mouth.

Yet today I was strong. In the morning I started to dress properly, without poison. I worked. I took nothing all the way until 1.00. When I wanted to reach for the accursed PVZ,
38
I always recalled that ‘uncle’ Pista is 68 years old and still has intercourse weekly. Therefore I, too, surely can hope to be an active male until I reach 60. My God, 34 more years, how much pleasure, how many good days, how many books, how many beautiful ideas, how many landscapes, smells, milk, cigarettes, flowers, possessions, money, glory, music, children, happiness, reading newspapers, the wholeness of life, thirty-four more years of life, of which every day is worth more than this life saturated with false ecstasy and bitter suffering, this life which is planned for only five years, but of which a hundred years aren’t worth as much as those thirty-four with their real, true pleasures.

On this basis I had a chance to complete today successfully, to take the day’s single dose at night and in bed.
What happens? Bozsi, who promised to come for lunch, is late. I wasn’t happy about her coming, but if she is coming, she should come on time. What does the poor, complacent-snotty little thing think she’s doing, breaking up the order of things? The little delinquent. All right, I’ll compose until she gets here. I sit down to
Legend of the Sun
, which I started yesterday, and so that I might enjoy it more, so that I might be able to go further in the construction of the exposition, I take .02 P in 4% solution. This was all well but I soon regretted it, because the liveliness of my spirit was lost.

38. Almost certainly another codename for morphine.

Another unpleasantness at O’s. Aranka Gardy’s maid and son were there, so I took the girl into the bathroom, wanting to be done with the + soon so that I could inject the next dose of P. O was terrified, she resisted and I had hardly any pleasure. At 7.00 I left, using the excuse that I was going to the …

On the way, however, I had a 4% solution of M made up. Even before supper, here at home I injected .03 M. I played at writing, making petty calculations, little plans for the next month – self-deluding, silly lists these are, the brilliantly comic report cards of my worthless life. In the meantime Poli comes in to make the bed. I jump her. As an experiment, I want to see
how she behaves lying under me, in bed
. I stick myself with one of her pins. She is red, pants with desire, but clings to my hair, mentions the professor repeatedly, and cries out. I stop – and step outside. In the hallway Mariska is eavesdropping. She tells me – another unpleasantness – that she has still not finished typing Vajda’s case report, because in one place she was not sure about the remark appended. I have supper, but in the struggle the poison’s warm, even effect has been lost. Afterwards another .03 M in two doses (.015) at tenminute intervals. Diary writing, despair. Feeling of disgust.

Tomorrow’s programme. No M. No substitute sex. No alcohol.
No nicotine
. I can look forward to a nice bit of suffering, but it doesn’t matter. You may as well suffer now, dog, wretched waste of a man, suffer and chew the carpet. For the night, after midnight only, .03 P is allowed subcutaneously.

By the date of my mother’s death, 6 February,
I will be completely free. Final injection on 5 February
. The last one of my life.

Ledger for January 1913:

Earned: 260 crowns Spent: 390 crowns Coitus: 45 times Orgasms for Olga: 58

In my life with her, coitus has occurred 424 times – in 345 days, which means that 1,268 acts of coitus occurred per day during these 345 days. (From 15 September 1911 to 31 January 1912 (sic), not counting the hundred days’ absence in the summer, the twenty Sundays and thirty days during Fredi’s illness (actually forty-two) when we could not meet and I was forced to resort to other women (to my immense regret).

Consumed:
M: 170 centigrams average per day therefore 5.6 cg. = .056

6 F E B R U A R Y 1 9 1 3

I smile as I read the last despondent diary entries. Their contents are actually quite serious. Desperate struggle, strain in the interests of liberation from the poison.

Naturally I did not succeed in living through this morrow without poison, but the result was quite nice anyway. At noon I took .02 P and at night, .03 M. I hardly smoked. On the next day, however, I went up to .08, then on 4 February to .16 g. This last is excused by .06 of it being P. During this time depression pursued me constantly; I experienced the bitterest feelings. My sexual interest sank to nil, and I thought I would soon be a case of premature debilitation. Yesterday, however, I pulled myself together. In fact a fortunate circumstance interceded. At night the weather changed. From frost, the atmosphere changed to mild, spring-like, cloudy but pleasant-smelling. I couldn’t sleep. Though the daily dose was .10, at night I took doses of .02-.02-.02 one after the other between 2 and 3 o’clock, in order to sleep. It was all in vain: I lay in bed half-asleep, dazed. Today too, my opinion is that the real cause of the insomnia was the change in weather. But this became the insomnia was the change in weather. But this became the 2 and 5-9; but I felt quite fresh. I bathed, vomited, and took nothing right up to 7.30 in the evening. At that time I twice injected .02 P in 3% solution. It decidedly
worsened
my condition. So after midnight I again took .04 P. The night was not great. I slept from 2.30 to 10.30. Today I again behaved
heroically
, though waking up was much worse. Vomiting and bathing helped. Now I clearly see why those attempts at withdrawal in the autumn didn’t work. Though they weren’t serious,
with luck
they might have brought success. The problem was that I believed vomiting could be avoided, whereas without it all effort is in vain. By morning, as it were, the excreted poison collects in the stomach, and if we do not dispose of it in time, it is absorbed again, this time with no narcotic effect but – because it is a relatively small dose – it increases the hunger. This is the problem with Pantopon too. Therefore the most suitable principles of painless withdrawal:

1
1. One dose per day, which must, however, create at least twenty hours of peace, that is, the next craving must last four hours at the most. (The craving begins with the beginning of salivation and the onset of the stomach’s hyperesthesia.)

1
2. The daily
single dose
should at first be at least 2/4 of the total daily dose.
1
3. Vomiting should be induced in the morning even days after withdrawal is complete.
1
4. With the beginning of withdrawal, Arsycodile cure; the substance to be taken after each dinner subcutaneously.

BOOK: The Diary of Geza Csath
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