On a flight to Turkey, Klaus Kinski berates me for taking Werner Herzog’s side against him after we watch “My Best Fiend: Klaus Kinski” together on his iPhone. His bloodshot, cerulean eyes—always already bulging—are strained near the point of socket explosion as he screams and rants at me: you are hardly the exquisite writer I buried 10 years ago! His contorted, enraged face is so close to mine, I end up breathing in the sweat off his forehead.
I notice a hat pin holding a deeply luscious, humid, creamy gardenia to his lapel. I think of using the pin to puncture the whites of his eyes if he tries to strangle me—which is what he threatens to do. He moves to grab my throat but his hands fall instead on the notebook lying open on my lap, which he searches frantically for evidence of my true hatred for him. I try to stay calm and explain that Herzog was only trying to make everyone believe Kinski was insane in order to promote a greater interest in his films. I point out, too, that I'm not the person he buried. That I'm still very much alive, and that in fact, it is Kinski who is dead.
Suddenly in control of himself, he dismissively replies: only the grim poet needs to point this out.