Lipton’s Journal/February 14, 1955/573
Antacid Analgesic. There are many elements in this. And and ant. Acid and alkali. Anal and by implication Oral. Already I could call it Andalc Oralgesic. The take and the cid (the beggar and the king) (Take from tac); Pain and pain-killer. Pain-killer provides pleasure, so pain and pleasure—the condition of existence. Even, very private, an al, an Al—from Brother Can You Spare A Dime—Don’t You Know me, They call me Al, it was Al (hell) all the time. So Heaven and Hell. Gesic. Guess and seek. God—little e of self-society; I who is sic, sick. God and I guess and seek for the sick.
- Mailer’s knowledge of chemistry was thin, but he seems to be looking at two highly reactive chemicals or “bases,” acids and alkalis, both of which can chemically burn you. When measured on the pH scale, below 7 is acidic, and above 7 is alkali, and so in Mailer’s mind are polar opposites.