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Where do I find them? - A little less than a happy high — LiveJournal
Where do I find them?
I met my friend S. for lunch yesterday. It was a quick bite to eat and then a run to the bookstore to grab Guns, Germs, and Steel, the latest book club selection (good choice, btw), and whatever else struck me while I was there. As we wandered through the store, I found myself pulling books off the shelf and handing them to S., thinking that she might actually like them. She’s an avid non-reader, something I find almost as disturbing as her assertions that I remind her of her father.

For some reason.

Anyway, I tried. After seeing her shelve everything I handed to her, including Barbara Kingsolver’s, The Poisonwood Bible and Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto, I am exasperated.

"I hate reading."

"I know. The trouble is, saying that is the rough equivalent of someone saying ‘Ew’ to Japanese food without ever having tried it."

"Yeah, I hate Japanese food, too..."

I roll my eyes and headed for the checkout. Along the way, she began intimating that I should get something "racy." She held up Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner (she had no idea what it's about), and seemed to think that the idea is terribly funny.

I know that she’s a hopeless prude and suddenly saw an opportunity to shock and horrify. I didn’t hesitate. "How about this... I’ll pick up something ‘racy,’ but you have to read it."

"I bet you think I won’t."

I laughed. "S., I know you won’t, and suggesting you will is just being disingenuous. You’ve never been willing to follow through on any of your flirtations in that direction. The thought of being physical, much less sexual, outright terrifies you."

"One day, I’m going to surprise you. I mean, there’s this guy I’ve been talking to on matchmaker.com who..."

"Yeah, I know. I’ve gotten this song and dance before. Follow."

I led her straight to Henry Miller, grabbed Tropic of Cancer and handed it to her. She put it down before she even looked at it.

"I know who these people are."

"And have you read Miller?"


"Why not?"

No answer. I turned around and pulled Annais Nin’s Delta of Venus off another shelf. To my surprise, she actually took a moment to read the back cover, but then I saw the familiar pained twisting of her features that signify that I’ve breached her limit. She had been scandalized.

She said, simply, "I can’t read this, it’s dirty."

I nodded. "And now do you see my point? You’re running around seeking just enough titillation to reach the edge of your comfort zone, but when it comes to actually crossing the line into something substantive, you balk."

"But it’s dirty."

"Damn straight, and in spite of all of your bragging, you can’t let yourself read it. You’ve no business acting the coquette with me if you’re unwilling to follow through."

"I still think I’ll surprise you someday."

"Yeah? Read the Nin."

"Wha... I can’t."

"Right, and that’s precisely why you’re not going to surprise me, and why you’ve frustrated every single guy you’ve dated since I’ve known you. Either pick up the Nin and prove that you’re sincere or leave off. I’ve enough to deal with without your pretending to flirt with me."

Current Mood: used

8 comments or Leave a comment
clayrobeson From: clayrobeson Date: April 3rd, 2003 04:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's not cruel.

It's called tough love.

It's called taking someone to task for posturing that they're something they're not.

It's called standing up for yourself in the process.

Go you!

mood: proud
current music: Hos Soon is Now - Tatu (damn you mittenstein)
komos From: komos Date: April 3rd, 2003 08:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, I know. The cut text was mostly tongue in cheek, with a nod to the seemingly recurring theme that's been plaguing me. I tend to be painfully honest, but I still have to fight deeply ingrained training to make nice at all costs.

Did that. Got tired. Now, I'm learning how to look after myself.
clayrobeson From: clayrobeson Date: April 3rd, 2003 04:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
You need beer.

Call me.
komos From: komos Date: April 3rd, 2003 08:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, yeah. ;P

We'll work something out for tomorrow. Oh, do we need to change our plans for Sat. AM since Josh wants the volunteers to show up ca. 10:30?
clayrobeson From: clayrobeson Date: April 4th, 2003 07:03 am (UTC) (Link)


Shouldn't take us more than half an hour to get there via T.

Lis will be meeting us for breakfast.
tigermilkdrunk From: tigermilkdrunk Date: April 3rd, 2003 09:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm not sure... I think recommending Miller and Nin to anyone is kinda cruel, but that's just my irrational hatred of the two (and I hate them for completely different, individual reasons) shining through. The larger point, however, seems to have been well made.
komos From: komos Date: April 4th, 2003 06:06 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm kind of fond of both, but I'd love to hear your reasons. ^_^
tigermilkdrunk From: tigermilkdrunk Date: April 4th, 2003 06:27 am (UTC) (Link)


Nin I read very early, probably too early (twelve or thirteen when I read Henry and June and the erotica, a little later on the other stuff), and I just found her indulgent and somewhat artless, if you know what I mean. I like the idea of not having a division between life and art, but sometimes there seems to be no content to her writing, nothing which exists in there except for her.

Miller I read more recently (one of the Tropics and most of Sexus), and I hated because of the authorial presence. It struck me that he was trying so damn hard to be this great writer, this man who lived more fully and wrote better than the rest of us, that his writing ended up suffering a lot. The constant misogyny bothered me too...

I think they're both interesting folks from an historical standpoint, but my interest, at least, lies in their self-perception more than the actual published works.
8 comments or Leave a comment