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Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Settling. Settle. To Settle. Part II



Or, Why I love Naipaul. Part II.

As their perceived — and society's imposed — "sell by" date approaches, I find myself witness to a multitude of nauseating spectacles: friends and acquaintances lowering their standards, expectations, and requirements in their desperate quest for mates. E.g. "Well, he is of the opposite sex!" Or, "She has a pulse!" Hey! Perhaps they can even add a new facet to the Yellow Ribbon Project: "Bring an Ex-con to Your Bed." Now, this would be nothing more than fodder for my writing if not for their presumptive impetuousness in including me in their fool's quest.

The Bard of Avon once warned, "Hasty marriage seldom proveth well," but I have more scathing quotes in mind:


Settling. Settle. To Settle. (Part I)


ANXIETY WAS REPLACED by a feeling of deflation, a certain fear and an extreme shyness, which became acute as the ritual bathroom hour approached on their first evening as man and wife, words which still mortified him. He waited, unwilling to mention the matter or to make the first move, and in the end it was she who went first. She was a long time and he, sucking on his burnt-out pipe, savoured the moments of privacy as something now to be denied him forever.

       'Yours now, Richard.'

       Her voice was no longer deep and actressy. It was attempting to tinkle, and emerged a blend of coo and halloo.

       In the bathroom, which before had held his own smell, to him always a source of satisfaction, there was now a warm, scented dampness. Then he saw her teeth. It had never occurred to him that they might be false. He felt cheated and annoyed. Regret came to him, and a prick of the sharpest fear. Then he took out his own teeth and sadly climbed the steps to their bedroom.


Perhaps your lives are so dull and wanting that you would even settle for love that becomes a funeral pyre. Mine isn't.





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