Wednesday, January 2, 2008

"Rules of the Wild" and Sexy Singing Bodies

I am a firm believer that books pick you. I think I was at a major disadvantage with some of the books that haved picked me. My favorite, all time novel( which I am re-reading for the third time) is "Rules of the Wild" by Francesca Marciano.

My problem is this: This book tackled my love for the secret mini-ecosystem of expatriate life in a third-world country, my love for Africa and my love for men. Never before this book, had I seen words that accurately described how silly my thoughts about men could be. An example below: The lead character describes her first encounter with a German -south African man's-man fixing a jeep before heading out to take a group of vacationers to a camp in Nairobi.

"There are bodies- the majority in fact- which are mute, their purpose merely to transport and protect their contents. Arms and legs have no life of their own, no hints of personality or secret disposition will be revealed by a close study. The main purpose of those bodies without a character is to conceal rather than to express."

"This body here, the body of this man fixing the car- I had to sit down in order to take it all in, it made my legs weak. It didn't talk to me: it sang. Every tiny bone in his wrist, the shape of his fingertips- the whole thing was like a symphony. Suddenly I couldn't bear watching that body another minute unless I could blend into its music. I felt that my anxiety would finally be sedated for good only when that body embraced me and took me in. I wasn't thinking of having sex. I wanted this man I didn't know to make love to me. I knew that if he did there would be fresh air and light at the other end of the tunnel. I knew it by looking at his body, and I knew it by the way he had pronounced my name. "

That is my problem. When I read this, I set a little internal standard by it. I already saw the world of men with a flattering, sultry, golden soft-lens at the very brink of puberity....books like this only qualified my false perceptions...and led me into a romanticized trapse through the fields of men to find my innate physical symphonic match of a man....woops.

Not even my very best reality can live up to my imagination's expectation...

Live and learn. Live and unlearn.

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