Hope and Camaraderie for One Particular Reader

Sometimes, it seems, someone just captures something so on-target.  While this is low-level and crude, the obsession it portrays (not its particulars, but the engagement with women) is a powerful motivator in the lives of many men.  And it is said here so wonderfully.

from Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi
Geoff Dyer

'How old did you say your were?'

'Early-to-mid-forties-ish. But some things are timeless. You're fourteen, you want to look up women's dresses. You're forty, you want to look up women's dresses. You're seventy, you've got one foot in the grave, but you're hoping, even as your gaze turns toward heaven, that you might get one last chance for a look up a woman's skirt. Hemlines go up and down, but nothing really changes.'

As I said, the expression is somewhat vulgar, but the gift of beauty that is the gift of women--the presence, the elegance, the sheer glory that enhances our lives--admiration of that is a constant. And not merely the physical beauty, but once again, we come back to the beauty of diversity--thought, feeling, person.  As the French would have it, vive la diff√©rence!

(Oh, the passage marks a descent into the irretreviably crude that would beggar Philip Roth's imagination.  I sure hope this is leading somewhere because some of the passages have made for the most difficult and unpleasant reading since one particular scene in The Dying Animal.


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