Monday, August 16, 2010


The next day my phone rings and I pick it up without monitoring. It is my Aunt Betsy, who, with her stutter returning, tells me that the most awful thing has happened to her. Lauryn wound up in a battered women’s shelter in Minnesota where she had been living after another divorce. In an aside Auntie says, as she has said at recent stages of Lauryn’s life, that it makes here furious how young and pretty Lauryn looks. More like 20 even now when she is verging on 40. I thought at first that Auntie was being humorous when she said it made her furious, but by now I am not so sure.

And then she is saying “I liked the guy. I can’t really blame him. She’s too appealing for her own good.”

And a crescendo from the crescendo. As she talks I am seeing myself in that upstairs vacant servants' room where they had put me at White Pines. And I know why even long before I had sex, long before I knew sex was about anything except an unexplained feeling, I knew a woman’s body. A smooth, shiny woman’s body. Breasts and belly and between the legs.

Smooth shiny skin, of the sort that still drew me – smooth and shiny as opposed to the mat finish skin of all the other women in the family.

Now I had the visuals.

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