Fragments

At dinner, he saw a flash of a tattoo on her inner thigh. First, she is cool, collected. Then, the unexpected piquancy.

***

Deep-blue sea. Deep blue sea. Deep, blue sea. See? Punctuation is absolutely everything.

***

The medicine-bottle-brown eyes of a dog, pierced by dark pupils contracted and shrunken in the afternoon sunlight. Then a tired eyelid is drawn over the eye.

***

Nick Dinnerstein sees a dream that he has bought himself a watch. He comes home and remembers that he already had a watch. And thinks, that’s alright, I’ll have an extra one, just in case.

***

Insults. Predatory mollusk. Evil fungus.

***

Marital misery. ‘Didn’t you hear me laugh? Don’t you want to know what I’m laughing about? Why aren’t you imploring me to read aloud what I’m reading, the thing that just made me laugh? Why can’t we partake of life’s pleasures together? Why can’t we share its joys?’ ‘Alright, read it.’ ‘I won’t read it unless you relish it.’ ‘I will relish it!’ ‘No. I’m not going to read it.’

***

In high school, longing to be penetrated. Later, disgust and necessity. Then boredom. Now, more longing.

***

‘So she sealed the letter with virgin musk and incensed it with Nadd-scent and ambergris, after which she committed it to a certain of the merchants saying, Deliver it not to any save to Zayn al-Mawasif or to her handmaid.’

***

To each nymph, her own cyclops. (The first principle of the grotesque)

***

A translucent sadness: much better than being clawed by guilt and shame.

***

Intense feelings of self-rebuke, torments of shame without clarity about what it is that’s being regretted. Perhaps the only thing regretted is what I am. What I did, what spontaneous gesture emerged, giving me away: resisting the gesture, hiding behind a screen of propriety, would have changed nothing. Behind the screen, beneath the veneer, I would have been the same. Would I have been ashamed of myself had I not exposed myself? Probably not, but I keep giving myself away, leaving involuntarily a musky trail. Every day I am afraid to look at what I wrote the day before, what I said the day before. And there’s no retracting anything.

***

Feeling confined, I went outside and closed the door behind me, and then felt locked out. I opened the door, rushed back inside, closed the door, and felt locked in. I then opened the door again and hurried outside but felt… etc.

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