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The Unbearable Lightness of Being (part 4 chapter 22)

2006-08-22 20:21

  22

  In the first year of her love, Tereza would cry out during intercourse. Screaming, as I have pointed out, was meant to blind and deafen the senses. With time she screamed less, but her soul was still blinded by love, and saw nothing. Making love with the engineer in the absence of love was what finally restored her soul's sight.

  During her next visit to the sauna, she stood before the mirror again and, looking at herself, reviewed the scene of physical love that had taken place in the engineer's flat. It was not her lover she remembered. In fact, she would have been hard put to describe him. She may not even have noticed what he looked like naked. What she did remember (and what she now observed, aroused, in the mirror) was her own body: her pubic triangle and the circular blotch located just above it. The blotch, which until then she had regarded as the most prosaic of skin blemishes, had become an obsession. She longed to see it again and again in that implausible proximity to an alien penis.

  Here I must stress again: She had no desire to see another man's organs. She wished to see her own private parts in close proximity to an alien penis. She did not desire her lover's body. She desired her own body, newly discovered, intimate and alien beyond all others, incomparably exciting.

  Looking at her body speckled with droplets of shower water, she imagined the engineer dropping in at the bar. Oh, how she longed for him to come, longed for him to invite her back! Oh, how she yearned for it!

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