Tuesday, March 29, 2005

the human stain

I read these two quotes last night in The Human Stain, in love with both of them. Roth writes horny old men so well. This first quote struck me so much for its trueness, that that is the test of a good male friend, someone you can talk to about sex without the appearance of bragging. The second one struck me just for its joy, that feeling of having sex often. After I finished that second quote, I put the book down and masturbated so well that I fell asleep, but soon woke hours later, jolted awake by coffee I had drank hours earlier in the evening, but yet still in my system, had horrible paranoid nightmares, and was on edge, having trouble sleeping. My sex drive is so low these days despite recent actions of mine. I rarely masturbate. I have resolved to masturbate morning and night to keep myself in this habit because it is a good thing. I was so stressed yesterday and for no reason, tense, and then last night when I came and with that quote still in my head, I knew why.

I thought, He's found somebody he can talk with . . . and then I thought, So have I. The moment a man starts to tell you about sex, he's telling you something about the two of you. Ninety percent of the time it doesn't happen, and probably it's as well it doesn't, though if you can't get a level of candor on sex and you choose to behave instead as if this isn't ever on your mind, the male friendship is incomplete. Most men never find such a friend. It's not common. But when it does happen, when two men find themselves in agreement about this essential part of being a man, unafraid of being judged, shamed, envied, or outdone, confident of not having the confidence betrayed, their human connection can be very strong and unexpected intimacy results. (27)

I know that every mistake a man can make has a sexual accelerator. But right now I happen not to care. I wake up in the morning, there's a towel on the floor, there's baby oil on the bedside table. How did all that get there? Then I remember. Got there because I'm alive again. Because I'm back in the tornado. Because this is what it is with a capital isness.

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