The opening paragraph of Gay Talese's Thy Neighbor's Wife:
"She was completely nude, lying on her stomach in the desert sand, her legs spread wide, her long hair flowing in the wind, her head tilted back with her eyes closed. She seemed lost in private thoughts, remote from the world, reclining on this wind-swept dune in California near the Mexican border, adorned by nothing but her natural beauty. She wore no jewelry, no flowers in her hair; there were no footprints in the sand, nothing dated the day or spoiled the perfection of the photograph except the moist fingers of the seventeen-year-old schoolboy who held it and looked at it was adolescent longing and lust."
That paragraph is so good. That shift in focus that occurs at the end of that paragraph totally surprised me. I was all ready to read a narrtive about this woman sunbathing, only to be suckerpunched by this being a photograph some boy is using as jackoff fodder.
I picked up this book yesterday along with four others that I am totally excited about at Housing Works Used Book Cafe's outdoor book sale, all for a dollar each. I watched The Science of Sleep later on in the day. It was a pretty lovely day, all the lovelier because I was asleep in bed by eleven (the first time in how long?), this book at my side.
I am about to head off to New Jersey to hang out and eat with my family, and then, with my sister, to see David Sedaris read.