I’ve been reading Eve Babitz yet again. I first read her at age 10, when I found a copy of Slow Days Fast Company at a yard sale and devoured it though I understood a quarter of the references. (Poppers? ménage à trois? It all made me so very hungry.) Sometimes it seems as if I’ve been reading Babitz’s books nonstop ever since. Her well-read, half-bred, doggedly unwed sensuality seeps into my pores, or maybe just finds its natural home in me. Anyway, today I finished an assignment early, so I poured a glass of wine and sat down with Slow Days, which has been on my brain ever since I got back from the desert. The book fell open to this passage, which resonates on a level it never did when I was a willowy (anorectic) younger lady. Do know this is my Caftan Summer, in which I’ll only wear what flows and flows. So here’s Eve:
The truth is that when you’re as voluptuous and un-hair-sprayed as I am, you have to cover yourself in un-ironed muumuus to walk to the corner and mail a letter. Men take one look and start to calculate where the closest bed would be. This all happens in spite of my many serious flaws and imperfections, in spite of my being much too fat and everyone else being just right. The reason for this is because my skin is so healthy it radiates is own kind of moral laws; people simply cannot resist being attracted to what looks like pure health. Whoever is in charge of everything doesn’t want the survival of the fittest to come about just from wars and famine; whoever’s in charge also fixed it so people just naturally opt for health.