Archive | Quoth the Raving

Caftan Summer

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.

Greetings from Me and LC at Joshua Tree

Both of them felt it: that day was an island….On the mainland,  people went about their business, eating the Times, glancing through coffee and oatmeal, as they walked the gangway into an original dream of attentiveness, as if a day’s pleasure could concentrate them as much as suffering.
Sun, Donald Hall

Let me tell you: I’m trying to seize the fourth dimension of this instant-now so fleeting that it’s already gone because it’s already become a new instant-now that’s also already gone. Every thing has an instant in which it is. The want to grab hold of the is of the thing. These instants passing through the air I breathe: in fireworks they explode silently in space. I want to possess the atoms of time. And to capture the present, forbidden by its very nature.
Agua Viva, Clarice Inspector

When the sun grew so bright, when it was not nearly but merely blinding, she could do nothing but succumb to her senses and wait. And this is how it will be, with a sense of humor.
Newton North High School 1989 yearbook inscription, Lisa Rosman

The Blue Ring

You know your friend really loves you when, upon hearing you’re at serious loose ends, she takes a ring off her finger and slips it on yours. “It protected me when I needed it,” she says. “Now it’ll be your shield.” “Let’s keep giving it back to each other when we need it,” I say, and we smile. Eve Babitz says there is always a moment when a man develops enough confidence and ease in a relationship to bore you to death. What I treasure most about the women in my life is we never stop courting each other–never stop seeing each other, never stop remembering each other’s stories, never stop beaming that Mother Mary blue.

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy