the book of embraces, chapter Laxmi

Without a doubt she was the most gorgeously brilliant and lucid woman he ever knew. She was also physically beautiful. She was the woman that other women hate and men can’t ask out because their testicles lack the dimensions. She asked him out because he was staring at her. She didn’t realize he had no will in the matter.

He could pronounce her name right but never did because he liked to torture her with hating India. He didn’t hate India but he liked to torture her because he could get away with it and she could take it. It turned him on that she could take it. They made wedding plans for ’92.

Her skin was a universal anomaly. She was exactly like the Princess from the Princess and the Pea. He never knew that was a true story before he met her.

A butterfly walking on her skin would raise little welts matching the butterfly’s footprints. A touch of a fingernail would raise lines that looked and felt like whip scars. They would take a little while to appear and remain a while longer and then go away. He liked to torture her by writing words on her.

Every day of one summer he drifted into fantasy of India and civil engineering and her torn silk nightgown. He is writing novels on her skin. Novels that do not exist until five minutes after being written. Novels that then exist. Novels that no longer exist forty minutes later. It’s a trilogy. The first novel is about a springbuck Waziri in South Africa. The second novel is about a civil engineer of high moral fiber and strong sexual appetite. The last novel is about a girl’s summer vacation with her best friend who is the escaped daughter of an archduke of Hell. It is the work of his lifetime and he cries that it is only appropriate to her dermal medium and not paper. If he wrote it on paper it would be too distracting to see the words. The words would just be there in the instantaneous cause and effect of his pen. On her skin the words won’t be there till he’s done. Only not knowing how it’s going could he purify the motive of it. He weeps with the beauty and the uselessness of it. That his best books can only be written on her, develop like a Polaroid at Christmas in 1972, and then disappear into her southern India darkness like a gillnet sunset.

Every day of that summer was spent wishing he could write that trilogy. But he told her to scram in ’88 so he’ll do no such thing.

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