Sunday, November 23, 2008


I was in the tube the other day with my beloved 18-year-old brother sitting next to me. I was reading a novel by Maupassant, and to be honest I was so much in it I couldn't even hear the roaring of the train.

The book was about a 19th century painter madly in love with a female socialite, Anne de Guilleroy. The guy was supposed to do her portrait, but after a few meetings, he begins to develop strong feelings towards her. So he tries to figure out how to turn the model into his mistress. Being a brillant talker, he skilfully injects in his conversation subtle innuendos and daring proposals.
She lets him talk the talk, waiting for the moment when he would walk the walk. But his first attempt to kiss her is somehow heavy-handed and after offering her lips in a moment of abandon, Anne de Guilleroy swiftly falls back to safer ground. She rejects him and leaves the room.

The poor fellow is at sea. He thinks about ways to redeem himself, but in the same time he doesn't want to give in. She goes back to his house the next day as if nothing happened and asks him to finish her portrait. But there is too much affectation in her apparent indifference for it to be true, and the painter feels that the battle is not completely lost. He affects indifference as well, and obediently limits his conversation to painting and art.
He's a better act than she is, and Anne de Guilleroy starts wondering whether the passion is gone. She's longing for his sweet talk again. Maybe she has feelings as well, and maybe she wants him to possess her. But being a society woman, she can't allow herself to show away too much. She must delay the surrender to add value to its price.
And so began the second act of an intricated foreplay whose ebb and flow promised to be as staggering as the atlantic tide...

I was about to learn about the long-expected outcome when my beloved brother interrupted my reading to show me a SMS he had just received from a girl called Charlotte, who he had been chatting with on the internet for two days:

"Hello, it's Charlotte. If you want, we can have sex tonight. My parents are away. Bring condoms if you have some, otherwise I think I have one or two left. See you. Love"

I threw away my book and we got off the train.

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