I am not just an analog purist when it comes to photography: take your Nook/Kindle/iPad and shove it up your ass sideways.

Give my hand the solid heft of a book, smooth texture of cover and spine against my skin as it spreads open, beckons my gaze, waits for fumbling fingers and claims my mind so completely for a time.

And the smell…

So, in summary:   

1. Books are hell of sexy as fuck.
2.This had me from lesbian foreplay in a bookstore.

Being a book loving nerd makes me no stranger to bookstores. But I have an affinity for them I don’t know how to explain except to admit that books very nearly jump off the shelves and latch onto me. (Also, I want to visit the Ryōan-ji Temple one day and when I imagine what it will be like it always feels the calm, timelessness that I almost always fee in bookstores.)

But there’s also Fowles’ The Magus and Franzen’s The Corrections framing the head of the young woman whose undergarments are being removed—both of which I have read and enjoyed to varying degrees. (Leave the Franzen. Take the Fowler.)

These tiny points of familiarity engage me with the tableau.

Right off, I notice the woman being undressed is not entirely comfortable with transgression of personal boundaries but remains nonetheless consenting.

This resonates deeply with me. See: I am borderline autistic and as a result have zero ability to negotiate expectations others have for/of me. As best as I can tell this is a result of my inability to understand inconsistencies in the personal boundaries of others.

A tact I have learned for managing this is to assume everyone I meet has the most highly restrictive personal boundaries I can imagine until I discover some evidence to the contrary.

This has the benefit of preventing many otherwise unnecessary misunderstandings with strangers and acquaintances. But it causes problems as I only know where I stand with them when they tell me. And in relationships such a prerequisite is not exactly desirable.

The only thing that works is the rare person who enjoys pushing personal boundaries and is completely unprepared for someone who almost completely lacks them.

All that is to say: I would give anything to trade places with the woman and have my friends who I trusted completely begin to undress me daring me to stop them. Knowing they would if I asked and knowing that I would not.

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