Posts Tagged ‘names’

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Book #2 in 2009

February 1, 2009

Excerpt #12:
Perhaps what I liked far more was the evening. Everything about it thrilled me. Every glance that crossed my own came like a compliment, or like an asking and a promise that simply lingered in midair between me and the world around me. I was electrified – by the chaffing, the irony, the glances, the smiles that seemed pleased I existed, by the buoyant air in the shop that graced everything from the glass door to the petits fours, to the golden ochre spell of plastic glasses filled with scotch whiskey, to Mr. Venga’s rolled-up sleeves, to the poet himself, down to the spiral staircase where we had congregated with the babe sisters – all seemed to glow with a luster at once spellbound and aroused.
I envied these lives and thought back to the thoroughly deli-bidinized lives of my parents with their stultifying lunches and dinner drudges, our dollhouse lives in our dollhouse home, and of my senior year looming ahead. Everything appeared like child’s play compared to this. Why go away to America in a year when I could just as easily spend the rest of my four years away coming to readings like this and sit and talk as some were already doing right now? There was more to learn in this tiny crammed bookstore than in any of the mighty institutions across the Atlantic. (183)

Excerpt #13:
One thing led to another, and we began speaking of Bangkok.
“Everyone is beautiful, but beautiful in an exceptionally hybrid, crossbred manner, which is why I wanted to go there,” said the poet. “They’re not Asiatic, not Caucasian, and Eurasian is too simple a term. They’re exotic in the purest sense of the word, and yet not alien. We instantly recognize them though we’ve never seen them before, and have no words either for what they sit in us or for what they seem to want from us.
“At first I thought that they thought differently. Then I realized they felt differently. Then that they were unspeakably sweet, sweet as you can’t imagine anyone being sweet here. Oh, we can be kind and we can be caring and we can be very, very warm in our sunny, passionate mediterranean way, but they were sweet, selflessly sweet, sweet in their hearts, sweet in their bodies, sweet without a touch of sorrow or malice, sweet like children, without irony or shame. I was ashamed of what I felt for them. This could be paradise, just as I’d fantasized. The twenty-four-year-old night clerk of my rink-dink hotel, who’s wearing a visorless cap and has seen all types come and go, stares and I stare back. His features are a girl’s. But he looks like a girl who looks like a boy. The girl at the American Express desk stares and I stare back. She looks like a boy who looks like a girl and who’s therefore just a boy. The younger ones, men and women, always giggle when I give them the look. Even the girl at the consulate who speaks fluent Milanese, and the undergraduates who wait at the same hour of each and every morning for the same bus to pick us up, stare at me and I stare back – does all this staring add up to what I think it means, because, like it or not, when it comes to the senses all humans speak the same beastly tongue. (189-190)

Excerpt #14:
Like every experience that marks us for a lifetime, I found myself turned inside out, drawn, and quartered. This was the sum of everything I’d been in my life – and more: who I am when I sing and stir-fry vegetables for my family and friends on Sunday afternoons; who I am when I wake up on freezing nights and want nothing more than to throw on a sweater, rush to my desk, and write about the person I know no one knows I am; who I am when I crave to be naked with another naked body, or when I crave to be alone in the world; who I am when every part of me seems miles and centuries apart and each swears it bears my name. (91) 

-Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman

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