Category: sex and romance

Men are childish, women are women

There’s a big deal on television today. It’s called the Super Bowl. It gathers a vast amount of attention and costs people a vast amount of money. It doesn’t mean anything. The Super Bowl is meaningless, yet a great deal of false meaning has been injected into it. Fanatics pay thousands of dollars for seats that are worth thirty bucks. They could even watch it for no charge, in their own homes, with their own snacks and get a better view to boot.

Any sort of fanaticism is not a good idea. Things like Nazism, Aryan Brotherhood, Super Bowl and so on. This obviously doesn’t include harmless fan preferences like fans of Bruce Springsteen, The Beatles, Harrison Ford, Dolly Parton and so on. Not all Super Bowl fans are childish and some women do as some men do for the big game.

Although some people paint their faces and even their bodies in the colours of their preferred team, it is childish. It’s fun, it’s troublesome and it’s childish. There are women who cook and serve special snacks to be consumed during the game. It is a game, remember. It’s only a game that for some reason commands great attention and much money.

Well, not for some reason – for the reason that it’s a business enterprise. The people that own the teams, the stadium and the series of games, spend much money to hype up the interest in their business. Fanatical fans should remember that it is not really a game, as in a game people play for pleasure like bowling and poker. It is somebody’s business. The painted faces and heaps of snacks are all in celebration of someone’s very successful business promotion.

We all know that men are childish. It’s true that little boys grow up to be big boys with big toys. It’s true that little girls grow up to be women, and they take care of life more properly than do men. We have to mention that while men behave childishly, women also have their oddities.

Women prepare their faces like painting on a canvas. Black, lengthening material is applied to lashes. Colour is applied to upper lids, sometimes with sparkles in it. Dark lines are drawn around the eyes and beyond their corners. Skin is enhanced with skin coloured crème. Lips are enhanced with colour, sometimes two shades on one lip. Cheek bones are accentuated with highlights and shadows carefully applied.

There’s not room for all the hair and body enhancements to be described, so we’ll end here… except to say that women are odd too, and should willingly forgive men for loving their trucks and painting their faces to show their fanaticism.

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THE SZENTENDRE TRAIN

I took the Szentendre train twice each week.  Early Monday mornings I stood at the station near my home and waited for the train to take me into Budapest, where I was an assistant professor of anatomy at Semmelweis University.  Friday evenings I caught a train back to Szentendre.  Between the two short train rides, my life was bland, grey, boring, and repetitive.  In Szentendre I did my grocery shopping in the open market and prepared my meals for the week in the city. I was able to rent a cheaper flat in the city if I didn’t need cooking facilities.  In Budapest I spent most of my time in my flat, and the rest of my time with my students.

Last autumn I began to wonder about my life.  I had been on vacation for the summer, and the return to the routine of city life and work was objectionable to me.  Weekends at home were no better.  Lonely days and nights, some so lonely I just sat around my house and cried for hours.  It took all my will to go to the train station in Szentendre that first Monday morning in September.  The usual scattering of people was there, waiting for the train to Budapest.  I kept my eyes down as always.  I was not in the mood for idle small talk.  My spirit was in turmoil.  I wanted to be left alone, to avoid social contact.  At the same time, I wanted love, affection, attention, and sex.

My husband… my former husband… was a dentist.  He had run off with his office assistant three years before.  I didn’t see it coming, and it put me into a deep depression.  I wasn’t interested in anything, and I simply buried myself in my work. It had not always been so, but I was thirty-nine years old, living alone and longing for love.  I would have settled for any old fool of a lover, just to be touched by a warm, tender hand again.  I was grey.  My hair, my complexion, and my spirit were all grey.  I was a colourless lump of average looking, depressed, slightly overweight middle-aged female meat, and I felt like shit.

The first week back at work was the usual mess of misunderstandings and scheduling conflicts and what have you.  In spite of the lonely, empty house in Szentendre, I was looking forward to getting home to my garden and my sculpture studio.  I like to make pottery or sculpt animals and human figures in clay. It’s just a hobby, but it was satisfying in a way, and helped to pass lonely hours.  I worked in my garden during Saturday and Sunday mornings and in my studio on weekend afternoons and evenings.

The first Friday night of the new semester, I boarded a later than usual train to Szentendre, because the hectic first week of school left me with some extra duties.  Evening was settling in when I took my seat.  The coach was empty except for a young man seated across the aisle from me.  He looked at me and smiled with a slight tilt of his head.  I averted my eyes and stared out the window at the passing scene that was fading in the descending evening light.

I had never seen the young man before, and I wondered for a moment why he had smiled at me. I was one of the first passengers to leave the train.  I hurried across the platform toward home, and didn’t see him disembark behind me.   When I arrived at home, I made a small supper for myself and did a bit of housework before I went to sleep.  Saturday morning, I busied myself with my garden and my studio.  The weekend passed with the usual boring loneliness, and by Monday morning I was ready to return to the University.  At least I had some human interaction at my job, even though it was only with the students in my anatomy classes or some professors in the lounge.

As usual, I kept to myself on the platform, waiting for the commuter train to take me into the city.  Most of the scattered people were reading newspapers or talking quietly to each other.  I tilted my face up to the rising sun, closed my eyes, and let the warmth soothe me.  I heard the train coming, and I felt the people around me moving about in preparation for its arrival.  Someone stood next to me, almost brushing the sleeve of my coat, but I did not acknowledge it.

The breeze from the moving train touched me, and I opened my eyes to climb aboard.  I took a seat and looked up to see the same young man I had seen on the Friday evening ride home.  He again smiled and nodded at me.  I half-smiled in return, took some papers from my briefcase, and pretended to read them.  I didn’t understand why the young man noticed me, and I dared not look at him long enough to see if I knew him.  I doubted he was a student in one of my classes because I know each of them quite well.  I had the impression from my quick glances that he was tall, broadly built, and with a good-looking square face.  He had a high forehead under thick, blond hair that he wore tied low down on the back of his head in a long ponytail.

The train rolled into the Budapest station.  I did not hurry to leave my seat because I hoped to see the young man from a different angle, when he couldn’t see me staring.  I pretended to be searching in my bag for something when he got up and went to the door.  His legs were long and his ass was absolutely beautiful.  The muscles in his thighs were tight in his jeans, stretching the denim.  I could see on the back of his red windbreaker the symbol of the University of Fine Arts in downtown Budapest.  He left the train and turned right toward the exit that leads to downtown transportation.  I turned right toward Semmelweis University.  Before I left the station I stopped and looked back, hoping to see the red jacket in the flowing crowd.  I was stunned to see him standing in the middle of the people rushing this way and that all around him while he looked back at me.  Flushed with embarrassment, I turned quickly and rushed up the stairs with the crowd and out onto the street above.

The week dragged so slowly, I was insane with impatience for the Friday evening train to Szentendre, so I could see the young man again.  By Wednesday afternoon I was beside myself.  One of my students even asked if I was feeling well.  I hadn’t realised that it showed.  I was building up a volcano of curiosity, a lava flow of desire, a fantasy of romance that was ridiculous and I knew it.  My mind was filled with visions of myself in my studio, the young man naked on a platform while I drew him and sculpted him and painted him.  I saw myself walking around and around him, casually viewing his legs, his ass his arms and chest and finally, his cock, hanging like salami over his plump balls.

Suddenly, in the middle of my final Wednesday class, I had a thought: maybe he didn’t take the train back and forth only on Fridays and Mondays.  Maybe he took the train back and forth every day.  It’s only a half-hour each way.  I spent my weeknights in the city because the University provided a living allowance that almost covered it, and the house was just too lonely to live in alone all the time.  At least I could occasionally enjoy a good restaurant meal, or a concert, or just walk anonymously among the strangers in the square.

The final class ended, and I impulsively rushed to the train station and got there just in time to see the train boarding.  I looked everywhere for the red jacket, but could not find it.  I decided to board the train anyway, and go home for the evening.  Maybe the young man had taken an earlier train on Wednesday.  Maybe he would be on the Szentendre platform in the morning – with me also there… on the platform.  I went up and down through every car on the ride home.  I tried to pretend I wasn’t looking for anyone, in case I saw him.  It was ridiculous of course, because what other reason could there be for a foolish old woman to be wandering up and down a whole train, if not looking for someone?

He was not there.  I walked home on the dusty road, unlocked the front gate and carefully locked it behind me before I went up the stairs to the door and let myself into the house.  I felt like a real idiot, going on like this about nothing.  I was obviously emotionally screwed up, or I wouldn’t feel weak as a kitten just thinking about…who?  Thinking about this stranger who is young enough to be my child.  I had to do something to keep busy or I’d go crazy, so I got a bunch of vegetables out of the refrigerator and cut a slab of beef into cubes and made a pot of gulas.

My Farmer’s Daughter Experience

In 1951, I was spending the summer at our family cottage on Georgian Bay. I was fourteen and my brothers were eight and four. Mom was with us all the time while Dad was in the city during the week, and came out on weekends. Occasionally he came out on Wednesdays, just to sleepover and drive back. It was two hours each way, but Dad loved to drive. He was very comfortable in his big, black, Buick Roadmaster.

We had friends, the Smiths, who had a cottage nearby. They also had a hobby farm a few miles from our beachfront place. It was early July, and their hay crop had to be harvested before it was too late. Mr. Smith came over and asked if I’d help get the crop in. In those days, hay wasn’t automatically scooped up and tied in neat bales or huge rolls.

A horse pulled a large wagon out into the field that had been cut and dried. We pitchfork people moved along slowly, tossing the forks full of golden stalks of hay up onto the wagon. Two guys were up on the wagon, catching the forks full from us and building a haystack under themselves. They were the sons of the farmer that worked the farm for the Smiths. They had given me work gloves, but I managed to raise a couple of callouses anyway.

Around midday, the farmer’s daughter brought sandwiches, coffee and water for the crew. She was driving a pickup truck to bring the lunch, and she parked it in the shade of poplar trees at the edge of the field. The farmer’s daughter was named Cloe, and she was sixteen years old. She sat and ate with me, and talked about her life on the farm. After lunch, she decided to stay and help toss hay up onto the wagon.

The sun was hot, the air was humid, and the sounds of the millions of insects filled the air with clicks and calls and chirps. Sweaty clothes clung to our bodies, and I couldn’t help glancing over at Cloe. The way her breasts pushed against the wet front of her shirt when she threw a fork of hay up was… nice to see. I’m pretty sure she knew I was looking, and maybe she liked it.

The sun was glowing bright orange over the western horizon, and the crew was preparing to take the wagonload in to the barn and store it in the loft with a conveyor belt thing that carried it up. Cloe tossed her pitchfork onto the hay on the wagon. She took my fork and tossed it up too.

“Wanna see something?” she said. Before I could answer, she grabbed my hand. I found myself stumbling across the field, trying to keep up with her. Cloe led me to a large bramble of raspberry bushes. “C’mon,” she said, “Let’s go in.” I pulled back.

“I’m not going in there!” I said. “You’ll get torn to pieces on the thorns.”

“Follow me, Dopey,” she said. She ran around to the other side of the large bramble bush and disappeared. I followed cautiously and found myself looking at an opening in the thick foliage. It led to a foxhole kind of hollow surrounded with dense raspberry bushes. I went in. Cloe was lounging back on the dirt bank, plucking ripe raspberries from bushes around her and popping them into her mouth. I sat against the opposite dirt bank and looked at her. She glistened in the shadows, her face, hair, neck and chest shone with perspiration.

“Eat some,” she said. I picked a raspberry and put it into my mouth.

“Good, eh?” she said. I agreed with her. She put several raspberries into her mouth at once and chewed them. She laughed, and the red juice ran down her chin and dropped onto her wet chest where her blouse was open two buttons. I watched the juice trickle down her chest to disappear into her shirt. She was watching my face with a bemused grin. “Do you want to lick it off?” she said. She began to undo another button.

“I can’t. I mean… the wagon’s leaving. I have to catch a ride in to the barn,” I said.

“We’ll go in a little while,” she said. She rose to her knees and removed her blouse. “My truck’s still here.”

An Unnecessary War

It is so often referred to as ‘the war between the sexes’ and there is really such a war going on all the time. Women and men are so vastly different from each other, a great deal of understanding and cooperation is required, for us to get through life. I don’t mean within a relationship like marriage. I mean just living, going to the bank, grocery shopping, taking a walk or a bicycle ride. And all of the strife is purely natural. That’s what’s so distressing about it. Society has put many things in their proper order so we can survive as a species of mammal. It seems to be more difficult to put sexual matters into an acceptable orderly form.

There is a vast number of differences between women and men, and they are not stationary. As society rolls on through time, men are changing and women are changing. Changes of any kind, positive or negative, are traumatic for the average human. One wonders if violence by men against women is because women are not the traditional female that many men think they should be.

It’s an insoluble problem. I wondered why female television journalists most often wear garments that show chest and cleavage. It seemed out of place on someone delivering hard news, so I asked my knowledgeable daughter about it. She said it’s for style, and in that moment I understood why women show various parts of themselves. They are not expecting to attract lovers… they are expecting to look nice – and they do.

Men should see the women as pretty, well turned out, self-assured. On the other hand, if a man wants to look good, he should dress to look good to the kind of company he hopes to keep. There are myriad styles for both genders to appeal to the great variety of groups that are available to all and any.

I must admit, however, I cannot see the reasons why some people find low, baggy shorts with underwear sticking out the top attractive. I am beginning to understand the look of not shaved yet not a full beard. It’s interesting how values change over time.

When I was a kid, if I’d showed up in the schoolyard with loose baggy shorts and underwear sticking out the top, I’d have got the shit kicked out of me. For sure the shorts would be taken off me and thrown into a tree. Now, it’s cool? And shaving was promoted by vilifying “the four o’clock shadow” on a man’s face.

I’m still sure that tattoos are a bad idea. Piercing is too, but at least the holes will close by themselves if one should wise up and remove the trinkets. Tattoos are infinitely more expensive and more discomfort to remove than to acquire.

I hope I live to see society in general swing back toward sensible.

BETTER THAN NEVER

At the end of autumn the brilliant reds and golds of the maples have faded past their peak and they flutter down to the leaf-littered ground.  The scent of impending winter is on the brisk breeze, blending with the sweet, pungent fragrance of the decay underfoot.

Louis Goldstone loves the heady perfume of autumn. If he could choose a time to pass away, he would choose this season. Seated in his favourite reclining chair he watched television while Howie Mandel tried to give away a million dollars on ‘Deal or No Deal’.  Louis Goldstone was happy, comfortable, and ready to leave his earthly bonds behind, although in no particular hurry to do so.

Lou didn’t know what there was after life, although he had always been confident that there was no God, no Heaven, and no Hell. He had enjoyed a fertile life, filled with adventure, family, creativity, success, failure, gain and loss.  Never had he been bored, nor had he been boring.  He had loved his only wife deeply as she had loved him.  His sons and daughters loved and respected him as he loved and respected them.  He had striven to live life in an honourable, generous, legitimate way, and felt that he had enjoyed success and good health for those reasons, devoid of any belief in the religious icons.

No matter what lay ahead for him in what he called ‘The Afterworld’, he was ready for it.  He had no fear of it, no trepidation.  He liked his old age, except that he missed his beloved wife and all of his closest friends who had passed before he did.  His children visited him, every day different one, and often his grown grandchildren as well.  Still, the inactivity that age had forced upon him caused an unaccustomed discomfort in his daily life.

Life was good, but he was tired.  He had long since been forced to give up the pleasure he’d taken in risky adventures.  He was pleased that his enemies and his competitors had predeceased him, and he was sorry that his friends and loved ones had done so also.  His dogs, which he had loved almost as much as he loved his children, were long gone too.  For fifteen years he had been too old to give a dog the attention he believed it deserved, so he had been that long without the companionship he’d always enjoyed.

Lou Goldstone had many good, warm, honest reasons to pass away at ninety-three.  Comfortably, in his sleep, it happened.  He was delighted to find that he could see from the other side, the warm, sincere send-off that his children provided for him.  Although he was sorry for their pain, it was his time to go, and he was glad it came to pass so gently.  He had no regrets.

***

Lou Goldstone woke from a nap feeling rested and relaxed on cool, dry grass in a pool of shade beneath a broad, lush Maple tree.   He had no recollection of how he came to be there, and it didn’t matter to him.  He was pleased to find that he felt none of the normal aches and pains that befall the elderly upon waking.  He felt energetic and at ease.  He rose up from the ground with the smooth grace he’d not experience in many years.  On all sides were vast green fields where tall grasses swayed gently in the soft, fragrant breeze.  Nearby, a long, winding trail of dry, packed earth led toward distant rolling hills.  Along the way, the trail passed through a copse of lush deciduous forest like an island of shade.

Goldstone wondered if he had been wrong about God, heaven, and hell.  The strong, pain-free feeling in his body and the glorious surroundings led him to feel that he might be in heaven.  At the same time, he didn’t believe he belonged in heaven, having done a number of sinful things for which he had never atoned in his long life.

He stood on the trail, looked along it to his right and to his left, and observed that there seemed to be little difference between the distant scenes.  The environment was bright with a warm glow like a mild summer day, but no source for the light was visible.  Lou turned again to take a hard look down the trail.  For the first time he noticed what appeared to be a park bench alongside the trail, with a person seated on it.  Lou strode briskly toward the person on the bench.  The freedom from pain and stiffness in his legs and hips reassured him that he must be in heaven.

As he approached the person on the bench he realised that the person seated there was a middle-aged black woman.  She was strumming a guitar and singing softly to herself a lilting lyric that Lou could not quite hear.  When he drew close, she stopped strumming and looked up at him.

“Hello, Lou,” she said, “We’ve been waiting for you a good long time.  You’ve enjoyed quite the lengthy life, haven’t you?”

“Katie Brooks?  Are you Katie Brooks?” Lou Goldstone laughed.

“That be me, Lou.”

“What are you doing here?” he said.

“Same as you, Louie.  We’re both dead you know,” she said.

“Is this heaven,” he said.

“There is no heaven, Louie,” she said.  “Come, sit by me.”  Lou Goldstone sat beside Katie on the bench and looked into her smiling face.

“It’s good to see you again, Katie.  You haven’t changed… still pretty as a picture.”

“It’s good to see you again too, Louie,” she said.

“Even though I’m in my nineties Katie?  I’m not exactly a hunk.”

“You weren’t a hunk when I fell in love with you either,” Katie said.  She looked away across the verdant field.

“You fell in love with me?” Lou said.  “We were just kids when we were lovers.”

“Silly, isn’t it?  But that’s the truth all the same,” Katie said.  She looked up into Lou Goldstone’s eyes.  “I don’t understand it either.  I lived to my middle fifties, and never loved another man.”

“You never married?” he said.

“No.  I enjoyed a lot of men in my time, but never loved any,” she said

“I hope you had a happy life,” he said.

“Oh, happy as any, I suppose,” she said.  “I became a singer, made a good living, did a lot of travelling, had many adventures, but always hoped I’d meet you again.  I wish it could have been before we died.”  Lou sat quietly for some time, pondering the situation.  Katie took up her guitar and began to strum again.

“In those days, Katie, we’d both have suffered too much if we’d become a visible couple,” Lou said.

“Both societies, the black and the white, would have ostracised us,” Katie sighed.

“I guess I have to admit, Katie, that I loved you too.  But don’t you agree that it was just teenage infatuation?” Lou said.

“Not for me, Lou.  I wrote a song about it,” she said.  “My best song, in fact.  Nobody has ever heard it, because I saved it just for you, in case we met again.  Do you want to hear it?”

“Of course,” Lou said.  Katie began to sing with her soft, warm voice.

The Chinese Lady

Several times during a week, Reuben Fieldstone stopped in at the same little convenience store. The sign over the display window read: Star Shoppe. It was pretentious for the dark little storefront, squeezed between and beneath the commercial office buildings that enveloped it. It was directly on Reuben’s route from home to office and back.

It was on the rush hour route, so he left for his office either after the morning rush slowed, and returned home before or after the evening rush. His days were pretty much his own, because his business was doing well. His studio was making garden characters, such as gnomes, toads, and mushrooms out of clay. The staff and manager are experienced and productive, and he was comfortable to leave them on their own. He just went to the office each day out of habit, and just to make sure all was well.

A tiny, adorable, young Chinese woman ran the Star Shoppe. She was always behind the counter at the cash register with her arm around a very young infant that rested on her hip. She rang in the purchases and made change with her free hand. Often, Reuben would see her husband at the back of the store, near the entrance to their living quarters. He looked to be too old for this petite young woman. He wore a permanent scowl and chain-smoked all the time. The woman was pleasant, but in her eyes, there were signs of burden.

On his usual, boring drive to his boring office, Reuben Fieldstone stopped by the Star Shoppe for some mints. At the cash register were the lovely woman and her baby. The husband, muttering and apparently drunk, scowled unseeing from his bridge chair at the back of the store.

The woman was suffering anxiety, and whispered, “My God will save me. I will continue, and I know my God will save me.” Immediately, Reuben scanned her small arms for bruises, and was relieved to see that there was none. “Do you want help?” he whispered. She looked up into his eyes but said nothing. When she handed him his change, her fingertips lingered a moment on Reuben’s. She looked at the floor and back at her husband, but did not look at Reuben again. He left the store and was filled with pity.

Two days later, Reuben was in the store to buy a magazine and chewing gum. While he paid, he whispered to the woman, “Do you want help to get away?” She looked up into his eyes and made a barely visible nod of her head. “I will help you,” Reuben said. “Can you be outside with your baby at midnight?”

“Tonight? How…?”

“Just bring what you need for the baby. You won’t need anything else,” Reuben said. “I will be at the curb, ready to go, at midnight tonight. If you can’t make it, we’ll do it tomorrow night or the next. You shouldn’t have to suffer punishment from a drunk.”

Reuben Fieldstone was excited. He felt like he was in a spy adventure. He was aware that he could have a lot of trouble from the husband and the law, and he’d deal with it when he had to. He spent the evening arranging his spare bedroom for his guest. He had been using it as a den, but it took little to make it a bedroom. He shelved all the books and magazines, and opened the sofa bed. He put fresh linen and blankets on it.

A few minutes before midnight, Reuben got into his car and drove to his clandestine rendezvous. He felt anxiety and eagerness as he contemplated what he might do next, after he gets her to safety. As he approaced the Star Shoppe, he could see that the woman was not there. He circled the block, and when he came around, she was there with the baby and a plastic bag. He stopped in front of her and went around to open the back door. Without a word, she got into the car with the bag and the baby. Reuben noticed that she looked very small in the rear seat of the large car.

He drove straight into his garage to avoid scrutiny. Again, neither of them spoke as he helped her out of the car with the baby, and took the bag from her. He led her through the door into the house. The woman caught her breath when she saw the kitchen, gleaming with white enamel and polished steel. The baby began to cry. Reuben led the way upstairs, showed her to her room, and left the bag on the bed.

He retreated down the stairs, wondering what the hell he had done, and what the hell is he going to do next?

The Formerly Attractive Ms Goulding

When she was sixteen, Elanna Goulding had a face and a figure that could take your breath away. She was the most beautiful woman any man ever knew, personally. She needed no cosmetics, no figure enhancing garments or undergarments to be a stunning beauty. She was also from a wealthy family. In spite of these advantages, young men that sought her and dated her did not do so for any great length of time. It seemed incongruous.

When she finally married, in her early twenties, it was to a wealthy associate of her father’s who was ten years older than she was. He used her as arm candy and treated her very badly in private. However, they did have a son and a daughter together, although the children’s contact with their father was sparse and burdensome. Elana left him after a decade of unhappiness, and went looking for love.

Elana’s social life soon blossomed again, and again, no romantic connection melded into a meaningful relationship. A stunning woman with money and taste, yet no man sought to make her his own. Elana began to peruse the “Lonley Hearts” columns in magazines and on line, and dated several gentlemen that ceased to call after two or three dates. Elana subscribed to a dating site and spent evenings reviewing men’s ads. Again, she dated several, and each failed to follow up after a few dates.

Imagine you receive a gorgeous package in a box from Tiffany’s. Gently, you unwrap it because it is from the most famous jewelry store, and is probably a gift of diamonds, rubies, and sapphires. Almost salivating at the anticipation of beauty and value, you finally reach the contents. Within this incredibly beautiful package, you find a cellophane bag that contains a plastic spoon, a plastic knife and a plastic fork. These boring items are the same utensils you get free, in any fast food outlet. That is how one of Elana’s dates described her.

Three of the men that dated her agreed that after you get past the stunning beauty, there is nothing there. Showing photos of Elana and her family from the Internet, he pointed out that each person is absolutely gorgeous. He also pointed out that none of them are ever doing something. They are posing. That’s all, in every photo, they are posing. There is nothing to these people but looks. Elana, in her seventies shows a gorgeous face. Eye wrinkles are hidden with tinted glasses. Neck flab is hidden with a fabulous, expensive Hermes’s silk scarf. Large, loose, black garments disguise the bloated body.

In the end, she went off with a large, handsome black man. His job was to pretend that he loved her deeply, as she believed she loved him deeply. The façade of love was actually a ‘deal’, and the man was actually a gigolo. Elana convinced herself that it was real. She was not intelligent enough to perceive the false emptiness of her life, even when her paid lover went off and married his true love, a black girl from the neighbourhood.

Elana lives alone in her splendid high-rise apartment, furnished with the best of everything. Every wall and cupboard door is mirrored. Any way she turns, Elana sees herself looking back. She never learned that there is more to life than looks because looks are only skin-deep. A plain looking woman with a bright personality and an intelligent outlook is easy to love, because the most attractive part of a woman is her brain.