the naked woman


We tell ourselves stories in order to live. The naked woman on the ledge outside the window is a victim of accidie, or maybe an exhibitionist, and it would be ‘interesting’ to know which. We tell ourselves that it makes a difference whether the naked woman is about to commit a mortal sin or is about to register a political protest or is about to be, in the Aristophanic view, snatched back to the human condition by the fireman in priest’s clothing just visible in the window behind her, the one smiling at the telephoto lens. We look for the sermon in the suicide, for the social or moral lesson. We interpret what we see, select the most workable of choices. We live by the ‘ideas’ with which we have learned to freeze the shifting shadows which are our actual experience.

Didion. But not exactly.

At midnight I was angry. Running in the rain. Shouting. To Flynn. She said perfect things, which I can’t remember. Because I do that when I shout; or when things are said in the rain. I forget. But she’ll say them again. Because that’s what I’ll need. And that’s what she does. Like Didion.

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9 Comments

  • Claire
    Jun 13, 2012 at 16:10

    We tell ourselves stories in order to live. If you think about it we all do it. We see what we want to see.

  • Hugh
    Jun 13, 2012 at 18:12

    Madam this was not what I was hoping to find when I clicked on the link. 😉

    Where you been?

  • Mike
    Jun 14, 2012 at 12:17

    its like that time I tried to download a cartoon for the nephews and it turned out to be porn instead. but the opposite. lol

  • Sara
    Jun 14, 2012 at 18:19

    Didion is the reason I moved to New York. I read Slouching Toward Bethlehem and it changed my life. We should always be grateful for our Didions.

  • Buffy
    Jun 14, 2012 at 18:37

    “its like that time I tried to download a cartoon for the nephews and it turned out to be porn instead.”

    Likely story. 😉

  • Buffy
    Jun 14, 2012 at 18:56

    Claire, I think we see what we teach ourselves to see. It’s difficult to unlearn that. If you’re too close, your eyes cross. If you’re too far away, things are blurry and unclear. The perfect vantage point, that’s the trick. 🙂

    Hugh, hibernating. It’s that time in Oz, no?

    Sara, I do dig ’em.

  • CC
    Jun 14, 2012 at 19:42

    Please tell me that ‘running in the rain’ is not a euphemism. 😛

  • Buffy
    Jun 15, 2012 at 6:51

    CC, before you run away with yourself, I know who you are. 🙂

  • CC
    Jun 15, 2012 at 17:28

    In that case, what a splendidly written post old girl!

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