I've been reading the 'good parts' since going to church, during the old pastor's sermons in my childhood. I wasn't allowed to sneak in my own books anymore ("You have to be an example, Ding.") so I'd take my mother's white leather bible and look for the good parts: the fornication, the adultery, the incest, the Song of Solomon. ("tee hee, he said breasts!")
My sister wasn't so into the good parts, but I was; it was like they had a secret to whisper to me. But at the time, all I ever learned was never bathe openly on a roof so the king can see you (David/Bathsheba), don't make cakes for your drunk brother (Absolom/Tamara), and don't get caught in a cave with your dad after a cataclysm (Lot/Daughters).
On the bus the other night, I thought briefly about my lifelong attraction to the 'good parts,' the erotic or the downright naughty bits of literature, or anything, really. It seems that was my childhood bent - to touch my nose to the faintly oderous drawers of Sin and then put them away for a while until I had to sniff again. Why did I think about this on the bus? Because it was dark and the snow was falling and my eyes kept going to a very young thing across the aisle from me. He was talking to a friend and every two stops or so, I'd find myself glancing at him. It got to a point I just contented myself with watching him avidly through the window's reflection.
For the past weeks, I've been weak, drawn, muffled and startled by pain as my guts knit themselves back together. But now, as the pain recedes, strength returns and so does a particular alertness. On the bus, as I took in this very young thing with my eyes, I finally understood the corny romance novel phrase he drank her in. I felt like an alcoholic finally allowed one glass of wine or a vampire guzzling the contents of a vein. (Actually, I also felt like a dirty old woman. Bah.) Then, when he was gone so was my itchy, uncomfortable thirst. I was able to eat dinner with friends and gave the short bus ride no other thought.
Until now. I'm looking out at the gray afternoon, watching the smoke rising from chimneys. Everything looks cozy and snug, like a Dickens scene. The cold outside creates a desire for warmth inside. I've been reading all day and there is something so pleasurable about spending the day bundled up with a book that other pleasures also come to mind.
How twisted is is when these thoughts all come together inside my head: church, bible, reading, lust, prohibition, discovery, restraint, pain, pleasure.