Sunday, October 11, 2009

Inch by Inch

Salman Rushdie writes in Midnight's Children of a wife learning to love her husband one bit at a time - focusing her love one day on his nose, the next on his chin, the next on the little finger of his right hand, and so on.

This is how it worked for her, too, with him, although they were unaware of it at the time, it was a subconscious process.

He never saw her naked until many months later. Without intending to be so reserved she let him see just one part of her at a time. One evening she remained fully clothed and unbuttoned her shirt so that just one breast was revealed. Another time she wandered through the room in his white button-down business shirt, legs bare in the moonlight. He lifted her shirt the next night and kissed her belly. She lifted his and became familiar with the muscular indentations at the base of his spine. He carried the soft weight of her hair and nuzzled his nose and lips into her neck. She raised her head and bit, sucked his earlobe, exploring the private space behind his ear. Bit by bit, part by part, they drank each other in, growing gradually to love each other.

So that when he told her he loved her, all of her, she believed it, down to her little toes.

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