Friday, April 24, 2009

'Tell me,' I said at last, 'is there really no other way for you but this? To kneel down forever before an army of boys for just five dirty minutes in the dark?'
'Think,' said Jacques 'of the men who have kneeled before you while you thought of something else and pretended nothing was happening down there in the dark between your legs.'
I stared at the amber cognac and at the wet rings on the metal. Deep below, trapped in the metal, the outline of my own face looked upward hopelessly at me.
'You think,' he persisted, ' that my life is shameful because my encounters are. And they are.
But you should ask yourself why they are.'
'Why are they - shameful?' I asked him.
'Because there is no affection in them, and no joy. It's like putting an electric plug in a dead socket. Touch, but no contact. All touch, but no contact and no light.'
I asked him: 'Why?'
'That you must ask yourself,' he told me, 'and perhaps one day this morning will not be ashes in your mouth.'
-Giovanni's Room
James Baldwin

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