By Erica Jong
Any Woman's Blues, first released in 1990, is a story of dependancy and narcissism-the dual obsessions of ourage. World-famous people singer Leila Sand emerged from the sixties and seventies with addictions to medicines and booze. Leila's most up-to-date habit is to a more youthful guy who leaves her sexually ecstatic yet emotionally bereft. The orgasmic frenzies trump the betrayals, so she retains coming again for extra.
ultimately, Leila frees herself through studying the foundations of affection, the Twelve Steps, and the major to Serenity in an odyssey that takes her from AA conferences to dens of sin, events with "names" worthy losing, and erotic gondola rides.
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Jewish families didn’t have these problems of nomenclature. At the time, I found all this terrifically quaint. ) Mr. Donegal arrived with the hors d’oeuvres, which were arrayed on little aluminum tins apparently left over from TV dinners, and these in turn were set out on a very grand English silver tray in the rococo style. There were hot tidbits of various descriptions and also caviar, pâté de foie gras, and smoked salmon. The spread would easily have fed a dozen people. Mrs. Donegal presided over the hors d’oeuvres.
He loved me as the knife loves the wound it makes, as the female tarantula loves the male whose head she gobbles, as the nursing baby boy loves the nipple he takes between his teeth and chews until it spurts blood mixed with milk. He did not mean to be cruel. It was just his nature—like that of the scorpion who stings the horse who carries him across the stream (as in that ancient Aesopian joke about the nature of scorpions). Somehow, when we were together, things had a tendency to get lost: wallets, credit cards, jewelry.
Deep-sea diving. Basketball. Las Vegas. Another woman. It’s all the same flight. The man I love has constructed a museum to macho in my garage. Power saw. Punching bag. Motorcycle. Barbells. I love him in part because I cannot tame the wild creature that dwells inside him. For this is another paradox of the sexes: whatever we love in the other we seek to kill. My love is a con man, a hustler, a cowboy, a cocksman, an addict, an artist, a fancy dancer, a dandy. He has no fixed address. O. box, sometimes an answering service, sometimes a number that no one answers, sometimes an address he’s just made up.
Any Woman's Blues: A Novel of Obsession by Erica Jong