Just a bother

Now as before, she could not make full sense of what it meant, but her body took its careful measure, she made a muscle memory of the moment that she could later replay and plumb, and what she understood then was this: It was a sign of that final fullness one comes into in life, and now or soon, if slowly, she would begin to wither away. Her hair would thin, her skin thicken, she’d gain or lose weight in all the wrong places. Deeper down her chemistry would change phase–earth would become air. She would acquire a pet perhaps, take up knitting, love almost nothing better than getting in bed with a book. Things that once made her laugh would now seem suspect. She would participate in civic organizations, join a church, take a walking vacation across the Scottish countryside. As for sex, though it was not a fate she could yet imagine, she understood pretty well how things would go. Her desire would diminish only a little slower than her interest in men in general, until the one faded entirely, quite like it had never existed, and the other were really just a bother.

The Italian Novel


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