As surprising as it might be, he had not understood their dressing and undressing around one another as an element of intimacy until this strange dream. It wasn’t so entirely erotic watching a woman undress. Part of what draws one’s attention is how strange women’s bodies are–breasts, girlish or swinging, the incongruity of narrow waists and wide hips, that great patch of hair at the crotch, their behinds, especially with big-bottomed women. Women’s bodies are baroque.

But there is also something terribly tender in seeing such things exposed, like seeing a turtle without its shell, and he knew now it was something he had quietly and unconsciously enjoyed with her–watching her dress or undress. She dropped her towel and stood naked in the air. He could see all of her but what was under that makeshift turban. 

The Italian Novel


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