Please don’t get the wrong idea about Adam. He was no withering virginal faun, smoldering and waiting until marriage rolled around until he was able to know his way around a female body. Just because he didn’t accept solicitations from Valley prostitutes, doesn’t mean he was some sort of pious wallflower. They were like sad vultures to him, oily-glossy harpies intent on justifying quick love.
As we’ve talked about before, Adam wrote his secrets down. He wrote them down as indiscretions, as hidden beautiful clusters of guilty joy. Once he was old enough to stop the guilt part the self-addressed letters were actually quite glorious:
The curve of her hip is pronounced, her skin pale as if she’s never been swimming outside in Summer. Her skin tastes like perfumed powder, which is distracting. She’s really beautiful and she looks at me like some sort of woodland creature when she’s close…a bit bewildered.
This he wrote onto a scrap of writing paper from his university desk set; Denison University was small but it was co-educational, which gave many opportunities to quietly seduce bright young things in wool skirts. Not to excess, though.
He wanted to seduce them to excess; he would have loved to have gathered them up by the dozen in his tiny sleeping cubicle, and one by one undo their tiny white pearl blouse buttons and roll down their gartered stockings. They could leave their purses by the door, lay their gloves down flat, unpin their hats, and wait as though they were waiting for appointments with their school advisors. He hoped they would be patient, as he liked to take his time with each of them. Part of him hoped they wouldn’t be patient, that they would shift in their seats and pester him from outside the door. He hoped they would grow bored of waiting and would decide to conduct business with one another, so that when he finally emerged from the company of one girl, all the other girls were wrapped within one another (but still looked up and smiled at him when it was their turn).
He still had random elaborate fantasies like this, even in his mid-thirties. They hadn’t stirred within him that often, and when they did they were fleeting. Such thoughts are common for young men, and he knew he was expected by society to keep his thoughts in a straight line. Once he started spending his lunches with Justine, once she allowed him to taste her skin and explain her quiet scars and he was able to fully describe the way her breasts look when they rose slowly, then quickly as her entire body pulsed and grew rounder, he allowed himself to go to foreign lands of eroticism in his imagination again. And he told Justine exactly what he was thinking about.