Adonis Diaries

Emilia demanded: “Take me …” by Alberto Moravia

Posted on: September 17, 2009

Emilia demanded: “Take me …”, (September 17, 2009)

In the first two years my marriage was perfect. It felt that our deep and complete accord of our senses mingled with this silence of the spirit; critics of our personalities were suspended; love was the sole judge of the partner.  Emilia was absolutely without any defects; I wanted to believe that my behavior was shared. Certainly that we had plenty of defects but they were transformed into benign, forgivable, or even particular qualities that enhanced our individualities.

The happier we feel the less we pay attention to the grace of our felicity; indeed, I might have many moments of boredom in our relationship; it seemed common and natural, nothing that special, like the air we breathe. People would envy me for my state of happiness and I would retort that I lacked the security of the morrow: I was in a tight financial predicament as a movie critic and we barely managed to go out see a movie. We lived in a rented furnished room; my wife had to use the owner’s kitchen to prepare breakfast. Never did I lament as during the first two glorious years of my happiness.

To my eyes, my wife Emilia was a beautiful secretary when I fell in love with her.  She was not that tall; bared off her long heels her head reached my shoulders, but she had this supple grace and “majesty” that made her look much taller and impressive than most girls that I had met. Emilia was especially taller in bed, more packed, rounded, and powerful, though I knew very well that she had nothing of the massive. In moments of abandon her large sensual chestnut colored eyes expressed a state of loss and displacement.

Emilia came from a poor family and kept our room constantly clean and shining.  She made my small study her exclusive care: my papers, desk, and books were arranged to lure me to work. Emilia was mostly silent; she barely laughed or smiled but managed to disseminate her feelings by body postures and the expressions on her face: she was barely educated and her world opinions were limited.

At the time I let my grunge and intellectual looks boast for my potential future as an illustrious artistic personality. My corrective glasses and slender high stature might have contributed to my imagination.  I could not afford to buy an apartment as I felt was Emilia’s deepest wants, her own residence to furnish, maintain, and cherish.  I recall now that during our engagement her eyes got wet when I told her that I barely could rent a small apartment: she was longing for a place of her own and quickly.

I managed to put down a deposit on a modern apartment of two rooms and a tiny kitchen.  When we visited together for the first time our potential dusty and unfurnished apartment Emilia joined me at the window and asked me to hug her; it was a displaced tender and overt behavior on her part.  We kissed passionately and then Emilia demanded: “take me now”.  She promptly removed her skirt and tops and we made love on the dirty floor.  I had never felt that passion in Emilia; it felt as if she was returning the gratitude for an extended expensive gift. Surely, I had the apartment in Emilia’s name.

I have never felt that despondent and miserable as the first months after we purchased the apartment: I was permanently worried about the next payment.  Emilia did not help any: she increased her shopping excursion to buy furniture.  She was perfectly aware of my financial predicaments but she acted nonchalant and perfectly an “egoist” to me.

Gone was the period I was lording it as a potential famous intellectual; the feeling of the harsh reality that I was an utterly penniless person, a non-entity, overtook me. I started to listen to the opinions of the opposition political parties that lambasted governments, services, and the social inequities. (More is to follow).

Note:  This story is taken, with some alterations, from “The loathing” (Le mepris) by Alberto Moravia.

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adonis49

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