hold please

October 6, 2016
Finished Nicholson Baker "The Fermata" - I've always liked this author with his extreme sensitivity to the details of the inanimate objects of our life... and some of the animate one. Penn Jillette gave him a shout out in his book on his diet, so I picked this one up. It's the perviest thing I've read in a while, using the same scifi trope later presented in the film Cashback, both being about a young man who can gains the power to freeze time, and uses that poewr to undress women. Both justify it to themselves and their audience that they do it to see the women's hidden beauty, and take care not to not have the women alarmed once time restarts.

(Baker dabbles a bit more into the technical details of what such a power might actually be like, and why and how the whole rest of the universe isn't absolutely static, plunged into darkness with photons stopped in their tracks, etc... it reminds me of H.F. Saint's "Memoirs of an Invisible Man" that did the same for invisibility... the title character has to take care eating transparent food (broths, clear gelatin, etc) since the food doesn't share his invisibility until he digests it...)

Anyway, some nice quotes:

Women are much more in touch with the backs of themselves than men are: they can reach higher up on their back, and do so daily to unfasten bras; they can clip and braid their hair; they can keep their rearward blouse-tails smoothly tucked into their skirts. They give thought to how the edges of their underpants look through their pocketless pants from the back.
Nicholson Baker, "The Fermata"
I had not been aware before that moment of the straightforward erogenousness of a ring: it suddenly occurred to me that the sides of the fingers are sensitive in an upper-thigh sort of way, and that the singling out of that fourth vulnerable shy finger, the planet Neptune of fingers, which otherwise gets no unique treatment in life and does very little on its own except control the C on the high school clarinet or type the number two and the letter X, to be held and gently stimulated forever by an expensive circle of gold is really quite surprisingly sexual.
Nicholson Baker, "The Fermata"
I wanted to tell Joyce these dreams. But she wasn't my lover, and lovers are the only people who will put up with hearing your dreams.
Nicholson Baker, "The Fermata"
(Fingertips are so durable. They don't even explode when you use them as temp shoehorns; they just tingle for a second as your impassive heel forces itself past.)
Nicholson Baker, "The Fermata"
I guess I had simply forgotten that there is no satisfactory autoerotic substitute for a kiss.