An Erotic Shyness
by Alice Fulton
Because life's too short to blush, I keep my blood tucked in. I won't be mortified by what I drive or the flaccid vivacity of my last dinner party. I take my cue from statues posing only in their shoulder pads of snow: all January you can see them working on their granite tans. That I woke at an ungainly hour, stripped of the merchandise that clothed me, distilled to pure suchness, means not enough to anyone for me to confess. I do not suffer from the excess of taste that spells embarrassment: mothers who find their kids unseemly in their condom earrings, girls cringing to think they could be frumpish as their mothers. Though the late nonerotic Elvis in his studded gut of jumpsuit made everybody squeamish, I admit. Rule one: the King must not elicit pity. Was the audience afraid of being tainted --this might rub off on me-- or were they--surrendering-- what a femme word--feeling solicitous--glimpsing their fragility in his reversible purples and unwholesome goldish chains? At least embarrassment is not an imitation. It's intimacy for beginners, the orgasm no one cares to fake. I almost admire it. I almost wrote despise.