Every Tuesday I host First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, where I share the first paragraph or (a few) of a book I am reading or thinking about reading soon.
The Affairs of Other; Amy Grace Loyd
Picador - 2013
"The body of a woman aging. It's a landscape that, even as it vanishes, asks a lot of the eyes. Or it should. No two landscapes the same. They never were the same, no matter their age, but then how time brings details to the body.
Of course every woman's body ages. What's distorting is how friendly it all starts out, with words like smooth and tight and firm, high and pink and wet--words that are given to women's bodies and that they wear around, as comfortably as cotton. And why not? These are gifts they did little to earn. Life does this so rarely--offer unearned or unasked-for rewards. But inevitably the words fall away, one by one: There goes tight, there goes smooth, god even wet. And the words that replace them, that are provisioned, are not nearly so welcome or easy to carry. Some women carry these new ways of addressing their bodies with pride. They'll explain that the knots in their flesh tell a good story. Others celebrate the change of vernacular, the end of a certain kind of surveillance. Or they continue to pursue the first set of words--high, tight, smooth. It's not wrong or it's not for me to say. Who am I to say? I am a young or youngish woman. I am in my late middle thirties, though I could be twenty-five or fifty. I believe I have no age anymore. I am not unattractive but neither am I beautiful. I married a man I first met in college and again later, a few years after graduation. My husband died a difficult death. I went with him, or a lot of me did. I cannot apologize for this nor do I wish to challenge that I am changed."