Monday, August 13, 2007


Admission: I read romance novels and even more damning than that I have read erotic romance novels. My favorites thus far are written by a woman by the name of Robin Schone. They are odd, disturbing and halting books even by my standards. I remember upon first reading The Lover I had to adjust my thoughts in order to grasp the lurching, cryptic narrative and intense, dark and passionate interplay between the hero and heroine.

I think why I like these books so much is that the books are about more than striping of clothing to expose the nude body beneath, but striping of all secrets and defenses until the hero and heroine expose the truth of the character they are to themselves and to each other...they are both so very vulnerable. The books seem more isolated than others in that the world narrows down to one man and one woman and yet they deal with all sorts of damage done by villains or at least three of them do: The Lover; its companion novel, Gabriel's Woman and The Lady's Tutor. These books aren't for the feint of heart or modest-minded. Not only are they carnal (I use this word deliberately rather than any other), they are emotionally raw--the characters need each other in the sense that they would be diminished without the other.

I am reminded of something one of my uncles warned me of when I was around 15 years old about reading romance novels: beware unreal, fantastical expectations. My mind is a strange thing and this avuncular advice coupled with a few other factors lead me to insulated myself from such unreal expectations by believing such things only happened to other people or only in books. I lived with the belief that love was not possible for me and I made choices accordingly. This belief still reverberates and marks my life. To hope for a life like other people, a life in which I am not alone seems presumptuous and foolhardy. In truth reading romance novels is often more torment than comfort, but at least it is fiction. Often real life is crueler to witness. Too often I feel like a beggar watching others feast. Ultimately though aren't I responsible for feeling like this? It is my own fault and only I can change this.

Maybe I am too much of a coward. I think it takes strength and courage to accept and give love. It certainly requires bravery to reveal who you are and let someone else know you. I congratulate anyone who has done just that.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

SHAY!!!! I'm totally loving your writing & the topics your choosing to write about, very interesting. I see what you mean by sharing little pieces of yourself & your thoughts; very good therapy, I would guess.
Extremely enjoyable reads :)