28 Apr 2009

Sexus, Henry Miller, Vol. 1, pp.17c-21d, The First Dawn, Their First Night

[A summary through sometimes-censored citation.]

Henry Miller

Sexus: The Rosy Crucifixion

Volume One


The First Dawn
Their First Night

Miller and Mara meet. He has but three dollars.
The greeting she gave me was cordial and brisk. No mention of my visit to the house or the letters or the gifts. Where would I like to go, she asked after a few words. (17c)
Miller can produce no suggestions. Finally she proposes Jimmy Kelly's place.

They take a cab.
I sank back into the seat, overwhelmed by her mere presence. I made no attempt to kiss her or even to hold her hand. She had come – that was the paramount thing. That was everything. (17-18)
They stayed all night to early morn «eating, drinking, dancing.» He learned nothing more about her «real life,»
not because of any secrecy on her part but rather because the moment was too full and neither past nor future seemed important. (18a)
A problem intrudes.
When the bill came I almost dropped dead. (18b)
He explains that he has no way to pay it. His friends will bail him out. He calls them. And he begs. A friend will lend him fifty.
It was a lot of money for him to borrow from the till, and he knew I wasn't any too reliable, but I gave him a harrowing story,promising faithfully to return it before the day was out. (18c)
The messenger who brought the money happened to be another friend. He lends twenty-five.
I took it an thanked him warmly. I paid the bill, gave the waiter a generous tip, shook hands with the manager, the assistant manager, the bouncer, the hat check girl, the door man, and with a beggar who had his mitt out. (19a)
They take a cab.
as it wheeled around, Mara impulsively climbed over me and straddled me. (19ab)
They begin.
We went into a blind f.ˌ`·˖֗, with the cab lurching and careening, our teeth knocking, tongue bitten, and the juice pouring from her like hot soup. (19b)
Dawn breaks. More?
«Wait, wait», she begged, panting and clutching at me furiously, and with that she went into a prolonged o.ˌ`·˖.ˌ`·˖ in which I thought she would rub my c.ˌ`·˖ off. Finally she slid off and slumped back into the corner, her dress still up over her knees. I leaned over to embrace her again and as I did so I ran my hand up her wet c.ˌ`·˖֗. She clung to me like a leech, wiggling her slippery a.ˌ`· around in a frenzy of abandon. I felt the hot juice trickling through my fingers. I had all four fingers up her cr.ˌ`·˖.ˌ`, stirring up the liquid moss which was tingling with electrical spasms. She had two or three o.ˌ`·˖.ˌ`·˖ and then sank back exhausted, smiling up at me weakly like a trapped doe. (19c)
She recovers. But something frightens her. She ducks. Someone is following them, she thinks. So she tells the cab driver to race off.
she gave rapid, jerky orders to the driver to go this way and that, faster and faster. «Please, please!» she begged him, as though it were life and death. (20a)
Miller does not first believe. She must be paranoid. Then he realizes they are endangered. Is she a criminal?
Suddenly I put two and two together, in my own crazy fashion. I reflected quickly... nobody is following us... that's all coke and laudanum... but somebody's after her, that's definite... she's committed a crime, a serious one, and maybe more than one... nothing she says adds up... I'm in a web of lies... I'm in love with a monster, the most gorgeous monster imaginable... I should quit her now, immediately, without a word of explanation... otherwise I'm doomed... she's fathomless, impenetrable... I might have known that the one woman in the world whom I can't live without is marked with mystery... get out at once... jump... save yourself! (20b-c)
Calm returns.
I felt her hand on my leg, rousing me stealthily. Her face was relaxed, her eyes wide open, full, shining with innocence... «They've gone,» she said, «it's all right now.» (20cd)
Miller's dependent again.
Nothing is right, I thought to myself. We're only beginning. Mara, Mara, where are you leading me? It's fateful, it's ominous, but I belong to you body and soul, and you will take me where you will, deliver me to my keeper, bruised, crushed, broken. For us there is no final understanding. I feel the ground slipping from under me... (20d)
She's also fallen.
My thoughts she was never able to penetrate, neither then nor later. She probed deeper than thought: she read blindly, as if endowed with antennae. She knew that I was meant to destroy, that I would destroy her too in the end. She knew that whatever game she might pretend to play with me she had met her match. (20-21)
They near his home. She has the driver park nearby.
We were facing one another, hands clasped, knees touching. A fire ran through our veins. We remained thus for several minutes, as in some ancient ceremony, the silence broken only by the purr of the motor. (21b)
She will call tomorrow. In his ear she whispers
«I'm falling in love with the strangest man on earth. You frighten me, you're so gentle. Hold me tight... believe in me always... I feel almost as if I were with a god.»
Mara's made Miller anew.
Embracing her, trembling with the warmth of her passion, my mind jumped clear of the embrace, electrified by the tiny seed she had planted in me. Something that had been chained down, something that had struggled abortively to assert itself ever since I was a child and had brought my ego into the street for a glance around, now broke loose and went sky-rocketing into the blue. Some phenomenal new being was sprouting with alarming rapidity from the top of my head, from the double crown which was mine from birth. (21c-d)

Miller, Henry. Sexus: The Rosy Crucifixion. New York: Grove Press, 1965.

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