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The book is constantly accounting for itself. And though it ambles back and forth between sexual anecdote and aesthetic, or existential, rumination, it hardly feels slow. Emilio Lascano Tegui was by all accounts a legendary, if also obscure, figure in the Argentine literary pantheon.
The mere fact that he was a self-anointed viscount is testament to his eccentricities, but of course his literary production, too, was markedly odd, and even inspiring, against the backdrop of mainstream Buenos Aires modernism. Such is the happy monotony of my life. Such pronouncements endear the narrator to us and make him seem somewhat familiar.
There is just as much about life and death, too, as there is about sex and idleness. Take the following entry:. Have I already mentioned that I had a myopic relative who worked as an eye doctor and who fished with a tall reed, looking through opera glasses? His near-sightedness imposed a necessary punctiliousness to his movements and even intentions.
As a result, he was meticulous in all things. I inherited his enormous delight in neatness. Seeing is already a pleasure, of course, but clarity makes it a pleasure twice over. Would that I could use microscope lenses as my spectacles. Winter always enticed me to the windows of my room, to watch the sad lives of the townspeople blanketed in snow, and so, in the months beforehand, I always made certain to prepare my observatory: I cleaned the windowpanes with such care that they seemed almost nonexistent in their translucency.
Flies, still unaware of the invention of glass, tried to come in from the street, dying from the impact. But winter slaughtered them nonetheless in the ambush of my clear glass. And I, behind this glass, watched them die. Though he departs, as he often does, from among the shadowy figures of his childhood, the narrator is also ruminating here upon his own isolation from the world, a world that he can see but not touch or connect with.