battered slippers


“I’m obsessed with inventing stories for people I come across. An overwhelming curiosity makes me ask myself what their lives might be like. I want to know what they do, where they’re from, their names, what they’re thinking about at that moment, what they regret, what they hope for, whom they’ve loved, what they dream of . . . and if they happen to be women (especially youngish ones), then the urge becomes intense. How quickly you would want to see that one naked, admit it, and naked through to her heart. How you try to learn where she’s coming from, where she’s going, why she’s here and not elsewhere! While letting your eyes wander all over her, you imagine love affairs for her, you ascribe deep feelings to her.  You think of what her bedroom looks like, and a thousand things besides . . . right down to the battered slippers into which she must slip her feet when she gets out of bed.”  Gustave Flaubert (Egyptian travel journal)