Charting an Empire

Courting Empire. © Chris Bronsk 2013.

“I don’t know what it was that attracted me to him. One day I brought him with me to the apartment where I lived with three other anthropology students, an American from Colorado and two French girls, and finally, at four in the morning, we ended up in bed. I’d warned him earlier about one of my quirks. I told him, half serious, half joking (we were laughing in the garden of the Museum of Modern Art, where the sculptures are, horrible sculptures): Arturo, never sleep with me, because I’m a masochist. What do mean by that? he said. That I like to be hit when I’m making love, that’s all. Then Arturo stopped laughing. Are you serious? he said. Completely serious, I said. And how do you like to be hit? he said. I like to be slapped, I said, hit in the face, spanked, that kind of thing. Hard? he said. No, not very hard, I said. You must not screw much in Mexico, he said, after thinking awhile. I asked what made him say that. The bruises, Miss Marple, he said, I’ve never seen a mark on you.” —Roberto Bolaño, The Savage Detectives

(for my Two by Two series on couples)

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