Thursday, March 08, 2007

Where You Got Your Scar

The secret to seduction, a man once told me, is to tell a beautiful woman she's smart and a smart woman she's beautiful. The Seduction Expert was not handsome by any stretch and not all that brilliant -- he couldn't even be counted on to wash his hair once a week, but he got his share of the ladies even with the faint hint of vomit on his clothes from what he used to call his "failures of will" with the bottle. So I'm thinking maybe he had a point. Seduction, as any writer knows, is a complicated business. After all, we're doing it all the time, compelling the reader to come along with us wherever we happen to take him or her and let's face it, sometimes these are pretty horrible places. So what gives? When you're under someone's sway, a trip to the garbage dump seems groovy (Man, I always find the best stuff there! Hell yeah, I'll go with you!) and when you're not, an all expense paid trip to Rome seems like a suckfest. (God, the food is so overrated!) It's this phenomenon that accounts for sudden changes of behavior, ie, When he was dating me, he wouldn't so much as go to Wal-Mart and now he's taking you to New Orleans?!
The most seductive people I've ever known have an uncanny knack for seeing into the souls of people and knowing what they feel is true about themselves. Not what everyone else sees usually, but what's there beneath all the surfaces. Tell a beautiful women she's smart, a smart one she's beautiful. They say, I will love your darkness, your sadness, your weakness. Of course, they don't say anything that direct. They ask where you got your scar, run a finger up against it. They love your pain, the things we're always downplaying and pretending don't matter. You'll go anywhere with them for this gift of sight because you're assured that wherever you are, you'll see what's true and therefore lovely about it. I've got to hone this skill. After all, I'm taking my readers to the garbage dump a lot. (Write what you know!) That's where all good stories are, what people have discarded, at least until someone picks it up and says, This is really beautiful. I've been looking for one all my life.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"You know what the sun is all about when the lights go out." The Black Keys
Cocktail Hour
Drinking movie suggestion: Infamous (this is the other Truman Capote movie that got overshadowed by Capote -- it's very good!)
Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Thursday!
32 days until The Sopranos airs!


George Costanza said...

When Saddam Hussein was awaiting exectuion he told one of his single, male jailers to find a woman who was not too smart and not too dumb. So I'll do the opposite! And I'll seduce her!

the walking man said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Charles Gramlich said...

Your comment on people suddenly changing their behavior hit home. I think sometimes that people take their cues so strongly from others, which is possibly why the women in my past life seem to have grown far wilder after the two of us have split. I fear I inspire mundanity, restraint, routine. I would have liked a little wildness.

Allen Woody said...

My hair stylist tried exceptionally hard to seduce me but I turned her down. Her husband was head of the FBI in Oakland County.

The Phantom of the Opera said...

I've had one or two really weird relationships with women.

Quasimodo said...

So have I.

Rodney Dangerfield said...

When I was making "Caddy Shack" there was this beautiful makeup artist who kissed my balls on the first tee. She said it was fore good luck, if you know what I mean.

Herman Northrop Frye said...

Eric Auerbach's "Ulysses Scar" is one of the finest examples of the "explication de texte" mode of literary criticism.

Christopher Moltisanti said...

I was lucky I didn't get a big scar when that Russian hit me in the head with a shovel in the "Pine Barrens" episode of the Sopranos.

Tony Soprano said...

I think Gloria Trillo seduced me in the waiting room of our mutual shrink Jennifer Melfi's office. I felt bad when Gloria hanged herself.

the walking man said...

I got the scar 25 years ago at the same time i was unseduced...she looked me in the eyes, did not see the pain, and told me she didn't love and never had loved me.

Three days later her, the kids, and everything else was gone.

But in return my eye was opened and I eventually became able to see into the soul of others because I knew what I was seeing through my own pain. A pain that changed me and my behavior for good or ill. Only them that know me can decide which.

Wichita-Lineman said...

So a writer is kinda like a pimp. Pimps of pain and sorrow.

Paul said...


the walking man said...

pimps of pain, sorrow, truth, justice, love, hate, lies, sex,.pimps of everything we see and understand on the level we write from. That is a true statement writers are pimps and I never thought of it that way but it is true....except I mostly give mine away so I guess I am just a writing slut.

the walking man said...

I wrote a poem on the mist
And a woman asked me what I meant by it.
I had thought till then only of the beauty of the mist,
how pearl and gray of it mix and reel,
And change the drab shanties with lighted lamps at evening
into points of mystery quivering with color.

I answered:
The whole world was mist once long ago and some day
it will all go back to mist,
Our skulls and lungs are more water than bone and
And all poets love dust and mist because all the last
Go running back to dust and mist.

Carl Sandburg published 1907

JR's Thumbprints said...

You just made my day! This is the type of inspiration I needed to hear. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Dan said...

Michelle, you're smart. Er ... and beautiful. Yeah, smart and beautiful. Or, if I think you're smart and beautiful, should I say nothing?

I think I probably said too much already! :)

realbigwings said...


This morning on the train I wished I had a camera to shap shots of the gold dust rising and pink sky spreading, and then I realized it would have to be a good camera, probably better than mine, to be able to focus in on the right things.
It wasn't till then that I saw what a cheap camera would frame- and the smashed baby blue VW in the field of tailings stopped looking friendly, and the colorful stacked cubes of compacted recycling looked like trash and poverty and those cows looked too skinny eating dirt and yellow grass...And I was glad I didn't have a camera because some things just get ruined when you try to share them. And then it's perfect to catch a glimpse, and get whisked on by.

Your overrated Roman cuisine reminded me of this.


Sheila said...

Great picture! Your beautiful and smart so I guess either one is good for you! haha A lot of different things seduce me.... although I must say just a guy telling me I'm beautiful or smart doesn't do it for me... cuz... well, not to sound conceeded or anything but I already know I am. I like when they dance with me (not the crazy club dancing either) and other things. Little things... they go a long way.

Susan Miller said...

Ahhhhh...sweet seduction. It is rather easy to seduce, to know and become what another wants. The magic lies in truly being yourself and accepting that is what another wants.

Smart is beautiful and beauty takes smarts.

Great post, Michelle.