“That was how it began, that was all it meant to me; I am not sure now, in spite of everything, that it ever really meant more than that to me.”

“I scarcely remember her at all, yet she figured in my nightmares, blind with worms, her hair as dry as metal and brittle as a twig, straining to press me against her body; that body so putrescent, so sickening soft, that it opened, as I clawed and cried, into a breach so enormous as to swallow me alive.”

Giovanni’s Room, James Baldwin, 1956