Lucian Freud

From Brick:

Vaginas drive men crazy—some in a good way, some in a really bad way. The vagina is a lurid mystery, wild, reckless, immoral. A primitive thing to get lost in, like the bubbling cauldron at the centre of all cannibalistic ceremonies. Vaginas have a will of their own. As far as I know, in my life, I have driven only one man literally crazy with the unintentional power and timing of unbidden acts of my own vagina.

I was sixteen years old and one of a dozen or so passengers from Montreal, heading down in a converted school bus to a hippie festival in a remote location on the edge of a large, murky lake in Texas. It was 1988, and we wore secondhand clothes and jewellery made of coloured thread and semi-precious stones, silver, wood, and bone. Our hair was unwashed and our tanned skin buffed by the dust and the dirt; nature was gradually repossessing us. You can lie down anywhere and the earth is your blanket. The boundary around yourself slowly disintegrates. We arrived at sunrise, the air misty, a trace of coolness in the heat, a pink sky; the milky edge of the water the colour of tea.

It was there that I first laid eyes on Lance, a few evenings later, as I wandered from one campfire to another, stepping into the halo of yet another small, human grouping: the conversations, the music, the preposterous lines of dialogue. She’s doing power animal retrieval in Colorado now. I was young and enthralled by the newness, the adventure, the exhilarating freedom of it all. I was naked except for a long Indian cotton skirt. The air was full of insect noises and the ring of laughter in the darkness. The sky was flung with stars.

“Coming Apart”, Christine Pountney, Brick