Kere me jongolo. Literally, “My bite cannot be healed”.
I read this in an article the other day. It was in reference to a snake, but I want it to refer to me.
Years ago, coming out of the trauma that is teenagerhood (and fat, gifted, antisocial teenagerhood at that), I remember wanting to be beautiful. I wondered what it would be like. And then one day, someone paid me that compliment. The first time a woman realizes she is desirable is very powerful. I have remembered and lost that feeling many times in the past few years. And then I remember having watched The Three Musketeers, and Athos, Kiefer Sutherland’s character, is talking about when he knew Lady Sabine de Winter (Rebecca de Mornay’s character). And he’s drunk and wallowing in the past and his own misery, and he talks about how she was more than just beautiful – she was intoxicating. And that stuck with me. My God, imagine what that would be like? For a girl who was largely invisible to the opposite sex for her formative years, it was a pretty heady idea. And then one day, someone paid me that compliment. For a while I started to think I had magical powers. (As I grew older I learned about self-fulfilling prophesies and the attractive power of confidence and the power of visualization and all that.) And so, at 30, that is my new goal. My bite cannot be healed. I want the people I touch to carry me with them. I want my lovers to never quite get over me. I want everyone else they’re ever with to compare unfavourably, however slightly, in whatever regard.
On the other hand, I have always been fascinated with Noli me tangere.