told me I was attracted to “iconoclastic men”.
“What do you mean?” I asked. “What do you mean, iconoclastic?” I knew the word and had some idea what it meant, but I wanted to hear him tell me.
“You always pick these men… they’re singular and they’re always isolated somehow.”
“Oh yeah. Yeah, I know that. That’s what I like.”
I got off the phone and mentioned this conversation to another pal. And my pal wasn’t sure what the word meant. Either was I or at least I wasn’t confident enough I understood it’s meaning well enough to tell her something definitive, so we both looked it up. And if you do the same, this is what you’ll find, more or less:
1 : a person who destroys religious images or opposes their veneration
2 : a person who attacks settled beliefs or institutions
Which is kind of, sort of what he means. But not exactly. Scott has a modern definition he can rattle off, but as I’ve said before, Scott’s vocabulary is freakish and I can’t always write his dialogue by memory.
But anyway, we talked about this a second time. And I was trying to wrestle an exact definition out of him and at one point , he said I might substitute the word. “Non-conformist”.
But I thought that had a completely different connotation. “That sounds like someone who would join a group or be part of some resistance. The men I like stand alone. They are completely singular. In one way or the other, they are too far out. They just don’t fit anywhere…”
“That’s right. That’s right, Elsie. Those are the only men you’re interested in,” he said. “Anyone else can’t hold your attention at all.” He laughed.
“Seriously. Give a horn dog like me, a book like that? Good God. Some librarian gave me that book when I was 11 or maybe 12 and that was it. I started masturbating like crazy over that guy. Howard Roark! Seriously, I was out of my mind over him. It’s not possible for someone to be more attractive than Howard Roark. I was pretty much insane having fantasies about him, night and day.
He roared and I stopped to think. Mars on Mercury. Hotted up by a book? Why not?
“I’m not sure that librarian should have even put that book in my hands it had such an impact. Because I was in a true fever. I was crazed and puberty and all. But anyway, this is it. Now you know what I am up to when I pick the men I do. I am looking for Howard Roark! And anything less is not interesting to me… you’re right. For what? I don’t like to waste my time. I want a total individual. Someone completely actualized and hell bent to do what they’re going to do!”
“You like ’em a little bit detached,” he said.
“Well yeah! I don’t need anyone breathing down my neck! I like men who are completely themselves…. oddballs, and super, very, very sexual. And there is nothing I can do but admit it, Scott. So I admit it.”
He made a smug noise. Scott is always a little surprised when I agree with him. Twenty years ago I was so much more defended. I’d fight him over anything and everything. But anyway, does anyone have a similar story? Alternately, how’s the sky full of Scorpio treatin’ you?
Catch up on this thread by clicking tag “attraction” below.