A Confederacy of Dunces: quotes (37)

She had chiseled quite a bit of money from her father to go away to college to see what it was like “out there.” Unfortunately she found me. The trauma of our first meeting fed each other’s masochism and led to an affair (platonic) of sorts. (Myrna was decidedly masochistic. She was only happy when a police dog was sinking its fangs into her black leotards or when she was being dragged feet first down stone steps from a Senate hearing.) I must admit that I always suspected Myrna of being interested in me sensually; my stringent attitude towards sex intrigued her; in a sense, I became another project of sorts. I did, however, succeed in thwarting her every attempt to assail the castle of my body and mind. Since Myrna and I confused most of the other students when we were apart, as a couple we were doubly confusing to the smiling Southern birdbrains who, for the most part, made up the student body. Campus rumor, I understand, linked us in the most unspeakably depraved intrigues.

Myrna’s cure-all for everything from fallen arches to depression was sex. She promulgated this philosophy with disastrous effects to two Southern belles whom she took under her wing in order to renovate their backward minds. Heeding Myrna’s counsel with the eager assistance of various young men, one of the simple lovelies suffered a nervous breakdown; the other attempted unsuccessfully to slash her wrists with a broken Coca-Cola bottle. Myrna’s explanation was that the girls had been too reactionary to begin with, and with renewed vigor, she preached sex in every classroom and pizza parlor, almost getting herself raped by a janitor in the Social Studies building. Meanwhile, I tried to guide her toward the path of truth.

After several semesters Myrna disappeared from the college, saying in her offensive manner, “This place can’t teach me anything I don’t know.” The black pants, the matted mane of hair, the monstrous valise were all gone; the palmlined campus returned to its traditional lethargy and necking. I have seen that liberated doxy a few times since then, for, from time to time she embarks on an “inspection tour” of the South, stopping eventually in New Orleans to harangue me and attempt to seduce me with the grim prison and chain and gang songs she strums on her guitar. Myrna is very sincere; unfortunately, she is also offensive.