I just finished reading “Disgrace” on my lunch break. I now stand at my work station waiting for the starting bell to sound for the monotony of truck building to commence for the next two hours until the end of my shift. The air feels heavy with disillusionment. Yeah, I initially thought it was asbestos too. Each breath seems to enter my stomach weighing me down or it could be the two pounds of barbeque from “Shigs and Pit” I scarfed down a few days ago. No… I know with sixty percent certainty that it is directly related to the content of the aforementioned novel.
In this two hundred and twenty page book I trudged along laboriously reading about David Lurie’s downward spiral from a position of esteemed English professor to a lowly assistant of an animal shelter who aids in euthanizing and disposing of injured and unwanted animals.
How did this happen? I’m glad you asked.
David Lurie made a series of bad decisions based on faulty reasoning with the backing of his chemical composition. No. he doesn’t have a psychological disorder. He’s just a typical guy flirting with fire who finally got burned. So, David Lurie likes sex. No… he NEEDS sexual release. He had a good plan from the beginning; he saw on a regular basis, an escort by the name of Soraya. Lurie hopes that this will satiate his hunger (faulty reasoning number one). But one day by chance, they spotted each other outside of their weekly “meetings”. Soraya was with her two boys and that glimpse into a non-sexual part of her life was awkward for them both and eventually led to the termination of the arrangement.
Next scene: David comes across a student of his, Melanie Isaacs, “dawdling” “through the old college gardens”. After inviting her up to his place for all intents and purposes to seduce her into bed she woke out of her naive trance realizing that she was about to have coitus with her fifty-two year old professor with his aged body and gross wrinkly balls. She leaves with no harm. Later as he battled within himself over whether to accept the reality of the situation (it’s just ICKY) or give into his desire, the latter won out. He tactically pursued her whereabouts, caught her off guard, overcame her and got what he wanted without a struggle.
A complaint was filed which led to him being confronted by a committee of his peers. He plead guilty and lost his job and respect. All of this occurs in the first fifty-five pages.
The rest of the one hundred and sixty-five pages reminded me of the last few episodes of “Breaking Bad” when Walter White discovered that his actions have created some serious repercussions. Instead of admitting his mistakes he continued spouting his pompous drivel of “I’m doing this for sake of my family”. Likewise David Lurie pridefully admitted his actions were justified explaining to his daughter (faulty reasoning number two):
“When you were small, when we were still living in Keniworth, the people next door had a dog, a golden retriever…It was a male. Whenever there was a bitch in the vicinity it would get excited and unmanageable, and with Pavlovian regularity the owners would beat it. This went on until the poor dog didn’t know what to do. At the smell of a bitch it would chase around the garden with its ears flat and its tail between its legs, whining, trying to hide…There was something ignoble in the spectacle that I despaired. One can punish a dog, it seems to me, for an offense like chewing a slipper. A dog will accept the justice of that: a beating for a chewing. But desire is another story. No animal will accept the justice of being punished for following its instincts…that poor dog had begun to hate its own nature.”
Well, the rest of the story as you might have expected from my second paragraph didn’t go well for David. I wanted there to be restitution for his actions but it really doesn’t feel satisfying when it actually happens.
Can I be honest?? I am a male, big surprise. Glad I got that off my chest. Phew!! Seriously though, I can relate to this character. I used to go to bars and dance clubs and how often I’ve seen and heard men using many tactics to catch their prey off guard in the hopes of getting laid from the simple “can I buy you a drink” to the lame when I actually heard someone say they were a rocket scientist. Does this work ladies?
Like in “Disgrace” we have the pursuer and the victim. In the bar setting both parties are subject to my earlier statement, “bad decisions based on faulty reasoning with the backing of his chemical composition.” As in animals we feel the heat of passion and want to release the pressure. As humans we have deductive reasoning and forethought that going home with someone at the bar will usually not end with a positive note. Oh well we only live once right?? I hate that comment. I would like to hear someone say that after they find out their pregnant or contracted an STD.
I have no game. No skills. All I got is my tireless attempts at making eye contact and I know how to shake my booty. I recall once walking around the dance floor, scoping out the ladies, beer in hand, when I spotted a lady staring me down. So this is eye contact. Surprised, I continued walking sipping my beer and glancing in her direction again. Still locked in my direction. I turned around to see if someone was behind me that was the recipient of this look. As you can tell I was not used to this. I danced with her and left it at that. I didn’t want to be a baby daddy.
The application after reading this novel is use deductive reasoning before allowing yourself to fall prey to your passions.