It was at the end of my freshman year of high school – and freshman year of masturbating – that I discovered on the underside of my penis, just where the shaft meets the head, a little discolored dot that has since been diagnosed as a freckle. Cancer. I had given myself cancer. All that pulling and tugging at my own flesh, all that friction, had given me an incurable disease. And not yet fourteen! In bed at night the tears rolled from my eyes. “No!” I sobbed. “I don’t want to die!” Please – no!” But then, because I would very shortly be a corpse anyway, I went ahead as usual and jerked off into my sock. I had taken to carrying the dirty socks into bed with me at night so as to be able to use one as a receptacle upon retiring, and th other upon awakening.
—Philip Roth, Portnoy’s Complaint (p. 19)
I’m taking too damn long reading this book. I used to be able to read things way quicker than this and I find myself mauling over it a half of month later. The book looks like it’s been read more than once, which is sad considering this is the first time I read it and that it was brand new when I started. This is worse than my reading of Wonder Boys, which took me twice as long to read the second time as it did the first time – or was that read the third time?
However, a book such as Portnoy’s Complaint would the sort of book I devour quickly because of it’s psychological content, don’t you think and that’s not to mention the sex! C’mon! If there is one person who loves reading on the subject of sex and sexual issues. I only link Susie Bright’s blog for that reason.
I think my slow reading has a lot to do with the internet and all the distractions this bright creation has given us.