A new flood of baroque memories came chattering into the Supermale’s troubled brain:
“‘Why,’ Aristotle asks in his Problems, ‘is it not of assistance to the sexual act to have cold feet?'”
Then he guffawed, in spite of himself, though an obscure self whispered to him that he had every reason to weep. Then he wept, although another self, which seemed to nourish a personal hatred toward the previous one, explained to him at length, even though in a single instant, that this was the time to roar with laughter. Next he rolled on the ground, the whole length of the hall. His naked body came into contact with a little, hairy, velvety rectangle on the stone floor. He thought he had gone mad, so astounded was he that the bearskin that served a rug should seem so minute to him.
it was Ellen’s mask, which had fallen off during her agony.
THE DISCOVERY OF WOMAN
Her mask had fallen…
Ellen was now quite naked.
Except for her mask, he had possessed her entirely for the last two days.
Without her mask, he had seen her frequently before those two days, but time is measured by the number of events that fill and distend it. The minute during which she had awaited him, all pink, her right arm raised, leaning against the doorjamb, must have been back in the beginning of time…
…int he days when something Superhuman created woman.
“Is it possible?” they used to say, in that past time.
Her mask had fallen, and it appeared absolutely clear to the Supermale that, although he had possessed Ellen entirely naked for the past two days, he had never really seen her, even without her mask.
He would never have seen her, if she had not been dead.