a Women Writers' Showcase
Why "Like a Lover"?
By Tad Wojnicki

      Most of us, grown-ups, are emotionally, sensually dead -- we swallow, let's say, a heated, flaky croissant without savoring the crunch and smell; we get ginned on strawberry daiquiris without into appreciating the bouquet, the volume, the taste if it; we schlep around--shopping or strolling -- without ever noticing the heady tingle in our muscles; we soak up the sun rays or Jacuzzi water warmth without paying close attention to what is happening to our bodies as we do it.

     All these delectable stimuli should be revving up our brains, but our brains don't seem to be getting the message.The stimuli get rebuffed. The impulses get lost. Our bodies have turned into something resembling deadwood.


    Our sensors, our sensory receptors, are clogged. They don't feed brain the pleasures. They don't pass the pleasure data, don't make us drunk with happiness.   Still, we remember the happy times of our youth. The sensors used to work overtime. "The young," Aristotle said, "are steadily in a state resembling intoxication, for youth is sweet and they are growing." We have been there, sure, but it's been a long time. By our twenties, thirties, we forgot. We forgot what it was like when we were green, fresh, impressionable, truly alive, when all the sensations -- tastes, smells, sights, sounds, textures and touches -- tickled us pink. Growing older, our senses have deadened, losing their youthful receptibility, their excitability, their aliveness and we ourselves had grown older, becoming a trifle unfeeling, desensitized.

"I know some who are constantly drunk on books, as others are drunk on whiskey or religion."      -- H.L.Mencken

     As grown-ups, we're sensually dead -- at least most of us. We don't jump for joy over a 'hairy' fruit like a coconut or a 'fuzzy' one like a kiwi -- we don't squirm and giggle, cradling it in our ticklish palm. We don't take hours to sift the sand through our fingers. It used to be that the trickle made us laugh. Made us feel giddy. There was a promise of lovemaking even. No longer. As the saying goes, we don't stop to smell the roses. Sensually, we are a dull--scared of the incessant blitz of stimuli. Living in a hard shell. Clammed up. Aware neither of the world within nor the world outside of us. We no longer remember what it was really like to feel alive.

"Feeling alive," according to Teddy, the hero of my book, Lie Under the Fig Trees, "is knowing where your hand is, where your leg is, where your head is, where each part of your body is, without looking" (p.72).

      The only place where most of us are still alive is lovemaking. Most of us, as I said, though not all of us. We have all had our share of dead lovers. But the loveless are goners. They're no longer here. No need to dwell on them now. Here, we bring juntos those who are totally alive, passionate, who thrive on living with their senses wide open--in a permanent state of holy drunkenness.

"To fall in love you have to be in the state of mind for it to take, like a decease."  -- Nancy Mitford

      Why "like a lover"? Because a lover is alight with passion, awash with sensual stimuli. True lovers, men and women alike, thrive on sensory data, the nitty-gritty of life.

Tad Wojnicki, Author
Lie Under the Fig Trees
Write Like A Lover!

"There're a fine mismatched couple, and the earthy, raucous tale of their uncommon combination is a real charmer." /Kirkus Reviews/Order at Barnes&Noble, Borders, or at: Amazon.com: Lie Under the Fig Trees.

Tad Wojnicki is the author of the novel, Lie Under the Fig Trees (1996) and a poetry chapbook, Where Angels Catch Hell (2000). He was born 1944 in Poland during the Holocaust and arrived in the United States in 1977, speaking no English. He holds a Ph.D.(Philosophy) and an M.F.A. (Creative Writing) from San Francisco State University. A college professor and Internet instructor, Tad has taught his Write Like a Lover! workshop at Hartnell College (among other colleges) and on AOL Campus since 1996. His workshop handbook, Write Like A Lover, will be published by Other Side of Creativity in 2001.    Contact Tad.