He stretched out in the grass too, leaning on his elbow, facing his friend, the pal of his heart, happy to watch him, fondly, his face. The grass was wonderfully cool in the shadows. It gave a fringy brush to his legs. Doyler grinned. He took the grass stem from his mouth and tickled its ear under Jim's chin. 'You can tell does a fellow like you with a spear of grass, did you know that?''How do you tell?''You wave it under his chin, and if his face goes red at all, then you know.'Jim laughed. The blush had risen, as of course it must, but for once he could be glad of it. He thought how lovely it would be to touch at this moment. The notion hadn't formed before Doyler's leg came to rest against his own. It pressed ever so lightly, and Jim pressed lightly back. he smiled with his bottom lip caught in his teeth, for it was wonderful to lie in the long grass, with just this tiny pressure of touch between.Then Doyler said, 'I think I'm going to ask for a kiss.'And Jim said, 'I think I hoped if you would.
The world would say that we did not exist, that only our actions, our habits, were real, which the world called our crimes or our sins. But Scrotes began to think that we did indeed exist. That we had a nature our own, which was not another's perverted or turned to sin. Our actions could not be crimes, he believed, because they were the expressions of a nature, of an existence even. Which came first, he asked, the deed or the doer? And he began to answer that, for some, it was the doer.
Will I begin it? said Doyler laughing. That's all that's in it, he laughing said.Oh sure that grin. Oh sure that wonderful saucerful grin. Jim sat on the grass and he plucked at the blades. He knew for certain sure that Doyler would be turning from him again. He said, You'll be walking away from me soon, won't you now? There was no answer. Jim plucked the grass and stared beyond where the waves broke on the island shore. He said, I wish you wouldn't Doyler. It does break my heart when you walk away.Old pal o' me heart, said Doyler.But already he had turned, and he was walking away. Walking that slow dreadful slope with never a leaf or a stone. Walking; and though Jim tried to keep pace, e could not, and sometimes he called out, Doyler! Doyler! but he never heard or he did not heed, only farther and farther he walked away. And when Jim woke from these dreams, if he did not remember, he knew he had dreamt, for the feeling inside him of not feeling at all. And it was hard then to make his day.
I’m just thinking that would be pleasant. To be reading, say, out of a book, and you to come up and touch me – my neck, say, or my knee – and I’d carry on reading, I might let a smile, no more, wouldn’t lose my place on the page. It would be pleasant to come to that. We’d come so close, do you see, that I wouldn’t be surprised out of myself every time you touched.