First reference to the lobotomist, “These are virgin births. Yes, the lobotomist is bathed in light.” (pg 7), and after an inane conversation with an old lady at the café, he asks, “Have I so demeaned my body that I am no longer seen to exist?”(pg 7). Existence without body is not existence. “I speak with a voice that is not mine, articulate platitudes with great facility.” (Pg 7). He desires to attain a more meaningful existence.
First reference to Lilith, pg 7.
Example of word play, “I tear myself from the seat. The reality that I leave behind groans in bodiless anguish.” (pg 7).
First Christ ref, pg 7.
The narrator throws up outside the supermarket, “the puke is the only true reiteration of my existence. I’m sick of the sight of myself.” (pg 8). Puke being abjected from the body. A form of self/non-self that’s a more bodily rejection that excrement which is more routine self-purging. Then “Vade ad gehennan”, approximately “Go to the Valley of Hinnom, (Valley of the Wicked).” Possible footnote required for clarity.
From there, the critical question, “Is my body now so lost? Is it drowned in seas of guilt and remorse? What kind of inheritance is this?” and the brilliant image describing social/cultural suppression of sexuality in one phrase, “I’ve got the balls for it, but they’re bound in cotton-wool rhetoric.” (pg 8). Followed by the defeatist-not-yet-defeated “So how do I reclaim a lost manhood when in all probability that manhood was never found in the first place?…For as long as I fear the stirring of my own sexuality, I am lost.” (pg 8). The question of searching for his body is asked like the question of searching for identity.
Immediately after these questions, he first refers to his schoolboy photo and questions his association with the way he represented as a child. It’s the larger theme of reconciling static images of repressed public self with the fluid, personal evolving self.