Let me start this off by saying that I don’t like writing bad reviews, and in the same breath, let me say that this is not necessarily a bad review that I’m writing. This is going to be a review in which I found much that I didn’t like or some things that I felt took away from what this could have been. But what I also read is an inspiring story of self-discovery and sexual awakening that can resonate with a reader, if a bit straining to reach. This is actually a really good story, and I enjoyed it a lot, but I’m sure the author is aware, by now, that it’s the execution that really hurt it.
“An Ecstatic Rendezvous” is a charming slice-of-life autobiography about a significant chapter in the author’s life. Having finally attained the outward image he always hoped for, he decides it’s time to do all the things he’d dreamed of doing, but never felt confident doing until now. Whether taking art classes, posing, or reliving the swimsuit models of past years. But he’s ready for more. He’s ready to take that step out into the world to find a woman who can make him feel complete as a man.
Now, to get the unpleasantness out of the way. There’s quite a bit that makes this a difficult read, mainly regarding the language and prose of this short story itself. There’s quite a bit of advanced vocabulary that’s frankly unneeded for this genre of story-telling. There was no small amount of stopping to ask, “What does that mean?” and pausing to double check the dictionary. Much of it I understood anyway, but there were a few phrases like ‘pre-Raphaelite’ that I had to stop and look up to really understand what the author was trying to say.
The dialogue was also a bit difficult to grasp at times. I don’t doubt that these conversations took place in this chapter of his life, but felt that the vocabulary is a bit more embellished than what may or may not have been said. But there was something more underneath all of the advanced English in there. It was right near the end when I began to see the larger picture.
This isn’t just the story of a man trying to ‘get back out there’, but more of a man who struggled to finally find self-acceptance. he had to go through weeks, maybe months, of self-care in the form of physical training to find the version of himself he always thought he was. For many of us, this is psychological, or spiritual, and a journey of our inner conscious to find a way to accept ourselves and find our own happiness. For the author, this was a physical journey that led to a sexual journey. In the end, it wasn’t just a sexual awakening, it was the moment he could truly turn the page on his life. He found himself again.
I don’t want to sound like I’m gushing, I just found myself feeling happy for him by the final word. it’s difficult to say if I would recommend this story, but I do feel it was good in the end. I would say if you do wish to read it, be aware that there will be an advanced vocabulary to deal with. But if you enjoy feel-good slice-of-life, give “An Ecstatic Rendezvous” a chance. The author seems to have taken it down as I cannot find an online store where you can get a copy, but I did manage to find the Goodreads page for it. I’ll leave a link to it, just in case he decides to change his mind. I’m quite late to deliver this review as I promised, and I apologize for it, but I did promise nonetheless.