L is the bane of the stutterer, the child outlining its cleft palate. It
consists of the tongue briefly licking the ridge on roof of the mouth. Tentatively,
we speak of loss. The delicacy of the sound is used to lace cruder concepts
such as leer or lechery with a delightful swirl reminiscent of Benedictine
liqueur. The pleasure of the tongue touching the palate is that of a sweet
dissolving in the mouth. So we savor lewd, lick, linger, longing and lulled.
This self-caress is also why love fascinates us, why we repeat it to others
at heady, inappropriate moments, draining it as gamblers drain their luck.
Lastly, L is most irresistible when paired with the sibilant S--this fully
explains why we spend a third of our lives in sleep, the remainder on lust
or even less.
Lunging, Loss, Light and Leaning.
My own mother used to take me on her lap, almost suffocating me as she held
me to her, rocking back and forth in the dusk. I would ask what was wrong.
She would say, Lessna .
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