“I felt I was drawing close to that age, that place in life, where you realize one day what you'd told yourself was a Zen detachment turns out to be naked fear. You'd had one serious love relationship in your life and it had ended in tragedy, and the tragedy had broken something inside you. But instead of trying to repair the broken place, or at least really stop and look at it, you skated and joked. You had friends, you were a decent citizen. You hurt no one. And your life was somehow just about half of what it could be.”
“Families are like countries. They have their own language and jokes and secrets and assumptions about the right and wrong ways of doing things, and some of that always shows in the children, the way something of
Germany or Australia always shows in a German or an Australian, no matter where they go. Outsiders like it or they don't, they feel at home there or they don't. It's like the taste of cilantro.
“I decided that if I was worth anything as a person, I ought to be able to let her be with what it was she had to be with then: not urge her to fight it if she was tired of fighting, not ply her with hope, not make her think about who might be upset or worried, not ask anything of her, nothing, just be alive with her while she was still alive.”
“I like that kind of thing. I like warmth and uncalled-for kindness, the small unnoticed generosities that speckle the meanness of the world.”
“I miss women,” he went on. “I miss that kind of intimacy. But I think whatever people do; they do in search of pleasure. Or trying to get rid of pain or fear, which is the same thing, basically. Everything, everything is really about that. Everything is about bringing your mind to a place where it’s at peace”
“You're mine," she whispered. "Mine, as I'm yours. And if we die, we die. All men must die, Jon Snow. But first, we'll live.”
“Katherine of Aragon was speaking out for the women of the country, for the good wives who should not be put aside just because their husbands had taken a fancy to another, for the women who walked the hard road between kitchen, bedroom, church and childbirth. For the women who deserved more than their husband's whim.”
“I felt, that night, on that stage, under that skull, incredibly close to everything in the universe, but also extremely alone. I wondered, for the first time in my life, if life was worth all the work it took to live. What exactly made it worth it? What's so horrible about being dead forever, and not feeling anything, and not even dreaming? What's so great about feeling and dreaming?”
“What?" I asked uneasily. "Why are you looking at me like that?"
He shook his head, the smile rueful now. "Because sometimes, a person can get so caught up in the details that they miss the whole. It's not just the dress or the hair. It's YOU. You're beautiful. So beautiful, it hurts me.”
“I don't understand what you're still doing here."
She blinked and nodded miserably, then began to turn away.
"No!" He pulled her back. "Don't leave. It's just that you've never—we've never... gotten this far." He closed his eyes. "Will you say it again?" he asked, almost shyly. "Will you tell me ... what I am?"
"You're an angel," she repeated slowly, surprised to see Daniel close his eyes and moan in pleasure, almost as if they were kissing. "I'm in love with an angel.”
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