“So, ah, I'm not sure if you know this, but you're not wearing a shirt."
"Distracting, isn't it?”
“It's the intent, not the word, that makes something harsh.”
“I highly regret this day in advance.”
“If you want to touch me, Kendall, touch me. Don't hide behind those little girl slaps.”
“Jacian Obregon. It sounds like a melody. Or a tragedy.”
“A trapped soul waits for redemption.
It waits. And waits.
For her to take her last breath.”
We feel the heat, and for a moment, We believe! Life is back. But this heat is intense, not gentle. Not submissive but searing. Painful.
We moan, scream, Our face cracking like gunfire... like a whip. Thirty-five, one hundred. One hundred! ONE HUNDRED!
The fire consumes our wooden host. It burns, breaks, explodes. Releases Our remaining souls to travel to Our final resting places.
To find new places to hide.
“Go force your condescending man-logic on the next house. You can go now.”
When it is over, we breathe and ache like old oak, like peeling birch. One of Our lost souls set free. We move, a chess piece in a dark room, cast-iron legs moving a centimeter at a time, crying out in silent carved graffiti. Calling to Our next victim, Our next savior. We carve on Our face:
Save my soul. ”
“Jacián!" She yells again, and then she says something in Spanish.
A moment later he comes down the hallway. "I'm going to tell Grandfather you said that," he says. "What do you want?”
“She knows some of her thoughts are irrational. She knows it and has always known it, even in fifth grade, when she used to layer on clothes - four shirts, three pairs of underwear, shorts under her jeans - anxiously, frantically crying her eyes out for fear people could see her naked through her clothes.
What an awful time that was. Fear like that is constant, tiring.”
“It seemed to me at an early age that all human communication — whether it’s TV, movies, or books — begins with somebody wanting to tell a story. That need to tell, to plug into a universal socket, is probably one of our grandest desires. And the need to hear stories, to live lives other than our own for even the briefest moment, is the key to the magic that was born in our bones. The”
“He took a step back the way he had come.
No, he decided. Going back is Da's way. Whatever happens, I'm going forward.”
“Each man cannot judge except by himself," he said, blushing. "There will be entire freedom when it makes no difference whether one lives or does not live. That is the goal to everything."
"The goal? But then perhaps no one will even want to live?"
"No one," he said resolutely.
"Man is afraid of death because he loves life, that's how I understand it," I observed, "and that is what nature tells us."
"That is base, that is the whole deceit!" his eyes began to flash. "Life is pain, life is fear, and man is unhappy. Now all is pain and fear. Now man loves life because he loves pain and fear. That's how they've made it. Life now is given in exchange for pain and fear, and that is the whole deceit. Man now is not yet the right man. There will be a new man, happy and proud. He for whom it will make no difference whether he lives or does not live, he will be the new man. He who overcomes pain and fear will himself be God. And this God will not be.”
“You read too much and understand too little.”
“How can love be worthy of its name if one selects solely the pretty things and leaves out the hardships? It is easy to enjoy the good and dislike the bad. Anybody can do that. The real challenge is to love the good and the bad together, not because you need to take the rough with the smooth but because you need to go beyond such descriptions and accept love in its entirety.”
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