“There are several ways to react to being lost. One is to panic: this was usually Valentina's first impulse. Another is to abandon yourself to lostness, to allow the fact that you've misplaced yourself to change the way you experience the world.”
“Listen, sometimes when you finally find out, you realize that you were much better off not knowing.”
“You're the oddest person I've ever met, you couldn't get rid of me if you tried.”
“What is more basic than the need to be known? It is the entirety of intimacy, the elixir of love, this knowing.”
“Why do you have a cigarette lighter in your glove compartment?" her husband, Jack, asked her. "I'm bored with knitting. I've taken up arson”
“I'm bored with knitting. I've taken up arson.”
“Is it sad to fancy David Tennant when you're dead?”
“You didn’t answer my question. I asked you about being in love. You said what it was like when your wife went away.”
Martin sat down again. How young she is. When we were that young we invented the world, no one could tell us a thing. Julia stood with her hands clenched, as though she wanted to pound an answer out of him. “Being in love is…anxious,” he said. “Wanting to please, worrying that she will see me as I really am. But wanting to be known. That is…you’re naked, moaning in the dark, no dignity at all…I wanted her to see me and to love me even though she knew everything I am, and I knew her. Now she’s gone, and my knowledge is incomplete. So all day I imagine what she is doing, what she says and who she talks to, how she looks. I try to supply the missing hours, and it gets harder as they pile up, all the time she’s been gone. I have to imagine. I don’t know, really. I don’t know any more.”
“He was not in the house. He did not come back that night. Days went by, and at last she understood that he would not return at all.”
“That’s the thing about living vicariously; it’s so much faster than actual living.”
“He thanked her and left the house in the mood of a shipwrecked man who has allowed the rescue ship to pass him by.”
“He had never realized, while Elspeth was alive, the extent to which a thing had not completely happened until he told her about it.”
“I’m curious about things that people aren’t supposed to see—so, for example, I liked going to the British Museum, but I would like it better if I could go into all the offices and storage rooms, I want to look in all the drawers and—discover stuff. And I want to know about people. I mean, I know it’s probably kind of rude but I want to know why you have all these boxes and what’s in them and why all your windows are papered over and how long it’s been that way and how do you feel when you wash things and why don’t you do something about it?”
“Martin said, "It feels as though part of my self has detached and gone to Amsterdam, where it—she—is waiting for me. Do you know about phantom-limb syndrome?" Julia nodded. "There's pain where she ought to be. It's feeding the other pain, the thing that makes me wash and count and all that. So her absence is stopping me from going to find her. Do you see?”
“Being in love is…anxious,” he said. “Wanting to please, worrying that she will see me as I really am. But wanting to be known. That is…you’re naked, moaning in the dark, no dignity at all…I wanted her to see me and to love me even though she knew everything I am, and I knew her”
“I think play must have been invented so we wouldn't go mad thinking about certain things.”
“That’s the thing about living vicariously; it’s so much faster than actual living. In a few minutes we’ll be worrying about names for the children.”
“The kissed surprised him because it had been so long since he'd kissed anyone but Elspeth. It surprised Valentina because she had hardly ever kissed anyone that way - to her, kissing had always been more theoretical than physical. Afterwards she stood with her eyes closed, lips parted, face tilted. Robert thought, She's going to break my heart and I'm going to let her.”
“He would say her name over and over until it devolved into meaningless sounds - mah REI kuh, mah REI kuh - it became an entry in a dictionary of loneliness.”
“I guess no matter what your family is like, you're not surprised.”
“I don't want to boss anyone and I don't want to be bossed.”
“In the dim light of the computer screen he seemed otherworldly; Julia thought him beautiful, though she knew it was the beauty of damage.”
“That is what madness is, isn't it? All the wheels fly off the bus and things don't make sense any more. Or rather, they do, but it's not a kind of sense anyone else can understand.”
“There was only the cemetery itself, spread out in the moonlight like a soft grey hallucination, a stony wilderness of Victorian melancholy.”
“Being in love is…anxious,” he said. “Wanting to please, worrying that she will see me as I really am. But wanting to be known. That is…you’re naked, moaning in the dark, no dignity at all…I wanted her to see me and to love me even though she knew everything I am, and I knew her.”
“We're squirrels in human form, she whispered. And so are you.”
“Sometimes a thing is---too much---and it has to be isolated put away.”
“Not because they’re dead. Though unattainability is always attractive.”
“Each of them warmed to the sound of the other's voice. They lay in the dark together, in distant cities, each of them thinking, We were lucky this time. And they pressed their phones closer to their ears, and both of them wondered how much longer this separation could go on.”
“Too much knowledge can make you paranoid all the time,”
“You're glowering again," Abigail whispered, stepping to his side and giving him a sharp rap with the fan she was clutching.
"Can you blame me?"
Abigail shot a look to Harriet who was having her hand accosted by an earnest young gentleman by the name of Mr. Richmond Sprout. "Not int he least, dear, but you really should try to control that temper of yours. The last thing we need this evening is for you to punch someone."
"That thought never entered my head."
"Of course it did, but I find it rather sweet.”
“We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be. —C. S. Lewis It”
“Yuki-eh, you must learn to be a lady.
I don't think I ever quite learned to do that. I liked my music loud. My skirts short - I know, Mommy, even this one is too short! She wanted me to marry a lawyer - instead, I became one.”
“Upon learning that Washington intended to reject the mantle of emperor, no less an authority than George III allegedly observed, “If he does that, he will be the greatest man in the world.” True to his word, on December 22, 1783, Washington surrendered his commission to the Congress, then meeting in Annapolis: “Having now finished the work assigned me,” he announced, “I now retire from the great theater of action.” In so doing, he became the supreme example of the leader who could be trusted with power because he was so ready to give it up.20”
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