“Look how black the sky is, the writer said. I made it that way.”
“Why was I holding on to something that would never be mine? But isn't that what people do?”
“But this was what happened when you didn't want to visit and confront the past: the past starts visiting and confronting you.”
“You learn to move on without the people you love.”
“I kept staring into the blackness of the woods, drawn into the darkness as I always had been. I suddenly realized how alone I was. (But this is how you travel, the wind whispered back, this is how you've always lived.)”
“When we sat down to eat I took inventory of the people in the room, and the remnants of my good mood evaporated when I realized how very little I had in common with them – the career dads, the responsible and diligent moms – and I was soon filled with dread and loneliness. I locked in on the smug feeling of superiority that married couples give off and that permeated the air – the shared assumptions, the sweet and contented apathy, it all lingered everywhere – despite the absence in the room of anyone single at which to aim this.”
“As a writer you slant all evidence in favor of the conclusions you want to produce and you rarely tilt in favor of the truth. ...This is what a writer does: his life is a maelstrom of lying. Embellishment is his focal point. This is what we do to please others. This is what we do in order to flee ourselves. A writer's physical life is basically one of stasis, and to combat this constraint, an opposite world and another self have to be constructed daily. ...the half world of a writer's life encourages pain and drama, and defeat is good for art: if it was day we made it night, if it was love we made it hate, serenity becomes chaos, kindness became viciousness, God became the devil, a daugher became a whore. I had been inordinately rewarded for participating in this process, and lying often leaked from my writing life--an enclosed sphere of consciousness, a place suspended outside of time, where the untruths flowed onto the whiteness of a blank screen--into the part of me that was tactile and alive.”
“Why was I holding on to something that would never be mine?"
(But isn't that what people do?)”
“I needed something--the distraction of another life--to alleviate fear.”
“From those of us who are left behind: you will be remembered, you were the one I needed, I loved you in my dreams.”
“The heroin flowing through me, I thought about the last time I saw my father alive. He was drunk and overweight in a restaurant in Beverly Hills, and curling into myself on the bed I thought: What if I had done something that day? I had just sat passively in a restaurant booth as the midday light filled the half-empty dining room, pondering a decision. The decision was: should you disarm him? That was the word I remember: disarm. Should you tell him something that might not be the truth but would get the desired reaction? And what was I going to convince him of, even though it was a lie? Did it matter? Whatever it was, it would constitute a new beginning. The immediate line: You’re my father and I love you. I remember staring at the white tablecloth as I contemplated saying this. Could I actually do it? I didn’t believe it, and it wasn’t true, but I wanted it to be. For one moment, as my father ordered another vodka (it was two in the afternoon; this was his fourth) and started ranting about my mother and the slump in California real estate and how “your sisters” never called him, I realized it could actually happen, and that by saying this I would save him. I suddenly saw a future with my father. But the check came along with the drink and I was knocked out of my reverie by an argument he wanted to start and I simply stood up and walked away from the booth without looking back at him or saying goodbye and then I was standing in sunlight. Loosening my tie as a parking valet pulled up to the curb in the cream-colored 450 SL. I half smiled at the memory, for thinking that I could just let go of the damage that a father can do to a son. I never spoke to him again.”
“I had dreamed of something so different from what reality was now offering up, but that dream had been a blind man's vision. That dream was a miracle. The morning was fading. And I remembered yet again that I was a tourist here.”
“The reassuring smile was now useless. I was plastic. Everything was veiled. Objectivity, facts, hard information--these were things only in the outline stage. There was nothing tying anything together yet, so the mind built up a defense, and the evidence was restructured, and that was what I tried to do on that morning--to restructure the evidence so it made sense--and that is what I failed at.”
“There was something beneath the surface of things.”
“Haven't we outgrown all this tired irony? Weren't we supposed to give up acting twenty-two forever?”
“Todo el mundo tiene meido. Pero si nos mantenemos unidos, si intentamos estar disponibles para los otros, ya no tendremos miedo.”
“This was sending me out so much further than I had ever expected: a place beyond strength.”
“The polite conversation that carried over from cocktails into dinner was so stifling that it carried a certain ruthlessness,”
“It was always the A booth. It was always the front seat of the roller coaster. It was never “Let’s not get the bottle of Cristal.”
“En cuanto me di cuenta de que estaba completamente solo comprendí, sólo entonces, que tenía problemas graves. Mi actitud nostálgica con respecto a la fama y las drogas -el placer de comadecerme a mí mismo- se había transformado en tristeza y el futuro ya no me parecía ni remotamente plausible. Solamente una cosa parecía correr hacia mí: una negrura, una tumba, el final”
“Cualquiera que fuera el interés que compartían se evaporó tan rápido que pareció no haber existido en absoluto. Robby se nos acercó penosamente bajo el destello de las luces del centro comercial y de pronto me preocupó que su vida tuviera tan poco de poesía o romanticismo. Todo giraba en torno a una cotidianidad ansiosa y aburrida. Todo era una representación”
“The little kids by the water threw their hands in the air and squealed, chasing each other in circles.
It was hard to believe that I’d ever been that small. That young. That happy and clueless. They had
pain ahead. Heartbreak. Loss. They didn’t know and I didn’t want them to – but at the same time, I
hated that I hadn’t known. I’d taken everything for granted – my mother, my friends in Alexandria,
playing hockey. I dreamed about the future because that’s what people persuade you to do when
you’re a kid, but that’s the biggest lie of all – that you can plan. Reality is, you have no fucking clue
what’s coming and neither do they”
“When the State withers, humanity flowers.”
“Its roof sagged and let in water when it rained, its walls groaned and let in wind when it blew, and its doors creaked and let in hypocrites when it suited. There”
“That's our story.
How we became a we.
And that's what we are these day. A we.
When you're a group that can hear each other's thoughts, the line between I and We gets kind of blurry.”
“They still weren't as cold as my heart was, though.”
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