“You draw a line in the sand and say you won’t cross it, you won’t believe or do a particular thing. But once you’ve grown accustomed to the unbelievable, or you’ve done what you’ve sworn you’d never do, you redraw the line a little farther back. You let the waves wash the first away like it never existed.”
“He’s funny and attractive. That doesn’t mean I want to sleep with him.” “That always means you want to sleep with someone.” “Thanks a lot,” I say. “Was that a thinly-veiled slut accusation?” “That’s funny, it wasn’t supposed to be thinly-veiled.”
“What a dick,” she says. “You know what the worst part is?” “That there are forty people left in the world and he’s one of them?”
“As a child, I prayed she’d live, that she’d make it through the night. Eventually, I prayed she’d choke to death in her sleep. Not very kind, I know, but it would have meant escape. I was a prisoner of war in my mother’s battle with herself, and the only liberator was death.”
“My mother will never make amends, will never be held accountable. She’s died just as selfishly as she lived. I contemplate kicking the bed. I go as far as lifting my foot but then imagine the rabbit hole of anger I’ll fall into if I give in to my wild urge. I won’t let my mother get to me.”
“Everyone’s nice,” I say, and think of Paul. “Well, maybe not everyone, but I like everybody else. How about that?” I prod her with my elbow. “I like people.” “You know what’s happening? You’re having corrective emotional experiences. That’s where—” I groan. “No, we are not having a Psychoanalyze Sylvie session on the roof. We’re making fun of Paul and possibly shopping, not discussing correctional emotions or whatever.”
“Dark humor is in our genes. I can die having laughed every chance I got, or I can die having been miserable. Either way, I’ll be dead. Besides, I didn’t mean it as much of a joke.”
“I know this disbelief I feel, the disbelief on the others’ faces, is a survival mechanism. You draw a line in the sand and say you won’t cross it, you won’t believe or do a particular thing. But once you’ve grown accustomed to the unbelievable, or you’ve done what you’ve sworn you’d never do, you redraw the line a little farther back. You let the waves wash the first away like it never existed.”
“If I stay within the tree line at the edge of the field, my buddies across the way won’t notice, as they’re now chasing a bird. The bird lands to peck at the grass and, when they get close again, it flaps another ten feet and lands. I think it’s fucking with them.”
“I too am not a bit tamed, I too am untranslatable,
I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.”
“Me dad used to say a strange dog would allus get a cow up.” There were murmurs of assent from the assembled farmers and immediate offers of dogs. I tried to point out that one would be enough but my authority had dwindled and anyway everybody seemed anxious to demonstrate their dogs’ cow-raising potential. There”
“Books have to be heavy because the whole world's inside them.”
“When I was a child, books were everything. And so there is in me, always, a nostalgic, yearning for the lost pleasure of books. It is not a yearning that one ever expects to be fulfilled.”
“Vanity is a factor, but it is more a question of control. It is easier to trick others into perceiving you as beautiful if you can convince yourself you are beautiful. But mirrors have an uncanny way of telling the truth.”
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