“The sunset was that long, achingly beautiful balance of stillness in which the sun seemed to hover like a red balloon above the western horizon, the entire sky catching fire from the death of day; a sunset unique to the American Midwest and ignored by most of its inhabitants. The twilight brought the promise of coolness and the certain threat of night.”
“People always pay a lot of money for things that make them stupid.”
“Sometimes Duane imagined that he was the single crewman on a receding starship, already light-years from Earth, unable to turn around, doomed never to return, unable even to reach his destination in a human lifetime, but still connected by this expanding arc of electromagnetic radiation, rising now through the onionlike layers of old radio shows, traveling back in time as he traveled forward in space, listening to voices whose owners had long since died, moving back toward Marconi and then silence.”
“He suspected that Duane had lived in those lofty realms of thought, listening to the voices of men long dead rising from books the way he'd once said he listened to late-night radio shows in his basement.”
“Old Central School still stood upright, holding its secrets and silences firmly within. Eighty-four years of chalkdust floated in the rare shafts of sunlight inside while the memories of more than eight decades of varnishings rose from the dark stairs and floors to tinge the trapped air with the mahogany scent of coffins. The walls of Old Central were so thick that they seemed to absorb sounds while the tall windows, their glass warped and distorted by age and gravity, tinted the air with a sepia tiredness. Time moved more slowly in Old Central, if at all. Footsteps echoed along corridors and up stairwells, but the sound seemed muted and out of synch with any motion amidst the shadows. The cornerstone of Old Central had been laid in 1876, the year that General Custer and his men had been slaughtered near the Little Bighorn River far to the west, the year that the first telephone had been exhibited at the nation’s Centennial in Philadelphia far to the east. Old Central School was erected in Illinois, midway between the two events but far from any flow of history.”
“A human being on this world, Duane realized with a shock of recognition approaching vertigo, made no more permanent impression than does a hand thrust in water. Remove the hand, and water rushes in to fill the void as if nothing had ever been there.”
“Дейл тихо опустил голову, зная, что все это — спутник, и пещеру бутлегеров, и многое многое другое — могут повториться и завтра, и через неделю, но что этот момент — друзья сидевшие рядом, едва слышные шорохи летней ночи, голоса родителей снизу, чувство какой-то бесконечности лета, которое как обычно принес август — что этот момент единственный и неповторимы. И что он должен быть сохранен.
И пока Майк и Лоуренс, Кевин, Харлен и Корди провожали глазами светлую точку, на их запрокинутых лицах читалась вера в то, что на их глазах начинается новая эра, Дейл молча следил за ними. Он думал о своем друге Дьюане и о том, как можно описать то, что видишь, словами, как это делал он.
И затем, инстинктивно зная, что такие минуты нужно замечать, но нельзя губить их наблюдениями, Дейл присоединился к друзьям, провожая взглядом Эхо, уже коснувшийся горизонта и начавший тускнеть.”
“It was well said of a certain German book that ‘er lasst sich nicht lesen”—it does not permit itself to be read.”
“Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off - then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can.”
“Some people talk to animals. Not many listen though. That's the problem.”
“And what constitutes evil, real evil, is the taking of a single human life. Whether a man would die tomorrow or the day after or eventually... it doesn't matter. Because if God does not exist, then life... every second of it... Is all we have.”
“The painful things seemed like knots on a beautiful necklace, necessary for keeping the beads in place.”
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