Christopher Barzak · 304 pages
Rating: (505 votes)
“Nothing is more real than the masks we make to show each other who we are.”
“The terrible thing about love is that it takes away your safety net, your balancing pole. Even the tightrope you walk upon will disappear beneath you, yet love expects you to keep walking anyway, arms outstretched, one foot after the other, on nothing more than air.”
“I once heard my mother tell my sister love only comes at a price, there's no way around it. You give up parts of yourself for love, she said. If that's true, I thought, the cost of our love had risen. And despite wanting to be as real to you as you were to me, I couldn't afford us any longer. We were beyond my means.”
“Here I'd been thinking that just because someone spoke English we'd understand each other. But I guess there are languages within languages, and those can be foreign, too, even when you think you're understanding each other.”
“Normal is a setting on a washing machine.”
“Real strength isn’t control. It’s knowing when to let go.”
“As we walked the streets together, cups of bitter coffee warming our hands, the present told its story all around us. The present has no need for us to do anything except exactly what we're doing. It's the past and future that needs our voices in order to live. So as we walked, as you spoke of yourself and your family, as you spoke of your past, I began to think of the future. I began to put us into a story. What happens after that first night is where I live sometimes, when I can gather enough of us together again, and this is how it goes.”
“Tokyo was an origami city folded over and over until something was made of virtually nothing.”
“My heart was defective. It was defecting a little more each day.”
“Uncharted territory,” I said. “The parts on the maps of our lives that we don’t understand. In cartographer’s language they call these places sleeping beauties.”
“You see, that’s what’s so odd, how everyone thinks they’re normal and the truth is no one in the world is normal at all. Isn’t that wonderful?”
“In Japan, people have something called their charm point. A coy smile, a twinkle in the eye, a faultless sense of humour, or a laugh no one has heard in the history of laughs before. The thing that makes others love you.”
“You’re like a candle in a dark room, throwing light backwards and forwards.”
“Buddha had said to make a light of yourself, and if Laurie had anything to say about it, one day he’d glow.”
“That’s what love hotels are for.”
“I know,” says Ai, “but this man comes alone. He says he comes to this room and thinks about the lovers who have been here before him, imagines himself as one of them, imagines himself having someone to hold. He tells whoever is reading this that he’s grateful for the love we share without knowing.”
“He was all surface, written on by those who’d pass him, like a love hotel diary.”
“Philip K. Dick could have been Japanese. He seemed to know a lot about how the world is never what it looks like. That’s pretty much Japan through and through.”
“The young are right to be fearless, she reminded herself. Remember yourself at that age.”
“Never had I heard from my elders that what I thus did was bad. It is true that there are the ten commandments of the Bible; but the commandments are made only to be recited before the priests at examinations, and even then are not as exacting as the commandments in regard to the use of ut in conditional propositions.”
“Sometimes it feels like the whole world is conspiring to destroy my house... "
- Shigure Sohma”
“But if there's nothing wrong with me, he thought, then there is something wrong with the world. And if there is nothing wrong with the world, then I have wasted my life and that is the worst mistake of all.”
“Electronic communities build nothing. You wind up with nothing. We are dancing animals. How beautiful it is to get up and go out and do something. We are here on Earth to fart around. Don't let anybody tell you any different.”
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