I have no end of failings as a mother, but I have always followed the rules.
You can call it innocence, or you can call it gullibility, but Celia made the most common mistake of the good-hearted: she assumed that everyone else was just like her.
Built like an oak tree, against which I could pitch my pillow and read; mornings, I could curl into the crook of your branches.
Later you referenced that anecdote to illustrate that my expectations were always preposterously outsized; that my very ravenousness for the exotic was self-destructive, because as soon as I seized upon the otherworldly, it joined this world and didn't count.
For Celia, her whole surround was animate, and each tapioca lump had a dense, nauseating little soul.
The very insurmountability of the task, its very unattractiveness, was in the end what attracted me to it.
I so mixed and matched the planet that you sometimes worried I had no commitments to anything or anywhere, though you were wrong; my commitments were simply far-flung and extremely specific.
Funny how the nature of a normal day is the first memory to fade.
Though surely to avoid attachments for fear of loss is to avoid life.
I was mortified by the prospect of becoming hopelessly trapped in someone else's story.
You were always uncomfortable with the rhetoric of emotion, which is quite a different matter from discomfort with emotion itself.
But I was beginning to intuit that full-blown maturity was not so very different from childhood. Both states in their extreme were all about following the rules.
No eleven-year-old has any real grasp of death. He doesn't have any real concept of other people--that they feel pain, even that they exist. And his own adult future isn't real to him, either. Makes it that much easier to throw away.
Funny how you dig yourself into a hole by the teaspoon.
I was suffering from the delusion that it's the thought that counts.
You were ambitious - for your life, what it was like when you woke up in the morning, and not for some attainment. Like most people who did not answer a particular calling from an early age, you placed work beside yourself; any occupation would fill up your day but not your heart. I liked that about you. I liked it enormously.
But indifference would ultimately commend itself as a devastating weapon.
Now that children don't till your fields or take you in when you're incontinent, there is no sensible reason to have them, and it's amazing that with the advent of effective contraception anyone chooses to reproduce at all.
He didn't like to be seen needing it - as if hunger were a sign of weakness.
In a country that doesn't discriminate between fame and infamy, the latter presents itself as plainly more achievable.
You were patient, but I worried that your very patience tempted Kevin to try it.
But the one thing he could not have imagined is that we were withholding nothing. That there was nothing on the other side of our silly rules; nothing.
Only a country that feels invulnerable can afford political turmoil as entertainment.
He looks uncomfortable, and in this respect the garb is apt. Kevin is uncomfortable; the tiny clothing replicates the same constriction that he feels in his own skin.
Wasn't there only one respectable memento of a man worth keeping, the kind that draws Valentines and learns to spell Mississippi?
More Lionel Shriver Quotations (Based on Topics)
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- We Need to Talk About Kevin
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