Don't let the bastards grind you down.
Nothing changes instantaneously: in a gradually heating bathtub you'd be boiled to death before you knew it.
I marvel again at the nakedness of men's lives: the showers right out in the open, the body exposed for inspection and comparison, the public display of privates. What is it for? What purposes of reassurance does it serve? The flashing of a badge, look, everyone, all is in order, I belong here. Why don't women have to prove to one another that they are women? Some form of unbuttoning, some split-crotch routine, just as casual. A doglike sniffing.
There is more than one kind of freedom, said Aunt Lydia. Freedom to and freedom from. In the days of anarchy, it was freedom to. Now you are being given freedom from. Don't underrate it.
It's his word against the Commander's, unless he wants to head a posse. Kick in the door, and what did I tell you? Caught in the act, sinfully Scrabbling. Quick, eat those words.
We lived, as usual by ignoring. Ignoring isn't the same as ignorance, you have to work at it.
Faith is only a word, embroidered.
On these occasions I read quickly, voraciously, almost skimming, trying to get as much into my head as possible before the next long starvation. If it were eating it would be gluttony of the famished; if it were sex it would be a swift furtive stand-up in an alley somewhere.
I stand on the corner, pretending I am a tree.
There is something powerful in the whispering of obscenities, about those in power. There's something delightful about it, something naughty, secretive, forbidden, thrilling. It's like a spell, of sorts. It deflates them, reduces them to the common denominator where they can be dealt.
It's impossible to say a thing exactly the way it was, because of what you say can never be exact, you always have to leave something out, there are too many parts, sides, crosscurrents, nuances; too many gestures, which could mean this or that, too many shapes which can never be fully described, too many flavors, in the air or on the tongue, half-colors, too many.
We slept in what had once been the gymnasium.
Fatigue is here, in my body, in my legs and eyes. That is what gets you in the end. Faith is only a word, embroidered.
One and one and one and one doesn't equal four. Each one remains unique, there is no way of joining them together. They cannot be exchanged, one for the other. They cannot replace each other.
I used to think of my body as an instrument, of pleasure, or a means of transportation, or an implement for the accomplishment of my will.
There's always something to occupy the inquiring mind.
I've learned to do without a lot of things. If you have a lot of things, said Aunt Lydia, you get too attached to this material world and you forget about spiritual values.
We thought we had such problems. How were we to know we were happy?
He stops, looks up at this window, and I can see the white oblong of his face. We look at each other. I have no rose to toss, he has no lute. But it's the same kind of hunger.
Ordinary, said Aunt Lydia, is what you are used to. This may not seem ordinary to you now, but after a time it will. It will become ordinary.
I want to be held and told my name. I want to be valued, in ways that I am not; I want to be more than valuable. I repeat my former name; remind myself of what I once could do, how others saw me. I want to steal something
These albums were thick with babies, but my replicas thinned out as I grew older, as if the population of my duplicates had been hit with some plague.
Knowing was a temptation. What you don't know won't tempt you.
We yearned for the future. How did we learn it, that talent for insatiability?
Here and there are worms, evidence of the fertility of the soil, caught by the sun, half dead; flexible and pink, like lips.
Perhaps he's reached that state of intoxication which power is said to inspire, the state in which you believe you are indispensable and can therefore do anything, absolutely anything you feel like, anything at all.
I would like to believe this is a story I'm telling. I need to believe it. I must believe it. Those who can believe that such stories are only stories have a better chance. If it's a story I'm telling, then I have control over the ending. Then there will be an ending, to the story, and real life will come after it. I can pick up where I left off.
These days I script whole fights, in my head, and the reconciliations afterwards, too.
Moira was like an elevator with open sides. She made us dizzy.
We've learned to see the world in gasps.
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