A man could rant and smash and grapple with the State Police, and still the sprinklers whirled at dusk on every lawn and the television droned in every living room.
The place had filled him with a sense of wisdom hovering just out of reach, of unspeakable grace prepared and waiting just around the corner, but he'd walked himself weak down its endless blue streets and all the people who knew how to live had kept their tantalizing secret to themselves.
And they fell asleep like children.
The Revolutionary Hill Estates had not been designed to accommodate a tragedy. Even at night, as if on purpose, the development held no looming shadows and no gaunt silhouettes. It was invincibly cheerful, a toyland of white and pastel houses whose bright, uncurtained windows winked blandly through a dappling of green and yellow leaves … A man running down these streets in desperate grief was indecently out of place.
Are artists and writers the only people entitled to lives of their own?
They could lie drowsing now under the sound of kindly voices in the living room, a sound whose intricately rhythmic rise and fall would slowly turn into the shape of their dreams. And if they came awake later to turn over and reach with their toes for new cool places in the sheets, they knew the sound would still be there-one voice very deep and the other soft and pretty, talking and talking, as substantial and soothing as a blue range of mountains seen from far away.
Being alone has nothing to do with how many people are around.
You're painfully alive in a drugged and dying culture.
Hard work, is the best medicine yet devised for all the ills of man- and of woman.
He couldn't even tell whether he was angry or contrite, whether it was forgiveness he wanted or the power to forgive.
He had won but he didn't feel like a winner.
He took each fact as it came and let it slip painlessly into the back of his mind, thinking, Okay, okay, I'll think about that one later; and that one; and that one; so that the alert, front part of his mind could remain free enough to keep him in command of the situation.
He was happy enough to stay in this jumbled, lively place where the drinks were cheap and the band was loud and he could feel the inner peace that comes from knowing that all your clothes are new and perfectly fitted.
In avoiding specific goals he had avoided specific limitations. For the time being the world, life itself, could be his chosen field.
Intelligent, thinking people could take things like this in their stride, just as they took the larger absurdities of deadly dull jobs in the city and deadly dull homes in the suburbs. Economic circumstances might force you to live in this environment, but the important thing was to keep from being contaminated. The important thing, always, was to remember who you were.
No one forgets the truth; they just get better at lying.
Our ability to measure and apportion time affords an almost endless source of comfort.
People did change, and a change could be a bloom as well as a withering...
She cried because she'd had such high, high hopes about the Wheelers tonight and now she was terribly, terribly, terribly disappointed. She cried because she was fifty six years old and her feet were ugly and swollen and horrible; she cried because none of the girls had liked her at school and none of the boys had liked her later; she cried because Howard Givings was the only man who'd ever asked her to marry him, and because she'd done it, and because her only child was insane.
She just happened to feel like it. Wasn't that after all, the only reason there was? Had she ever had a less selfish, more complicated reason for doing anything in her life?
More Richard Yates Quotations (Based on Topics)
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More Richard Yates Quotations (By Book Titles)
- Revolutionary Road
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