She was tired of beating around the bush in a phone call that had lasted too long. Finally she told him, “Pick your choices, because you’re either insensitive and careless, a sadistic asshole or just afraid and embarrassed—but which one is it?”
When was the first time I laid eyes on you and noticed? That last part is crucial, as I feel you were fluttering around me for awhile before I connected that sensation I was being watched with the exact pair of eyes that were watching me.
I was always entranced by your word-ramble poetry, and the beautiful ideas that would fall out of your mouth. But outside of those conversations, we barely spoke to each other at all.
She couldn’t stop going back over certain things she’d done—persecuting herself, and then forgiving herself again by turns. It felt as though she were free-falling through an abyss of self-analysis.
Of course her best friends were all gay men. They were always saying funny things like: “They should never have hired Sienna Miller to play Edie Sedgewick – Lady Gaga is already playing Edie Sedgewick for free.”
At least, if I were going to be an asshole, I should have been an eloquent one. Nothing’s more pathetic than a bumbling asshole further frustrated and agitated by just how inarticulate they are.
The doctor diagnosed him as being anxious about anxiety. “If there’s nothing to worry about,” she said, “you’ll worry about what to worry about, or wonder what it is you should be worrying about so you don’t get the rug pulled out from under you later.”
These two things are at war: the desire to be settled, established, accomplished in life, the satisfaction of having realized one’s potential in life and then the fear of being trapped, having squandered that potential, or at least simple disgust at the structuring of life that you could only realize one of your potential selves; and then people make you feel so small because they think that’s who you are, your identity, when really you know you could’ve been so many things. You make possibility reality, and there’s comfort in that; but there’s also a sense of loss: what was dynamic has, in a way, become static.
She had a tendency to learn about problems she couldn’t solve and stress herself out over them, and so she decided it was best to take on a job she didn’t really care about in order to decompress for awhile. The result was that she still got stressed—only now it was about things that were completely meaningless and absurd.
The book was a love story that made her cry and feel more than any other book had made her feel in a long time. She was a little startled by the realization that if anyone had ever loved her with the kind of overwhelming love described in the book, it was no man, but her mother.
He asked if he had done something to offend her. Without batting an eyelash, she answered: “Give me a timeframe.”
Sometimes, with a warm kind of gratitude to no one and nothing in particular, I think to myself, “This is so comfortable!” But then I am haunted by the momentary afterthought that the comfort of this, for me, cannot last.
She knew the man who broke her heart would be at her best friend’s wedding, and she wished to God she could show up with a fabulous Romanian fiancé of obscure royal descent who would give her ex the evil eye and dance too close to her at the reception. An unfortunate booking accident at the local hotel would have them staying next door to each other, and the ex would toss and turn for several miserable hours trying to ignore the animal screams of ecstasy audible through the paper-thin walls.
She said she was only interested in reciprocity, and he asked her to define the term. She answered without hesitation: “The price of my surrender is yours.”
He wore red crocodile skin loafers, listened to Elton John, and watched “Queer As Folk” religiously. Still, he couldn’t comprehend why no one seemed terribly surprised when he finally came out.
Two of the art professors were married and could each (but never both of them together) be found at all hours of the day and night working in the studio on their own projects. The students could never decide if their marriage was really enviable, really unhealthy, or perhaps both.