“When I was a girl, I was terribly sure trees and flowers were the same as birds or people. That they thought things, and talked among themselves. And we could hear them if we really tried. It was just a matter of emptying your head of all other sounds. Being very quiet and listening very hard. Sometimes I still believe that. But one can never get quiet enough.”—Truman Capote, In Cold Blood
“I understand. That’s the trouble. I understand. I’ll understand all the time. All day and all night. Especially all night. I’ll understand. You don’t have to worry about that.”—Ernest Hemingway, Winner Take Nothing
“It doesn’t matter how old you are. Everyone ages. Everyone can learn a trade and pay taxes and have a family. But that’s not growin’ up. It’s about how you act when your shit gets shaken up.”—Craig Silvey, Jasper Jones
“I have this strange feeling that I’m not myself anymore. It’s hard to put into words, but I guess it’s like I was fast asleep, and someone came, disassembled me, and hurriedly put me back together again. That sort of feeling.”—Haruki Murakami, Sputnik Sweetheart
“She had a strange feeling in the pit of her stomach, like when you’re swimming and you want to put your feet down on something solid, but the water’s deeper than you think and there’s nothing there.”—Julia Gregson, East of the Sun
Your memory used to be a scream heard over oceans, but now it is muddled speech in a coffee shop full of thoughts. I miss you less, you slip through my grasp. I let go of the chain when I tried to tell you everything, let go when everything wasn’t what you wanted to believe in.
So love’s not enough. I think that’s the gist of what you were saying. I think that’s the answer. I think when he kisses me he’s trying to erase her like I’m trying to erase you & I choke on him because you never gave me the chance to lose my breath with you, only my heart or mind or other things we can live without while they stay missing.
This is not the world I was promised, dark & harsh, a place where soul mates really are just fodder for romance novels, but I’ve survived, became well-versed in the art of making do.
“We’re all going to die, all of us, what a circus. That alone should make us love each other, but it doesn’t. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing.”—Charles Bukowski, The Captain is Out to Lunch and the Sailors have taken over the Ship
“A hundred times I was upon the point of killing myself; but still I loved life. This ridiculous foible is perhaps one of our most fatal characteristics; for is there anything more absurd than to wish to carry continually a burden which one can always throw down? To detest existence and yet to cling to one’s existence? In brief, to caress the serpent which devours us, till he has eaten our very heart?”—Voltaire, Candide