I am almost a hundred years old; waiting for the end, and thinking about the beginning.There are things I need to tell you, but would you listen if I told you how quickly time passes?I know you are unable to imagine this.Nevertheless, I can tell you that you will awake someday to find that your life has rushed by at a speed at once impossible and cruel. The most intense moments will seem to have occurred only yesterday and nothing will have erased the pain and pleasure, the impossible intensity of love and its dog-leaping happiness, the bleak blackness of passions unrequited, or unexpressed, or unresolved.
Things Happen and once they start happening you pretty much just to hold on for dear life and see where they drop you when they stop.
And still the brain continues to yearn, continues to burn, foolishly, with desire. My old man's brain is mocked by a body that still longs to stretch in the sun and form a beautiful shape in someone else's gaze, to lie under a blue sky and dream of helpless, selfless love, to behold itself, illuminated, in the golden light of another's eyes.
On the warm stone walls, climbing roses were just coming into bloom and great twisted branches of honeysuckle and clematis wrestled each other as they tumbled up and over the top of the wall. Against another wall were white apple blossoms on branches cut into sharp crucifixes and forced to lie flat against the stone. Below, the huge frilled lips of giant tulips in shades of white and cream nodded in their beds. They were almost finished now, spread open too far, splayed, exposing obscene black centers. I've never had my own garden but I suddenly recognized something in the tangle of this one that wasn't beauty. Passion, maybe. And something else. Rage.
If you haven't been in a war and are wondering how long it takes to get used to losing everything you think you need or love, I can tell you the answer is no time at all.
Your writing voice is the deepest possible reflection of who you are. The job of your voice is not to seduce or flatter or make well-shaped sentences. In your voice, your readers should be able to hear the contents of your mind, your heart, your soul.
The soldier had stamped my passport FAMILY in heavy black capital letters and I checked it now for reassurance and because I liked how fierce the word looked
We couldn’t believe our luck, and for a little while it felt like we were on some big train rolling down a hill, and all we cared about was how great it felt to be going fast.
How had he got here? Only a few minutes ago he'd been a kid, riding his bike to school, collecting comics, doing homework and watching TV. Over the years, a few trappings of adulthood had insinuated themselves into his life withoutmaking significant inroads. Real adult life seemed to exist over there, somewhere as distant and unreachable as Uranus. He had no idea how people crossed over to this place, or why - the demands of being grown up seemed exhausting. Look how I work all the time. See my silky girlfriend. Watch me exchange money for food. Admire my blood pressure.
He was a peculiar sight. Tears rolling down his face, shouting to drown the sound of the singing rabbit; he said he needed help, pointed to a chicken, handed over some money, grabbed his parcel and bolted out the door in panic.Boys, thought the butcher.Drugs, thought the woman.Justin Case, thought Dorothea.
He didn't remember ever being less weird than he was right now. In fact, as far as he could tell he had always been more or less exactly as weird as this. if not more so.
When you read a book, the neurons in your brain fire overtime, deciding what the characters are wearing, how they’re standing, and what it feels like the first time they kiss. No one shows you. The words make suggestions. Your brain paints the pictures.
I'm a century old, an impossible age, and my brain has no anchor in the present. Instead it drifts, nearly always to the same shore. Today, as most days, it is 1962. The year I discovered love.
I'm sorry I started all this by trying to fly and I'd take it back if I could but I can't, so please think of it from my point of view: if you die I will have a dead brother and it will be me instead of you who suffers.Justin thought of his brother on that warm summer day, standing up on the windowsill holding both their futures, light and changeable as air, in his outstretched arms.Of course, Justin thought, I'm part of his fate just as he's part of mine. I hadn't considered it from his point of view. Or from the point of view of the universe, either. It's just a playing field crammed full of cause and effect, billions of dominoes, each knocking over billions more, setting off trillions of actions every second. A butterfly flaps its wings in Africa and my brother in Luton thinks he can fly.The child nodded. A piano might fall on your head, he said, but it also might not. And in the meantime you never know. Something nice might happen.
A piano might fall on your head, he said, but it also might not. And in the meantime you never know. Something nice might happen.
In the meantime, Charlie learnt to fly. Dorothea fell in love. Peter discovered a new star. And a great number of things happened to Justin. Hundreds of millions of ordinary, unexpected, and occasionally quite astonishing things.And that was his fate.
Someday I'll understand more of these things. At the moment I just have to think them through. Not everything you want to know is explained properly on Google.
Look, I say. You can't just let your thoughts float around in the ether and hope eventually they'll connect with something. It's absurd.No, it's not, Gil says. Lots of good things happen that way. Penicillin. Teflon. Smart dust. Something happens that you weren't expecting and it shifts the outcome completely. You have to be open to it. When I open my brain, I tell him, things bounce around and fall out. They don't connect with anything. Maybe I haven't got enough points of reference stored up yet.You're young, he says, that's probably it. When I let my thoughts float around, I trust that they'll latch on to something useful in the end or make an association I wouldn't necessarily have predicted. I'm trusting that they'll find the right thought to complete, all by themselves. The right bit of fact to ping. You have to trust your brain sometimes.
She frowned at him. 'You are in love with solitude.''Is there a better cure for the world than solitude?
Each evening she held his head in her hands and ran her aching fingers thru the thick ruff of fur around his neck. He burrowed against her, sighing devotion.