You can have anything you want, as long as you accept that there is a price and that you will have to pay it.
When you’re too close to people, when you spend too much time with them and love them too dearly, sometimes you can’t see them.
This is the one thing I hope: that she never stopped. I hope when her body couldn’t run any farther she left it behind like everything else that tried to hold her down, she floored the pedal and she went like wildfire, streamed down night freeways with both hands off the wheel and her head back screaming to the sky like a lynx, white lines and green lights whipping away into the dark, her tires inches off the ground and freedom crashing up her spine.
Some people are little Chernobyls, shimmering with silent, spreading poison: get anywhere near them and every breath you take will wreck you from the inside out.
Regardless of what the advertising campaigns may tell us, we can’t have it all. Sacrifice is not an option, or an anachronism; it’s a fact of life. We all cut off our own limbs to burn on some altar. The crucial thing is to choose an altar that’s worth it and a limb you can accept losing. To go consenting to the sacrifice.
Our entire society’s based on discontent: people wanting more and more and more, being constantly dissatisfied with their homes, their bodies, their decor, their clothes, everything. Taking it for granted that that’s the whole point of life, never to be satisfied. If you’re perfectly happy with what you’ve got—specially if what you’ve got isn’t even all that spectacular—then you’re dangerous. You’re breaking all the rules, you’re undermining the sacred economy, you’re challenging every assumption that society’s built on.
Now that’s a concept that’s always fascinated me: the real world. Only a very specific subset of people use the term, have you noticed? To me, it seems self-evident that everyone lives in the real world—we all breathe real oxygen, eat real food, the earth under our feet feels equally solid to all of us. But clearly these people have a far more tightly circumscribed definition of reality, one that I find deeply mysterious, and an almost pathologically intense need to bring others into line with that definition.
It took my breath away, that evening. If you’ve ever dreamed that you walked into your best-loved book or film or TV program, then maybe you’ve got some idea how it felt: things coming alive around you, strange and new and utterly familiar at the same time; the catch in your heartbeat as you move through the rooms that had such a vivid untouchable life in your mind, as your feet actually touch the carpet, as you breathe the air; the odd, secret glow of warmth as these people you’ve been watching for so long, from so far away, open their circle and sweep you into it.
I wanted to tell her that being loved is a talent too, that it takes as much guts and as much work as loving; that some people, for whatever reason, never learn the knack.