Secretly, I still get proud of the ways Rosie and I loved each other. We had no one else to learn from—none of our parents were shining examples of relationship success—so we learned this from each other: when someone you love needs you to, you can get a hold of your five-alarm temper, get a hold of the shapeless things that scare you senseless, act like an adult instead of the Cro-Magnon teenager you are, you can do a million things you never saw coming.
It would be mortifying to the feelings of many ladies, could they be made to understand how little the heart of man is affected by what is costly or new in their attire.
It must be very improper that a young lady should dream of a gentleman before the gentleman is first known to have dreamt of her.
If the relationship can’t survive the long term, why on earth would it be worth my time and energy for the short term?
I used to think soul mates were two of the same. I used to think I was supposed to look for somebody that was just like me. I don’t believe in soul mates anymore and I’m not looking for anything. But if I did believe in them, I’d believe your soul mate was somebody who had all the things you didn’t, that needed all the things you had. Not somebody who’s suffering from the same stuff you are.
I think it’s the same with all relationships between a man and a woman. They can survive anything so long as some kind of basic humanity exists between the two people. When all kindness has gone, when one person obviously and sincerely doesn’t care if the other is alive or dead, then it’s just no good.
I listen to the things people want out of love these days and they blow my mind. I go to the pub with the boys from the squad and listen while they explain, with minute precision, exactly what shape a woman should be, what bits she should shave how, what acts she should perform on which date and what she should always or never do or say or want; I eavesdrop on women in cafés while they reel off lists of which jobs a man is allowed, which cars, which labels, which flowers and restaurants and gemstones get the stamp of approval, and I want to shout, Are you people out of your tiny minds?
Human relationships didn’t work anyhow. Only the first two weeks had any zing, then the participants lost their interest. Masks dropped away and real people began to appear: cranks, imbeciles, the demented, the vengeful, sadists, killers. Modern society had created its own kind and they feasted on each other. It was a duel to the death—in a cesspool.