Quotes By A Home at the End of the World

“I was not ladylike, nor was I manly. I was something else altogether. There were so many different ways to be beautiful.”


“I am beginning to understand the true difference between youth and age. Young people have time to make plans and think of new ideas. Older people need their whole energy to keep up with what’s already been set in motion.”


“We’d hoped for love of a different kind, love that knew and forgave our human frailty but did not miniaturize our grander ideas of ourselves.”


“I was living my own future and my brother's lost one as well. I represented him here just as he represented me there, in some unguessable other place. His move from life to death might resemble my stepping into the kitchen - into its soft nowhere quality and foggy hum. I breathed the dark air. If I had at that moment a sense of calm kindly death while my heart beat and my lungs expanded, he might know a similar sense of life in the middle of his ongoing death.”


“I wanted a settled life and a shocking one. Think of Van Gogh, cypress trees and church spires under a sky of writhing snakes. I was my father's daughter. I wanted to be loved by someone like my tough judicious mother and I wanted to run screaming through the headlights with a bottle in my hand. That was the family curse. We tended to nurse flocks of undisciplined wishes that collided and canceled each other out. The curse implied that if we didn't learn to train our desires in one direction or another we were likely to end up with nothing. Look at my father and mother today.

I married in my early twenties. When that went to pieces I loved a woman. At both of those times and at other times, too, I believed I had focused my impulses and embarked on a long victory over my own confusion. Now, in my late thirties, I knew less than ever about what I wanted. In place of youth's belief in change I had begun to feel a nervous embarrassment that ticked inside me like a clock. I'd never meant to get this far in such an unfastened condition. (p.142)”


“I’m not this unusual,” she said. “It’s just my hair.”

She looked at Bobby and she looked at me, with an expression at once disdainful and imploring. She was forty, pregnant, and in love with two men at once. I think what she could not abide was the zaniness of her life. Like many of us, she had grown up expecting romance to bestow dignity and direction.

“Be brave,” I told her. Bobby and I stood before her, confused and homeless and lacking a plan, beset by an aching but chaotic love that refused to focus in the conventional way. Traffic roared behind us. A truck honked its hydraulic horn, a monstrous, oceanic sound. Clare shook her head, not in denial but in exasperation. Because she could think of nothing else to do, she began walking again, more slowly, toward the row of trees.”


“Man," he said, "I'm not afraid of graveyards. The dead are just, you know, people who wanted the same things you and I want."
"What do we want?" I asked blurrily.
"Aw, man, you know," he said. "We just want, well, the same things these people wanted."
"What was that?"
He shrugged. "To live, I guess," he said.”


“How are you feeling, man?" he asks me.

"Great," I tell him, and it is purely the truth. Doves clatter up out of a bare tree and turn at the same instant, transforming themselves from steel to silver in the snow-blown light. I know at that moment that the drug is working. Everything before me has become suddenly, radiantly itself. How could Carlton have known this was about to happen? "Oh," I whisper. His hand settles on my shoulder.

"Stay loose, Frisco," he says. "There's not a thing in this pretty world to be afraid of. I'm here."

I am not afraid. I am astonished. I had not realized until this moment how real everything is. A twig lies on the marble at my feet, bearing a cluster of hard brown berries. The broken-off end is raw, white, fleshly. Trees are alive.

"I'm here," Carlton says again, and he is.”


“I suppose at heart it was the haircut that did it; that exploded the ordinary order of things and showed me the possibilities that had been there all along, hidden among the patterns in the wallpaper. In a different age, we used to take acid for more or less the same reason.”


“You don't necessarily meet a lot of people in this world. Not when you let yourself get distracted by music and the passing of hours.”


“It was either the wind or the spirit of the house itself, briefly unsettled by our nocturnal absence but to old to be surprised by the errands born from the gap between what we can imagine and what we can in fact create.”


“Това, което понякога ме тревожеше, бе простата дружелюбност на всичко това. Живеехме в свят на доброта и домашен ред. Понякога се виждах като Снежанка, която живее при джуджетата. Джуджетата се грижели добре за нея. Но колко дълго би оцеляла тя, без надеждата да срещне някой с нейния ръст? Колко ли дълго е мела и кърпила, преди да започне да разбира, че животът ѝ се състои от безопасен рай и от невидими, но проникващи във всичко липси?”


“I knew how I sounded - slow and oafish, like the cousin who gets ditched and goes on playing alone, as if he'd planned it that way. I couldn't quite tell her about the daily beauty, how I didn't tire of seeing 6 a.m. light on the telephone wires. When I was younger, I'd expected to grow out of the gap between the self I knew and what I heard myself say. I'd expected to feel more like one single person.”


“He seemed to believe that from such humble, inert elements as flour, shortening, and drab little envelopes of yeast, life itself could be produced.”


“Unfamiliar insects produced a soft but insistent chirp; a crisp whir like the sound the earth itself might make rolling through the darkness if we all kept quiet enough to hear it. The lights of the condominium complex shone. They were not far away. Still, they looked almost too real and close to touch. They were like holes punched in the night, leaking light from another, more animated world. For a moment I could imagine what it would be like to be a ghost—to walk forever through a silence deeper than silence, to apprehend but never quite reach the lights of home.”


“Така се прави. Създаваш си бъдеще от това, с което разполагаш в момента.”


“He moved in a world of chaos of self, fearful and astonished to be here, right here, alive in a pine-paneled bedroom.”


“Ránk telepedett a csönd, az a fajta jótét hallgatás, amely idÅ‘rÅ‘l idÅ‘re megszakítja idegenek hétköznapi beszélgetését, és lehetÅ‘vè teszi, hogy baj nélkül visszatérjenek életük ismerÅ‘s keretei közé.”


“Nemohol som povedaÅ¥, že som Å¡Å¥astný. Nebolo to také jednoduché ako Å¡Å¥astie. Bol som len prítomný, azda prvý raz za svoju dospelosÅ¥. Tá chvíľa nebola ničím výnimočná. Ale mal som tu chvíľu a mal som ju úplne. Prebývala vo mne. Uvedomil som si, že aj keď umriem, aspoň som spoznal toto:spojenie s vlastným životom, s jeho chybami a ironickými úspechmi.”


“You don’t necessarily meet a lot of people in this world. Not when you let yourself get distracted by music and the passing of hours.”


“I had blundered again, obscurely, and rather than go on worrying over my behavior, I decided to just give in and dislike Alice.”


“I used to want to be a cheerleader,” I told them. “Before I decided to just go to hell.”


“Она была похожа на женщину, которая, чудом уцелев во время бомбежки, красит губы и, надев туфли на каблуках, отправляется прогуляться среди развалин.”


“Ð’ присутствии Джонатана моя жизнь съеживалась до каких-то смехотворных размеров, и я только и ждал, когда он наконец уедет в аэропорт, потому что в тот же миг нарушенный масштаб восстанавливался, и я снова мог ходить по улицам Кливленда, не чувствуя себя беженцем-неудачником.”