Quotes By Man Walks Into a Room

“He spoke of human solitude, about the intrinsic loneliness of a sophisticated mind, one that is capable of reason and poetry but which grasps at straws when it comes to understanding another, a mind aware of the impossibility of absolute understanding. The difficulty of having a mind that understands that it will always be misunderstood.”


“Tell me, was I the sort of person who took your elbow when cars passed on the street, touched your cheek while you talked, combed your wet hair, stopped by the side of the road in the country to point out certain constellations, standing behind you so that you had the advantage of leaning and looking up?”


“How was it possible to wake up every day and be recognizable to another when so often one was barely recognizable to oneself?”


“When you are young, you think it's going to be solved by love. But it never is. Being close -- as close as you can get -- to another person only makes clear that impassable distance between you."

[…]
"I don't know. If being in love only made people more lonely, why would everyone want it so much?"

"Because of the illusion. You fall in love, it's intoxicating, and for a little while you feel like you've actually become one with the other person. Merged souls, and so on. You thing you'll never be lonely again. Only it doesn't last and soon you realize you can only get so close, and you end up brutally disappointed, more alone that ever, because the illusion - the hope you'd held on to all those years - has been shattered."

[…]

"But see, the incredible thing about people is that we forget." Ray continued. "Time passes and somehow the hope creeps back and sooner or later someone else comes along and we think this is the one. And the whole thing starts all over again. We go through our lives like that, and either we just accept the lesser relationship - it may not be total understanding, but it's pretty good - or we keep trying for that perfect union, trying and failing, leaving behind us a trail of broken hearts, our own included. In the end, we die as alone as we were born, having struggled to understand others, to make ourselves understood, but having failed in what we once imagined was possible.”


“To touch and feel each thing in the world, to know it by sight and by name, and then to know it with your eyes closed so that when something is gone, it can be recognized by the shape of its absence. So that you can continue to possess the lost, because absence is the only constant thing. Because you can get free of everything except the space where things have been.”


“But see, the incredible thing about people is that we forget," Ray continued. "Time passes and somehow the hope creeps back and sooner or later someone else comes along all over again. We go through our lives like that, and either we just accept the lesser relationship -- it may not be total understanding, but it's pretty good -- or we keep trying for the perfect union, trying and failing, leaving behind us a trail of broken hearts, our own included. In the end, we die as alone as we were born, having struggled to understand others, to make ourselves understood, but having failed in what we once imagined was possible.”


“He could hear Donald saying something else but it didn't matter anymore what, because then and there it occurred to him that maybe the emptiness he'd been living with all this time hadn't really been emptiness at all, but loneliness gone unrecognized. How can a mind know how alone it is until it brushes up against some other mind? A single mark had been made, another person's memory imposed onto his mind, and now the magnitude of his own loss was impossible for Samson to ignore. It was breathtaking. He sank to his knees...It was as if a match had been struck, throwing light on just how dark it was.”


“Sometimes I get the feeling that we're just a bunch of habits. The gestures we repeat over and over, they're just our need to be recognized. Without them, we'd be unidentifiable. We have to reinvent ourselves every minute.”


“At night the sky is pure astronomy.”


“Because you can get free of everything except the space where things have been”


“When you're young, you think it's going to be solved by love. But it never is. Being close-as close as you can get-to another person only makes it clear the impassable distance between you.”


“The misery of other people is only an abstraction [...] something that can be sympathized with only by drawing from one's own experiences. But as it stands, true empathy remains impossible. And so long as it is, people will continue to suffer the pressure of their seemingly singular existence.”


“The woman who later became his wife was sleeping in his bed, her face buried in the pillows and her feet crossed on top of each other like a child's. He watched her sleep and struggled to see her as she was, but what he saw instead were her muscles and bones. He saw right through the skin to where her femur connected to her tibia by way of the ligaments, to the hair web of nerves and the delicate forest of her lungs, to the abstract heart pumping blood through her arteries. It terrified him how easily these systems could fail her.”


“It would mark the end of a year that he might look back on as hands, a pivot between two lines. Or not: maybe enough time, would pass that eventually he would look back on his life, all of it, as a series of events both logical and continuous.”


“The kiss stayed there with no place to go, no sensory reserve that could absorb it and file it away as a common act of intimacy, a thousand times received. He knew what Anna was asking: whether you could love someone without habits.”


“The malpractice for advice-giving is like five times as much as a craniotomy.”


“The clarity was startling and Samson wondered whether he was imagining these moments. Not that they hadn't happened at all, but that they had been embellished by details from elsewhere, fragments that survived the obliteration of other memories, vagrant data that gravitated and stuck to what was left to remember. But in the end he rejected this idea. The memories were too perfect: take one detail away and they collapsed into disorder.”


“Somewhere in the far north of Canada there wuld be snow, falling soundlessly overy the Beaufort Sea, falling over the Artic without a soul to see it. What kind of weather was that, Samson wondered, and how was one to use this information except as proof that the world was too much to bear?”


“Once, coming out of the cool, dark lab into the heat of the desert sun, he'd briefly wondered if the emptiness he'd been so staunchly guarding was, not the absence of memory, but actually a memory itself: a recollection of the blazing white potential that had existed before he was born. The emptiness an infant possesses in the very first moments, when consciousness begins like the answer to a question never asked.”