Sunday, April 13, 2008

My mother's sadness

We denied whole rooms, years, weathers.

"I! HAVE! NOT! BEEN! UNHAPPY! MY WHOLE! LIFE!" "But you're only seven," I said.

My mother asked what he saw. "The same thing I always see," he said. "Which is?" "A blur," he said. "Then why do it?" she asked. "In case my eyes ever heal," he said. "So I'll know what I've been looking at."

I know there is a moral to this story, but I don't know what it is.

My father was not a famous russian writer.

... I always wanted to say, but never said: Love me less.

Everything is remade as reason.

I thought that the pages on the floor were words she would never be able to use again, and I tried to tape them back in where they belonged, out of fear that one day she would be left silent.

One thing I am never going to do when I grow up is fall in love, drop out of college, learn to subsist on water and air, have a species named after me, and ruin my life.

A hundred things can change your life; a letter is one.

If it weren't for her, there would never have been an empty space, or the need to fill it.

And so she always returns, no matter how often she leaves or how far she goes, appearing soudlessly behind him and covering his eyes with her hands, spoiling for him anyone who could ever come after her.

Her kiss was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering.

... this man believed - and had believed for as long as he could remember - that part of him was made of glass. He imagined a wrong move in which he fell and shattered in front of her. he pulled away, even though he didn't want to. He smiled at Alma's feet, hoping she'd understand. They talked for hours.

... and then he almost didn't say the two sentences he'd been meaning to say for years: Part of me is made of glass, and also, I love you.

Later, much later, he found that he was unable to relieve himself of two regrets: one, that when she leaned back he saw in the lamplight that the necklace he made had scratched her throat, and, two, that in the most important moment of his life he had chosen the wrong sentence.

From The History of Love, by Nicole Krauss.

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