Why the hell are we conditioned into the smooth strawberry-and-cream Mother-Goose-world, Alice-in-Wonderland fable, only to be broken on the wheel as we grow older and become aware of ourselves as individuals with a dull responsibility in life?
And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.
Can you understand? Someone, somewhere, can you understand me a little, love me a little? For all my despair, for all my ideals, for all that – I love life. But it is hard, and I have so much – so very much to learn.
I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.
I desire the things that will destroy me in the end.
So I began to think maybe it was true that when you were married and had children it was like being brainwashed, and afterward you went about as numb as a slave in some private, totalitarian state.
What horrifies me most is the idea of being useless: well-educated, brilliantly promising, and fading out into an indifferent middle age.
Apparently, the most difficult feat for a Cambridge male is to accept a woman not merely as feeling, not merely as thinking, but as managing a complex, vital interweaving of both.
I am too pure for you or anyone.
What a man is is an arrow into the future and what a woman is is the place the arrow shoots off from.
Why can’t I try on different lives, like dresses, to see which one fits me and is most becoming?
The hardest thing is to live richly in the present without letting it be tainted out of fear for the future or regret for the past.
Later Buddy told me the woman was on a drug that would make her forget she’d had any pain and that when she swore and groaned she really didn’t know what she was doing because she was in a kind of twilight sleep. I thought it sounded just like the sort of drug a man would invent. Here was a woman in terrible pain, obviously feeling every bit of it or she wouldn’t groan like that, and she would go straight home and start another baby, because the drug would make her forget how bad the pain had been, when all the time, in some secret part of her, that long, blind, doorless and windowless corridor of pain was waiting to open up and shut her in again.
I can never read all the books I want; I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself in all the skills I want. And why do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones and variations of mental and physical experience possible in life. And I am horribly limited.
Kiss me, and you will see how important I am.
God, but life is loneliness, despite all the opiates, despite the shrill tinsel gaiety of “parties” with no purpose, despite the false grinning faces we all wear. And when at last you find someone to whom you feel you can pour out your soul, you stop in shock at the words you utter – they are so rusty, so ugly, so meaningless and feeble from being kept in the small cramped dark inside you so long. Yes, there is joy, fulfillment and companionship – but the loneliness of the soul in its appalling self-consciousness is horrible and overpowering.
If you expect nothing from anybody, you’re never disappointed.
I have the choice of being constantly active and happy or introspectively passive and sad. Or I can go mad by ricocheting in between.
Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing.
The silence depressed me. It wasn’t the silence of silence. It was my own silence.
I like people too much or not at all. I’ve got to go down deep, to fall into people, to really know them.
There is nothing like puking with somebody to make you into old friends.
Dying is an art, like everything else. I do it exceptionally well. I do it so it feels like hell. I do it so it feels real. I guess you could say I’ve a call.
Let me live, love and say it well in good sentences.
Nothing stinks like a pile of unpublished writing.
I never feel so much myself as when I’m in a hot bath.
I know pretty much what I like and dislike; but please, don’t ask me who I am.
I must get my soul back from you; I am killing my flesh without it.
It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn’t know what I was doing in New York.
There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them.
I felt very still and empty, the way the eye of a tornado must feel, moving dully along in the middle of the surrounding hullabaloo.
I love people. Everybody. I love them, I think, as a stamp collector loves his collection. Every story, every incident, every bit of conversation is raw material for me.
Remember, remember, this is now, and now, and now. Live it, feel it, cling to it. I want to become acutely aware of all I’ve taken for granted.
If the moon smiled, she would resemble you.
You leave the same impression
Of something beautiful, but annihilating.
I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, “This is what it is to be happy.
What did my fingers do before they held him?
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;
I lift my eyes and all is born again.
I too want to be important. By being different. And these girls are all the same.
I write only because
There is a voice within me
That will not be still.
If they substituted the word ‘Lust’ for ‘Love’ in the popular songs it would come nearer the truth.
When you give someone your whole heart and he doesn’t want it, you cannot take it back. It’s gone forever.
I am afraid. I am not solid, but hollow. I feel behind my eyes a numb, paralyzed cavern, a pit of hell, a mimicking nothingness.
But life is long. And it is the long run that balances the short flare of interest and passion.
I didn’t want any flowers, I only wanted
to lie with my hands turned up and be utterly empty.
How free it is, you have no idea how free.
Perhaps some day I’ll crawl back home, beaten, defeated. But not as long as I can make stories out of my heartbreak, beauty out of sorrow.
And when at last you find someone to whom you feel you can pour out your soul, you stop in shock at the words you utter— they are so rusty, so ugly, so meaningless and feeble from being kept in the small cramped dark inside you so long.