Both of them felt it: that day was an island….On the mainland, people went about their business, eating the Times, glancing through coffee and oatmeal, as they walked the gangway into an original dream of attentiveness, as if a day’s pleasure could concentrate them as much as suffering. —Sun, Donald Hall
Let me tell you: I’m trying to seize the fourth dimension of this instant-now so fleeting that it’s already gone because it’s already become a new instant-now that’s also already gone. Every thing has an instant in which it is. The want to grab hold of the is of the thing. These instants passing through the air I breathe: in fireworks they explode silently in space. I want to possess the atoms of time. And to capture the present, forbidden by its very nature.
—Agua Viva, Clarice Inspector
When the sun grew so bright, when it was not nearly but merely blinding, she could do nothing but succumb to her senses and wait. And this is how it will be, with a sense of humor.
—Newton North High School 1989 yearbook inscription, Lisa Rosman
You know your friend really loves you when, upon hearing you’re at serious loose ends, she takes a ring off her finger and slips it on yours. “It protected me when I needed it,” she says. “Now it’ll be your shield.” “Let’s keep giving it back to each other when we need it,” I say, and we smile. Eve Babitz says there is always a moment when a man develops enough confidence and ease in a relationship to bore you to death. What I treasure most about the women in my life is we never stop courting each other–never stop seeing each other, never stop remembering each other’s stories, never stop beaming that Mother Mary blue.
Yesterday a 23-year old-woman asked me what I’d tell my younger self if I could go back in time. “Moisturize your neck,” I answered promptly. “My neck is like Dorian Gray’s picture.” After she walked away, clearly disappointed, I realized I’d turned into one of the Erma Bombeck paperbacks I’d scoop up at yard sales as a child. Or am I now a Nora Ephron? Whatever, man. The grass is always greener over the septic tank.