Bright Lights, Big City

But what you are left with is a premonition of the way your life will fade behind you, like a book you have read too quickly, leaving a dwindling trail of images and emotions, until all you can remember is a name.

Did you know that ninety percent of your average household dust is composed of human epidermal matter? That's skin, to you."
Perhaps this explains your sense of Amanda's omnipresence. She has left her skin behind.

Eventually you ascend the stairs to the street. You think of Plato's pilgrims climbing out of the cave, from the shadow world of appearances toward things as they really are, and you wonder if it is possible to change in this life. Being with a philosopher makes you think.

Everything becomes symbol and irony when you've been betrayed

Here you are again. All messed up and no place to go.

I'd like to have the kind of house someday where a carousel horse wouldn't be out of place in the living room.

It's the Abstract Expressionist approach to publishing. Throw ink at paper. Hope for pattern to emerge.

Semmihez sincs igazán kedved, mígnem felmerül benned az írás gondolata. A gyötr?dés állítólag az írás nyersanyaga. Írhatnál egy könyvet. Úgy érzed, csak össze kellene szedned magad, hogy leülj az írógéphez, és formába tudnád rendezni mindazt, ami most értelmetlen tragédiák puszta láncreakciójának t?nik. Vagy bosszút állhatnál, a te szemszögedb?l adhatnád el? a történetet, a megsebzett h?s szerepét alakíthatnád. Hamlet a vár fokán. Esetleg teljességgel kilépnél az önéletrajziságból, s alávetnéd magad az egymást pontosan és mégis váratlanul követ? szavak tiszta formai követelményeinek; vagy épp fantáziavilágot teremtenél kicsi sz?rös és nagy pikkelyes lényekkel benépesítve.

She said that certain facts are accessible only from one point of view – the point of view of the creature who experiences them. You think she meant that the only shoes we can ever wear are our own. Meg can’t imagine what it’s like for you to be you, she can only imagine herself being you

Something changed. Somewhere along the line you stopped accelerating.

Tad's mission in life is to have more fun than anyone else in New York City, and this involves a lot of moving around, since there is always the likelihood that where you aren't is more fun than where you are.

Taste ... is a matter of taste (Tad Allagash)

The candor was infectious. It spread back to the beginning of your life. You tried to tell her, as well as you could, what it was like being you. You described the feeling you’d always had of being misplaced, of always standing to one side of yourself, of watching yourself in the world even as you were being in the world, and wondering if this was how everyone felt. That you always believed that other people had a clearer idea of what they were doing, and didn’t worry quite so much about why.

The girl with the shaved head has a scar tattooed on her scalp. It looks like a long, sutured gash. You tell her it is very realistic. She takes this as a compliment and thanks you. You meant as opposed to romantic. “I could use one of those right over my heart,” you say.

The intercom buzzes while you're changing your shirt. You push the Talk button: "Who is it?" "Narcotics squad. We're soliciting donations for children all over the world who have no drugs.

The night has already turned on that imperceptible pivot where two A.M. changes to six A.M. You know this moment has come and gone, but you are not yet willing to concede that you have crossed the line beyond which all is gratuitous damage and the palsy of unraveled nerve endings. Somewhere back there you could have cut your losses, but your rode past that moment on a comet trail of white powder and now you are trying to hang on to the rush.

The problem is, for some reason you think you are going to meet the kind of girl who is not the kind of girl who would be at a place like this at this time of the morning.

There is a shabby nobility in failing all by yourself.

Things happen, people change,' is what Amanda said. For her that covered it. You wanted an explanation, and ending that would assign blame and dish up justice. You considered violence and you considered reconciliation . But what you are left with is a premonition of the way your life will fade behind you, like a book you have read too quickly, leaving a dwindling trail of images and emotions, until all you can remember is a name.

You are a republic of voices tonight. Unfortunately, that republic is Italy.

You are the kind of guy who always hopes for a miracle at the last minute.

You are the stuff of which consumer profiles – American Dream: Educated Middle-Class Model – are made. When you're staying at the Plaza with your beautiful wife, doesn't it make sense to order the best Scotch that money can buy before you go to the theater in your private limousine?

You feel that if only you could make yourself sit down at a typewriter you could give shape to what seems merely a chain reaction of pointless disasters.

You have a bad memory for details. You can tell her the date of the Spanish Armada, but you couldn’t even guess at the balance of your checkbook.

You have friends who actually care about you and speak the language of the inner self. You have avoided them of late. Your soul is as disheveled as your apartment, and until you can clean it up a little you don't want to invite anyone inside.

You keep thinking that with practice you will eventually get the knack of enjoying superficial encounters, that you will stop looking for the universal solvent, stop grieving. You will learn to compound happiness out of small increments of mindless pleasure.

You never stopped thinking of yourself as a writer biding his time in the Department of Factual Verification. But between the job and the life there wasn't much time left over for emotion recollected in tranquillity.

Your brain at this moment is composed of brigades of tiny Bolivian soldiers. They are tired and muddy from their long march through the night. There are holes in their boots and they are hungry. They need to be fed. The need the Bolivian Marching Powder.

Your head is pounding with voices of confession and revelation. You followed the rails of white powder across the mirror in pursuit of a point of convergence where everything was cross-referenced according to a master code. For a second, you felt terrific. You were coming to grips. Then the coke ran out; as you hoovered the last line, you saw yourself hideously close-up with a rolled twenty sticking out of your nose. The goal is receding. Whatever it was. You can't get everything straight in one night.

Your heartbreak is just another version of the same old story.