How Should a Person Be?

All I'm saying is: if there's a pool and people are in the pool and you're not in the pool, you want to be in the pool just like those people in the pool. It's just a fact of nature.

Also, I knew that if I said a single word, I would burst into tears, as I always did, always had, my entire life, whenever anything difficult had to be discussed. It always was too scary; a threat I had felt since childhood that at any moment a relationship might disappear with a poof because of something little I had done or said.

Aside from blow jobs, though, I'm through with being the perfect girlfriend, just through with it. Then if he's sore with me, let him dump my ass. That will just give me more time to be a genius.

Because people who live their lives this way can look forward to a single destiny, shared with others of this type - though such people do not believe they represent a type, but feel themselves distinguished from the common run of man, who they see as held down by the banal anchors of the world. But while others actually build a life in which things gain meaning and significance, this is not true of the puer. Such a person inevitably looks back on life as it nears its end with a feeling of emptiness and sadness, aware of what they have built: nothing. In their quest for a life without failure, suffer, or doubt, that is what they achieve: a life empty of all those things that make a human life meaningful. And yet they started off believing themselves too special for this world!

But - and here is the hope - there is a solution for people of this type, and it's perhaps not the solution that could have been predicted. The answer for them is to build on what they have begun and not abandon their plans as soon as things start getting difficult. They must work - without escaping into fantasies about being the person who worked. And I don't mean work for its own sake, but they must choose work that begins and ends in a passion, a question that is gnawing at their guts, which is not to be avoided but must be realized and live through the hard work and suffering that inevitably comes with the process.

They must reinforce and build on what is in their life already rather than always starting anew, hoping to find a situation without danger. Puers don't need to check themselves into analysis. If they can just remember this - It is their everlasting switching that is the dangerous thing, and not what they choose - they might discover themselves saved. The problem is the puer ever anticipates loss, disappointment, and suffering - which they foresee at the very beginning of every experience, so they cut themselves off at the beginning, retreating almost at once in order to protect themselves. In this way, they never give themselves to life - living in constant dread of the end. Reason, in this case, has taken too much from life.

They must give themselves completely to the experience! One things sometimes how much more alive such people would be if they suffered! If they can't be happy, let them at least be unhappy - really, really unhappy for once, and then the might become truly human!

Better to have your failure right in front of you than the fantasy in your head.

boundaries, Sheila. Barriers. We need them. They let you love someone. Otherwise you might kill them.

But two years into our parties, I surveyed the scene from the corner and wondered, 'Why are we having these parties?' What were we making, coming together like that? We were trying to prove that we had everything because we had parties, but I began to feel like we had nothing but parties. If anyone from the future could look back on what we were building, I was sure they would say, 'That could only have been built by slaves

But two years into our parties, I surveyed the scene from the corner and wondered, Why are we having these parties? What were we making, coming together like that? We were trying to prove that we had everything because we had parties, but I began to feel like we had nothing but parties. If anyone from the future could look back on what we were building, I was sure they would say, That could only have been built by slaves.

He is arrogantly proud of his solution and satisfied with his efforts. This response is typical of all puers. Such people will suddenly tell you they have another plan, and they always do it the moment things start getting difficult. But it’s their everlasting switching that’s the dangerous thing, not what they choose … People who live their lives this way can look forward to a single destiny … [They] feel themselves distinguished from the common run of man, who they see as held down by the banal anchors of the world. But while others actually build a life in which things gain in meaning and significance, this is not true of the puer. Such a person inevitably looks back on life as it nears its end with a feeling of emptiness and sadness, aware of what they have built: nothing. In their quest for a life without failure, suffering, or doubt, that is what they achieve: a life empty of all those things that make a human life meaningful … They must work—without escaping into fantasies about being the person who worked. And I don’t mean work for its own sake, but they must choose work that begins and ends in a passion, a question that is gnawing at their guts, which is not to be avoided but must be realized and lived through the hard work and suffering that inevitably comes with the process.

I did value Margaux, but only now did I understand something I had not before: Margaux was not like the stars in the sky. There was only one Margaux — not Margauxs scattered everywhere, all throughout the darkness. If there was only one of her, there was not going to be a second one. Yet in some strange way, somewhere inside me, I had always believed that if I lost Margaux, I could go out and find another Margaux.

Now it seemed so horrible to me. And didn’t it explain everything? But I had never wanted to be one person, or even believed that I was one, so I had never considered the true singularity of anyone else. I said to myself, You are only given one. The one you are given is the one to put a fence around. Life is not a harvest. Just because you have an apple doesn’t mean you have an orchard. You have an apple. Put a fence around it. Once you have put a fence around everything you value, then you have the total circle of your heart.

If now in some ways I drink too much, it’s not that I lack a reverence for the world.

I had to be so ugly that the humiliation I brought on myself would humiliate him, too. I would have to strip every last filament of golf from my skin - all the gold I had put there - and strip the fold from his skin, so that none of the gold on him would reflect onto me, and so we would be in utter darkness together.

I know that character exists from the outside alone. I know that inside the body there's just temperature.

In their quest for a life without failure, suffering, or doubt, that is what they achieve: a life empty of all those things that make a human life meaningful.

It has long been known to me that certain objects want you as much as you want them. These are the ones that become important, the objects that you hold dear. The others fade from your life entirely. You wanted them, but they did not want you in return.

It is their everlasting switching that is the dangerous thing, not what they choose

Life is not a harvest. Just because you have an apple doesn’t mean you have an orchard. You have an apple. Put a fence around it. Once you have put a fence around everything you value, then you have the total circle of your heart.

Most people live their entire lives with their clothes on, and even if they wanted to, couldn’t take them off. Then there are those who cannot put them on. They are the ones who live their lives not just as people but as examples of people. They are destined to expose every part of themselves, so the rest of us can know what it means to be a human.

Most people live their entire lives with their clothes on, and even if they wanted to, couldn't take them off. Then there are those who cannot put them on. They are the ones who live their lives not just as people but as examples of people. They are destined to expose every part of themselves, so the rest of us can know what it means to be a human.

Most people lead their private lives. They have been given a natural modesty that feels to them like morality, but it's not -- it's luck. They shake their heads at the people with their clothes off rather than learning about human life from their example, but they are wrong to act so superior. Some of us have to be naked, so the rest can be exempted by fate.

Now I was tired. All I wanted was to rest. The six days of Creation each have their own morning and evening, thereby showing their beginning and end. Only the seventh day has neither morning nor evening. It stands outside of Creation , belonging to the divine order alone. I wanted a day without morning or evening. I wanted a day of rest.

There are certain people who do not feel like they were raised by wolves, and they are the ones who make the world tick. They are the ones who keep everything functioning so the rest of us can worry about what sort of person we should be.

There are people whose learning is so great, they seem to inhabit a different realm of species-hood entirely. Somehow, they appear untroubled by the nullness. They are filled up with history and legends and beautiful poetry and all the gestures of all the great people down through time. When they talk, they are carried on a sea of their own belonging. It is like they were born to be fathers to us all.

There's so much beauty in this world that it's hard to begin. There are no words with which to express my gratitude at having been given this one chance to live - if not Live. Let other people frequent the nightclubs in their tight-ass skirts and Live. I'm just sitting here, vibrating in my apartment, at having been given this one chance to live.

this daddy longlegs...became like a pet,' I offered. 'I remember that.'
'Not something you could control, but something you could love. But if it had left the bathroom and invaded the bedroom, you probably wouldn't have liked it so much. But keeping it in the bathroom allowed you to love it. Keeping it in there was a sign that you loved it...Barriers. We need them. They let you love someone. Otherwise you might kill them.

We had always talked easily and well, and as we carried our drinks away, I asked him what he thought there was in us that forced us to tell stories to ourselves about our own lives - to make up stories that had such an arbitrary resemblance to our actual living. Why did we pick certain dots and connect them and not others? Why did we find it so irresistible to make ourselves into tragic figures with tragic flaws which were responsible for our pain? Maybe unfortunate things just happened; maybe there was just bad luck. Why did it seem like our greatest failures were caused by perversions in our souls?

'Perhaps it's evolutionary,' he said. ' If we saw ourselves in realistic proportions - how tiny we are, and how little ability we have to avoid the suffering that's an inevitable part of life - maybe we would be too discouraged to survive.'

'Or maybe,' I said, 'the truth is so diffuse that our minds cannot even hold on to it.

We tried not to smile, for smiling only encourages men to bore you and waste your time.

When I strip away my dreams, what I imagine to be my potential, all the things I haven't said, what I imagine I feel for other people in the absence of my expressing it, all the rules I've made for myself that I don't follow--I see that I've done as little as anyone else in this world to deserve the grand moniker I.

When we are all in a culture together, we share a secret with each other, and this is true of every civilization down through time. Not even their art, not even their laws, their artifacts, their literature, their philosophies, their wars, their stone bowls can ever reveal that civilization's secret. Even today, with all we've built that will outlast us, we will not leave behind the secret that binds us. In this way, we are like any family at the core of which there is a secret that, even if someone asked, one one in that family -- not even the snitchy, untrustworthy types -- could ever reveal. In this way, we are all like a family together in the present, and no future civilization will every know our secret - the secret of our existence together -- just as we do not know the secrets that have lived and died with the past.

When we are all in a culture together, we share a secret with each other, and this is true of every civilization down through time. Not even their art, not even their laws, their artifacts, their literature, their philosophies, their wars, their stone bowls can ever reveal that civilization's secret. Even today, with all we've built that will outlast us, we will not leave behind the secret that binds us. In this way, we are like any family at the core of which there is a secret that, even if someone asked, one one in that family -not even the snitchy, untrustworthy types - could ever reveal. In this way, we are all like a family together in the present, and no future civilization will every know our secret - the secret of our existence together - just as we do not know the secrets that have lived and died with the past.

You have to know where the funny is, and if you know where the funny is, you know everything.