In her eyes was the reflection of everything that mattered: old diners with neon signs, vinyl records, celluloid film, drive-in movies, Pears soap, department stores, her brother’s old blue Camaro car and the smell of coal dust in the rainy sky of a summer lightning storm.
…And all the nice bright colors of the past that she thought were gone for good came flowing back into her life like a wave of nostalgia flooding over her, reds, yellows, blues and greens drenching her gray memories in psychedelic ribbons and glittering fireworks.
…She hoped that the world would always hold those miniscule yet beautiful, deep and mysterious traces of memory.
You can miss places. You can miss people.
Just know that what you’re really missing is the way things were. And even if you could go there again…. see them again…. you can’t go back.
They’re not the same.
You’re not the same.
The loss of them changed you.
Have you ever noticed how as an adult, all the bright colors go out of your life? Now that I’m not a kid anymore, things always look gray, like a clothesline draped with laundry that’s been washed too many times and left to stand in the wind. I guess that’s what growing up is… it’s a fading photograph.
That's most interesting. But I was no more a mind-reader then than today. I
was weeping for an altogether different reason. When I watched you dancing that day, I saw something else. I saw a new world coming rapidly. More
scientific, efficient, yes. More cures for the old sicknesses. Very good. But a
harsh, cruel world. And I saw a little girl, her eyes tightly closed, holding to her breast the old kind world, one that she knew in her heart could not
remain, and she was holding it and pleading, never to let her go. That is what I saw. It wasn't really you, what you were doing, I know that. But I saw you and it broke my heart. And I've never forgotten.
Over the years I'd lodged him in the permanent past, my pluperfect lover, put him on ice, stuffed him with memories and mothballs like a hunted ornament confabulating with the ghost of all my evenings. I'd dust him off from time to time and then put him back on the mantelpiece. He no longer belonged to earth or to life. All I was likely to discover at this point wasn't just how distant were the paths we'd taken, it was the measure of loss that was going to strike me--a loss I didn't mind thinking about in abstract terms but which would hurt when stared at in the face, the way nostalgia hurts long after we've stopped thinking of things we lost and may never have cared for.
It is an illusion that youth is happy, an illusion of those who have lost it; but the young know they are wretched for they are full of the truthless ideal which have been instilled into them, and each time they come in contact with the real, they are bruised and wounded. It looks as if they were victims of a conspiracy; for the books they read, ideal by the necessity of selection, and the conversation of their elders, who look back upon the past through a rosy haze of forgetfulness, prepare them for an unreal life. They must discover for themselves that all they have read and all they have been told are lies, lies, lies; and each discovery is another nail driven into the body on the cross of life.
I have always been a reader; I have read at every stage of my life, and there has never been a time when reading was not my greatest joy. And yet I cannot pretend that the reading I have done in my adult years matches in its impact on my soul the reading I did as a child. I still believe in stories. I still forget myself when I am in the middle of a good book. Yet it is not the same. Books are, for me, it must be said, the most important thing; what I cannot forget is that there was a time when they were at once more banal and more essential than that. When I was a child, books were everything. And so there is in me, always, a nostalgic yearning for the lost pleasure of books. It is not a yearning that one ever expects to be fulfilled.
when we were kids laying around the lawn on our bellies we often talked about how we'd like to die and we all agreed on the same thing; we'd all like to die fucking (although none of us had done any fucking) and now that we are hardly kids any longer we think more about how not to die and although we're ready most of us would prefer to do it alone under the sheets now that most of us have fucked our lives away.
Maybe it was the alcohol, maybe it was the truth, maybe I didn't want things to turn abstract, but I felt I should say it, because this was the moment to say it, because it suddenly dawned on me that this was why I had come, to tell him 'You are the only person I'd like to say goodbye to when I die, because only then will this thing I call my life make any sense. And if I should hear that you died, my life as I know it, the me who is speaking with you now, will cease to exist.
The times you lived through, the people you shared those times with — nothing brings it all to life like an old mix tape. It does a better job of storing up memories than actual brain tissue can do. Every mix tape tells a story. Put them together, and they can add up to the story of a life.
His talent was as natural as the pattern that was made by the dust on a butterfly's wings. At one time he understood it no more than the butterfly did and he did not know when it was brushed or marred. Later he became conscious of his damaged wings and of their construction and he learned to think and could not fly any more because the love of flight was gone and he could only remember when it had been effortless.