We Poor Cousins don't care at all though, except for when we're on welfare, broke, starving, unable to buy cool high-tops for our children or pay for their university tuition or purchase massive fourth homes on private islands with helicopter landing pads. But whatever, we descendants of the Girl Line may not have wealth and proper windows in our drafty homes but at least we have rage and we will build empires with that, gentlemen.
poor quotescousins quotescare quotes for quoteswelfare quotesbroke quotesstarving quotesunable quotesbuy quotescool quotes hightops quoteschildren quotespay quotesuniversity quotestuition quotes purchase quotesmassive quotesfourth quoteshomes quotesprivate quotesislands quoteshelicopter quoteslanding quotespads quotesdescendants quotesgirl quotes line quoteswealth quotesproper quoteswindows quotesdrafty quotes homes quotesrage quotesbuild quotesempires quotesgentlemen quotes
Imagine a psychiatrist sitting down with a broken human being saying, I am here for you, I am committed to your care, I want to make you feel better, I want to return your joy to you, I don't know how I will do it but I will find out and then I will apply one hundred percent of my abilities, my training, my compassion and my curiosity to your health - to your well-being, to your joy. I am here for you and I will work very hard to help you. I promise. If I fail it will me my failure, not yours. I am the professional. I am the expert. You are experiencing great pain right now and it is my job and my mission to cure you from your pain. I am absolutely committed to your care... I know you are suffering. I know you are afraid, I love you. I want to cure you and I won't stop trying to help you. You are my patient. I am your doctor. You are my patient. Imagine a doctor phoning you at all hours of the day and night to tell you that he or she had been reading some new stuff on the subject of whatever and was really excited about how it might help you. Imagine a doctor calling you in an important meeting and saying listen, I'm so sorry to bother you but I"ve been thinking really hard about your problems and I'd like to try something completely new. I need to see you immediately! I"m absolutely committed to your care! I think this might help you. I won't give up on you.
imagine quotespsychiatrist quotessitting quotesbroken quoteshuman quotescommitted quotescare quotesmake quotesfeel quotesreturn quotesjoy quotesfind quotesapply quoteshundred quotespercent quotesabilities quotestraining quotescompassion quotescuriosity quoteshealth quoteswellbeing quotesjoy quoteswork quoteshard quotespromise quotesfail quotesfailure quotesprofessional quotesexpert quotesexperiencing quotesgreat quotespain quotesjob quotesmission quotescure quotespain quotesabsolutely quotescare quotessuffering quotesafraid quoteslove quotesstop quotespatient quotesdoctor quotesdoctor quotesphoning quoteshours quotesday quotesnight quotesreading quotesstuff quotessubject quotesexcited quotescalling quotesimportant quotesmeeting quoteslisten quotesbother quotesive quotesthinking quotesproblems quotescompletely quotesimmediately quotesim quotescare quotesgive quotes
I was beginning to understand something I couldn't articulate. It was a jazzy feeling in my chest, a fluttering, a kind of buzzing in my brain. Warmth. Life. The circulation of blood. Sanguinity. I don't know. I understood the enormous risk of telling the truth, how the telling could result in every level of hell reigning down on you, your skin scorched to the bone and then bone to ash and then nothing but a lingering odour of shame and decomposition, but now I was also beginning to understand the new and alien feeling of taking the risk and having the person on the other end of the telling, the listener, say: Bad shit at home? You guys are running away? Yeah, I said. I understand, said, Noehmi.
beginning quotesunderstand quotesarticulate quotesjazzy quotesfeeling quoteschest quotesfluttering quoteskind quotesbuzzing quotesbrain quoteswarmth quoteslife quotescirculation quotesblood quotessanguinity quotesunderstood quotesenormous quotesrisk quotestelling quotestruth quotesresult quoteslevel quoteshell quotesreigning quotesskin quotesscorched quotesbone quotesash quoteslingering quotesodour quotesshame quotesdecomposition quotesalien quotestaking quotesperson quotesend quotestelling quoteslistener quotesbad quotesshit quoteshome quotesguys quotesrunning quotesyeah quotesunderstand quotesnoehmi quotes
Irma, she said. But I had started to walk away. I heard her say some more things but by then I had yanked my skirt up and was running down the road away from her and begging the wind to obliterate her voice. She wanted to live with me. She missed me. She wanted me to come back home. She wanted to run away. She was yelling all this stuff and I wanted so badly for her to shut up. She was quiet for a second and I stopped running and turned around once to look at her. She was a thimble-sized girl on the road, a speck of a living thing. Her white-blond hair flew around her head like a small fire and it was all I could see because everything else about her blended in with the countryside. He offered you a what? she yelled. An espresso! I yelled back. It was like yelling at a shorting wire or a burning bush. What is it? she said. Coffee! I yelled. Irma, can I come and live- I turned around again and began to run.
irma quotesstarted quoteswalk quotesheard quotesthings quotesyanked quotesskirt quotesrunning quotesroad quotesbegging quoteswind quotesobliterate quotesvoice quoteswanted quoteslive quotesmissed quotesback quoteshome quotesrun quotesyelling quotesstuff quotesbadly quotesshut quotesquiet quotesstopped quotesturned quotesthimblesized quotesgirl quotesroad quotesspeck quotesliving quotesthing quoteswhiteblond quoteshair quotesflew quoteshead quotessmall quotesfire quotesblended quotescountryside quotesoffered quotesyelled quotesespresso quotesyelled quotesback quotesshorting quoteswire quotesburning quotesbush quotescoffee quoteslive quotesbegan quotesrun quotes
We drove down Corydon avenue towards my mother's apartment. How are you doing, she asked me? Fine, fine, I said. I wanted to tell her that I felt I was dying from rage and that I felt guilty about everything and that when I was a kid I woke up every morning singing, that I couldn't wait to leap out of bed and rush out of the house into the magical kingdom that was my world, that dust made visible in sunbeams gave me real authentic joy, that my sparkly golden banana-seated bike with the very high sissy bar took my breath away, the majesty of it, that it was mine, that there was no freer soul in the world than me at age nine, and that now I wake up every morning reminding myself that control is an illusion, taking deep breaths and counting to ten trying to ward off panic attacks and hoping that my own hands hadn't managed to strangle me while I slept.
drove quotescorydon quotesavenue quotesmothers quotesapartment quotesasked quotesfine quotesfine quoteswanted quotesfelt quotesdying quotesrage quotesguilty quoteskid quoteswoke quotesmorning quotessinging quoteswait quotesleap quotesbed quotesrush quoteshouse quotesmagical quoteskingdom quotesworld quotesdust quotesmade quotesvisible quotessunbeams quotesgave quotesreal quotesauthentic quotesjoy quotessparkly quotesgolden quotesbananaseated quotesbike quoteshigh quotessissy quotesbar quotesbreath quotesmajesty quotesmine quotesfreer quotessoul quotesworld quotesage quoteswake quotesreminding quotescontrol quotesillusion quotestaking quotesdeep quotesbreaths quotescounting quotesten quotesward quotespanic quotesattacks quoteshoping quoteshands quotesmanaged quotesstrangle quotesslept quotes
Our dreams are little stories or puzzles that we must solve to be free, Sebastian said. He was reading out loud from Wilson's notebook. My dream is me offering me a solution to the conundrum of my life. My dream is me offering me something that I need and my responsibility to myself is to try to understand what it means. Our dreams are a thin curtain between survival and extinction.
dreams quotesstories quotespuzzles quotessolve quotesfree quotessebastian quotesreading quotesloud quoteswilsons quotesnotebook quotesdream quotesoffering quotessolution quotesconundrum quoteslife quotesresponsibility quotesunderstand quotesmeans quotesthin quotescurtain quotessurvival quotesextinction quotes
I heard Tash say: Nomi, you're sad man. Get a grip. Walk away. What have I taught you? And I thought: You taught me that some people can leave and some can't and those who can will always be infinitely cooler than those you can't and I'm one of the ones who can't because you're one of the ones who did and there's this old guy in a wool suit sitting in an empty house who has no one but me now thank you very, very, very much.
The other day I found her passport in her drawer when I was putting away my dad's laundered handkerchiefs. I wish I hadn't. For the purpose of my story, she should have it with her. I sat on my dad's bed and flipped through page after empty page. No stamps. No exotic locales. No travel-worn smudges or creases. Just the ID information and my mother's black-and-white photo which if it were used in a psychology textbook on the meaning of facial expressions would be labelled: Obscenely, heartbreakingly hopeful.
day quotesfound quotespassport quotesdrawer quotesputting quotesdads quoteslaundered quoteshandkerchiefs quotespurpose quotesstory quotessat quotesbed quotesflipped quotespage quotesempty quotespage quotesstamps quotesexotic quoteslocales quotestravelworn quotessmudges quotescreases quotesid quotesinformation quotesmothers quotesblackandwhite quotesphoto quotespsychology quotestextbook quotesmeaning quotesfacial quotesexpressions quoteslabelled quotesobscenely quotesheartbreakingly quoteshopeful quotes
I had a thought, on the way home from the rock field, that the things we don't know about a person are the things that make them human, and it made me feel sad to think that, but sad in that reassuring way that some sadness has, a sadness that says welcome home in twelve different languages.
Writing helps me to create order out of chaos and make sense of things. It helps me to understand what I've experienced, what I've felt and seen, so it becomes a little easier to handle. On the other hand, I don't want it to be just a cathartic experience, an outpouring of grief or whatever it is.
A writer is always, always searching, even against her will, against all her better instincts, for the thread of a story. Everything is fodder. Everything is fuel. You can feel it coming on like the tingling of a sore throat. The brain never stops struggling to reshape every experience and feeling into a coherent narrative.
I remember a very nurturing, safe environment: everybody knew who I was, who my parents were, who my grandparents were, what part of Russia we were from originally. That was a really comforting feeling. Non-Mennonites, when they see that aspect of it, think it's a beautiful thing, and it is, but there's so much going on besides.
There are so many things in my life that would be completely not on within the conservative church. And yet I think of myself as a reasonably decent human being. With all sorts of flaws, you know, but still reasonably decent. If I did believe in Heaven and Hell, I would really, honestly, believe I was going to go to Heaven.
When everything does seem out of control, writing fiction is a way I can order that chaos and restore some sort of meaning. I like the playful aspect of writing fiction. You know how it is when we are kids and we make up our worlds: You be this guy, and I am going to be this guy, and we are going to go slay dragons.