I knew that until I truly believed that whatever I did was the exact right thing, I’d keep doing the wrong thing.
A lot of times when I think I’m being self-sufficient, I’m really just learning to live without the things that I need.
But if you keep something hidden away, all tied up, it’s hard to summon it when you really need it.
It was beautiful, no lie, to watch a person burn.
My mom had once told me that being a mother was made up of “reget and then forgetting about that regret sometimes.”
In my sunglasses, I felt like a movie star. I couldn’t see myself, which helped the fantasy.
“I’m okay,” I said, though I liked being asked.
Maybe raising children was just giving them the things you loved most in the world and hoping that they loved them, too.
“Oh wow,” Roland said, impressed, and I felt silly, but not enough to stop showing off. I tried to remember the last time I’d done something and received an oh wow from another human being. Years, probably. Maybe longer. I hadn’t even gotten an oh wow when I gave in and did weird stuff in bed for guys I didn’t care about.
Pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease, and then the ball fell through the hoop, the luckiest shot I’d seen in a long time. It was true happiness I felt, that I felt for Bessie, because I knew what it felt like to make that shot, to get what you asked for, and how rare that was in life.
People don’t care about anyone but themselves. They don’t notice anything. They are never looking at what’s interesting. They’re always looking at themselves.
For a second, there was that weird flicker in her eyes, that wickedness that I loved, that I wanted to live inside. A wicked child was the most beautiful thing in the world.
When Rolan watched you do anything, even open a can of peaches, he looked like he was cheering you on at mile marker nineteen of your marathon.
They hadn’t caught fire in a long time; at least it seemed like a long time to me. And when you are weird, when your surroundings become quiet, you think maybe you aren’t quite so fucked up. You think, Why was it so hard before?
This was my life, a good part of it, hating other people and then hating myself for not being better than them.
“It was so easy to be in love with you back then. And I liked it, because as long as I was in love you, I didn’t have to be in love with anyone else.”
“We don’t stay anywhere for very long,” Bessie admitted.
“Well,” my mom said, “it’s better than just staying in one place your entire life.”
I feel bad about stuff. It may take longer than it does a normal person, but I do feel bad.
“Who would judge you?” she asked. “Who do you know who’s done a good job? Name one parent that you think made it through without fucking their kid up in some specific way.”
“I can’t think of anyone right now,” I replied.
“There isn’t anyone,” she said, getting irritated, wanted me to be grateful, wanting to make up for whatever she had done to me.