I was nineteen years five months old when I fell in love for the first time. This seemed to me a profound, advanced age; never can we anticipate being older than we are, or wiser; if we're exhausted, it's impossible to anticipate being strong; as, in the grip of a dream, we rarely understand that we're dreaming, and will escape by the simplest of methods, opening our eyes.
When Homer Wells saw the stationmaster’s brain stem exposed, he felt that Dr. Larch was busy enough – with both hands – for it to be safe to say what Homer wanted to say. ‘I love you,’ said Homer Wells. He knew he had to leave the room, then – while he could still see the door – and so he started to leave. ‘I love you too, Homer,’ said Wilbur Larch, who for another minute or more could not have seen a blood clot in the brain stem if there had been one to see. He heard Homer say ‘Right’ before he heard the door close. In a while, he could make out the brain stem clearly, there was no clot. ‘Arrhythmia,’ Wilbur Larch repeated to himself. Then he added, ‘Right,’ as if he were now speaking for Homer Wells. Dr. Larch put his instruments aside; he gripped the operating table for a long time.