The Taylors have this gift for imperturbable presence. They are not nervous talkers. The Harrises, on the other hand, have always been constant talkers, not so much for the sake of entertainment or information but because if a silence caught and held for too long they might have fallen into a bottomless sullen discord, a frozen mutual quietude that could never be broken because there never had been and never would be a shared topic of sufficient reviving urgency (not at least one either of his parents could bear to broach), and so they needed to hydroplane forward together on an ever-replenished slick of remark and opinion...
- Joseph Stefano,
- Simeon Strunsky,
- Grace Paley,
- Oscar Hammerstein,
- Dr. Seuss,
- Anne Morrow Lindbergh,
- Bruce Feirstein
The kiss was innocent--innocent enough--but it was also full of something not unlike what Virginia wants from London, from life; it was full of a love complex and ravenous, ancient, neither this nor that. It will serve as this afternoon's manifestation of the central mystery itself, the elusive brightness that shines from the edges of certain dreams; the brightness which, when we awaken, is already fading from our minds, and which we rise in the hope of finding, perhaps today, this new day in which anything might happen, anything at all.
She, Laura, likes to imagine (it's one of her most closely held secrets) that she has a touch of brilliance herself, just a hint of it, though she knows most people probably walk around with similar hopeful suspicions curled up like tiny fists inside them, never divulged. She wonders, while she pushes a cart through the supermarket or has her hair done, it the other women aren't all thinking, to some degree or other, the same thing: Here is the brilliant spirit, the woman of sorrows, the woman of transcendent joys, who would rather be elsewhere, who has consented to perform simple and essentially foolish tasks, to examine tomatoes, to sit under a hair dryer, because it is her art and her duty.
Yes," she answers and does not move. She might, at this moment, be nothing but a floating intelligence; not even a brain inside a skull, just a presence that perceives, as a ghoast might. Yes, she thinks, this is probably how it must feel to be a ghost. It's a little like reading, isn't it-that same sensation of knowing people, settings, situations, without playing any particular part beyond that of the willing observer.