Numbness Quotes (displaying: 1 - 13 of 13 quotes )
He tried to think of something to say but could not. He's had this feeling before, beyond the numbness and the dull despair. The world shrinking down about a raw core of parsible entities. The names of things slowly following those things into oblivion. Colors. The names of birds. Things toe eat. Finally the names of things one believed to be true. More fragile than he would have thought. How much was gone already? The sacred idiom shorn of its referents and so of its reality. Drawing down like something trying to preserve heat. In time to wink out forever.
During the terrible years of the Yekhov terror I spent seventeen months in the prison queues in Leningrad. One day someone ‘identified’ me. Then a woman with lips blue with cold who was standing behind me, and of course had never heard of my name, came out of the numbness which affected us all and whispered in my ear—(we all spoke in whispers there): ‘Could you describe this?’ I said, ‘I can!’ Then something resembling a smile slipped over what had once been her face.
I lay in my bed a few minutes later, resigned as the pain finally made its appearance. It was a crippling thing, this sensation that a huge hole had been pushed through my chest, excising my most vital organs and leaving ragged, unhealed gashes around the edges that continued to throb and bleed despite the passage of time. Rationally, I knew my lungs must still be intact, yet I gasped for air and my head spun like my efforts yielded me nothing. My heart must have been beating, too, but I couldn't hear the sound of my pulse in my ears; my hands felt blue with cold. I curled inward, hugging my ribs to hold myself together. I scrambled for my numbness, my denial, but it evaded me. And yet, I found I could survive. I was alert, I felt the pain--the aching loss that radiated out from my chest, sending wracking waves of hurt through my limbs and head--but it was managable. I could live through it. It didn't feel like the pain had weakened over time, rather that I'd grown strong enough to bear it.
The sky was so heartless and dark, and her body, her head, and particularly those damned thirsty trousers, felt clogged with Oceanus Nox, n, o, x. At every slap and splash of cold wild salt, she heaved with anise-flavored nausea and there was an increasing number, okay, or numbness in her neck and arms. As she began losing track of herself, she thought it proper to inform a series of receding Lucettes -- telling them to pass it on and on in a trick-crystal regression -- that what death amounted to was only a more complete assortment of the infinite fractions of solitude.
Kill her for me," she said in that whiny little-girl voice. Diego took a step toward me, wearing an expression that told me he was only too happy to oblige his lady love."Oh, what?" I said. I wasn't even scared. I didn't care anymore. The numbness in my heart had pretty much taken over my whole body. "You always do what she tells you? You know, we have a word for that now. It's called being whipped.
I was not allowed to think of him. That was something I tried to be very strict about. Of course I slipped; I was only human. But I was getting better, and so the pain was something I could avoid for days at a time now. The trade-off was the never-ending numbness. Between pain and nothing, I'd chosen nothing.
Can you remember, Acte...how much easier our belief in Nero made life for us in the old days? And can you remember the paralysis, the numbness that seized the whole world when Nero died? Didn't you feel as if the world had grown bare and colorless all of a sudden? Those people on the Palatine have tried to steal our Nero from us, from you and me. Isn't splendid to think that we can show them they haven't succeeded? They have smashed his statues into splinters, erased his name from all the inscriptions, they even replaced his head on that huge statue in Rome with the peasant head of old Vespasian. Isn't it fine to teach them that all that hasn't been of the slightest use? Granted that they have been successful for a few years. For a few years they have actually managed to banish all imagination from the world, all enthusiasm, extravagance, everything that makes life worth living. But now, with our Nero, all these things are back again.