Thank you…for gracing my life with your lovely presence, for adding the sweet measure of your soul to my existence.
If men only felt about death as they do about sleep, all terrors would cease. . . Men sleep contentedly, assured that they will wake the following morning. They should feel the same about their lives.
Failures plagued me. Things I had omitted or ignored, neglected. What I should have given and hadn’t. I felt the biting pang of every unfulfillment.
Because there was only one thing worse than dying. And that was knowing you were going to die. And where. And how. (“Death Ship”)
…Not that it was unjust; not that the scales were forced out of balance. Where there had been good, it showed as clearly. Kindnesses, accomplishments, all those were present, too.
God, how impossible life is without money. Nothing can ever overcome it, it’s everything when it’s anything. How can I write in peace with endless worries of money, money, money? (“Disappearing Act”)
I’m sitting in my office trying to squeeze a story from my head. It is that kind of morning when you feel like melting the typewriter into a bar of steel and clubbing yourself to death with it. (“Advance Notice”)
God help me, he thought. God help all us poor wretches who could create and find we must lose our hearts for it because we cannot afford to spend our time at it. (“Mad House”)
It was more than a spider. It was every unknown terror in the world fused into wriggling, poison-jawed horror. It was every anxiety, insecurity, and fear in his life given a hideous, night-black form.
This, he knew, was courage, the truest, ultimate courage, because there was no one here to sympathize or praise him for it. What he felt was felt without the hope of commendation.
Perhaps jungle life, despite physical danger, was a relaxing one. Surely it was free of the petty grievances, the disparate values of society. It was simple, devoid of artifice and ulcer-burning pressures.
All of us have a path to follow and the path begins on earth.
After a while, though, even the deepest sorrow faltered, even the most penetrating despair lost its scalpel edge.
You can get used to horror, he thought. When it has lost immediacy and is no longer pungent and has become a steady diet. When it has degraded to a chain of mind-numbing events. (“Lover When You’re Near Me”)
She sounded angry. That was the way she’d been as long as he’d known her. If she became ill, it irritated her. She was annoyed by sickness. She seemed to regard it as a personal affront.
How quickly one accepts the incredible if only one sees it enough!
Quiet is here and all in me. (“Dress of White Silk”)
Everyone has something to hide. And if they couldn’t hide it the world would be in a lot worse mess than it is.
The foraging for food and water, the struggle for life in a world without masters, housed in a body that man had made dependent on himself.
And suddenly he thought, I’m the abnormal one now. Normalcy was a majority concept, the standard of many and not the standard of just one man.
What would a Mohammedan vampire do if faced with a cross?
Shall I kill her now? Shall I not even investigate, but kill her and burn her?His throat moved. Such thoughts were a hideous testimony to the world he had accepted; a world in which murder was easier than hope.
…Those who’ve marred their appearance in any way by their actions in life aren’t forced to witness that marring. If they were, they’d become self-conscious and be unable to concentrate on improving themselves.
No, by God, he had no intention of going on like a blind man, plodding down a path of brainless, fruitless existence until old age or accident took him. Either he found the answer or he ditched the whole mess, life included.
I looked at all the people, feeling sorry for them. They were still subordinate to clock and calendar. Absolved of that, I stood becalmed.
Again he shook his head. The world’s gone mad, he thought. The dead walk about and I think nothing of it. The return of corpses has become trivial in import. How quickly one accepts the incredible if only one sees it enough!
What condemnation could possibly be more harsh than one’s own, when self-pretense is no longer possible?
The vampire was real. It was only that his true story had never been told.
As her analyst had told her: the deeper buried the distress, the further into the body it went. The digestive system was about as far as it could go to hide.
That’s what was wrong with drinking too much. You became immune to drunken delights. There was no solace in liquor. Before you got happy, you collapsed.