Once you’ve had a thought there’s no reason to ever have it again.

When he stepped out to get the paper the sun was shining, and he realized for the first time in months that he wasn’t scared. Maybe this was how it was for people. Maybe this was what he could hope for.

Normally he anticipated this cold black season with dread, but this year it suited him. He expected nothing else. It was what he deserved. He was locked in for the siege.

Isn’t it about time you drop that veneer of confident expertise and admit you don’t know anything? You can barely keep your underwear clean, for godsake.

He’d been waiting for a long time to hit bottom—apparently you get a small bounce at the end.

I wonder if you could talk about some of your early influences. I’m thinking in particular of well-known influences.

Well, Dudley Fitts, of course… He was at Andover when I knew him, but I think all the schools had him at one time or another. Of course, he was getting pretty old at that point. His best days were probably behind him. He had some weird theory about transmuting base metals into gold.
And later, at Harvard…

Well, he came with me to Harvard. He followed me around there for a number of years.
You’ve written movingly of your falling-out.

There came a time—inevitably, I suppose—when I felt I had to repudiate his influence. Remember, this was Harvard in the sixties; I was taking a lot of mind-altering drugs, appearing with my friends on David Susskind and so forth, and eventually he became an embarrassment. 
Still, I’m not proud of it; still haven’t quite forgiven myself. I’m working on that. I’ve given myself permission to forgive myself.
To this day, I find myself thinking, “What would Dudley do in this situation?” Or, “What would Dudley think of this?” I try to find myself worthy of his memory. In a way, I guess he’s become my Beatrice—him and Beatrix Potter.
You dangled him by the ankles from your tenth floor window.
That is absolutely not true! Cal Lowell did that. (Shudders) You could always tell when Cal was “going off” — that ghastly smile of his, glasses all steamy…
OK — so I was in the room when it happened…
OK, OK —so I held one of his ankles. But it was Cal’s idea. That was a summer! I’m afraid we all went a little crazy.

In her twenties she was pretty, by her thirties beautiful. And now, finally, she was as ugly as she’d always felt.

Sorry, can’t stop; I have to push this rock up this mountain.

The hero dies at the beginning of the journey
and realizes it at the end.

She was certain she had some form of body dysmorphic disorder, but not of its exact nature. Was she prettier than she feared, or uglier? Fatter, or thinner?

Each meme a chunk of life replaced by an x/y coordinate, gone forever.

Resolutions, born of regret, nightly, always betrayed the next day.

(A) resulting from a curational interest in the subject of the photograph; (B) from a formal interest in the photograph itself; (C) from a formal interest in the results of curational interest.

What’s the problem?
No idea, really. It’s quite the mystery.
How does it manifest?
Microagressions, slamming drawers, muttering, occasionally striking oneself on the head with a crystal paperweight. The usual.
Does it leave a mark?
Only above the hairline.

His dog had lost all respect for him, or could no longer stand his scent. Either way, oil spots on the driveway were of more interest to her, and on the rare occasions they occupied the same room, she abstained from meeting his eye.

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