The older couple at the next table, whose lingering self regard stems from the memory that they were considered beautiful three or four decades ago.

The few minutes each evening this time of year when the back windows flood with wild monkey light and birdcalls echo through the trees. Something in you lifts and you feel the heaviness of who you are, and the burden you have placed upon yourself and those around you.

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.

A pet hummingbird to sit on your shoulder.

For the first time this morning all three of my crumpled kleenex reached the trash can on the other side of the bed. Maybe this will be the day things finally start to turn around.

fear of heights
fear of depths
fear of open spaces
fear of closed spaces
fear of death
fear of eternity
fear of lab results
fear of victorian armoires

The two primary obstacles to improvement were (1) starting, and (2) continuing.

You learn something new every day. And yet you never learn it.

Parked in front of a liquor store, a Titus Andronicus song comes on and you find yourself sobbing. One of your grandfathers was maudlin, the other erratic and violent. You’ve always oscillated between the two, but lately there’s been no in-between.

I’m not doing that anymore. The contortions required to say something new are too limiting. Truth is found in cliches.

He mumbled something about having gone through “some stuff” and then proceeded with a horrific tale of his afflictions, bereavements, addictions and injuries in the ten years since I had last seen him. It was a miracle he was still alive. Nevertheless, I had to admit, he still looked better than I did.

Your hearing starts to go, and then your vision—preparation for leaving this world.

Your unexamined regard for your own training, professional standing, judgment, and notoriety leads me to question your intelligence.

It took him a while to realize that what he thought of as ‘acting like a jerk’ was what other people called ‘being a jerk.’

The vastness of his inner desolation was grotesquely disproportionate to his worldly significance.

I already had those side effects before taking the medication.

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