Monday, September 07, 2009

I felt like a skyscraper with dynamite on every floor.

All quotes from the book 'Handle With Care' by Jodi Picoult

Things break all the time. Glass, and dishes, and fingernails. Cars and contracts and potato chips. You can break a record, a horse, a dollar. You can break the ice. There are coffee breaks and lunch breaks and prison breaks. Day breaks, waves break, voices break. Chains can be broken. So can silence, and fever. Promises break. Hearts break.

It's not that I don't feel like breaking down. It's that someone's got to be the strong one, so that you all don't have to be.

Folks who are trying to be kind would rather do it with macaroni-and-cheese bake than any personal involvement. You hand off a serving dish and you've done your job. No need to get personally involved, and your conscience is clean. Food is the currency of aid.

Facebook is supposed to be a social network, but the truth is, most people I know who use it spend so much time online tweaking our profiles and writing graffiti on other people's walls or poking them that we never leave our computers to actually socially interact.

People who didn't talk about their problems got to pretend they didn't have any. People who discussed what was wrong, on the other hand, fought and ached and felt miserable.

When you showed someone how you felt, it was fresh and honest. When you told someone how you felt, there might be nothing behind the words but habit or expectation.

Maybe it did take a crisis to get to know yourself; maybe you needed to get whacked hard by life before you understood what you wanted out of it.

Families were never what you wanted them to be. We all wanted what we couldn't have: the perfect child, the doting husband, the mother who'd let us go. We lived in our own grown-up dollhouses completely unaware that, at any moment, a hand might come in and change around everything we'd become accustomed to.

Maybe that's what we do to the people we love: we take shots in the dark and realize too late we've wounded the people we are trying to protect.

It was one thing to make a mistake; it was another to keep making it. I knew what happened when you let yourself get close to someone, when you started to believe they loved you; you'd be disappointed. Depend on someone, and you might as well admit you're going to be crushed, because when you really needed them, they wouldn't be there. Either that, or you'd confide in them and you added to their problems. All you ever really had was yourself, and that sort of sucked if you were less than reliable.

I told myself that if I didn't care, this wouldn't have hurt so much. Surely that proved that I was alive and human and all those touchy-feely things, for once and for all. But that wasn't a relief, not when I felt like a skyscraper with dynamite on every floor.

When you don't have what you want, you have to want what you have.

Love wasn't about sacrifice, and it wasn't about falling short of someone's expectations. By definition, love made you better and good enough; it redefined perfection to include your traits, instead of excluding them.

People always say that, when you love someone, nothing in the world matters. But that's not true, is it? You know, and I know, that when you love someone, everything in the world matters a little bit more.

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