1. Static
  2. “And good luck to you, tortoise,” whispered the hare, leaning in close. “And just so you know—nobody knows this, and if you tell anyone I said it, I’ll deny it—but I’m not really a hare. I’m a rabbit.” This wasn’t true—the hare just said it to fuck with him.”
  3. “Also, to be honest, it would be bad timing for me to lose all my friends today of all days because it was Sunday, and Sunday nights always made me a little lonely for some reason. It always seemed to be windier on Sunday nights, too”
  4. “He was just standing there, staring at me with that same smile from before, only not so smug anymore, like now it was really tender and scared, even though the weird part is that if I “had to draw the smile, I would have drawn the exact same smile as the smug one—but I could somehow tell it was different even though it looked the same.”
  5. “It was a far deeper and sharper moment of first love than the first first moment of first love, because now, not only was he falling in love, but he was falling in love with someone he loved; and while the first time, he also believed he’d be with her forever, he was too young to consider what forever meant.
    “Now here he was, truly, on the first day of forever. He kissed her for an eternity, which was fine, because heaven had eternities to burn. Then he kissed her for another. “It wouldn’t have been heaven without you.”
  6. “Probably because there were more interesting things in heaven than Ricardo Montalban. It must be hard being Ricardo Montalban in heaven, thought Tim.”
  7. “It was a good thing they were already used to love, or they might have fainted from the size of the feeling.”
  8. “What does your heart tell you?” she asked as she sipped her hot chocolate. He said he didn’t know: on one level, his heart believed that he should help as many people as possible, which was exactly what he was doing now. But another part of his heart really wanted to see where this music thing might go if he put everything he had into it.
    Couldn’t your heart tell you more than one thing? If you were truly confused about something, which he was right now, wouldn’t that mean your heart was, too?”
  9. “One summer night a few years later, the impatient billionaire couldn’t sleep. The air-conditioning in his master bedroom was broken, and even an impatient billionaire didn’t have a way to get an air conditioner fixed in the middle of the night without waking up a wife “who was asleep in the same room.”
  10. “The only area I can think of where the moon experience might have any edge at all over the walking trails of Knox County, Tennessee, would be in the symbolism department, in the sheer majesty of it all. When you think about how the moon is a celestial phenomenon that has dominated the nights of humans since before humans were even humans,
    “a place so foreign to our understanding that, until recently in the history of our species, people didn’t even think of it as a place, or even as an object, but as an abstraction tied to God; a place that is still, even now that we do understand it, so alien to our everyday thinking that it is never included on any of our maps or globes and can only be reached by a dangerous voyage across hundreds of thousands of miles of literal, actual nothingness;
  11. (Continued)
    “and to know that you have been there and stood on that rock/God/place, with your own two feet, and kicked the dust and moved it a little, and come back home, with the story to tell …And then, no matter where you are in life, to be able to always look down at those ten little toes that carry you through your house or the hallways of your job or around the same walking path you’ve been walking for years that you still love in a way
  12. (Continued)
    even though, somehow, at some point, its loveliness lost its dust of luster in your eyes to know that no matter where you are, no matter how dull the favorite colors of your life become, you can always look down at those ten little toes and think about how they have been with you to a place that almost no one alive can imagine, and no one dead could have conceived of.
  13. (Continued)
    And then someday, when you’re about to die yourself, and you’re scared, at least you know you’ve already been somewhere mysterious. That’s honestly all I can come up with, pro-moon-wise. To each his own, I suppose.”
  14. “Derek asked me to describe my type so we’d have somewhere to start. “Whatever’s beautiful,” I said. I opened up a bit and explained that I have a type I’m drawn to naturally,
    but that I’ve found that the women I’ve ended up loving the most have never been what I’ve thought of as my type, maybe because part of love is being helpless, being out of control of your own emotions.”
  15. “I laughed, to try to make her laugh, and said that she had said that she had only one more thing to say.
    “Yes!” she said. “That’s what I was trying to say before! There’s always going to be one more thing. Because that’s what infinite feels like. And the difference between love and everything else is that it’s infinite, it’s built out of something infinite, or it feels like it is, anyway, which is the same thing to us. Or to you, and to simulations like me—I know what I am. But you can’t see it, because to you everything is infinite.”
  16. “I have three recurring romantic fantasies, fantasies that lift me at my darkest and haunt me at my happiest, fantasies that I feel define me.”
  17. “I want to have sex with attractive people from time to time. Is it a shallow road compared with the road for love? Yes. Of course. But it isn’t the road away from love, either; in my case, I think of it as one of those little parallel access roads that you have to travel on sometimes to get where you’re going, always in view of the main route.”
  18. “All eyes are beautiful, I said, which is why it’s such an easy compliment. I’ve never had or heard a complaint about anyone’s eyes.”
  19. “Is it just that everything came too easy? Because if you’re romanticizing ‘difficult’ … you’re going to get over that quickly, I promise you. I promise you. Everyone forgets how difficult ‘difficult’ really is.”
  20. “The off switch on a human is a messy and difficult thing to access. Millions of years’ worth of error and trial have carved out obstacles in every direction, enough so that only a relative few are able to make a deliberate journey all the way to the brink of nothingness and still arrive carrying all the same thoughts as when they set out.”
  21. “Visible particles of physical shame fly from the pores of Jeffrey Ross.”