First 10
  1. “In the face of obstacles, normal life is a triumph.”
  2. “Why is love intensified by absence?”
  3. “When I am out there, in time, I am inverted, changed into a desperate version of myself. I become a thief, a vagrant, an animal who runs and hides. I startle old women and amaze children. I am a trick, an illusion of the highest order, so incredible that I am actually true.”
  4. “I hate to be where she is not, when she is not. And yet, I am always going, and she cannot follow.”
  5. “Oh not because happiness exists, that too-hasty profit snatched from approaching loss. But because truly being here is so much; because everything here apparently needs us, this fleeting world, which in some strange way keeps calling to us. Us, the most fleeting of all.....Ah, but what can we take along into that other realm?
    Not the art of looking, which is learned so slowly, and nothing that happened here. Nothing. The sufferings, then. And, above all, the heaviness, and the long experience of love,—just what is wholly unsayable.”
  6. “There is a comfortable moment when we just sit there and look at each other. The candlelight flickers on Clare’s hair. She reaches over and touches my cheek. “It’s so good to see you. I was getting lonely.” I draw her to me. We kiss. It’s a very . . . compatible kiss, a kiss born of long association,
    and I wonder just exactly what we’ve been doing in this meadow of Clare’s”
  7. “She smells like old cloth, soap, sweat, and fur. I breathe deeply.”
  8. “The hell with virtue. I’ve figured out the mechanics of her dress.”
  9. “Now it becomes clear that he’s one of those people who is fastidious about his personal appearance but secretly slovenly about everything else."
  10. “Outside it’s chilly. Cars and cyclists cruise along Dearborn while couples stroll down the sidewalks and there we are with them, in the morning sunlight, hand in hand, finally together for anyone to see. I feel a tiny pang of regret, as though I’ve lost a secret, and then a rush of exaltation: now everything begins.”