There are 10, 000 books in my library, and it will keep growing until I die. This has exasperated my daughters, amused my friends and baffled my accountant. If I had not picked up this habit in the library long ago, I would have more money in the bank today; I would not be richer.
The baby was warm against my chest. I knew I was broken too. I wasn't like other people. I was scared and weird and anxious and sad lots of the time, and I didn't know why. My parents thought I was abnormal, I was pretty sure. They said I wasn't, but you don't get sent to a therapist if you're normal. Sometimes we really aren't supposed to be the way we are. It's not good for us. And people don't like it. You've got to change. You've got to try harder and do deep breathing and maybe one day take pills and learn tricks so you can pretend to be more like other people. Normal people. But maybe Vanessa was right, and all those other people were broken too in their own ways. Maybe we all spent too much time pretending we weren't.
In the old days, before I was married, or knew a lot of women, I would just pull down all the shades and go to bed for three or four days. I'd get up to shit. I'd eat a can of beans, go back to bed, just stay there for three or four days. Then I'd put on my clothes and I'd walk outside, and the sunlight was brilliant, and the sounds were great. I felt powerful, like a recharged battery. But you know the first bring-down? The first human face I saw on the sidewalk, I lost half my charge right there.
I may say that this is the greatest factor: the way in which the expedition is equipped, the way in which every difficulty is foreseen, and precautions taken for meeting or avoiding it. Victory awaits him who has everything in order, luck, people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessary precautions in time, this is called bad luck.
No more quickly can a person rob you of your joy and peace than when that individual succeeds at making you feel like you're less than worthy of God as compared to his/her own self. The old adage "You're on your way to hell, and I'm on my way to heaven" spoken or implied to another, is the most predominantly effective way to make someone feel better about himself; and he doesn't even have to prove he's better in this life on earth because now he can just say "Wait 'til I'm looking down at you while you're in hell!" But don't be robbed of your joy and peace, individuals or groups of people like that don't know where God is; He is a whisper-distance away from you, is all.
If the immediate and direct purpose of our life is not suffering then our existence is the most Ill-adapted to its purpose in the world: for it is absurd to suppose that the endless affliction of which the world is everywhere full, and which arises out of the need and distress pertaining essentially to life, should be purposeless and purely accidental. Each individual misfortune, to be sure, seems an exceptional occurrence; but misfortune in general is the rule.
I hold the biscuits in front of his face and he stands up. "What do I have to do?" he says. "Nothing, " I say. "They're for you." "Are they poisoned?" he says. "No, " I say. "Eat one, " he says. So I do. "Probably the others are poisoned, " he says. "Eat a fraction of each." I eat a corner off each biscuit. He looks at the reminders suspiciously, then sniffs them. "I'm not sure it's worth it, " he says. "How I wish you'd never come. Perhaps you've left the poison off of just those corners." I begin to realize I'll doubt whatever information he gives me. "Lick the entire biscuit, " he says. "Then give them to me." So I lick each biscuit. "Both sides, " he says. I lick both sides of each biscuit. I give him the wet biscuits and he cracks them open and sniffs them. Then he puts them in his pocket. "What do you want?" he says. "Now that you've failed to poison me to death.
You know what, you need to stay out of my bedroom. You have your own.' He smiled. 'I know I do. I see it quite often. I just prefer your bed. It smells better.' I made a face. 'It smells better? What does your bed smell like? Regret and bad taste?