Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman

Citate din carte:

  • “There are scars on my heart, just as thick, as disfiguring as those on my face. I know they’re there. I hope some undamaged tissue remains, a patch through which love can come in and flow out. I hope.”
  • “Did men ever look in the mirror, I wondered, and find themselves wanting in deeply fundamental ways? When they opened a newspaper or watched a film, were they presented with nothing but exceptionally handsome young men, and did this make them feel intimidated, inferior, because they were not as young, not as handsome? Did they then read newspaper articles ridiculing those same handsome men if they gained weight or wore something unflattering?”
  • “The streets were all named after poets – Wordsworth Lane, Shelley Close, Keats Rise – no doubt chosen by the building company’s marketing department. They were all poets that the kind of person who’d aspire to own such a home would recognize, poets who wrote about urns and flowers and wandering clouds. Based on past experience, I’d be more likely to end up living in Dante Lane or Poe Crescent.”
  • „Titles were better, though. I didn’t know her from Adam, after all. She wasn’t my friend, she was someone who was being paid to interact with me. A bit of professional distance is highly appropriate, I feel, when, for example, a stranger is examining the back of your eyeballs for tumours, or rooting around in your dentine with a hooked instrument. Or, indeed, poking around in your brain, dragging out your feelings and letting them sit there in the room, in all their shameful awfulness.”
  • “No thank you,” I said. “I don’t want to accept a drink from you, because then I would be obliged to purchase one for you in return, and I’m afraid I’m simply not interested in spending two drinks’ worth of time with you.”
  • “Some people, weak people, fear solitude. What they fail to understand is that there’s something very liberating about it; once you realize that you don’t need anyone, you can take care of yourself. That’s the thing: it’s best just to take care of yourself.”
  • “But, by careful observation from the sidelines, I’d worked out that social success is often built on pretending just a little. Popular people sometimes have to laugh at things they don’t find very funny, do things they don’t particularly want to, with people whose company they don’t particularly enjoy. Not me. I had decided, years ago, that if the choice was between that or flying solo, then I’d fly solo. It was safer that way.”
  • „Grief is the price we pay for love, so they say. The price is far too high.”
  • “These days, loneliness is the new cancer—a shameful, embarrassing thing, brought upon yourself in some obscure way. A fearful, incurable thing, so horrifying that you dare not mention it; other people don’t want to hear the word spoken aloud for fear that they might too be afflicted, or that it might tempt fate into visiting a similar horror upon them.”
  • “I have often noticed that people who routinely wear sportswear are the least likely sort to participate in athletic activity.”
  • “I was a human woman, no more and no less.”
  • “People don’t like these facts, but I can’t help that. If someone asks you how you are, you are meant to say FINE. You are not meant to say that you cried yourself to sleep last night because you hadn’t spoken to another person for two consecutive days. FINE is what you say.”
  • “The moment hung in time like a drop of honey from a spoon, heavy, golden.”
  • “Was this how it worked, then, successful social integration? Was it really that simple? Wear some lipstick, go to the hairdressers and alternate the clothes you wear?”
  • “In principle and reality, libraries are life-enhancing palaces of wonder.”
  • “Your voice changes when you’re smiling, it alters the sound somehow.”
  • “Although it’s good to try new things and to keep an open mind, it’s also extremely important to stay true to who you really are.”
  • “Time only blunts the pain of loss. It doesn’t erase it.”
  • “Obscenity is the distinguishing hallmark of a sadly limited vocabulary.”
  • “It often feels as if I’m not here, that I’m a figment of my own imagination. There are days when I feel so lightly connected to the earth that the threads that tether me to the planet are gossamer thin, spun sugar. A strong gust of wind could dislodge me completely, and I’d lift off and blow away, like one of those seeds in a dandelion clock. The threads tighten slightly from Monday to Friday.”
  • “When you’re struggling hard to manage your own emotions, it becomes unbearable to have to witness other people’s, to have to try and manage theirs too.”
  • “When the silence and the aloneness press down and around me, crushing me, carving through me like ice, I need to speak aloud sometimes, if only for proof of life.”
  • “I find lateness exceptionally rude; it’s so disrespectful, implying unambiguously that you consider yourself and your own time to be so much more valuable than the other person’s.”
  • “I feel sorry for beautiful people. Beauty, from the moment you possess it, is already slipping away, ephemeral. That must be difficult. Always having to prove that there’s more to you, wanting people to see beneath the surface, to be loved for yourself, and not your stunning body, sparkling eyes or thick, lustrous hair. In most professions, getting older means getting better at your job, earning respect because of your seniority and experience. If your job depends on your looks, the opposite is true—how depressing. Suffering other people’s unkindness must be difficult too; all those bitter, less attractive people, jealous and resentful of your beauty. That’s incredibly unfair of them. After all, beautiful people didn’t ask to be born that way. It’s as unfair to dislike someone because they’re attractive as it is to dislike someone because of a deformity.”
  • “I suppose one of the reasons we’re all able to continue to exist for our allotted span in this green and blue vale of tears is that there is always, however remote it might seem, the possibility of change.”
  • “I felt like a newly laid egg, all swishy and gloopy inside, and so fragile that the slightest pressure could break me.”
  • “I was in a fast-food restaurant for the first time in my adult life, an enormous and garish place just around the corner from the music venue. It was mystifyingly, inexplicably busy. I wondered why humans would willingly queue at a counter to request processed food, then carry it to a table which was not even set, and then eat it from the paper? Afterward, despite having paid for it, the customer themselves are responsible for clearing away the detritus. Very strange.”
  • “There have been times when I felt that I might die of loneliness. People sometimes say they might die of boredom, that they’re dying for a cup of tea, but for me, dying of loneliness is not a hyperbole. When I feel like that, my head drops and my shoulders slump and I ache, I physically ache, for human contact – I truly feel that I might tumble to the ground and pass away if someone doesn’t hold me, touch me. I don’t mean a lover – this recent madness aside, I had long since given up on any notion that another person might love me that way – but simply a human being. The scalp massage at the hairdresser, the flu jab I had last winter – the only time I experience touch is from people whom I am paying, and they are almost wearing disposable gloves at the time. I’m merely stating the facts.”
  • “Noticing details, that was good. Tiny slivers of life–they all added up and helped you to feel that you too could be a fragment, a little piece of humanity who usefully filled a space, however minuscule.”
  • “But it’s still love: animals, people. It’s unconditional, and it’s both the easiest and the hardest thing in the world.”
  • “Life is all about taking decisive action, darling. Whatever you want to do, do it— whatever you want to take, grab it. Whatever you want to bring to an end, END IT. And live with the consequences.”
  • “Eyelids are really just flesh curtains. Your eyes are always ‘on’, always looking; when you close them, you’re watching the thin, veined skin of your inner eyelid rather than staring out at the world.”
  • “I could not solve the puzzle of me.”
  • “She certainly seems to have a life, not just an existence.”
  • “I realized what I felt . . . happy. It was such a strange, unusual feeling—light, calm, as though I’d swallowed sunshine.”
  • “Sport is a mystery to me. In primary school, sports day was the one day of the year when the less academically gifted students could triumph, winning prizes for jumping fastest in a sack, or running from Point A to Point B more quickly than their classmates. How they loved to wear those badges on their blazers the next day! As if a silver in the egg-and-spoon race was some sort of compensation for not understanding how to use an apostrophe.”
  • “What, I wondered, was the point of me? I contributed nothing to the world, absolutely nothing, and I took nothing from it either. When I ceased to exist, it would make no material difference to anyone. Most people’s absence from the world would be felt on a personal level by at least a handful of people. I, however, had no one. I do not light up a room when I walk into it. No one longs to see me or to hear my voice.”
  • “I understood that assisted conception was the antithesis of careless, spontaneous or unplanned parenthood, that it was the most deliberate of decisions, undertaken only by women who were serious and dedicated in their quest to be mothers.”
  • “A human hand was exactly the right weight, exactly the right temperature for touching another person, I realized.”
  • “once you realize that you don’t need anyone, you can take care of yourself. That’s the thing: it’s best just to take care of yourself. You can’t protect other people, however hard you try. You try, and you fail, and your world collapses around you, burns down to ashes.”
  • “There was no hope, things couldn’t be put right. I couldn’t be put right. The past could neither be escaped nor undone.”

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