“I remember a period in late adolescence when my mind would make itself drunk with images of adventurousness. This is how it will be when I grow up. I shall go there, do this, discover that, love her, and then her and her and her. I shall live as people in novels live and have lived. Which ones I was not sure, only that passion and danger, ecstasy and despair (but then more ecstasy) would be in attendance. However...who said that thing about "the littleness of life that art exaggerates"? There was a moment in my late twenties when I admitted that my adventurousness had long since petered out. I would never do those things adolescence had dreamt about. Instead, I mowed my lawn, I took holidays, I had my life.
But time...how time first grounds us and then confounds us. We thought we were being mature when we were only being safe. We imagined we were being responsible but we were only being cowardly. What we called realism turned out to be a way of avoiding things rather than facing them. Time...give us enough time and our best-supported decisions will seem wobbly, our certainties whimsical.”
Margaret used to say that there are two sorts of women: those with clear edges to them and those who implied mystery. And that this was the first thing that a man sensed, and the first thing that attracted him, or not. Some men are drawn to type one, some to the other. Margaret - you won't need me to tell you - was clear-edged, but at times she could be envious of those who carried, or manufactured, an air of mystery.
And then he spied a tremor in the sea, as if the water were sweating too, or as if it were about to boil. A barely perceptible simmer that spilled into ripples, building into waves that came to die on the beach. And then Pelletier felt dizzy and a hum of bees came from outside. And when the hum faded, a silence that was even worse fell over the house and everywhere around. And Pelletier shouted Norton’s name and called to her, but no one answered his calls, as if the silence had swallowed up his cries for help. And then Pelletier began to weep and he watched as what was left of a statue emerged from the bottom of the metallic sea. A formless chunk of stone, gigantic, eroded by time and water, though a hand, a wrist, part of a forearm could still be made out with total clarity. And the statue came out of the sea and rose above the beach and it was horrific and at the same time very beautiful. -2666
When they stopped kicking him they were sunk for a few seconds in the strangest calm of their lives. It was as if they'd finally had the ménage à trois they'd so often dreamed of.
Pelletier felt as if he had come. Esponoza felt the same, to a slightly different degree. Norton, who was staring at them without seeing them in the dark, seemed to have experienced multiple orgasms. -2666
Chucho Flores managed to point to a corner of the room that Fate hadn't seen. I've lived this scene before, thought Fate. Rosa was sitting in an armchair, with her legs crossed, snorting cocaine. -2666
- W jaki sposób zmienia pani przeszłość? - spytał ją Joe.
- Myślę o niej. O jednym konkretnym jej aspekcie, na przykład o jakimś wydarzeniu albo o czymś, co ktoś powiedział. Albo o jakimś drobnym epizodzie, który zdarzył się kiedyś, a chciałabym, żeby do niego nie doszło. Pierwszy raz zrobiłam to, kiedy byłam jeszcze dzieckiem...
- Kiedy miała sześć lat - przerwał jej G.G. Ashwood - i mieszkała w Detroit, oczywiście z rodzicami, stłukła zabytkową figurkę ceramiczną, do której jej ojciec był bardzo przywiązany.
- Czy ojciec pani tego nie przewidział? - spytał Joe. - Skoro ma zdolności jasnowidza...
- Przewidział - odparła Pat - i ukarał mnie na tydzień przedtem, zanim stłukłam figurkę.