Greeting cards routinely tell us everybody deserves love. No. Everybody deserves clean water. Not everybody deserves love all the time.
Zadie Smith, White Teeth
later that night
I held an atlas in my lap
ran my fingers across the whole world
where does it hurt?
You went out with a girl at first because the sheer sight of her made you weak in the knees. You fell in love and were desperate not to let her get away. And yet the more you thought about her, the less you knew who she was. The hope was that love transcended all differences. That was the hope.
Jeffrey Eugenides, The Marriage Plot
Oh, anywhere, driver, anywhere - it doesn’t matter. Just keep driving.
It’s better here in this taxi than it was walking. It’s no good my trying to walk. There is always a glimpse through the crowd of someone who looks like him—someone with his swing of the shoulders, his slant of the hat. And I think it’s he, I think he’s come back. And my heart goes to scalding water and the buildings sway and bend above me. No, it’s better to be here. But I wish the driver would go fast, so fast that people walking by would be a long gray blur, and I could see no swinging shoulders, no slanted hat.
Dorothy Parker, Complete Stories
Alice: Will you hold me? I amuse you, but I bore you.
Dan: No, no.
Alice: You did love me?
Dan: I’ll always love you. I hate hurting you.
Alice: Why are you?
Dan: Because I’m selfish. And I think I’ll be happier with her.
Alice: You won’t. You’ll miss me. No one will ever love you as much as I do. Why isn’t love enough?