To have had fame, even very minor fame, and to have lost it, got older and maybe put on a little weight is a kind of living death.
He wanted to live life in such a way that if a photograph were taken at random it would be a cool photograph. Things should look right. Fun; there should be a lot of fun and no more sadness than absolutely necessary.
I think you actually get a kick out of being disappointed and under-achieving, because it's easier, isn't it? Failure and unhappiness is easier because you can make a joke out of it.
If I could give you just one gift ever for the rest of your life it would be this. Confidence. It would be the gift of confidence. Either that or a scented candle.
Sometimes, when it's going badly, she wonders if what she believes to be a love of the written word is really just a fetish for stationary. The true writer, the born writer, will scribble words on scraps of litter, the back of a bus ticket, on the wall of a cell.
She was discovering once again that reading and writing were not the same-you couldn't just soak it up then squeeze it out again.
A joke was not a single-use item but something you brought out again and again until it fell apart in your hand like a cheap umbrella.
Envy was just the tax you paid on success.
Friends were like clothes: fine while they lasted but eventually they wore thin or you grew out of them.
There's something unnatural about a woman finding babies or, more specifically, conversation about babies, boring. They'll think she's bitter, jealous, lonely. But she's also bored of everybody telling her how lucky she is, what with all that sleep and all that freedom and spare time, the ability to go on dates or head off to Paris at a moments notice. It sounds like they're consoling her, and she resents this and feels patronized by it.
Maybe that's just what happens; you start out wanting to change the world through language, and end up thinking it's enough to tell a few jokes.
These days grief seems like walking on a frozen river; most of the time he feels safe enough, but there is always that danger he will plunge through.
If you have to keep something secret it's because you shouldn't be doing it in the first place!
If you're at school and you're not that bright or good-looking or popular or whatever, and one day you say something and someone laughs, well, you sort of grab onto it, don't you? you think, well I run funny and I've got this stupid big face and big thighs and no-one fancies me, but at least I can make people laugh. And It's such a nice feeling, making someone laugh, that maybe you get a bit reliant on it. Like, if you're not funny then you're not... anything.
The trick of it, she told herself, is to be courageous and bold and make a difference. Not change the world exactly, just the bit around you. Go out there with your double-first, your passion and your new Smith Corona electric typewriter and work hard at ... something. Change lives through art maybe. Write beautifully. Cherish your friends, stay true to your principles, live passionately and fully well. Experience new things. Love and be loved if at all possible. Eat sensibly. Stuff like that.