Why has he taken this job?… For the sake of the dogs? But the dogs are dead; and what do dogs know of honour and dishonour anyway? For himself then. For his idea of the world, a world in which men do not use shovels to beat corpses into a more convenient shape for processing.
He continues to teach because it provides him with a livelihood; also because it teaches him humility, brings it home to him who he is in the world. The irony does not escape him: that the one who comes to teach learns the keenest of lessons, while those who come to learn learn nothing.
He sits with the pen in his hand, holding himself back from a descent into representations that have no place in the world, on the point of toppling, enclosed within a moment in which all creations lies open at his feet, the moment before he loosens his grip and begins to fall.
I don’t think we are ready to die, any of us, not without being escorted.
I speak to the broken halves of all our selves and tell them to embrace, loving the worst in us equally with the best.
But I say to myself, we are all sorry when we found out. Then we are very sorry. The question is not, are we sorry? The question is, what lesson have we learned? The question is, what are we going to do now that we are sorry?
She shakes him; that is what she presumable does to other readers too. That is, presumably why, in the larger picture, she exists. What a strange reward for a lifetime of shaking people: to be conveyed to this town in Pennsylvania and given money!
A fool in love is laughed at but in the end always forgiven
Even if you choose someone who is not necessarily the love of your life, married life will be better than what you have now, with just your father and yourself. It is not good to sleep alone night after night.
An unseemly business, sitting in the dark spying on a girl (unbidden the word letching comes to him). Yet the old men whose company he seems to be on the point of joining, the tramps and drifters with their stained raincoats and cracked false teeth and hairy earholes – all of them were once upon a time children of God, with straight limbs and clear eyes. Can they be blamed for clinging to the last to their place at the sweet banquet of the senses?