To wake up and feel enlivened; to be in a hurry to get out of bed and into the day. To have friends you want to speak to, compare experiences with and be on the phone to…Well, to be honest, I’m still some way from that.

I saw an old woman dressed in seatcovers, sewn into a dress, a man in a jacket made from a flag. It gave them an air of desperate grandeur, like guests at an asylum ball.

The men loved jokes, though they had heard each one before. Jack’s manner was persuasive; few of them had seen the old stories so well delivered. Jack himeself laughed a little, but he was able to see the effect his performance had on his audience. The noise of their laughter roared like the sea in his ears. He wanted it louder and louder; he wanted them to drown out the war with their laughter. If the could should loud enough, they might bring the world back to its senses; they might laugh loud enough to raise the dead.

I’ve met men I would trust in the mouth of hell. Byrne or Douglas. I would trust them to breathe for me, to pump my blood with their hearts.”

“Did you love them best? Would they be the ones you’d choose?”

“To die with? No. The one time I’ve felt what you describe was with a woman.”

“A lover, you mean?” said Jack. “Not your own flesh and blood?”

“I think she was my own flesh and blood. I truly believe she was.

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