There are certain people in whom you can detect the seeds of madness – seeds that have remained dormant only because the people in question have lived relatively comfortable, middle class lives. They function perfectly well in the world, but you can imagine, given a nasty parent, or a prolonged bout of unemployment, how their potential for craziness might have been realized.

He had made a fairly unambiguous pass at her, as she was getting out of the cab. But event that had come to nothing. Sheba said that she had sensed something resentful about him, as if he begrudged her for having the power to attract him.

She didn’t really believe in the possibility of making good things happen with the sheer strength of your desire for them. If anything, it seemed to her, the opposite was true. The moment you wanted anything too fervently, the moment you yearned, the universe gazed with disgust upon your mewling and withheld. To get things, you had to be careless about them, the way that Rosa was.

…One pretends that manners are the formalisation of basic kindness and consideration, but a great deal of the time they’re simply aesthetics dressed up as moral principles, aren’t they?

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