Ravelstein mentioned that Keynes had married a Russian ballerina. He also explained to me that Uranus had fathered Aphrodite but that she had had no mother. She was conceived by the sea foam. He would say such things not because he thought I was ignorant of them but because he judged that I needed at a given moment to have my thoughts directed toward them.

The words ‘I love you’ are worthless when you don’t know who the ‘I’ is in that statement.

The scar she’d left her was so deep that it may take a thousand million years to heal. She couldn’t pretend like nothing had happened. She couldn’t shut her feelings, like how you shut a window blind; once you did it, all lights from the outside would be swept away from the room. It had taken her years to acknowledge the fact that she was unwanted; a subject of shame for her mother to sink in. And for sure, it would take her more than nine years to forget it all, in one go.

You’re much the senior in years, Master Axl, but in matters of blood, it may be I’m the elder and you the youth. I’ve seen dark hatred as bottomless as the sea on the faces of old women and tender children, and some days felt such hatred myself.

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