She was a gypsy, as soon as you unravelled the many layers to her wild spirit she was on her next quest to discover her magic. She was relentless like that, the woman didn’t need no body but an open road, a pen and a couple of sunsets.

There is no hour that has not its births of gladness and despair, no morning brightness that does not bring new sickness to desolation as well as new forces to genius and love. There are so many of us, and our lots are so different, what wonder that Nature’s mood is often in harsh contrast with the great crisis of our lives?

My first impression of [Patricia Highsmith] was a loneliness, a sadness in one so young (we were both in our early thirties) with absolutely no sense of joy or balance. Gauche to an extreme, really physically clumsy as well as boyish, it was almost impossible to put her at ease. It was as if she felt a deep distrust of everything.

You will die. You will not live forever. Nor will any man nor any thing. Nothing is immortal. But only to us is it given to know that we must die. And that is a great gift: the gift of selfhood. For we have only what we know we must lose, what we are willing to lose… That selfhood which is our torment, and our treasure, and our humanity, does not endure. It changes; it is gone, a wave on the sea. Would you have the sea grow still and the tides cease, to save one wave, to save yourself?

The fact is that nothing is more difficult to believe than the truth; conversely, nothing seduces like the power of lies, the greater the better. It’s only natural, and you will have to find the right balance. Having said that, let me add that this particular old woman hasn’t been collecting only years; she has also collected stories, and none sadder or more terrible than the one she’s about to tell you. You have been at the heart of this story without knowing it until today …

What goes up must come down. But what is up? And what is down? Are you up there looking down on me? Or is it I who has the trick with gravity? Reach for me and I’ll reach for you. For in the middle is where grounds stand true. ‘Tis not a lie nor a deceived eye, but an understanding between you and I. So I ask again to a friend with a cup, have a drink with me if you know what’s up?

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