I was seated aboard a downtown-bound Muni Metro train on my way to purchase a necktie that I'd eventually not wear to Mike's New York City nuptials almost two weeks ago when I wrapped up Jandy Nelson's super-damn-wonderful debut novel The Sky is Everywhere. As has become habit whilst reading materials containing such delectable word-groupings (see here, here and here, for example), I kept track of my favorite quotes to put here for safe-keeping. I should note that each chapter of The Sky is Everywhere begins with a poem, so some poetry is included below.
To my astonishment, time didn't stop
with her heart.
People went to school, to work, to restaurants;
they crushed crackers into their clam chowder,
fretted over exams,
sang in their cars with the windows up.
For days and days, the rain beat its fists
on the roof of our house—
evidence of the terrible mistake
God had made.
Each morning, when I woke
I listened for the tireless pounding,
looked at the drear through the window
and was relieved
that at least the sun had the decency
to stay the hell away from us.
Someone from Bailey's drama class
yelled bravo at the end of the service
and everyone jumped to their feet
and started clapping
I remember thinking the roof would blow
from the thunder in our hands
I look around our bedroom, at the singing orange paint we'd slathered over the dozy blue we'd had for years. Bailey had said, "If this doesn't change our lives, I don't know what will—this, Lennie, is the color of extraordinary."
I suddenly felt left out of a future that isn't even going to happen.
…I need an alphabet of endings ripped out of books, of hands pulled off of clocks, of cold stones, of shoes filled with nothing but wind.
The guy's life-drunk, I think, makes Candide look like a sourpuss. Does he even know that death exists?
How will I survive the missing? How do others do it? People die all the time. Every day. Every hour. There are families all over the world staring at beds that are no longer slept in, shoes that are no longer worn. Families that no longer have to buy a particular cereal, a kind of shampoo. There are people everywhere standing in line at the movies, buying curtains, walking dogs, while inside, their hearts are ripping to shreds. For years. For their whole lives. I don't believe time heals. I don't want it to. If I heal, doesn't that mean I've accepted the world without her?
It's such a colossal effort not to be haunted by what's lost, but to be enchanted by what was.