These were the the kinds of conversations she had with Leonard. They were part of why she liked him so much. You could be going anywhere, doing anything, and an air freshener would lead to a little symposium.
“The flip side of self-loathing is grandiosity.”
People don’t save other people. People save themselves.
“Disease and disfunctionality are normal for me. What’s not normal is feeling…”
There were some books that reached through the noise of life to grab you by the collar and speak only of the truest things.
He was aware inside himself of an infinite sadness.
“But Leonard’s happiness was compromised by the constant fear of losing her again. His unsightliness threw Madeleine’s beauty into relief… What was interesting about being the needy one was how much in love you felt. It was almost worth it. This dependency was what Leonard had guarded himself against feeling all his life, but he couldn’t do it anymore. He’d lost the ability to be an asshole. Now he was smitten, and it felt both tremendous and scary.”
“The smarter you were, the worse it was. The sharper your brain, the more it cut you up.”
Depression be like a bruise that never goes away. A bruise in your mind. You just got to be careful not to touch where it hurts.
“But Christianity is full of myths. That’s what’s so much better about Buddhism. It doesn’t force you to believe anything. You don’t even have to believe in a god.”
Yes, you need a passport to prove to the world that you exist. The people at passport control, they cannot look at you and see you are a person. No! They have to look a little photograph of you. Then they believe you exist.
“Stage One are the traditional people who marry their college sweethearts, usually the summer after graduation. People in Stage Two get married around 28. And then there are the people in Stage Three who get married in a final wave, with a sense of desperation, around 36, 37, or even 39.”
It was as if, in order to love Leonard fully, Madeleine had to wander into the same dark forest where he was lost.
There comes a moment, when you get lost in the woods, when the woods begin to feel like home. The further Leonard receded from other people, the more he relied on Madeleine, and the more he relied on her, the deeper she was willing to follow.
Let me tell you what happens when a person’s clinically depressed. What happens is that the brain sends out a signal that it’s dying. The depressed brain sends out this signal, and the body receives it, and after a while, the body thinks it’s dying too. And then it begins to shut down. That’s why depression hurts, Madeleine. That’s why it’s physically painful. The brain thinks it’s dying, and so the body thinks it’s dying, and then the brain registers this, and they go back and forth like that in a feedback loop.
If you and I were yeast cells, you know what we’d do? Given the choice, a yeast cell’s ideal state is to be diploid. But if it’s in an environment with a lack of nutrients, you know what happens? The diploids break into haploids again. Solitary little haploids. Because, in a crisis, it’s easier to survive as a single cell.