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Sputnik Sweetheart

“No man should go through life without once experiencing healthy, even bored solitude in the wilderness, finding himself depending solely on himself and thereby learning his true and hidden strength.” (Jack Kerouac)

“Writing novels is much the same. You gather up bones and make your gate, but no matter how wonderful the gate might be, that alone doesn’t make it a living, breathing novel. A story is not something of this world. A real story requires a kind of magical baptism to link the world on this side with the world on the other side.” (K)

“I must be in love with this woman, Sumire realized with a start. No mistake about it. Ice is cold; roses are red; I’m in love. And this love is about to carry me off somewhere. The current’s too overpowering; I don’t have any choice. It may very well be a special place, some place I’ve never seen before. Danger may be lurking there, something that may end up wounding me deeply, fatally. I might end up losing everything. But there’s no turning back. I can only go with the flow. Even if it means I’ll be burned up, gone forever.” (Sumire)

“She’s so in love with me she doesn’t know anything. That’s why she’s in love with me.” (Groucho Marx)

“And it came to me then. That we were wonderful traveling companions but in the end no more than lonely lumps of metal in their own separate orbits. From far off they look like beautiful shooting stars, but in reality they’re nothing more than prisons, where each of us is locked up alone, going nowhere. When the orbits of these two satellites of ours happened to cross paths, we could be together. Maybe even open our hearts to each other. But that was only for the briefest moment. In the next instant we’d be in absolute solitude. Until we burned up and became nothing.” (Miu)

“An expectation was there, mixed in with so many other emotions — excitement, resignation, hesitation, confusion, fear — that would well up, then wither on the vine. You’re optimistic one moment, only to be racked the next by the certainty that it will all fall to pieces. And in the end it does.”

“What happened after I met Miu was, I stopped thinking. (Of course I’m using my own individual definiton of thinking here.) Miu and I were always together, two interlocking spoons, and with her I was swept away somewhere — someplace I couldn’t fathom — and I just thought, OK, go with the flow. In other words, I had to get rid of a lot of baggage to get closer to her. Even the act of thinking became a burden. I think that explains it. No matter how tall the grass got, I couldn’t be bothered.”

“The answer is dreams. Dreaming on and on. Entering the world of dreams, and never coming out. Living in dreams for the rest of time. In dreams you don’t need to make any distinctions between things. Not at all. Boundaries don’t exist. So in dreams there are hardly ever collisions. Even if there are, they don’t hurt. Reality is different. Reality bites.”

“We each have a special something we can get only at a special time of our life. Like a small flame. A careful, fortunate few cherish that flame, nurture it, hold it as a torch to light their way. But once that flame goes out, it’s gone forever. What I’d lost was not just Sumire. I’d lost that precious flame.”

“Why do people have to be this lonely? What’s the point of it all? Millions of people in this world, all of them yearning, looking to others to satisfy them, yet isolating themselves. Why? Was the earth put here just to nourish human loneliness?”

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