Great Moments in Literature

“I go back to the porch and stand there for a minute. The sky is darker. I can see a firefly or two. One of the little boys in the neighborhood passes by on his bike, all shiny blue, with training wheels on the back. There are streamers on the handlbars. The cat that kills birds walks by. I’ve been known to fill a water pistol and squirt the cat when nobody’s looking. I’ve also turned the hose on it. It walks on the edge of our lawn. I know just what it’s thinking.”

–Ann Beattie, “Home to Marie,” 1986

EACH ACT CARRIES ITS OWN WEIGHT — WEIGHT WHICH IS UNHEEDFUL OF THE JUSTIFICATION FOR THE DEED…AS MATT HAS REALIZED, LIFE SOON BECOMES A JUGGLING OF THOSE WEIGHTS AND JUSTIFICATIONS…WITH THE FINAL BALANCE COMING OUT OF THE SUM TOTAL OF A BENEFIT FOR THE WORLD, FOLLOWING A LIFETIME OF HIS MAKING CHOICES! LOOK AT THIS MAN AND TRY TO UNDERSTAND HIS SORROW — HE CAN NEVER KNOW IF HE’S BEEN RIGHT IN MAKING THE CHOICES HE HAS…HE CAN ONLY TRUST  THAT HIS GOAL IS A JUST ONE. AND THAT, BABY, IS WHAT MAKES HEROES OUT OF MEN. IT’S ALSO WHAT MAKES MARTYRS. SOME OF US KINDA THINK THAT THE TWO ARE THE SAME THING — !”

–Gerry Conway, DAREDEVIL, Vol. 1, No. 75, “Now Rides the Ghost of El Condor!” 1971