top of page

In Love

Alfred Hayes

Top 10 Best Quotes

“We go from disappointment to disappointment, from hope to denial, from expectation to surrender, as we grow older, thinking or coming to think that what was wrong was the wanting, so intense it hurt us, and believing or coming to believe that hope was our mistake and expectation our error, and that everything the more we want it the more difficult the having it seems to be.”

“She inhabited a world from which I was excluded, and she had left me in an immense empty space.”

“There were times when I would forget her, though they were rare, and it would be for a time as though she had never existed; and then some passing girl's inadvertent gesture, or an accidental profile, or a hat like hers, would restore her, and restore the suffering too, and I would long again, somehow, to encounter or to see her.”

“Your only vice is yourself. The worst of all. The really incurable one.”

“I made spasmodic efforts to work, assuring myself that once I began working I would forget her. The difficulty was in beginning. There was a feeling of weakness, a sort of powerlessness now, as though I were about to be ill but was never quite ill enough, as though I were about to come down with something I did not quite come down with. It seemed to me that for the first time in my life I had been in love, and had lost, because of the grudgingness of my heart, the possibility of having what, too late, I now thought I wanted. What was it that all my life I had so carefully guarded myself against? What was it that I had felt so threatened me? My suffering, which seemed to me to be a strict consequence of having guarded myself so long, appeared to me as a kind of punishment, and this moment, which I was now enduring, as something which had been delayed for half a lifetime. I was experincing, apparently, an obscure crisis of some kind. My world acquired a tendency to crumble as easily as a soda cracker. I found myself horribly susceptible to small animals, ribbons in the hair of little girls, songs played late at night over lonely radios. It became particularly dangerous for me to go near movies in which crippled girls were healed by the unselfish love of impoverished bellhops. I had become excessively tender to all the more obvious evidences of the frailness of existence; I was capable of dissolving at the least kind word, and self-pity, in inexhaustible doses, lay close to my outraged surface. I moved painfully, an ambulatory case, mysteriously injured.”

“Yes, the man said, I've often wondered why I impress people as being altogether sad, and yet I insist I am not sad, and that they are quite wrong about me, and yet when I look in the mirror it turns out to be something really true, my face is sad, my face is actually sad, I become convinced (and he smiled at her, because it was four o'clock, and the day was ending and she was a very pretty girl, it was astonishing how gradually she had become prettier) that they are right after all, and I am sad, sadder than I know.”

“The sick constriction of the heart was undeniable; there was a melancholy truth in the fact that it was suffering which made me, I thought, at last real to myself.”

“The only thing we haven't lost, I thought, is the ability to suffer. We're fine at suffering. But it's such a noiseless suffering. We never disturb the neighbors with it. We collapse, but we collapse in the most disciplined way. That's us. That's certainly us. The disciplined collapsers.”

“Did I want her? I thought to myself. Suppose, now, she were to change her mind: Did I want her? Of course not, I assured myself. Was her loss important? How stupid to imagine it was. Nothing of any significance had happened. It was simply that my own life was so barren, or seemed so barren; the temporary possession of her had given me the illusion that it was not, while I had her, barren; now that she was gone, the barrenness that she had temporarily helped to conceal lay exposed. It was because we thought so much that love could save us, that having nothing else but the dry labour of our work we looked so anxiously towards love. It was our ridiculous phoenix. To suffer, or to experience a suffering for the loss of a girl who had no importance, was absurd; I was absurd because I was suffering; it was something that required hiding away because of its absurdity.”

“How intolerable now the weight of what I was seemed upon me. How subtle a punishment life had devised. Often I felt as though my own pain had cornered me in some room and I was alone with it, like some animal that was inescapable.”

Except where otherwise noted, all rights reserved to the author(s) of this book (mentioned above). The content of this page serves as promotional material only. If you enjoyed these quotes, you can support the author(s) by acquiring the full book from Amazon.

Book Keywords:

dangerous, tenderness, reality, beginning, existence, injured, kind, punishment, self-pity, ill, healed, vice, crippled, powerlessness, unselfish, efforts, grudgingness, possibility, suffering, delayed, crisis, enduring, tendency, pain, lonely, expectation, undeniable, mysterious, feeling, crumble, illness, painfully, made, longing, forget, sick, life, wanted, guarded, disappointment, injury, outraged, weakness, addiction, heart, outrage, dissolving, heartbreak, frailness, world, growing-old, lost, lifetime, love, spasmodic, constriction, truth, songs, work, despair, tender, real, obscure, melancholy, threaten

bottom of page