The sunlight was strained through the window sashes, landing in great, trembling, buttery squares that carved up Alex’s childhood living room so that her angular body, as she passed through the grand and airy space, was intermittently striped by spindly blue shadows, then blasted by yellow light, then again painted by shadow. This was her first time on the Vineyard since she had gotten engaged, and she was surprised by how unreal it felt, as though she were standing on a set for a play . . .
Then came the most exquisite moment of her whole life . . .
—Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
It’s still happening.
—Michael Cunningham, The Hours
. . . you just get stopped up with whatever it was that ruined you and you make it happen over and over again and your life has—ceased, really . . .
—James Baldwin, Another Country
Ay, grief goes, fades; we know that— . . .
When Haguillory woke at four thirty and went to the kitchen in his shorts and slippers, Dot was already there at the table, tanked up on coffee. He poured himself a cup without much looking at his wife. Outside the kitchen window, his tomatoes blushed in the moonlight. The blue crabs down in the Sabine marshes would have been gorging all night under that bright full moon, and this morning Haguillory planned to catch some.
He fixed his coffee and pretended there was nothing strange about Dot sitting up . . .