Colleen's Reviews > Borrowed Time: An AIDS Memoir

Borrowed Time by Paul Monette
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's review
Jul 30, 14

bookshelves: love, sickness, queer
Read from April 05, 2012 to July 30, 2014

"Besides, courage doesn't precede action. The action releases it, like endorphins in a marathon runner." (p. 108)

"It's not an accident, I think, that neither of us came out to our families until we found each other. Alone it is hard to want to face the barrage of cliches, and the closet is so much easier. But you can't go on very long hearing your heart's deepest core called your roommate." (p. 161)

"We still had a feel for loftiness, and there was only one way to go: onward." (p. 194)

"Good days are such a mysterious gift that you dare not question them much, and the only problem is they give you a false sense of security." (p. 202)

"Craig's mother cut him off one night as he complained about the blood tests and the circular doctors' appointments: 'Listen, this whole thing is your own fault. I don't really want to hear about it.' That turns out to be rather mild, and at least it's honest. The real hell is the family sitting in green suburbia while the wasting son shuttles from friend to friend in a distant place, unembraced and disowned until the will is ready to be contested. And even that is to be preferred to the worst of all, being deported back to the flat earth of a rural fundamentalist family, who spit their hate with folded hands, transfigured by the justice of their bumper-sticker God." (p. 205)

"today we were up at Will Rogers [State Park] in this aching sunny weather, & we ate on the lawn & then took a walk & watched 3 horses crop a hill pasture & we sat on a log & had this nodding acquaintance with what a moment is." (p. 237)

"Always for the two of us the window on the sublime was the eye in nature or the eye in art, a seeing refined by twelve years of wilderness and museums, till we saw certain things exactly the same." (p. 262)

"when you do this part you come to see there's something nearly sacred--a word I can't get the God out of, I know--about being a wound dresser. To be that intimate with flesh and blood, so close to the body's ache to heal, you learn how little to take for granted, defying death in the bargain. You are an instrument, and your engine is concentration. There's not a lot of room for ego when you're swabbing the open wound of the eye." (p. 263)

"Intolerance, of course, is common law in America." (p. 271)

"It must have been around then that Roger said, with a pained wistfulness, 'If only it could stay like this for a while.' A while is the kind of modest goal you spend your life searching for." (p. 277)

"If later on, as we read this, we might think, 'How happy we were then!' at least we'll have that. That as we lived them, these moments, we knew they were important, and that's all there is." (p. 285)

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Reading Progress

04/24/2012 page 304
07/30/2014 marked as: read

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