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Like Life Like Life by Lorrie Moore
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“This is what happened in love. One of you cried a lot and then both of you grew sarcastic.”
Lorrie Moore, Like Life
“One had to build shelters. One had to make pockets and live inside them.”
Lorrie Moore, Like Life
“Guns, she was reminded then, were not for girls. They were for boys. They were invented by boys. They were invented by boys who had never gotten over their disappointment that accompanying their own orgasm there wasn't a big boom sound.”
Lorrie Moore, Like Life
“She was not good on the phone. She needed the face, the pattern of eyes, nose, trembling mouth... People talking were meant to look at a face, the disastrous cupcake of it, the hide-and-seek of the heart dashing across. With a phone, you said words, but you never watched them go in. You saw them off at the airport but never knew whether there was anyone there to greet them when they got off the plane. ”
Lorrie Moore, Like Life
“Usually she ordered a cup of coffee and a cup of tea, as well as a brownie, propping up her sadness with chocolate and caffeine so that it became an anxiety.”
Lorrie Moore, Like Life
“She was afraid, and the afraid, she realized, sought opportunities for bravery in love.”
Lorrie Moore, Like Life
“For love to last, you had to have illusions or have no illusions at all. But you had to stick to one or the other. It was the switching back and forth that endangered things.”
Lorrie Moore, Like Life
“Pleasantness was the machismo of the Midwest. There was something athletic about it. You flexed your face into a smile and let it hover there like the dare of a cat.”
Lorrie Moore, Like Life
“Nothing is a joke with me. It just all comes out like one.”
Lorrie Moore, Like Life
“This is what happened in love. One of you cried a lot and then both of you grow sarcastic.”
Lorrie Moore, Like Life
“You chose love like a belief, a faith, a place, a box for one's heart to knock against like a spook in the house.”
Lorrie Moore, Like Life
“Mostly, however, he had books about love. He believed in studying his own heart this way.”
Lorrie Moore, Like Life
“She knew there were only small joys in life--the big ones were too complicated to be joys when you got all through--and once you realized that, it took a lot of the pressure off.”
Lorrie Moore, Like Life
“Everyone these days was defensive about their lives. Everyone had settled.”
Lorrie Moore, Like Life
“Sometimes it seemed that she and rudy were two people attempting to tango, sweating and trying, long after the orchestra had grown tired, long after everyone else had gone home.”
Lorrie Moore, Like Life
“Mave believed that not being able to see your life clearly, to scrutinize it intelligently, meant that probably you were at the dead center of it, and that couldn't possibly be a bad thing.”
Lorrie Moore, Like Life
“Through all the muck of themselves, the times they had unobligated each other, the anger, the permitted absences, the loneliness grown dangerous, she had always returned to him. He'd had faith in that - abracadabra! But eventually the deadlines set in again. Could you live in the dead excellence of a thing - the stupid mortar of a body, the stubborn husk love had crawled from? Yes, he thought.”
Lorrie Moore, Like Life
tags: love
“She tried to smile warmly but wondered if she looked "fakey," something Ariel sometimes accused her of. Ariel had said. "It's like you're trying to be happy out of a book." Millie owned several books about trying to be happy.”
Lorrie Moore, Like Life
“John had dreamed so long and hard of this place that he had hoped it right out of existence. Probably no place in the world could withstand such an assault of human wishing.”
Lorrie Moore, Like Life
“It was strange, this toxic little vein, strange to stand above it, looking down at night, in a dangerous neighborhood, as if they were in love and entitled to such adventures.”
Lorrie Moore, Like Life
“I don't have a love life. I have a like life.'
Mamie smiled. She thought how nice that might be, to be peacefully free from love...”
Lorrie Moore, Like Life
“The situation was not easy for her, they knew. Once, at the start of last semester, she had skipped into her lecture hall singing "Getting to Know You" - both verses. At the request of the dean the chairman had called her into his office, but did not ask her for an explanation, not really. He asked her how she was and then smiled in an avuncular way. She said, "Fine," and he studied the way she said it, her front teeth catching on the inside of her lower lip. She was almost pretty, but her face showed the strain and ambition of always having been close but not quite.”
Lorrie Moore, Like Life
“They looked at her quizzically, came at her with assumptions, presumptions, what they believed was intimate knowledge of her. She felt unarmed, by comparison; disadvantaged.”
Lorrie Moore, Like Life
“But it would be like going to Heaven and not finding any of your friends there. Her life would go all beatific and empty in the eyes.”
Lorrie Moore, Like Life
“She had to learn not to be afraid of a man, the way, in your childhood, you learned not to be afraid of an earthworm or a bug. Often, when she spoke to men at parties, she rushed things in her mind. As the man politely blathered on, she would fall in love, marry, then find herself in a bitter custody battle with him for the kids and hoping for a reconciliation, so that despite all his betrayals she might no longer despise him, and in the few minutes remaining, learn, perhaps, what his last name was, and what he did for a living, though probably there was already too much history between them.”
Lorrie Moore, Like Life
“You only live at once." Which seemed to her all the more reason to be careful, to take it easy, to have an ordinary life.”
Lorrie Moore, Like Life
“That's not the one you were thinking of?"

"No." There was accusation in her voice. "Mine was different,”
Lorrie Moore, Like Life
tags: tone
“A smile, a weird one, nestled in his mouth like an egg.”
Lorrie Moore, Like Life
“Also, he had the kind of mustache a college roommate of hers used to say looked like it had crawled up to find a warm spot to die.”
Lorrie Moore, Like Life
“When they slept together, she almost cried. He was a kisser, and he kissed and kissed. It seemed the kindest thing that had ever happened to her. He kissed and whispered and brought her a large glass of water when she asked for one.”
Lorrie Moore, Like Life

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