1. As soon as she got off the bike, her heart was expected to perform all these baffling secondary functions like loving someone and feeling something and belonging somewhere — when all she’d ever trained it to do was pump blood.
    Chris Cleave, Gold
  2. Love taught him shame, and shame, with love at strife,
    Soon taught the sweet civilities of life.
    John Dryden, Cymon and Iphigenia (1700)
  3. (I wrote this for a stranger whose spouse is far off right now but I thought you might enjoy it. Except I fucked this up when I sent it to that stranger, who could misconstrue it in a depressing way. So this is the revised bit.)

    My wife, before she was my wife, went off to school on a distant coast. We were weeks apart, sometimes months. Rain fell. Nights lasted days. But during that time we lived out events we could tell each other about for months after. A year from now, you’ll remember some dream you had while she was away and you’ll say to her, “Did I tell you about the time I dreamt I was a kite?” And like that the space that’s between you now becomes a solid thing you share in the future.

  4. "I wouldn’t go telling my past self to do things differently because I wouldn’t want to skew certain outcomes that I’ve been lucky to enjoy in this timeline. It’s not just my good decisions that have brought me to this life. My mistakes brought me here, too."

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