My mother gave me a disappointed look. Then I gave her one back. Mine was for everything, not just the sandwich.
That's the secret. If you always make sure you're exactly the person you hoped to be, if you always make sure you know only the very best people, then you won't care if you die tomorrow.
But they gave me Finn. He said it like maybe it was worth the trade. Like it was something he would do again if he had the choice. Like he would take a man's legs and give away years of his own freedom if it was the only way. I thought how that was wrong and terrible and beautiful all at the same time.
I really wondered why people were always doing what they didn't like doing. It seemed like life was a sort of narrowing tunnel. Right when you were born, the tunnel was huge. You could be anything. Then, like, the absolute second you were born, the tunnel narrowed down to about half the size. . . . I figured that, on the day you died, the tunnel would be so narrow, you'd have squeezed yourself in with so many choices, that you just got squashed.
They segued into a more general piece about AIDS. As usual, they started out with footage of some kind of sweaty nightclub in the city with a bunch of gay men dancing around in stupid leather outfits. I couldn't even begin to imagine Finn dancing the night away like some kind of half-dressed cowboy. It would have been nice if for once they show some guys sitting in their living rooms drinking tea and talking about art or movies or something. If they showed that, then maybe people would say, "Oh, okay, that's not so strange.
Things you'd never even seen with Finn could remind you of him, because he was the one person you'd want to show. "Look at that," you'd want to say, because you knew he would find a way to think it was wonderful. To make you feel like the most observant person in the world for spotting it.
I dream about people who don't need to have sex to know they love each other. I dream about people who would only ever kiss you on the cheek.
I told my mother he looked like a deflated balloon. Greta said he looked like a small gray moth wrapped in a spider's web. That's because everything about Greta is more beautiful, even the way she says things.
It's hard to do that, to decide to believe one thing over another.
Then, who is Matilda?' I asked.Toby tilted his cup and poked at the slush with his straw. 'I suppose Matilda's the girl who felt like home.