You cut up a thing that's alive and beautiful to find out how it's alive and why it's beautiful, and before you know it, it's neither of those things, and you're standing there with blood on your face and tears in your sight and only the terrible ache of guilt to show for it.
Especially politics; that was the best trough to wallow in. You could get your snout, eyes, head and front hooves in that mess of muck and have a fine old time splashing around. It was an inexhaustible subject to devour, a swill with a little of everything in it, because everything, according to Judd, was political.
Behind their eyes the hope was sickening and in many, dead. They lived from event to event with a subtle terror of the gap between, filling up their lives with distractions to avoid the emptiness where curiosity should have been.
Perhaps a wiser eye than hers would be able to read tomorrow in tonight's stars, but where was the fun in that? It was better not to know. Better to be alive in the Here and the Now--in this bright, laughing moment--and let the Hours to come take care of themselves.
Let's prioritise here. At the risk of stating the obvious, this isn't going to be easy. We need to find Norma as fast as we can, avoid the powerful demon that wants me as his slave, and then get the fuck out of Hell. I'm sure we'll encounter some heinous, unthinkable, soul-scarring shit along the way, but hopefully we make it out alive.
It is great good health to believe, as the Hindus do, that there are 33 million gods and goddesses in the world. It is great good health to want to understand one's dreams. It is great good health to desire the ambiguous and paradoxical.
Can you hear me, Todd? There's an ambulance on its way. For a moment his eyes opened a little wider, and he seemed to be making an effort to concentrate on the face in front of him. It's Maxine, she said. Remember me?
Only once did Lori glimpse such an entity, supine on a mattress in the corner of its boudoir. It was naked, corpulent and sexless, its sagging body a motley of dark, oily skin and larval eruptions that seeped phosphorescence, soaking its simple bed.
Men and your hunts, Lilith went on, addressing, it seemed, some larger error in the Duke's sex. If you hadn't been out killing healthy stags and boars in the first place, you could have married and lived and loved. But—she shrugged—we do as our instincts dictate, yes? And yours brought you here. To the very edge of your own grave.
And with that comprehension, so unlike the simplifications she'd been ruled by hitherto, she became even more certain that the carpet they carried was a last hope, while he — whose home the Weave contained — seemed increasingly indifferent to its fate, living in the moment and for the moment, touched scarcely at all by hope or regret.
This was the substance of every moment, she realized: the body - never certain if the next lungful would be its last - hovering for a tiny time between cessation and continuance. And in that space out of time, between a breath expelled and another drawn, the miraculous was easy, because neither flesh nor reason has laid their edicts there.
Only when they have outrun the all-too-eager shadows of the Canyon and they are back in the glare of the billboards on Sunset Boulevard, do they wipe their clammy palms, and wonder to themselves how it was that in such a harmless.