Real life blows. I'm allergic to it too.

Moments pass, lots and lots of them, with us holding on, it feels like for dear life, or maybe holding on to dear life.

That's just how it is. Grief and love are conjoined, you don't get one without the other.

Where the hell is Ralph?

Okay, she says. Trees, stars, oceans. Fine. And the sun, Jude. Oh, all right, she says, totally surprising me. I'll give you the sun. I practically have everything now! I say. You're crazy!

The sky's gone blue: azure, the ocean bluer: cerulean, the trees are swirls of every hella freaking green on earth and bright thick eggy yellow is spilling over everything.

The smell of jasmine makes people tell their secrets.

I know from doing portraits that you have to look at someone a really long time to see what they're covering up, to see their inside face, and when you do see it, and get it down, that's the thing that makes people freak out about how much a drawing looks like them.

The truck blasts through the trees and I stick my hand out the window, trying to catch the wind in my palm like bails used to, missing her, missing the girl I used to be around her, missing who we all used to be. We will never be those people again. She took them all with her.

I look over at Joe. He's listening to me so carefully , like he wants to catch my words in his hands as they fall from my lips.

It occurs to me with rising concern that a blow-in can also blow away.

For me, there's nothing better than getting immersed in a sprawling, epic, multi-generational family saga, and 'One Hundred Years of Solitude' by Gabriel Garcia Marquez is the most sprawling, epic, and multi-generational of them all.

That I'm fucking terrified of you. That I cant seem to keep you out like I can everyone else. That I think you could devastate me.

He leans against the doorframe. Some guys are born to lean. He's definitely one of them. James Dean was another.

She's a sun-kissed beach girl who goes gothgrungepunkhippierockeremocoremetalfreakfashionistabraingeekboycrazyhiphoprastagirl to keep it under wraps.

I feel a smile sweep across my face, remembering all the light showers, the dark showers, picking up rocks and finding spinning planets, days with thousands of pockets, grabbing moments like apples, hopping fences into forever.

Everything is true at once. Life is contradiction. We take in every lesson. We find what works.

I want to grab him by the wrist and head back into the woods, tell these guys, sorry but I found him first.

I'm only two hours thrity-seven minutes and thirteen seconds younger than Jude, but she always makes me feel like I'm her little brother.

Because who knows? Who knows anything? Who knows who's pulling the strings? Or what is? Or how? Who knows if destiny is just how you tell yourself the story of your life?

So much blood's rushing and gushing to my head it might blow straight off my neck.

I can't believe Gram just said sex appeal.

During the day, everyone talks in colors instead of sounds. It's so quiet.

I gave up practically the whole world for you, I tell him, walking through the front door of my own love story. The sun, stars, ocean, trees, everything, I gave it all up for you.

Sure, I've always been into the Big Bang theory of passion, but as something thoretical, something that happens in books that you can close and put back on a shelf, something that I might secretly want bad but can't imagine ever happening to me.

It's as if someone vacuumed up the horizon while we were looking the other way.

Before they can grin there fake smiles, I mumble something about a toilet, laugh a second too late at some joke, and then, without looking back, I speed-walk to the house like someone whose heart isn't shaking, whose eyes aren't filling up, someone who doesn't feel so sad.

To be clear, when you're me, guys like him are kryptonite, not that I've ever met a guy like him before, one who makes you feel like you're being kissed, no, ravished, from across a room.

Let me just unsubscribe to my own mind already, because I don't get any of it.

If you're someone who knows the worst thing can happen at any time, aren't you also someone who knows the best thing can happen at any time too?

So so lonely, like, I don't know, a day without birds or something.

Noah and I made a deal. He'll stop jumping off cliffs if I stop bible-thumping and suspend all medical research, effective immediately.

She's a people-mechanic and always knows when I'm malfunctioning.

So we grapple with the mysteries, each in our own way. And some of us get to float around on one of them and call it home.

Sarah is the most enthusiastic cynical person on the planet. She'd be the perfect cheerleader if she weren't so disgusted by the notion of school spirit.

She's like a flower that talks— an evangelical daffodil.

Who knows if there are ghosts (sorry, Grandma) or just the living, breathing memories of your loved ones, inside you, speaking to you, trying to get your attention by any means necessary?

This is what I want: I want to grab my brother's hand and run back through time, losing years like coats falling from our shoulders.

Who knows if she even believed in her bible at all or if she just preferred a world where hope and creativity and faith trump reason? Who knows if there are ghosts (sorry, Grandma) or just the living, breathing memories of your loved ones inside you, speaking to you, trying to get your attention by any means necessary?

I've never once thought about the interpretative, the storytelling aspect of life, of my life. I always felt like I was in a story, yes, but not like I was the author of it, or like I had any say in its telling whatsoever. You can tell your story any way you damn well please. It's your solo.

What if there was a time when I was going through hell too, but I didn't have the courage to keep going? So I just stopped. Pressed pause. What if I'm still on pause?

Love does as it undoes. It goes after, with equal tenacity: joy and heartbreak.

I suspect that inside the impenetrable fortress of conventionality he's become, there's one crazy-ass museum.

I wish I were a horse.

If Mom died, the sun would go out. Period.

A comfortable quiet falls over us. Really comfortable, like we've lain on filthy floors corpselike together for several lifetimes now.

Len – it's skydiving with your feet on the ground.

And then he smiles, and in all the places around the globe where it's night, day breaks.

Don't be sad. She says it so warmly, it makes the air change color. It came right through the wall last night.