André Aciman Quotes
My love stories are about people who are reluctant to actualize what they so desperately want. They are timid, cautious, but eventually they dare to speak. My characters are not only hesitant; they are ambivalent about which way their libido flows: toward men or women? They are fluid in their sexuality, and this ambivalence says more about how we think about sex today than, say, Tinder. And this is a truly modern idea: Most of us don’t know who we are sexually.
I stopped for a second. If you remember everything, I wanted to say, and if you are really like me, then before you leave tomorrow, or when you’re just ready to shut the door of the taxi and have already said goodbye to everyone else and there’s not a thing left to say in this life, then, just this once, turn to me, even in jest, or as an afterthought, which would have meant everything to me when we were together, and, as you did back then, look me in the face, hold my gaze, and call me by your name
There is always going to be a risk in a new love, a difficulty to be overcome, and more so considering all the challenges facing gay love, particularly in an adolescent. The desired other person could turn out to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing, could hurt us, could even ruin us. But the risk has to be taken.
Most of us can’t help but live as though we’ve got two lives to live, one is the mockup, the other the finished version, and then there are all those versions in between. But there’s only one, and before you know it, your heart is worn out, and, as for your body, there comes a point when no one looks at it, much less wants to come near it. Right now there’s sorrow. I don’t envy the pain. But I envy you the pain. (p. 225)
Many critics speak about coming-of-age love, about initiation, about young libido, and so forth. I’ve never seen it only this way. We continue to examine things ever so minutely, we interpret obsessively. We may be less bold at 40 than we were at 17, but we’re familiar with the road map; we know the bumps in the road; we recognize the sudden turns, the one-way streets, and the dead ends. And we are hurt just the same as when we were teenagers.
If there is pain, nurse it, and if there is a flame, don’t snuff it out, don’t be brutal with it. Withdrawal can be a terrible thing when it keeps us awake at night, and watching others forget us sooner than we’d want to be forgotten is no better. We rip out so much of ourselves to be cured of things faster than we should that we go bankrupt by the age of thirty and have less to offer each time we start with someone new. But to feel nothing so as not to feel anything – what a waste!