the story of our life

“Once upon a time there was a woman who was just like all women. And she married a man who was just like all men. And they had some children who were just like all children. And it rained all day.

The woman had to skewer the hole in the kitchen sink, when it was blocked up.

The man went to the pub every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The other nights he mended his broken bicycle, did the pool coupons, and longed for money and power.

The woman read love stories and longed for things to be different.

The children fought and yelled and played and had scabs on their knees.

In the end they all died.”

(Elizabeth Smart, The Assumption of the Rogues & Rascals, p. 81.)

a sparkle even if synthetic

“When Jericho fell, weeping was permitted, and in Babylon it was fashionable to make a memorable moan by the retreating waters. But here you must go to your office, looking spritely, with a sparkle even if synthetic in your eye. For who dares to stand up and say ‘We are weary! O Christ but we are weary!’ ”

(Elizabeth Smart, The Assumption of the Rogues & Rascals, p. 23.)