I certainly should have,' he agrees, smiling and thinking what an absurd and universally-accepted bit of nonsense it is, that your best friends must necessarily be the ones who best understand you. As if there weren't far too much understanding in the world already; above all, that understanding between lovers, celebrated in song and story, which is actually such torture that no two of them can bear it without frequent separations or fights.
Staring and staring into the mirror, it sees many faces within its face - the face of the child, the boy, the young man, the not-so-young man - all present still, preserved like fossils on superimposed layers, and, like fossils, dead. Their message to this live dying creature is: Look at us - we have died - what is there to be afraid of?It answers them: But that happened so gradually, so easily. I'm afraid of being rushed.
He crosses the front room, which he calls his study, and comes down the staircase. The stairs turn a corner; they are narrow and steep. You can touch both handrails with your elbows, and you have to bend your head, even if, like George, you are only five eight. This is a tightly planned little house. He often feels protected by its smallness; there is hardly room enough here to feel lonely. Nevertheless.