Call it professional interest. You see, Jessamine, love is a kind of poison; one of my favorite kinds, in fact. It infects the blood; it takes over the mind; it seizes dominion over the body. It amuses me to think of him pining for you. Aching for what he cannot have. The loneliness in his soul is festering like a wound. There is nothing I could do for him that is worse that what you have already done, my lovely. And I assure you, in his case there will be no cure.
Over the course of your life you are actually hundreds of different people. You are a different person at the coffee shop than you are at the bar, and a different person for the dry cleaner than you are for your boyfriend, and a different person at work than you are on vacation. You are nobody in particular. But once somebody finds you and loves you, you have to keep being the person that they love. You want thier love. You need to keep getting it even if it means pretending.. But no one loved her and so she could keep changing.
You flesh bodies are so obsessed with goodness, yet no other form of life on earth is capable of such cruelty. You need only convince yourselves your transgressions serve some 'purpose.' Even if it is only greed, or lust, or the raw desire for power that drives you. You will spill the blood of your kinsmen, lay waste to the earth itself, wreak havoc, and cause unspeakable suffering---any and all sins are justified, as long as they are a means to your precous, righteous 'purpose'.
When something terrible happens, a lifetime of small events and unremarkable decisions, of unresolved anger, and unexplored fears begins to play itself out in ways you least expect. You've been going along from one day to the next, not realizing that all those disparate words and gestures were adding up to something, a conclusion, you didn't anticipate. And later, when you begin to retrace your steps you see that you will need to reach back further than you could have imagined, beyond words and thoughts and even dreams, perhaps to make sense of what happened.
..I just gave up trying to be a Christian.. Let's face it, I ain't got the knack for holiness. Besides, I didn't have the slightest little desire to join the likes of Reverend Pelham at the dinner table for fourteen minutes, much less at the banquet table of Heaven eternally. Eternity is a mighty long time to be stuck with people who judge every word you say and think and condemn most of what you do. It struck me as pretty miserable company. And if Reverend Pelham was the kind of company God preferred to keep, well, I just hoped they'd be happy together.
.. The long train ride was like traveling through limbo. You weren't anywhere when you were on a train, she decided. You weren't where you had been, and you weren't yet where you were going. You were nowhere. It might be beautiful outside the window-and it was, she had sense enough to realize that-but it wasn't anywhere to her, just a scene passing by that was framed by the train window. (p160)
As for fame, fame felt like nothing. Fame was not a sensation like love or hunger or loneliness, welling from within and invisible to the outside eye. It was rather entirely external, coming from the minds of others. It existed in the way people looked at him or behaved towards him. In that, being famous was no different from being gay, or Jewish, or from a visible minority: you are who you are, and then people project onto you some notion they have.
God has made us so that we must be mutually dependent. We may ignore our own dependence, or refuse to acknowledge that others depend upon us in more respects than the payment of weekly wages; but the thing must be, nevertheless. Neither you nor any other master can help yourselves. The most proudly independent man depends on those around him for their insensible influence on his character - his life.