‘It is curious that I can’t say who I am. That is to say, I know it all too well, but I can’t say it… I feel who I am and the impression is lodged in the highest part of my brain, on my lips (especially on my tongue), on the surface of my arms and also running through me, deep inside my body, but where, exactly where, I can’t say. The taste is grey, slightly reddish, a bit bluish in the old parts, and it moves like gelatin, sluggishly. Sometimes it becomes sharp and wounds me, colliding with me.’

– Clarice Lispector, Near to the Wild Heart

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‘If he doesn’t telephone me, I’ll know God is angry with me. I’ll count five hundred by fives, and if he hasn’t called me then, I will know God isn’t going to help me, ever again. That will be the sign. Five, ten, fifteen, twenty, twenty-five, thirty, thirty-five, forty, forty-five, fifty, fifty-five. . . It was bad. I knew it was bad. All right, God, send me to hell. You think You’re frightening me with Your hell, don’t You? You think. Your hell is worse than mine.

I mustn’t. I mustn’t do this. Suppose he’s a little late calling me up – that’s nothing to get hysterical about. Maybe he isn’t going to call – maybe he’s coming straight up here without telephoning. He’ll be cross if he sees I have been crying. They don’t like you to cry. He doesn’t cry. I wish to God I could make him cry. I wish I could make him cry and tread the floor and feel his heart heavy and big and festering in him. I wish I could hurt him like hell.’

– Dorothy Parker, A Telephone Call

 

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