Jenny Offill

Buy book

8 Fragments (saved in 2020)

The window in our bedroom is open. You can see the moon if you lean out and crane your neck. The Greeks thought it was the only heavenly object similar to Earth. Plans and animals fifteen times stronger than our own inhabited it.

The moon will be fine, I think. No one's worrying about the moon.

Q: What is the philosophy of late capitalism? A: Two hikers see a hungry bear on the trail ahead of them. One of them takes out his running shoes and puts them on. "You can't outrun a bear," the other whispers. "I just have to outrun you," he says.

Ostensibly there is color, ostensibly sweetness, ostensibly bitterness, actually only atoms and the void.

Ben told me that in greek culture it has historically been considered both a duty and an honor to take care of strangers. You can see it with the villagers. The way they go out to rescue people in their boats or bring food to the exhausted ones on the beach. In ancient times, the gods used to test mortals by arriving on their doorsteps clothed in rags to see if they would be welcomed or turned away.

There is a tradition in Judaism that happiness and sorrow must be intermingled. On Passover, you are instructed to remove drops of wine before drinking it to lessen your pleasure. Each drop removed represents a tragedy that befell those who went before you.

Funny how when you're married all you want is to be anonymous to each other again, but when you're anonymous all you want is to be married and reading together in bed.

My husband is under the covers reading a long book about an ancient war. He turns out the light, arranges the blankes so we'll stay warm. The dog twiches her paws softly against the bed. Dreams of running, of other animals. I wake to the sound of gunshots. Walnuts on the roof, Ben says. The core delusion is that I am here and you are there.