Everything about him began to annoy me. The way he whistled in the bathroom, and moved his lips as he read the paper, the way he had to ruin every nice moment by pointing its niceness out. When I was not aggravated with him I was angry at myself, angry and full of guilt for causing so much grief to this man for whom happiness, or at the very least gladness, came easily, who had a talent for putting strangers at ease and drawing them over to his side so that people naturally went out of their way to do him favors, but whose Achilles’ heel was his poor judgment, proof being that he had willfully roped himself to me, a person who was always falling through the ice, who had the opposite effect on others, immediately making them raise their hackles, as if they sensed that their shins might be kicked.

Great House, by Nicole Krauss, pp. 37-38

Sometimes I guess we go about hurting each other, hating each other, and hating ourselves for all of that in our spare time. What is this force greater than our own volition, dragging out the ugly despite all hopes of beauty and forgiveness and goodness and redemption? 

 

“So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited.” -2 Cor. 12:7

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