When I was with Yoav, everything in me that had been sitting stood up. He had a way of looking at me with a kind of unabashed directness that made me shiver. It’s something amazing to feel that for the first time someone is seeing you as you really are, not as they wish you, or you wish yourself, to be. I’d had boyfriends before, and I was familiar with the little mating rituals of getting to know each other, of dragging out the stories from childhood, summer camp, and high school, the famous humiliations, and the adorable things you said as a child, the familial dramas – of drawing a portrait of yourself, all the while making yourself out to be a little brighter, a little more deep than deep down you knew you actually were. And though I hadn’t had more than three or four relationships, I already knew that each time the thrill of telling another the story of yourself wore off a little more, each time you threw yourself into it a little less, and grew more distrustful of an intimacy that always, int he end, failed to pass into true understanding.

He made me feel so clarified, so bright and exact, so moved…

Great House, Nicole Krauss, p. 134-4

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