“You’re mistaking happiness for unhappiness. That’s why the French are so melancholic. Everything beautiful makes them cry. They invented existentialism as an excuse not to love their wives”
“We left the motel one afternoon and went for a walk in the park. The clouds were like a group of sheep that was gathering to be shorn. There was a scent called Five Minutes Before It Rains. If you put it on your neck, whoever kissed you would cry.”
“Children who just wanted a few more minutes were still outside playing. Their mothers’ voices were calling them in were like pieces of paper. The wind crunched them up and threw them away before they could get to the children’s ears.”
“There was a poster of a heart on the wall, held up with thumb tacks. There were little names of the parts of the heart with arrows drawn to them: Aorta, Obsession, Right Ventricle, Sentimentality, Pulmonary Artery, Pathos, Pulmonic Valve, Sadness, Romanticism, Delusion, Love, Hatred, Superior Vena Cava.”
“Up until 1932, unpasteurized milk weeded out the weak. Only the strongest little babies survived in Quebec. The greatest strongmen in history were born in Quebec at the beginning of the century. They swallowed boiled eggs whole. They lifted washing machines over their heads. They attached buses to their belts and walked down thee street. Louis Cyr was the strongest man who ever lived and once lifted eighteen men on his back. Once milk became pasteurized, poets were able to live past three months. They were all over Montreal with their pale skin and giant eyes. The poets and the strong men never had any idea what to make of one another.”
And if you’re like me you’ve already fallen in love five times over with Heather O’Neill and her latest book, The Girl Who Was Saturday Night. Her follow up to the perfect Lullabies for Little Criminals. If I’m honest, I didn’t like this book as much as her first (one of my all time favourites), but it was still unbelievably beautiful. The Girl Who Was follows around the disheveled and dysfunctional lives of the barely adult children of a Quebecois folk legend. The story is great and everything, but it’s her emotional metaphors that get me. Each page left me feeling romantic and nostalgic and overcome. So beautiful. Go read it.