"Elle aurait pu avoir une vie aussi riche et dangereuse que la littérature" -p 107 -
Venture too far for love, she tells herself, and you renounce citizenship in the country you've made for yourself. You end up just sailing from port to port.
You try to hold the moment, just here, in the kitchen with the flowers. You try to inhabit it, to love it, because it's yours and because what waits immediatly outside these rooms is the hallway, with its brown tiles and its dim brown lamps that are always lit.
It isn't failure but it requires more of you, the whole effort does; just being present and grateful: being happy (terrible word). People don't look at you on the street anymore, or if they do it is not with sexual notions of any sort.
Clarissa recognizes these things but stands apart from them. She feels the presence of ther own ghost; the part of her at once most indestructibly alive and least distinct; the part that owns nothing; that observes with wonder and detachment, like a tourist in a museum, a row of glazed yellow pots and a countertop with a single crumb on it, a chrome spigot from which a single droplet trembles, gathers weight, and falls.
Clarissa is filled, suddenly, with a sense of dislocation.
And here she is, herself, Clarissa, not Mrs. Dalloway anymore; there is no none now to call her that. Here she is with another hour before her.
Still, she is glad to know (for somehow, suddenly, she knows) that it is possible to stop living. There is comfort in facing the full range of options; in considering all your choices, fearlessly and without guile. She imagines Virginia Woolf, virginal, unbalanced, defeated by the impossible demands of life and art; she imagines her stepping into a river with a stone in her pocket.
It seems, somehow, that she has left her own world and enterred the realm of the book.
As she rubs Louis's back, Clarissa thinks, Take me with you. I want a doomed love. I want streets at night, wind and rain, no one wondering where I am.
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