What Alice Forgot – Liane Moriarty
“Imagine forgetting the most important ten years of your life.”
“The problem was that she couldn’t attach herself to a ‘today’ or a ‘yesterday’ or even a last week. She was floating helplessly above the calendar like an escaped balloon.”
“But then again, other times, I walk on to the stage and I feel like there is some weight pressing on the back of my neck, making my head droop and my back hunch, like an old crone. I want to put my mouth close to the microphone and say, ‘What is the point of all this, ladies and gentlemen? You all seem like nice enough people, so help me out and tell me, what is the point?
Actually, I do know the point.
The point is they’re helping pay the mortgage. They’re each making a contribution to our groceries and our electricity and our water and our Visa bill. They’re all generously chipping in for the syringes and the shapeless hospital gowns and that last anaesthetist with the kind, doggy eyes who held my hand and said, ‘Go to sleep now, darling.’ Anyway, I digress. You want me to digress. You want me to just write and write whatever comes to my mind. I wonder if you find me boring. You always look so gently interested, but maybe you have days where I walk in the office looking all needy, bursting to tell you the pathetic details of my life, and you just long to put your elbows on your desk and your chin in your hands and say, ‘What is the point of all this, Elisabeth?’ and then you remember that the point is that I am paying for your Visa bill, mortgage, groceries… and so the world goes round.”
“You mentioned the other day that a feeling of pointlessness is a sign of depression, but you see there, I don’t have depression because I do see a point. Money is the point.”
“Maybe temporary insanity is just an excuse for inexcusable behaviour.”
“I’m too much of a control freak to have other people falling about laughing while they describe my own actions to me.”
“It’s 3.30 a.m. in the morning and sleep feels like something impossible and stupid that only other people do.”