Marriage #ElizabethStrout #OliveKitteridge

You get used to things, he thinks, without getting used to things.

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You started to expect things at a certain age. Harmon knew that. You worried about heart attacks, cancer, the cough that turned into a ferocious pneumonia. You could even expect to have a kind of midlife crisis -but there was nothing to explain what he felt was happening to him, that he’d been put into a transparent plastic capsule that rose off the ground and was tossed and blown and shaken so fiercely that he could not possibly find his way back to the quotidian pleasures of his past life. Desperately, he did not want this. And yet, after that morning at Daisy’s, the sight of his wife Bonnie made him feel cold.

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There were days – she could remember this – when Henry would hold her hand as they walked home, middle-aged people, in their prime. Had they known at these moments to be quietly joyful? Most likely not. People mostly did not know enough when they were living life that they were living it. But she had that memory now, of something healthy and pure.

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“He put the blinker on, pulled out onto the avenue. “Well, that was nice,” she said, sitting back. They had fun together these days, they really did. It was as if marriage had been a long, complicatd meal, and now there was this lovely dessert.

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You couldn’t make yourself stop feeling a certain way, no matter what the other person did. You had to just wait. Eventually the feeling went away because others came along. Or sometimes it didn’t go away but got squeezed into something tiny, and hung like a piece of tinsel in the back of your mind.

Olive Kitteridge – Elizabeth Strout

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