He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man. She didn’t like to be talked about. Equally, she didn’t like not to be talked about, when the high-minded chatter rushed on as though she was not there. There was no pleasing her, in fact. She had the grace, even at eleven, to know there was no pleasing her. She thought a lot, analytically, about other people’s feelings, and had only just begun to realize that this was not usual, and not reciprocated. It’s wrong what they say about the past, I’ve learned, about how you can bury it. Because the past claws its way out. Life, although it may only be an accumulation of anguish, is dear to me, and I will defend it. Beware; for I am fearless, and therefore powerful. But who can remember pain, once it’s over? All that remains of it is a shadow, not in the mind even, in the flesh. Pain marks you, but too deep to see. Out of sight, out of mind. Why does the mind do such things? Turn on us, rend us, dig the claws in. If you get hungry enough, they say, you start eating your own heart. Maybe it’s much the same.