What are we to do with these spring days that are now fast coming on? Early this morning the sky was gray, but if you go to the window now you are surprised and lean your cheek against the latch of the casement.
The sun is already setting, but down below you see it lighting up the face of the little girl who strolls along looking about her, and at the same time you see her eclipsed by the shadow of the man behind overtaking her.
And then the man has passed by and the little girl’s face is quite bright
“Absent-minded Window-gazing” by Franz Kafka.
Often when I see clothes with manifold pleats, frills, and appendages which fit so smoothly onto lovely bodies I think they won’t keep that smoothness long, but will get creases that can’t be ironed out, dust lying so thick in the embroidery that it can’t be brushed away, and that no one would want to be so unhappy and so foolish as to wear the same valuable gown every day from early morning till night.
And yet I see girls who are lovely enough and display attractive muscles and small bones and smooth skin and masses of delicate hair, and nonetheless appear day in, day out, in this same natural fancy dress, always propping the same face on the same palms and letting it be reflected from the looking glass.
Only sometimes at night, on coming home late from a party, it seems in the looking glass to be worn out, puffy, dusty, already seen by too many people, and hardly wearable any longer.
“Clothes” by Franz Kafka.
B.I. #30 03-97 DRURY UT
‘I have to admit it was a big reason for marrying her, thinking I wasn’t likely going to do better than this because of the way she had a good body even after she’d had a kid. Trim and good and good legs—she’d had a kid but wasn’t all blown out and veiny and sagged. It probably sounds shallow, but it’s the truth. I’d always had this major dread of marrying some good-looking woman and then we have a kid and it blows her body out but I still have to have sex with her because this is who I’ve signed on to have sex with the whole rest of my life. This probably sounds awful, but in her case it was like she was pre-tested—the kid didn’t blow her body out, so I knew she’d be a good bet to sign on and have kids with and still try to have sex. Does that sound shallow? Tell me what you think. Or does the real truth about this kind of thing always sound shallow, you know, everybody’s real reasons? What do you think? How does it sound?’
“Brief Interview #30” by David Foster Wallace. From Brief Interviews with Hideous Men.