The future is just your hope, expectation. And when this life is not fulfilling you start looking further, beyond death. All these are fictions just for you to survive somehow. But this survival is not how you are supposed to be. Existence has not given you birth just to live in hopes. You can be really ecstatic this moment, and there is no other moment. Meditation is, Zen is living now and here.
Whatsoever causes no annoyance when it is present, causes only a groundless pain in the expectation. Death, therefore, the most awful of evils, is nothing to us, seeing that, when we are, death is not come, and, when death is come, we are not. It is nothing, then, either to the living or to the dead, for with the living it is not and the dead exist no longer.
It goes against the American storytelling grain to have someone in a situation he can't get out of, but I think this is very usual in life. [. . . ] And it strikes me as gruesome and comical that in our culture we have an expectation that a man can always solve his problems. There is an implication that if you just have a little more energy, a little more fight, the problem can always be solved. That is so untrue that it makes me want to cry--or laugh.
What makes a date so dreadful is the weight of expectation attached to it. There is every chance that you may meet your soulmate, get married, have children and be buried side by side. There is an equal chance that the person you meet will look as if they've already been buried for some time.
When you showed someone how you felt, it was fresh and honest. When you told someone how you felt, there might be nothing behind the words but habit or expectation. Those three words were what everyone used; simple syllables couldn't contain something as rare as what I felt for Sean. I wanted him to feel what I felt when I was with him: that incredible combination of comfort, decadence, and wonder; the knowledge that, with just a single taste of him, I was addicted.