no one belongs here more than you.

That’s the name of a book by Miranda July. I think it is one of the loveliest things you could say to someone. I like her book (I don’t love it), but I love this passage.

I walked down the hall and saw that Theresa was sitting on the floor next to a chair. This is always a bad sign. But we have all been there. Chairs are for people, and you’re not sure if you are one. I knelt beside her. I rubbed her back, and then I stopped because I thought it might be too familiar, but that felt cold, so I patted her shoulder, which meant I was only touching her a third of the time. […] Theresa began to cry. I stopped with the patting and hugged her, and she hugged me back. I had made everything just horrible enough to bring Theresa’s sadness down to the next level, and I joined her there. It was a place of overwhelming collaborative misery, and we cried together. We could smell each other’s shampoo and the laundry detergents we had chosen, and I smelled that she didn’t smoke but someone she loved did, and she could feel that I was large but not genetically, not permanently, until I found my way again. The snaps on our jeans pressed into each other and our breasts exchanged their tired histories, tales of being over- and underutilized, floods and famines… We pushed our crying ahead of us like a lantern, searching out new and forgotten sadnesses, ones that had died politely years ago but in fact had not died, and came to life with a little water. We had loved people we really shouldn’t have loved and then married other people in order to forget our impossible loves, or we had once called out hello into the cauldron of the world and then run away before anyone could respond.
Always running and always wanting to go back but always being farther and farther away until, finally, it was just a scene in a movie where a girl says hello into the cauldron of the world and you are just a woman watching the movie with her husband on the couch and his legs are across your lap and you have to go to the bathroom. There were things of this general scale to cry about. But the biggest reason to cry was to drench the air in front of our faces. It was romance.


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