Quotes from “An American Marriage” by Tayari Jones

“You know my folks love you,” I said.

“They love you.”

“And I love you, so they love you. It’s basic math.”
And when we gave up, God gave up on us, too. Not that He ever gives up, but you know what I mean.
Love makes a place in your life, it makes a place for itself in your bed. Invisibly, it makes a place in your body, rerouting all your blood vessels, throbbing right alongside your heart. When it’s gone, nothing is whole again.
Maybe that’s what innocence is, having no way to predict the pain of the future. When something happens that eclipses the imaginable, it changes a person. It’s like the difference between a raw egg and a scrambled egg. It’s the same thing, but it’s not the same at all. That’s the best way that I can put it. I look in the mirror and I know it’s me, but I can’t quite recognize myself.
Memory is a queer creature, an eccentric curato
Love is the enemy of sound judgment, and occasionally this is in service of the good.
Sometimes when you like where you end up, you don’t care how you got there.”
home isn’t where you land; home is where you launch. You can’t pick your home any more than you can choose your family. In poker, you get five cards. Three of them you can swap out, but two are yours to keep: family and native land.
People have a lot of things to say when they don’t know what goes on behind closed doors, up under the covers, and between night and morning
Looking back on it, it’s like watching a horror flick and wondering why the characters are so determined to ignore the danger signs. When a spectral voice says, get out, you should do it. But in real life, you don’t know that you’re in a scary movie. You think your wife is being overly emotional.
you have a woman, you recognize when you have said the wrong thing. Somehow she rearranges the ions in the air and you can’t breathe as well.
It was a wonderful feeling to be grown and yet young. To be married but not settled. To be tied down yet free.
always had a weakness for shooting-star women. When you’re with them, you know that you’re deep into something, none of that hi-and-bye stuff
Elle
Ellehas quotedlast year
My prayer for you is for peace, which is something you have to make. You can’t just have it (words of wisdom from my Biological, who I go visit most Sundays—he’s getting old in there and it is hard to watch).
Elle
Ellehas quotedlast year
But mostly my life is good, only it’s a different type of good from what I figured on. Some days I get antsy and start talking to Davina about pulling up stakes and starting over in Houston, New Orleans, or even Portland. She humors me, but when I’m done, she smiles because we both know I’m not going anywhere. And when she smiles at me, I can’t help giving one back. This is home. This is where I am.
Elle
Ellehas quotedlast year
“I married him for a reason,” she said. “You can never really unlove somebody. Maybe it changes shape, but it’s there.”
Elle
Ellehas quotedlast year
“How did we end up here? My key works, but you won’t let me in.”
Elle
Ellehas quotedlast year
Andre and I had an everyday thing. We moved each other like we had done it forever, because we had.
Elle
Ellehas quotedlast year
CELESTIAL OWED ME nothing. A few months ago, this was the beauty of what we had. No debts. No trespasses. She said that love can change its shape, but for me at least, this is a lie.
Elle
Ellehas quotedlast year
THE VAST GENEROSITY of women is a mysterious tunnel, and nobody knows where it leads. The writing on the walls spells out trick questions, and as a man, you must know that you cannot reason your way out. What unkindness showed me that she loved me by revealing the ways that she didn’t love me? Celestial was offering herself to me like a banquet prepared in the presence of my enemies, like a flawless red pear. What cruelty revealed that she cared by making me understand the limits of the same?
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