It's not love—but she's important to me. I find myself listening for her footsteps down the hallway whenever she's been out.
I feel sick. Not like for a doctor, but inside my chest it feels empty, like getting punched and a heartburn at the same time.
So this is how a person can come to despise himself-knowing he's doing the wrong thing and not being able to stop.
We shook hands, and yet, strangely, it was much closer and more intimate than an embrace would have been.
"Why don't you look at me? Are you pretending I don't exist?"
"No, Charlie," she whispered. "I'm pretending I don't exist.
I present it to you as a hypothesis: Intelligence without the ability to give and receive affection leads to mental and moral breakdown, to neurosis, and possibly even psychosis. And I say that the mind absorbed in and involved in itself as a self-centered end, to the exclusion of human relationships, can only lead to violence and pain.
When I was retarded I had lots of friends.
Now I have no one.
Oh, I know lots of people.
Lots and lots of people.
But I don't have any real friends.
Not like I used to have in the bakery.
Not a friend in the world who means anything to me, and no one I mean anything to.