Lying in the bed that had once held two, Lisey thought alone never felt more lonely than when you woke up and discovered you still had the house to yourself. That you and the mice in the walls were the only ones still breathing.
It is always a disappointment to turn from forthright consideration of some subject - whether from the Left or the Right, a poet or a plumber - to the Beltway version, in which the only aspects of the issue that matter are the effects it will have on the fortunes of the two parties and the various men in power.
And first Satan's endeavours have ever been, and they cease not yet to instill a belief in the minde of man, There is no God at all. . . . that the necessity of his entity dependeth upon ours, and is but a Politicall Chymera. . . . Where he succeeds not thus high, he labours to introduce a secondary and deductive Atheisme; that although, men concede there is a God, yet . . . that he intendeth only the care of the species or common natures, but letteth loose the guard of individuals, and single existencies therein: That he looks not below the Moon, but hath designed the regiment of sublunary affairs unto inferiour deputations. To promote which apprehensions or empuzzell their due conceptions, he casteth in the notions of fate, destiny, fortune, chance and necessity. . . . Whereby extinguishing in mindes the compensation of vertue and vice, the hope and fear of heaven or hell; they comply in their actions unto the drift of his delusions. . . .
All that the hand of man can uprear, is either overturned by the hand of man, or at length by standing and continuing consumed: as if there were a secret opposition in Fate (the unevitable decree of the Eternal) to control our industry, and countercheck all our devices and proposing. Possessions are not enduring, children lose their names. . . .
I wanted to get out and walk southward toward the park through the soft twilight, but each time I tried to go I became entangled in some wild, strident argument which pulled me back, as if with ropes, into my chair. Yet high over the city our line of yellow windows must have contributed their share of human secrecy to the casual watcher in the darkening streets, and I was him too, looking up and wondering. I was within and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life.
There was another silence, while Marjorie considered whether or not convincing her mother was worth the trouble. People over forty can seldom be permanently convinced of anything. At eighteen our convictions are hills from which we look; at forty-five they are caves in which we hide.http://www.sc.edu/fitzgerald/bernice/bernice.html
Public lives are lived out on the job and in the marketplace, where certain rules, conventions, laws, and social customs keep most of us in line. Private lives are lived out in the presence of family, friends, and neighbors who must be considered and respected even though the rules and proscriptions are looser than what's allowed in public. But in our secret lives, inside our own heads, almost anything goes.