Eileen – Ottessa Moshfegh – Quotes

Looking at my reflection really did soothe me, though I hated my face with a passion. Such is the life of self-obsessed.

I was terribly grim and unaffected, unfriendly. Or else I was strained and chipper and awkward, grating. “Ha-ha”, I said, “Coming or going, that’s me – flat.” I’d never learned how to relate to people, much less how to speak up for myself. I preferred to sit and rage quietly.

There is nobody watching you when you’re alone. You decide for yourself what’s right and wrong. There are no prizes for good little girls. If you want something, fight for it. Don’t be a fool.” I don’t think she was ever so caring as when she delivered this terrifying pronouncement: “To hell with God. And to hell with your father.”

I didn’t like dogs. Not because they scared me – they didn’t – but because their deaths were so much harder to take than people’s.

I can say my heart was broken as much over the loss os that dog as by the death of my own mother. I imagine I’m not the only person on Earth to feel that way, but for a long time the feelings seemed shameful. Perhaps has I a Dr. Frye to confess this to, I might have uncovered something which would have brought me relief, a new perspective, but I never did. Anyway, I don’t trust those people who poke around sad people’s minds and tell them how interesting it all is up there. It’s not interesting. My mother was mean and that dog was nice. One doesn’t need a college degree.

A grown woman is like a coyote – she can get by on very little. Men are more like house cats. Leave them alone for too long and they’ll die of sadness.

Evidence of a will of my own was seen as the ultimate betrayal. I was his nurse, his aide, his concierge. All he really required, however, was gin.

[…]and a doctor told me the bad news, which was that if he stopped drinking he might die, and if he continued, it would surely kill him. “It’s quite a quandary,” the doctor told me […]

I sincerely believed that if there was less of me, I would have fewer problems. Perhaps it was for this reason that I wore my mother’s clothes – to be vigilant in my mission never to reach even her minor proportions. As I’ve said, her life, the life of a woman, seemed utterly detestable to me.

I don’t know where we went wrong in my family. We weren’t terrible people, no worse than any of you. I suppose it’s the luck of the draw, where we end up, what happens.

Photo by Violetta Kaszubowska @vkphotospace.com 

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