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Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

2:37pm | Aug 23rd, 2009

“I bumped into something and was knocked to the ground. It took me several breaths to gather myself together, at first I thought I’d walked into a tree, but then that tree became a person, who was also recovering on the ground, and then I saw that it was her, and she saw that it was me, ‘Hello,’ I said, brushing myself off, ‘Hello,’ she said. ‘This is so funny.’ ‘Yes.’ How could it be explained? ‘Where are you going?’ I asked. ‘Just for a walk,’ she said, ‘and you?’ ‘Just for a walk.’ We helped each other up, she brushed leaves from my hair, I wanted to touch her hair, ‘That’s not true,’ I said, not knowing what the next words out of my mouth would be, but wanting them to be mine, wanting, more than I’d ever wanted anything, to express the center of me and be understood. ‘I was walking to see you.’ I told her, ‘I’ve come to your house each of the last six days. For some reason I needed to see you again.’ She was silent, I had made a fool of myself, there’s nothing wrong with not understanding yourself and she started laughing, laughing harder than I’d ever felt anyone laugh, the laughter brought on tears, and the tears brought on more tears, and then I started laughing, out of the most deep and complete shame, ‘I was walking to you,’ I said again, as if to push my nose into my own shit, ‘because I wanted to see you again,’ she laughed and laughed, ‘That explains it,’ she said when she was able to speak. ‘It?’ ‘That explains why, each of the last six days, you weren’t at your house.’ We stopped laughing, I took the world into me, rearranged it, and sent it back out as a question: ‘Do you like me?’” ~Jonathan Safran Foer in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

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