Search this site. How could I have imagined that the role Chloe came to play in my life could equally well have been filled by someone else, when it was with her eyes that I had fallen in love, and her way of draining pasta, combing her hair, and ending a phone conversation? My mistake was to confuse a destiny to love with a destiny to love a given person.
It was the error of thinking that Chloe, rather than love, was inevitable. But my fatalistic interpretation of the start of our story was at least proof of one thing: that I was in love with Chloe. The moment when I would feel that our meeting or not meeting was in the end only an accident, only a probability of one in Do we not fall in love partly out of a momentary will to suspend seeing through people, even at the cost of blinding ourselves a little in the process?
If cynicism and love lie at opposite ends of a spectrum, do we not sometimes fall in love in order to escape the debilitating cynicism to which we are prone?
I lost Chloe amidst the throng at passport control, but found her again in the luggage-reclaim area. She was struggling to push a trolley cursed with an inclination to steer to the right, though the Paris carousel was to the far left of the hall. Because my trolley had no mind of its own, I walked over to offer it to her, but she refused, saying one should remain loyal to trolleys, however stubborn, and that strenuous physical exercise was no bad thing after a flight.
Indirectly via the Karachi arrival , we made it to the Paris carousel, already crowded with faces grown involuntarily familiar since boarding at Charles de Gaulle.
The first pieces of luggage had begun to tumble down onto the jointed rubber matting, and faces peered anxiously at the moving display to locate their possessions. Have you? This Nazi asked me if I had anything to declare, and I said yes, even though I wasn't carrying anything illegal. It somehow makes me feel better. It's a bit of a freak. Except that I don't even have an excuse. I've been carrying mine around for over five years.
Could you look after my trolley while I look for the loo? I'll just be a minute. Oh, and if you see a pink carrier bag with a luminous green handle, that'll be mine. A little later, I watched Chloe walk back towards me across the hall, wearing what I later learnt was her usual pained and slightly anxious expression. She had a face that looked permanently near tears, her eyes carried the fear of a person about to be told a piece of very bad news.
Something about her made one want to comfort her, offer her reassurance or a hand to hold. Love was something I sensed very suddenly, shortly after she had embarked on what promised to be a very long and very boring story indirectly sparked by the arrival of the Athens flight in the carousel next to us about a holiday she had taken one summer with her brother in Rhodes. While Chloe talked, I watched her hands fiddling with the belt of her beige woollen coat a pair of freckles were collected below the index finger and realized as if this had been the most self-evident of truths that I loved her.
However awkward it was that she rarely finished her sentences, or was somewhat anxious, and had not perhaps the best taste in earrings, she was adorable. I fell prey to a moment of unrestrained idealization, dependent as much on my emotional immaturity as on the elegance of her coat, the after-effects of flying, and the depressing interior of the Terminal Four baggage area, against which her beauty showed up so starkly.
I had ceased to consider it according to the secular logic of ordinary conversations. I was no longer concerned to locate within it either insight or humour, what mattered was not so much what she was saying, as the fact that she was saying it - and that I had decided to find perfection in everything she could utter. I felt ready to follow her into every anecdote there was this shop that served fresh olives Everything that could possibly have played itself out within her mind and body had promptly grown fascinating.
Then the luggage arrived, hers only a few cases behind mine; we loaded it onto the trolleys and walked out through the green channel.
What is so frightening is the extent to which we may idealize others when we have such trouble tolerating ourselves because we have such trouble I must have realized that Chloe was only human, with all the implications carried by the word, but could I not be forgiven for my desire to suspend such a thought? Every fall into love involves the triumph of hope over self-knowledge. We fall in love hoping we won't find in another what we know is in ourselves, all the cowardice, weakness, laziness, dishonesty, compromise, and stupidity.
We throw a cordon of love around the chosen one and decide that everything within it will somehow be free of our faults. We locate inside another a perfection that eludes us within ourselves, and through our union with the beloved, hope to maintain against the evidence of all self-knowledge a precarious faith in our species.
Why did this awareness not prevent my fall into love? Because the illogicality and childishness of my desire did not outweigh my need to believe. I knew the void that romantic intoxication could fill, I knew the exhilaration that comes from identifying someone, anyone, as admirable. Long before I had even laid eyes on Chloe, I must have needed to find in the face of another an integrity I had never caught sight of within myself. Like Oscar Wilde with his genius, I wanted to say, 'Only my love,' but my love was not a crime, not yet at least.
Afraid of presumption, I answered no, but asked Chloe if she'd wait for me on the other side of the border. Love reinvents our needs with unique speed. My impatience with the customs ritual indicated that Chloe, who I had not known existed a few hours ago, had already acquired the status of a craving. Chloe had waited, but we could spend only a moment together. She had parked her car nearby. I had to take a taxi to my office.
Both parties hesitated whether or not to continue with the story. Well, it was nice meeting you,' said Chloe extending a hand.
In the taxi on the way into town, I felt a curious sense of loss. Could this really be love? To speak of love after we had barely spent a morning together was to encounter charges of romantic delusion and semantic folly. Yet we can perhaps only ever fall in love without knowing quite who we have fallen in love with. The initial convulsion is necessarily founded on ignorance.
Love or simple obsession? Who, if not time which lies in its own way , could possibly begin to tell? For those in love with certainty, seduction is no territory in which to stray. Every smile and word lead to a dozen if not twelve thousand possibilities. Remarks that in normal life that is, life without love can be taken at face value now exhaust dictionaries with their possible meanings.
The thought of Chloe did not stop haunting me in the days that followed our encounter. Though under pressure to complete plans for an office building near King's Cross, my mind drifted irresponsibly but irresistibly back to her.
I felt the need to circle around the object of my adoration, she kept breaking into consciousness with the urgency of a matter that had to be addressed, though my thoughts had no point to them, they were objectively speaking utterly devoid of interest.
Some of these Chloe-dreams ran like this, 'Oh, how sweet she is, how nice it would be to Others were more visual:! Chloe framed by the aircraft window! Her watery green eyes! Her teeth biting briefly into her lower lip! The tilt of her neck when yawning! The gap between her two front teeth! If only I had summoned such diligence for her phone number, for the digits had altogether evaporated from my memory a memory that felt its time better spent replaying images of Chloe's lower lip.
Was it ? The search began badly was not the beloved's abode but a funeral parlour off Upper Street, though the establishment didn't reveal itself to be one until the end of a trying conversation, in the course of which I learnt that After Life also had an employee called Chloe, who was summoned to the phone and spent agonizing minutes trying to place my name eventually identifying me as a customer who had made inquiries into urns before the confusion of names was cleared up and I hung up, red-faced, drenched with sweat, nearer death than life.
When I finally reached my Chloe at work the following day, she too seemed to have relegated me to the next world. Can you hold for a minute? I held, offended. Whatever intimacy I had imagined, back in office space, we were strangers. Can I call you back? I'll try to reach you either at home or in the office when things calm down. The telephone becomes an instrument of torture in the demonic hands of a beloved who doesn't ring. When Chloe called a few days later, I had rehearsed my speech too often to deliver it correctly.
I was caught unprepared, hanging socks on a rail. I ran to the bedroom to pick up. My voice carried with it a tension and an anger that I might more skilfully have erased from a page. Authorship becomes tempting to those who can't speak. I really can't this week. We could meet at my office and go to the National Gallery or something. The questions did not let up. Kuethe, Chuen-Yen Chow. Download Full Service by Will Weaver pdf.
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Gellman, Robert Rosenberg. Download Into the Wild by Larry Correia pdf. Gardner, Emma Laskin pdf. But, is Botton right? Maybe we're just breaking the rule, when we become aware of the authenticity we have given up. If, in reality, you do not fall in love, facing to a glass of wine, it means you haven't shaken your skepticism yet, in wich case you could start writing a book, as a reply to Alain de Botton's.
View 2 comments. Beautiful narration of emotions that a man undergoes in love. Never has a story moved me so much it made me engage in several profound introspections about myself and how I work around my own relationships. He has this unique way with philosophy that makes me feel like I could read his paragraphs and analysis repeatedly without getting bored, and that is something I have never expect to feel about this subject.
And to be short: I like this book so much I have to add Allain de Botton into my favorite authors list!! Jul 06, Cormac Healy rated it did not like it. I think I made it about 80 pages through this book, and I am pretty angry at myself for persevering that far, as I could tell within about 10 that I was going to hate this one.
What a stinker of a book. Everything I dislike in literature crammed into one soppy, patronizing mess. There are few things I am certain about in life, but I can say with absolute certainty that I would not get on with Mr Alain de Botton. Never have I read a book where I have disliked the author more. I am not sure if it I think I made it about 80 pages through this book, and I am pretty angry at myself for persevering that far, as I could tell within about 10 that I was going to hate this one.
I am not sure if it was the way he casually threw in a pretentious quote on love every second page to try and appear well-read, or the way he portrayed himself as so intellectually superior to the love interest, or the way that he refused to eat a freshly-made breakfast because none of the five different pots of jam were his favourite type, or the way that virtually all blame for failings in the relationship were placed upon the other character, but the one thing I am sure of is that this guy pissed me off.
A lot. It is also written in that smarmy "Ive had a perfect romance and you should all try and learn from it" style of memoir, basically suggesting this guys' idyllic experience was so worthwhile and meaningful that we should all be trying our hardest to emulate it. Maybe some people found it inspiring, some may even have found it entertaining, but I just found it condescending.
If you value your time at all then please steer clear of this quasi-philosophical musing on the wonders of love.
It is garbage of the highest order. Goodreads does not give me the chance for zero stars so you got lucky this time Alain, because if ever there was a book that had earned that lowest of all low ratings, this was the one. This book spoke of love in the way we already know but fail half of the time to articulate. And also why do books have this way of showing up just when you are at a certain moment or situation in your life and everything in the book feels like it was written especially for you?
A kind of wonder I will never have the ability to fathom. There is some sense of realization it imparts wit Wow. There is some sense of realization it imparts with its readers. A realization that stays with you. I have tabbed so much on this book, every paragraph speaks volumes, every definition of love - loaded with the weight of reality and the influences and conditions surrounding it.
It was just all encompassing. Truly a gem! Jul 31, Steph S. How many of us read the Carver story "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love" for the first time and were brutally disappointed to find four alcoholics talking at a kitchen table, and not a collection of erudite, pseudo-intellectual, slyly funny musings about romance and sex?
In , Alain de Botton, at 23, rushed in to fill the gap with a novel stylized as the highly organized, possibly pretentious diary entries of a self-aware yet unreliable male narrator throughout the duration of a relat How many of us read the Carver story "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love" for the first time and were brutally disappointed to find four alcoholics talking at a kitchen table, and not a collection of erudite, pseudo-intellectual, slyly funny musings about romance and sex?
In , Alain de Botton, at 23, rushed in to fill the gap with a novel stylized as the highly organized, possibly pretentious diary entries of a self-aware yet unreliable male narrator throughout the duration of a relationship with a woman he meets on a flight from Paris to London. The woman in question, Chloe, as one can probably guess by her name, is a manic pixie dream girl.
She likes deserts, she has a gap between her two front teeth, and she once bought a pair of shoes that the narrator found horrendous. That's all that I can remember about Chloe off-hand. So what's engaging about On Love is not the charm of the characters, or their chemistry. But de Botton turns this to his advantage. He suggests, directly and indirectly, that when we are in the throes of love we believe it to be due to a magical combination of our boundless charm and a once-in-a-lifetime chemistry.
We, in fact, fall in love in order to feel charming and special. Love is some kind of socially accepted delusion, a fairy tale whose magic we have access to as long as the one we love loves us back. For sure it is one of the best I have ever read in the topic.
We can only be somewhat shocked-how can they be as wonderful as we had hoped when they have the bad taste to approve of someone like us? Forgetting, however calming, was also a reminder of infidelity to what I had at one time held so dear. Albert Camus suggested that we fall in love with people because, from the outside, they look so whole, physically whole and emotionally 'together' - when subjectively we feel dispersed and confused.
We would not love if there were no lack within us, but we are offended by the discovery of a similar lack in the other. Without these cookies, we won't know if you have any performance-related issues that we may be able to address. These cookies help us understand user behavior within our services.
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