But it is not enough. Pursuing Beauty was meant as a stand-in for the absence of Love, that fickle-faced creature. It was because Love was not there when I was six that I wanted to be a genius, even though I knew I was not, because it had the shine of love. It was because Love was not there that the day before a new school year was to start, when I felt disheartened enough arguing with Dad, that I wanted to kill myself—for the first time, at the age of seven. It was because Love is not here that I feel nothing for other people at the age of forty-seven. It is because I am not listening to Love when it is there that I no longer care about myself or others or God. It is because Love does not exist in my heart that I don’t care about a damn thing…

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