On Love - Thoughts from others - Harlan Ellison
Harlan Ellison is one of those authors who not only writes interesting things, but is also quite an interesting character himself (like Chuck Palahniuk, and Philip K. Dick).
One of Ellison's major themes is love. He's written a good deal about it, and while I'm doing my research on love, I couldn't exclude Ellison.
What follows are quotes from Ellison's pieces that reference that thing called love ...
On the night that he actually paid for love, the night he physically reached into his wallet and took out two ten dollar bills and gave them to the girl, the creature took full and final shape.
This girl: When "good girls" talk about "tramps" they mean this girl and her sisters. But there are no such things as "tramps" and even the criminal never thinks of himself in those terms. Working-girl, entrepreneur, renderer of services, smarty, someone just getting-along ... these are the ways of her thoughts. She has a family, and she has a past, and she has a face, as well as a place of sex.
But commercialism is the last sinkhole of love, and when it is reached, by paths of desperation and paths of cruel, misused emotions-all hope is gone. There is no return save by miracles, and there are no more miracles for the common among common men.
As he handed her the money, wondering why in God's name, why! the beast in the corner by the linen closet took its final shape, and substantiality, reality was its future. It had been called up by a series of contemporary incantations molded out of the sounds of passion and the stink of despair. [...]
From Harlan Ellison's Lonelyache (1964).
In every human being there is only so large a supply of love. It's like the limbs of a starfish, to some extent: if you chew off a chunk, it will grow back. But if you chew off too much, the starfish dies. Valerie B. chewed off a chunk of love from my dwindling reserve ... a reserve already nibbled by Charlotte and Lory and Sherri and Cindy and others down through the years. There's still enough there to make the saleable appearance of a whole creature, but nobody gets gnawed on that way without becoming a little dead. So, if Cupid (that perverted little motherfucker) decides his lightning ought to strike this gnarly tree trunk again, whoever or whatever gets me is going to get a handy second, damaged goods, something a little dead and a little crippled.
Having learned that, all I can advise is an impossible stance for all of you: utter openness and reasonable caution. Don't close yourself off, but jeezus, be careful of monsters with teeth. And just so you know what they look like when they come clanking after you, here is a photo of one. the package is so pretty, one can only urge you to remember Pandora. Be careful which boxes you open, troops.
From Harlan Ellison's Valerie: A True Memoir (1972).
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