“I underwent, during the summer that I became fourteen, a prolonged religious crisis. I use “religious” in the common, and arbitrary, sense, meaning that I then discovered God, His saints and angels, and His blazing Hell. And since I had been born in a Christian nation, I accepted this Deity as the only one. I supposed Him to exist only within the walls of a church—in fact, of our church—and I also supposed that God and safety were synonymous.”
“We, the writers—a word I am using in its most primitive sense—arrived in Chicago about 10 days before the baffling, bruising, an unbelievable two minutes and six seconds at Comiskey Park. We will get to all that later.”
On police brutality in New York and the race riots of 1964.
“Since we live in an age in which silence is not only criminal but suicidal, I have been making as much noise as I can…”
“No one works better out of anguish at all; that’s an incredible literary conceit.”
During a train ride, a man reflects on his past lovers.
"I have not thought of that boy—Joey—for many years; but I see him quite clearly tonight. It was several years ago. I was still in my teens, he was about my age, give or take a year. He was a very nice boy, too, very quick and dark, and always laughing. For a while he was my best friend. Later, the idea that such a person could have been my best friend was proof of some horrifying taint in me. So I forgot him. But I see him very well tonight."