Highlights from Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin

Cover of Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow
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Highlights from this book

  • To design a game is to imagine the person who will eventually play it.

  • She drove a red, American-made convertible, with the top down if weather permitted (in Los Angeles, it usually did) and a silk printed scarf in her hair. She was barely five feet, only an inch taller than the eleven-year-old Sadie, but she was always dressed impeccably in the bespoke clothes she bought in Paris once a year: crisp white blouses, soft gray wool pants, bouclé or cashmere sweaters. She was never without her hexagonal weapon of a leather handbag, her scarlet lipstick, her delicate gold wristwatch, her tuberose-scented perfume, her pearls. Sadie thought she was the most stylish woman in the world.

  • There is a time for any fledgling artist where one’s taste exceeds one’s abilities. The only way to get through this period is to make things anyway.

  • If Marx at twenty-two had a problem, it was that he was attracted to too many things and people. Marx’s favorite adjective was “interesting.” The world seemed filled with interesting books to read, interesting plays and movies to see, interesting games to play, interesting food to taste, and interesting people to have sex with and sometimes even to fall in love with. To Marx, it seemed foolish not to love as many things as you could.

  • For Marx, the world was like a breakfast at a five-star hotel in an Asian country—the abundance of it was almost overwhelming. Who wouldn’t want a pineapple smoothie, a roast pork bun, an omelet, pickled vegetables, sushi, and a green-tea-flavored croissant?

  • Sam’s grandfather had two core beliefs: (1) all things were knowable by anyone, and (2) anything was fixable if you took the time to figure out what was broken.

  • “Hi,” Sam said, without looking at her. “You can watch if you want. I’m going to play until the end of this life.” “That’s a good philosophy,” Anna said.

  • The obvious place for them to go was Los Angeles, the city of her birth. She had resisted returning there because to return to one’s hometown felt like surrender.

  • She went to all of their usual Harvard Square haunts: the movie theater, the library, the Coop, the Mexican place, the video store in the Garage, the bookstore, the other bookstore, the other other bookstore…

  • By eleven-thirty, Sadie was in her pajamas, teeth brushed and flossed, ready to go to bed. She wondered if this was what other twenty-three-year-olds’ Friday nights were like. When she was forty, would she lament that she hadn’t had sex with more people and partied more? But then, she didn’t enjoy many people, and she had never gone to a party that she wasn’t eager to leave. She hated being drunk, though she did enjoy smoking a joint every now and then. She liked playing games, seeing a foreign movie, a good meal. She liked going to bed early and waking up early. She liked working. She liked that she was good at her work, and she felt proud of the fact that she was well paid for it. She felt pleasure in orderly things—a perfectly efficient section of code, a closet where every item was in its place. She liked solitude and the thoughts of her own interesting and creative mind. She liked to be comfortable. She liked hotel rooms, thick towels, cashmere sweaters, silk dresses, oxfords, brunch, fine stationery, overpriced conditioner, bouquets of gerbera, hats, postage stamps, art monographs, maranta plants, PBS documentaries, challah, soy candles, and yoga. She liked receiving a canvas tote bag when she gave to a charitable cause. She was an avid reader (of fiction and nonfiction), but she never read the newspaper, other than the arts sections, and she felt guilty about this.

  • To return to the city of one’s birth always felt like retreat.

  • Sam’s doctor said to him, “The good news is that the pain is in your head.” But I am in my head, Sam thought.

  • She felt, in a way, that she finally understood Marx (though he was now effectively settled down with Zoe). Long relationships might be richer, but relatively brief, relatively uncomplicated encounters with interesting people could be lovely as well. Every person you knew, every person you loved even, did not have to consume you for the time to have been worthwhile.

  • Despite the title, the cherry blossoms are not the subject; it is a painting about the creative process—its solitude and the ways in which an artist, particularly a female one, is expected to disappear.

    — (regarding Cherry Blossoms at Night, by Katsushika Ōi)
  • It isn’t a sadness, but a joy, that we don’t do the same things for the length of our lives.

  • It occurred to Sadie: She had thought after Ichigo that she would never fail again. She had thought she arrived. But life was always arriving. There was always another gate to pass through.

  • He went to see another therapist to help with his driving anxiety. Sam hated therapy, but he needed to get places, and so, therapy it was. The easiest way to conquer a driving phobia, the therapist said, was to drive.

  • “Your cousin Albert told me that, in business, they call this a pivot. But life is filled with them, too. The most successful people are also the most able to change their mindsets. You may not ever have a romantic relationship with Sadie, but you two will be friends for the rest of your lives, and that is something of equal or greater value, if you choose to see it that way.”

  • “‘Zweisamkeit’ is the feeling of being alone even when you’re with other people.” Simon turned to look in his husband’s eyes. “Before I met you, I felt this constantly. I felt it with my family, my friends, and every boyfriend I ever had. I felt it so often that I thought this was the nature of living. To be alive was to accept that you were fundamentally alone.”

  • The way to turn an ex-lover into a friend is to never stop loving them, to know that when one phase of a relationship ends it can transform into something else. It is to acknowledge that love is both a constant and a variable at the same time.

  • What makes a person want to shiver in a train station for nothing more than the promise of a secret image? But then, what makes a person drive down an unmarked road in the middle of the night? Maybe it was the willingness to play that hinted at a tender, eternally newborn part in all humans. Maybe it was the willingness to play that kept one from despair.