from a how-to manual
For as the interior of the house (and we also mean by "house" Marriage) is the female and what is outside the house is male, it follows that whenever I (who am the male) enter the house, which lies passive and horizontal and open unto my comings and goings, and as I wander among its furnishings (which we will call the organs), the overstuffed armchair, the pink sofa, the rich red carpets, and come upon you, surprising you and-- but what more is there to add?
Stanley Crawford, Some Instructions to My Wife (Dalkey Archive, 1985)
from a gender-bending distance
I think men can really get in the way when you are trying to sort your life out and get on with it. Because they just take up so much space.
Jeanette Winterson, "The Art Of Fiction", Paris Review
from inside the belly of the whale, i.e. a requisitioned "man cave"
Sitting in the garage in a nightgown with a typewriter it might be the only time I'm calm.
Wendy Wasserstein, "The Art Of Fiction", Paris Review
from the son's youthful perspective
In his play, she's not quite capable of a real thought without the help of the romantic figure who is remembering her in the first scene... .. my mother isn't immortalized in it, she's plagiarized. She doesn't even get to own her own lines.
Richard Bausch, "Brace", Collected Stories of Richard Bausch
from a birth canal
My granny back in Tennessee was born with the web of a cowl over her head like a wedding veil, and I came into this world wearing that same veil. I see what other's don't. I am wed to the truth and a missionary of it.
Mary Karr, Lit: A Memoir
from a couch where one is watching reality TV and unintentionally turning it into a metaphor for performance of marriage gestures
It's about the careful construction of two central narratives: false actualization and authentic shame... it reflects our unrequited yearning for the authentic. Americans are drowning in a cesspool of fake emotion, nearly all of it aimed at getting us to buy junk.
Steve Almond somewhere
from ancient treatises on wars
It is impossible for either side to withdraw now; the only question at stake is whether or not we actively take the initiative.
Xerxes on the war between Greece and Persia
from rules in a world imagined by one of your favorite lesbian novelists
Men are best left in groups by themselves where they will entirely wear themselves out in drunkeness and competition. While this is taking place a woman may carry on with her life unhindered.
Your greatest possible strength is that every man believes he knows the sum and possibility of every woman.
Jeanette Winterson, Sexting the Cherry
from inside a seashell where we invest in the power of echoes
If left unused, conversations can grow rusty over time. The opinions and feelings we’ve expressed before, when left to their own devices, can grow sluggish and curmudgeonly. They become too used to sitting alone and unconsidered, and if you ask them to move, their joints can ache, or parts of them can crumble away. Sometimes you can return to an opinion you’ve not visited in years and find it’s died and rotted away without you even noticing. Sometimes a feeling we assume we’ll have forever can abandon us and leave a gap we don’t notice until we suddenly feel the need to call upon that feeling.
Janina Matthewson, Of Things Gone Astray