For, what is order without common sense, but Bedlam’s front parlor? What is imagination without common sense, but the aspiration to out-dandy Beau Brummell with nothing but a bit of faded muslin and a limp cravat? What is Creation without common sense, but a scandalous thing without form or function, like a matron with half a dozen unattached daughters? And God looked upon the Creation in all its delightful multiplicity, and saw that, all in all, it was quite Amiable.
Stanley forced a smile to his lips at the memory of the onesided romance; it was silly, after all, a stupid childhood crush. Who’d fall in love with a fictional character? That was the kind of thing you laughed about as an adult. Or at least Harriet had thought so. He couldn’t quite do it, though. Couldn’t quite see it as a joke. It had felt too real, too raw and wild and fierce, for him to dismiss it even now. It was love, of a sort, stunted and unformed as it was. For a time, it had kept him sane.
It was the essence of life to disbelieve in death for one's self, to act as if life would continue forever. And life had to act also as if little issues were big ones. To take a realistic attitude toward life and death meant that one lapsed into unreality. Into insanity. It was ironic that the only way to keep one's sanity was to ignore that one was in an insane world or to act as if the world were sane.