"It was her first furious smothering love."
— Jack Kerouac, The Town and The City
"Alcohol is like love. The first kiss is magic, the second is intimate, the third is routine."
— Raymond Chandler
"I am glad it cannot happen twice, the fever of first love. For it is a fever, and a burden, too, whatever the poets may say."
— Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
At the precise moment her father’s final exhalation resolved itself on this earth, she’d decided that the proper wardrobe of an orphan included, unquestionably, a corduroy blazer. It would serve her in the same way that a rose’s guard petals protect the precious ones beneath it, growing brown and streaked where too much stasis and leaning occurred with the other roses. The rest of the flower continues on, unharmed, with the protection of the guard petals. This would be like her future corduroy coat. She would wear it for three seasons out of four. She would be an orphan with protection. She would take on a different identity.
This was not the first occasion on which she’d taken on a new persona in the event that life had offered her the opportunity to do so. At the age of 20, she’d fallen in love and subsequently played Bob Dylan’s “Lay Lady Lay” over and over and with alacrity read Kierkegaard’s “Diary of a Seducer,” glancing from its pages often, distracted by what her new lover could be thinking. She hoped his thoughts were of her, assiduously studying the cafard of intimacy with a furrowed brow and suspended breath.
"There are few things we should keenly desire if we really knew what we wanted."
— La Rochefoucauld
"What was it inside of me that had turned pursuit and clutching into love, and then turned it inside out again? What was it that had turned winning into losing, and losing — who knows — into winning? I was sure I had loved Brenda, though standing there, I knew I couldn’t any longer."
— Philip Roth, Goodbye, Columbus
"It didn’t matter in the end how old they had been, or that they were girls, but only that we had loved them, and that they hadn’t heard us calling, still do not hear us, up here in the tree house, with our thinning hair and soft bellies, calling them out of those rooms where they went to be alone for all time…and where we will never find the pieces to put them back together."
— Jeffrey Eugenides, The Virgin Suicides
"Once you’ve fallen, you discover that you’re twinned. You’re permeable, your thoughts ‘float into one another.’ You mirror each other. You have everything in common. It’s ecstasy when you’re together, agony when you’re apart. When reality conspires to put obstacles in your path, to prohibit, to make secrecy a need, passion is fueled, excitement doubled. All your senses are newly alive. The universe accrues in significance. The smallest signs are meaningful. When your lover is absent, you long, you yearn, you adore the memory of him. When he’s present, you’re blissful, omnipotent."
— Lisa Appignanesi, All About Love: Anatomy of an Unruly Emotion (on first love, young love)
"I had no first love. I began with the second."
— Ivan Turgenev, First Love