"Love. I’m not capable of it, can’t even approach it from the side, let alone head-on. Nor am I alone in this—everyone is like this, the liars. Singing songs and painting pictures and telling each other stories about love and its mysteries and its marvelous properties, myths to keep morale up—maybe one day it’ll materialize. But I can say it ten times a day, a hundred times, “I love you,” to anyone and anything, to a woman, to a pair of pruning shears. I’ve said it without meaning it at all, taken love’s name in vain and gone dismally unpunished. Love will never be real, or if it is, it has no power. No power. There’s only covetousness, and if what we covet can’t be won with gentle words—and often it can’t—then there is force."