BUT ON THE REALLY crucial decisions of life—Do I love her enough to marry her? Is it worth dying for? Can I give my life to this?—when it comes to decisions like these, it is not just the pro-and-con-listing part of me or the coin-tossing and advice-seeking parts that are involved. It is all of me, heart, mind, will, and when the moment comes and I find myself moving out for good and all, one way or another, there is a kind of relentless spontaneity about it, a kind of terrific sense of conviction, so that if you are Matthew in the tax office, you lay down your slide rule and your pencil, do not even finish the form that you happened to be working on at the moment, but just push back your chair and start heading for the door without even bothering to pick up your coat hanging over by the water cooler. And then you step out of there forever without once looking back over your shoulder, and start following the way you have chosen: not that way over there or that way right here, but this way. Of all the ten million and one ways in the world, you choose this way. Or maybe it chooses you—to put it a better way. Or you choose each other, your way and you.
- Originally published in The Magnificent Defeat