Call Me by Your Name Quotes
We rip out so much of ourselves to be cured of things faster than we should that we go bankrupt by the age of thirty and have less to offer each time we start with someone new. But to feel nothing so as not to feel anything - what a waste!.
I'm like you,' he said. 'I remember everything.' I stopped for a second. If you remember everything, I wanted to say, and if you are really like me, then before you leave tomorrow, or when you’re just ready to shut the door of the taxi and have already said goodbye to everyone else and there’s not a thing left to say in this life, then, just this once, turn to me, even in jest, or as an afterthought, which would have meant everything to me when we were together, and, as you did back then, look me in the face, hold my gaze, and call me by your name.
He came. He left. Nothing else had changed. I had not changed. The world hadn't changed. Yet nothing would be the same. All that remains is dreammaking and strange remembrance.
If I could have him like this in my dreams every night of my life, I'd stake my entire life on dreams and be done with the rest.
And on that evening when we grow older still we'll speak about these two young men as though they were two strangers we met on the train and whom we admire and want to help along. And we'll want to call it envy, because to call it regret would break our hearts.
Most of us can't help but live as though we've got two lives to live, one is the mockup, the other the finished version, and then there are all those versions in between. But there's only one, and before you know it, your heart is worn out, and, as for your body, there comes a point when no one looks at it, much less wants to come near it. Right now there's sorrow. I don't envy the pain. But I envy you the pain. (p. 225).
I suddenly realized that we were on borrowed time, that time is always borrowed, and that the lending agency exacts its premium precisely when we are least prepared to pay and need to borrow more...
Did I want him to act? Or would I prefer a lifetime of longing provided we both kept this little Ping-Pong game going: not knowing, not-not-knowing, not-not-not-knowing? Just be quiet, say nothing, and if you can't say "yes," don't say "no," say "later." Is this why people say "maybe" when they mean "yes," but hope you'll think it's "no" when all they really mean is, Please, just ask me once more, and once more after that?.
Maybe it was the alcohol, maybe it was the truth, maybe I didn't want things to turn abstract, but I felt I should say it, because this was the moment to say it, because it suddenly dawned on me that this was why I had come, to tell him 'You are the only person I'd like to say goodbye to when I die, because only then will this thing I call my life make any sense. And if I should hear that you died, my life as I know it, the me who is speaking with you now, will cease to exist.
We rip out so much of ourselves to be cured of things faster than we should that we go bankrupt by the age of thirty and have less to offer each time we start with someone new. But to feel nothing so as not to feel anything—what a waste!.
Twenty years was yesterday, and yesterday was just earlier this morning, and morning seemed light-years away.
Everyone goes through a period of Traviamento - when we take, say, a different turn in life, the other via. Dante himself did. Some recover, some pretend to recover, some never come back, some chicken out before even starting, and some, for fear of taking any turns, find themselves leading the wrong life all life long.
I'm not wise at all. I told you, I know nothing. I know books, and I know how to string words together--it doesn't mean I know how to speak about the tings that matter most to me." "But you're doing it now--in a way." "Yes, in a way--that's how I always say things: in a way.
Every time I go back to Rome, I go back to that one spot. It is still alive for me, still resounds with something totally present, as though a heart stolen from a tale by Poe still throbbed under the ancient slate pavement to remind me that, here, I had finally encountered the life that was right for me but had failed to have.
If he knew, if he only knew that I was giving him every chance to put two and two together and come up with a number bigger than infinity.
They are embossed on every song that was a hit that summer, in every novel I read during and after his stay, on anything from the smell of rosemary on hot days to the frantic rattle of the cicadas in the afternoon—smells and sounds I’d grown up with and known every year of my life until then but that had suddenly turned on me and acquired an inflection forever colored by the events of that summer.
I’m not wise at all. I told you, I know nothing. I know books, and I know how to string words together—it doesn’t mean I know how to speak about the things that matter most to me.
Fear not. It will come. At least I hope it does. And when you least expect it. Nature has cunning ways of finding our weakest spot.
There is a law somewhere that says that when one person is thoroughly smitten with the other, the other must unavoidably be smitten as well. Amor ch’a null’amato amar perdona. Love, which exempts no one who’s loved from loving, Francesca’s words in the Inferno. Just wait and be hopeful. I was hopeful, though perhaps this was what I had wanted all along. To wait forever.
I believe with every cell in my body that every cell in yours must not, must never, die, and if it does have to die, let it die inside my body.
In the weeks we’d been thrown together that summer, our lives had scarcely touched, but we had crossed to the other bank, where time stops and heaven reaches down to earth and gives us that ration of what is from birth divinely ours. We looked the other way. We spoke about everything but. But we’ve always known, and not saying anything now confirmed it all the more. We had found the stars, you and I. And this is given once only.
Later that evening in my diary, I wrote: I was exagerrating when I said I thought you hated the piece. What I meant to say was: I thought you hated me. I was hoping you’d persuade me of the opposite—and you did, for a while. Why won’t I believe it tomorrow morning?.
Do I like you?’ I wanted to sound incredulous, as though to question how he could ever have doubted such a thing. But then I thought better of it and was on the point of softening the tone of my answer with a meaning-fully evasive Perhaps that was supposed to mean Abso-lutely, when I let my tongue loose: ‘Do I like you, Oliver? I worship you.
If there is any truth in the world, it lies when I'm with you, and if I find the courage to speak my truth to you one day, remind me to light a candle in thanksgiving at every altar in Rome.
At one hundred, surely you learn to overcome loss and grief—or do they hound you till the bitter end?.
In your place, if there is pain, nurse it, and if there is a flame, don’t snuff it out, don’t be brutal with it. Withdrawal can be a terrible thing when it keeps us awake at night, and watching others forget us sooner than we’d want to be forgotten is no better. We rip out so much of ourselves to be cured of things faster than we should that we go bankrupt by the age of thirty and have less to offer each time we start with someone new. But to feel nothing so as not to feel anything — what a waste!.
What I wanted to preserve was the turbulent gasp in his voice which lingered with me for days afterward and told me that, if I could have him like this in my dreams every night of my life, I'd stake my entire life on dreams and be done with the rest. (p. 109).
Wanting to test desire is nothing more than a ruse to get what we want without admitting that we want it.
I wanted to hear his window open, hear his espadrilles on the balcony, and then the sound of my own window, which was never locked, being pushed open as he'd step into my room after everyone had gone to bed, slip under my covers, undress me without asking, and after making me want him more than I thought I could ever want another living soul, gently, softly, and, with the kindness one Jew extends to another, work his way into my body, gently and softly, after heeding the words I'd been rehearsing for days now, Please, don't hurt me, which meant, Hurt me all you want.
How I admired people who talked about their vices as though they were distant relatives they'd learn to put up with because they couldn't quite disown them.
And on that evening when we grow older still we'll speak about these two young men as though they were two strangers we met on the train and whom we admire and want to help along. And we'll want to call it envy, because to call it regret would break our hearts.' Silence again. 'Perhaps I am not yet ready to speak of them as strangers,' I said. 'If it makes you feel any better, I don't think either of us ever will be.
Don’t let him be someone else when he’s away. Don’t let him be someone I’ve never seen before. Don’t let him have a life other than the life I know he has with us, with me.
The light of my eyes, I said, light of my eyes, light of the world, that's what you are, light of my life. I didn't know what light of my eyes meant, and part of me wondered where on earth had I fished out such claptrap, but it was nonsense like this that brought tears now, tears I wished to down in his pillow, soak in his bathing suit, tears I wanted him to touch with the tip of his tongue and make sorrow go away.
Something unexpected seemed to clear away between us, and, for a second, it seemed there was absolutely no difference in age between us, just two men kissing, and even this seemed to dissolve, as I began to feel we were not even two men, just two beings.
Oliver was Oliver,' I said, as if that summed things up. 'Parce que c'était lui, parce que c'était moi,' my father added, quoting Montaigne's all-encompassing explanation for his friendship with Etienne de la Boétie. I was thinking, instead, of Emily Brontë's words: because 'he's more myself than I am.
What is life without this? which was why, in the end, it was I, and not he, who blurted out, not once, but many, many times, You'll kill me if you stop, because it was also my way of bringing full circle the dream and the fantasy, me and him, the longed-for words from his mouth to my mouth back into his mouth, swapping words from mouth to mouth, which was when I must have begun using obscenities that he repeated after me, softly at first, till he said, "Call me by your name and I'll call you by mine" ...
I'm not sure I want to go ahead with this, but I need to know, and better with you than anyone else. I want to know your body, I want to know how you feel, I want to know you, and through you, me.
How wonderful, to walk half drunk with a Lemonsoda on a muggy night like this around the gleaming slate cobblestones of Rome with someone's arm around me.
I stopped for a second. If you remember everything, I wanted to say, and if you are really like me, then before you leave tomorrow, or when you're just ready to shut the door of the taxi and have already said goodbye to everyone else and there's not a thing left to say in this life, then, just this once, turn to me, even in just, or as an afterthought, which would have meant everything to me when we were together, and, as you did back then, look me in the face, hold my gaze, and call me by your name.
I had rehearsed losing him not just to ward off suffering by taking it in small doses beforehand, but, as all superstitious people do, to see if my willingness to accept the very worst might not induce fate to soften its blow.
He was my secret conduit to myself—like a catalyst that allows us to become who we are, the foreign body, the pacer, the graft, the patch that sends all the right impulses, the steel pin that keeps a soldier’s bone together, the other man’s heart that makes us more us than we were before the transplant.
It never occurred to me that I had brought him here not just to show him my little world, but to ask my little world to let him in, so that the place where I came to be alone on summer afternoons would get to know him, judge him, see if he fitted in, take him in, so that I might come back here and remember. Here I would come to escape the known world and seek another of my own invention; I was basically introducing him to my launchpad.
What does this say about the life you've lived, then?' 'Part of it— just part of it —was a coma, but I prefer to call it a parallel life. It sounds better. Problem is that most of us have— live, that is—more than two parallel lives.
This was a time when I intentionally failed to drop bread crumbs for my return journey; instead, I ate them.
You are the only person I’d like to say goodbye to when I die, because only then will this thing I call my life make any sense. And if I should hear that you died, my life as I know it, the me who is speaking with you now, will cease to exist. Sometimes I have this awful picture of waking up in our house in B. and, looking out to the sea, hearing the news from the waves themselves, He died last night. We missed out on so much. It was a coma. Tomorrow I go back to my coma, and you to yours.
What I didn’t realize was that wanting to test desire is nothing more than a ruse to get what we want without admitting that we want it.
...you and I , when the night is spread out against the sky, and read stories of restless people who always end up alone and hate being alone because it's always themselves they can't stand being alone with...
This is like coming home, like coming home after years away among Trojans and Lestrygonians, like coming home to a place where everyone is like you, where people know, they just know—coming home as when everything falls into place and you suddenly realize that for seventeen years all you’d been doing was fiddling with the wrong combination.
What did one do around here? Nothing. Wait for summer to end. What did one do in the winter, then? I smiled at the answer I was about to give. He got the gist and said, 'Don't tell me: wait for summer to come, right?.
Does the presence of the other, who yesterday morning felt almost like and intruder, become ever more necessary because it shields us from our own hell--so that the very person who causes our torment by daybreak is the same who'll relieve it at night?.
I then asked his assistant for a pen, opened up the hardbound edition, and wrote, Zwischen Immer und Nie, for you in silence, somewhere in Italy in the mid-eighties. In years to come, if the book was still in his possession, I wanted him to ache.