Murray wrote something in his little book. I watched him step deftly around a dozen fallen eggs oozing yolky matter from a busted carton.
“Why do I feel so good when I’m with Wilder? It’s not like being with the other kids,” I said.
“You sense his total ego, his freedom from limits.”
“In what way is he free from limits?”
“He doesn’t know he’s going to die. He doesn’t know death at all. You cherish this simpleton blessing of his, this exemption from harm. You want to get close to him, touch him, look at him, breathe him in. How lucky he is. A cloud of unknowing, an omnipotent little person. The child is everything, the adult nothing. Think about it. A person’s entire life is the unraveling of this conflict. No wonder we’re bewildered, staggered, shattered.”
“Aren’t you going too far?”
“I’m from New York.”
“We create beautiful and lasting things, build vast civilizations.”
“Gorgeous evasions,” he said. “Great escapes.”
The doors parted photoelectronically. We went outside, walking past the dry cleaner, the hairstylist, the optician. Murray relighted his pipe, sucking impressively at the mouthpiece.
Don DeLillo, White Noise.