Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Sometimes, you do things and you do them not because you’re thinking but because you’re feeling. Because you’re feeling too much. And you can’t always control the things you do when you’re feeling too much.
All this time. This was what was wrong with me. All this time I had been trying to figure out the secrets of the universe, the secrets of my own body, of my own heart. All of the answers had always been so close and yet I had always fought them without even knowing it. From the minute I’d met Dante, I had fallen in love with him.I just didn’t let myself know it, think it, feel it. My father was right. And it was true what my mother said. We all fight our own private wars.
― Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Why do we smile? Why do we laugh? Why do we feel alone? Why are we sad and confused? Why do we read poetry? Why do we cry when we see a painting? Why is there a riot in the heart when we love? Why do we feel shame? What is that thing in the pit of your stomach called d e s i r e ?
i wanted to tell them that i’d never had a friend, not ever, not a real one. until dante. i wanted to tell them that i never knew that people like dante existed in the world, people who looked at the stars, and knew the mysteries of water, and knew enough to know that birds belonged to the heavens and weren’t meant to be shot down from their graceful flights by mean and stupid boys. i wanted to tell them that he had changed my life and that i would never be the same, not ever. and that somehow it felt like it was dante who had saved my life and not the other way around. i wanted to tell them that he was the first human being aside from my mother who had ever made me want to talk about the things that scared me. i wanted to tell them so many things and yet i didn’t have the words. so i just stupidly repeated myself. “dante’s my friend.”