Mantras,  Quotations


Ella is looking at her oddly.

“What’s the matter, Morag?”

“I – don’t know. Sometimes I get – well, scared. I don’t feel all that normal.”

Ella shrugs.

“So – who wants to be normal, anyhow?”

“I do,” Morag says with passionate conviction. “Oh Ella, I do. I want to be able to talk to boys the way they want to be talked to. Only I can’t seem to get the trick of it.”

“Boys like that are schmucks,” Ella says furiously. “But yeh, I know what you mean.”

“You too?”

“Yeh. I went out with this guy a coupla weeks ago, and I thought Now this is It. Here is your opportunity, oh Ella bella. So what did Ella the schlemiel do? Did she tell him how masterful and handsome he was? Not she. Oh no. She began talking in her winsome way about Marx’s theory of polarity. Why? Why? I’ll never see him again.”

“Well, then, why?” Morag is laughing, but not in mockery.

“I don’t know,” Ella says gloomily. “It just seemed so phoney, somehow, all that whole mutual flattery bit. And why should I pretend to be brainless? I’m not brainless.”

“I know,” Morag says. “And yet I envy girls like Susie Trevor so much that I damn near hate them. I want to be glamorous and adored and get married and have kids. I still try to kid myself that I don’t want that. But I do. I want all that. As well. All I want is everything.”

Ella strikes a theatrical wrist to her forehead. “Engrave it on my tombstone.”

— Margaret Laurence, The Diviners

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