"Think God's gonna pick out the chosen ones when they die? Do you think you'd be saved? Do you want to find out right now?" If death is holy and heaven is a myth, if the only glory is martyrdom and the body itself is unclean, then why wait around for it? She took his art to its end of line.
"You'd die too," Barney groaned, unable to admit or deny his own hypocrisy, and she shook her head, almost laughing angrily at him: "Little Boy Barnabas. You need to toe the line." She left him with threats. Into the creaking mists went Clarice Willow, with her smiling husbands by her side. And this, Barnabas minded very much. Martyrdom is selfishness, ego, and that means revenge fantasies and power games. True selflessness doesn't announce itself -- takes pains, in fact, to hide itself; to kneel in the closet and pray -- which makes it all the more terrifying. She wanted everybody to get what they want, in an infinite digital Heaven. He just wanted to be free. They're both bullies now. This all happened a long time ago.
Zoë drives and the pilots chase her, and nobody knows what she wants. She can't cry.
Seventeen hours ago, Amanda studied up on all the news there was to know about her husband. A guest had, if you recall, told her some very interesting things about her husband. A guest who'd promised to take away everything Daniel held dear. The more she read the more it seemed possible, and the more possible it seemed the less real she felt.
On the TV they were talking about that bridge, that famous bridge over the Bay, the Pantheon. All the Gods at once. They were saying:
Construction started nearly 40 years ago. It took nearly three years to complete...
She shook out a cigarette and lit a match, and it burned. Memory flashed at her: Running down the corridors of the Delphi Institute, down imaginary dream hallways that never ended. She dropped out of life. Running down the corridor of her life, toward her end of line. A razor, on the sink's edge.
After the first death, Amanda spent years screaming, building her bridge back to the world. It took nearly three years to complete. To rise up from the water again. These were the keystones: Her daughter, her home, her husband, their life, the Gods, her career. The righteous joy of stability and the place where medicine and art intersect. And then her daughter died, and her home went cold, and their life burned down, and the Gods abandoned her, and she gave up her career.
Survival is punishment, for leaving things unsaid. To live is to bear that punishment.