She looks up at me and she smiles and our eyes meet. She looks down and I stop walking and I stare at her. She looks up and she smiles again. She is as beautiful a girl as I have ever seen. Her eyes, her lips, her teeth, her hair, her skin. The black circles beneath her eyes, the scars I can see on her wrists, the ridiculous clothes she wears that are ten sizes too big … I stand and I stare at her, just stare stare stare … she’s blushing and it’s beautiful … I stand there and I stare. I stare because I know where I’m going I’m not going to see any beauty … I want one last look so that I have something to hold in my mind while I’m dying … so that in the midst of the horror I can hold onto some shred of humanity.
(From his autobiography
A MILLION LITTLE PIECES)