I just spent the past hour reading the play “Coronado” by Dennis Lehane (Yeah, I read a play. Deal with it). First off, I can not recommend it enough; it’s an amazing piece of work by an insanely talented writer. There was one particular part that stood out amongst the rest of the play, though. The part in question actually gave me goosebumps. It takes place between two characters named Doctor and Patient. The context of the scene isn’t important; it’s the piece of dialogue by patient that I want to relate to you. It is one of the greatest pieces of writing I’ve ever read. It goes:

PATIENT     After all your years climbing around in people’s heads like a cranial janitor, do you think people know why they do things? People rationalize, they turn their delusions into something romantic that they can disguise as ethics or principles or ideals. People are selfish, doctor – odiously, monstrously, but in so small and paltry a monstrousness that we barely notice it.

[The DOCTOR tries to break away from her, but she grips him hard, grinds against him]

PATIENT [cont’d]    If we could have everything we wanted in an instant without fear of consequence? No worry of jail or societal reproof of any kind? No having to look our victims in the eyes because the victims have conveniently vanished? If we could have that? Stalin’s crimes would pale in comparison to what we’d do in the name of love. In the name of the heart wanting what the heart wants. So don’t fucking ask me what’s worse than murder.

I read this and was stunned. I just laid on my bed digesting it for about 5 minutes like a good meal, something I hadn’t done since I read Blood Meridian. If I manage to write something half as profound as this one piece at any point in my life I would be over the fucking moon. Goosebumps, just goosebumps.

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