"I exacted the most sacred oaths, that under no circumstances they would bury me until decomposition had so materially advanced asto render farther preservation impossible. And, even then, my mortal terrors would listen to no reason--would accept no consolation. I entered into a series of elaborate precautions."
"When you grow up you realize that there isn't really any Santa but the monsters are still around. If only they were big and hairy;now they're just dark and amorphous, and they're no longer afraid of the light. Sometimes they're the guy who climbs in the window and takes your television. And sometimes they're the guy who walks out the front door with your heart in his hand and never comes back. And sometimes they're the job or the bank or the wife or the boss or just that sort of dark heavy feeling that sits between your shoulder blades like a backpack. There are always terrible things waiting to grab you by the ankle, to pull you under, to get you with their long horrible arms. And you lie in bed and look at the shadows on the ceiling and feel, under the covers, just for a moment, like you're safe. One more day alive."
"Now I know that much of parenthood is watching and waiting for the chick to fall into harm's way, watching and waiting for the cats and the cold nights. The joyous enterprise has an undercurrent of terror."
"Many parents worry that they will reinforce a fear by being overly sympathetic. It helps to know that when children are permittedto avoid an animal or an object that frightens them, they tend to overcome a fear sooner than if parents push them to confront it."
"... Washington was not only an important capital. It was a city of fear. Below that glittering and delightful surface there is another story, that of underpaid Government clerks, men and women holding desperately to work that some political pull may at any moment take from them. A city of men in office and clutching that office, and a city of struggle which the country never suspects."
"I wanted to learn to fly, not because it was the smart thing to do in the 1920s, but because I was afraid of anything that flew.... I reasoned that if I learned to fly, I might conquer my fear of it. The remedy worked."