Everyone used to seem so grown up," I say. "Nobody does anymore. Look at us. Forty, fifty years ago we would have been our parents. Who are we now?" ...
"They passed," Leonard says, "that's all." Fifty years ago you entered a closet marked 'marriage.' In the closet was a double set of clothes, so stiff they could stand up by themselves. A woman stepped into a dress called 'wife' and the man stepped into a suit called 'husband.' And that was it. They disappeared inside the clothes. Today, we don't pass. We're standing here naked. That's all."
He strikes a match and holds it to his cigarette.
"I'm not the right person for this life," I say.
"Who is?" he says, exhaling in my direction.
Vivian Gornick, The Odd Woman and the City: A Memoi