My Secret History

Theroux, Paul

Ballantine, 1989

p. 41

“I had been raised to believe that I was bad, that most of what I did was bad, that the things I wanted were bad for me. It was not an accusation. No one barked about my badness. It was rather an interminable whisper of suggestion that I was weak and sinful, and the sense that I was always wrong. And it seemed I could never win. It was Hurry up! and then Don’t run! It was Eat! and then Don’t eat so fast! It was Speak up! and then Don’t Shout! What have you been doing? could only be answered truthfully in one way: Being bad. There was something natural and unavoidable about being bad. Being hungry was bad, going to the movies was bad, sitting and doing nothing was bad, being happy was bad: and bad turned easily into evil.”