grownups

You could not moralize children out of growing up. Or teach them how to do it.

Stephen King, Doctor Sleep

Childishness comes almost as naturally to a man as to a child.

Isaac Asimov, Foundation

Before drifting away entirely, he found himself reflecting – not for the first time – on the peculiarity of adults. They tool laxatives, liquor, or sleeping pills to drive away their terrors so that sleep would come, and their terrors were so tame and domestic: the job, the money, what the teacher will think if I can’t get Jennie nicer clothes, does my wife still love me, who are my friends. They were pallid compared to the fears every child lies cheek and jowl with in his dark bed, with no one to confess to in hope of perfect understanding but another child. There is no group therapy or psychiatry or community social services for the child who must cope with the thing under the bed or in the cellar every night, the thing which leers and capers and threatens just beyond the point where vision will reach. The same lonely battle must be fought night after night and the only cure is the eventual ossification of the imaginary faculties, and this is called adulthood.

Stephen King, Salem’s Lot

There is no group therapy or psychiatry or community social services for the child who must cope with the thing under the bed or in the cellar every night, the thing which leers and capers and threatens just beyond the point where vision will reach. The same lonely battle must be fought night after night and the only cure is the eventual ossification of the imaginary faculties, and this is called adulthood.

Stephen King, Salem’s Lot

There is no such thing as grown ups.

Neil Gaiman, The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Peas baffled me. I could not understand why grown-ups would take things that tasted so good when they were freshly-picked and raw, and put them in tin cans, and make them revolting.

Neil Gaiman, The Ocean at the End of the Lane

I finally made friends with my father when I entered my twenties. We had so little in common when I was a boy, and I am certain I had been a disappointment to him. He did not ask for a child with a book, off in its own world. He wanted a son who did what he had done; swam and boxed and played rugby, and drove cars at speed with abandon and joy, but that was not what he wound up with.

Neil Gaiman, The Ocean at the End of the Lane

I wondered if that was true: if they were all really children wrapped up in adult bodies, like children’s books hidden in the middle of dull, long adult books, the kind with no pictures or conversations.

Neil Gaiman, The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Adult stories never made sense, and they were slow to start. They made me feel like there were secrets, Masonic, mythic secrets, to adulthood. Why didn’t adults want to read about Narnia, about secret islands and smugglers and dangerous fairies?

Neil Gaiman, The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Childhood memories are sometimes covered and obscured beneath the things that come later, like childhood toys forgotten at the bottom of a crammed adult closet, but they are never lost for good.

Neil Gaiman, The Ocean at the End of the Lane

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