My Entire Register

My heart was heavy as I left, it was me he had been avoiding, there was no doubt about it, but why, what was it about me?

Oh, I knew of course, I felt it all the time, there was something about me people didn’t want to know, something they tried to avoid if they could. Something I had, something about the way I behaved.

But what was it?

I didn’t know.

I didn’t say a lot, of course, I could safely assume that this was noticed and commented on unfavourably. Perhaps also that what I did say tended to be about inappropriate topics. What I said was often heartfelt, at least as soon as I was with someone, and people shied away from that like the plague. The alternative was to say nothing at all. These were my only modi vivendi, it was my entire register.

–Karl Ove Knausgaard, from My Struggle: Book Five (Some Rain Must Fall) p. 386

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