What is Stopping You?

“Mother, have you noticed that this society we’re in tends to be a little…repressive?”
“What does that mean, Eugenie? What does that mean, that strange new word, ‘repressive,’ that I have never heard before?”
“It means…it’s like when you decide to do something, and you get up out of your chair to do it, and you take a step, and then become aware of frosty glances being directed at you from every side.”
“Frosty glances?”
“Your desires are stifled.”
“What desires are you talking about?”
“Just desires in general. Any desires. It’s a whole…I guess atmosphere is the…word…a tendency on the part of the society…”
“You’d better sew some more pillow cases, Eugenie.”

– Donald Barthelme

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