My life was scarcely a life at all, since she had left. She had educated me to certain qualities and properties that I hadn’t know before: the properties of food, of nice rooms and nice light and good colors, the pleasures of walking and looking at things with someone intelligent, new qualities of affection, the pleasures of talking. I had never done those sorts of things with a woman before. For a time I almost hated the concept of love and the fact of sex, because they were the missing ingredients that kept me for having all the other good things I wanted.

—Larry McMurtry, All My Friends Are Going to Be Strangers, Liveright, 2018 (1972)