But Heyer surprised everybody by remembering Keating’s name and by greeting him, whenever they met, with a smile of positive recognition.
He was frightening by being so totally undifferentiated; he lacked even the positive distinction of a half-wit.
She rose, stood before him, and the taut erectness of her body was a sign of life, the life he had missed and begged for, a positive quality of purpose, but the quality of a judge.
He had not chosen to resign himself—that would have been a positive decision—it had merely happened and he had let it happen.
Nothing had happened to him—a happening is a positive reality, and no reality could ever make him helpless; this was some enormous negative—as if everything had been wiped out, leaving a senseless emptiness, faintly indecent because it seemed so ordinary, so unexciting, like murder wearing a homey smile.
It was not a positive stand rationally taken; not defiance in the name of a cause of importance; just a fastidious feeling, something pertaining almost to chastity: the hesitation one feels before putting one’s foot down into muck.