Everybody seems to be doing things for this moment only; and never again. Never again. The urgency of it all is fearful. Everybody knows I am going to school, going to school for the first time. “That boy is going to school for the first time,” says the housemaid, cleaning the steps. I must not cry. I must behold them indifferently. Now awful portals of the station gape; “the moonfaced clock regards me.” I must make phrases and phrases and so interpose something hard between myself and the stare of housemaids, the stare of clocks, staring faces, indifferent faces, or I shall cry. . . .
—Virginia Woolf (as Bernard) in The Waves