The Time Traveler's Wife
Memory and the Past Quotes Page 1
How we cite our quotes:
[Clare:] Henry is glancing around us, worrying that readers, co-workers are noticing us, searching his memory, realizing that some future self of his has met this radiantly happy girl standing in front of him. (1.1.5)
Clare realizes that the emotional connection she has with Henry in her present means nothing to him yet, because he met her in his future. She also finally gets that her strong emotions toward him, since so far she's just a "stranger," unsettle him.
[Henry:] And this astoundingly beautiful amber-haired tall slim girl turns around and looks at me as though I am her personal Jesus. My stomach lurches. Obviously she knows me, and I don't know her. Lord only knows what I have said, done, or promised to this luminous creature. (1.1.7)
Faced with Clare's beauty and strong emotions toward him, Henry fears that wherever and whenever he met her, he must have done something crucial to impact her in this way. He seems to feel guilty about it, which shows that he probably promised a lot of women a lot of things on his travels, because he thought he'd never see them again.
[Henry:] I realize that a massive winning lottery ticket chunk of my future has somehow found me here in the present, and I start to laugh. […] I see Clare running across Washington Square, jumping and whooping, and I am near tears and I don't know why. (1.1.7)
Although Henry has no specific memory of Clare, he knows that he will make memories with her in the future. This outlook triggers strong emotions in him he can't explain. It's almost as though his emotions remember how it feels being with Clare, even if the rest of his conscious mind doesn't.