“A rowboat, without oars. An outboard motor. As you can sit there for years, forever, with that outboard motor, pulling again, and yet again, that rope, or cord, or wire, or whatever it is, and winding yet again, and each time, every single time, the motor, though it may give a cough or two, will fail to start, though if it starts, and when it starts, you are, at whatever speed you choose, within the engine's limits and the hazards of the course, well on your way, until it starts you are no nearer where you were going on the fifteenth try than on the first; the enterprise may last forever, and never yet quite begin.
The fact seems to be, however, that unless some apparently unrelated event should intervene -- a bullet, a heart attack, a cry from shore that dinner's ready, or company has come, or junior's run away -- the engine will eventually start. In the meantime, though, while you have been intensely busy, it is difficult to account for how the time is spent.” // Renata Adler, Pitch Dark