Awful Friends Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Awful Friends. Here they are! All 100 of them:

Life is an awful, ugly place to not have a best friend.
Sarah Dessen (Someone Like You)
I am awfully greedy; I want everything from life. I want to be a woman and to be a man, to have many friends and to have loneliness, to work much and write good books, to travel and enjoy myself, to be selfish and to be unselfish… You see, it is difficult to get all which I want. And then when I do not succeed I get mad with anger.
Simone de Beauvoir
Friends see most of each other’s flaws. Spouses see every awful last bit.
Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl)
Men always say that as the defining compliment, don’t they? She’s a cool girl. Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot. Hot and understanding. Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, shit on me, I don’t mind, I’m the Cool Girl. Men actually think this girl exists. Maybe they’re fooled because so many women are willing to pretend to be this girl. For a long time Cool Girl offended me. I used to see men – friends, coworkers, strangers – giddy over these awful pretender women, and I’d want to sit these men down and calmly say: You are not dating a woman, you are dating a woman who has watched too many movies written by socially awkward men who’d like to believe that this kind of woman exists and might kiss them. I’d want to grab the poor guy by his lapels or messenger bag and say: The bitch doesn’t really love chili dogs that much – no one loves chili dogs that much! And the Cool Girls are even more pathetic: They’re not even pretending to be the woman they want to be, they’re pretending to be the woman a man wants them to be. Oh, and if you’re not a Cool Girl, I beg you not to believe that your man doesn’t want the Cool Girl. It may be a slightly different version – maybe he’s a vegetarian, so Cool Girl loves seitan and is great with dogs; or maybe he’s a hipster artist, so Cool Girl is a tattooed, bespectacled nerd who loves comics. There are variations to the window dressing, but believe me, he wants Cool Girl, who is basically the girl who likes every fucking thing he likes and doesn’t ever complain. (How do you know you’re not Cool Girl? Because he says things like: “I like strong women.” If he says that to you, he will at some point fuck someone else. Because “I like strong women” is code for “I hate strong women.”)
Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl)
You should be nicer to him,' a schoolmate had once said to me of some awfully ill-favored boy. 'He has no friends.' This, I realized with a pang of pity that I can still remember, was only true as long as everybody agreed to it.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
Celaena shuddered. "This conversation's become far too awful to have after eating." she said, slumping against the pillows. "Tell me which one of your little cadre is the handsomest, and if he would fancy me." Rowan choked. "The thought of you with any of my companions makes my blood run cold." "They're that awful? Your kitty-cat friend looked decent enough." Rowan's brows rose high. "I don't think my kitty-cat friend would know what to do with you-nor would any of the others. It would likely end in bloodshed." She kept grinning, and he crossed his arms. "They would likely have very little interest in you, as you'll be old and decrepit soon enough and thus not worth the effort it would take to win you." She rolled her eyes. "Killjoy.
Sarah J. Maas (Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3))
Besides the obvious difference, there was not much distinction between losing a best friend and losing a lover: it was all about intimacy. One moment, you had someone to share your biggest triumphs and fatal flaws with; the next minute, you had to keep them bottled inside. One moment, you'd start to call her to tell her a snippet of news or to vent about your awful day before realizing you did not have that right anymore; the next, you could not remember the digits of her phone number.
Jodi Picoult
I just stare at him. I want to ask him a thousand questions, but I can tell he doesn't want to be asked. "We make weird friends," I say instead. "I've never been into the f-word with people." "I'm privileged, then? Why me?" He thinks for a moment and shrugs again. "You're the realest person I've ever known." "Is that good or bad?" "It's fucking awful. There's not much room for bullshit, and you know how I thrive on it." We laugh for a moment and begin walking again.
Melina Marchetta (Saving Francesca)
The ones who are not soul-mated – the ones who have settled – are even more dismissive of my singleness: It’s not that hard to find someone to marry, they say. No relationship is perfect, they say – they, who make do with dutiful sex and gassy bedtime rituals, who settle for TV as conversation, who believe that husbandly capitulation – yes, honey, okay, honey – is the same as concord. He’s doing what you tell him to do because he doesn’t care enough to argue, I think. Your petty demands simply make him feel superior, or resentful, and someday he will fuck his pretty, young coworker who asks nothing of him, and you will actually be shocked. Give me a man with a little fight in him, a man who calls me on my bullshit. (But who also kind of likes my bullshit.) And yet: Don’t land me in one of those relationships where we’re always pecking at each other, disguising insults as jokes, rolling our eyes and ‘playfully’ scrapping in front of our friends, hoping to lure them to our side of an argument they could not care less about. Those awful if only relationships: This marriage would be great if only… and you sense the if only list is a lot longer than either of them realizes. So I know I am right not to settle, but it doesn’t make me feel better as my friends pair off and I stay home on Friday night with a bottle of wine and make myself an extravagant meal and tell myself, This is perfect, as if I’m the one dating me. As I go to endless rounds of parties and bar nights, perfumed and sprayed and hopeful, rotating myself around the room like some dubious dessert. I go on dates with men who are nice and good-looking and smart – perfect-on-paper men who make me feel like I’m in a foreign land, trying to explain myself, trying to make myself known. Because isn’t that the point of every relationship: to be known by someone else, to be understood? He gets me. She gets me. Isn’t that the simple magic phrase? So you suffer through the night with the perfect-on-paper man – the stutter of jokes misunderstood, the witty remarks lobbed and missed. Or maybe he understands that you’ve made a witty remark but, unsure of what to do with it, he holds it in his hand like some bit of conversational phlegm he will wipe away later. You spend another hour trying to find each other, to recognise each other, and you drink a little too much and try a little too hard. And you go home to a cold bed and think, That was fine. And your life is a long line of fine.
Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl)
What have we given? My friend, blood shaking my heart The awful daring of a moment's surrender Which an age of prudence can never retract By this, and this only, we have existed.
T.S. Eliot (The Waste Land)
I close my eyes and I let my body shut itself down and I let my mind wander. It wanders to a familiar place. A place I don’t talk about or acknowledge exists. A place where there is only me. A place that I hate. I am alone. Alone here and alone in the world. Alone in my heart and alone in my mind. Alone everywhere, all the time, for as long as I can remember. Alone with my Family, alone with my friends, alone in a Room full of People. Alone when I wake, alone through each awful day, alone when I finally meet the blackness. I am alone in my horror. Alone in my horror. I don’t want to be alone. I have never wanted to be alone. I fucking hate it. I hate that I have no one to talk to, I hate that I have no one to call, I hate that I have no one to hold my hand, hug me, tell me everything is going to be all right. I hate that I have no one to share my hopes and dreams with, I hate that I no longer have any hopes or dreams, I hate that I have no one to tell me to hold on, that I can find them again. I hate that when I scream, and I scream bloody murder, that I am screaming into emptiness. I hate that there is no one to hear my scream and that there is no one to help me learn how to stop screaming. . . More than anything, all I have ever wanted is to be close to someone. More than anything, all I have ever wanted is to feel as if I wasn’t alone.
James Frey (A Million Little Pieces)
This world is an awful/ugly place not to have a best friend.
Sarah Dessen (Someone Like You)
A farmer is sitting on his porch in a chair, hanging out. A friend walks up to the porch to say hello, and hears an awful yelping, squealing sound coming from inside the house. "What's that terrifyin' sound?" asks the friend. "It's my dog," said the farmer. "He's sittin' on a nail." "Why doesn't he just sit up and get off it?" asks the friend. The farmer deliberates on this and replies: "Doesn't hurt enough yet.
Amanda Palmer (The Art of Asking; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help)
I had friends but I was spending a great deal of my time alone and for me that was vital because there's an awful lot you learn about yourself when you're alone.
Kate Bush
He made it very clear that he didn’t want me here,” she said at last. “That my remaining at the Institute is not the happy chance I thought it was. Not in his view.” “And after I just finished telling you why you should consider him family,” Jem said, a bit ruefully. “No wonder you looked as if I’d just told you something awful just happened.” “I’m sorry,” Tessa whispered. “Don’t be. It’s Will who ought to be sorry.” Jem’s eyes darkened. “We shall throw him out onto the streets,” he proclaimed. “I promise you he’ll be gone by morning.” Tessa started and sat upright. “Oh – no, you can’t mean that─” He grinned. “Of course I don’t. But you did feel better for a moment there, didn’t you?
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1))
The city became for me the ideal of what I wanted to be as a grown-up. Friendly, but never gushing, cool but not frigid or distant, distinguished without the awful stiffness.
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
Closing The Cycle One always has to know when a stage comes to an end. If we insist on staying longer than the necessary time, we lose the happiness and the meaning of the other stages we have to go through. Closing cycles, shutting doors, ending chapters - whatever name we give it, what matters is to leave in the past the moments of life that have finished. Did you lose your job? Has a loving relationship come to an end? Did you leave your parents' house? Gone to live abroad? Has a long-lasting friendship ended all of a sudden? You can spend a long time wondering why this has happened. You can tell yourself you won't take another step until you find out why certain things that were so important and so solid in your life have turned into dust, just like that. But such an attitude will be awfully stressing for everyone involved: your parents, your husband or wife, your friends, your children, your sister, everyone will be finishing chapters, turning over new leaves, getting on with life, and they will all feel bad seeing you at a standstill. None of us can be in the present and the past at the same time, not even when we try to understand the things that happen to us. What has passed will not return: we cannot for ever be children, late adolescents, sons that feel guilt or rancor towards our parents, lovers who day and night relive an affair with someone who has gone away and has not the least intention of coming back. Things pass, and the best we can do is to let them really go away. That is why it is so important (however painful it may be!) to destroy souvenirs, move, give lots of things away to orphanages, sell or donate the books you have at home. Everything in this visible world is a manifestation of the invisible world, of what is going on in our hearts - and getting rid of certain memories also means making some room for other memories to take their place. Let things go. Release them. Detach yourself from them. Nobody plays this life with marked cards, so sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. Do not expect anything in return, do not expect your efforts to be appreciated, your genius to be discovered, your love to be understood. Stop turning on your emotional television to watch the same program over and over again, the one that shows how much you suffered from a certain loss: that is only poisoning you, nothing else. Nothing is more dangerous than not accepting love relationships that are broken off, work that is promised but there is no starting date, decisions that are always put off waiting for the "ideal moment." Before a new chapter is begun, the old one has to be finished: tell yourself that what has passed will never come back. Remember that there was a time when you could live without that thing or that person - nothing is irreplaceable, a habit is not a need. This may sound so obvious, it may even be difficult, but it is very important. Closing cycles. Not because of pride, incapacity or arrogance, but simply because that no longer fits your life. Shut the door, change the record, clean the house, shake off the dust. Stop being who you were, and change into who you are.
Paulo Coelho
I’m tired of playing the good, calm girl. I rise up on my knees, reach over and hit him across the top of his head. “Fuck,” he curses. “What the hell was that for?” “That’s for being an asshole!” I hit him again… Reed pushes me back, hard, against the passenger door. “Sit the fuck down! You’re gonna make us crash.” “I’m not going to sit down!” I swing at him again. “I’m tired of you and your insults and your awful friends!
Erin Watt (Paper Princess (The Royals, #1))
A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other. A solemn consideration, when I enter a great city by night, that every one of those darkly clustered houses encloses its own secret; that every room in every one of them encloses its own secret; that every beating heart in the hundreds of thousands of breasts there, is, in some of its imaginings, a secret to the heart nearest it! Something of the awfulness, even of Death itself, is referable to this. No more can I turn the leaves of this dear book that I loved, and vainly hope in time to read it all. No more can I look into the depths of this unfathomable water, wherein, as momentary lights glanced into it, I have had glimpses of buried treasure and other things submerged. It was appointed that the book should shut with a a spring, for ever and for ever, when I had read but a page. It was appointed that the water should be locked in an eternal frost, when the light was playing on its surface, and I stood in ignorance on the shore. My friend is dead, my neighbour is dead, my love, the darling of my soul, is dead; it is the inexorable consolidation and perpetuation of the secret that was always in that individuality, and which I shall carry in mine to my life's end. In any of the burial-places of this city through which I pass, is there a sleeper more inscrutable than its busy inhabitants are, in their innermost personality, to me, or than I am to them?
Charles Dickens (A Tale of Two Cities)
I did not become famous but I got near enough to smell the stench of success. It smelt like burnt cloth and rancid gardenias, and I realized that the truly awful thing about success is that it's held up all those years as the thing that would make everything all right. And the only thing that makes things even slightly bearable is a friend who knows what you're talking about.
Eve Babitz (Slow Days, Fast Company: The World, the Flesh, and L.A.)
Everyone in this town is frightening and friendly and kind and awful. But everyone everywhere is.
Joseph Fink (It Devours! (Welcome to Night Vale #2))
The whole time I pretend I have mental telepathy. And with my mind only, I’ll say — or think? — to the target, 'Don’t do it. Don’t go to that job you hate. Do something you love today. Ride a roller coaster. Swim in the ocean naked. Go to the airport and get on the next flight to anywhere just for the fun of it. Maybe stop a spinning globe with your finger and then plan a trip to that very spot; even if it’s in the middle of the ocean you can go by boat. Eat some type of ethnic food you’ve never even heard of. Stop a stranger and ask her to explain her greatest fears and her secret hopes and aspirations in detail and then tell her you care because she is a human being. Sit down on the sidewalk and make pictures with colorful chalk. Close your eyes and try to see the world with your nose—allow smells to be your vision. Catch up on your sleep. Call an old friend you haven’t seen in years. Roll up your pant legs and walk into the sea. See a foreign film. Feed squirrels. Do anything! Something! Because you start a revolution one decision at a time, with each breath you take. Just don’t go back to thatmiserable place you go every day. Show me it’s possible to be an adult and also be happy. Please. This is a free country. You don’t have to keep doing this if you don’t want to. You can do anything you want. Be anyone you want. That’s what they tell us at school, but if you keep getting on that train and going to the place you hate I’m going to start thinking the people at school are liars like the Nazis who told the Jews they were just being relocated to work factories. Don’t do that to us. Tell us the truth. If adulthood is working some death-camp job you hate for the rest of your life, divorcing your secretly criminal husband, being disappointed in your son, being stressed and miserable, and dating a poser and pretending he’s a hero when he’s really a lousy person and anyone can tell that just by shaking his slimy hand — if it doesn’t get any better, I need to know right now. Just tell me. Spare me from some awful fucking fate. Please.
Matthew Quick (Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock)
It’s awful being a child,” she said, simply, “at the mercy of other people.
Donna Tartt (The Little Friend)
My friend, blood shaking my heart The awful daring of a moment’s surrender Which an age of prudence can never retract By this, and this only, we have existed Which is not to be found in our obituaries Or in memories draped by the beneficent spider Or under seals broken by the lean solicitor In our empty rooms
T.S. Eliot (The Wasteland, Prufrock and Other Poems)
Men always say that as the defining compliment, don’t they? She’s a cool girl. Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot. Hot and understanding. Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, shit on me, I don’t mind, I’m the Cool Girl. Men actually think this girl exists. Maybe they’re fooled because so many women are willing to pretend to be this girl. For a long time Cool Girl offended me. I used to see men — friends, coworkers, strangers — giddy over these awful pretender women, and I’d want to sit these men down and calmly say: You are not dating a woman, you are dating a woman who has watched too many movies written by socially awkward men who’d like to believe that this kind of woman exists and might kiss them.
Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl)
Before I got here, I thought for a long time that the way out of the labyrinth was to pretend that it did not exist, to build a small, self-sufficient world in a back corner of, the endless maze and to pretend that I was not lost, but home. But that only led to a lonely life accompanied only by the last words of the looking for a Great Perhaps, for real friends, and a more-than minor life. And then i screwed up and the Colonel screwed up and Takumi screwed up and she slipped through our fingers. And there's no sugar-coating it: She deserved better friends. When she fucked up, all those years ago, just a little girl terrified. into paralysis, she collapsed into the enigma of herself. And I could have done that, but I saw where it led for her. So I still believe in the Great Perhaps, and I can believe in it spite of having lost her. Beacause I will forget her, yes. That which came together will fall apart imperceptibly slowly, and I will forget, but she will forgive my forgetting, just as I forgive her for forgetting me and the Colonel and everyone but herself and her mom in those last moments she spent as a person. I know that she forgives me for being dumb and sacred and doing the dumb and scared thing. I know she forgives me, just as her mother forgives her. And here's how I know: I thought at first she was just dead. Just darkness. Just a body being eaten by bugs. I thought about her a lot like that, as something's meal. What was her-green eyes, half a smirk, the soft curves of her legs-would soon be nothing, just the bones I never saw. I thought about the slow process of becoming bone and then fossil and then coal that will, in millions of years, be mined by humans of the future, and how they would their homes with her, and then she would be smoke billowing out of a smokestack, coating the atmosphere. I still think that, sometimes. I still think that, sometimes, think that maybe "the afterlife" is just something we made up to ease the pain of loss, to make our time in the labyrinth bearable. Maybe she was just a matter, and matter gets recycled. But ultimately I do not believe that she was only matter. The rest of her must be recycled, too. I believe now that we are greater than the sum of our parts. If you take Alaska's genetic code and you add her life experiences and the relationships she had with people, and then you take the size and shape of her body, you do not get her. There is something else entirety. There is a part of her knowable parts. And that parts has to go somewhere, because it cannot be destroyed. Although no one will ever accuse me of being much of a science student, One thing I learned from science classes is that energy is never created and never destroyed. And if Alaska took her own life, that is the hope I wish I could have given her. Forgetting her mother, failing her mother and her friends and herself -those are awful things, but she did not need to fold into herself and self-destruct. Those awful things are survivable because we are as indestructible as we believe ourselves to be. When adults say "Teenagers think they are invincible" with that sly, stupid smile on their faces, they don't know how right they are. We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes manifestations. They forget that when they get old. They get scared of losing and failing. But that part of us greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail. So I know she forgives me, just as I forgive her. Thomas Eidson's last words were: "It's very beautiful over there." I don't know where there is, but I believe it's somewhere, and I hope it's beautiful.
John Green (Looking for Alaska)
Life is hard and unfair. It is cruel and heartless, painful, trying, disappointing, unapologetic, and frequently downright awful. But that's not important. What's important is that through it all you learn how much you need your Heavenly Father and how much your friends need you.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Making Wishes: Quotes, Thoughts, & a Little Poetry for Every Day of the Year)
Give me for my friends and neighbors wild men, not tame ones. The wildness of the savage is but a faint symbol of the awful ferity with which good men and lovers meet.
Henry David Thoreau (Walking)
Come with me to the Pacific Design Center.” “Why?” “Because I need help picking out a new couch,” he said, peering up at her uncertainly. “Isn’t that what friends do?” “Okay.” “Okay.” “Should we go?” Taylor went back inside her apartment and grabbed her keys. As she followed Jason out to his car, she tapped him on the shoulder. “Hey—can I drive the Aston Martin?” “No.” “But isn’t that what friends do?” “No.” “My, my, you’re awfully grumpy today . . . Is something wrong?” “Buckle up, sweetheart,” he told her. “This ain’t no PT Cruiser.
Julie James (Just the Sexiest Man Alive)
Grandma laughed. “You’d be surprised. It’s awfully hard to dislike someone when you really pray for them. In fact the person you pray for could turn out to be one of your best friends.
Arleta Richardson (More Stories from Grandma's Attic (Grandma's Attic Series Book 2))
Another funny thing about having friends was that they expected things of you. they made you want to not be a terrible, awful, execrable person. They made you feel worse when you were one. It was a lot easier not to have any friends.
Francine Pascal (Fearless (Fearless, #1))
You are not an ugly person all the time; you are not an ugly person ordinarily; you are not an ugly person day to day. From day to day, you are a nice person. From day to day, all the people who are supposed to love you on the whole do. From day to day, as you walk down a busy street in the large and modern and prosperous city in which you work and lie, dismayed and puzzled at how alone you can feel in this crowd, how awful it is to go unnoticed, how awful it is to go unloved, even as you are surrounded by more people than you could possibly get to know in a lifetime that lasted for millennia and then out of the corner of your eye you see someone looking at you and absolute pleasure is written all over the person's face, and then you realize that you are not as revolting a presence as you think you are. And so, ordinarily, you are a nice person, an attractive person, a person capable of drawing to yourself the affection of other people, a person at home in your own skin: a person at home in your own house, with its nice backyard, at home on your street, your church, in community activities, your job, at home with your family, your relatives, your friends - you are a whole person.
Jamaica Kincaid (A Small Place)
Having a chronic illness, Molly thought, was like being invaded. Her grandmother back in Michigan used to tell about the day one of their cows got loose and wandered into the parlor, and the awful time they had getting her out. That was exactly what Molly's arthritis was like: as if some big old cow had got into her house and wouldn't go away. It just sat there, taking up space in her life and making everything more difficult, mooing loudly from time to time and making cow pies, and all she could do really was edge around it and put up with it. When other people first became aware of the cow, they expressed concern and anxiety. They suggested strategies for getting the animal out of Molly's parlor: remedies and doctors and procedures, some mainstream and some New Age. They related anecdotes of friends who had removed their own cows in one way or another. But after a while they had exhausted their suggestions. Then they usually began to pretend that the cow wasn't there, and they preferred for Molly to go along with the pretense.
Alison Lurie (The Last Resort: A Novel)
Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would not take the garbage out! She'd scour the pots and scrape the pans, Candy the yams and spice the hams, And though her daddy would scream and shout, She simply would not take the garbage out. And so it piled up to the ceilings: Coffee grounds, potato peelings, Brown bananas, rotten peas, Chunks of sour cottage cheese. It filled the can, it covered the floor, It cracked the window and blocked the door With bacon rinds and chicken bones, Drippy ends of ice cream cones, Prune pits, peach pits, orange peel, Gloppy glumps of cold oatmeal, Pizza crusts and withered greens, Soggy beans and tangerines, Crusts of black burned buttered toast, Gristly bits of beefy roasts. . . The garbage rolled on down the hall, It raised the roof, it broke the wall. . . Greasy napkins, cookie crumbs, Globs of gooey bubble gum, Cellophane from green baloney, Rubbery blubbery macaroni, Peanut butter, caked and dry, Curdled milk and crusts of pie, Moldy melons, dried-up mustard, Eggshells mixed with lemon custard, Cold french fried and rancid meat, Yellow lumps of Cream of Wheat. At last the garbage reached so high That it finally touched the sky. And all the neighbors moved away, And none of her friends would come to play. And finally Sarah Cynthia Stout said, "OK, I'll take the garbage out!" But then, of course, it was too late. . . The garbage reached across the state, From New York to the Golden Gate. And there, in the garbage she did hate, Poor Sarah met an awful fate, That I cannot now relate Because the hour is much too late. But children, remember Sarah Stout And always take the garbage out!
Shel Silverstein
But if we never did the scary things in life we’d lead awfully boring lives
Belle Aurora (Friend-Zoned (Friend-Zoned, #1))
If the thing they were fighting for was important enough to die for then it was also important enough for them to be thinking about it in the last minutes of their lives. That stood to reason. Life is awfully important so if you've given it away you'd ought to think with all your mind in the last moments of your life about the thing you traded it for. So did all those kids die thinking of democracy and freedom and liberty and honor and the safety of the home and the stars and stripes forever? You're goddamn right they didn't. They died crying in their minds like little babies. They forgot the thing they were fighting for the things they were dying for. They thought about things a man can understand. They died yearning for the face of a friend. They died whimpering for the voice of a mother a father a wife a child They died with their hearts sick for one more look at the place where they were born please god just one more look. They died moaning and sighing for life. They knew what was important They knew that life was everything and they died with screams and sobs. They died with only one thought in their minds and that was I want to live I want to live I want to live. He ought to know. He was the nearest thing to a dead man on earth.
Dalton Trumbo (Johnny Got His Gun)
It started when she passed me a note in English class. The note said you don't seem as awful as I hear you are. I passed one back that read: beware I am as awful as people say and worse. She laughed and I had a friend. She didn't become my Ally and I didn't ask her to or want her to but she became my friend and that was more than anyone else was willing to do.
James Frey (A Million Little Pieces)
To sit in this awful mess and maybe smoke some dope and watch some innocuous shit on a dumb glass tube and feel fine about it and know there's really nothing you have to do, ever, but feel your warm friend's silent content. You don't feel guilty about not fighting a war or carrying signs to protest it either. We've just mastered the life of doing nothing, which when you think about it, may be the hardest thing of all to do.
Jim Carroll (The Basketball Diaries)
And that’s when I realized how incredibly lucky I am to have friends like Laura. Because she took something traumatic and awful and made it…okay.
Jenny Lawson (Let's Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir)
It's a god-awful small affair To the girl with the mousy hair But her mummy is yelling, "No!" And her daddy has told her to go But her friend is nowhere to be seen Now she walks through her sunken dream To the seat with the clearest view And she's hooked to the silver screen. - Life on Mars?
David Bowie
Don’t get into a fight with one more friend over the umbrella they borrowed and never gave back or the time they didn’t save you a seat at the group dinner or whatever the fuck. Stop finding fault and making a fuss and crying in weird apartment building hallways expecting people to come out and wrap you up in a warm blanket of giving a shit. They’re not going to. Yes, it would be really nice, but it’s unrealistic to the point of self-abuse. Everyone has their own problems. Some of them are awful and tragic, and if you knew what they were, you’d be grateful for the ones you have.
Karen Kilgariff (Stay Sexy & Don't Get Murdered: The Definitive How-To Guide)
Colonel Cargill was so awful a marketing executive that his services were much sought after by firms eager to establish losses for tax purposes. His prices were high, for failure often did not come easily. He had to start at the top and work his way down, and with sympathetic friends in Washington, losing money was no simple matter. It took months of hard work and careful misplanning. A person misplaced, disorganized, miscalculated, overlooked everything and open every loophole, and just when he thought he had it made, the government gave him a lake or a forest or an oilfield and spoiled everything. Even with such handicaps, Colonel Cargill could be relied on to run the most prosperous enterprise into the ground. He was a self-made man who owed his lack of success to nobody.
Joseph Heller (Catch-22)
So I get to be the bitch now? Fine. Then you, my friend, are the scary girl. 'He doesn't hit me. He doesn't abuse me. He doesn't cheat on me.' Can you hear yourself? If those are the standards you have--hey, he hasn't punched me, so everything must be okay!--that scares me. That makes me think that at some point you've used these justifications. 'Oh, it's really bad right now, and he's being awful...but at least he's not hitting me. Have a little more respect for yourself than that, okay?
David Levithan (Another Day (Every Day, #2))
The awful daring of a moment's surrender Which an age of prudence can never retract ...
T.S. Eliot (The Waste Land)
She had survived slavery and hatred and despair; she would survive this, too. Because hers was not a story of darkness. So she was not afraid of that crushing black, not with the warrior holding her, not with the courage having one true friend offered - a friend who made living not so awful after all, not if she were with him.
Sarah J. Maas (Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3))
Women made such swell friends. Awfully swell. In the first place, you had to be in love with a woman to have a basis of friendship. I had been having Brett for a friend. I had not been thinking about her side of it. I had been getting something for nothing. That only delayed the presentation of the bill. The bill always came. That was one of the swell things you could count on. I thought I had paid for everything. Not like the woman pays and pays and pays. No idea of retribution or punishment. Just exchange of values. You gave up something and got something else. Or you worked for something. You paid some way for everything that was any good. I paid my way into enough things that I liked, so that I had a good time. Either you paid by learning about them, or by experience, or by taking chances, or by money. Enjoying living was learning to get your money’s worth. The world was a good place to buy in. It seemed like a fine philosophy. In five years, I though, it will seem just as silly as all the other fine philosophies I’ve had.
Ernest Hemingway (The Sun Also Rises)
Beast, before I fuck up my car, you have to say it.” Beast growled. “Say it!” Dustin yelled. “Aw fuck, Dustin! You’re my best friend!” The line went dead,
T.S. Joyce (Blackwing Beast (Kane's Mountains, #3))
It was only when I stopped pretending to be someone else that I found my real friends.
Firoozeh Dumas (It Ain't So Awful, Falafel)
What is there to see if I go outside? Don't tell me. I know. I can see other people. I don't want to see other people. They look awful. The men look like slobs and the women look like men. The men have mush faces framed by long hair and the women have big noses, big jaws, big heads, and stick-like bodies. That depresses me. Its no fun to people-watch anymore because there's so little variety in types. You say it's good to get a change of scenery. What scenery? New buildings? New cars? New freeways? New shopping malls? Go to the woods or a park? I saw a tree once. The new ones look the same, which is fine. I even remember what the old ones look like. My memory isn't that short. But it's not worth going to see a squirrel grab a nut, or fish swimming around in a big tank if I must put up with the ugly contemporary human pollution that accompanies each excursion. The squirrel may enliven me and remind me of better vistas but the price in social interaction isn't worth it. If, on my way to visit the squirrel, I encounter a single person who gains stimulation by seeing me, I feel like I have given more than I've received and I get sore. If every time I go somewhere to see a fish swimming, I become someone else's stimulation, I feel shortchanged. I'll buy my own fish and watch it swim. Then, I can watch the fish, the fish can watch me, we can be friends, and nobody else interferes with the interaction, like trying to hear what the fish and I are talking about. I won't have to get dressed a certain way to visit the fish. I needn't dress the way my pride dictates, because who's going to see me? I needn't wear any pants. The fish doesn't care. He doesn't read the tabloids. But, if I go out to see a fish other than my own, I'm right back where I started: entertaining others, which is more depleting than visiting the new fish is entertaining. Maybe I should go to a coffee house. I find no stimulation in watching ordinary people trying to put the make on other uninteresting people. I can fix my own cup of coffee and not have to look at or talk to other people. No matter where I go, I stimulate others, and have been doing so all my life. It used to be I'd sometimes get stimulated back.
Anton Szandor LaVey
The midwest is full of these types of people. The nice enoughs but with a soul made of plastic. Easy to mold, easy to wipe down. The woman's entire music collection is formed from Pottery Barn compilations. Her books shelves are stocked with coffee table crap The Irish in America, Mizzou Football - A History in Pictures, We Remember 911, something dumb with kittens. I knew I needed a pliant friend for my plan, someone I could load up with awful stories about Nick. Someone who would become overly attached to me. Someone who would be easy to manipulate. Who wouldn't think to hard about anything I said because she felt privileged to hear it.
Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl)
We may indeed die here, that's true. But we will all die anyway-is there any denying that? When you think of all the possible ways you might go, this is as fine a place as any, isn't it? I mean, to end one's life surrounded by friends, in a comfortable, dry room with plenty to read... that doesn't sound too awful, does it?" "What is the advantage of fear, or the benefit of regret, or the bonus of granting misery a foothold even if death is embracing you? My old abbot used to say, 'Life is only precious if you wish it to be.' I look at it like the last bite of a wonderful meal-do you enjoy it, or does the knowledge that there is no more to follow make it so bitter that you would ruin the experience?" The monk looked around, but no one answered him. "If Maribor wishes for me to die, who am I to argue? After all, it is he who gave me life to begin with. Until he decides I am done, each day is a gift granted to me, and it would be wasted if spent poorly. Besides, for me, I've learned that the last bite is often the sweetest.
Michael J. Sullivan (Percepliquis (The Riyria Revelations, #6))
Bart glared at his old friend. I'm not sure I like the new you, he said ~Take me to the blood tavern..Take me to the vampirate ship..If you don't mind me saying so, buddy, since you died, you've gotten awful bossy.What's the rush anyhow? aren't you immortal now? from where I'm sitting, you've got all the time in the world
Justin Somper (Blood Captain (Vampirates, #3))
The ones who are not soul-mated – the ones who have settled – are even more dismissive of my singleness: It’s not that hard to find someone to marry, they say. No relationship is perfect, they say – they, who make do with dutiful sex and gassy bedtime rituals, who settle for TV as conversation, who believe that husbandly capitulation – yes, honey, okay, honey – is the same as concord. He’s doing what you tell him to do because he doesn’t care enough to argue, I think. Your petty demands simply make him feel superior, or resentful, and someday he will fuck his pretty, young coworker who asks nothing of him, and you will actually be shocked. Give me a man with a little fight in him, a man who calls me on my bullshit. (But who also kind of likes my bullshit.) And yet: Don’t land me in one of those relationships where we’re always pecking at each other, disguising insults as jokes, rolling our eyes and ‘playfully’ scrapping in front of our friends, hoping to lure them to our side of an argument they could not care less about. Those awful if only relationships: This marriage would be great if only… and you sense the if only list is a lot longer than either of them realizes.
Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl)
What did he mean? Was he saying he liked me as in “We’re friends, of course I wouldn’t betray you”? Or as in “You’re not an awful person, and I’m happy for you to be queen”? Or . . . or did he mean he liked me, as in he liked me? As in had feelings for me? I
Rhiannon Thomas (Long May She Reign)
For a long time Cool Girl offended me. I used to see men - friends, coworkers, strangers - giddy over these awful pretender women, and I'd want to sit these men down and calmly say: You are not dating a woman, you are dating a woman who has watched too many movies written by socially awkward men who'd like to believe that this kind of woman exists and might kiss them. I'd want to grab the poor guy by the lapels or messenger bag and say: The bitch doesn't really love chili dogs that much - no one loves chili dogs that much!
Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl)
I suppose you think you know what autumn looks like. Even if you live in the Los Angeles dreamed of by September’s schoolmates, you have surely seen postcards and photographs of the kind of autumn I mean. The trees go all red and blazing orange and gold, and wood fires burn at night so everything smells of crisp branches. The world rolls about delightedly in a heap of cider and candy and apples and pumpkins and cold stars rush by through wispy, ragged clouds, past a moon like a bony knee. You have, no doubt, experienced a Halloween or two. Autumn in Fairyland is all that, of course. You would never feel cheated by the colors of a Fairyland Forest or the morbidity of a Fairyland moon. And the Halloween masks! Oh, how they glitter, how they curl, how their beaks and jaws hook and barb! But to wander through autumn in Fairyland is to look into a murky pool, seeing only a hazy reflection of the Autumn Provinces’ eternal fall. And human autumn is but a cast-off photograph of that reflecting pool, half burnt and drifting through the space between us and Fairyland. And so I may tell you that the leaves began to turn red as September and her friends rushed through the suddenly cold air on their snorting, roaring high wheels, and you might believe me. But no red you have ever seen could touch the crimson bleed of the trees in that place. No oak gnarled and orange with October is half as bright as the boughs that bent over September’s head, dropping their hard, sweet acorns into her spinning spokes. But you must try as hard as you can. Squeeze your eyes closed, as tight as you can, and think of all your favorite autumns, crisp and perfect, all bound up together like a stack of cards. That is what it is like, the awful, wonderful brightness of Fairy colors. Try to smell the hard, pale wood sending up sharp, green smoke into the afternoon. To feel to mellow, golden sun on your skin, more gentle and cozier and more golden than even the light of your favorite reading nook at the close of the day.
Catherynne M. Valente (The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Fairyland, #1))
Did you ever think about boys?' I say, staring up into the dark. 'There wasn't room,' she whispers, and her voice is unbelievably sad. 'At first, after Connor, I was just waiting. I was going to get a new boyfriend soon- as soon as I was prettier or better, more perfect. But after a while there was no room for anything else. If I though about kissing or sex, I just started feeling ugly, too awful for anything good.
Brenna Yovanoff (Paper Valentine)
We are often hindered from giving up our treasures to the Lord out of fear for their safety. This is especially true when those treasures are loved relatives and friends. But we need have no such fears. Our Lord came not to destroy but to save. Everything is safe which we commit to Him, and nothing is really safe which is not so committed.
A.W. Tozer
Books are a social substitute; you read people who, at one level, you'd like to hang out with. [David Foster Wallace]'s writing self--it's most pronounced in his essays--was the best friend you'd ever have, spotting everything, whispering jokes, sweeping you past what was irritating or boring or awful in humane style.
David Lipsky (Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace)
Come back, come back, dear friend, only friend, come back. I promise to be good. If I was short with you, I was either kidding or just being stubborn; I regret all this more than I can express. Come back and all is forgotten. It is unbearable to think you took my joke seriously. I have been crying for two days straight. Come back. Be brave, dear friend. All is not lost. You only need to come back. We will live here once again, bravely, patiently. I’m begging you. You know it is for your own good. Come back, all of your things are here. I hope you now know that our last conversation wasn’t real. That awful moment. But you, when I waved to you to get off the boat, why didn’t you come? To have lived together for two years and to have come to that! What will you do? If you don’t want to come back here, would you want me to come to you? Yes, I was wrong. Tell me you haven’t forgotten me. You couldn’t. I always have you with me. Listen, tell me: should we not live together anymore? Be brave. Write immediately. I can’t stay here much longer. Listen to your heart. Now, tell me if I should come join you. My life is yours.
Arthur Rimbaud (I Promise to Be Good: The Letters of Arthur Rimbaud)
Be glad you don't have a vagina," my friend, who does have a vagina, told me. "You have to have a special doctor. You have to have these awful exams where you basically get naked and then remove your dignity. And then the various parts down there can get cancer and have to get cut out. I'm telling you, having a vagina is like having a pet. Like a dog that's always chasing cars." When she described it this way, it did seem a blessing that I was born without a vagina. I mean, I can't even handle having a heart.
Augusten Burroughs (Possible Side Effects)
And Aziz in an awful rage danced this way and that, not knowing what to do, and cried: "Down with the English anyhow. That's certain. Clear out, you fellows, double quick, I say. We may hate one another, but we hate you most. If I don't make you go, Ahmed will, Karim will, if it's flfty-flve hundred years we shall get rid of you, yes, we shall drive every blasted Englishman into the sea, and then "—he rode against him furiously— "and then," he concluded, half kissing him, "you and I shall be friends.
E.M. Forster (A Passage to India)
She said to me, over the phone She wanted to see other people I thought, Well then, look around. They're everywhere Said that she was confused... I thought, Darling, join the club 24 years old, Mid-life crisis Nowadays hits you when you're young I hung up, She called back, I hung up again The process had already started At least it happened quick I swear, I died inside that night My friend, he called I didn't mention a thing The last thing he said was, Be sound Sound... I contemplated an awful thing, I hate to admit I just thought those would be such appropriate last words But I'm still here And small So small.. How could this struggle seem so big? So big... While the palms in the breeze still blow green And the waves in the sea still absolute blue But the horror Every single thing I see is a reminder of her Never thought I'd curse the day I met her And since she's gone and wouldn't hear Who would care? What good would that do? But I'm still here So I imagine in a month...or 12 I'll be somewhere having a drink Laughing at a stupid joke Or just another stupid thing And I can see myself stopping short Drifting out of the present Sucked by the undertow and pulled out deep And there I am, standing Wet grass and white headstones all in rows And in the distance there's one, off on its own So I stop, kneel My new home... And I picture a sober awakening, a re-entry into this little bar scene Sip my drink til the ice hits my lip Order another round And that's it for now Sorry Never been too good at happy endings...
Eddie Vedder
There is a truth that everyone knows but you. Each of us has it; no one is immune. Not a secret, not a scandal, but something simple and obvious to everyone else. It can be as simple as losing weight, or as difficult as leaving a husband. How awful, to sense that everybody knows the thing that would change your life, and yet no one is friend enough to tell you! You are left to guess, all by yourself. Until that moment comes when it reveals itself to you, and of course this revelation always comes a moment too late.
Andrew Sean Greer (The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells)
At the end of that class Demian said to me thoughtfully: "There’s something I don’t like about this story, Sinclair. Why don’t you read it once more and give it the acid test? There’s something about it that doesn’t taste right. I mean the business with the two thieves. The three crosses standing next to each other on the hill are almost impressive, to be sure. But now comes this sentimental little treatise about the good thief. At first he was a thorough scoundrel, had committed all those awful things and God knows what else, and now he dissolves in tears and celebrates such a tearful feast of self-improvement and remorse! What’s the sense of repenting if you’re two steps from the grave? I ask you. Once again, it’s nothing but a priest’s fairy tale, saccharine and dishonest, touched up with sentimentality and given a high edifying background. If you had to pick a friend from between the two thieves or decide which one you’d rather trust, you most certainly wouldn’t choose the sniveling convert. No, the other fellow, he’s a man of character. He doesn’t give a hoot for ‘conversion’, which to a man in his position can’t be anything but a pretty speech. He follows his destiny to it’s appointed end and does not turn coward and forswear the devil, who has aided and abetted him until then. He has character, and people with character tend to receive the short end of the stick in biblical stories. Perhaps he’s even a descendant of Cain. Don’t you agree?" I was dismayed. Until now I had felt completely at home in the story of the Crucifixion. Now I saw for the first time with how little individuality, with how little power of imagination I had listened to it and read it. Still, Demian’s new concept seemed vaguely sinister and threatened to topple beliefs on whose continued existence I felt I simply had to insist. No, one could not make light of everything, especially not of the most Sacred matters. As usual he noticed my resistance even before I had said anything. "I know," he said in a resigned tone of voice, "it’s the same old story: don’t take these stories seriously! But I have to tell you something: this is one of the very places that reveals the poverty of this religion most distinctly. The point is that this God of both Old and New Testaments is certainly an extraordinary figure but not what he purports to represent. He is all that is good, noble, fatherly, beautiful, elevated, sentimental—true! But the world consists of something else besides. And what is left over is ascribed to the devil, this entire slice of world, this entire half is hushed up. In exactly the same way they praise God as the father of all life but simply refuse to say a word about our sexual life on which it’s all based, describing it whenever possible as sinful, the work of the devil. I have no objection to worshiping this God Jehovah, far from it. But I mean we ought to consider everything sacred, the entire world, not merely this artificially separated half! Thus alongside the divine service we should also have a service for the devil. I feel that would be right. Otherwise you must create for yourself a God that contains the devil too and in front of which you needn’t close your eyes when the most natural things in the world take place.
Hermann Hesse (Demian. Die Geschichte von Emil Sinclairs Jugend)
Pip, dear old chap, life is made of ever so many partings welded together, as I may say, and one man’s a blacksmith, and one’s a whitesmith, and one’s a goldsmith, and one’s a coppersmith. Diwisions among such must come, and must be met as they come. If there’s been any fault at all to-day, it’s mine. You and me is not two figures to be together in London; nor yet anywheres else but what is private, and beknown, and understood among friends. It ain’t that I am proud, but that I want to be right, as you shall never see me no more in these clothes. I’m wrong in these clothes. I’m wrong out of the forge, the kitchen, or off th’ meshes. You won’t find half so much fault in me if you think me in forge dress, with my hammer in my hand, or even my pipe. You won’t find half so much fault in me if, supposing as you should ever wish to see me, you come and put your head in at the forge window and see Joe the blacksmith, there, at the old anvil, in the old burnt apron, sticking to the old work. I’m awful dull, but I hope I’ve beat out something nigh the rights of this at last. And so God bless you, dear old Pip, old chap, God bless you!
Charles Dickens (Great Expectations)
To burn always with this hard, gem-like flame, to maintain this ecstasy, is success in life. In a sense it might even be said that our failure is to form habits: for, after all, habit is relative to a stereotyped world, and meantime it is only the roughness of the eye that makes two persons, things, situations, seem alike. While all melts under our feet, we may well grasp at any exquisite passion, or any contribution to knowledge that seems by a lifted horizon to set the spirit free for a moment, or any stirring of the sense, strange dyes, strange colours, and curious odours, or work of the artist’s hands, or the face of one’s friend. Not to discriminate every moment some passionate attitude in those about us, and in the very brilliancy of their gifts some tragic dividing on their ways, is, on this short day of frost and sun, to sleep before evening. With this sense of the splendour of our experience and of its awful brevity, gathering all we are into one desperate effort to see and touch, we shall hardly have time to make theories about the things we see and touch. What we have to do is to be for ever curiously testing new opinions and courting new impressions, never acquiescing in a facile orthodoxy, of Comte, or of Hegel, or of our own. Philosophical theories or ideas, as points of view, instruments of criticism, may help us to gather up what might otherwise pass unregarded by us. “Philosophy is the microscope of thought.” The theory or idea or system which requires of us the sacrifice of any part of this experience, in consideration of some interest into which we cannot enter, or some abstract theory we have not identified with ourselves, or of what is only conventional, has no real claim upon us.
Walter Pater
There came an awful day when I picked up the phone and knew at once, as one does with some old friends even before they speak, that it was Edward. He sounded as if he were calling from the bottom of a well. I still thank my stars that I didn't say what I nearly said, because the good professor's phone pals were used to cheering or teasing him out of bouts of pessimism and insecurity when he would sometimes say ridiculous things like: 'I hope you don't mind being disturbed by some mere wog and upstart.' The remedy for this was not to indulge it but to reply with bracing and satirical stuff which would soon get the gurgling laugh back into his throat. But I'm glad I didn't say, 'What, Edward, splashing about again in the waters of self-pity?' because this time he was calling to tell me that he had contracted a rare strain of leukemia. Not at all untypically, he used the occasion to remind me that it was very important always to make and keep regular appointments with one’s physician.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
Deryn had been there every step of the way. “We are connected, aren’t we?” “Aye,” she said, still chewing. “And for us to meet at all, I had to pretend to be a boy. Fancy that.” “Barking destiny,” Bovril said, then burped. Alek put his hands up in surrender. There were worse things than being connected to Deryn Sharp. In fact, the simple fact that she was smiling sent a wave of relief through him—she was his ally again, his friend. Providence seemed to be saying that she always would be. All at once a fist around his heart loosened its grip. “It was awful, being at war with you.” Deryn laughed. “I missed you, too, daft prince.
Scott Westerfeld (Goliath (Leviathan, #3))
Unfortunately, the ten-cent-store Jesus being preached now by many men is not the Jesus that will come to judge the world. This plastic, painted Christ who has no spine and no justice, but is a soft and pliant friend to everybody, if He is the only Christ, then we might as well close our books, bar our doors and make a bakery or garage out of our church buildings. The popular Christ being preached now is not the Christ of God nor the Christ of the Bible nor the Christ we must deal with finally. For the Christ that we deal with has eyes as a flame of fire. And His feet are like burnished brass; and out of His mouth cometh a sharp two-edged sword (see Rev. 1:14-16). He will be the judge of humanity. You can leave your loved ones in His hands knowing that He Himself suffered, knowing that He knows all, no mistakes can be made, there can be no miscarriage of justice, because He knows all that can be known... Jesus Christ our Lord, the judge with the flaming eyes, is the one with whom we must deal. We cannot escape it.
A.W. Tozer (And He Dwelt Among Us: Teachings from the Gospel of John)
My life was awful. When I was a kid, I was fat, pretty ugly and had awful hair. I used to get teased every fucking day, slammed up against lockers, punched in the face - you name it. Hell, I had to go to prom with one of my female friends because I couldn’t even get a proper date. I can’t even look back at those photos because I look so bad. I transferred schools, but the teasing just got worse. After an, let’s say, ‘incident’ I had with the school play the bullying just got worse. But I made it through high school, only to find out that real life was pretty much the same. I just stayed in my dark room all day and didn’t talk to anyone. I didn’t go outside. I just stayed inside and drew. I’d draw vampires, mummies, heroes, villains. Anything to help me escape all the bad in the world. I went to art school and didn’t really belong. All I could draw was comic book characters. I tried to put my only good talent to use by drawing a cartoon and pitching it - only to have it turned down. Life to me was just pointless. I started drinking, doing drugs and just generally wasting my life drawing.
Then one day, I saw bodies falling from the sky. I witnessed people dying. And that’s when I decided to turn my life around. I called up anyone I knew who had an instrument and we formed a band. Being on tour for the first few years was bad. All we’d do is get drunk and do drugs, but I loved it. Because I was doing something I loved with people I loved. And a few years ago I met the most perfect woman ever. It’s like we share a wave-link or something. She just knows me without even knowing me, if you understand. And now, 2011, I have a beautiful baby girl, a caring wife and I get to perform for my adoring fans everyday. I am living proof that no matter how bad it gets, it gets better. I am Gerard Way, and I survived.
Gerard Way
And, increasingly, I find myself fixing on that refusal to pull back. Because I don’t care what anyone says or how often or winningly they say it: no one will ever, ever be able to persuade me that life is some awesome, rewarding treat. Because, here’s the truth: life is catastrophe. The basic fact of existence—of walking around trying to feed ourselves and find friends and whatever else we do—is catastrophe. Forget all this ridiculous ‘Our Town’ nonsense everyone talks: the miracle of a newborn babe, the joy of one simple blossom, Life You Are Too Wonderful To Grasp, &c. For me—and I’ll keep repeating it doggedly till I die, till I fall over on my ungrateful nihilistic face and am too weak to say it: better never born, than born into this cesspool. Sinkhole of hospital beds, coffins, and broken hearts. No release, no appeal, no “do-overs” to employ a favored phrase of Xandra’s, no way forward but age and loss, and no way out but death. [“Complaints bureau!” I remember Boris grousing as a child, one afternoon at his house when we had got off on the vaguely metaphysical subject of our mothers: why they—angels, goddesses—had to die? while our awful fathers thrived, and boozed, and sprawled, and muddled on, and continued to stumble about and wreak havoc, in seemingly indefatigable health? “They took the wrong ones! Mistake was made! Everything is unfair! Who do we complain to, in this shitty place? Who is in charge here?”] And—maybe it’s ridiculous to go on in this vein, although it doesn’t matter since no one’s ever going to see this—but does it make any sense at all to know that it ends badly for all of us, even the happiest of us, and that we all lose everything that matters in the end—and yet to know as well, despite all this, as cruelly as the game is stacked, that it’s possible to play it with a kind of joy?
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
The history of Immanuel Kant's life is difficult to portray, for he had neither life nor history. He led a mechanical, regular, almost abstract bachelor existence in a little retired street of Königsberg, an old town on the north-eastern frontier of Germany. I do not believe that the great clock of the cathedral performed in a more passionless and methodical manner its daily routine than did its townsman, Immanuel Kant. Rising in the morning, coffee-drinking, writing, reading lectures, dining, walking, everything had its appointed time, and the neighbors knew that it was exactly half-past three o'clock when Kant stepped forth from his house in his grey, tight-fitting coat, with his Spanish cane in his hand, and betook himself to the little linden avenue called after him to this day the "Philosopher's Walk." Summer and winter he walked up and down it eight times, and when the weather was dull or heavy clouds prognosticated rain, the townspeople beheld his servant, the old Lampe, trudging anxiously behind Kant with a big umbrella under his arm, like an image of Providence. What a strange contrast did this man's outward life present to his destructive, world-annihilating thoughts! In sooth, had the citizens of Königsberg had the least presentiment of the full significance of his ideas, they would have felt far more awful dread at the presence of this man than at the sight of an executioner, who can but kill the body. But the worthy folk saw in him nothing more than a Professor of Philosophy, and as he passed at his customary hour, they greeted him in a friendly manner and set their watches by him.
Heinrich Heine
It is an awful thing to look on such sad circumstance and not be able to shed a tear. It is not because I do not feel for these folks, but maybe I feel too much. Part of me is glad, in a low down, mean way, that it is not Albert's or Mama's graves we are digging. Glad that it is some soldiers I don't know and neighbors and friends but not family. Lord, I must be the cussedest woman there is to think that. Finally, I felt so guilty for thinking those things that I cried. Then I began to feel the heartaches of our friends and neighbors and I cried for them, too, as we said prayers over each and every grave.
Nancy E. Turner (These Is My Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901)
After a few moments, her eyes became as glossy as his and she also spoke in complete nonsense. “Who are you?” Mother Goose asked the caterpillar. “What I am,” he said. “Where are you?” she said. “Here with you,” the caterpillar said. “And if this were the Castle of Hearts?” Mother Goose asked. “We’d be there,” he said. “But where?” she asked. “In the castle,” he said. “Ah, so there would be here,” she said, and they nodded together. “Here would be what’s left.” The caterpillar nodded. “Am I what’s left?” she asked. “You’re what’s right, of course.” “But what’s right is wrong.” “And what’s left is right.” “I understand completely,” Mother Goose said. “Thank you so much, Mr. Caterpillar.” The others stared at them absolutely dumbfounded. Mother Goose hopped down from the mushroom and moseyed back to them. “The caterpillar said to go back to the fork and take a left,” she said. “He did?” Alex asked. “It’s all about the keywords,” Mother Goose said. “I used to be friends with a sultan who enjoyed the hookah, too. Lester, I’m going to need you to carry me the rest of the way – I’m awfully tired.
Chris Colfer (Beyond the Kingdoms (The Land of Stories #4))
She knew bullshit when it was being tossed at her by the shovelful. "You know, Ms Purcell, I'm at absolute capacity in the friend department. You'll have to apply elsewhere. As for Roarke and his business, that's his deal. As for you, let's get this straight: You don't look stupid, so I don't believe you think you're the first of Roarke's discarded skirts to swing back this way. You don't worry me. In fact, you don't much interest me. So if that's all?" Slowly Magdelana slid off the desk. "The man is just never wrong is he? I don't like you." "Aw." She moved to the door, then stopped, leaned on the jamb as she looked over at Eve again. "Just one thing? He didn't discard me. I discarded him. And since you don't look stupid either, you know that makes all the difference.
J.D. Robb (Innocent in Death (In Death, #24))
I am awfully greedy; I want everything from life," said Simone de Beauvoir. "I want to be a woman and to be a man, to have many friends and to have loneliness, to work much and write good books, to travel and enjoy myself, to be selfish and to be unselfish….You see, it is difficult to get all which I want. And then when I do not succeed I get mad with anger.'' I tend more to frustration than anger, but otherwise I know precisely what de Beauvoir means. I want twenty-four hours more in each day, and nine consecutive lives to live, for I am greedy for life and art as well, with all their occasionally conflicting demands. I want as much time as possible to continue to work hard and learn. I'm greedy for it all.
Terri Windling
Although no one will ever accuse me of being much of a science student, one thing I learned from science classes is that energy is never created and never destroyed. And if Alaska took her own life, that is the hope I wish I could have given her. Forgetting her mother, failing her mother and her friends and herself—those are awful things, but she did not need to fold into herself and self-destruct. Those awful things are survivable, because we are as indestructible as we believe ourselves to be. When adults say, "Teenagers think they are invincible" with that sly, stupid smile on their faces, they don't know how right they are. We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes and manifestations. They forget that when they get old. They get scared of losing and failing. But that part of us greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail.
John Green (Looking for Alaska)
My name is CRPS, or so they say But I actually go by; a few different names. I was once called causalgia, nearly 150 years ago And then I had a new name It was RSD, apparently so. I went by that name because the burn lived inside of me. Now I am called CRPS, because I have so much to say I struggle to be free. I don't have one symptom and this is where I change, I attack the home of where I live; with shooting/burning pains. Depression fills the mind of the body I belong, it starts to speak harsh to self, negativity growing strong. Then I start to annoy them; with the issues with sensitivity, You'd think the pain enough; but no, it wants to make you aware of its trembling disability. I silently make my move; but the screams are loud and clear, Because I enter your physical reality and you can't disappear. I confuse your thoughts; I contain apart of your memory, I cover your perspective, the fog makes it sometimes unbearable to see. I play with your temperature levels, I make you nervous all the time - I take away your independance and take away your pride. I stay with you by the day & I remind you by the night, I am an awful journey and you will struggle with this fight. Then there's a side to me; not many understand, I have the ability to heal and you can be my friend. Help yourself find the strength to fight me with all you have, because eventually I'll get tired of making you grow mad. It will take some time; remember I mainly live inside your brain, Curing me is hard work but I promise you, You can beat me if you feed love to my pain. Find the strength to carry on and feed the fears with light; hold on to the seat because, like I said, it's going to be a fight. But I hope to meet you, when your healthy and healed, & you will silenty say to me - I did this, I am cured is this real? That day could possibly come; closer than I want- After all I am a disease and im fighting for my spot. I won't deny from my medical angle, I am close to losing the " incurable " battle.
Nikki Rowe
Anyway, most of the chapter is Bella telling us how much pain she's in. First she's about to die because delivering Optimus Beyonce nearly killed her. And then she goes on and on about how hot and awful the vampire venom feels as it takes hold of her body. She's in agony and there's nothing she can do about it. Good! I hope it hurts. This is what you get, Bella Swan. This is what you get for being a greedy, self-centered jerk. This is what happens to people who let thousands die in Italy. This is what you get for ruining Jacob's life and ignoring your human friends because you'd rather spend time with pretty people. This is what happens to selfish brats that have no regard for their family. This is what you get for being weak and dependent. This is what you get for lying to your father. This is what you get for crying and complaining about your perfect life. This is what you get for spending pages and pages describing freaking magnets! THIS IS WHAT YOU GET! I only wish the pain lasted longer than a chapter. An entire book of Bella's torture would be nice. And maybe if the book were illustrated…with Octo-Bears…I would finally sympathize with this, the least likable character in the history of novels. Bella, I do not care one tiny bit that you're in pain.
Dan Bergstein
The only justice is love. Just let it go. You don't have to explain. This is not about being right. There is something true inside the song you can't stop listening to. You don't feel at home anywhere, but you feel at home when Aaron sings that song. Someone calling you a criminal does not make you a criminal, just as someone calling you a hero does not make you a hero. Nobody gets to name you. Find your identity in the one true place. If someone gives you something, and then takes it back - that's okay. If someone says something or sees something, and then they don't - that's okay. Do not be like some broken lawyer making the same argument over and over again, always reaching for rewind. Guilt and regret, those are awful places. You know that. So don't live there. Do not despair. Do not be afraid. Grace is the interesting thing. Hope. And God must be a pretty big fan of today, because you keep waking up to it. You have made known your request for a hundred different yesterdays, but the sun keeps rising on this thing that has never been known. Yesterday is dead and over. Wrapped in grace. You are still alive, and today is the most interesting day. Today is the best place to live. These things deserve your attention: your family, your friends, the people you will meet today, the strangers with their stories. They say 'We are all in this together.' It is absolutely true.
Jamie Tworkowski (If You Feel Too Much: Thoughts on Things Found and Lost and Hoped For)
You have me.” His serious eyes penetrate mine. “For the rest of your days, I will be here for you—someone to trust, to lean on—to have and to hold from this day on.” Marshall is a thing of beauty both inside and out. I reach up and touch my fingers to his lips. Somebody is going to be very lucky to love him fully one day. “Those sounded an awful lot like wedding vows,” I whisper. “You will be everything to me, Skyla. A lover…” He kisses a finger. “A friend…” He kisses the tip of another. “A spouse…” He pushes my finger into his hot mouth and I pluck it out. “Where shall we spend our honeymoon?” He goes right there without provocation. “No honeymoon—but, well…” I fold my arms across my chest. “I’m sort of not really seeing Gage, since I can’t trust him. Logan wants to wait until the end of the faction war before we see where our feelings lie, so I suppose I’m open.” “Open?” His head twitches to the side just so. “You know, for wooing—no kissing though. You’ll have to woo without lingual contact.” “No kissing.” His chest broadens under the guise of this new turn of events. “Fantastic.” He says it sharp as if this were a war and he just gained ground on the enemy. “What shall we do to commemorate our first day of coupledom?
Addison Moore (Toxic Part Two (Celestra, #7.5))
Fortunate, most fortunate occurrence!—fortunate for the millions of his manacled brethren, yet panting for deliverance from their awful thraldom!—fortunate for the cause of negro emancipation, and of universal liberty!—fortunate for the land of his birth, which he has already done so much to save and bless!—fortunate for a large circle of friends and acquaintances, whose sympathy and affection he has strongly secured by the many sufferings he has endured, by his virtuous traits of character, by his ever-abiding remembrance of those who are in bonds, as being bound with them!—fortunate for the multitudes, in various parts of our republic, whose minds he has enlightened on the subject of slavery, and who have been melted to tears by his pathos, or roused to virtuous indignation by his stirring eloquence against the enslavers of men!—fortunate for himself, as it at once brought him into the field of public usefulness, "gave the world assurance of a MAN," quickened the slumbering energies of his soul, and consecrated him to the great work of breaking the rod of the oppressor, and letting the oppressed go free!
Frederick Douglass (Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass)
You big ugly. You too empty. You desert with your nothing nothing nothing. You scorched suntanned. Old too quickly. Acres of suburbs watching the telly. You bore me. Freckle silly children. You nothing much. With your big sea. Beach beach beach. I’ve seen enough already. You dumb dirty city with bar stools. You’re ugly. You silly shopping town. You copy. You too far everywhere. You laugh at me. When I came this woman gave me a box of biscuits. You try to be friendly but you’re not very friendly. You never ask me to your house. You insult me. You don’t know how to be with me. Road road tree tree. I came from crowded and many. I came from rich. You have nothing to offer. You’re poor and spread thin. You big. So what. I’m small. It’s what’s in. You silent on Sunday. Nobody on your streets. You dead at night. You go to sleep too early. You don’t excite me. You scare me with your hopeless. Asleep when you walk. Too hot to think. You big awful. You don’t match me. You burnt out. You too big sky. You make me a dot in the nowhere. You laugh with your big healthy. You want everyone to be the same. You’re dumb. You do like anybody else. You engaged Doreen. You big cow. You average average. Cold day at school playing around at lunchtime. Running around for nothing. You never accept me. For your own. You always ask me where I’m from. You always ask me. You tell me I look strange. Different. You don’t adopt me. You laugh at the way I speak. You think you’re better than me. You don’t like me. You don’t have any interest in another country. Idiot centre of your own self. You think the rest of the world walks around without shoes or electric light. You don’t go anywhere. You stay at home. You like one another. You go crazy on Saturday night. You get drunk. You don’t like me and you don’t like women. You put your arm around men in bars. You’re rough. I can’t speak to you. You burly burly. You’re just silly to me. You big man. Poor with all your money. You ugly furniture. You ugly house. You relaxed in your summer stupor. All year. Never fully awake. Dull at school. Wait for other people to tell you what to do. Follow the leader. Can’t imagine. Workhorse. Thick legs. You go to work in the morning. You shiver on a tram.
Ania Walwicz
Remembering that only a few years ago men, women, and even children, were imprisoned, tortured and burned, for having expressed in an exceedingly mild and gentle way, the ideas entertained by me, I congratulate myself that calumny is now the pulpit's last resort. The old instruments of torture are kept only to gratify curiosity; the chains are rusting away, and the demolition of time has allowed even the dungeons of the Inquisition to be visited by light. The church, impotent and malicious, regrets, not the abuse, but the loss of her power, and seeks to hold by falsehood what she gained by cruelty and force, by fire and fear. Christianity cannot live in peace with any other form of faith. If that religion be true, there is but one savior, one inspired book, and but one little narrow grass-grown path that leads to heaven. Such a religion is necessarily uncompromising, unreasoning, aggressive and insolent. Christianity has held all other creeds and forms in infinite contempt, divided the world into enemies and friends, and verified the awful declaration of its founder—a declaration that wet with blood the sword he came to bring, and made the horizon of a thousand years lurid with the fagots' flames.
Robert G. Ingersoll (Some Mistakes of Moses)
First, there is the burden of pride. The labor of self-love is a heavy one indeed. Think for yourself whether much of your sorrow has not arisen from someone speaking slightingly of you. As long as you set yourself up as a little god to which you must be loyal there will be those who will delight to offer affront to your idol. How then can you hope to have inward peace? The heart's fierce effort to protect itself from every slight, to shield its touchy honor from the bad opinion of friend and enemy, will never let the mind have rest. Continue this fight through the years and the burden will become intolerable. Yet the sons of earth are carrying this burden continually, challenging every word spoken against them, cringing under every criticism, smarting under each fancied slight, tossing sleepless if another is preferred before them. Such a burden as this is not necessary to bear. Jesus calls us to His rest, and meekness is His method. The meek man cares not at all who is greater than he, for he has long ago decided that the esteem of the world is not worth the effort. He develops toward himself a kindly sense of humor and learns to say, "Oh, so you have been overlooked? They have placed someone else before you? They have whispered that you are pretty small stuff after all? And now you feel hurt because the world is saying about you the very things you have been saying about yourself? Only yesterday you were telling God that you were nothing, a mere worm of the dust. Where is your consistency? Come on, humble yourself, and cease to care what men think.
A.W. Tozer (The Pursuit of God)
Fortunate, most fortunate occurrence! — fortunate for the millions of his manacled brethren, yet panting for deliverance from their awful thralldom! — fortunate for the cause of negro emancipation, and of universal liberty! — fortunate for the land of his birth, which he has already done so much to save and bless! — fortunate for a large circle of friends and acquaintances, whose sympathy and affection he has strongly secured by the many sufferings he has endured, by his virtuous traits of character, by his ever-abiding remembrance of those who are in bonds, as being bound with them! — fortunate for the multitudes, in various parts of our republic, whose minds he has enlightened on the subject of slavery, and who have been melted to tears by his pathos, or roused to virtuous indignation by his stirring eloquence against the enslavers of men! — fortunate for himself, as it at once brought him into the field of public usefulness, "gave the world assurance of a MAN," quickened the slumbering energies of his soul, and consecrated him to the great work of breaking the rod of the oppressor, and letting the oppressed go free!
William Lloyd Garrison (Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass)
I knew a young fellow once, who was studying to play the bagpipes, and you would be surprised at the amount of opposition he had to contend with. Why, not even from the members of his own family did he receive what you could call active encouragement. His father was dead against the business from the beginning, and spoke quite unfeelingly on the subject. My friend used to get up early in the morning to practise, but he had to give that plan up, because of his sister. She was somewhat religiously inclined, and she said it seemed such an awful thing to begin the day like that. So he sat up at night instead, and played after the family had gone to bed, but that did not do, as it got the house such a bad name. People, going home late, would stop outside to listen, and then put it about all over the town, the next morning, that a fearful murder had been committed at Mr. Jefferson's the night before; and would describe how they had heard the victim's shrieks and the brutal oaths and curses of the murderer, followed by the prayer for mercy, and the last dying gurgle of the corpse. So they let him practise in the day-time, in the back-kitchen with all the doors shut; but his more successful passages could generally be heard in the sitting-room, in spite of these precautions, and would affect his mother almost to tears. She said it put her in mind of her poor father (he had been swallowed by a shark, poor man, while bathing off the coast of New Guinea - where the connection came in, she could not explain). Then they knocked up a little place for him at the bottom of the garden, about quarter of a mile from the house, and made him take the machine down there when he wanted to work it; and sometimes a visitor would come to the house who knew nothing of the matter, and they would forget to tell him all about it, and caution him, and he would go out for a stroll round the garden and suddenly get within earshot of those bagpipes, without being prepared for it, or knowing what it was. If he were a man of strong mind, it only gave him fits; but a person of mere average intellect it usually sent mad.
Jerome K. Jerome (Three Men in a Boat (Three Men, #1))
They’re baffled by my singleness. A smart, pretty, nice girl like me, a girl with so many interests and enthusiasms, a cool job, a loving family. And let’s say it: money. They knit their eyebrows and pretend to think of men they can set me up with, but we all know there’s no one left, no one good left, and I know that they secretly think there’s something wrong with me, something hidden away that makes me unsatisfiable, unsatisfying. The ones who are not soul-mated – the ones who have settled – are even more dismissive of my singleness: It’s not that hard to find someone to marry, they say. No relationship is perfect, they say – they, who make do with dutiful sex and gassy bedtime rituals, who settle for TV as conversation, who believe that husbandly capitulation – yes, honey, okay, honey – is the same as concord. He’s doing what you tell him to do because he doesn’t care enough to argue, I think. Your petty demands simply make him feel superior, or resentful, and someday he will fuck his pretty, young coworker who asks nothing of him, and you will actually be shocked. Give me a man with a little fight in him, a man who calls me on my bullshit. (But who also kind of likes my bullshit.) And yet: Don’t land me in one of those relationships where we’re always pecking at each other, disguising insults as jokes, rolling our eyes and ‘playfully’ scrapping in front of our friends, hoping to lure them to our side of an argument they could not care less about. Those awful if only relationships: This marriage would be great if only … and you sense the if only list is a lot longer than either of them realizes.
Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl)
I thought at first that she was just dead. Just darkness. Just a body being eaten by bugs. I thought about her a lot like that, as something’s meal. What was her—green eyes, half a smirk, the soft curves of her legs—would soon be nothing, just the bones I never saw. I thought about the slow process of becoming bone and then fossil and then coal that will, in millions of years, be mined by humans of the future, and how they would heat their homes with her, and then she would be smoke billowing out of a smokestack, coating the atmosphere. I still think that, sometimes, think that maybe ‘the afterlife’ is just something we made up to ease the pain of loss, to make our time in the labyrinth bearable. Maybe she was just matter, and matter gets recycled. But ultimately I do not believe that she was only matter. The rest of her must be recycled, too. I believe now that we are greater than the sum of our parts. If you take Alaska’s genetic code and you add her life experiences and the relationships she had with people, and then you take the size and shape of her body, you do not get her. There is something else entirely. There is a part of her greater than the sum of her knowable parts. And that part has to go somewhere, because it cannot be destroyed. Although no one will ever accuse me of being much of a science student, one thing I learned from science classes is that energy is never created and never destroyed. And if Alaska took her own life, that is the hope I wish I could have given her. Forgetting her mother, failing her mother and her friends and herself—those are awful things, but she did not need to fold into herself and self-destruct. Those awful things are survivable, because we are as indestructible as we believe ourselves to be. When adults say, ‘Teenagers think they are invincible’ with that sly, stupid smile on their faces, they don’t know how right they are. We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes and manifestations. They forget that when they get old. They get scared of losing and failing. But that part of us greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail.
John Green (Looking for Alaska)
I really like you, Evelyn.” I looked at her sideways. She laughed at me. “I know that’s probably not something most actresses mean in this town, but I don’t want to be like most actresses. I really like you. I like watching you on-screen. I like how the moment you show up in a scene, I can’t look at anything else. I like the way your skin is too dark for your blond hair, the way the two shouldn’t go together and yet seem so natural on you. And to be honest, I like how calculating and awful you kind of are.” “I am not awful!” Celia laughed. “Oh, you definitely are. Getting me fired because you think I’ll show you up? Awful. That’s just awful, Evelyn. And walking around bragging about how you use people? Just terrible. But I really like it when you talk about it. I like how honest you are, how unashamed. So many women around here are full of crap with everything they say and do. I like that you’re full of crap only when it gets you something.” “This laundry list of compliments seems to have a lot of insults in it,” I said. Celia nodded, hearing me. “You know what you want, and you go after it. I don’t think there is anyone in this town doubting that Evelyn Hugo is going to be the biggest star in Hollywood one of these days. And that’s not just because you’re something to look at. It’s because you decided you wanted to be huge, and now you’re going to be. I want to be friends with a woman like that. That’s what I’m saying. Real friends. None of this Ruby Reilly, backstabbing, talking-about-each-other-behind-our-backs crap. Friendship. Where each of us gets better, lives better, because we know the other.” I
Taylor Jenkins Reid (The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo)
That was interesting.Who was that?" Matt looks unhappy. "What?" I ask him. "You'll talk to that guy,but you won't talk to us anymore?" "Sorry," I mumble, and climb out of his car. "He's just a friend.Thanks for the ride." Matt gets out,too. Cherrie starts to follow,but he throws her a sharp look. "So what does that mean?" he calls out. "We aren't friends anymore? You're bailing on us?" I trudge toward the house. "I'm tired, Matt.I'm going to bed." He follows anyway.I dig out my house key,but he grabs my wrist to stop me from opening the door. "Listen,I know you don't want to talk about it,but I just have this one thing to say before you go in there and cry yourself to sleep-" "Matt,please-" "Toph isn't a nice guy.He's never been a nice guy. I don't know what you ever saw in him.He talks back to everyone, he's completely unreliable, he wears those stupid fake clothes-" "Why are you telling me this?" I'm crying again.I pull my wrist from his grasp. "I know you didn't like me as much as I liked you. I know you would have rather been with him,and I dealth with that a long time ago.I'm over it." The shame is overwhelming. Even though I knew Matt was aware that I liked Toph,it's awful to hear him say it aloud. "But I'm still your friend." He's exasperated. "And I'm sick of seeing you waste your energy on that jerk. You've spent all this time afraid to talk about what was going on between you two,but if you'd bothered to just ask him, you would have discovered that he wasn't worth it. But you didn't.You never asked him, did you?" The weight of hurt is unbearable. "Please leave," I whisper. "Please just leave." "Anna." His voice levels, and he waits for me to look at him. "It was still wrong of him and Bridge not to tell you. Okay? You deserve better than that. And I sincerely hope whomever you were just talking to"-Matt gestures toward the phone in my purse-"is better than that.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
That night at the Brooklyn party, I was playing the girl who was in style, the girl a man like Nick wants: the Cool Girl. Men always say that as the defining compliment, don’t they? She’s a cool girl. Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot. Hot and understanding. Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, shit on me, I don’t mind, I’m the Cool Girl. Men actually think this girl exists. Maybe they’re fooled because so many women are willing to pretend to be this girl. For a long time Cool Girl offended me. I used to see men—friends, coworkers, strangers—giddy over these awful pretender women, and I’d want to sit these men down and calmly say: You are not dating a woman, you are dating a woman who has watched too many movies written by socially awkward men who’d like to believe that this kind of woman exists and might kiss them. I’d want to grab the poor guy by his lapels or messenger bag and say: The bitch doesn’t really love chili dogs that much—no one loves chili dogs that much! And the Cool Girls are even more pathetic: They’re not even pretending to be the woman they want to be, they’re pretending to be the woman a man wants them to be. Oh, and if you’re not a Cool Girl, I beg you not to believe that your man doesn’t want the Cool Girl. It may be a slightly different version—maybe he’s a vegetarian, so Cool Girl loves seitan and is great with dogs; or maybe he’s a hipster artist, so Cool Girl is a tattooed, bespectacled nerd who loves comics. There are variations to the window dressing, but believe me, he wants Cool Girl, who is basically the girl who likes every fucking thing he likes and doesn’t ever complain. (How do you know you’re not Cool Girl? Because he says things like: “I like strong women.” If he says that to you, he will at some point fuck someone else. Because “I like strong women” is code for “I hate strong women.”) I waited patiently—years—for the pendulum to swing the other way, for men to start reading Jane Austen, learn how to knit, pretend to love cosmos, organize scrapbook parties, and make out with each other while we leer. And then we’d say, Yeah, he’s a Cool Guy. But it never happened. Instead, women across the nation colluded in our degradation! Pretty soon Cool Girl became the standard girl. Men believed she existed—she wasn’t just a dreamgirl one in a million. Every girl was supposed to be this girl, and if you weren’t, then there was something wrong with you. But it’s tempting to be Cool Girl. For someone like me, who likes to win, it’s tempting to want to be the girl every guy wants. When I met Nick, I knew immediately that was what he wanted, and for him, I guess I was willing to try. I will accept my portion of blame. The thing is, I was crazy about him at first. I found him perversely exotic, a good ole Missouri boy. He was so damn nice to be around. He teased things out in me that I didn’t know existed: a lightness, a humor, an ease. It was as if he hollowed me out and filled me with feathers. He helped me be Cool
Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl)
I would be unfair to myself if I said I did not try. I did, even if desultorily. But desire is a curious thing. If it does not exist it does not exist and there is nothing you can do to conjure it up. Worse still, as I discovered, when desire begins to sink, like a capsizing ship it takes down a lot with it.   In our case it took down the conversation, the laughter, the sharing, the concern, the dreams and nearly - the most important thing, the most important thing - and nearly the affection too. Soon my sinking desire had taken everything else down with it to the floor of the sea, and only affection remained like the bobbing hand of a drowning man, poised perilously between life and death.   More than once she tried to seize the moment and open up the issue. She did it with a hard face and a soft face; she did it when I was idling on the terrace and when I was in the thick of my works; first thing in the morning and last thing at night.   We need to talk. Yes. Do you want to talk? Sure. What's happening? I don't know. Is there someone else? No. Is it something I did? Oh no. Then what the hell's happening? I don't know. Is there anything you want to talk to me about? I don't know. What do you mean you don't know? I don't know. What do you mean you don't know? I don't know. That's what I mean - I don't know. Toc toc toc.   All the while I tried to save that bobbing hand - of affection - from vanishing. I felt somehow that if it drowned there would not be a single pointer on the wide stormy surface to show me where our great love had once stood. That bobbing hand of affection was a marker, a buoy, holding out the hope that one day we could salvage the sunken ship. If it drowned, our coordinates would be completely lost and we would not know where to even begin looking.   Even in my weird state, it was an image of such desolation that it made my heart lurch wildly.   ***   For a long time, with her immense pride in herself - in us - she did not turn to anyone for help. Not friends, not family. For simply too long she imagined this was a passing phase, but then, as the weeks rolled by, through slow accretion the awful truth began to settle on her. By then she had run through all the plays of a relationship: withdrawal, sulking, anger, seduction, inquisition, affection, threat.   Logic, love, lust. Now the epitaph was beginning to creep up on her. Acceptance. 
Tarun J. Tejpal
Latter-day Saints are far from being the only ones who call Jesus the Savior. I have known people from many denominations who say those words with great feeling and deep emotion. After hearing one such passionate declaration from a devoutly Christian friend, I asked, “From what did Jesus save us?” My friend was taken aback by the question, and struggled to answer. He spoke of having a personal relationship with Jesus and being born again. He spoke of his intense love and endless gratitude for the Savior, but he still never gave a clear answer to the question. I contrast that experience with a visit to an LDS Primary where I asked the same question: “If a Savior saves, from what did Jesus save us?” One child answered, “From the bad guys.” Another said, “He saved us from getting really, really, hurt really, really bad.” Still another added, “He opened up the door so we can live again after we die and go back to heaven.” Then one bright future missionary explained, “Well, it’s like this—there are two deaths, see, physical and spiritual, and Jesus, well, he just beat the pants off both of them.” Although their language was far from refined, these children showed a clear understanding of how their Savior has saved them. Jesus did indeed overcome the two deaths that came in consequence of the Fall of Adam and Eve. Because Jesus Christ “hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light” (2 Timothy 1:10), we will all overcome physical death by being resurrected and obtaining immortality. Because Jesus overcame spiritual death caused by sin—Adam’s and our own—we all have the opportunity to repent, be cleansed, and live with our Heavenly Father and other loved ones eternally. “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow” (Isaiah 1:18). To Latter-day Saints this knowledge is basic and fundamental—a lesson learned in Primary. We are blessed to have such an understanding. I remember a man in Chile who scoffed, “Who needs a Savior?” Apparently he didn’t yet understand the precariousness and limited duration of his present state. President Ezra Taft Benson wrote: “Just as a man does not really desire food until he is hungry, so he does not desire the salvation of Christ until he knows why he needs Christ. No one adequately and properly knows why he needs Christ until he understands and accepts the doctrine of the Fall and its effects upon all mankind” (“Book of Mormon,” 85). Perhaps the man who asked, “Who needs a Savior?” would ask President Benson, “Who believes in Adam and Eve?” Like many who deny significant historical events, perhaps he thinks Adam and Eve are only part of a folktale. Perhaps he has never heard of them before. Regardless of whether or not this man accepts the Fall, he still faces its effects. If this man has not yet felt the sting of death and sin, he will. Sooner or later someone close to him will die, and he will know the awful emptiness and pain of feeling as if part of his soul is being buried right along with the body of his loved one. On that day, he will hurt in a way he has not yet experienced. He will need a Savior. Similarly, sooner or later, he will feel guilt, remorse, and shame for his sins. He will finally run out of escape routes and have to face himself in the mirror knowing full well that his selfish choices have affected others as well as himself. On that day, he will hurt in a profound and desperate way. He will need a Savior. And Christ will be there to save from both the sting of death and the stain of sin.
Brad Wilcox (The Continuous Atonement)
And all this time I was keeping my eyes open, or trying to, only they kept closing, because I wanted to go on watching the stars, where the most extraordinary things were happening. A bright satellite, a man-made star, very slowly and somehow carefully crossed the sky in a great arc, from one side to the other, a close arc, one knew it was not far away, a friendly satellite slowly going about its business round and round the globe. And then, much much farther away, stars were quietly shooting and tumbling and disappearing, silently falling and being extinguished, lost utterly silent falling stars, falling from nowhere to nowhere into an unimaginable extinction. How many of them there were, as if the heavens were crumbling at last and being dismantled. And I wanted to show all these things to my father. Later I knew that I had been asleep and I opened my eyes with wonder and the sky had utterly changed again and was no longer dark but bright, golden, gold-dust golden, as if curtain after curtain had been removed behind the stars I had seen before, and now I was looking into the vast interior of the universe, as if the universe were quietly turning itself inside out. Stars behind stars and stars behind stars behind stars until there was nothing between them, nothing beyond them, but dusty dim gold of stars and no space and no light but stars. The moon was gone. The water lapped higher, nearer, touching the rock so lightly it was audible only as a kind of vibration. The sea had fallen dark, in submission to the stars. And the stars seemed to move as if one could see the rotation of the heavens as a kind of vast crepitation, only now there were no more events, no shooting stars, no falling stars, which human senses could grasp or even conceive of. All was movement, all was change, and somehow this was visible and yet unimaginable. And I was no longer I but something pinned down as an atom, an atom of an atom, a necessary captive spectator, a tiny mirror into which it was all indifferently beamed, as it motionlessly seethed and boiled, gold behind gold behind gold. Later still I awoke and it had all gone; and for a few moments I thought that I had seen all those stars only in a dream. There was a weird shocking sudden quiet, as at the cessation of a great symphony or of some immense prolonged indescribable din. Had the stars then been audible as well as visible and had I indeed heard the music of the spheres? The early dawn light hung over the rocks and over the sea, with an awful intent gripping silence, as if it had seized these faintly visible shapes and were very slowly drawing tgem out of a darkness in which they wanted to remain. Even the water was now totally silent, not a tap, not a vibration. The sky was a faintly lucid grey and the sea was a lightless grey, and the rocks were a dark fuzzy greyish brown. The sense of loneliness was far more intense than it had been under the stars. Then I had felt no fear. Now I felt fear. I discovered that I was feeling very stiff and rather cold. The rock beneath me was very hard and I felt bruised and aching. I was surprised to find my rugs and cushions were wet with dew. I got up stiffly and shook them. I looked around me. Mountainous piled-up rocks hid the house. And I saw myself as a dark figure in the midst of this empty awfully silent dawn, where light was scarcely yet light, and I was afraid of myself and quickly lay down again and settled my rug and closed my eyes, lying there stiffly and not imagining that I would sleep again.
Iris Murdoch (The Sea, the Sea)
All right, now that the weirdness between us has caused actual physical damage, I think it’s time we talked it out, don’t you?” He gave a half smile and then turned back to the path. “We don’t need to be weird,” he said. “These past few days, since the thing with Elodie, I’ve been thinking.” He took a deep breath, and I knew that this was one of those rare occasions when Cal was about to say a lot of words at once. “I like you, Sophie. A lot. For a while, I thought it might be more than that. But you love Cross.” He said it matter-of-factly, but I still caught the way his ears reddened. “I know I’ve said some pretty awful stuff about him, but…I was wrong. He’s a good guy. So, I guess what I’m saying is that as the guy who’s betrothed to you, I wish we could be more than friends.” He stopped, turning around to face me. “But as your friend, I want you to be happy. And if Cross is who you want, then I’m not gonna stand in the way of that.” “I’m the worst fiancé ever, aren’t I?” Cal lifted one shoulder. “Nah. This one warlock I knew, his betrothed set him on fire.” Laughing so I wouldn’t cry, I tentatively lifted my arms to hug him. He folded me against his chest, and there was no awkwardness between us, and I knew the warmth in the pit of my stomach was love. Just a different kind. Sniffling, I pulled back and rubbed at my nose. “Okay, now that the hard part’s over, let’s go tackle the Underworld.” “Got room for two more?” Startled, I turned to see Jenna and Archer standing on the path, Jenna’s hand clutching Archer’s sleeve as she tried to stay on her feet. “What?” was all I could say. Archer took a few careful steps forward. “Hey, this has been a group effort so far. No reason to stop now.” “You guys can’t go into the Underworld with me,” I told them. “You heard Dad, I’m the only one with-“ “With powers strong enough. Yeah, we got that,” Jenna said. “But how are you supposed to carry a whole bunch of demonglass out of that place? It’ll burn you. And hey, maybe your powers will be strong enough to get all of us in, too.” She gestured to herself and the boys. “Plus it’s not like we don’t have powers of our own.” I knew I should tell them to go back. But having the three of them there made me feel a whole lot better and whole lot less terrified. So in the end, I gave an exaggerated sign and said, “Okay, fine. But just so you know, following me into hell means you’re all definitely the sidekicks.” “Darn, I was hoping to be the rakishly charming love interest,” Archer said, taking my hand. “Cal, any role you want?” I asked him, and he looked ruefully at the craggy rock looming over us. As he did, there was the grinding sound of stone against stone. We all stared at the opening that appeared. “I’m just hoping to be the Not Dead Guy,” Cal muttered. We faced the entrance. “Between the four of us, we fought ghouls, survived attacks by demons and L’Occhio di Dio, and practically raised the dead,” I said. “We can do this.” “See, inspiring speeches like that are why you get to be the leader,” Archer said, and he squeezed my hand. And then, moving almost as one, we stepped into the rock.
Rachel Hawkins (Spell Bound (Hex Hall, #3))
ON THE A TRAIN There were no seats to be had on the A train last night, but I had a good grip on the pole at the end of one of the seats and I was reading the beauty column of the Journal-American, which the man next to me was holding up in front of him. All of a sudden I felt a tap on my arm, and I looked down and there was a man beginning to stand up from the seat where he was sitting. "Would you like to sit down?" he said. Well, I said the first thing that came into my head, I was so surprised and pleased to be offered a seat in the subway. "Oh, thank you very much," I said, "but I am getting out at the next station." He sat back and that was that, but I felt all set up and I thought what a nice man he must be and I wondered what his wife was like and I thought how lucky she was to have such a polite husband, and then all of a sudden I realized that I wasn't getting out at the next station at all but the one after that, and I felt perfectly terrible. I decided to get out at the next station anyway, but then I thought, If I get out at the next station and wait around for the next train I'll miss my bus and they only go every hour and that will be silly. So I decided to brazen it out as best I could, and when the train was slowing up at the next station I stared at the man until I caught his eye and then I said, "I just remembered this isn't my station after all." Then I thought he would think I was asking him to stand up and give me his seat, so I said, "But I still don't want to sit down, because I'm getting off at the next station." I showed him by my expression that I thought it was all rather funny, and he smiled, more or less, and nodded, and lifted his hat and put it back on his head again and looked away. He was one of those small, rather glum or sad men who always look off into the distance after they have finished what they are saying, when they speak. I felt quite proud of my strong-mindedness at not getting off the train and missing my bus simply because of the fear of a little embarrassment, but just as the train was shutting its doors I peered out and there it was, 168th Street. "Oh dear!" I said. "That was my station and now I have missed the bus!" I was fit to be fled, and I had spoken quite loudly, and I felt extremely foolish, and I looked down, and the man who had offered me his seat was partly looking at me, and I said, "Now, isn't that silly? That was my station. A Hundred and Sixty-eighth Street is where I'm supposed to get off." I couldn't help laughing, it was all so awful, and he looked away, and the train fidgeted along to the next station, and I got off as quickly as I possibly could and tore over to the downtown platform and got a local to 168th, but of course I had missed my bus by a minute, or maybe two minutes. I felt very much at a loose end wandering around 168th Street, and I finally went into a rudely appointed but friendly bar and had a martini, warm but very soothing, which cost me only fifty cents. While I was sipping it, trying to make it last to exactly the moment that would get me a good place in the bus queue without having to stand too long in the cold, I wondered what I should have done about that man in the subway. After all, if I had taken his seat I probably would have got out at 168th Street, which would have meant that I would hardly have been sitting down before I would have been getting up again, and that would have seemed odd. And rather grasping of me. And he wouldn't have got his seat back, because some other grasping person would have slipped into it ahead of him when I got up. He seemed a retiring sort of man, not pushy at all. I hesitate to think of how he must have regretted offering me his seat. Sometimes it is very hard to know the right thing to do.
Maeve Brennan
A reflection on Robert Lowell Robert Lowell knew I was not one of his devotees. I attended his famous “office hours” salon only a few times. Life Studies was not a book of central importance for me, though I respected it. I admired his writing, but not the way many of my Boston friends did. Among poets in his generation, poems by Elizabeth Bishop, Alan Dugan, and Allen Ginsberg meant more to me than Lowell’s. I think he probably sensed some of that. To his credit, Lowell nevertheless was generous to me (as he was to many other young poets) just the same. In that generosity, and a kind of open, omnivorous curiosity, he was different from my dear teacher at Stanford, Yvor Winters. Like Lowell, Winters attracted followers—but Lowell seemed almost dismayed or a little bewildered by imitators; Winters seemed to want disciples: “Wintersians,” they were called. A few years before I met Lowell, when I was still in California, I read his review of Winters’s Selected Poems. Lowell wrote that, for him, Winters’s poetry passed A. E. Housman’s test: he felt that if he recited it while he was shaving, he would cut himself. One thing Lowell and Winters shared, that I still revere in both of them, was a fiery devotion to the vocal essence of poetry: the work and interplay of sentences and lines, rhythm and pitch. The poetry in the sounds of the poetry, in a reader’s voice: neither page nor stage. Winters criticizing the violence of Lowell’s enjambments, or Lowell admiring a poem in pentameter for its “drill-sergeant quality”: they shared that way of thinking, not matters of opinion but the matter itself, passionately engaged in the art and its vocal—call it “technical”—materials. Lowell loved to talk about poetry and poems. His appetite for that kind of conversation seemed inexhaustible. It tended to be about historical poetry, mixed in with his contemporaries. When he asked you, what was Pope’s best work, it was as though he was talking about a living colleague . . . which in a way he was. He could be amusing about that same sort of thing. He described Julius Caesar’s entourage waiting in the street outside Cicero’s house while Caesar chatted up Cicero about writers. “They talked about poetry,” said Lowell in his peculiar drawl. “Caesar asked Cicero what he thought of Jim Dickey.” His considerable comic gift had to do with a humor of self and incongruity, rather than wit. More surreal than donnish. He had a memorable conversation with my daughter Caroline when she was six years old. A tall, bespectacled man with a fringe of long gray hair came into her living room, with a certain air. “You look like somebody famous,” she said to him, “but I can’t remember who.” “Do I?” “Yes . . . now I remember!— Benjamin Franklin.” “He was a terrible man, just awful.” “Or no, I don’t mean Benjamin Franklin. I mean you look like a Christmas ornament my friend Heather made out of Play-Doh, that looked like Benjamin Franklin.” That left Robert Lowell with nothing to do but repeat himself: “Well, he was a terrible man.” That silly conversation suggests the kind of social static or weirdness the man generated. It also happens to exemplify his peculiar largeness of mind . . . even, in a way, his engagement with the past. When he died, I realized that a large vacuum had appeared at the center of the world I knew.
Robert Pinsky
WHEN I DESCRIBED THE TUMOR IN MY ESOPHAGUS as a “blind, emotionless alien,” I suppose that even I couldn’t help awarding it some of the qualities of a living thing. This at least I know to be a mistake: an instance of the pathetic fallacy (angry cloud, proud mountain, presumptuous little Beaujolais) by which we ascribe animate qualities to inanimate phenomena. To exist, a cancer needs a living organism, but it cannot ever become a living organism. Its whole malice—there I go again—lies in the fact that the “best” it can do is to die with its host. Either that or its host will find the measures with which to extirpate and outlive it. But, as I knew before I became ill, there are some people for whom this explanation is unsatisfying. To them, a rodent carcinoma really is a dedicated, conscious agent—a slow–acting suicide–murderer—on a consecrated mission from heaven. You haven’t lived, if I can put it like this, until you have read contributions such as this on the websites of the faithful: Who else feels Christopher Hitchens getting terminal throat cancer [sic] was God’s revenge for him using his voice to blaspheme him? Atheists like to ignore FACTS. They like to act like everything is a “coincidence.” Really? It’s just a “coincidence” [that] out of any part of his body, Christopher Hitchens got cancer in the one part of his body he used for blasphemy? Yeah, keep believing that, Atheists. He’s going to writhe in agony and pain and wither away to nothing and then die a horrible agonizing death, and THEN comes the real fun, when he’s sent to HELLFIRE forever to be tortured and set afire. There are numerous passages in holy scripture and religious tradition that for centuries made this kind of gloating into a mainstream belief. Long before it concerned me particularly I had understood the obvious objections. First, which mere primate is so damn sure that he can know the mind of god? Second, would this anonymous author want his views to be read by my unoffending children, who are also being given a hard time in their way, and by the same god? Third, why not a thunderbolt for yours truly, or something similarly awe–inspiring? The vengeful deity has a sadly depleted arsenal if all he can think of is exactly the cancer that my age and former “lifestyle” would suggest that I got. Fourth, why cancer at all? Almost all men get cancer of the prostate if they live long enough: It’s an undignified thing but quite evenly distributed among saints and sinners, believers and unbelievers. If you maintain that god awards the appropriate cancers, you must also account for the numbers of infants who contract leukemia. Devout persons have died young and in pain. Betrand Russell and Voltaire, by contrast, remained spry until the end, as many psychopathic criminals and tyrants have also done. These visitations, then, seem awfully random. My so far uncancerous throat, let me rush to assure my Christian correspondent above, is not at all the only organ with which I have blasphemed. And even if my voice goes before I do, I shall continue to write polemics against religious delusions, at least until it’s hello darkness my old friend. In which case, why not cancer of the brain? As a terrified, half–aware imbecile, I might even scream for a priest at the close of business, though I hereby state while I am still lucid that the entity thus humiliating itself would not in fact be “me.” (Bear this in mind, in case of any later rumors or fabrications.)
Christopher Hitchens (Mortality)