Baffle Me Quotes

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And now I know why they invented words for love, why they had to: It's the only thing that can come close to describing what I feel in that moment, the baffling mixture of pain and pleasure and fear and joy, all running sharply through me at once.
Lauren Oliver (Delirium (Delirium, #1))
Yeah, but what if you went back and killed your own grandfather?" He stared at me, baffled. "Why the fuck would you do that?
Stephen King (11/22/63)
Peas baffled me. I could not understand why grown-ups would take things that tasted so good raw, and then put them in tins, and make them revolting.
Neil Gaiman (The Ocean at the End of the Lane)
One of the things that baffles me (and there are quite a few) is how there can be so much lingering stigma with regards to mental illness, specifically bipolar disorder. In my opinion, living with manic depression takes a tremendous amount of balls. Not unlike a tour of Afghanistan (though the bombs and bullets, in this case, come from the inside). At times, being bipolar can be an all-consuming challenge, requiring a lot of stamina and even more courage, so if you're living with this illness and functioning at all, it's something to be proud of, not ashamed of. They should issue medals along with the steady stream of medication.
Carrie Fisher (Wishful Drinking)
One day, I learned that a single look can change everything. And since then I have seen it countless times. I have grappled to understand it and failed. For instance, all it took was a look from another man for my wife to fall out of love with me. It baffles me that a simple alignment of eyes can cause so much devastation.
Ali Shaw (The Girl With Glass Feet)
Of course, everyone's going to freak out when you show up at school." "Freak out? Why?" "Because you're so much hotter now than when you left." She shrugged. "It's true. Must be a vampire thing." Simon looked baffled. "I'm hotter now?" "Sure you are. I mean, look at those two. They're both totally into you." She pointed to a few feet in front of them, where Isabelle and Maia had moved to walk side by side, their head bent together. Simon looked up ahead at the girls. Clary could almost swear he was blushing. "Are they? Sometimes they get together and whisper and stare at me. I have no idea what it's about." "Sure you don't." Clary grinned. "Poor you, you have two cute girls vying for your love. Your life is hard.
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
Americans like what is easy, and it's easy to like pregnant women - they're like ducklings or bunnies or dogs. Still, it baffles me that these self-righteous, self-enthralled waddlers get such special treatment. As if it's so hard to spread your legs and let a man ejaculate between them.
Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl)
He's not in a very good mood," said Luke, pausing in front of a closed door. "I shut him up in Freaky Pete's office after he nearly killed half my pack with his bare hands. He wouldn't talk to me, so"—Luke shrugged—"I thought of you." He looked from Clary's baffled face to Simon's. "What?" "I can't believe he came here," Clary said. "I can't believe you know someone named Freaky Pete," said Simon. "I know a lot of people," said Luke. "Not that Freaky Pete is strictly people, but I'm hardly one to talk.
Cassandra Clare (City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2))
What baffles me is the comfort people find in the idea that somebody dealt this mess. Blind and meaningless chance seems to me so much more congenial - or at least less horrible. Prove to me that there is a God and I will really begin to despair.
Peter De Vries (The Blood of the Lamb)
Penryn? Who are you talking to?” My mother sounds almost frantic now. “Just my own personal demon, Mom. Don’t worry. He’s just a little weakling.” Weak or not, we both know he could have killed me if that’s what he wanted. I won’t give him the satisfaction of knowing I was scared, though. “Oh.” She sounds calm suddenly, as if that explained everything. “Okay. Don’t underestimate them. And don’t make them promises you can’t keep.” I can tell by her fading voice as she says this that she’s reassured and walking away. The baffled look the angel shoots at the door makes me chuckle. He glances my way, giving me a you’re-weirder-than-your-mom look.
Susan Ee (Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, #1))
It is my secrecy which makes you unhappy, my evasions, my silences. And so I have found a solution. Whenever you get desperate with my mysteries, my ambiguities, here is a set of Chinese puzzle boxes. You have always said that I was myself a Chinese puzzle box. When you are in the mood and I baffle your love of confidences, your love of openness, your love of sharing experiences, then open one of the boxes. And in it you will find a story, a story about me and my life. Do you like this idea? Do you think it will help us to live together?
Anaïs Nin (Collages)
Very well." He sat cross-legged on the floor of the cage. "You haven't run off so you want to talk. I will hear your explanation now." "Really, Your Majesty? So good of you to condescend. I'll try to use small words and go slow." "You're wasting my time. I know Jim betrayed me and you're covering for him. This is your chance to dazzle me wih your brillance or baffle me with your bullshit. You won't get another. When I get out, I won't be in the mood to listen.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Strikes (Kate Daniels, #3))
Unbelievable," I heard Christian mutter behind me. "She toops them both?" I head Drustan ask. "And they permit it?" Dageus sounded baffled. I looked between V'lane and Barrons. "This isn't even about me." "You're wrong about that." Barrons reached into his pocket and pulled out a cell phone. "You know how to find me if you want me." He was walking away. "More nifty acronyms?" He was gone.
Karen Marie Moning (Shadowfever (Fever, #5))
I told him the story of the day I'd been mending pottery with one of the maids in the kitchen at Keramzin, waiting for him to return from one of the hunting trips that had taken him from home more and more frequently. I'd been fifteen, standing at the counter, vainly trying to glue together the jagged pieces of a blue cup. When I saw him crossing the fields, I ran to the doorway and waved. He caught sight of me and broke into a jog. I had crossed the yard to him slowly, watching him draw closer, baffled by the way my heart was skittering around in my chest. Then he'd picked me up and swung me in a circle, and I'd clung to him, breathing in his sweet, familiar smell, shocked by how much I'd missed him. Dimly, I'd been aware that I still had a shard of that blue cup in my hand, that it was digging into my palm, but I didn't want to let go. When he finally set me down and ambled off into the kitchen to find his lunch, I had stood there, my palm dripping in blood, my head still spinning, knowing that everything had changed. Ana Kuya had scolded me for getting blood on the clean kitchen floor. She'd bandaged my hand and told me it would heal. But I knew it would just go on hurting.
Leigh Bardugo (Shadow and Bone (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #1))
It baffles me that people think that obliterating the past will save them from its consequences, as if throwing away the empty cake plate would help you lose weight.
Timothy B. Tyson (Blood Done Sign My Name: A True Story)
Is that what you think of when you think of me?" Gogol asks him. "Do I remind you of that night"? "Not at all", his father says eventually, one hand going to his ribs, a habitual gesture that has baffled Gogol until now. "You remind me of everything that followed.
Jhumpa Lahiri (The Namesake)
The fear, momentarily paused, returned with full force, and in this frantic, baffled state I ran to him, and leapt into his arms. He seemed surprised at first but soon was squeezing back. "It's all right," he soothed. "No one's hurt. You're okay." His words sliced through me, and for the first time since he'd taken me from school, I knew the truth about us: I could not be okay if he was not okay. Pain, nightmares, fighting- all of it aside- he was a part of me.
Kristen Simmons (Article 5 (Article 5, #1))
All my life, normal people had mostly baffled me-the ridiculous ways they strove to impress one another, the mediocre goals that seemed to drive them, the banality of their dreams. The way people rejected anything that didn’t fit their narrow paradigm of acceptability, as if those who thought or acted or dressed or dreamed differently from them were a threat to their very existence.
Ransom Riggs (A Map of Days (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children, #4))
It {Darwin's theory of evolution] was a concept of such stunning simplicity, but it gave rise, naturally, to all of the infinite and baffling complexity of life. The awe it inspired in me made the awe that people talk about in respect of religious experience seem, frankly, silly beside it. I'd take the awe of understanding over the awe of ignorance any day.
Douglas Adams (The Salmon of Doubt (Dirk Gently, #3))
It's been about six months since I've had something in a cast. Kids at school laugh and call me a klutz. This girl Charlotte carries my books. My parents are baffled. Will cries. Jesse keeps getting sick. You're broken, and you're fixed. And you're better,
Hannah Moskowitz (Break)
Introverts almost never cause me trouble and are usually much better at what they do than extroverts. Extroverts are too busy slapping one another on the back, team building, and making fun of introverts to get much done. Extroverts are amazed and baffled by how much some introverts get done and assume that they, the extroverts, are somehow responsible.
Mark Vonnegut
I had crossed the yard to him slowly, watching him draw closer, baffled by the way my heart was skittering around my chest. Then he'd picked me up and spun me in a circle, and I'd clung to him, breathing in his sweet, familiar smell, shocked by how much I'd missed him. Dimly, I'd been aware that I still had a shard of the blue cup in my hand, that it was digging into my palm, but I didn't want to let go. When he finally set me down and ambled off to the kitchen to find his lunch, I stood there, my palm dripping blood, my head still spinning, knowing that everything had changed. Ana Kuya had scoled me for getting blood on the clean kitchen floor. She'd bandaged my hand and told me it would heal. But I knew it would just go on hurting. In the creaking silence of the cell, Mal kissed the scar on my palm, the wound made so long ago by the edge of that broken cup, a fragile thing I'd thought beyond repair.
Leigh Bardugo (Shadow and Bone (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #1))
Life In Love Escape me? Never--- Beloved! While I am I, and you are you, So long as the world contains us both, Me the loving and you the loth While the one eludes, must the other pursue. My life is a fault at last, I fear: It seems too much like a fate, indeed! Though I do my best I shall scarce succeed. But what if I fail of my purpose here? It is but to keep the nerves at strain, To dry one's eyes and laugh at a fall, And, baffled, get up and begin again,--- So the chace takes up one's life ' that's all. While, look but once from your farthest bound At me so deep in the dust and dark, No sooner the old hope goes to ground Than a new one, straight to the self-same mark, I shape me--- Ever Removed!
Robert Browning
My name...my name is Mary. I'm here with a friend.' Rhage stopped breathing. His heart skipped a beat and then slowed. "Say that again,' he whispered. 'Ah, my name is Mary Luce. I'm a friend of Bella's...We came here with a boy, with John Matthew. We were invited.' Rhage shivered, a balmy rush blooming out all over his skin. The musical lilt of her voice, the rhythm of her speech, the sound of her words, it all spread through him, calming him, comforting him. Chaining him sweetly. He closed his eyes. 'Say something else.' 'What?' she asked, baffled. 'Talk. Talk to me. I want to hear your voice.' She was silent, and he was about to demand that she speak when she said, 'You don't look well. Do you need a doctor?' He found himself swaying. The words didn't matter. It was her sound: low, soft, a quiet brushing in his ears. He felt as if here being stroked on the inside of his skin. 'More,' he said, twisting his palm around to the front of her neck so he could feel the vibrations in her throat better. 'Could you... could you please let go of me?' 'No.' He brought his other arm up. She was wearing some kind of fleece, and he moved the collar aside, putting his hand on her shoulder so she couldn't get away from him. 'Talk.' She started to struggle. 'You're crowding me.' 'I know. Talk.' 'Oh for God's sake, what do you want me to say?' Even exasperated, her voice was beautiful. 'Anything.' 'Fine. Get your hand off my throat and let me go or I'm going to knee you where it counts.' He laughed. Then sank his lower body into her, trapping her with his thighs and hips. She stiffened against him, but he got an ample feel of her. She was built lean, though there was no doubt she was female. Her breasts hit his chest, her hips cushioned his, her stomach was soft. 'Keep talking,' he said in her ear. God, she smelled good. Clean. Fresh. Like lemon. When she pushed against him, he leaned his full weight into her. Her breath came out in a rush. 'Please,' he murmured. Her chest moved against his as if she were inhaling. 'I... er, I have nothing to say. Except get off of me.' He smiled, careful to keep his mouth closed. There was no sense showing off his fangs, especially if she didn't know what he was. 'So say that.' 'What?' 'Nothing. Say nothing. Over and over and over again. Do it.' She bristled, the scent of fear replaced by a sharp spice, like fresh, pungent mint from a garden. She was annoyed now. 'Say it.' "Fine. Nothing. Nothing.' Abruptly she laughed, and the sound shot right through to his spine, burning him. 'Nothing, nothing. No-thing. No-thing. Noooooothing. There, is that good enought for you? Will you let me go now?
J.R. Ward (Lover Eternal (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #2))
IT, that goes for you too. Any difficulties, tell me, so I can stare at you, baffled and confused.
Jodi Taylor (A Symphony of Echoes (The Chronicles of St. Mary's, #2))
I was ten years old. I had noticed something was weird earlier in the day but I knew from commercials that one's menstrual period was a blue liquid that you poured like laundry detergent onto maxi pads to test their absorbency. This wasn't blue so...I ignored it for a few hours. When we got home I pulled my mom aside to ask if it was weird I was bleeding in my underpants. She was very sympathetic but also a little baffled. Her eyes said "Dummy didn't you read 'How Shall I Tell My Daughter ". I HAD read it but nowhere in the pamphlet did anyone say that your period was NOT a blue liquid. At that moment two things became clear to me I was now technically a woman and I would never be a doctor.
Tina Fey (Bossypants)
I look down past the stars to a terrifying darkness. I seem to recognize the place, but it's impossible. "Accident," I whisper. I will fall. I seem to desire the fall, and though I fight it with all my will I know in advance I can't win. Standing baffled, quaking with fear, three feet from the edge of a nightmare cliff, I find myself, incredibly, moving towards it. I look down, down, into bottomless blackness, feeling the dark power moving in me like an ocean current, some monster inside me, deep sea wonder, dread night monarch astir in his cave, moving me slowly to my voluntary tumble into death.
John Gardner (Grendel)
You baffle me, addle me, drive me insane. You muddle, befuddle, and rattle my brain. My senses are mad, Skewed judgment to blame. You drive me half stark-raving bonkers! (But the truly crazy thing is how I love it.)
Richelle E. Goodrich (Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, and Grumblings for Every Day of the Year)
Peas baffled me. I could not understand why grown-ups would take things that tasted so good when they were freshly-picked and raw, and put them in tin cans, and make them revolting.
Neil Gaiman (The Ocean at the End of the Lane)
Their stupidity does not amaze me, its when they're smart that amazes me. It's baffling whenever you find someone who's smart — incredible. Soon you'll have zoos for such things.
Frank Zappa
Men are always so baffled by women’s clothing. So many opinions about a body that does not belong to them. Cover up, don’t cover up - no one can seem to decide.
Tahereh Mafi (Restore Me (Shatter Me, #4))
Her stare fixed me. Without rancour and without regret; without triumph and without evil; as Desdemona once looked back on Venice. On the incomprehension, the baffled rage of Venice. I had taken myself to be in some way the traitor Iago punished, in an unwritten sixth act. Chained in hell. But I was also Venice; the state left behind; the thing journeyed from.
John Fowles (The Magus)
People sometimes tells me that they're baffled by bisexuality. They are convinced that having sex with women is totally different from having sex with men. But it isn't. No more than having sex with anyone is totally different from having sex with anyone else.
Ariel Levy (The Rules Do Not Apply)
I know I just met you, Susan,” Ravyn whispered against her ear. “But I think I love you.” She froze her hand on the latch as a wave of anger went through her. Instead of warming her, those words went over her like ice. Looking at him over her shoulder, she glared at him. “You think? You think you love me? You don’t know?” His face baffled, he scowled at her. “Why are you so angry? I’m trying to die here… for you. Nobly.” “Then you should have just dropped dead and not opened your mouth to piss me of. You think? Think? What is that?
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Dark Side of the Moon (Dark-Hunter, #9; Were-Hunter, #3))
I was thinking of something that made me unhappy.” Simon stopped snarling and cocked his head, looking more baffled than angry. “Why would you do that?
Anne Bishop (Etched in Bone (The Others, #5))
Your people are spoiled," Loki said. "You can't convince them to do anything." "We're spoiled?" Finn scoffed. "That would mean something if it weren't coming from a brat Prince." "I don't know why you find my comment so offensive." Loki sat up straighter. "I've seen the way these people treat Wendy, and she's their Princess. They're insolent." "They don't know her," Finn said. "It takes time, and it doesn't help that she spends so much of it with Vittra prisoners." "I'm not a prisoner." Loki looked disgusted. "I'm here on my own." "I do not understand that." Finn shook his head in disbelief. "Finn, he asked for amnesty, and I granted it," I said. "But your motivations completely baffle me," Finn said. "We're fighting the Vittra, and you let him stay without consequence." "It really pisses you off that much that she wants me around?" Loki asked, and Finn glared at him.
Amanda Hocking (Ascend (Trylle, #3))
It seemed to me that Mr. Forrester would approve of a woman who could follow him in conversation and not be baffled by ledgers and currency conversions. I had grossly overestimated him.
Gwenn Wright (The BlueStocking Girl (The Von Strassenberg Saga, #2))
The literal mind is baffled by the ironic one, demanding explanations that only intensify the joke. A vintage example, and one that really did occur, is that of P.G. Wodehouse, captured by accident during the German invasion of France in 1940. Josef Goebbels’s propaganda bureaucrats asked him to broadcast on Berlin radio, which he incautiously agreed to do, and his first transmission began: Young men starting out in life often ask me—“How do you become an internee?” Well, there are various ways. My own method was to acquire a villa in northern France and wait for the German army to come along. This is probably the simplest plan. You buy the villa and the German army does the rest. Somebody—it would be nice to know who, I hope it was Goebbels—must have vetted this and decided to let it go out as a good advertisement for German broad-mindedness. The “funny” thing is that the broadcast landed Wodehouse in an infinity of trouble with the British authorities, representing a nation that prides itself above all on a sense of humor.
Christopher Hitchens (Letters to a Young Contrarian)
Grow up with me,Let’s run in fields and through the dark together,Fall off swings and burn special things,And both play outside in bad weather,Let’s eat badly,Let’s watch adults drink wine and laugh at their idiocy,Let’s sit in the back of the car making eye contact with strangers driving past,Making them uncomfortable,Not caring, not swearing, don’t look,Let’s both reclaim our superpowers, The ones we all have and lose with our milk teeth,The ability not to fear social awkwardness,The panic when locked in the cellar, still sure there’s something down there,And while picking through pillows each feather,Let’s both stay away from the edge of the bed,Forcing us closer together,Let’s sit in public, with ice-cream all over both our faces,Sticking our tongues out at passers-by,Let’s cry, let’s swim, let’s everything,Let’s not find it funny, lest someone falls over,Classical music is boring,Poetry baffles us both,There’s nothing that’s said is what’s meant,Plays are long, tiresome, sullen and filled With hours that could be spent rolling down hills and grazing our knees on cement,Let’s hear stories and both lose our innocence,Learn about parents and forgiveness,Death and morality,Kindness and heart,Thus losing both of our innocent hearts,But at least we wont do it apart,Grow up with me.
Keaton Henson
He reached in his pocket, took out the gray button that had fallen off her suit the first time they’d met. When she’d viewed him as a murder suspect. “And I have my talisman to remind me.” It never failed to baffle her—and on a deeper level delight her—that he carried it with him, always. “What ever happened to that suit anyway?” Humor flickered in his eyes. “It was hideous, and met the fate it deserved. This”—he held up the button—“was the best part of it.
J.D. Robb (Salvation in Death (In Death, #27))
It was not just the drink, though, that was making me happy, but the tenderness of things, the simple goodness of the world. This sunset, for instance, how lavishly it was laid on, the clouds, the light on the sea, that heartbreaking, blue-green distance, laid on, all of it, as if to console some lost suffering waybarer. I have never really got used to being on this earth. Somethings I think our presence here is due to a cosmic blunder, that we were meant for another planet altogether, with other arrangements, and other laws, and other, grimmer skies. I try to imagine it, our true place, off on the far side of the galaxy, whirling and whirling. And the ones who were meant for here, are they out there, baffled and homesick, like us? No, they would have become extinct long ago. How could they survive, these gentle earthlings, in a world that was meant to contain us?
John Banville (The Book of Evidence (The Freddie Montgomery Trilogy #1))
In truth, I think I do not make it easy for anyone at all. There is about me a reserve, a frostiness I cannot shed, something cold at the edges that baffles exchange.
Kay Langdale (If Not Love)
He was a thundering paradox of a man, noble and ignoble, inspiring and outrageous, arrogant and shy, the best of me and the worst of men, the most protean, most ridiculous, and most sublime. No more baffling, exasperating soldier ever wore a uniform. Flamboyant, imperious, and apocalyptic, he carried the plumage of a flamingo, could not acknowledge errors, and tried to cover up his mistakes with sly, childish tricks. Yet he was also endowed with great personal charm, a will of iron, and a soaring intellect. Unquestionably he was the most gifted man-at arms- this nation has produced. -William Manchester on Douglas MacArthur
William Manchester
You'll get over it...' It's the cliches that cause the trouble. To lose someone you love is to alter your life for ever. You don't get over it because 'it' is the person you loved. The pain stops, there are new people, but the gap never closes. How could it? The particularness of someone who mattered enough to greive over is not made anodyne by death. This hole in my heart is in the shape of you and no-one else can fit it. Why would I want them to? I've thought a lot about death recently, the finality of it, the argument ending in mid-air. One of us hadn't finished, why did the other one go? And why without warning? Even death after long illness is without warning. The moment you had prepared for so carefully took you by storm. The troops broke through the window and snatched the body and the body is gone. The day before the Wednesday last, this time a year ago, you were here and now you're not. Why not? Death reduces us to the baffled logic of a small child. If yesterday why not today? And where are you? Fragile creatures of a small blue planet, surrounded by light years of silent space. Do the dead find peace beyond the rattle of the world? What peace is there for us whose best love cannot return them even for a day? I raise my head to the door and think I will see you in the frame. I know it is your voice in the corridor but when I run outside the corridor is empty. There is nothing I can do that will make any difference. The last word was yours. The fluttering in the stomach goes away and the dull waking pain. Sometimes I think of you and I feel giddy. Memory makes me lightheaded, drunk on champagne. All the things we did. And if anyone had said this was the price I would have agreed to pay it. That surprises me; that with the hurt and the mess comes a shaft of recognition. It was worth it. Love is worth it.
Jeanette Winterson (Written on the Body)
I once expected to spend seven years walking around the world on foot. I walked from Mexico to Panama where the road ended before an almost uninhabited swamp called the Choco Colombiano. Even today there is no road. Perhaps it is time for me to resume my wanderings where I left off as a tropical tramp in the slums of Panama. Perhaps like Ambrose Bierce who disappeared in the desert of Sonora I may also disappear. But after being in all mankind it is hard to come to terms with oblivion - not to see hundreds of millions of Chinese with college diplomas come aboard the locomotive of history - not to know if someone has solved the riddle of the universe that baffled Einstein in his futile efforts to make space, time, gravitation and electromagnetism fall into place in a unified field theory - never to experience democracy replacing plutocracy in the military-industrial complex that rules America - never to witness the day foreseen by Tennyson 'when the war-drums no longer and the battle-flags are furled, in the parliament of man, the federation of the world.' I may disappear leaving behind me no worldly possessions - just a few old socks and love letters, and my windows overlooking Notre-Dame for all of you to enjoy, and my little rag and bone shop of the heart whose motto is 'Be not inhospitable to strangers lest they be angels in disguise.' I may disappear leaving no forwarding address, but for all you know I may still be walking among you on my vagabond journey around the world." [Shakespeare & Company, archived statement]
George Whitman
You think to baffle me, you with your pale faces all in a row, like sheep in a butcher's. You shall be sorry yet, each one of you! You think you have left me without a place to rest, but I have more. My revenge is just begun! I spread it over centuries, and time is on my side. Your girls that you all love are mine already. And through them you and others shall yet be mine, my creatures, to do my bidding and to be my jackals when I want to feed. Bah!
Bram Stoker (Dracula)
I feel that from the very beginning life played a terrible conjurer’s trick on me. I lost faith in it. It seems to me that every moment now it is playing tricks on me. So that when I hear love I am not sure it is love, and when I hear gaiety I am not sure it is gaiety, and when I have eaten and loved and I am all warm from wine, I am not sure it is either love or food or wine, but a strange trick being played on me, an illusion, slippery and baffling and malicious, and a magician hangs behind me watching the ecstasy I feel at the things which happen so that I know deep down it is all fluid and escaping and may vanish at any moment. Don’t forget to write me a letter and tell me I was here, and I saw you, and loved you, and ate with you. It is all so evanescent and I love it so much, I love it as you love the change in the days.
Anaïs Nin (The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 2: 1934-1939)
Footsteps approach the kitchen. Garrett wanders in, wiping sweat off his brow. When he notices Sabrina, he brightens. “Oh good. You’re here. Hold on—gotta grab something.” She turns to me as if to say, Is he talking to me? He’s already gone, though, his footsteps thumping up the stairs. At the table, Hannah runs a hand through her hair and gives me a pleading look. “Just remember he’s your best friend, okay?” That doesn’t sound ominous. When Garrett returns, he’s holding a notepad and a ballpoint pen, which he sets on the table as he sits across from Sabrina. “Tuck,” he says. “Sit. This is important.” I’m so baffled right now. Hannah’s resigned expression doesn’t help in lessening the confusion. Once I’m seated next to Sabrina, Garrett flips open the notepad, all business. “Okay. So let’s go over the names.” Sabrina raises an eyebrow at me. I shrug, because I legitimately don’t know what the fuck he’s talking about. “I’ve put together a solid list. I really think you’re going to like these.” But when he glances down at the page, his face falls. “Ah crap. We can’t use any of the boy names.” “Wait.” Sabrina holds up a hand, her brow furrowed. “You’re picking names for our baby?” He nods, busy flipping the page. My baby mama gapes at me. I shrug again. “Just out of curiosity, what were the boy names?” Grace hedges, clearly fighting a smile. He cheers up again. “Well, the top contender was Garrett.” I snicker loud enough to rattle Sabrina’s water glass. “Uh-huh,” I say, playing along. “And what was the runner-up?” “Graham.” Hannah sighs. “But it’s okay. I have some kickass girl names too.” He taps his pen on the pad, meets our eyes, and utters two syllables. “Gigi.” My jaw drops. “Are you kidding me? I’m not naming my daughter Gigi.” Sabrina is mystified. “Why Gigi?” she asks slowly. Hannah sighs again. The name suddenly clicks in my head. Oh for fuck’s sake. “G.G.,” I mutter to Sabrina. “As in Garrett Graham.” She’s silent for a beat. Then she bursts out laughing, triggering giggles from Grace and eventually Hannah, who keeps shaking her head at her boyfriend. “What?” Garrett says defensively. “The godfather should have a say in the name. It’s in the rule book.” “What rule book?” Hannah bursts out. “You make up the rules as you go along!” “So?
Elle Kennedy (The Goal (Off-Campus, #4))
It is not as though we have not heard of you, Captain Laurence. We have all had a great many arguments, whether your aid would not be too expensive, to begin with.” “Sir,” Laurence said, now baffled, “I beg your pardon; however should you know me from Adam?” “If the world had not heard of you, after your adventure at Gdansk,” Kutuzov said, meaning Danzig, where they had rescued the garrison from the wreck of the Prussian campaign, “or after the plague, we should certainly have heard of you after Brazil. Where you go, you leave half the world overturned behind you. You are more dangerous than Bonaparte in your own way, you and that beast of yours.
Naomi Novik (Blood of Tyrants (Temeraire, #8))
Nothing was so hard for me to understand, so baffling, and at the same time so filled with menacing overtones as the commonplace remark, “Human beings work to earn their bread, for if they don’t eat, they die.
Osamu Dazai (No Longer Human)
The best line of work for me would be roadside sprite. I'd live quietly by a dust-covered track that people never came across unless they took a wrong turn, and I'd offer the baffled travelers lemonade and sandwiches, maybe even fix their engines if they asked nicely (I'd have used my solitude to read extensively on matters of car maintenance). Then the travelers would go on their way, relaxed and refreshed, and they'd forget they'd ever met me. That's the ideal meeting... once upon a time, only once, unexpectedly, then never again.
Helen Oyeyemi (Boy, Snow, Bird)
The mark of the truly civilized is their (truly baffling to the likes of you and me) patience with what truly baffles.
Samuel R. Delany (Tales of Nevèrÿon (Return to Nevèrÿon, #1))
Some are baffled, but that one is not--that one knows me. Ah lover and perfect equal, I meant that you should discover me so by faint indirections.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
I came to understand that I had baffled and infuriated my father at least as much as he had baffled and infuriated me.
Jon Krakauer (Into the Wild)
But yester-night I prayed aloud In anguish and in agony, Up-starting from the fiendish crowd Of shapes and thoughts that tortured me: A lurid light, a trampling throng, Sense of intolerable wrong, And whom I scorned, those only strong! Thirst of revenge, the powerless will Still baffled, and yet burning still! Desire with loathing strangely mixed On wild or hateful objects fixed. Fantastic passions! maddening brawl! And shame and terror over all! Deeds to be hid which were not hid, Which all confused I could not know Whether I suffered, or I did: For all seemed guilt, remorse or woe, My own or others still the same Life-stifling fear, soul-stifling shame.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge (The Complete Poems)
She shrugged, looking as baffled by it as he felt. "I don't know. I wonder sometimes if people even know what love is anymore. Some days, when I'm watching my friends change lovers as unperturbedly as they change shoes, I think the world just got filled with too many people, and all our technological advances made things so easy that it cheapened our most basic, essential value somehow," she told him. "It's like spouses are commodities nowadays: disposable, constantly getting tossed back out for trade on the market and everyone's trying to trade up, up--like there is a 'trading up' in love." She rolled her eyes. "No way. That's not for me. I'm having one husband. I'm getting married once. When you know going in that you're staying for life, it makes you think harder about it, go slower, choose really well.
Karen Marie Moning (Spell of the Highlander (Highlander, #7))
My research continues to amaze and baffle me. As human beings, we are geniuses. What we didn’t get from the home, we find ways of getting elsewhere. It’s evident, then, when one looks at the stats we don’t have a teenage pregnancy problem and we don’t have a street gang problem. I will even suggest that we don’t have a drug and alcohol problem, nor do we have a crime problem rather, these are only the symptoms that we are experiencing, and the real problem is broken homes that result in broken lives.
Drexel Deal (The Fight of My Life is Wrapped Up in My Father (The Fight of My Life is Wrapped in My Father))
Focus, Wayne,” Wax said. “How are we going to get in? Shall we try a Fat Belt?” “Nah,” Wayne said, “too loud. I think we should do Spoiled Tomato.” “Dangerous,” Wax said, shaking his head. “I’d have to do the placement just right, between the lit perimeter and the shadowed part near the walls.” “You can do it. You make shots like that all the time. Plus, we got this shiny new metalmind, full o’ health waitin’ to be slurped up.” “A mistake could ruin the whole infiltration, healing power or no,” Wax said. “I think we should do Duck Under Clouds instead.” “You kiddin’?” Wayne said. “Didn’t you get shot last time we tried that?” “Kinda,” Wax admitted. MeLaan stared at them, baffled. “Duck under Clouds?” “They get like this,” Marasi said, patting her on the shoulder. “Best not to listen too closely.” “Tube Run,” Wayne said. “No glue.” “Banefielder?” “Too dark.” “Blackwatch Doublestomp.” Wax hesitated. “… The hell is that?” “Just made it up,” Wayne said, grinning. “It’s a nifty code name though, eh?” “Not bad,” Wax admitted. “And what type of plan is it?” “Same as Spoiled Tomato,” Wayne said.
Brandon Sanderson (The Bands of Mourning (Mistborn, #6))
some men still don’t believe that a woman’s sexual appetite can be as important to satisfy as theirs. Or they don’t believe a woman’s sex life can or should be as varied, complex and interesting. Which baffles me, because, I mean, who are these men having sex with?
L. Marie Adeline (SECRET Revealed)
My anxieties as to behavior are futile, ever more so, to infinity. If the other, incidentally or negligently, gives the telephone number of a place where he or she can be reached at certain times, I immediately grow baffled: should I telephone or shouldn't I? (It would do no good to tell me that I can telephone - that is the objective, reasonable meaning of the message - for it is precisely this permission I don't know how to handle.) What is futile is what apparently has and will have no consequence. But for me, an amorous subject, everything which is new, everything which disturbs, is received not as a fact but in the aspect of a sign which must be interpreted. From the lover's point of view, the fact becomes consequential because it is immediately transformed into a sign: it is the sign, not the fact, which is consequential (by its aura). If the other has given me this new telephone number, what was that the sign of? Was it an invitation to telephone right away, for the pleasure of the call, or only should the occasion arise, out of necessity? My answer itself will be a sign, which the other will inevitably interpret, thereby releasing, between us, a tumultuous maneuvering of images. Everything signifies: by this proposition, I entrap myself, I bind myself in calculations, I keep myself from enjoyment. Sometimes, by dint of deliberating about "nothing" (as the world sees it), I exhaust myself; then I try, in reaction, to return -- like a drowning man who stamps on the floor of the sea -- to a spontaneous decision (spontaneity: the great dream: paradise, power, delight): go on, telephone, since you want to! But such recourse is futile: amorous time does not permit the subject to align impulse and action, to make them coincide: I am not the man of mere "acting out" -- my madness is tempered, it is not seen; it is right away that I fear consequences, any consequence: it is my fear -- my deliberation -- which is "spontaneous.
Roland Barthes (A Lover's Discourse: Fragments)
Your country baffles me: a luxurious unharmed lotus land in which great hordes of handsome dynamic people either wallow in deep gloom, or play like overexcited children, or fall to work like all the devils in hell, while the press steadily drones detestation of the government and despair of the system. I don’t understand how America works, any more than Frances Trollope or Dickens did, but it’s an ongoing miracle of sorts.
Herman Wouk (War and Remembrance (The Henry Family, #2))
I think it delightful too," I said; "but I am sad just because of the beauty of it all. All is so fair and lovely outside of me, while my own heart is confused and baffled and full of vague and unsatisfied longing.
Leo Tolstoy (Family Happiness)
It's easy to like pregnant women-they're like ducklings or bunnies or dogs. Still, it baffles me that these self-righteous, self-enthralled waddlers get such special treatment. As if it's so hard to spread your legs and let a man ejaculate between them.
Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl)
Life baffles me most days. Maybe that's why I write. To try and make sense of it all.
Christy Hall (The Little Silkworm)
He pulled his mouth from mine, and it confused me. Hell, looking into his eyes now baffled me. “Greene, you’re gonna make me ruin you.” “So ruin me.
G.L. Tomas (Wander This World)
What baffles me—what will always baffle me—is how easy, how simple, how effortless it was to slip by such lukewarm degrees into the disgraceful state in which I now find myself.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Being Bold: Quotes, Poetry, & Motivations for Every Day of the Year)
Golf baffles me. They says it’s a sport, and I have to take their word for it, but anything that involves having fun while standing up doesn’t interest me. That includes dancing. NASCAR I can understand. In fact, anything that involves sitting down automatically has my interest...
Gary Reilly (Ticket To Hollywood (Asphalt Warrior, #2))
How are you giving it magic?” he said, through his teeth. “I already found the path!” I said. “I’m just staying on it. Can’t you—feel it?” I asked abruptly, and held my hand cupping the flower out towards him; he frowned and put his hands around it, and then he said, “Vadiya rusha ilikad tuhi,” and a second illusion laid itself over mine, two roses in the same space—his, predictably, had three rings of perfect petals, and a delicate fragrance. “Try and match it,” he said absently, his fingers moving slightly, and by lurching steps we brought our illusions closer together until it was nearly impossible to tell them one from another, and then he said, “Ah,” suddenly, just as I began to glimpse his spell: almost exactly like that strange clockwork on the middle of his table, all shining moving parts. On an impulse I tried to align our workings: I envisioned his like the water-wheel of a mill, and mine the rushing stream driving it around. “What are you—” he began, and then abruptly we had only a single rose, and it began to grow. And not only the rose: vines were climbing up the bookshelves in every direction, twining themselves around ancient tomes and reaching out the window; the tall slender columns that made the arch of the doorway were lost among rising birches, spreading out long finger-branches; moss and violets were springing up across the floor, delicate ferns unfurling. Flowers were blooming everywhere: flowers I had never seen, strange blooms dangling and others with sharp points, brilliantly colored, and the room was thick with their fragrance, with the smell of crushed leaves and pungent herbs. I looked around myself alight with wonder, my magic still flowing easily. “Is this what you meant?” I asked him: it really wasn’t any more difficult than making the single flower had been. But he was staring at the riot of flowers all around us, as astonished as I was. He looked at me, baffled and for the first time uncertain, as though he had stumbled into something, unprepared. His long narrow hands were cradled around mine, both of us holding the rose together. Magic was singing in me, through me; I felt the murmur of his power singing back that same song. I was abruptly too hot, and strangely conscious of myself. I pulled my hands free.
Naomi Novik (Uprooted)
Before me, have you ever been fucked by a real man?” “What are you talking about?” “A real man. Have you ever fucked one?” “I’m confused.” “Then the answer is no, you haven’t. By the end of this week, I’m going to be inside you enough so you can start to tell the difference.” I blinked up at him, completely baffled. “What?” “A real man doesn’t fuck you for your money. He fucks you because you’re gorgeous. Because you come like a rocket. Because you have eyes that show him everything you’re feeling. He fucks you because nothing has ever felt better.” “Oh.” “Yeah, oh.
Devney Perry (Tinsel (Lark Cove, #4))
It continues to baffle me that people's main concern about my activities around peace and grassroots activism in a full-on police state at first centred on my clothes - not my ideas, not my message, not my intentions; all those came second to what I was wearing and whether or not 'a girl' could walk that far.
Scarlett Curtis (Feminists Don't Wear Pink (And Other Lies): Amazing Women on What the F-Word Means to Them)
Madame, you will have the goodness to tell me where that genius lives." The old lady did not seem surprised at this indiscreet command. She raised her eyes and said: "In Heaven!" Such simplicity baffled him.
Gaston Leroux (The Phantom of the Opera)
My hair has always grown in all directions and my teeth too and my beard. My nerves and my soul must surely grow in the same way. That is what makes me incomprehensible to those who grow all in one direction and are incapable of imagining a hay-stack. It is this that baffles those who could rid me of this legendary leprosy. They do not know how to take me. This organic disorder is a safeguard for me because it keeps the thoughtless at distance. I also get certain advantages from it. It gives me diversity, contrast, a quickness in leaning to one side or the other as this or that object invites me, and in regaining my balance.
Jean Cocteau (The Difficulty of Being)
After a noticeable silence, he'd recently published a book of technically baffling poems, with line breaks so arbitrary and frequent as to be useless, arrhythmic. On the page they look like some of Charles Bukowski's skinny, chatty, muttering-stuttering antiverses. Impossibly, Mark's words make music, the faraway strains of an irresistible jazz. It's plain to any reader, within a few lines—well, go read the poems and see, Marcus Ahearn traffics with the ineffable. He makes the mind of the speaker present, in that here-and-now where the reader actually reads—that place. Such a rare thing. Samuel Beckett. Jean Follain, Ionesco—the composer Billy Strayhorn. Mark calls his process "psychic improvisation" and referred me to the painter Paul Klee; the term was Klee's. "You just get out a pen and a notebook and let your mind go long," he told me.
Denis Johnson (The Largesse of the Sea Maiden)
I stared at him, baffled. But at that moment Gideon began to play, and I entirely forgot what I had been going to ask the count. Oh, my god! Maybe it was the punch—but wow! That violin was really sexy! Even the way Gideon raised it and tucked it under his chin! He didn’t have to do more than that to carry me away with him. His long lashes cast shadows on his cheeks, and a lock of hair fell over his face as he began passing the bow over the strings. The first notes filling the room almost took my breath away, they made such tender, melting music, and suddenly I was close to tears. Until now, violins had been way down on my list of favorite instruments, and I really liked them only for accompanying certain moments in films. But this was just incredibly wonderful—well, all of it was: the bittersweet melody and boy enticing it out of the instrument. All the people in the room listened with bated breath, and Gideon played on, immersed in the music as if there were no one else there. I didn’t notice that I was crying until the count touched my cheek and caught a tear gently with his finger. Then I jumped in alarm. He was smiling down at me, and I saw a warm glow in his dark brown eyes. “Nothing to be ashamed of,” he said quietly. “If it were otherwise, I’d have been very disappointed.
Kerstin Gier (Saphirblau (Edelstein-Trilogie, #2))
He looked down at me. The cold air had put a flush in his cheeks, and the lamplight shone in his gray eyes. “Alina, if I tell you that I still believe we can find the stag, would you think I’m mad?” “Why would you care what I think?” He looked genuinely baffled. “I don’t know,” he said. “But I do.” And then he kissed me.
Leigh Bardugo (Shadow and Bone (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #1))
The sixth grade seemed to please him from the beginning: he went through a brief Egyptian Period that baffled me - he tried to walk flat a great deal, sticking one arm in front of him and one in back of him, putting one foot behind the other. He declared Egyptians walked that way; I said if they did I didn't see how they got anything done, but Jem said they accomplished more than the Americans ever did, they invented toilet paper and perpetual embalming, and asked where would we be today if they hadn't? Atticus told me to delete the adjectives and I'd have the facts.
Harper Lee
We picked some pea pods, opened them and ate the peas inside. Peas baffled me. I could not understand why grown-ups would take things that tasted so good when they were freshly-picked and raw, and put them in tin cans, and make them revolting.
Neil Gaiman (The Ocean at the End of the Lane)
As Harry Potter was the only other thing I was passionate about, the doctors gave consent for me to leave the hospital and collect the fifth Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, from the local book shop. I was so ecstatic to have the book and excited to begin reading it, but there was never any hint of your imminent arrival and the way you would change my life so drastically. Luna, you instantly captivated me. I didn’t know why but there was something about you with your upside-down magazine, straggly blonde hair, and the honest, abashed way you stared at people without blinking that fascinated and perplexed me at once. You laughed hysterically at one of Ron’s quips and didn’t stop to excuse yourself and feel ashamed when it became clear that everyone found you strange. Throughout the book, I found myself waiting for your brief appearances and wanting to know more about you and why you were the way you were. You baffled me, not because you were odd (though indeed you were), but because you were… perfect. But it was a different kind of perfect to the perfectly thin, smiling magazine girls I simultaneously idolised and reviled. It was the way you carried your oddness like it was the most natural thing in the world. You didn’t market your oddness as your defining feature the way some insecure teenagers do, in guise of confidence and security. And nor were you oblivious to the awkward and uncomfortable feelings your oddness provoked in others. When, unable to comprehend how you wore your oddness so honestly and unashamedly, your peers reverted to mockery and bullying, you recognized this as a reflection of their own deep-seated insecurity and calmly let them carry on, quite above your head. You weren’t trying hard to present a certain aspect of yourself that would boldly identify you in the world. And that’s when it occurred to me how bizarre and positively ridiculous it was to apply the word “weird” to describe you, when you represented the most natural and unpretentious state possible to be; you were yourself.
Evanna Lynch
My mother's suffering grew into a symbol in my mind, gathering to itself all the poverty, the ignorance, the helplessness; the painful, baffling, hunger-ridden days and hours; the restless moving, the futile seeking, the uncertainty, the fear, the dread; the meaningless pain and the endless suffering. Her life set the emotional tone of my life, colored the men and women I was to meet in the future, conditioned my relation to events that had not yet happened, determined my attitude to situations and circumstances I had yet to face. A somberness of spirit that I was never to lose settled over me during the slow years of my mother's unrelieved suffering, a somberness that was to make me stand apart and look upon excessive joy with suspicion, that was to make me keep forever on the move, as though to escape a nameless fate seeking to overtake me. At the age of twelve, before I had one year of formal schooling, I had a conception of life that no experience would ever erase, a predilection for what was real that no argument could ever gainsay, a sense of the world that was mine and mine alone, a notion as to what life meant that no education could ever alter, a conviction that the meaning of living came only when one was struggling to wring a meaning out of meaningless suffering. At the age of twelve I had an attitude toward life that was to endure, that was to make me seek those areas of living that would keep it alive, that was to make me skeptical of everything while seeking everything, tolerant of all and yet critical. The spirit I had caught gave me insight into the sufferings of others, made me gravitate toward those whose feelings were like my own, made me sit for hours while others told me of their lives, made me strangely tender and cruel, violent and peaceful. It made me want to drive coldly to the heart of every question and it open to the core of suffering I knew I would find there. It made me love burrowing into psychology, into realistic and naturalistic fiction and art, into those whirlpools of politics that had the power to claim the whole of men's souls. It directed my loyalties to the side of men in rebellion; it made me love talk that sought answers to questions that could help nobody, that could only keep alive in me that enthralling sense of wonder and awe in the face of the drama of human feeling which is hidden by the external drama of life.
Richard Wright (Black Boy (American Hunger))
A child’s bond to her mother cannot be understated, and my bond with Helen was a ragged, baffling, disheartening, chaotic mess. I felt crazy, often, around my own mother. I grew up questioning what was normal, asking what reality was and wasn’t, and not trusting the outcome of different situations. She scared me and I couldn’t predict her behavior, so I was often off-kilter and worried.
Cathy Lamb (Such A Pretty Face)
The so-called “black magician” is a “new brain” hominid fear-merchant who has somewhere learned that there are more powerful intimidations than physical assault. The dimensions of horror, terror and mindwarp are discovered. You can scare more people, and acquire greater power, by the exploitation of psychic assault. When a human’s “mind” or reality-construct is threatened, the person virtually ceases to exist as human, and regresses to the status of a terrorized mammal in a trap. Just as the physical bully feeds on fear and is thrown off stride by the appearance of real courage, the psychic terrorist feeds on gullibility and is baffled by intelligence. When the bully confronts true courage, he automatically ceases to attack. Instead, he seeks to make the maverick into an ally, and often offers the position of second-in-command. If that is declined in a respectful (not churlish) manner, he will probably agree to recognize the other as a separate sovereign with a private turf. The psychic terrorist, similarly, is only accustomed to bamboozling the credulous. Confronted with a self-disciplined independent mind, he hesitates. Eventually, like the physical bully, he laughs and offers comradeship. “You and me, we’re smart. We’re not like these other jerks.” A nudge and a conspiratorial wink.
Robert Anton Wilson
It baffles me when I see people saying, ‘I don’t focus on racism. I focus on sexism.’ It leaves me saddened when I hear people saying, ‘You’re OK, but you’re not.’ It makes people, in my opinion, guilty of the same crimes of thoughtlessness that lead to these problems […] Because that person on the bus being harassed is still being harassed whether she’s being harassed for being religious or for being an atheist or being black or being a woman or because of her clothing or because of her body-language or because of her appearance or because of her handbag or because of her accent. That’s all the same problem. It’s not recognizing the basic humanity of a person […] That’s the problem.
Laura Bates (Everyday Sexism)
A typical call in one of my routines went like this: Me: What city, please? Caller: Providence. Me: What is the name, please? Caller: John Norton. Me: Is this a business or a residence? Caller: Residence. Me: The number is 836, 5 one-half 66. At this point the caller was usually either baffled or indignant. Caller: How do I dial one-half?! Me: Go pick up a new phone that has uh-half on it. The reactions I got were hilarious.
Kevin D. Mitnick (Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World's Most Wanted Hacker)
For a moment, I was perfectly relaxed, and I began enjoying the sight of this beautifully candlelit room full of well-dressed people. Then Mr. Merchant made a grab for my décolletage from behind, and I almost spilled the punch. “One of those dear, pretty little roses slipped out of place,” he claimed, with an insinuating grin. I stared at him, baffled. Giordano hadn’t prepared me for a situation like this, so I didn’t know the proper etiquette for dealing with Rococo gropers. I looked at Gideon for help, but he was so deep in conversation with the young widow that he didn’t even notice. If we’d been in my own century, I’d have told Mr. Merchant to keep his dirty paws to himself or I’d hit back, whether or not any little roses had really slipped. But in the circumstances, I felt that his reaction was rather—discourteous. So I smiled at him and said, “Oh, thank you, how kind. I never noticed.” Mr. Merchant bowed. “Always glad to be of service, ma’am.” The barefaced cheek of it! But in times when woman had no vote, I suppose it wasn’t surprising if they didn’t get any other kind of respect either. The talking and laughter gradually died away as Miss Fairfax, a thin-nosed lady wearing a reed-green dress, went over to the pianoforte, arranged her skirts, and placed her hands on the keys. In fact, she didn’t play badly. It was her singing that was rather disturbing. It was incredibly . . . well, high-pitched. A tiny bit higher, and you’d have thought she was a dog whistle.
Kerstin Gier (Saphirblau (Edelstein-Trilogie, #2))
This story takes place a half a billion years ago-an inconceivably long time ago, when this planet would be all but recognizable to you. Nothing at all stirred on the land except the wind and the dust. Not a single blade of grass waved in the wind, not a single cricket chirped, not a single bird soared in the sky. All these things were tens of millions of years away in the future. But of course there was an anthropologist on hand. What sort of world would it be without an anthropologist? He was, however a very depressed and disillusioned anthropologist, for he'd been everywhere on the planet looking for someone to interview, and every tape in his knapsack was as blank as the sky. But one day as he was moping alongside the ocean he saw what seemed to be a living creature in the shallows off shore. It was nothing to brag about, just sort of a squishy blob, but it was the only prospect he'd seen in all his journeys, so he waded out to where it was bobbing in the waves. He greeted the creature politely and was greeted in kind, and soon the two of them were good friends. The anthropologist explained as well as he could that he was a student of life-styles and customs, and begged his new friend for information of this sort, which was readily forthcoming. ‘And now’, he said at last, ‘I'd like to get on tape in your own words some of the stories you tell among yourselves.’ ‘Stories?’ the other asked. ‘You know, like your creation myth, if you have one.’ ‘What is a creation myth?’ the creature asked. ‘Oh, you know,’ the anthropologist replied, ‘the fanciful tale you tell your children about the origins of the world.’ Well, at this, the creature drew itself up indignantly- at least as well as a squishy blob can do- and replied that his people had no such fanciful tale. ‘You have no account of creation then?’ ‘Certainly we have an account of creation,’ the other snapped. ‘But its definitely not a myth.’ ‘Oh certainly not,’ the anthropologist said, remembering his training at last. ‘Ill be terribly grateful if you share it with me.’ ‘Very well,’ the creature said. ‘But I want you to understand that, like you, we are a strictly rational people, who accept nothing that is not based on observation, logic, and scientific method.’ ‘"Of course, of course,’ the anthropologist agreed. So at last the creature began its story. ‘The universe,’ it said, ‘was born a long, long time ago, perhaps ten or fifteen billion years ago. Our own solar system-this star, this planet, and all the others- seem to have come into being some two or three billion years ago. For a long time, nothing whatever lived here. But then, after a billion years or so, life appeared.’ ‘Excuse me,’ the anthropologist said. ‘You say that life appeared. Where did that happen, according to your myth- I mean, according to your scientific account.’ The creature seemed baffled by the question and turned a pale lavender. ‘Do you mean in what precise spot?’ ‘No. I mean, did this happen on land or in the sea?’ ‘Land?’ the other asked. ‘What is land?’ ‘Oh, you know,’ he said, waving toward the shore, ‘the expanse of dirt and rocks that begins over there.’ The creature turned a deeper shade of lavender and said, ‘I cant imagine what you're gibbering about. The dirt and rocks over there are simply the lip of the vast bowl that holds the sea.’ ‘Oh yes,’ the anthropologist said, ‘I see what you mean. Quite. Go on.’ ‘Very well,’ the other said. ‘For many millions of centuries the life of the world was merely microorganisms floating helplessly in a chemical broth. But little by little, more complex forms appeared: single-celled creatures, slimes, algae, polyps, and so on.’ ‘But finally,’ the creature said, turning quite pink with pride as he came to the climax of his story, ‘but finally jellyfish appeared!
Daniel Quinn (Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit (Ishmael, #1))
All the baffling things that arrived unwelcome with adulthood—tax returns and car insurance and Pap smears—none of them matter when I am in the lab. There is no phone and so it doesn’t hurt when someone doesn’t call me. The door is locked and I know everyone who has a key. Because the outside world cannot come into the lab, the lab has become the place where I can be the real me. My
Hope Jahren (Lab Girl)
O baffled, baulked, bent to the very earth, Oppressed with myself that I have dared to open my mouth, Aware now that, amid all the blab whose echoes recoil upon me, I have not once had the least idea who or what I am, But that before all my insolent poems, the real ME stands yet untouched, untold, altogether unreached, Withdrawn
Walt Whitman (Whitman: Poems)
The photographer from the magazine, Masao Kageyama, would ride along in the van that accompanied me. He’d take pictures as they drove along. It wasn’t a real race, and there weren’t any water stations, so I’d occasionally stop to get water from the van. The Greek summer is truly brutal, and I knew I’d have to be careful not to get dehydrated. “Mr. Murakami,” Mr. Kageyama said, surprised as he saw me getting ready to run, “you’re not really thinking of running the whole route, are you?” “Of course I am. That’s why I came here.” “Really? But when we do these kinds of projects most people don’t go all the way. We just take some photos, and most of them don’t finish the whole route. So you really are going to run the entire thing?” Sometimes the world baffles me. I can’t believe that people would really do things like that.
Haruki Murakami (What I Talk About When I Talk About Running)
You’re different, and I know that’s probably the most cliché response ever given, but it’s the truth. When I look at you, it’s as if I’m reading a novel. No matter how much time I spend studying your pages, there will always be more for me to learn, deeper layers of complexity to baffle me, and plot twists that’ll leave me speechless.
Caroline George (The Vestige)
You could not love me for I am a man with a hideous face, but what baffles me is that you cared nought for the fact that my thoughts are not inelegant?
Mukta Singh-Zocchi (The Thugs & a Courtesan)
You intrigue me, Emily Rodgers.” “Well, you baffle the hell out of me, Prince Luc
Melissa McClone (The Cinderella Princess (Royal Holiday, #1))
You mortals baffle me.
Steven Erikson (Midnight Tides (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #5))
You think to baffle me, you with your pale faces all in a row, like sheep in a butcher's. You shall be sorry yet, each one of you!
Bram Stoker (Dracula)
I know well enough what it is, provided that nobody asks me; but if I am asked what it is and try to explain, I am baffled.
Augustine of Hippo
His persistence baffled me. He was known to guard his privacy, and I had no reason to believe he’d ever read any of my books.
Walter Isaacson (Steve Jobs)
Yeah, but what if you went back and killed your own grandfather?” He stared at me, baffled. “Why the fuck would you do that?” That
Stephen King (11/22/63)
Yeah, but what if you went back and killed your own grandfather?” He stared at me, baffled. “Why the fuck would you do that?” That was a good question, so I just told him to go on.
Stephen King (11/22/63)
The idea of killing people you have never met before because they’re wearing a different uniform baffles me. But
Cameron Jace (Checkmate (Insanity, #6))
But I can't help falling in love with you," he sang softly, almost a whisper, and Cas could feel his cheeks going red; he felt almost giddy. "You baffle me, Dean Winchester.
Standbyme (Twist and Shout)
I’m baffled why you’re so keen to make me your enemy. I’m a wonderful actor; if that’s the role you cast for me, I’ll perform. But it doesn’t have to be so.” She heard, Your move, devil.
Kim Smejkal (Ink in the Blood (Ink in The Blood, #1))
Fiction in general holds little interest for me. Novels, in particular, arouse more suspicion than intrigue. It truly baffles me that any practitioner of make-believe should (especially in this day and age) feel the need to produce anything so gratuitous. The fact that certain examples of this fare can approach the length of your average dictionary seems inherently absurd.
Dan Garfat-Pratt (Citations: A Brief Anthology)
What’s Baghra’s power, anyway?” I asked, the thought occurring to me for the first time. She was an amplifier like the Darkling, but he had his own power, too. “I’m not sure,” he said. “I think she was a Tidemaker. No one around here is old enough to remember.” He looked down at me. The cold air had put a flush in his cheeks, and the lamplight shone in his gray eyes. “Alina, if I tell you that I still believe we can find the stag, would you think I’m mad?” “Why would you care what I think?” He looked genuinely baffled. “I don’t know,” he said. “But I do.” And then he kissed me. It happened so suddenly that I barely had time to react. One moment, I was staring into his slate-colored eyes, and the next, his lips were pressed to mine. I felt that familiar sense of surety melt through me as my body sang with sudden heat and my heart jumped into a skittery dance. Then, just as suddenly, he stepped back. He looked as surprised as I felt. “I
Leigh Bardugo (Shadow and Bone (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #1))
Do I remind you of that night?” “Not at all,” his father says eventually, one hand going to his ribs, a habitual gesture that has baffled Gogol until now. “You remind me of everything that followed.
Jhumpa Lahiri (The Namesake)
The thick baffling blades of false world customs rip off my views and ideas,like breaking every string of my aesthetic thoughts in disdain and jealousy;pain pain enough your tigrine roars before I die.
Nithin Purple (Venus and Crepuscule: Beauty and Violence on Me Thrown)
It did, but I remembered a hoary old time-travel paradox and pulled it out. “Yeah, but what if you went back and killed your own grandfather?” He stared at me, baffled. “Why the fuck would you do that?
Stephen King (11/22/63)
In the jumbled, fragmented memories I carry from my childhood there are probably nearly as many dreams as images from waking life. I thought of one which might have been my earliest remembered nightmare. I was probably about four years old - I don't think I'd started school yet - when I woke up screaming. The image I retained of the dream, the thing which had frightened me so, was an ugly, clown-like doll made of soft red and cream-coloured rubber. When you squeezed it, bulbous eyes popped out on stalks and the mouth opened in a gaping scream. As I recall it now, it was disturbingly ugly, not really an appropriate toy for a very young child, but it had been mine when I was younger, at least until I'd bitten its nose off, at which point it had been taken away from me. At the time when I had the dream I hadn't seen it for a year or more - I don't think I consciously remembered it until its sudden looming appearance in a dream had frightened me awake. When I told my mother about the dream, she was puzzled. 'But what's scary about that? You were never scared of that doll.' I shook my head, meaning that the doll I'd owned - and barely remembered - had never scared me. 'But it was very scary,' I said, meaning that the reappearance of it in my dream had been terrifying. My mother looked at me, baffled. 'But it's not scary,' she said gently. I'm sure she was trying to make me feel better, and thought this reasonable statement would help. She was absolutely amazed when it had the opposite result, and I burst into tears. Of course she had no idea why, and of course I couldn't explain. Now I think - and of course I could be wrong - that what upset me was that I'd just realized that my mother and I were separate people. We didn't share the same dreams or nightmares. I was alone in the universe, like everybody else. In some confused way, that was what the doll had been telling me. Once it had loved me enough to let me eat its nose; now it would make me wake up screaming. ("My Death")
Lisa Tuttle (Best New Horror 16 (The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror, #16))
I heard the laments of the people of Hastinapur, their sorrow at losing us. But I no longer required their tears. It baffled me that as a younger women I'd thought that such a thing would make me happy.
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni (The Palace of Illusions)
I am always baffled when people say to me, “I don’t like beer,” for they might just as easily say “I don’t like food.” For the reality is that there is a seemingly endless range of beer flavors and styles.
Charles W. Bamforth (Beer Is Proof God Loves Us: Reaching for the Soul of Beer and Brewing (FT Press Science))
It baffled me how people could resist math's gorgeousness, but people did, and people do. The fine of its purity drives them away, the purity of the fine, unmixed with the heaviness of unnecessitated being.
Rebecca Goldstein (Properties of Light: A Novel of Love, Betrayal, and Quantum Physics)
Power—there it was again. It baffled me how much people were willing to do and sacrifice in order to gain and keep it. There was a depraved lunacy in the pursuit of it that spoke to the darker side of humanity.
Bella Forrest (The Gender Lie (The Gender Game, #3))
I was coming up on a cross street when a man wearing a filthy suit stepped out from around the corner of the building ahead and directly into my path. Bent with age, he turned bleak red eyes to me and stared. Pressed with his chest to both hands he carried a paperback book as soiled and bereft as his suit. Are you one of the real ones or not? he demanded. And after a moment, when I failed to answer, he walked on, resuming his sotto voce conversation. A chill passed through me. Somehow, indefinably, I felt, felt with the kind of baffled, tacit understanding that we have in dreams , that I had just glimpsed one possible future self.
James Sallis (Black Hornet (Lew Griffin, #3))
The gesture—so random and kind—baffled me. Is this what mothers did, wonder if you might need safety pins? Mine phoned once a month and always asked the same practical questions (grades, classes, upcoming expenses).
Gillian Flynn (Sharp Objects)
He was baffled to know that apricot trees existed in, of all places, our orchard. On late afternoons, when there was nothing to do in the house, Mafalda would ask him to climb a ladder with a basket and pick those fruits that were almost blushing with shame, she said. He would joke in Italian, pick one out, and ask, Is this one blushing with shame? No, she would say, this one is too young still, youth has no shame, shame comes with age.
André Aciman (Call Me By Your Name (Call Me By Your Name, #1))
He was beautiful when he sat alone, he was like me, he had wide lapels, he was holding the mug in the hardest possible way so that his fingers were all twisted but still long and beautiful, he didn’t like to sit alone all the time, but this time, I swear, he didn’t care on way or the other. I’ll tell you why I like to sit alone, because I’m a sadist, that’s why we like to sit alone, because we’re the sadists who like to sit alone. He sat alone because he was beautifully dressed for the occasion and because he was not a civilian. We are the sadists you don’t have to worry about, you think, and we have no opinion on the matter of whether you have to worry about us, and we don’t even like to think about the matter because it baffles us. Maybe he doesn’t mean a thing to me any more but I think he was like me. You didn’t expect to fall in love, I said to myself and at the same time I answered gently, Do you think so? I heard you humming beautifully, your hum said that I can’t ignore you, that I’d finally come around for a number of delicious reasons that only you knew about, and here I am, Miss Blood. And you won’t come back, you won’t come back to where you left me, and that’s why you keep my number, so you don’t dial it by mistake when you’re fooling with the dial not even dialing numbers. You begin to bore us with your pain and we have decided to change your pain. You said you were happiest when you danced, you said you were happiest when you danced with me, now which do you mean? And so we changed his pain, we threw the idea of a body at him and we told him a joke, and then he thought a great deal about laughing and about the code. And he thought that she thought that he thought that she thought the worst thing a woman could do was to take a man away from his work because that made her what, ugly or beautiful? And now you’ve entered the mathematical section of your soul which you claimed you never had. I suppose that this, plus the broken heart, makes you believe that now you have a perfect right to go out and tame the sadists. He had the last line of each verse of the song but he didn’t have any of the other lines, the last line was always the same, Don’t call yourself a secret unless you mean to keep it. He thought he knew, or he actually did know too much about singing to be a singer; and if there is actually such a condition, is anybody in it, and are sadists born there? It is not a question mark, it is not an exclamation point, it is a full stop by the man who wrote Parasites of Heaven. Even if we stated our case very clearly and all those who held as we do came to our side, all of them, we would still be very few.
Leonard Cohen (Parasites of Heaven)
Butterfly effect.” “Right. It means small events can have large, whatchamadingit, ramifications. The idea is that if some guy kills a butterfly in China, maybe forty years later—or four hundred—there’s an earthquake in Peru. That sound as crazy to you as it does to me?” It did, but I remembered a hoary old time-travel paradox and pulled it out. “Yeah, but what if you went back and killed your own grandfather?” He stared at me, baffled. “Why the fuck would you do that?” That was a good question, so I just told him to go on.
Stephen King (11/22/63)
He took a deep breath and held out his hand. "We got off to a bad start, but you're obviously a friend of Becks's." Cole stared at his hand,stumped. He looked at me like, What the hell am I supposed to do with this? I'd never seen him so baffled.It was almost comical. Then the second-to-last thing that I ever would have anticipated happened. Cole took Jack's hand and shook it. "I'm Neal." "Jack." Jack briefly glanced sideways at me. "I'll try not to hit you again." Cole and Jack, shaking hands. I covered my eyes with my fingers,wondering when the world had officially tipped over onto its side.When I lowered my hand, they were both looking at me.I'd had enough awkward. "Let's go," I said, tugging on Jack's arm. Cole frowned and looked away. "Take care of our girl," he muttered sarcastically.
Brodi Ashton (Everneath (Everneath, #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)
It just baffles me how badly evolution is bombing on the fertility front; it makes no sense that when I was the least equipped mentally and financially to have a kid, I was the most able to. I've said it once, and I'll say it again: Biology is a raging, sexist psychopath.
Whitney Cummings (I'm Fine...and Other Lies)
I think if you wanted a peaceful marriage and orderly household, you should have proposed to any one of the well-bred simpletons who've been dangled in front of you for years. Ivo's right: Pandora is a different kind of girl. Strange and marvelous. I wouldn't dare predict-" She broke off as she saw him staring at Pandora's distant form. "Lunkhead, you're not even listening. You've already decided to marry her, and damn the consequences." "It wasn't even a decision," Gabriel said, baffled and surly. "I can't think of one good reason to justify why I want her so bloody badly." Phoebe smiled, gazing toward the water. "Have I ever told you what Henry said when he proposed, even knowing how little time we would have together? 'Marriage is far too important a matter to be decided with reason.' He was right, of course." Gabriel took up a handful of warm, dry sand and let it sift through his fingers. "The Ravenels will sooner weather a scandal than force her to marry. And as you probably overheard, she objects not only to me, but the institution of marriage itself." "How could anyone resist you?" Phoebe asked, half-mocking, half-sincere. He gave her a dark glance. "Apparently she has no problem. The title, the fortune, the estate, the social position... to her, they're all detractions. Somehow I have to convince her to marry me despite those things." With raw honesty, he added, "And I'm damned if I even know who I am outside of them." "Oh, my dear..." Phoebe said tenderly. "You're the brother who taught Raphael to sail a skiff, and showed Justin how to tie his shoes. You're the man who carried Henry down to the trout stream, when he wanted to go fishing one last time." She swallowed audibly, and sighed. Digging her heels into the sand, she pushed them forward, creating a pair of trenches. "Shall I tell you what your problem is?" "Is that a question?" "Your problem," his sister continued, "is that you're too good at maintaining that façade of godlike perfection. You've always hated for anyone to see that you're a mere mortal. But you won't win this girl that way." She began to dust the sand from her hands. "Show her a few of your redeeming vices. She'll like you all the better for it.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Spring (The Ravenels, #3))
Why aren't you afraid of me?" Coy looks at me, baffled. "Why would I be afraid of you?" I shrug, not getting a chance to answer before he continues. "Until the day you start chomping on my throat without my permission or throwing me across the room for fun, I'll never be afraid of you.
Brandy Nacole (Uniquely Unwelcome (The Shadow World, #1))
I have many friends who are married—not many who are happily married, but many married friends. The few happy ones are like my parents: 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.
Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl)
Thank God for the cats, I thought, when they had the compassion to sleep next to me on the couch, or looked on curious but unfazed as I bawled. They were good companions to have in this strange new world of grief: nonverbal, affectionate, no more baffled by agony than they were by dishwashing.
Ariel Levy (The Rules Do Not Apply)
How baffling you are, oh Church, and yet how I love you! How you have made me suffer, and yet how much I owe you! I would like to see you destroyed, and yet I need your presence. You have given me so much scandal and yet you have made me understand what sanctity is. I have seen nothing in the world more devoted to obscurity, more compromised, more false, and yet I have touched nothing more pure, more generous, more beautiful. How often I have wanted to shut the doors of my soul in your face, and how often I have prayed to die in the safety of your arms. No, I cannot free myself from you, because I am you, though not completely. And besides, where would I go? Would I establish another? I would not be able to establish it without the same faults, for they are the same faults I carry in me. And if I did establish another, it would be my Church, not the Church of Christ. I am old enough to know that I am no better than anyone else. …) The Church has the power to make me holy but it is made up, from the first to the last, only of sinners. And what sinners! It has the omnipotent and invincible power to renew the Miracle of the Eucharist, but is made up of men who are stumbling in the dark, who fight every day against the temptation of losing their faith. It brings a message of pure transparency but it is incarnated in slime, such is the substance of the world. It speaks of the sweetness of its Master, of its non-violence, but there was a time in history when it sent out its armies to disembowel the infidels and torture the heretics. It proclaims the message of evangelical poverty, and yet it does nothing but look for money and alliances with the powerful. Those who dream of something different from this are wasting their time and have to rethink it all. And this proves that they do not understand humanity. Because this is humanity, made visible by the Church, with all its flaws and its invincible courage, with the Faith that Christ has given it and with the love that Christ showers on it. When I was young, I did not understand why Jesus chose Peter as his successor, the first Pope, even though he abandoned Him. Now I am no longer surprised and I understand that by founding his church on the tomb of a traitor(…)He was warning each of us to remain humble, by making us aware of our fragility. (…) And what are bricks worth anyway? What matters is the promise of Christ, what matters is the cement that unites the bricks, which is the Holy Spirit. Only the Holy Spirit is capable of building the church with such poorly moulded bricks as are we. And that is where the mystery lies. This mixture of good and bad, of greatness and misery, of holiness and sin that makes up the church…this in reality am I .(…) The deep bond between God and His Church, is an intimate part of each one of us. (…)To each of us God says, as he says to his Church, “And I will betroth you to me forever” (Hosea 2,21). But at the same time he reminds us of reality: 'Your lewdness is like rust. I have tried to remove it in vain. There is so much that not even a flame will take it away' (Ezechiel 24, 12). But then there is even something more beautiful. The Holy Spirit who is Love, sees us as holy, immaculate, beautiful under our guises of thieves and adulterers. (…) It’s as if evil cannot touch the deepest part of mankind. He re-establishes our virginity no matter how many times we have prostituted our bodies, spirits and hearts. In this, God is truly God, the only one who can ‘make everything new again’. It is not so important that He will renew heaven and earth. What is most important is that He will renew our hearts. This is Christ’s work. This is the divine Spirit of the Church.
Carlo Carretto
the six of us are supposed to drive to the diner in Hastings for lunch. But the moment we enter the cavernous auditorium where the girls told us to meet them, my jaw drops and our plans change. “Holy shit—is that a red velvet chaise lounge?” The guys exchange a WTF look. “Um…sure?” Justin says. “Why—” I’m already sprinting toward the stage. The girls aren’t here yet, which means I have to act fast. “For fuck’s sake, get over here,” I call over my shoulder. Their footsteps echo behind me, and by the time they climb on the stage, I’ve already whipped my shirt off and am reaching for my belt buckle. I stop to fish my phone from my back pocket and toss it at Garrett, who catches it without missing a beat. “What is happening right now?” Justin bursts out. I drop trou, kick my jeans away, and dive onto the plush chair wearing nothing but my black boxer-briefs. “Quick. Take a picture.” Justin doesn’t stop shaking his head. Over and over again, and he’s blinking like an owl, as if he can’t fathom what he’s seeing. Garrett, on the other hand, knows better than to ask questions. Hell, he and Hannah spent two hours constructing origami hearts with me the other day. His lips twitch uncontrollably as he gets the phone in position. “Wait.” I pause in thought. “What do you think? Double guns, or double thumbs up?” “What is happening?” We both ignore Justin’s baffled exclamation. “Show me the thumbs up,” Garrett says. I give the camera a wolfish grin and stick up my thumbs. My best friend’s snort bounces off the auditorium walls. “Veto. Do the guns. Definitely the guns.” He takes two shots—one with flash, one without—and just like that, another romantic gesture is in the bag. As I hastily put my clothes back on, Justin rubs his temples with so much vigor it’s as if his brain has imploded. He gapes as I tug my jeans up to my hips. Gapes harder when I walk over to Garrett so I can study the pictures. I nod in approval. “Damn. I should go into modeling.” “You photograph really well,” Garrett agrees in a serious voice. “And dude, your package looks huge.” Fuck, it totally does. Justin drags both hands through his dark hair. “I swear on all that is holy—if one of you doesn’t tell me what the hell just went down here, I’m going to lose my shit.” I chuckle. “My girl wanted me to send her a boudoir shot of me on a red velvet chaise lounge, but you have no idea how hard it is to find a goddamn red velvet chaise lounge.” “You say this as if it’s an explanation. It is not.” Justin sighs like the weight of the world rests on his shoulders. “You hockey players are fucked up.” “Naah, we’re just not pussies like you and your football crowd,” Garrett says sweetly. “We own our sex appeal, dude.” “Sex appeal? That was the cheesiest thing I’ve ever—no, you know what? I’m not gonna engage,” Justin grumbles. “Let’s find the girls and grab some lunch
Elle Kennedy (The Mistake (Off-Campus, #2))
gives a faint shriek and Prim buries her face in her hands, but I feel more like the people I see in the crowd on television. Slightly baffled. What does it mean? Existing pool of victors? Then I get it, what it means. At least, for me. District 12 only has three existing victors to choose from. Two male. One female . . . I am going
Suzanne Collins (Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2))
I came to understand that I had baffled and infuriated my father at least as much as he had baffled and infuriated me. I saw that I had been selfish and unbending and a giant pain in the ass. He’d built a bridge of privilege for me, a hand-paved trestle to the good life, and I repaid him by chopping it down and crapping on the wreckage.
Jon Krakauer (Into the Wild)
Oh.” She sounds calm suddenly, as if that explained everything. “Okay. Don’t underestimate them. And don’t make them promises you can’t keep.” I can tell by her fading voice as she says this that she’s reassured and walking away. The baffled look the angel shoots at the door makes me chuckle. He glances my way, giving me a you’re-weirder-than-your-mom look.
Susan Ee (Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, #1))
Then there were the baffling, unnecessary lies. At one point, for example, the president told me that chief of staff Reince Priebus didn’t know we were meeting, which seemed incredible. The chief of staff should know when the president is dining alone with the FBI director. Then, later on in that same dinner, Trump said casually, "Reince knows we’re meeting.
James Comey (A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership)
Why on earth have you put me in a box, you baffling woman?
Talia Hibbert (Get a Life, Chloe Brown (The Brown Sisters, #1))
I love you, Kayla Martin. I want to spend the rest of my life wondering what will happen when I turn on the microwave. I want to explain the X-files to you in bed every night and replace cabinet doors that are dented from your feet.....I want to go to sleep at night knowing that you're puttering around in the other room inventing something that will baffle and confuse me.
Lena Matthews (Call Me (Joker's Wild, #1))
He looked at me, baffled and for the first time uncertain, as though he had stumbled into something, unprepared. His long narrow hands were cradled around mine, both of us holding the rose together. Magic was singing in me, through me; I felt the murmur of his power singing back that same song. I was abruptly too hot, and strangely conscious of myself. I pulled my hands free.
Naomi Novik (Uprooted)
I knew what was wrong with me, but I could not correct it. The words and actions of white people were baffling signs to me. I was living in a culture and not a civilization and I could learn how that culture worked only by living with it. Misreading the reactions of whites around me made me say and do the wrong things. In my dealing with whites I was conscious of the entirety of my relations with them, and they were conscious only of what was happening at a given moment. I had to keep remembering what others took for granted; I had to think out what others felt.
Richard Wright (Black Boy)
If Nic were not ill he would not lie. If Nic were not ill he would not steal. If Nic were not ill he would not terrorize his family. He would not forsake his friends, his mother, Karen, Jasper, and Daisy, and he would not forsake me. He would not. He has a disease, but addiction is the most baffling of all diseases, unique in the blame, shame, and humiliation that accompany it.
David Sheff (Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Addiction)
Friends, Grecian Heroes, Ministers of Mars! Grievous, and all unlook’d for, is the blow Which Jove hath dealt me; by his promise led I hop’d to raze the strong-built walls of Troy, And home return in safety; but it seems 130 He falsifies his word, and bids me now Return to Argos, frustrate of my hope, Dishonour’d, and with grievous loss of men. Such now appears th’ o’er-ruling sov’reign will Of Saturn’s son; who oft hath sunk the heads 135 Of many a lofty city in the dust, And yet will sink; for mighty is his hand. ’Tis shame indeed that future days should hear How such a force as ours, so great, so brave, Hath thus been baffled, fighting, as we do, 140 ’Gainst numbers far inferior to our own, And see no end of all our warlike toil. For should we choose, on terms of plighted truce, Trojans and Greeks, to number our array; Of Trojans, all that dwell within the town, 145 And we, by tens disposed, to every ten, To crown our cups, one Trojan should assign, Full many a ten no cup-bearer would find: So far the sons of Greece outnumber all That dwell within the town; but to their aid 150 Bold warriors come from all the cities round, Who greatly harass me, and render vain My hope to storm the strong-built walls of Troy. Already now nine weary years have pass’d; The timbers of our ships are all decay’d, 155 The cordage rotted; in our homes the while Our wives and helpless children sit, in vain Expecting our return; and still the work, For which we hither came, remains undone. Hear then my counsel; let us all agree 160 Home to direct our course, since here in vain We strive to take the well-built walls of Troy.” Thus as he spoke, the crowd, that had not heard The secret council, by his words was mov’d; So sway’d and heav’d the multitude, as when 165 O’er the vast billows of th’ Icarian sea Eurus and Notus from the clouds of Heav’n Pour forth their fury; or as some deep field Of wavy corn, when sweeping o’er the plain The ruffling west wind sways the
Homer (The Iliad)
My personal beasties are ugly and ridiculous and they weigh me down and are exhausting to carry around. Sometimes it feels like they are larger than I am. They are destructive and baffling and ungainly. And yet. And yet, there is something wonderful in embracing the peculiar and extraordinary monsters that make us unique. There is joy in accepting the curious and erratic beasts that force us to see the world in new ways. And there is an uncanny sort of fellowship that comes when you recognize the beasties that other people carry with them and the battles we are all fighting even when they seem invisible to the rest of the world. We all have these monsters, I suspect, although they come from different places and have different names and causes. But what we do with them makes a difference. And, whenever I can, I take mine out in the sun and try to appreciate that the flowers it rips up from the garden can sometimes be just as lovely when stuck in the teeth of its terrible mouth. Embrace your beasties. Love your awkwardness. Enjoy yourself. Celebrate the bizarreness that is you because, I assure you, you are more wondrous than you can possibly imagine … monsters and all.
Jenny Lawson (Broken (In the Best Possible Way))
Among the men and women, the multitude, I perceive one picking me out by secret and divine signs, Acknowledging none else—not parent, wife, husband, brother, child, any nearer than I am; Some are baffled—But that one is not—that one knows me. Ah, lover and perfect equal! I meant that you should discover me so, by my faint indirections; And I, when I meet you, mean to discover you by the like in you.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
I learned by heart the lines of your face. I can draw them blindly on a water canvas. Your face in the middle of an inflamed argument. Your face in the middle of a mild one-- when you're at fault. Your face filled with rainbows of laughter. Your face filled with clouds of distress. Your face, fluttering, when I open you the door. Your face, agonizing, every time I stand waiting, for the elevator. Your face, eager, when you kiss me. Your face, surprised, when I lead you to bed. Your face in the middle of pain. Your face on the outskirts of pleasure. Your face, with a baffled look, when you wake up. Your face falling asleep, with total surrender. Your face the first night we met. Your face the last night we parted. I learned by heart the lines of your face. They all led me into hell. They all led me into heaven.
Malak El Halabi
Jay showed up after school with a bouquet of flowers and an armful of DVDs, although Violet couldn’t have cared less about either . . . he was all she wanted. She couldn’t help the electric thrill of excitement she felt when he came strolling in, grinning at her foolishly as if he hadn’t seen her in weeks rather than hours. He scooped her up from the couch and dropped her onto his lap as he sat down where she had been just a moment before. He was careful to arrange her ankle on a neatly stacked pile of pillows beside him. He stubbornly refused to hide his affection for her, and if Violet hadn’t known better she would have sword that he was going out of his way to make her self-conscious in her own home. Fortunately her parents were giving them some space for the time being, and they were left by themselves most of the time. “Did you miss me?” he asked arrogantly as he gently brushed his lips over hers, not bothering to wait for an answer. She smiled while she kissed him back, loving the topsy-turvy feeling that her stomach always got when he was so close to her. She wound her arms around his neck, forgetting that she was in the middle of the family room and not hidden away in the privacy of her bedroom. He pulled away from her, suddenly serious. “You know, we didn’t get much time alone yesterday. And I didn’t get a chance to tell you . . .” Violet was mesmerized by the thick timbre of his deep voice. She barely heard his words but rather concentrated on the fluid masculinity of his tone. “I feel like I’ve waited too long to finally have you, and then yesterday . . . when . . .” He stopped, seemingly at a loss, and he tried another approach. His hand stroked her cheek, igniting a response from deep within her. “I can’t imagine living without you,” he said, tenderly kissing her forehead, his warm breath fanning her brow. He paused thoughtfully for a moment before speaking again. “I love you, Violet. More than I ever could have imagined. And I don’t want to lose you . . . I can’t lose you.” It was her turn to look arrogant as she glanced up at him. “I know,” she stated smugly, shrugging her shoulder. He shoved her playfully but held on to her tightly so that she never really went anywhere. “What do you mean, ‘I know’? What kind of response is that?” His righteous indignation bordered on comical. He pulled her down into his arms so that his face was directly above hers. “Say it!” he commanded. She shook her head, pretending not to understand him. “What? What do you want me to say?” But then she giggled and ruined her baffled façade. He teased her with his mouth, leaning down to kiss her and then pulling away before his lips ever reached hers. He nuzzled her neck tantalizingly, only to stop once she responded. She wrapped her arms around his neck, trying to pull him closer, frustrated by his mocking ambush of her senses. “Sat it,” he whispered, his breath warm against her neck. She groaned, wanting him to put her out of her misery. “I love you too,” she rasped as she clung to him. “I love you so much . . .” His mouth moved to cover hers in an exhausting kiss that left them both breathless and craving more than they could have. Violet collapsed into his arms, gathering her wits and hoping that no one walking in on them anytime soon.
Kimberly Derting (The Body Finder (The Body Finder, #1))
I am warned of evils that await me,” continued Vivaldi, musing; “of events that are regularly fulfilled; the being who warns me, crosses my path perpetually, yet, with the cunning of a demon, as constantly eludes my grasp, and baffles my pursuit! It is incomprehensible, by what means he glides thus away from my eye, and fades, as if into air, at my approach! He is repeatedly in my presence, yet is never to be found!
Ann Radcliffe (Complete Works of Ann Radcliffe)
When they reached the table, Hannah started to introduce them. “Layla, this is Joe. Joe, this is—” “We’ve already met,” said Joseph, extending his hand and smiling. “Have we?” asked Layla, baffled. “Have you?” said Hannah. This was news to her. “Yeah, we have,” continued Joseph. “A couple of hours ago. On the road into the village. You tried to kill me, remember?” “Kill you?” gasped Layla. “You’re the biker? The one I knocked over?” “You knocked him over?” repeated Hannah in horror. “I didn’t mean to,” explained Layla quickly. “It was an accident. I was going to tell you about it. I just haven’t had the chance yet.” Turning to Joseph, Hannah asked, “Are you okay? Are you hurt at all?” “Well,” he replied somberly, “apart from my right arm, which I’m not sure is going to be of much use to me ever again, I’m fine.” As Layla’s jaw dropped open, he added quickly, “I’m joking. Really, it’s just a joke. I’m fine.” “Right, well, in that case,” Hannah continued, “as I was saying, Layla, this is Joseph Scott. Joe, this is Layla Lewis, your would-be killer, next door neighbor, and my best friend. She’s house-sitting whilst Lenny’s in Scotland.” “Next door neighbor, huh?” replied Joseph, taking a swig from his pint glass. “That could prove interesting.
Shani Struthers (The Runaway Year (The Runaway Series, #1))
Where were me parents? Where were Becky? I felt so alone, so lost that I could not see. By that I mean, everything round me were a blur, everything inside me were a blur of fear and shock. I heard meself crying and moaning, My oh my, my oh my . . . I still have nightmares ’bout that time. I still feel like a sharp piece of ice has stabbed me heart real deep. I was filled, filled to the brim with utter baffle and utter loneliness. p. 15
Louis Nowra (Into That Forest)
Sometimes I think everybody else in the world knows something I don’t know. Like they’re all in on some kind of conspiracy and if I just knew that one secret thing, too, the things adults do that baffle me would make perfect sense. Other times I think I know something extra that the whole rest of the world doesn’t know and that’s why nothing they do makes sense. ’Cause they don’t know it and all their actions stem from flawed logic. Unlike mine.
Karen Marie Moning (Iced (Fever, #6))
The first green tissues of a radish seedling are two perfectly heart-shaped, symmetric leaves. In twenty years of growing hundreds of these plants, I have seen exactly two deviants, each with a perfect third leaf—a baffling green triad where there should be only a pair. I think of those two plants often, and they even enter my dreams occasionally, causing me to wonder why I was meant to see them. Being paid to wonder seems like a heavy responsibility at times. At
Hope Jahren (Lab Girl)
And that date, too, is far off?' 'Far off; when it comes, think your end in this world is at hand!' 'How and what is the end? Look east, west, south and north.' 'In the north, where you never yet trod, towards the point whence your instincts have warned you, there a spectre will seize you. 'Tis Death! I see a ship - it is haunted - 'tis chased - it sails on. Baffled navies sail after that ship. It enters the regions of ice. It passes a sky red with meteors. Two moons stand on high, over ice-reefs. I see the ship locked between white defiles - they are ice-rocks. I see the dead strew the decks - stark and livid, green mold on their limbs. All are dead, but one man - it is you! But years, though so slowly they come, have then scathed you. There is the coming of age on your brow, and the will is relaxed in the cells of the brain. Still that will, though enfeebled, exceeds all that man knew before you, through the will you live on, gnawed with famine; and nature no longer obeys you in that death-spreading region; the sky is a sky of iron, and the air has iron clamps, and the ice-rocks wedge in the ship. Hark how it cracks and groans. Ice will imbed it as amber imbeds a straw. And a man has gone forth, living yet, from the ship and its dead; and he has clambered up the spikes of an iceberg, and the two moons gaze down on his form. That man is yourself; and terror is on you - terror; and terror has swallowed your will. And I see swarming up the steep ice-rock, grey grisly things. The bears of the north have scented their quarry - they come near you and nearer, shambling and rolling their bulk, and in that day every moment shall seem to you longer than the centuries through which you have passed. And heed this - after life, moments continued make the bliss or the hell of eternity.' 'Hush,' said the whisper; 'but the day, you assure me, is far off - very far! I go back to the almond and rose of Damascus! - sleep!' ("The House And The Brain
Edward Bulwer-Lytton (Reign of Terror Volume 2: Great Victorian Horror Stories)
I could not help laughing at the ease with which he explained his process of deduction. “When I hear you give your reasons,” I remarked, “the thing always appears to me to be so ridiculously simple that I could easily do it myself, though at each successive instance of your reasoning I am baffled until you explain your process. And yet I believe that my eyes are as good as yours.” “Quite so,” he answered, lighting a cigarette, and throwing himself down into an armchair. “You see, but you do not observe.
Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes: The Ultimate Collection)
Dexter,' Debs said, jerking her head at me. 'Get some smelling salts or something. You and Deke help her up.' (...) Deke looked at me anxiously, reminding me very much of a large and handsome dog who needs a stick to fetch. 'Hey, you got some of that smelling stuff?' he said. Apparently it had become universally accepted that Dexter was the Eternal Keeper of the Smelling Salts. I had no idea where that baffling canard had come from, but in truth, I was completely without. Luckily, Mrs Aldovar apparently was not interested in sniffing anything.
Jeff Lindsay (Dexter Is Delicious (Dexter, #5))
It baffles me how women allow a man to lead them on for years at a time. Men are logical creatures. We’re built to think things through. Not all men are in tune with their innate ability to master their thoughts and minds, but we all have the power to within us. He knows if he wants to be with a woman almost immediately. It doesn’t take six months or six years for a man to decide if he wants to be with a woman or not. If he’s saying he doesn’t know it’s because he doesn’t want to tell you the truth nor does he want to lose whatever he’s getting from
B. Love (In Haven)
He was soppy! He went along with everything! I'd say what about this or what about that, and he'd always say yes. It didn't matter what I said. It was always the same answer. He gave into everything. You can't have that in a man. I like people to stand up for themselves. They've got to have their own opinion, know their own mind. I could tell it was going nowhere. I couldn't be with him. We weren't right for each other.  When I broke it off, he was baffled and broken. He cried and asked how he'd wronged me. But he hadn't done anything wrong; he just wasn't the right one
Elise Valmorbida (The Book of Happy Endings: True Stories about Finding Love)
It is baffling to me why so many people find it difficult to say, "I was wrong." The words, when spoken with repentance, always turn away wrath. But those who cling to their absolute lightness, despite any evidence to the contrary, will always arouse anger in their comrades or superiors.
David Gemmell (Morningstar)
I’ll start in the air,” I said, far more steadily than I thought I could, considering. I knelt to tie the shirt around his thigh, cinching it tight above the wound; he stiffened but let me finish the knot. “The air first, the airship, and then-then I’ll dive.” “You can’t swim,” broke in Armand. “You told me that you can’t.” “Maybe I can now. If I’m a dragon.” “Don’t be an idiot! If you can’t swim, you can’t swim, Eleanore! You’ll drown out there, and what the bloody hell do you think you’re going to do anyway to a U-boat? Bite it open?” I stood again. “Yes! If I must! I don’t hear you coming up with a better-“ “You’ll die out there!” “Or we’ll all die here!” “We’re going to find another way!” “You two work on that. I’m off.” I fixed them both with one last, vehement look, the Turn rising inside me. Remember this. Remember them, this moment, this heartbreak, these two boys. Remember that they loved you. Armand had reached for my shoulders. “I forbid-Eleanore, please, no-“ “No,” echoed Jesse, speaking at last. “You’re not going after the submarine, Lora. You won’t need to.” Armand and I paused together, glancing down at him. I stood practically on tiptoe, so ready to become my other self. Jesse climbed clumsily to his feet. When he swayed, we both lunged to catch him. “Armand will take me to the shore. I’ll handle the U-boat.” “How?” demanded Armand at once. But I understood. I could read him so well now, Jesse-of-the-stars. I understood what he meant to do, and what it would cost him. I felt myself shaking my head. Above us, the airship propellers thumped louder and louder. “Yes,” said Jesse, smiling his lovely smile at me. “I already sense your agreement. Death and the Elemental were stronger joined than apart, remember? This is our joining. Don’t waste any more time quarreling with me about it. That’s not your way.” He leaned down to me, a hand tangled in my hair. His mouth pressed to mine, and for the first time ever I didn’t feel bliss at his touch. I felt misery. “Go on, Lora-of-the-moon,” he murmured against my lips. “You’re going to save us. I know you will.” I glared past him to the harsh, baffled face of Armand. “Will you help him? Do you swear it?” “I-yes, I will. I do.” I disentangled Jesse’s hand, kissed it, stepped back, and let the Turn consume me, smoke rising and rising, leaving the castle and all I loved behind me for the wild open sky.
Shana Abe (The Sweetest Dark (The Sweetest Dark, #1))
Billy felt that he had spoken soaringly. He was baffled when he saw the Tralfamadorians close their little hands on their eyes. He knew from past experience what this meant: He was being stupid. 'Would-would you mind telling me,' he said to the guide, much deflated, 'what was so stupid about that?' 'We know how the Universe ends,' said the guide, 'and Earth has nothing to do with it, except that it gets wiped out, too.' 'How-how does the Universe end?' said Billy. 'We blow it up, experimenting with new fuels for our flying saucers. A Tralfamadorian test pilot presses a starter button, and the whole Universe disappears.' So it goes.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
You're in love with him," Justin stated. "Now who's prying?" Serena demanded. "I was making an observation," he countered. "That's entirely different. Does he make you happy?" he asked, then tugged on his wife's hair. "That was prying," he pointed out. Gennie laughed and stuck her pencil behind her ear. "Yes,he makes me happy-and he makes me unhappy. That's all part of it,isn't it?" "Oh,yes." Serena leaned her head against her husband's shoulder. She spotted Grant as he came out the front door. "Gennie," she said, laying a hand on her arm. "If he's too slow, as some men are," she added with a meaningful glance at Justin, "I have a coin I'll lend you." At Gennie's baffled look, she chuckled. "Ask me about it sometime." She hooked her arm through Justin's and wandered away,making the suggestion that they see if anyone was using the pool. Gennie heard him murmur something that had Serena giving a low, delicious laugh. Family,she thought. It was wonderful to have stumbled on family this way. Her family,and Grant's. There was a bond here that might inch him closer to her. Happy,she ran across the grass to meet him. He caught her when she breathlessly launched herself into his arms. "What's all this?" "I love you!" she said on a laugh. "is there anything else?" His arms tightened around her. "No.
Nora Roberts (The MacGregors: Alan & Grant (The MacGregors, #3-4))
My mother smoked two packs of cigarettes a day. Before she smoked her first cigarette, she was free to choose whether or not she would smoke. After awhile, her freedom reverted to Satan—so it would seem. The choice was no longer hers—so it would seem. Her mind and body were attacked with nicotine cravings that got so bad she would sometimes sacavage through garbage cans for butts when she’d run short on full cigarettes. I watched, baffled at how something so small and so disgusting to me could have such power over my mother. That’s the thing about addiction—it binds us one choice at a time. That’s also the good news about addition—you can unravel the hold it has on you—one choice at a time.
Toni Sorenson
Then one morning the nightmare happened. John and I were in bed together when I heard the landlady calling up the stairs – she was coming to empty the meter, which was in my room. We panicked. I wrapped myself in a sheet and fled into Dot’s room, leaving John to his fate. I heard the landlady go in and, a few minutes later, come out and go back down the stairs. Baffled, I went back into my room. No sign of John. It took me a minute or two to work out that he was under the large pile of blankets, coats and clothing on the bed. He’d grabbed whatever he could see from around the room and piled it on top of himself. Gasping for air and red-faced, he crawled out, cursing the landlady. We thought we’d got away with it – until
Cynthia Lennon (John)
One night, when Violet’s parents had gone out, he teased her about it, whispering against her throat, “I should probably be dating girls my own age now that you’ll be over-the-hill.” Jay was stretched out on Violet’s bed as she curled against him. Violet laughed, rising to the bait. “Fine,” she challenged, pulling away and leaning up on her elbow. “I’m sure there are plenty of men my own age who would be willing to finish what you’ve started.” Jay stiffened, and Violet realized that she’d struck a nerve. “What is it?” He shook his head, and Violet thought he might say, “Nothing,” so when he answered, his words caught her off guard. “Is there someone else, Vi?” Violet frowned, baffled by the unfamiliar jealousy she saw on his face. She wondered what in the world he meant as she reached down and smoothed a strand of hair from his forehead. “What are you talking about, Jay?” His eyes met hers. “I saw you with that guy at the movies, Vi. Who was he?” Violet closed her eyes. She wasn’t ready yet. She didn’t want to tell him about the FBI, about Sara and Rafe or what she’d learned about Mike’s mother. She wondered briefly if he knew about Mike’s mom-if his friend had ever confided in him. But somehow she doubted it. Jay wasn’t like her; he didn’t keep secrets. “It’s not like that,” she explained, hoping that would be enough. Jay got up and went to the window, pushing the curtain aside. Every muscle in his body was rigid. “Like what, Vi? What’s going on? Something’s been bothering you lately. Why can’t you tell me?” He was right. She owed it to him to at least try. “I don’t know how to explain, but I just feel like everything’s changed between us-“ “Of course it’s changed, Violet, what’d you expect?” Violet tried to ignore the bitterness in his voice, telling herself she had no right to be hurt. “It used to be that I would never keep secrets from you. You were my best friend. But now that we’re dating, it’s just…different. I feel like I have to watc what I say, or you get all worried. Sometimes I just want you to be the old Jay again, so I can talk to you.” Violet crept up behind him, wrapping her arms around his waist and resting her cheek against his back.
Kimberly Derting (Desires of the Dead (The Body Finder, #2))
The third oddity was the surface on which Lawrence was doing his own succussion. It was a huge, black leather-bound King James Bible. Having done three raps on the Bible, his fist clenched around a vial containing a homeopathic remedy made from amethyst, Lawrence looked up. His face said, "I wish you hadn't seen that". "You don't have to use a Bible," he assured me.
Michael Brooks (13 Things That Don't Make Sense: The Most Baffling Scientific Mysteries of Our Time)
O baffled, balk'd, bent to the very earth, Oppress'd with myself that I have dared to open my mouth, Aware now that amid all that blab whose echoes recoil upon me I have not once had the least idea who or what I am, But that before all my arrogant poems the real Me stands yet untouch'd, untold, altogether unreach'd, Withdrawn far, mocking me with mock-congratulatory signs and bows, With peals of distant ironical laughter at every word I have written, Pointing in silence to these songs, and then to the sand beneath. I perceive I have not really understood any thing, not a single object, and that no man ever can, Nature here in sight of the sea taking advantage of me to dart upon me and sting me, Because I have dared to open my mouth to sing at all.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
This might baffle you, but despite not being a physician, I do have some pride. Although most certainly not enough to withstand the kind of beating you're capable of dealing it. The kind of beating you've repeatedly dealt it from the first time we've met. You're right, I value honesty, so I'll tell you that I make it a practice not to find women who insult me at every opportunity attractive." Color flooded her cheeks and traveled down her neck. Finally, she stepped away from him, too, and found the back of a chair to clutch. She looked entirely devastated. Had no one ever denied her anything? He hated the hurt in her eyes. But it was done now. "How is telling you I'm attracted to you an insult?" He pressed the back of his hand into his forehead. It made him feel like a drama queen in some sort of musical farce. Which this had to be. "Telling me how unworthy I am of your attraction, that's the insulting part. And, no, that's not all it is. Even if you hadn't told me at every opportunity how inferior to you I am... all I do is cook... every assumption you've made about me is insulting. Culinary school is definitely college. And Le Cordon Bleu is one of the most competitive institutions in the world. The fact that that's so wholly incomprehensible to you... that's the insulting part. And it wasn't thrown in my overly privileged lap either. I had to work my bottom off to make it in." Ammaji had sold her dowry jewels to pay for his application, something her family would have thrown her out on the street for had they found out. Trisha squared her shoulders, the devastation draining fast from her face, leaving behind the self-possession he was so much more used to. And the speed with which she gathered herself shook something inside him. "I might not do what you see as important work, but I work hard at being a decent human being, and I would need anyone I'm with to be that first and foremost. Even if I didn't find snobbery in general incredibly unattractive, I would never go anywhere near a person as self-absorbed and arrogant as you, Dr. Raje. I would have to be insane to subject myself to your view of me and the world." "Wow." She was panting, or maybe it was him. He couldn't be sure. "You wanted honesty. I'm sorry if I hurt you." She cleared her throat. "I'm surprised you think someone as... as... self-absorbed and arrogant as me is even capable of being hurt.
Sonali Dev (Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors (The Rajes, #1))
First, I assessed their combat skills. Aeneas performed surprisingly well for a son of Aphrodite; I expected him to be a lover, not a fighter, and yet he actually knew how to use his sword as a sword rather than as a fashion accessory. The other demigods had some work to do. Atalanta seemed to think all training matches had to be fought to the death. She also referred to her classmates as dirty, stupid men, which made team-building difficult. Achilles spent his entire time in combat defending his right heel, an unusual manoeuvre that baffled me until I found out about his childhood dip in the River Styx. I tried to tell the boy to wear iron-shod boots rather than sandals, but he simply wouldn’t listen. As for Asclepius, in one-on-one melees he had an off-putting habit of darting in and feeling his opponent’s forehead for signs of fever.
Rick Riordan (Camp Half-Blood Confidential (Percy Jackson and the Olympians))
Her eyes are shining; she’s excited now, ready to go. For a moment, standing in the fuzzy haze of sunlight still penetrating the blinds, she appears to be glowing, as though lit up by some internal flame. And now I know why they invented words for love, why they had to: It’s the only thing that can come close to describing what I feel in that moment, the baffling mixture of pain and pleasure and fear and joy, all running sharply through me at once.
Lauren Oliver (Delirium (Delirium, #1))
I CAN’T ABIDE CLUTTER,” TOM said. “That includes long dusty curtains, and china figurines, and those little tablemats with holes in them—” “Doilies?” “Yes, those. And fringe trimming. I hate fringe.” Cassandra blinked as she saw him write, 7D: No doilies or fringe. “Wait,” she said. “No fringe at all? Not even on lampshades? Or pillows?” “Especially not pillows.” Cassandra rested her crossed arms on the table and gave him a mildly exasperated glance. “Was there an accident involving fringe? Why do you hate it?” “It’s ugly and waggly. It dangles like caterpillar legs.” Her brows lowered. “I reserve the right to wear fringe trim on my hats or clothing. It happens to be fashionable this year.” “Can we exclude it from nightwear and robes? I’d rather not have it touching me.” Faced with her baffled annoyance, Tom looked down at the paper somewhat sheepishly. “Some quirks can’t be overcome.
Lisa Kleypas (Chasing Cassandra (The Ravenels, #6))
Since we’ve ruled out another man as the explanation for all this, I can only assume something has gone wrong at Havenhurst. Is that it?” Elizabeth seized on that excuse as if it were manna from heaven. “Yes,” she whispered, nodding vigorously. Leaning down, he pressed a kiss on her forehead and said teasingly, “Let me guess-you discovered the mill overcharged you?” Elizabeth thought she would die of the sweet torment when he continued tenderly teasing her about being thrifty. “Not the mill? Then it was the baker, and he refused to give you a better price for buying two loaves instead of one.” Tears swelled behind her eyes, treacherously close to the surface, and Ian saw them. “That bad?” he joked, looking at the suspicious sheen in her eyes. “Then it must be that you’ve overspent your allowance.” When she didn’t respond to his light probing, Ian smiled reassuringly and said, “Whatever it is, we’ll work it out together tomorrow.” It sounded as though he planned to stay, and that shook Elizabeth out of her mute misery enough to say chokingly, “No-it’s the-the masons. They’re costing much more than I-I expected. I’ve spent part of my personal allowance on them besides the loan you made me for Havenhurst.” “Oh, so it’s the masons,” he grinned, chuckling. “You have to keep your eye on them, to be sure. They’ll put you in the poorhouse if you don’t keep an eye on the mortar they charge you for. I’ll have to talk with them in the morning.” “No!” she burst out, fabricating wildly. “That’s just what has me so upset. I didn’t want you to have to intercede. I wanted to do it all myself. I have it all settled now, but it’s been exhausting. And so I went to the doctor to see why I felt so tired. He-he said there’s nothing in the world wrong with me. I’ll come home to Montmayne the day after tomorrow. Don’t wait here for me. I know how busy you are right now. Please,” she implored desperately, “let me do this, I beg you!” Ian straightened and shook his head in baffled disbelief, “I’d give you my life for the price of your smile, Elizabeth. You don’t have to beg me for anything. I do not want you spending your personal allowance on this place, however. If you do,” he lied teasingly, “I may be forced to cut it off.” Then, more seriously, he said, “If you need more money for Havenhurst, just tell me, but your allowance is to be spent exclusively on yourself. Finish your brandy,” he ordered gently, and when she had, he pressed another kiss on her forehead. “Stay here as long as you must. I have business in Devon that I’ve been putting off because I didn’t want to leave you. I’ll go there and return to London on Tuesday. Would you like to join me there instead of at Montmayne?” Elizabeth nodded. “There’s just one thing more,” he finished, studying her pale face and strained features. “Will you give me your word the doctor didn’t find anything at all to be alarmed about?” “Yes,” Elizabeth said. “I give you my word.” She watched him walk back into his own bed chamber. The moment his door clicked into its latch Elizabeth turned over and buried her face in the pillows. She wept until she thought there couldn’t possibly be any more tears left in her, and then she wept harder. Across the room the door leading out into the hall was opened a crack, and Berta peeked in, then quickly closed it. Turning to Bentner-who’d sought her counsel when Ian slammed the door in his face and ripped into Elizabeth-Berta said miserably, “She’s crying like her heart will break, but he’s not in there anymore.” “He ought to be shot!” Bentner said with blazing contempt. Berta nodded timidly and clutched her dressing robe closer about her. “He’s a frightening man, to be sure, Mr. Bentner.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
I knew what was wrong with me, but I could not correct it. The words and actions of white people were baffling signs to me. I was living in a culture and not a civilization and I could learn how that culture worked only by living with it. Misreading the reactions of whites around me made me say and do the wrong things. In my dealing with whites I was conscious only of what was happening at a given moment. I had to keep remembering what others took for granted; I had to think out what others felt.
Richard Wright (Black Boy)
I told him the story of the day I’d been mending pottery with one of the maids in the kitchen at Keramzin, waiting for him to return from one of the hunting trips that had taken him from home more and more frequently. I’d been fifteen, standing at the counter, vainly trying to glue together the jagged pieces of a blue cup. When I saw him crossing the fields, I ran to the doorway and waved. He caught sight of me and broke into a jog. I had crossed the yard to him slowly, watching him draw closer, baffled by the way my heart was skittering around in my chest. Then he’d picked me up and spun me in a circle, and I’d clung to him, breathing in his sweet, familiar smell, shocked by how much I’d missed him. Dimly, I’d been aware that I still had a shard of the blue cup in my hand, that it was digging into my palm, but I didn’t want to let go. When he finally set me down and ambled off to the kitchen to find his lunch, I had stood there, my palm dripping blood, my head still spinning, knowing that everything had changed. Ana
Leigh Bardugo (Shadow and Bone (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #1))
Micah, are you comfortable being assigned as Meryn's guard while she is here?" he asked. "Absolutely. That woman is hilarious. I can't wait to see what she does next." Micah's eyes sparkled with laughter. Grant shook his head. "Better you than me. Women confuse me, and she is baffling even for a woman." Micah sighed happily. "Women make this life worth living. They add color to these gray walls and perfume to the air." Grant scratched his head. "I have paintings in my quarters and air fresheners, I am good.
Alanea Alder (My Guardian (Bewitched and Bewildered #6))
She had several books she'd been wanting to read, but instead she sprawled out on the couch surrounded by pillows and blankets, and spent the hours flipping channels between Judge Judy, The People's Court, Maury, and Jerry Springer, and rounded out her afternoon with Dr. Phil and Oprah. All in all, it was a complete waste of a day. At least until school got out. Jay showed up after school with a bouquet of flowers and an armful of DVDs, although Violet couldn't have card less about either...he was all she wanted. She couldn't help the electric thrill of excitement she felt when he came strolling in, grinning at her foolishly as if he hadn't seen her in weeks rather than hours. He scooped her up from the couch and dropped her onto his lap as he sat down where she had been just a moment before. He was careful to arrange her ankle on a neatly stacked pile of pillows beside him. He stubbornly refused to hide his affection for her, and if Violet hadn't known better she would have sworn that he was going out of his way to make her self-conscious in her own home. Fortunately her parents were giving them some space for the time being, and they were left by themselves most of the time. "Did you miss me?" he asked arrogantly as he gently brushed his lips over hers, not bothering to wait for an answer. She smiled while she kissed him back, loving the topsy-turvy feeling that her stomach always got when he was so close to her. She wound her arms around his neck, forgetting that she was in the middle of the family room and not hidden away in the privacy of her bedroom. He pulled away from her, suddenly serious. "You know, we didn't get much time alone yesterday. And I didn't get a chance to tell you..." Violet was mesmerized by the thick timbre of his deep voice. She barely heard his words but rather concentrated on the fluid masculinity of his tone. "I feel like I've waited too long to finally have you, and then yesterday...when..." He stopped, seemingly at a loss, and then he tried another approach. His hand stroked her cheek, igniting a response from deep within her. "I can't imagine living without you," he said, tenderly kissing her forehead, his warm breath fanning her brow. He paused thoughtfully for a moment before speaking again. "I love you, Violet. More than I ever could have imagined. And I don't want to lose you...I can't lose you." It was her turn to look arrogant as she glanced up at him. "I know," she stated smugly, shrugging her shoulder. He shoved her playfully but held on to her tightly so that she never really went anywhere. "What do you mean, 'I know'? What kind of response is that?" His righteous indignation bordered on comical. He pulled her down into his arms so that his face was directly above hers. "Say it!" he commanded. She shook her head, pretending not to understand him. "What? What do you want me to say?" But then she giggled and ruined her baffled façade. He teased her with his mouth, leaning down to kiss her and then pulling away before his lips ever reached hers. He nuzzled her neck tantalizingly, only to stop once she responded. She wrapped her arms around his neck, trying to pull him closer, frustrated by his mocking ambush of her senses. "Say it," he whispered, his breath warm against her neck. She groaned, wanting him to put her out of her misery. "I love you too," she rasped as she clung to him. "I love you so much..." His mouth moved to cover hers in an exhausting kiss that left them broth breathless and craving more than they could have. Violet collapsed into his arms, gathering her wits and hoping that no one walked in on them anytime soon.
Kimberly Derting (The Body Finder (The Body Finder, #1))
idea this would happen. I didn’t know Squall could—’ ‘I know you didn’t!’ Morrigan cut in. ‘Don’t be ridiculous. It’s not your fault.’ ‘It is – partly, at least. I should have realised the danger you were in. I should have known Squall would take advantage if he could. I’ve been preoccupied for months – so focused on Cassiel and Paximus Luck and Alfie Swann, when I should have been focused on what was happening right in front of me.’ ‘Cassiel!’ Morrigan said, sitting up straight. ‘I forgot all about him! So, what happened to him? And Paximus Luck?’ ‘The Stealth has a lead on Paximus, which they’re following across the border into the Republic – that’s strictly confidential. But as for Cassiel,’ Jupiter shrugged, looking baffled, ‘I honestly have no idea. I’ve chewed through more resources at the League of Explorers than I can possibly justify, looking for him on-realm and off. We’ve handed it over to the Celestial Observation Group for now. They don’t quite have our reach, but they can watch the skies. They’ll keep me informed.’ ‘So you don’t think it was anything to do with Squall or the Ghastly Market?’ He didn’t answer immediately. Staring at the floor, he sat and breathed in the lemon smoke.
Jessica Townsend (Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor #2))
But speaking of decisions and choices, I want to turn to a question that baffles so many of us. Why is it that people who are victims of trauma are so often drawn to abusive relationships? Let me broaden the question, because it is so important in understanding not just abuse but all behavior. The key point is that all of us tend to gravitate to the familiar, even when the familiar is unhealthy or destructive. We are drawn to what we were raised with. As I’ve said before, when we are young and our brain is beginning to make sense of our experiences, it creates our ‘working model’ of the world. The brain organizes around the tone and tension of our first experiences. So if, early on, you have safe, nurturing care, you think that people are essentially good….But if a child experienced chaos, threat, or trauma, your brain organizes according to a view that the world is not safe and people cannot be trusted. Think about James. He didn’t feel ‘safe’ when he was close to people. Intimacy made him feel threatened. Here is the confusing part: James felt most comfortable when the world was in line with his worldview. Being rejected or treated poorly validated this view. The most destabilizing thing for anyone is to have their core beliefs challenged….Good or bad, we are attracted to things that are familiar.
Bruce D. Perry (What Happened To You?: Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing)
Well, tell me boy," she said, "what have you been reading?" Craftily he picked his way across the waste land of printery, naming as his favorites those books which he felt would win her approval. As he had read everything, good and bad, that the town library contained, he was able to make an impressive showing. Sometimes she stopped him to question about a book--he rebuilt the story richly with a blazing tenacity of detail that satisfied her wholly. She was excited and eager--she saw at once how abundantly she could feed this ravenous hunger for knowledge, experience, wisdom. And he knew suddenly the joy of obedience: the wild ignorant groping, the blind hunt, the desperate baffled desire was now to be ruddered, guided, controlled. The way through the passage to India, that he had never been able to find, would now be charted for him. Before he went away she had given him a fat volume of nine hundred pages, shot through with spirited engravings of love and battle, of the period he loved best. He was drowned deep at midnight in the destiny of the man who killed the bear, the burner of windmills and the scourge of banditry, in all the life of road and tavern in the Middle Ages, in valiant and beautiful Gerard, the seed of genius, the father of Erasmus. Eugene thought The Cloister and the Hearth the best story he had ever read.
Thomas Wolfe
Before I walked into the door, the room got shades darker as a cloud did a summersault in front of the sun. I turned my head up to the sky and saw Gauss in the glass smirking down at me. In that moment I was reminded of a story about Gauss. 
 When he was in the fifth grade, his teacher wanted some quiet, so he asked his class to add up all the numbers from 1-100. Thinking he had plenty of time to relax, he was shocked that within minutes Gauss had an answer. Gauss had cleverly noticed that the numbers 1 and 100 added up to 101, and 2 and 99 also added up to 101 and on down until you hit 50 and 51. So there are 50 pairs of 101, and a simple multiplication problem by Gauss left his teacher perplexed.
 The recollection of this story reminded me about my own fifth grade experience. Thor was the volunteer at my school for the “Math Superstar” program. After each assignment, stars of various colors signifying degrees of excellence were stuck on all the papers handed in. Like the Olympics, gold was the highest honor. 
 Wendy, the girl who sat next to me, was baffled that no matter how many wrong answers I got (usually all of them), I consistently had gold stars on my papers. She thought Thor was showing a personal bias towards me, but the truth is that I knew where he kept his boxes of stars, so I simply awarded myself what I thought I deserved. Hey, Gauss, how’s that for clever?
Jarod Kintz (Gosh, I probably shouldn't publish this.)
They seemed so right together-both of them sophisticated, dark-haired, and striking; no doubt they had much in common, she thought a little dismally as she picked up her knife and fork and went to work on her lobster. Beside her, Lord Howard leaned close and teased, “It’s dead, you know.” Elizabeth glanced blankly at him, and he nodded to the lobster she was still sawing needlessly upon. “It’s dead,” he repeated. “There’s no need to try to kill it twice.” Mortified, Elizabeth smiled and sighed and thereafter made an all-out effort to ingratiate herself with the rest of the party at their table. As Lord Howard had forewarned the gentlemen, who by now had all seen or heard about her escapade in the card room, were noticeably cooler, and so Elizabeth tried ever harder to be her most engaging self. It was only the second time in her life she’d actually used the feminine wiles she was born with-the first time being her first encounter with Ian Thornton in the garden-and she was a little amazed by her easy success. One by one the men at the table unbent enough to talk and laugh with her. During that long, trying hour Elizabeth repeatedly had the strange feeling that Ian was watching her, and toward the end, when she could endure it no longer, she did glance at the place where he was seated. His narrowed amber eyes were leveled on her face, and Elizabeth couldn’t tell whether he disapproved of this flirtatious side of her or whether he was puzzled by it. “Would you permit me to offer to stand in for my cousin tomorrow,” Lord Howard said as the endless meal came to an end and the guests began to arise, “and escort you to the village?” It was the moment of reckoning, the moment when Elizabeth had to decide whether she was going to meet Ian at the cottage or not. Actually, there was no real decision to make, and she knew it. With a bright, artificial smile Elizabeth said, “Thank you.” “We’re to leave at half past ten, and I understand there are to be the usual entertainments-sopping and a late luncheon at the local inn, followed by a ride to enjoy the various prospects of the local countryside.” It sounded horribly dull to Elizabeth at that moment. “It sounds lovely,” she exclaimed with such fervor that Lord Howard shot her a startled look. “Are you feeling well?” he asked, his worried gaze taking in her flushed cheeks and overbright eyes. “I’ve never felt better,” she said, her mind on getting away-upstairs to the sanity and quiet of her bedchamber. “And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have the headache and should like to retire,” she said, leaving behind her a baffled Lord Howard. She was partway up the stairs before it dawned on her what she’d actually said. She stopped in midstep, then gave her head a shake and slowly continued on. She didn’t particularly care what Lord Howard-her fiance’s own cousin-thought. And she was too miserable to stop and consider how very odd that was.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
So you want to turn around? Give up on the chance of having him back?” Oscar took a swig of his canteen, then capped it. He held her stare. “I just want you alive.” Camille glanced toward Ira. He sat far enough away to hear just the murmur of their voices. This was her only opportunity to clean up after the messy scene in the pantry. Where to begin baffled her. The cold manner in which they were now acting made it difficult to believe Oscar had held her so lovingly, her body curled into his. She’d felt his hot breath on her shoulder as he dipped into sleep and out again to bury his nose in her hair or race her scar from the Christina with his finger. Camille had never wanted to leave that bed. “I don’t love him,” she said with little fanfare. Plain. Simple. The truth. “He’s a decent man, and things would be easier if I did love him. But I want what only you can give me, Oscar.” She couldn’t imagine feeling warm and safe and loved in Randall’s arms the way she had in Oscar’s. She didn’t know what would happen once her father returned to them or how he’d react. Right then, it didn’t matter. “Good night, then,” she said when he remained quiet. Camille turned onto her other side, away from the fire. The immediate cold lashed at her. A moment passed before she heard the scrape of his boots on the ground. His footsteps rounded the fire. Without saying a word, he lay down beside her. Oscar pulled her close to him without checking to see if Ira was watching. He kissed the crown of her head. “Good night, then.
Angie Frazier (Everlasting (Everlasting, #1))
Suddenly with a single bound he leaped into the room. Winning a way past us before any of us could raise a hand to stay him. There was something so pantherlike in the movement, something so unhuman, that it seemed to sober us all from the shock of his coming. The first to act was Harker, who with a quick movement, threw himself before the door leading into the room in the front of the house. As the Count saw us, a horrible sort of snarl passed over his face, showing the eyeteeth long and pointed. But the evil smile as quickly passed into a cold stare of lion-like disdain. His expression again changed as, with a single impulse, we all advanced upon him. It was a pity that we had not some better organized plan of attack, for even at the moment I wondered what we were to do. I did not myself know whether our lethal weapons would avail us anything. Harker evidently meant to try the matter, for he had ready his great Kukri knife and made a fierce and sudden cut at him. The blow was a powerful one; only the diabolical quickness of the Count's leap back saved him. A second less and the trenchant blade had shorn through his heart. As it was, the point just cut the cloth of his coat, making a wide gap whence a bundle of bank notes and a stream of gold fell out. The expression of the Count's face was so hellish, that for a moment I feared for Harker, though I saw him throw the terrible knife aloft again for another stroke. Instinctively I moved forward with a protective impulse, holding the Crucifix and Wafer in my left hand. I felt a mighty power fly along my arm, and it was without surprise that I saw the monster cower back before a similar movement made spontaneously by each one of us. It would be impossible to describe the expression of hate and baffled malignity, of anger and hellish rage, which came over the Count's face. His waxen hue became greenish-yellow by the contrast of his burning eyes, and the red scar on the forehead showed on the pallid skin like a palpitating wound. The next instant, with a sinuous dive he swept under Harker's arm, ere his blow could fall, and grasping a handful of the money from the floor, dashed across the room, threw himself at the window. Amid the crash and glitter of the falling glass, he tumbled into the flagged area below. Through the sound of the shivering glass I could hear the "ting" of the gold, as some of the sovereigns fell on the flagging. We ran over and saw him spring unhurt from the ground. He, rushing up the steps, crossed the flagged yard, and pushed open the stable door. There he turned and spoke to us. "You think to baffle me, you with your pale faces all in a row, like sheep in a butcher's. You shall be sorry yet, each one of you! You think you have left me without a place to rest, but I have more. My revenge is just begun! I spread it over centuries, and time is on my side. Your girls that you all love are mine already. And through them you and others shall yet be mine, my creatures, to do my bidding and to be my jackals when I want to feed. Bah!" With a contemptuous sneer, he passed quickly through the door, and we heard the rusty bolt creak as he fastened it behind him. A door beyond opened and shut. The first of us to speak was the Professor. Realizing the difficulty of following him through the stable, we moved toward the hall. "We have learnt something… much! Notwithstanding his brave words, he fears us. He fears time, he fears want! For if not, why he hurry so? His very tone betray him, or my ears deceive. Why take that money? You follow quick. You are hunters of the wild beast, and understand it so. For me, I make sure that nothing here may be of use to him, if so that he returns.
Bram Stoker (Dracula)
He swore, raked his hands through his hair and tried to pinpoint the moment she'd so neatly turned the tables on him, when the pursued had become the pursuer. "I don't like forward women." The sound she made was something between a snort and a giggle, and was girlish and full of fun. It made him want to grin. "Now that's a lie, and you don't do it well. I've noticed you're an honest sort of man, Brian. When you don't want to speak your mind, you say nothing-and that's not often. I like that about you,even if it did irritate me initially.I even like your slightly overwide streak of confidence. I admire your patience and dedication to the horses, your undertstanding and affection for them. I've never been involved with a man who's shared that interest with me." "You've never been involved with a man at all." "Exactly.That's just one reason why. And to continue, I appreciate the kindness you showed my mother when she was sad,and I appreciate the part of you that's struggling to back away right now instead of taking what I've never offered anyone before." She laid a hand on his arm as he stared at her with baffled frustration. "If I didn't have that respect and that liking for you,Brian,we wouldn't be having this conversation no matter how attracted I might be to you." "Sex complicates things, Keeley." "I know." "How would you know? You've never had any." She gave his arm a quick squeeze. "Good point.So,you want to try the tack room?" When his mouth fell open, she laughed and threw her arms around him for a noisy kiss on his cheek. "Just kidding.Let's go up to the main house and have some dinnre instead." "i've work yet." She drew back. She couldn't read his eyes now. "Brian, neither of us have eaten. We can have a simple meal in the kitchen-and if you're worried, we won't be alone in the house so I'll have to keep my hands off you. Temporarily.
Nora Roberts (Irish Rebel (Irish Hearts, #3))
In sum, the fruition of 50 years of research, and several hundred million dollars in government funds, has given us the following picture of sub-atomic matter. All matter consists of quarks and leptons, which interact by exchanging different types of quanta, described by the Maxwell and Yang-Mills fields. In one sentence, we have captured the essence of the past century of frustrating investigation into the subatomic realm, From this simple picture one can derive, from pure mathematics alone, all the myriad and baffling properties of matter. (Although it all seems so easy now, Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg, one of the creators of the Standard Model, once reflected on how tortuous the 50-year journey to discover the model had been. He wrote, "There's a long tradition of theoretical physics, which by no means affected everyone but certainly affected me, that said the strong interactions [were] too complicated for the human mind.")
Michio Kaku (Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the Tenth Dimension)
There was a time when my life seemed so painful to me that reading about the lives of other women writers was one of the few things that could help. I was unhappy, and ashamed of it; I was baffled by my life. For several years in my early thirties, I would sit in my armchair reading books about these other lives. Sometimes when I came to the end, I would sit down and read the book through from the beginning again. I remember an incredible intensity about all this, and also a kind of furtiveness—as if I were afraid that someone might look through the window and find me out. Even now, I feel I should pretend that I was reading only these women's fiction or their poetry—their lives as they chose to present them, alchemized as art. But that would be a lie. It was the private messages I really liked—the journals and letters, and autobiographies and biographies whenever they seemed to be telling the truth. I felt very lonely then, self-absorbed, shut off. I needed all this murmured chorus, this continuum of true-life stories, to pull me through. They were like mothers and sisters to me, these literary women, many of them already dead; more than my own family, they seemed to stretch out a hand. I had come to New York when I was young, as so many come, in order to invent myself. And, like many modern people—modern women, especially—I had catapulted out of my context; in important ways, the life of my mother, in her English village, was not much help. I remember reading in those dark years a review by John Updike in which he smoothly compared the lives of Jean Rhys and Colette. The first was in the end a failure, the second a triumph, he said. I took it personally, felt a stab in the heart. And poor Jane Bowles, said someone else, in the Times—you'd have to admit that hers was a desperate life. The successes gave me hope, of course, yet it was the desperate bits I liked best. I was looking for directions, gathering clues...
Kennedy Fraser (Ornament and Silence : Essays on Women's Lives, from Virginia Woolf to Germaine Greer)
Self-Confidence Formula First. I know that I have the ability to achieve the object of my Definite Purpose in life; therefore, I DEMAND of myself persistent, continuous action toward its attainment, and I here and now promise to render such action. Second. I realize that the dominating thoughts of my mind will eventually reproduce themselves in outward, physical action, and gradually transform themselves into physical reality; therefore, I will concentrate my thoughts for 30 minutes daily upon the task of thinking of the person I intend to become, thereby creating in my mind a clear mental picture of that person. Third. I know that through the principle of autosuggestion any desire that I persistently hold in my mind will eventually seek expression through some practical means of attaining the object back of it; therefore, I will devote ten minutes daily to demanding of myself the development of SELF-CONFIDENCE. Fourth. I have clearly written down a description of my DEFINITE CHIEF AIM in life, and I will never stop trying until I shall have developed sufficient self-confidence for its attainment.4 Fifth. I fully realize that no wealth or position can long endure unless built upon truth and justice; therefore, I will engage in no transaction that does not benefit all whom it affects. I will succeed by attracting to myself the forces I wish to use and the cooperation of other people. I will induce others to serve me because of my willingness to serve others. I will eliminate hatred, envy, jealousy, selfishness, and cynicism by developing love for all humanity—because I know that a negative attitude toward others can never bring me success. I will cause others to believe in me because I will believe in them and in myself. Sixth. I will sign my name to this formula, commit it to memory, and repeat it aloud once a day, with full FAITH that it will gradually influence my THOUGHTS and ACTIONS so that I will become a self-reliant and successful person. Back of this formula is a law of Nature which no one has yet been able to explain. It has baffled the scientists of all ages. The psychologists have named this the “Law of Autosuggestion” and let it go at that.
Napoleon Hill (Think and Grow Rich!:The Original Version, Restored and Revised™)
We need to reclaim the word 'feminism'. We need the word 'feminism' back real bad. When statistics come in saying that only 29% of American women would describe themselves as feminist - and only 42% of British women - I used to think, What do you think feminism IS, ladies? What part of 'liberation for women' is not for you? Is it freedom to vote? The right not to be owned by the man you marry? The campaign for equal pay? 'Vogue' by Madonna? Jeans? Did all that good shit GET ON YOUR NERVES? Or were you just DRUNK AT THE TIME OF THE SURVEY? These days, however, I am much calmer-since I realized that it's technically impossible for a woman to argue against feminism. Without feminism, you wouldn't be allowed to have a debate on a woman's place in society. You'd be too busy giving birth on the kitchen floor-biting down on a wooden spoon so as not to disturb the men's card game-before going back to hoeing the rutabaga field. This is why those female columnists in the Daily Mail-giving daily wail against feminism-amuse me. They paid you 1,600 pounds for that, dear, I think. And I bet it' going into your bank account and not your husband's. The more women argue, loudly, against feminism, the more they both prove it exists and that they enjoy its hard-won privileges. Because for all that people have tried to abuse it and disown it, "feminism" is still the word we need...We need the only word we have ever had to describe "making the world equal for men and women". Women's reluctance to use it sends out a really bad signal. Imagine if, in the 1960's, it had become fashionable for black people to say they "weren't into" civil rights. "No, I'm not into Civil Rights! That Martin Luther King is too shouty. He just needs to chill out, to be honest." But then, I do understand why women started to reject the word feminism. It ended up being invoked in so many baffling inappropriate contexts that you'd presume it was some spectacularly unappealing combination of misandry, misery, and hypocrisy, which stood for ugly clothes, constant anger, and, let's face it, no fucking...Feminism has had exactly the same problem that "political correctness" has had: people keep using the phrase without really knowing what it means.
Caitlin Moran
My morning schedule saw me first in Cannan’s office, conferring with my advisor, but our meeting was interrupted within minutes by Narian, who entered without knocking and whose eyes were colder than I had seen them in a long time. “I thought you intended to control them,” he stated, walking toward the captain’s desk and standing directly beside the chair in which I sat.” He slammed a lengthy piece of parchment down on the wood surface, an unusual amount of tension in his movements. I glanced toward the open door and caught sight of Rava. She stood with one hand resting against the frame, her calculating eyes evaluating the scene while she awaited orders. Cannan’s gaze went to the parchment, but he did not reach for it, scanning its contents from a distance. Then he looked at Narian, unruffled. “I can think of a dozen or more men capable of this.” “But you know who is responsible.” Cannan sat back, assessing his opposition. “I don’t know with certainty any more than you do. In the absence of definitive proof of guilt on behalf of my son and his friends, I suggest you and your fellows develop a sense of humor.” Then the captain’s tone changed, becoming more forbidding. “I can prevent an uprising, Narian. This, you’ll have to get used to.” Not wanting to be in the dark, I snatched up the parchment in question. My mouth opened in shock and dismay as I silently read its contents, the men waiting for me to finish. On this Thirtieth Day of May in the First Year of Cokyrian dominance over the Province of Hytanica, the following regulations shall be put into practice in order to assist our gracious Grand Provost in her effort to welcome Cokyri into our lands--and to help ensure the enemy does not bungle the first victory it has managed in over a century. Regulation One. All Hytanican citizens must be willing to provide aid to aimlessly wandering Cokyrian soldiers who cannot on their honor grasp that the road leading back to the city is the very same road that led them away. Regulation Two. It is strongly recommended that farmers hide their livestock, lest the men of our host empire become confused and attempt to mate with them. Regulation Three. As per negotiated arrangements, crops grown on Hytanican soil will be divided with fifty percent belonging to Cokyri, and seventy-five percent remaining with the citizens of the province; Hytanicans will be bound by law to wait patiently while the Cokyrians attempt to sort the baffling deficiency in their calculations. Regulation Four. The Cokyrian envoys assigned to manage the planting and farming effort will also require Hytanican patience while they slowly but surely learn what is a crop and what is a weed, as well as left from right. Regulation Five. Though the Province Wall is a Cokyrian endeavor, it would be polite and understanding of Hytanicans to remind the enemy of the correct side on which to be standing when the final stone is laid, so no unfortunates may find themselves trapped outside with no way in. Regulation Six. When at long last foreign trade is allowed to resume, Hytanicans should strive to empathize with the reluctance of neighboring kingdoms to enter our lands, for Cokyri’s stench is sure to deter even the migrating birds. Regulation Seven. For what little trade and business we do manage in spite of the odor, the imposed ten percent tax may be paid in coins, sweets or shiny objects. Regulation Eight. It is regrettably prohibited for Hytanicans to throw jeers at Cokyrian soldiers, for fear that any man harried may cry, and the women may spit. Regulation Nine. In case of an encounter with Cokyrian dignitaries, the boy-invader and the honorable High Priestess included, let it be known that the proper way in which to greet them is with an ass-backward bow.
Cayla Kluver (Sacrifice (Legacy, #3))
But Muslims now find themselves in a world shaped by western theories and western values. If we are to consider how Islamic communities conducted their affairs throughout the greater part of their history, it may be convenient to compare and contrast this way of life with the contemporary western model. Today the Muslims are urged to embrace democracy and are condemned for political corruption, while western scholars debate whether Islam can ever accommodate the democratic ideal. On the whole, they think not. Democracy, they believe, is a sign of political maturity and therefore of superiority. Western societies, since they are seen as democratic, exemplify this superiority. So there is one question that has to be pressed home: what, precisely, is meant by democracy? Let me put forward an imaginary Arab who knows nothing of western ways but would like to learn about them. He is aware that the literal meaning of the word democracy is "mob rule", but understands that this is not what westerners mean by it. He wonders how this meaning has, in practice, been modified and, since his questions are directed to an Englishman, he is not altogether surprised to be told that Britain is the exemplary democracy. He learns that the people—all except children, lunatics and peers of the realm—send their representatives to Parliament to speak for them. He is assured that these representatives never accept bribes to vote against their consciences or against the wishes of their constituents. He enquires further and is astonished to learn that the political parties employ what are known as Whips, who compel members to vote in accordance with the party line, even if this conflicts both with their consciences and with the views of the people who elected them. In this case it is not money but ambition for office that determines the way they vote. "But is this not corruption?" he asks naively. The Englishman is shocked. "But at least the party in power represents the vast majority of the electorate?" This time the Englishman is a little embarrassed. It is not quite like that. The governing party, which enjoys absolute power through its dominance in the House of Commons, represents only a minority of the electorate. "Are there no restraints on this power?" There used to be, he is told. In the past there was a balance between the Crown, the House of Lords and the Commons, but that was seen as an undemocratic system so it was gradually eroded. The "sovereignty" of the Lower House is now untrammelled (except, quite recently, by unelected officials in Brussels). "So this is what democracy means?" Our imaginary Arab is baffled. He investigates further and is told that, in the 1997 General Election, the British people spoke with one voice, loud and clear. A landslide victory gave the Leader of the Labour Party virtually dictatorial powers. Then he learns that the turn-out of electors was the lowest since the war. Even so, the Party received only forty-three per cent of the votes cast. He wonders if this can be the system which others wish to impose on his own country. He is aware that various freedoms, including freedom of the press, are essential components of a democratic society, but no one can tell him how these are to be guaranteed if the Ruler, supported by a supine—"disciplined"—House of Commons enjoys untrammelled authority. He knows a bit about rulers and the way in which they deal with dissent, and he suspects that human nature is much the same everywhere. Barriers to oppression soon fall when a political system eliminates all "checks and balances" and, however amiable the current Ruler may be, there is no certainty that his successors, inheriting all the tools of power, will be equally benign. He turns now to an American and learns, with some relief since he himself has experienced the oppression of absolutism, that the American system restrains the power of the President by that of the Congress and the Supreme Court; moreover, the electe
Anonymous
You know,” I said, “you don’t owe New Fiddleham anything. You don’t need to help them.” “Look,” Charlie said as we clipped past Market Street. He was pointing at a man delicately painting enormous letters onto a broad window as we passed. NONNA SANTORO’S, it read, although the RO’S was still just an outline. “That Italian restaurant?” “Yes,” he smiled. “They will be opening their doors for the first time very soon. Sweet family. I bought my first meal in New Fiddleham from that man. A couple of meatballs from a street cart were about all I could afford at the time. He’s an immigrant, too. He’s going to do well. His red sauce is amazing.” “That’s grand for him, then,” I said. “I like it when doors open,” said Charlie. “Doors are opening in New Fiddleham every day. It is a remarkable time to be alive anywhere, really. Do you think our parents could ever have imagined having machines that could wash dishes, machines that could sew, machines that do laundry? Pretty soon we’ll be taking this trolley ride without any horses. I’ve heard that Glanville has electric streetcars already. Who knows what will be possible fifty years from now, or a hundred. Change isn’t always so bad.” “Your optimism is both baffling and inspiring,” I said. “The sun is rising,” he replied with a little chuckle. I glanced at the sky. It was well past noon. “It’s just something my sister and I used to say,” he clarified. “I think you would like Alina. You often remind me of her. She has a way of refusing to let the world keep her down.” He smiled and his gaze drifted away, following the memory. “Alina found a rolled-up canvas once,” he said, “a year or so after our mother passed away. It was an oil painting—a picture of the sun hanging low over a rippling ocean. She was a beautiful painter, our mother. I could tell that it was one of hers, but I had never seen it before. It felt like a message, like she had sent it, just for us to find. “I said that it was a beautiful sunset, and Alina said no, it was a sunrise. We argued about it, actually. I told her that the sun in the picture was setting because it was obviously a view from our camp near Gelendzhik, overlooking the Black Sea. That would mean the painting was looking to the west. “Alina said that it didn’t matter. Even if the sun is setting on Gelendzhik, that only means that it is rising in Bucharest. Or Vienna. Or Paris. The sun is always rising somewhere. From then on, whenever I felt low, whenever I lost hope and the world felt darkest, Alina would remind me: the sun is rising.” “I think I like Alina already. It’s a heartening philosophy. I only worry that it’s wasted on this city.” “A city is just people,” Charlie said. “A hundred years from now, even if the roads and buildings are still here, this will still be a whole new city. New Fiddleham is dying, every day, but it is also being constantly reborn. Every day, there is new hope. Every day, the sun rises. Every day, there are doors opening.” I leaned in and kissed him on the cheek. “When we’re through saving the world,” I said, “you can take me out to Nonna Santoro’s. I have it on good authority that the red sauce is amazing.” He blushed pink and a bashful smile spread over his face. “When we’re through saving the world, Miss Rook, I will hold you to that.
William Ritter (The Dire King (Jackaby, #4))
This brings me to an objection to integrated information theory by the quantum physicist Scott Aaronson. His argument has given rise to an instructive online debate that accentuates the counterintuitive nature of some IIT's predictions. Aaronson estimates phi.max for networks called expander graphs, characterized by being both sparsely yet widely connected. Their integrated information will grow indefinitely as the number of elements in these reticulated lattices increases. This is true even of a regular grid of XOR logic gates. IIT predicts that such a structure will have high phi.max. This implies that two-dimensional arrays of logic gates, easy enough to build using silicon circuit technology, have intrinsic causal powers and will feel like something. This is baffling and defies commonsense intuition. Aaronson therefor concludes that any theory with such a bizarre conclusion must be wrong. Tononi counters with a three-pronged argument that doubles down and strengthens the theory's claim. Consider a blank featureless wall. From the extrinsic perspective, it is easily described as empty. Yet the intrinsic point of view of an observer perceiving the wall seethes with an immense number of relations. It has many, many locations and neighbourhood regions surrounding these. These are positioned relative to other points and regions - to the left or right, above or below. Some regions are nearby, while others are far away. There are triangular interactions, and so on. All such relations are immediately present: they do not have to be inferred. Collectively, they constitute an opulent experience, whether it is seen space, heard space, or felt space. All share s similar phenomenology. The extrinsic poverty of empty space hides vast intrinsic wealth. This abundance must be supported by a physical mechanism that determines this phenomenology through its intrinsic causal powers. Enter the grid, such a network of million integrate-or-fire or logic units arrayed on a 1,000 by 1,000 lattice, somewhat comparable to the output of an eye. Each grid elements specifies which of its neighbours were likely ON in the immediate past and which ones will be ON in the immediate future. Collectively, that's one million first-order distinctions. But this is just the beginning, as any two nearby elements sharing inputs and outputs can specify a second-order distinction if their joint cause-effect repertoire cannot be reduced to that of the individual elements. In essence, such a second-order distinction links the probability of past and future states of the element's neighbours. By contrast, no second-order distinction is specified by elements without shared inputs and outputs, since their joint cause-effect repertoire is reducible to that of the individual elements. Potentially, there are a million times a million second-order distinctions. Similarly, subsets of three elements, as long as they share input and output, will specify third-order distinctions linking more of their neighbours together. And on and on. This quickly balloons to staggering numbers of irreducibly higher-order distinctions. The maximally irreducible cause-effect structure associated with such a grid is not so much representing space (for to whom is space presented again, for that is the meaning of re-presentation?) as creating experienced space from an intrinsic perspective.
Christof Koch (The Feeling of Life Itself: Why Consciousness Is Widespread But Can't Be Computed)
Why women choose to dress like this on a regular basis baffles me. It weighs so much. And then they add those high shoes? I will never understand Ladies,” Rose commented
Brandi Gillilan (Wicked Fairy Tales: The Curvy Collection)
His persistence baffled me. He was known to guard his privacy, and I had no reason to believe he’d ever
Walter Isaacson (Steve Jobs)
Many articles speculate about Tom’s retreat from public life. He’s an organization helmed by committee, a criminal, a group of women. Much has been written about why he won’t permit interpretation of Parakeet. That he believes in time-capsule art, that he is a misogynist maestro. They’re all wrong. Baffled companies who want to produce this odd, violent heart of a play are not being held to the specifications of a playwright, but of a little girl. We were hypersensitive, sickly kids, constantly made fun of in school. Every day my classmates reminded me I was different though there was little chance I’d forget. They’d mark my out-loud face as if doing me a favor: Your eyebrows are joined, they’d say. Your calves are not shaped the way mine are. Your mother looks like an Arab spy. My mother demanded silence, but when we were together Tom and I were feral. One night, frustrated by our noise, she booted the door down and hurled handfuls of my stuffed animals into trash bags. Tom stood between her and them and widened his stance so he could not be moved. My mother backhanded him against the corner of a bureau.
Marie-Helene Bertino (Parakeet)
The Victory tour was my first chance to be exposed to the Michael Jackson fans since Thriller had come out two years earlier. There were some strange reactions. I’d bump into people in hallways and they’d go, “Naw, that can’t be him. He wouldn’t be here.” I was baffled and I’d ask myself, “Why wouldn’t I? I’m on earth somewhere. I’ve got to be somewhere at any given time. Why not here?” Some fans imagine you to be almost an illusion, this thing that doesn’t exist. When they see you, they feel it’s a miracle or something. I’ve had fans ask me if I use the bathroom. I mean, it gets embarrassing. They just lose touch with the fact that you’re like them because they get so excited. But I can understand it because I’d feel the same way if, for instance, I could have met Walt Disney or Charlie Chaplin.
Michael Jackson (Moonwalk)
age of computers and programming, and he couldn’t understand either. Sure, he could send emails, had even mastered Word and Excel, but apart from that, the complexities of the machine left him baffled. There was unemployment, but he had never taken the dole, or he could go overseas, try his luck on an oil rig. Even if that were possible, he didn’t want to go, but these were desperate times, and now, to add confusion, there was a solution. Betty Galton, his former sister-in-law, had in her possession a million pounds in gold. He opened his laptop and switched it on. How does one melt gold? How does one dispose of it? he thought. He entered the search terms, fingering one key at a time, and pressed enter. If a criminal act was committed during the planning stage, then he was guilty as charged. And for once, he did not care. He hummed a tune to himself. It had been some time since he had been contented. For that night, he would forget what would be required and envisage what his life could be like with money in his pocket. Maybe a small place in the country, a dog, possibly a woman. How long had it been since he had enjoyed the closeness of another’s skin? He picked up his phone and made a call. It was a special treat for himself and for once the budget was going to be blown. He knew she’d look after him, the way she looked after so many others. Chapter 11 Clare woke early the next day; her phone was ringing. She leant over and picked it up. ‘Yarwood, I’m at the hospital,’ Tremayne said. She could tell by his voice that something was amiss. ‘I’ll be there in fifteen.’ ‘Thanks, and don’t tell anyone.’ A quick shower, some food for her cat, and Clare was out of her cottage. A murder enquiry was serious; her boss being ill, more so. Parking at the hospital, she soon found her way to outpatients, meeting someone she knew. ‘It’s Tremayne, he’s not well,’ Clare said. ‘And please, not a word to anyone.’ The woman, a friend, understood. Inside, behind some screens, Tremayne was lying flat on his back. His shoes had been removed, and his tie had been loosened. ‘How long have you been here?’ Clare said. She knew Tremayne would not appreciate lashings of sympathy, although he looked dreadful. ‘Since last night. I’d had a few drinks, a few cigarettes, and all of a sudden I’m in the back of an ambulance.’ ‘Does Jean know?’ ‘Not yet. Maybe you can phone her. She went to see her son for a few days, left me on my own.’ ‘Off the leash and into trouble, that’s you, guv.’ ‘Not today, Yarwood. Maybe Moulton’s right about me retiring.’ ‘Having you feeling sorry for yourself isn’t going to help, is it?’ The nurse, standing on the other side of the bed, looked over at Clare disapprovingly. ‘It’s how we work,’ Clare said. ‘That may be the case, but Mr Tremayne has had a bit of a scare. He needs to be here for a few days while we conduct a few checks.’ ‘What’s the problem?’ ‘It’s not for me to say. That’s for the doctor.’ ‘He told me to cut down on the beer, quit smoking, and take it easy.’ ‘Retire, is that it?’ Clare said. ‘They don’t get it, do they?’ Tremayne looked over at the nurse who was monitoring his condition. ‘Sorry. We’ve got a murder to deal with, nothing personal.’ ‘Don’t worry about me. We get our fair share of people, men mainly, who think they’re invincible. You’re not the first, not the last, who thinks they know more
Phillip Strang (Death by a Dead Man's Hand (DI Tremayne Thriller Series #5))
He told me he felt like a character being awkwardly written out of a sitcom. 'You know when they are there but they don't do or say anything? Like nobody has a clue what to do with them? Then they disappear and not a single person even bothers to mention it. That is happening to me, I think.' I was familiar with numb feelings of this type. In the garage I felt like anyone could step in and play me, if they were supplied with the correct expression of anguish, the sluggish reactions of someone baffled by their own poor choices.
Nicole Flattery (Show Them a Good Time)
To make a faithful picture, come as close as possible to copying the object as it is.’ This simple-minded injunction baffles me; for the object before me is a man, a swarm of atoms, a complex of cells, a fiddler, a friend, a fool and much more. If none of these constitute the object as it is, what else might? If all are ways the object is, then none is way the object is. I cannot copy all these at once; and the more nearly I succeeded, the less would the result be a realistic picture.
Nelson Goodman
For many months the Lisp advocates pressed on. I was baffled. Many extremely intelligent people I knew and had much respect for were praising Lisp with almost religious dedication. There had to be something there, something I couldn't afford not to get my hands on! Eventually my thirst for knowledge won me over. I took the plunge, bit the bullet, got my hands dirty, and began months of mind bending exercises. It was a journey on an endless lake of frustration. I turned my mind inside out, rinsed it, and put it back in place. I went through seven rings of hell and came back. And then I got it.
Anonymous
Jesus’s capacity for mercy baffled me. I didn’t know if I could give up the wrongs my father had done, the way I hauled them around like an ossuary of precious old bones. Jesus made it seem as if one could just lay them down.
Sue Monk Kidd (The Book of Longings)
Choose the one you want," he told her. She giggled as the puppy contorted itself in an effort to lick her hand without rolling off its back. "Oh, you are silly, aren't you? Just the silliest little ..." Her hand stilled on the puppy. Her eyes shot to his. "What did you just say?" "Choose which pup you'd like as your own." "My own?" "You wanted a hound," he reminded her. "Yes, I ..." She looked at the dogs, then back at him. "Are you giving me a dog?" "For the sake of propriety, we are to say it is a gift from your brother, but ..." "But it's from you. You're giving me a dog," she said, and there was a notable catch in her voice. "Well ... More or less." For reasons that baffled him, he suddenly felt equal parts embarrassed and pleased. "It was my idea." He cleared his throat, fought off the urge to shift his feet.
Alissa Johnson (Practically Wicked)
His persistence baffled me. He was known to guard his privacy, and I had no reason to believe he’d ever read any of my books. Maybe someday, I continued to say. But in 2009 his wife, Laurene Powell, said bluntly, “If you’re ever going to do a book on Steve, you’d better do it now.” He had just taken a second medical leave. I confessed to her that when he had first raised the idea, I hadn’t known he was sick. Almost nobody knew, she said. He had called me right before he was going to be operated on for cancer, and he was still keeping it a secret, she explained. I decided then to write this book. Jobs surprised me by readily acknowledging that he would have
Walter Isaacson (Steve Jobs)
It's not the fact that some people disagree with the protests. That is as much a right as the protests themselves. It is the hateful, profane, condescending way some have expressed their discontent that baffles me. How do you criticize actions you've deemed disrespectful and divisive and an affront to civilized behavior with rhetoric to the same end? That's like the devil judging the Grim Reaper for harvesting souls.
Carlos Wallace
Their entrance was marked in dramatic fashion by an ear-piercing “Eeeeeee! Eeeeeee! Eeeeeee!” I rushed out of the kitchen. My colleague’s wife, wrapped in a lovely sari, had backed herself into a corner, shrieking like a bird at the mere sight of the dogs. This behavior baffled Callie, so she paid no further notice to her and moved on to look for food droppings. Lyra, on the other hand, found these vocalizations highly stimulating. She tracked right to the sound and starting jumping up and down and barking in what appeared to me to be a request to play.
Gregory Berns (How Dogs Love Us: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain)
When she left him, she swore she would “never try it again,” meaning marriage. But I don’t think she knew how to be fully herself when she was with a man or could feel anything but baffled by the competing demands of career and domesticity. Her struggles are poignant and real to me, and all too familiar
Paula McLain (Love and Ruin)
it baffles me that people are interested enough in Nature to want to venture deep into the woods, and yet they leave plastic bottles and food wrappers behind them.
Holly Worton (If Trees Could Talk: Life Lessons from the Wisdom of the Woods)
My mother’s suffering grew into a symbol in my mind, gathering to itself all the poverty, the ignorance, the helplessness; the painful, baffling, hunger-ridden days and hours; the restless moving, the futile seeking, the uncertainty, the fear, the dread; the meaningless pain and the endless suffering. Her life set the emotional tone of my life, colored the men and women I was to meet in the future, conditioned my relation to events that had not yet happened, determined my attitude to situations and circumstances I had yet to face. A somberness of spirit that I was never to lose settled over me during the slow years of my mother’s unrelieved suffering, a somberness that was to make me stand apart and look upon excessive joy with suspicion, that was to make me self-conscious, that was to make me keep forever on the move, as though to escape a nameless fate seeking to overtake me.
Richard Wright (Black Boy)
I commenced writing this scroll in a frenzied attempt to find myself. I wished to ascertain how the concertina wire that cinches the plasma pool of my biological capsule together stitches a person into the vacillating web of eternity. Instead of my wild ravings spooling out answers, the act of writing nonstop in the midst of my darkest hours triggered a torrent of questions to examine. Each adamant question posed led to a baffling string of insistent conundrums. I orchestrated an urgent caucus, and tenaciously conducted a fact-finding mission. I held a self-questioning klatch attempting to pierce a spool of secular inquiries, a series of pious and profane questions that compressed upon my confused mind. The resultant positive displacement and negative displacement of febrile energy generated from this disorientating and mind-numbing process of rigorous self-scrutiny spun me akin to a crazed top. Unsure of my destiny, I lunged into the unknown, diving headfirst into the indecipherable parts of my reeling existence. I asked questions and sought answers, examined a sundry of personal experiences, and listened to my inner vibrations. How does a person square their mystical self to the undulating camber of life? How does anyone face the deflating specter of the impending death of his or her beloved? I seek to develop a desirable quotient of self-confidence and gain the needed degree of brio to tackle life. I wish to learn how to savor every moment, come to terms with impairing personal fears, blighting uncertainty, and caustic self-doubt. I aspire to overcome the disfiguring emotional liabilities harvested during my troubled past, develop healthful new habits, and brace myself against the irreducible fact of human mortality.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
What has any of that to do with me?” “Nothing, if she doesn’t please you.” Seeing Rhys’s baffled expression, Devon shook his head with an exasperated laugh. “Confound it, Winterborne, don’t be obtuse. I’m trying to point out an opportunity, if you have any interest in Lady Helen.” Rhys was silent. Stunned. Devon chose his words with obvious care. “On the surface, it’s not the most obvious match.” Match? Marriage match? The bastard clearly didn’t understand what he was suggesting. Even so…Rhys felt his soul clutch at the idea.
Lisa Kleypas (Cold-Hearted Rake (The Ravenels, #1))