You should date a girl who reads.
Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes, who has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.
Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag. She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she has found the book she wants. You see that weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a secondhand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow and worn.
She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.
Buy her another cup of coffee.
Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.
It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas, for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry and in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.
She has to give it a shot somehow.
Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.
Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who read understand that all things must come to end, but that you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.
Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series.
If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.
You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.
You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.
Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.
Or better yet, date a girl who writes.
Men always say that as the defining compliment, don’t they? She’s a cool girl. Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot. Hot and understanding. Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, shit on me, I don’t mind, I’m the Cool Girl.
Men actually think this girl exists. Maybe they’re fooled because so many women are willing to pretend to be this girl. For a long time Cool Girl offended me. I used to see men – friends, coworkers, strangers – giddy over these awful pretender women, and I’d want to sit these men down and calmly say: You are not dating a woman, you are dating a woman who has watched too many movies written by socially awkward men who’d like to believe that this kind of woman exists and might kiss them. I’d want to grab the poor guy by his lapels or messenger bag and say: The bitch doesn’t really love chili dogs that much – no one loves chili dogs that much! And the Cool Girls are even more pathetic: They’re not even pretending to be the woman they want to be, they’re pretending to be the woman a man wants them to be. Oh, and if you’re not a Cool Girl, I beg you not to believe that your man doesn’t want the Cool Girl. It may be a slightly different version – maybe he’s a vegetarian, so Cool Girl loves seitan and is great with dogs; or maybe he’s a hipster artist, so Cool Girl is a tattooed, bespectacled nerd who loves comics. There are variations to the window dressing, but believe me, he wants Cool Girl, who is basically the girl who likes every fucking thing he likes and doesn’t ever complain. (How do you know you’re not Cool Girl? Because he says things like: “I like strong women.” If he says that to you, he will at some point fuck someone else. Because “I like strong women” is code for “I hate strong women.”)
Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl)
Love is the jelly to sunshine’s peanut butter. And if I tell you that I’m in sandwich with you, I’m not just saying it to get in your Ziploc bag.
Jarod Kintz (Love quotes for the ages. Specifically ages 18-81.)
It is in vain to say human beings ought to be satisfied with tranquillity: they must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it. Millions are condemned to a stiller doom than mine, and millions are in silent revolt against their lot. Nobody knows how many rebellions besides political rebellions ferment in the masses of life which people earth. Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts, as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, to absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
People in the real world always say, when something terrible happens, that the sadness and loss and aching pain of the heart will “lessen as time passes,” but it isn’t true. Sorrow and loss are constant, but if we all had to go through our whole lives carrying them the whole time, we wouldn’t be able to stand it. The sadness would paralyze us. So in the end we just pack it into bags and find somewhere to leave it.
Fredrik Backman (My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry)
So is this a habit of yours, leaving your bag behind in order te strike up a conversation?" He grinned and nodded at the bench where I had been sitting. Lying beneath it was my book bag. "Wouldn't it be easier to just walk up to a guy and say hello?
Amy Plum (Die for Me (Revenants, #1))
We approach the house and I wave at Jimmy.
"And if he thinks he's eating with us, he's got another thing coming," my dad says.
Jimmy approaches us and takes the shopping bags from me, looking inside them.
"Lamb roast. Am I invited?
Melina Marchetta (Saving Francesca)
Despite my best efforts, I'm not quite perfect. Let's just say I'm like one of those Hopi blankets where they leave a tiny flaw so as to not affront the Lord.
Jen Lancaster (Bitter Is the New Black: Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass, Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office)
Did you say something Macey?' I asked, but she cut me a look that could kill. She reached into her bag, ripped off a sliver of Evapopaper, and scribbled:
'Can we study tonight? (Tell anyone, and I'll kill you in you sleep!)
Ally Carter (I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girls, #1))
A bag of Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans. "You want to be careful with those," Ron warned Harry. "When they say every flavor, they mean every flavor - you know, you get all the ordinary ones like chocolate and peppermint and marmalade, but then you can get spinach and liver and tripe. George reckons he had a booger-flavored one once."
Ron picked up a green bean, looked at it carefully, and bit into a corner.
"Bleaaargh - see? Sprouts.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1))
All the boys were grown up and done for by this time; so it is scarcely worth while saying anything more about them. You may see the twins and Nibs and Curly any day going to an office, each carrying a little bag and an umbrella. Michael is an engine driver. Slightly married a lady of title, and so he became a lord. You see that judge in a wig coming out at the iron door? That used to be Tootles. The bearded man who doesn't know any story to tell his children was once John.
J.M. Barrie (Peter Pan)
Radar revs the engine as to say hustle, and we are running through the parking lot, Ben's robe flowing in the wind so that he looks vaguely like a dark wizard, except that his pale skinny legs are visible, and his arms hug plastic bags. I can see the back of Lacey's legs beneath her dress, her calves tight in midstride. I don't know how I look, but I know how I feel: Young. Goofy. Infinite.
John Green (Paper Towns)
Spades take up leaves
No better than spoons,
And bags full of leaves
Are light as balloons.
I make a great noise
Of rustling all day
Like rabbit and deer
But the mountains I raise
Elude my embrace,
Flowing over my arms
And into my face.
I may load and unload
Again and again
Till I fill the whole shed,
And what have I then?
Next to nothing for weight,
And since they grew duller
From contact with earth,
Next to nothing for color.
Next to nothing for use.
But a crop is a crop,
And who's to say where
The harvest shall stop?
I want to reach in my pants, pull out my virginity, wrap it up and put a bow on it. Or maybe stick it in a gift bag from Target and give it to him like a present with a nice card that says, "Thank you for being you! Just a little virginity to show you may gratitude!
Anubis ignored her (bless him for that) and held out his elbow for me - a sweet old-fashioned gesture.
" May I have this dance?"
"I suppose," I said,as non committally as I could. I looped my arm through his, and we left the Plastic Bags behind us, all of them muttering,"Oh my god! Oh my god!"
No ,actually, I wanted to say. He's my amazingly hot boy god. Find your own.
Rick Riordan (The Serpent's Shadow (The Kane Chronicles, #3))
Woods? Do you have a sec?" Ty asks.
"Alone?" Ty eyes Henry and Jerry Rice, and I jerk my head at Henry.
"Fine," Henry says, rolling his eyes. "Divorce me if you must, Woods. I can't believe I've only been married half an hour and I'm already a single
parent." Ty holds the door to the gym open so Henry can get the stroller through. I giggle at the sight of him carrying those diaper bags across the
Miranda Kenneally (Catching Jordan)
When forced to leave my house for an extended period of time, I take my typewriter with me, and together we endure the wretchedness of passing through the X-ray scanner. The laptops roll merrily down the belt, while I’m instructed to stand aside and open my bag. To me it seems like a normal enough thing to be carrying, but the typewriter’s declining popularity arouses suspicion and I wind up eliciting the sort of reaction one might expect when traveling with a cannon.
It’s a typewriter,’ I say. ‘You use it to write angry letters to airport security.
Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer, and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex.
You seem to have an extremely large bag today, Mr. Lynch,” Whelk said.
“You know what they say about men with large bags,” Ronan replied. "Ostendes tuum et ostendam meus?”"
Gansey had no idea what Ronan had just said, but he was certain from Ronan’s smirk that it wasn’t entirely polite.
Whelk’s expression confirmed Gansey’s suspicion, but he merely rapped on Ronan’s desk with his knuckles and moved off.
“Being a shit in Latin isn’t the way to an A,” Gansey said.
Ronan’s smile was golden. “It was last year.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1))
I couldn't keep a fish alive," she said. "I kill plants just by looking at them."
"I suspect I would have the same problem," Mark said, eyeing the fish.
"It is too bad - I was going to name it Magnus, because it has sparkly scales."
At that, Cristina giggled. Magnus Bane was the High Warlock of Brooklyn, and he had a penchant for glitter.
"I suppose I had better let him go free," Mark said. Before anyone could say anything, he made his way to the railing of the pier and emptied the bag, fish and all, into the sea.
"Does anyone want to tell him that goldfish are freshwater fish and can't survive in the ocean?" said Julian quietly.
"Not really," said Cristina.
"Did he just kill Magnus?" Emma asked, but before Julian could answer, Mark whirled around.
Cassandra Clare (Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices, #2))
Ryodan says softly, “Holy strawberries, Dani, we’re in a jam.”
I look at him like he’s sprouted two heads. Holy strawberries? In a jam? Even Barrons looks stumped.
He continues, “But don’t worry. Holy priceless collection of Etruscan snoods—you really butchered that one, by the way—I’ve got it in the bag. How about this one: holy borrowing bibliophile, let’s book.
Karen Marie Moning (Burned (Fever, #7))
So early it's still almost dark out.
I'm near the window with coffee,
and the usual early morning stuff
that passes for thought.
When I see the boy and his friend
walking up the road
to deliver the newspaper.
They wear caps and sweaters,
and one boy has a bag over his shoulder.
They are so happy
they aren't saying anything, these boys.
I think if they could, they would take
each other's arm.
It's early in the morning,
and they are doing this thing together.
They come on, slowly.
The sky is taking on light,
though the moon still hangs pale over the water.
Such beauty that for a minute
death and ambition, even love,
doesn't enter into this.
Happiness. It comes on
unexpectedly. And goes beyond, really,
any early morning talk about it.
I grabbed Liam's arm as he passed me on his way to the tunnel door, kissing his cheek. "See you later tonight."
He stepped down into the tunnel, shouldering a backpack Cole had left for him there. When I turned to say good-bye to the other Stewart, he'd stooped, turned his cheek toward me, and was waiting. I flicked it with my finger, making him laugh again.
"You're impossible," I informed him.
"It's all part of my charm," he said, shifting the heavy bag on his shoulder. "Take care of things, Boss."
"Take care of him." I said, pointedly.
He gave one last mock salute before shutting the door to the tunnel. I waited until the sound of his and the others' steps faded completely before locking the door after him.
Alexandra Bracken (In The Afterlight (The Darkest Minds, #3))
I wasn't sure what I expected her to do or say to this. It was all new to me from that second on. But clearly, she'd been there before. It was obvious in the easy way she shrugged off her bag, letting it fall with a thump onto the sand, before sitting down beside me. She didn't pull me close for a big bonding hug or offer up some saccharine words of comfort, both of which would have sent me running for sure. Instead she gave me nothing but her company, realizing even before I did this that this, in fact, was just what I needed.
Sarah Dessen (Along for the Ride)
thinks they love
from the ripple
of a thousand butterflies
is packing their
to see the world
is reaching through
feet of space
to hold the
rise and fall
ink like blood
to say the truth
to a sunrise
they have never
is pulling out
the heads up penny
the only clover
with only 4 leaves
seeds into the
off their thumbs
finding the first
and waiting for
to spend their
is sharing their first
or their last
or no longer their
if how they feel
is how the other
feels about them
and if both theys
could ever become
is the decoder ring
to all of
the great mysteries
is the treasure map.
thinks they love
Tyler Knott Gregson
Horehound sticks are meant to be shared with friends, don't you think?' She was dead wrong about that: Horehound sticks were meant to be gobbled down in solitary gluttony, and preferably in a locked room, but I didn't dare say so.
Alan Bradley (The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag (Flavia de Luce, #2))
These are fat mummies sitting with their bags of crisps in front of the television, saying that thin models are ugly. Fashion is about dreams and illusions, and no one wants to see round women.
Why would I? Seriously, what guy turns down Die Hard? The only thing that could sweeten this deal is if you offered me some booze.”
“I don’t have any.” She stops to think. “But I’ve got a whole bag of gummy bears hidden in my desk drawer.”
“Marry me,” I say instantly.
Elle Kennedy (The Mistake (Off-Campus, #2))
This was a few weeks ago," Annabeth said. "Percy told me a crazy story about meeting a boy our near Moriches Bay. Apparently this kid used hieroglyphs to cast spells. He helped Percy battle a crocodile monsters."
"The Sob of Sobek!" Sadie blurted. "But my brother battled that monster. He didn't say anything about-"
"Is your brother's name Carter?" Annabeth asked.
An angry golden aura flickered around Sadie's head-a halo of hieroglyphs that resembled frowns, fists, and dead stick men.
"As of this moment," Sadie growled, "My brother's name is Punching Bag.
Rick Riordan (The Staff of Serapis (Percy Jackson & Kane Chronicles Crossover #2))
And we will be ready, at the end of every day will be ready, will not say no to anything, will try to stay awake while everyone is sleeping, will not sleep, will make the shoes with the elves, will breathe deeply all the time, breathe in all the air full of glass and nails and blood, will breathe it and drink it, so rich, so when it comes we will not be angry, will be content, tired enough to go, gratefully, will shake hands with everyone, bye, bye, and then pack a bag, some snacks, and go to the volcano.
Ray Parsons, you have no soul”, she says, her voice gaining volume as she speaks. “You are a bag of skin. You are a pile of bones. Every cell that has ever split inside of you was a waste of energy. Where you walk you leave a vacuum. Your existence should cease.
Mindy McGinnis (The Female of the Species)
This is how we go on: one day at a time, one meal at a time, one pain at a time, one breath at a time. Dentists go on one root-canal at a time; boat-builders go on one hull at a time. If you write books, you go on one page at a time. We turn from all we know and all we fear. We study catalogues, watch football games, choose Sprint over AT&T. We count the birds in the sky and will not turn from the window when we hear the footsteps behind us as something comes up the hall; we say yes, I agree that clouds often look like other things - fish and unicorns and men on horseback - but they are really only clouds. Even when the lightening flashes inside them we say they are only clouds and turn our attention to the next meal, the next pain, the next breath, the next page. This is how we go on.
Stephen King (Bag of Bones)
I don't care what is written," Meyer Landsman says. "I don't care what supposedly got promised to some sandal-wearing idiot whose claim to fame is that he was ready to cut his own son's throat for the sake of a hare-brained idea. I don't care about red heifers and patriarchs and locusts. A bunch of old bones in the sand. My homeland is in my hat. It's in my ex-wife's tote bag.
Michael Chabon (The Yiddish Policemen's Union)
You know,” he says, peeking inside the bag. “It’s okay. Because ham and cheese is my absolute favorite…and an apple? It’s like, the lunch of champions.”
I stifle another yawn. “It doesn’t get much better than that, right?”
“Only if you were eating with me,” he says.
Katie Klein (Cross My Heart (Cross My Heart, #1))
Jean grinned down at her, and she handed him something in a small silk bag.
'Lock of my hair, ' she said. 'Meant to give it to you days ago, but we got busy with all the raiding. You know. Piracy. Hectic life. '
'Thank you, love, ' he said.
'Now, if you find yourself in trouble wherever you go, you can hold up that little bag to whoever's bothering you, and you can say, "You have no idea who you're fucking with. I'm under the protection of the lady who gave me this object of her favour. "'
'And that's supposed to make them stop?'
'Shit no, that's just to confuse them. Then you kill them while they're standing there looking at you funny.
Scott Lynch (Red Seas Under Red Skies (Gentleman Bastard, #2))
Right now, I'd be willing to kiss Ed through a bag. So it's true what they say about teenage hormones. It seems I'm raging out of control. It's not very Jane Austen of me but it feels pretty good.
The problem is, Ed's acting all Jane Austen on me and he won't stop talking. Shut up, I want to say. All talk and no action is really kind of frustrating.
Cath Crowley (Graffiti Moon)
Max is going through my overnight bag when I get back to Wink Hotel. My favorite part about this is that he doesn't stop when I walk in the room.
"Hey," he says. He pulls out my black Hugo Boss dress hirt, then holds it up to his nose and sniffs loudly.
"Dude. Stop." I pull the shirt from his hands and toss it on the bed.
"I just love your scent," he says in a chick voice.
"You and everyone else, my friend.
Victoria Scott (The Collector (Dante Walker, #1))
Sometimes I want to clean up my desk and go out and say, “Respect me; I’m a respectable grown-up!" and other times I just want to jump into a paper bag and shake and bake myself to death.
Now that we all have partners, all husbands should come pick up their
Pick up our project? Shrugging, I stand up and stretch my arms. Henry also stands. "No way, dude," I say. "I'm the man in this relationship."
"Oh yeah, absolutely," he says, grinning. He sits back down as I walk to the closet to see this project, which turns out to be one of those fake
electronic babies. Oh good God. Ms. Bonner hands me a fake baby boy. The doll has these creepy glass eyes that look like they’re staring straight
into my soul. I hold the doll out in front of me like it's a flaming bag of poo and carry it back to Henry.
"Congratulations, Mommy," I say, dropping the doll into his hands. You could've told me I knocked you up.
Miranda Kenneally (Catching Jordan)
In all this welter of women I still hadn't got one for myself, not that I was trying too hard, but sometimes I felt lonely to see everybody paired off and having a good time and all I did was curl up in my sleeping bag in the rosebushes and sigh and say bah. For me it was just red wine in my mouth and a pile of firewood
Jack Kerouac (The Dharma Bums)
You do not do, you do not do
Any more, black shoe
In which I have lived like a foot
For thirty years, poor and white,
Barely daring to breathe or Achoo.
Daddy, I have had to kill you.
You died before I had time―
Marble-heavy, a bag full of God,
Ghastly statue with one grey toe
Big as a Frisco seal
And a head in the freakish Atlantic
When it pours bean green over blue
In the waters of beautiful Nauset.
I used to pray to recover you.
In the German tongue, in the Polish town
Scraped flat by the roller
Of wars, wars, wars.
But the name of the town is common.
My Polack friend
Says there are a dozen or two.
So I never could tell where you
Put your foot, your root,
I never could talk to you.
The tongue stuck in my jaw.
It stuck in a barb wire snare.
Ich, ich, ich, ich,
I could hardly speak.
I thought every German was you.
And the language obscene
An engine, an engine
Chuffing me off like a Jew.
A Jew to Dachau, Auschwitz, Belsen.
I began to talk like a Jew.
I think I may well be a Jew.
The snows of the Tyrol, the clear beer of Vienna
Are not very pure or true.
With my gypsy ancestress and my weird luck
And my Taroc pack and my Taroc pack
I may be a bit of a Jew.
I have always been scared of you,
With your Luftwaffe, your gobbledygoo.
And your neat mustache
And your Aryan eye, bright blue.
Panzer-man, panzer-man, O You―
Not God but a swastika
So black no sky could squeak through.
Every woman adores a Fascist,
The boot in the face, the brute
Brute heart of a brute like you.
You stand at the blackboard, daddy,
In the picture I have of you,
A cleft in your chin instead of your foot
But no less a devil for that, no not
And less the black man who
Bit my pretty red heart in two.
I was ten when they buried you.
At twenty I tried to die
And get back, back, back to you.
I thought even the bones would do.
But they pulled me out of the sack,
And they stuck me together with glue.
And then I knew what to do.
I made a model of you,
A man in black with a Meinkampf look
And a love of the rack and the screw.
And I said I do, I do.
So daddy, I’m finally through.
The black telephone’s off at the root,
The voices just can’t worm through.
If I’ve killed one man, I’ve killed two―
The vampire who said he was you
And drank my blood for a year,
Seven years, if you want to know.
Daddy, you can lie back now.
There’s a stake in your fat black heart
And the villagers never like you.
They are dancing and stamping on you.
They always knew it was you.
Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I’m through.
Sylvia Plath (Ariel)
Let him go, V. And let him take her where he needs to go."
As Wrath's voice cut through the drama, the urge to go pyrotechnic became nearly irresistible. Like they needed another kibitzer? And fuck-that on the command.
V squeezed the surgeon's collar trash-bag tight. "You are not taking her anywhere--"
The hand on V's shoulder was heavy, and Wrath's voice had an edge like a dagger. "And you're not in charge here. She's my responsibility, not yours."
Wrong thing to say. On so many levels.
"She is my blood," he snarled.
"And I'm the one who put her on that bed. Oh, and I'm also your cocksucking king, so you will do as I command, Vishous.
J.R. Ward (Lover Unleashed (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #9))
So what you’re saying is Nate isn’t sex on a stick?” Emma asked.
Casey chuckled. “Nate is barely sex on a low fat wheat-thin. But I sowed a few wild oats back in my day, so I’m totally satisfied with what I have.” She bent over to grab up her abandoned container and silverware. Waving her fork at Emma, she said, “You, on the other hand, have a bag of oats needing satisfying.”
Emma rolled her eyes. “Let’s leave my oats out of this please.
Katie Ashley (The Proposition (The Proposition, #1))
Logan, why aren't you wearing protection?"
The radio crackled, and then came Logan's voice. "I have 'protection' in my bag," he said. "But as much as I don't want to say this, darlin', now's not the time to be asking if I'm carrying condoms. I have problems."
"A life vest, Logan! I'm asking where's your life vest!"
"Oh," he said. "I knew that.
Jill Shalvis (The Sweetest Thing (Lucky Harbor, #2))
It was wintertime. I was starving to death trying to be a writer in New York. I hadn't eaten for three or four days. So, I finally said, "I'm gonna have a big bag of popcorn." And God, I hadn't tasted food for so long, it was so good. Each kernel, you know, each one was like a steak! I chewed and it would just drop into my poor stomach. My stomach would say, "THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!" I was in heaven, just walking along, and two guys happened by, and one said to the other, "Jesus Christ!" The other one said, "What was it?" "Did you see that guy eating popcorn? God, it was awful!" And so I couldn't enjoy the rest of the popcorn. I thought; what do you mean, "it was awful?" I'm in heaven here. I guess I was kinda dirty. They can always tell a fucked-up guy.
I could envision it all to clearly: Stuart or Debbie finding the dented door off its hinges, lying in the snow. "She came in, ravaged the boy, stole plastic bags, and ripped off the door in her escape," the police would say in the APB. "Probably making her way to bust her parents out of jail.
Maureen Johnson (Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances)
Nobody believes that the man who says, 'Look, lady, you wanted equality,' to explain why he won't give up his seat to a pregnant woman carrying three grocery bags, a briefcase, and a toddler is seized with the symbolism of idealism.
Judith Martin (Common Courtesy: In Which Miss Manners Solves the Problem That Baffled Mr. Jefferson)
We reach the corner, and I begin to head back in the direction of the apartment complex, but I notice he’s stopped walking. I turn around, and he’s pulling something out of the bag he’s holding. He tears away a tag, and a blanket unfolds. No, he didn’t. He holds the blanket out to the old man still there bundled up on the sidewalk. The man looks up at him and takes the blanket. Neither of them says a word. Miles walks to a nearby trash can and tosses the empty bag into it, then heads back toward me while staring down at the ground. He doesn’t even make eye contact with me when we both begin walking in the direction of the apartment complex. I want to tell him thank you, but I don’t. If I tell him thank you, it would seem like I assume he did that for me. I know he didn’t do it for me. He did it for the man who was cold.
Colleen Hoover (Ugly Love)
My first editor used to say that eighty-five per cent of what goes on in a novelist's head is none of his business, a sentiment I've never believed should be restricted to just writers.
Stephen King (Bag of Bones)
That's a big trunk," James said, as we jammed in the leathery old case that looked so much like the black heart of some leviathan. "It fits a tuba, three suitcases, a dead dog, and a garment bag almost perfectly."
"That's just what they used to say in the ads," I said...
Michael Chabon (Wonder Boys)
I kind of missed the whole running into each other thing. Provided a lot of excitement."
"I don't miss that," I admitted, bending over and rummaging through my bag for my notebook. "That was really embarrassing."
"It shouldn't have been."
"Easy for you to say. You're the one who got plowed. I was doing the plowing."
Cam's mouth opened. Oh my God, did I really just say that? I had.
You keep seeing your picture on posters that you are missing but you're not. That'd be weird, right? Or say you look down at the sidewalk and earthworms are spelling your name. Or you open a peanut bag and the 'hello' is written in your writing on the inside of the shell. Would that weird ya?
I want to be with you,” he says. “But I can’t if you won’t let me.”
“Why?” I drop my bag in the driveway. “Why do you want to be with this?” I wave my arm up and down the length of my body. Immediately, I hate myself for this. The only person making this about my body is me.
“Because I like you. I think I might feel a lot more than that for you, Willowdean. How is that so hard to believe?
Julie Murphy (Dumplin' (Dumplin', #1))
She’s dying?!” “What?!” “He didn’t say that!” “Let me evaluate the severity of her injuries!” “Dude, get your stupid medical bag.” “It’s not so stupid now that we need it, is it?!” “Shut the bloody hell up and get the bag!
A. Kirk (Demons in Disguise (Divinicus Nex Chronicles, #3))
He's gawking at me when I open the door.
"Damn girl," he says, looking me over, "what the hell are you trying to do to me?"
I look down at myself, still trying to wake up the rest of the way and realize I'm in those tiny cotton white shorts and varsity tee with no bra on underneath. Oh my God, my nipples are like beacons shining through my shirt! I cross my arms over my chest and try not to look at him i the eyes when he helps himself the rest of the way inside.
"I was going to tell you to get dressed," he goes on, grinning as he walks into the room carrying his bags and the guitar, "but really, you can go just like that if you want."
I shake my head, hiding the smile creeping up on my face.
J.A. Redmerski (The Edge of Never (The Edge of Never, #1))
No one is protecting you. You are all alone, aren’t you?” he asks while he lets my elbow drop from his hand.
I can no longer see his face clearly because my tears are making it impossible, but unfortunately for him, I’ve found what I’ve been searching for in my bag. “I don’t need anyone to protect me when I have this!” I say in a desperate tone.
Pushing the Taser into his side, I release the safety and pull the trigger. The hot, kinetic sizzle of electricity snarls through the gun and into his torso, but Reed doesn’t fall down and start twitching like in the demonstration video. Instead, his eyebrows shoot up in an expression somewhere between disbelief and amazement as he asks, “Are you serious?
Amy A. Bartol
MY MOTHER GETS DRESSED
It is impossible for my mother to do even
the simplest things for herself anymore
so we do it together,
get her dressed.
I choose the clothes without
zippers or buckles or straps,
clothes that are simple
but elegant, and easy to get into.
Otherwise, it's just like every other day.
After bathing, getting dressed.
The stockings go on first.
This time, it's the new ones,
the special ones with opaque black triangles
that she's never worn before,
bought just two weeks ago
at her favorite department store.
We start with the heavy, careful stuff of the right toes
into the stocking tip
then a smooth yank past the knob of her ankle
and over her cool, smooth calf
then the other toe
cool ankle, smooth calf
up the legs
and the pantyhose is coaxed to her waist.
You're doing great, Mom,
I tell her
as we ease her body
against mine, rest her whole weight against me
to slide her black dress
with the black empire collar
over her head
struggle her fingers through the dark tunnel of the sleeve.
I reach from the outside
deep into the dark for her hand,
grasp where I can't see for her touch.
You've got to help me a little here, Mom
I tell her
then her fingertips touch mine
and we work her fingers through the sleeve's mouth
together, then we rest, her weight against me
before threading the other fingers, wrist, forearm, elbow, bicep
and now over the head.
I gentle the black dress over her breasts,
thighs, bring her makeup to her,
put some color on her skin.
Green for her eyes.
Coral for her lips.
I get her black hat.
She's ready for her company.
I tell the two women in simple, elegant suits
waiting outside the bedroom, come in.
They tell me, She's beautiful.
Yes, she is, I tell them.
I leave as they carefully
zip her into
the black body bag.
Three days later,
I dream a large, green
When I unzip it,
my mother is inside.
Her dress matches
her eyeshadow, which matches
perfectly. She's wearing
"I'm here," she says, smiling delightedly, waving
and I wake up.
Four days later, she comes home
in a plastic black box
that is heavier than it looks.
In the middle of a meadow,
I learn a naked
more than naked.
I learn a new way to hug
as I tighten my fist
around her body,
my hand filled with her ashes
and the small stones of bones.
I squeeze her tight
then open my hand
and release her
into the smallest, hottest sun,
a dandelion screaming yellow at the sky.
Daphne Gottlieb (Final Girl)
It wasn't a perfect body but it was the body she deserved. Not just from every bar of chocolate or bag of crisps or laden plate of food that she'd eaten. This body was also testament to all the hours in the gym and cycling up hills on her bike and glugging down two litres of water a day and learning to love vegetables and fruits that didn't come as optional extra with a pastry crust. She'd earned this body.
This was her body and she had to stop giving it such a hard time.
Sarra Manning (You Don't Have to Say You Love Me)
People say that if life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade. This is why unsolicited advice should be left to the professionals, because if life gives you lemons but doesn't also give you a whole lot of sugar, you're going to end up with some pretty awful-tasting lemonade. You might as well advise people that if life gives them a bag of wet sand they should make a stained glass window.
Cuthbert Soup (No Other Story (Whole Nother Story, #3))
Vaporized by the sun! Wasn't that what the universe had in store for all of us? There would come a day when the sun exploded like a red balloon, and everyone on earth would be reduced in less than a camera flash to carbon. Didn't Genesis say as much? For dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. This was far more than dull old theology: It was precise scientific observation! Carbon was the Great Leveler--the Grim Reaper.
Diamonds were nothing more than carbon, but carbon in a crystal lattice that made it the hardest known mineral in nature. That was the way we all were headed. I was sure of it. We were destined to be diamonds!
Alan Bradley (The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag (Flavia de Luce, #2))
I[John/Four] scratched Bernie Kosar's head. I don't think I could get used to calling him Hadley, but maybe I could get used to calling Six Maren Elizabeth. "I think you should take on a human name," I say. "If not Maren Elizabeth, then something else. I mean, at least for when we're in front of strangers."
Everyone grows silent, and I reach behind me into the Chest for the velvet bag holding the Lorien's solar system. I set the six planets and the sun in my palm and watch them hover and glow to life. As the planets begin to orbit their sun, I find that I am able to dim their brightness with my mind. I intentionally lose myself in them, successfully forgetting just for a few moments that I might ba seeing Sarah soon.
Six turns to look at the faint solar system that floats in front of my chest, and then she finally says. "I don't know; I still like the name Six. Maren Elizabeth was when I was a different person, and right now Six just feels right. It can be short for something if Someone asks."
Sam looks over. "For what? Sixty?
Pittacus Lore (The Power of Six (Lorien Legacies, #2))
I got uncertain from this, I'll be perfect from now on. But all my promises, they're out the window once you're gone. You pack your bags. You say I love you but I cannot stay.
Even when lightning flashes inside them... we say they are only clouds and turn our attention to the next meal, next pain, next breath, the next page. This is how we go on.
Stephen King (Bag of Bones)
I don’t know,’ said Frodo. ‘It came to me then, as if I was making it up; but I may have heard it long ago. Certainly it reminds me very much of Bilbo in the last years, before he went away. He used often to say there was only one Road; that it was like a great river: its springs were at every doorstep, and every path was its tributary. “It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door,” he used to say. “You step into the Road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to. Do you realize that this is the very path that goes through Mirkwood, and that if you let it, it might take you to the Lonely Mountain or even further and to worse places?” He used to say that on the path outside the front door at Bag End, especially after he had been out for a long walk.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1))
When Ben unfurls the T-shirts, there are two small problems. First, it turns out that a large T-shirt in a Georgia gas station is not the same size as a large T-shirt at, say, Old Navy. The gas station shirt is gigantic-more garbage bag than shirt. It is smaller than the graduation robes, but not by much. But this problem pales in comparison to the other problem, which is that both T-shirts are embossed with huge Confederate flags. Printed over the flag are the words HERITAGE NOT HATE.
"Oh no you didn't," Radar says when I show him why we're laughing. "Ben Starling, you better not have bought your token black friend a racist shirt."
"I just grabbed the first shirts I saw, bro."
"Don't bro me right now," Radar says, but he's shaking his head and laughing. I hand him his shirt and he wiggles into it while driving with his knees. "I hope I get pulled over," he says. "I'd like to see how the cop responds to a black man wearing a Confederate T-shirt over a black dress.
John Green (Paper Towns)
Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more priviledged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
Huh? Oh you have a hidden agenda, do you?" She laughed. His straight-faced humor always surprised her. "You promised me you didn't."
"There is nothing hidden about it," he replied. My objective is obvious. I've decided I'd rather have you describe me as 'sweet' than a 'slagging pain in the tailset.'"
"Well..." he looked up from the bag. "Maybe not in public."
"I might be able to confine myself to saying it in private, if you gave me a reason." Taya met his eyes, and he blushed.
Dru Pagliassotti (Clockwork Heart (Clockwork Heart, #1))
Mmm, butt bagels." Elody reaches into the bag and pulls out a bagel, half squashed, then makes a big deal of taking an enormous bite out of it. "Taste like Victoria's Secret."
"Taste like thong floss," I say.
"Taste like crack," Lindsay says.
"Taste like fart," Elody says, and Lindsay spits coffee on the dashboard, and I start laughing and can't stop, and all the way to school we're thinking of flavors for butt bagels, and I'm thinking that this---my life, my friends---might be weird or screwy or imperfect or damaged or whatever, but it's never seemed better to me.
Lauren Oliver (Before I Fall)
This life is a hospital in which each patient is possessed by the desire to change beds. One wants to suffer in front of the stove and another believes that he will get well near the window.
It always seems to me that I will be better off there where I am not, and this question of moving about is one that I discuss endlessly with my soul
"Tell me, my soul, my poor chilled soul, what would you think about going to live in Lisbon? It must be warm there, and you'll be able to soak up the sun like a lizard there. That city is on the shore; they say that it is built all out of marble, and that the people there have such a hatred of the vegetable, that they tear down all the trees. There's a country after your own heart -- a landscape made out of light and mineral, and liquid to reflect them!"
My soul does not reply.
"Because you love rest so much, combined with the spectacle of movement, do you want to come and live in Holland, that beatifying land? Perhaps you will be entertained in that country whose image you have so often admired in museums. What do you think of Rotterdam, you who love forests of masts and ships anchored at the foot of houses?"
My soul remains mute.
"Does Batavia please you more, perhaps? There we would find, after all, the European spirit married to tropical beauty."
Not a word. -- Is my soul dead?
Have you then reached such a degree of torpor that you are only happy with your illness? If that's the case, let us flee toward lands that are the analogies of Death. -- I've got it, poor soul! We'll pack our bags for Torneo. Let's go even further, to the far end of the Baltic. Even further from life if that is possible: let's go live at the pole. There the sun only grazes the earth obliquely, and the slow alternation of light and darkness suppresses variety and augments monotony, that half of nothingness. There we could take long baths in the shadows, while, to entertain us, the aurora borealis send us from time to time its pink sheaf of sparkling light, like the reflection of fireworks in Hell!"
Finally, my soul explodes, and wisely she shrieks at me: "It doesn't matter where! It doesn't matter where! As long as it's out of this world!
Charles Baudelaire (Paris Spleen)
I'm packing my life in a bag again, saying goodbye and writing the last letters. It's been a long journey, back and forth, hide and seek, but this time it's different. This time I am different. I'm not sure where I want to end up but I know how to get there, or at least the first direction, the first turn, the first sunset. I'm longing for peace. I'm longing for borrowed guitars and detachment. Horizons, cheap whiskey straight from the bottle and your hands in mine.
Charlotte Eriksson (Empty Roads & Broken Bottles: in search for The Great Perhaps)
Henry steps forward, and Oscar looks him up and down- the Burberry bag, the cooler on his shoulder, the elegant smile, the extended hand. His dad had been confused but ultimately willing when to roll with it when Alex asked if he could bring a friend and casually mentioned the friend would be the Prince of Wales. He's not sure how this will go.
"Hello," Henry says. "Good to meet you. I'm Henry."
Oscar slaps his hand into Henry's. "Hope you're ready to fucking party.
Casey McQuiston (Red, White & Royal Blue)
I notice he doesn't have his meteorite bag and see out the window it's probably going to pour any minute, but wee need to et out of here. Immediately. "We're going to search for meteorites," I say, like that's what most people do on winter mornings. I never really told either of them too much about last summer, which is reflected in both of their flummoxed faces. But who freaking cares?
In a flash, we're through the door, across the street and into the woods, running for no reason and laughing for no reason and totally out of breath and out of our minds when Brian catches me by my shirt, whips me around, and with one strong hand flat against my chest, he pushes me against a tree and kisses me so hard I go blind.
Jandy Nelson (I'll Give You the Sun)
Fuck what is written," Landsman says. “You know what?" All at once he feels weary of ganefs and prophets, guns and sacrifices and the infinite gangster weight of God. He's tired of hearing about the promised land and the inevitable bloodshed required for its redemption. “I don't care what is written. I don't care what supposedly got promised to some sandal-wearing idiot whose claim to fame is that he was ready to cut his own son's throat for the sake of a hare-brained idea. I don't care about red heifers and patriarchs and locusts. A bunch of old bones in the sand. My homeland is in my hat. It's in my ex-wife's tote bag.
Michael Chabon (The Yiddish Policemen's Union)
all bags are pack ready to go
i am standing here outside your door
i hate to wake you up to say goodbye
dawn is braking its early morn
the taxi waiting he blowing his horn
already i am so lonesome i could die
so kiss me and smile for me tell me that you'll wait for me and hold me like you never let me go
cause leaving on a jet plane don't know when ill be back again oh babe i hate to go
there so many let you down so many time i played around i tell you know that don't mean a thing every plase i go i'll think of you every song i sing i'll sing for you.
Grandma has a .45 long barrel that she keeps hidden from my mother. She got it from her friend Elsie, who picked it up at a yard sale. Probably it was in Grandma's purse. Grandma says it gives the bag some heft, in case she has to beat off a mugger. This might be true, but I think mostly Grandma likes pretending she is Clint Eastwood.
Janet Evanovich (Hot Six (Stephanie Plum, #6))
I bought you something" Willows blurts out.
Willow closes her eyes for a second. She's a little surprised she's going to give it to him after all, but there's no going back now. She has to.
"At the bookstore." She reaches into her bag again, and pushes the package across the table towards him.
Guy takes the book out of the bag slowly, Willow waits for him to look disappointed, to look confused that she would buy him such a battered, old-
"I love it when used books have notes in the margins, it's the best," Guy says as he flips through the pages. "I always imagine who read it before me." He pauses and looks at one of Prospero's speeches. "I have way too much homework to read this now, but you know what? Screw it. I want to know why it's your favorite Shakespeare. Thank you, that was really nice of you. I mean, you really didn't have to."
"But I did anyway," Willow says so quietly she's not even sure hears her.
Hey," Guy frowns for a second. "You didn't write anything in here."
"Oh, I didn't even think...I, well, I wouldn't even know what to write," Willow says shyly.
"Well, maybe you'll think of something later," he says.
Willow watches Guy read the opening. There's no mistaking it. His smile is genuine, and she can't help thinking that if she can't make David look like this, at least she can do it for someone.
Julia Hoban (Willow)
The trouble with you, Spode, is that just because you have succeeded in inducing a handful of half-wits to disfigure the London scene by going about in black shorts, you think you're someone. You hear them shouting "Heil, Spode!" and you imagine it is the Voice of the People. That is where you make your bloomer. What the Voice of the People is saying is: "Look at that frightful ass Spode swanking about in footer bags! Did you ever in your puff see such a perfect perisher?
P.G. Wodehouse (The Code of the Woosters (Jeeves, #7))
How funny you are today New York
like Ginger Rogers in Swingtime
and St. Bridget’s steeple leaning a little to the left
here I have just jumped out of a bed full of V-days
(I got tired of D-days) and blue you there still
accepts me foolish and free
all I want is a room up there
and you in it
and even the traffic halt so thick is a way
for people to rub up against each other
and when their surgical appliances lock
they stay together
for the rest of the day (what a day)
I go by to check a slide and I say
that painting’s not so blue
where’s Lana Turner
she’s out eating
and Garbo’s backstage at the Met
everyone’s taking their coat off
so they can show a rib-cage to the rib-watchers
and the park’s full of dancers with their tights and shoes
in little bags
who are often mistaken for worker-outers at the West Side Y
the Pittsburgh Pirates shout because they won
and in a sense we’re all winning
the apartment was vacated by a gay couple
who moved to the country for fun
they moved a day too soon
even the stabbings are helping the population explosion
though in the wrong country
and all those liars have left the UN
the Seagram Building’s no longer rivalled in interest
not that we need liquor (we just like it)
and the little box is out on the sidewalk
next to the delicatessen
so the old man can sit on it and drink beer
and get knocked off it by his wife later in the day
while the sun is still shining
oh god it’s wonderful
to get out of bed
and drink too much coffee
and smoke too many cigarettes
and love you so much
He said he'd teach her the important things, starting with the most important thing of all, the correct way to make tea and rice, so tea wasn't overbrewed and the rice wasn't overcooked. He said: You want to make food forget Indian way. Indian's system is like American system, everything overdone. They have no subtle. He sent her to buy octopus. She brought the tentacles home in a bag of ice and cut them into thin slices, at a sharp angle. She put the sliced octopus in a saucepan with ginger and green onions and added a black bean paste. He told her to touch the octopus to the flame and serve. But she let the dish cook for a good five minutes until the flesh was tough and rubbery. You overdid, he told her. Old Chinese saying, you don't need take off your pant to fart.
Jeet Thayil (Narcopolis)
He tries again, swallowing hard to ease away the painful lump in his throat. "It's just important. I love you. I'm yours. I need people to know."
"Alright," Lindsay says suddenly. He leans down to grab at Pip's bag, throwing stuff out onto the carpet, his iPod and phone and wallet and gloves and Attitude magazine until he finds what he's looking for, a green marker pen, and holds it between his teeth while he starts tugging at the hem of Pip's t-shirt. Pip's too surprised to do anything but submit, he lets Lindsay peel off his t-shirt and throw that on top of all the things from his bag then just watches as Lindsay pulls the pen out of the cap in his mouth and signs his name in big green letters on the side of Pip's stomach. He holds his breath, trying not to suck in the belly fat everybody else keeps telling him is imaginary. "There, you're mine, are you fucking happy now?" Lindsay snaps, and throws the recapped pen across the room to get lost in the bookcase somewhere.
Richard Rider (No Beginning, No End (Stockholm Syndrome, #3))
Ah." Ax nodded. "She does not understand how menacing we are." He tapped her on the shoulder. "You do not know me," he said, "but I am a juvenile delinquent. I do not trust authority figures, I probably will not graduate from high school, and statistics say my present rowdiness and vandalism will likely lead to more serious crimes. I am a dangerous fellow and I am causing mayhem in this store." He reached behind her and pulled three jars of baby food from the top shelf. Shoved them behind a box of macaroni. Shuffled the Chess Whizzed in front of the Marshmallow Fluff. Tossed a bag of lady's shavers onto a bag of hamburger buns. "There. I have now shamelessly destroyed the symmetry of this shelf, undoing hours of labor by underpaid store employees. If you could see me, you would be frightened." "If she could see you, she'd have you committed," Marco muttered.
Katherine Applegate (The Diversion (Animorphs, #49))
People say, "What’s it like to be a minority of one, or a kick-bag for the Internet?" It washes off me like jizz off a porn star’s face.
Dimple opened her mouth to say that, yeah, in her opinion misogyny was complicated. Mainly because of the way it was integrated into the very fabric of society, which made it hard to see when a guy was being a total d-bag to you.
Sandhya Menon (When Dimple Met Rishi (Dimple and Rishi, #1))
I opened the paper bag and frowned. "You left me a garlic bagel?"
"Last awake, last choice," Alex said.
"My breath is going to be terrible."
"More terrible," Alex corrected. "Well, that's fine. I'm not kissing you. Are you kissing him, T.J.?"
"Wasn't planing on it." T.J. popped the last of his bagel in his mouth and grinned.
"I - I didn't say anything about -" I stammered. "I didn't mean ..." My face felt like it was crawling with fire ants. "Whatever. T.J., why are you wearing those glasses, anyway?"
I'm good at subtly changing the conversation like that when I'm embarrassed. It's a gift.
Rick Riordan (The Ship of the Dead (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, #3))
I’ve been thinking about the way, when you walk
down a crowded aisle, people pull in their legs
to let you by. Or how strangers still say “bless you”
when someone sneezes, a leftover
from the Bubonic plague. “Don’t die,” we are saying.
And sometimes, when you spill lemons
from your grocery bag, someone else will help you
pick them up. Mostly, we don’t want to harm each other.
We want to be handed our cup of coffee hot,
and to say thank you to the person handing it. To smile
at them and for them to smile back. For the waitress
to call us honey when she sets down the bowl of clam chowder,
and for the driver in the red pick-up truck to let us pass.
We have so little of each other, now. So far
from tribe and fire. Only these brief moments of exchange.
What if they are the true dwelling of the holy, these
fleeting temples we make together when we say, “Here,
have my seat,” “Go ahead—you first,” “I like your hat.
Danusha Laméris (The Moons of August)
Oh shut up—you know damn good and well there can be a hundred people in the room, 99 of them rushing up to say they love your dress, but until that one, the one you wore it for, says something, you might as well be wearing a trash bag.
S.E. Hall (Pretty Instinct (Finally Found, #1))
I'm afraid it's not nonsense," Genghis said, shaking his turbaned head and continuing his story. "As I was saying before the little girl interrupted me, the baby didn't dash off with the other orphans. She just sat there like a sack of flour. So I walked over to her and gave her a kick to get her moving."
"Excellent idea!" Nero said. "What a wonderful story this is! And then what happened?"
"Well, at first it seemed like I'd kicked a big hole in the baby," Genghis said, his eyes shining, "which seemed lucky, because Sunny was a terrible athlete and it would have been a blessing to put her out of her misery."
Nero clapped his hands. "I know just what you mean, Genghis," he said. "She's a terrible secretary as well."
"But she did all that stapling," Mr. Remora protested.
"Shut up and let the coach finish his story," Nero said.
"But when I looked down," Genghis continued, "I saw that I hadn't kicked a hole in a baby. I'd kicked a hole in a bag of flour! I'd been tricked!"
"That's terrible!" Nero cried.
Lemony Snicket (The Austere Academy (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #5))
I don't know," I said. "Maybe you're right, and all that stuff I think I missed is overrated. Why should I even bother? What's the point really?"
He thought for a moment. "Who says there has to be a point?" he asked. "Or a reason. Maybe it's just something you have to do."
He moved down to start bagging while I just stood there, letting this sink in. Just something you have to do. No excuse or rationale necessary. I kind of like that.
I went down not long ago
to the Mad River, under the willows
I knelt and drank from that crumpled flow, call it
what madness you will, there's a sickness
worse than the risk of death and that's
forgetting what we should never forget.
Tecumseh lived here.
The wounds of the past
are ignored, but hang on
like the litter that snags among the yellow branches,
newspapers and plastic bags, after the rains.
Where are the Shawnee now?
Do you know? Or would you have to
write to Washington, and even then,
whatever they said,
would you believe it? Sometimes
I would like to paint my body red and go into
the glittering snow
His name meant Shooting Star.
From Mad River country north to the border
he gathered the tribes
and armed them one more time. He vowed
to keep Ohio and it took him
over twenty years to fail.
After the bloody and final fighting, at Thames,
it was over, except
his body could not be found,
and you can do whatever you want with that, say
his people came in the black leaves of the night
and hauled him to a secret grave, or that
he turned into a little boy again, and leaped
into a birch canoe and went
rowing home down the rivers. Anyway
this much I'm sure of: if we meet him, we'll know it,
he will still be
If you are a girl, I don't think you should necessarily become a lesbian, although if the idea appeals to you, I wouldn't say anything against it. I wouldn't try to stop you. Men can be obstinate and difficult to live with. Unlike myself, a perfectly reasonable woman unless shown a bag in which I am to place my vomit.
IF you are a boy, I apologize.
Suzanne Finnamore (The Zygote Chronicles)
Questions?” Cade asked, pointing at the file where Zach had stuffed it into his messenger bag.
“Yeah,” Zach said. “Any chance I can go back to D.C.?”
“Any useful questions?”
“Do you think it’s really the Boogeyman that killed Brent? You think it’s back?”
“I sincerely hope not.”
“When you say things like that, I start to cry a little on the inside.
Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex.
Virginia Woolf (A Room of One's Own)
So I take it you and Gansey get along, then?” Maura’s expression was annoyingly knowing.
“Orla told me about his muscle car,” Maura continued. Her voice was still angry and artificially bright. The fact that Blue was well aware that she’d earned it made the sting of it even worse. “You aren’t planning on kissing him, are you?”
“Mom, that will never happen,” Blue assured her. “You did meet him, didn’t you?”
“I wasn’t sure if driving an old, loud Camaro was the male equivalent of shredding your T-shirts and gluing cardboard trees to your bedroom walls.”
“Trust me,” Blue said. “Gansey and I are nothing like each other. And they aren’t cardboard. They’re repurposed canvas.”
“The environment breathes a sigh of relief.” Maura attempted another sip of her drink; wrinkling her nose, she shot a glare at Persephone. Persephone looked martyred. After a pause, Maura noted, in a slightly softer voice, “I’m not entirely happy about you’re getting in a car without air bags.”
“Our car doesn’t have air bags,” Blue pointed out.
Maura picked a long strand of Persephone’s hair from the rim of her glass. “Yes, but you always take your bike.”
Blue stood up. She suspected that the green fuzz of the sofa was now adhered to the back of her leggings. “Can I go now? Am I in trouble?”
“You are in trouble. I told you to stay away from him and you didn’t,” Maura said. “I just haven’t decided what to do about it yet. My feelings are hurt. I’ve consulted with several people who tell me that I’m within my rights to feel hurt. Do teenagers still get grounded? Did that only happen in the eighties?”
“I’ll be very angry if you ground me,” Blue said, still wobbly from her mother’s unfamiliar displeasure. “I’ll probably rebel and climb out my window with a bedsheet rope.”
Her mother rubbed a hand over her face. Her anger had completely burned itself out. “You’re well into it, aren’t you? That didn’t take long.”
“If you don’t tell me not to see them, I don’t have to disobey you,” Blue suggested.
“This is what you get, Maura, for using your DNA to make a baby,” Calla said.
Maura sighed. “Blue, I know you’re not an idiot. It’s just, sometimes smart people do dumb things.”
Calla growled, “Don’t be one of them.”
“Persephone?” asked Maura.
In her small voice, Persephone said, “I have nothing left to add.” After a moment of consideration, she added, however, “If you are going to punch someone, don’t put your thumb inside your fist. It would be a shame to break it.”
“Okay,” Blue said hurriedly. “I’m out.”
“You could at least say sorry,” Maura said. “Pretend like I have some power over you.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1))
For a long time Cool Girl offended me. I used to see men - friends, coworkers, strangers - giddy over these awful pretender women, and I'd want to sit these men down and calmly say: You are not dating a woman, you are dating a woman who has watched too many movies written by socially awkward men who'd like to believe that this kind of woman exists and might kiss them. I'd want to grab the poor guy by the lapels or messenger bag and say: The bitch doesn't really love chili dogs that much - no one loves chili dogs that much!
Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl)
Charlie Brown: I think lunchtime is about the worst time of day for me. Always having to sit here alone. Of course, sometimes, mornings aren't so pleasant either. Waking up and wondering if anyone would really miss me if I never got out of bed. Then there's the night, too. Lying there and thinking about all the stupid things I've done during the day. And all those hours in between when I do all those stupid things. Well, lunchtime is among the worst times of the day for me. Well, I guess I'd better see what I've got. Peanut butter. Some psychiatrists say that people who eat peanut butter sandwiches are lonely...I guess they're right. And when you're really lonely, the peanut butter sticks to the roof of your mouth. There's that cute little red-headed girl eating her lunch over there. I wonder what she would do if I went over and asked her if I could sit and have lunch with her?...She'd probably laugh right in my face...it's hard on a face when it gets laughed in. There's an empty place next to her on the bench. There's no reason why I couldn't just go over and sit there. I could do that right now. All I have to do is stand up...I'm standing up!...I'm sitting down. I'm a coward. I'm so much of a coward, she wouldn't even think of looking at me. She hardly ever does look at me. In fact, I can't remember her ever looking at me. Why shouldn't she look at me? Is there any reason in the world why she shouldn't look at me? Is she so great, and I'm so small, that she can't spare one little moment?...SHE'S LOOKING AT ME!! SHE'S LOOKING AT ME!! (he puts his lunchbag over his head.) ...Lunchtime is among the worst times of the day for me. If that little red-headed girl is looking at me with this stupid bag over my head she must think I'm the biggest fool alive. But, if she isn't looking at me, then maybe I could take it off quickly and she'd never notice it. On the other hand...I can't tell if she's looking, until I take it off! Then again, if I never take it off I'll never have to know if she was looking or not. On the other hand...it's very hard to breathe in here. (he removes his sack) Whew! She's not looking at me! I wonder why she never looks at me? Oh well, another lunch hour over with...only 2,863 to go.
Clark Gesner (You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown)
This is a Lucent PBX with Audix voice mail, right? I used this kind at all of my old jobs, so I'm pretty familiar with them."
Completely ignoring me, Pat continues to demonstrate every single one of the phone's features, half of which she describes incorrectly. I don't bother taking notes because I've used this system a thousand times. I have no need to transcribe an erroneous refresher course. "Hey, you should be writing this down."
Like I said, I've used this system extensively and--"
WRITE IT DOWN," Pat growls. "If you screw up the phone, Jerry's gonna be on my ass."
No problem." I'm slowly learning to choose my battles and figure this isn't the hill I want to die on. I pull a portfolio out of my briefcase and begin to take notes.
When the phone rings and Jerry isn't there to answer, you pick it up and hold it to your mouth like this. You say, 'Hello, Jerry Jenkins' office.'"
I write: When phone rings, place receiver next to your word hole and not your hoo-hoo or other bodily aperature, and say, "Shalom.
Jen Lancaster (Bitter Is the New Black: Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass, Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office)
WHAT THE LIVING DO
Johnny, the kitchen sink has been clogged for days, some utensil probably fell down there.
And the Drano won't work but smells dangerous, and the crusty dishes have piled up
waiting for the plumber I still haven't called. This is the everyday we spoke of.
It's winter again: the sky's a deep, headstrong blue, and the sunlight pours through
the open living-room windows because the heat's on too high in here and I can't turn it off.
For weeks now, driving, or dropping a bag of groceries in the street, the bag breaking,
I've been thinking: This is what the living do. And yesterday, hurrying along those
wobbly bricks in the Cambridge sidewalk, spilling my coffee down my wrist and sleeve,
I thought it again, and again later, when buying a hairbrush: This is it.
Parking. Slamming the car door shut in the cold. What you called that yearning.
What you finally gave up. We want the spring to come and the winter to pass. We want
whoever to call or not call, a letter, a kiss--we want more and more and then more of it.
But there are moments, walking, when I catch a glimpse of myself in the window glass,
say, the window of the corner video store, and I'm gripped by a cherishing so deep
for my own blowing hair, chapped face, and unbuttoned coat that I'm speechless:
I am living. I remember you.
Marie Howe (What the Living Do: Poems)
I've been practicing in my mind, trying to find some words, but they've all been taken, all used for ordinary considerations that mean nothing in comparison to what he has meant. We say "Thank you very much" and "I so appreciate what you have done" to people who fill our grocery bags, to people who offer us a ride across town. What are the words to say to someone who gave you back your life, who believed that you still had a soul, who acknowledged how bad it was possible to feel? Shouldn't there be another language for this? Different words altogether?
Laura McBride (We Are Called To Rise)
As Chuang-tzu says, “It may be attained but not seen,” or, in other words, felt but not conceived, intuited but not categorized, divined but not explained. In a similar way, air and water cannot be cut or clutched, and their flow ceases when they are enclosed. There is no way of putting a stream in a bucket or the wind in a bag. Verbal
Alan W. Watts (Tao: The Watercourse Way)
There's a funny fool. I have a riddle for you, Shagwell. Why do you care if she screams? Oh, wait, I know." He shouted "SAPPHIRES," as loudly as he could.
Cursing, Rorge kicked at his stump again. Jaime howled. I never knew there was such agony in the world, was the last thing he remembered thinking. It was hard to say how long he was gone, but when the pain spit him out, Urswyck was there, and Vargo Hoat himself. "Thee'th not to be touched," the goat screamed, spraying spittle all over Zollo. "Thee hath to be a maid, you foolth! Thee'th worth a bag of thapphireth!" And from then on, every night Hoat put guards on them, to protect them from his own.
Two nights passed in silence before the wench finally found the courage to whisper, "Jaime? Why did you shout out?"
"Why did I shout out 'sapphires,' you mean? Use your wits, wench. Would this lot have cared if I shouted 'rape'?"
"You did not need to shout at all."
"You're hard enough to look at with a nose. Besides, I wanted to make the goat say, 'thapphireth.
George R.R. Martin (A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, #3))
I don't call people for help. It's not because of the way I was raised, at least I don't think so; it's the
way I was made. Johanna once said that if I was drowning at Dark Score Lake, where we have a summer home, I would die silently fifty feet out from the public beach rather than yell for help. It's
not a question of love or affection. I can give those and I can take them. I feel pain like anyone else.
I need to touch and be touched. But if someone asks me, 'Are you all right?' I can't answer no. I
can't say help me.
Stephen King (Bag of Bones)
A cucumber, a pickle, and a penis are sitting at a bar complaining about their lives. The cucumber says, "My life sucks. I'm put in salads, and, to top them off, they pour ranch dressing all over me. My life sucks." The pickle says, "That's nothing compared to my life. I'm put in vinegar and stored away for months, out of sight. Man, my life is boring. I hate life." So the penis says, "What are you guys complaining about? My life is so messed up that I feel like shooting myself. They constantly wrap me in a plastic bag, shove me in a cave, and make me do push-ups until I throw up." ♦◊♦◊♦◊♦
Various (101 Dirty Jokes - sexual and adult's jokes)
The city of Leonia refashions itself every day: every morning the people wake between fresh sheets, wash with just-unwrapped cakes of soap, wear brand-new clothing, take from the latest model refrigerator still unopened tins, listening to the last-minute jingles from the most up-to-date radio.
On the sidewalks, encased in spotless plastic bags, the remains of yesterday's Leonia await the garbage truck. Not only squeezed tubes of toothpaste, blown-out light bulbs, newspapers, containers, wrappings, but also boilers, encyclopedias, pianos, porcelain dinner services.
It is not so much by the things that each day are manufactured, sold, bought, that you can measure Leonia's opulence, but rather by the things that each day are thrown out to make room for the new.
So you begin to wonder if Leonia's true passion is really , as they say, the enjoyment of new things, and not, instead, the joy of expelling, discarding, cleansing itself of a recurrent impurity. The fact is that street cleaners are welcomed like angels.
Italo Calvino (Invisible Cities)
it’s a terrible feeling when you first fall in love. your mind gets completely taken over, you can’t function properly anymore. the world turns into a dream place, nothing seems real. you forget your keys, no one seems to be talking English and even if they are you don’t care as you can’t hear what they’re saying anyway, and it doesn’t matter since your not really there. things you cared about before don’t seem to matter anymore and things you didn’t think you cared about suddenly do. I must become a brilliant cook, I don’t want to waste time seeing my friends when I could be with him, I feel no sympathy for all those people in India killed by an earthquake last night; what is the matter with me? It’s a kind of hell, but you feel like your in heaven.
even your body goes out of control, you can’t eat, you don’t sleep properly, your legs turn to jelly as your not sure where the floor is anymore. you have butterflies permanently, not only in your tummy but all over your body - your hands, your shoulders, your chest, your eyes everything’s just a jangling mess of nerve endings tingling with fire. it makes you feel so alive. and yet its like being suffocated, you don’t seem to be able to see or hear anything real anymore, its like people are speaking to you through treacle, and so you stay in your cosy place with him, the place that only you two understand. occasionally your forced to come up for air by your biggest enemy, Real Life, so you do the minimum then head back down under your love blanket for more, knowing it’s uncomfortable but compulsory.
and then, once you think you’ve got him, the panic sets in. what if he goes off me? what if I blow it, say the wrong thing? what if he meets someone better than me? Prettier, thinner, funnier, more like him? who doesn’t bite there nails? perhaps he doesn’t feel the same, maybe this is all in my head and this is just a quick fling for him. why did I tell him that stupid story about not owning up that I knew who spilt the ink on the teachers bag and so everyone was punished for it? does he think I'm a liar? what if I'm not very good at that blow job thing and he’s just being patient with me? he says he loves me; yes, well, we can all say words, can’t we? perhaps he’s just being polite.
of course you do your best to keep all this to yourself, you don’t want him to think you're a neurotic nutcase, but now when he’s away doing Real Life it’s agony, your mind won’t leave you alone, it tortures you and examines your every moment spent together, pointing out how stupid you’ve been to allow yourself to get this carried away, how insane you are to imagine someone would feel like that about you. dad did his best to reassure me, but nothing he said made a difference - it was like I wanted to see Simon, but didn’t want him to see me.
Annabel Giles (Birthday Girls)
Whenever I hurt myself, my mother says
it is the universe’s way of telling me to
slow down. She also tells me to put some
coconut oil on it. It doesn’t matter what it
is. She often hides stones underneath my
pillow when I come home for the weekend.
The stones are a formula for sweet dreams
and clarity. I dig them out from the streets,
she tells me what each one is for. My throat
hurts, so she grinds black pepper into a
spoonful of honey, makes me eat the entire
thing. My mother knows how to tie knots
like a ship captain, but doesn’t know how
I got that sailor mouth. She falls asleep
in front of the TV only until I turn it off,
shouts, I was watching that! The sourdough
she bakes on Friday is older than I am.
She sneaks it back and forth across the country
when she flies by putting the starter in small
containers next to a bag of carrots.
They think it’s ranch dressing, she giggles.
She makes tea by hand. Nettles, slippery elm,
turmeric, cinnamon- my mother is a recipe
for warm throats and belly laughs. Once
she fell off of a ladder when I was three.
She says all she was worried about was
my face as I watched her fall.
Sarah Kay (No Matter the Wreckage)
Hi.’ I’m a little out of breath when I answer the door. Worse when I’m done soaking up his smile.
‘You like vanilla ice cream, right?’ he says, holding up a brown paper bag. ‘Not the vanilla pod stuff. I remembered that thing you said about not liking black bits in your food. Assumed you were being literal.’ See. He does understand.
‘Aww,’ Mom coos from inside the mouth of the couch.
Louise Gornall (Under Rose-Tainted Skies)
Seriously, what guy turns down Die Hard? The only thing that could sweeten this deal is if you offered me some booze.”
“I don’t have any.” She stops to think. “But I’ve got a whole bag of gummy bears hidden in my desk drawer.”
“Marry me,” I say instantly.
Elle Kennedy (The Mistake (Off-Campus, #2))
My brother had the faith my father brought him to, and for a long time, I had Sylvia, Angela, and Gigi, the four of us sharing the weight of growing up Girl in Brooklyn, as though it was a bag of stones we passed among ourselves saying, Here. Help me carry this.
Jacqueline Woodson (Another Brooklyn)
I wanted to join the rebels. I waited for my Hogwarts letter to come. I longed for Gandalf to show up and tell me we’re going on an adventure. When a white rabbit shows up in my life and says ‘I want to take you to Wonderland’, you’d better believe I’m going to pack my bags.
Kendra Moreno (Late as a Rabbit (Sons of Wonderland #2))
When I open the door, Baz is wheeling an old-fashioned chalkboard in front of our beds.
“Where did that come from?” I ask.
“Yeah, but how did it get up here?”
“No,” I say, “seriously.”
He rolls his eyes. “I Up, up and away-ed it. It wasn’t much work.”
“Because we’re solving a mystery, Snow. I like to organize my thoughts.”
“Is this how you normally plot my downfall?”
“Yes. With multicoloured pieces of chalk. Stop complaining.” He opens up his book bag and takes out a few apples and things wrapped in greaseproof paper. “Eat,” he says, throwing one at me.
It’s a bacon roll. He’s also got a pot of tea.
“What’s all this?” I say.
“Tea, obviously. I know you can’t function unless you’re stuffing yourself.”
I unwrap the roll and decide to take a bite. “Thanks.”
“Don’t thank me,” he says. “It sounds wrong.”
“Not as wrong as you bringing me bacon butties.”
“Fine, you’re welcome—when’s Bunce getting here?”
“Why would she?”
“Because you do everything together, don’t you? When you said you’d help, I was counting on you bringing your smarter half.
Rainbow Rowell (Carry On (Simon Snow, #1))
On the first day of November last year, sacred to many religious calendars but especially the Celtic, I went for a walk among bare oaks and birch. Nothing much was going on. Scarlet sumac had passed and the bees were dead. The pond had slicked overnight into that shiny and deceptive glaze of delusion, first ice. It made me remember sakes and conjure a vision of myself skimming backward on one foot, the other extended; the arms become wings. Minnesota girls know that this is not a difficult maneuver if one's limber and practices even a little after school before the boys claim the rink for hockey. I think I can still do it - one thinks many foolish things when November's bright sun skips over the entrancing first freeze.
A flock of sparrows reels through the air looking more like a flying net than seventy conscious birds, a black veil thrown on the wind. When one sparrow dodges, the whole net swerves, dips: one mind. Am I part of anything like that?
Maybe not. The last few years of my life have been characterized by stripping away, one by one, loves and communities that sustain the soul. A young colleague, new to my English department, recently asked me who I hang around with at school. "Nobody," I had to say, feeling briefly ashamed. This solitude is one of the surprises of middle age, especially if one's youth has been rich in love and friendship and children. If you do your job right, children leave home; few communities can stand an individual's most pitiful, amateur truth telling. So the soul must stand in her own meager feathers and learn to fly - or simply take hopeful jumps into the wind.
In the Christian calendar, November 1 is the Feast of All Saints, a day honoring not only those who are known and recognized as enlightened souls, but more especially the unknowns, saints who walk beside us unrecognized down the millennia. In Buddhism, we honor the bodhisattvas - saints - who refuse enlightenment and return willingly to the wheel of karma to help other beings. Similarly, in Judaism, anonymous holy men pray the world from its well-merited destruction. We never know who is walking beside us, who is our spiritual teacher. That one - who annoys you so - pretends for a day that he's the one, your personal Obi Wan Kenobi. The first of November is a splendid, subversive holiday.
Imagine a hectic procession of revelers - the half-mad bag lady; a mumbling, scarred janitor whose ravaged face made the children turn away; the austere, unsmiling mother superior who seemed with great focus and clarity to do harm; a haunted music teacher, survivor of Auschwitz. I bring them before my mind's eye, these old firends of my soul, awakening to dance their day. Crazy saints; but who knows what was home in the heart? This is the feast of those who tried to take the path, so clumsily that no one knew or notice, the feast, indeed, of most of us.
It's an ugly woods, I was saying to myself, padding along a trail where other walkers had broken ground before me. And then I found an extraordinary bouquet. Someone had bound an offering of dry seed pods, yew, lyme grass, red berries, and brown fern and laid it on the path: "nothing special," as Buddhists say, meaning "everything." Gathered to formality, each dry stalk proclaimed a slant, an attitude, infinite shades of neutral.
All contemplative acts, silences, poems, honor the world this way. Brought together by the eye of love, a milkweed pod, a twig, allow us to see how things have been all along. A feast of being.
Mary Rose O'Reilley (The Barn at the End of the World: The Apprenticeship of a Quaker, Buddhist Shepherd)
As any bank robber can tell you (Nell would say), the best thing to do when running away is not to run. Just walk. Just stroll. A combination of ease and purposefulness is desirable. Then no one will notice you're running. In addition to which, don't carry heavy suitcases, or canvas bags full of money, or packsacks with body parts in them. Leave everything behind you except what's in your pockets. Lightest is best.
Margaret Atwood (Moral Disorder and Other Stories)
He opened the back. “Well, at leas let me carry them to the door.” “Okay.” I walked with him to the doorway and took the bags from him, and then I reached in and took out the gum. I didn’t know what to say, so I handed it to him and his face lit up. A smile I remembered from the photos of him as a little boy appeared on his face. It wasn’t a smile the world ever caught a glimpse of in magazines. “I take it I was good.
Abbi Glines (Breathe (Sea Breeze, #1))
I did not know people your age still read books,' Penumbra says. He raises an eyebrow. 'I was under the impression they read everything on their mobile phones.'
'Not everyone. There are plenty of people who, you know--people who still like the smell of books.'
'The smell!' Penumbra repeats. 'You know you are finished when people start talking about the smell.' He smiles at that--then something occurs to him, and he narrows his eyes. 'I do not suppose you have a...Kindle?'
Uh-oh. It feels like it's the principal asking me if I have weed in my backpack. But in a friendly way, like maybe he wants to share it. As it happens, I do have my Kindle. I pull it out of my messenger bag. It's a bit battered with wide scratches across the back and stray pen marks near the bottom of the screen.
Penumbra holds it aloft and frowns. It's blank. I reach up and pinch the corner and it comes to life. He sucks in a sharp breath, and the pale gray rectangle reflects in his bright blue eyes.
Robin Sloan (Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore (Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, #1))
My conflicts of conscience are about the only battles I’m fighting these days, and I’m willing to fight until the end. There is something freeing
about this life, about living out of a single backpack and disappearing into the night. About smelling terrible and never remembering people’s names. About never having to say you’re sorry. We exist outside of society. We stay up late and sleep even later. We
are bandits, pirates, serial killers. The dregs. Someone should lock us up and never let us out again. But instead, they give us their money, they offer us their beds. We are not
going to pay for the beer. We are not going to be back here for a good, long while. We have prior engagements. We have the money in a duffel bag. We have no shame. Fuck guilt. Back to life.
Pete Wentz (Gray)
[excerpt] The usual I say. Essence. Spirit. Medicine. A taste. I say top shelf. Straight up. A shot. A sip. A nip. I say another round. I say brace yourself. Lift a few. Hoist a few. Work the elbow. Bottoms up. Belly up. Set ‘em up. What’ll it be. Name your poison. I say same again. I say all around. I say my good man. I say my drinking buddy. I say git that in ya. Then a quick one. Then a nightcap. Then throw one back. Then knock one down. Fast & furious I say. Could savage a drink I say. Chug. Chug-a-lug. Gulp. Sauce. Mother’s milk. Everclear. Moonshine. White lightning. Firewater. Hootch. Relief. Now you’re talking I say. Live a little I say. Drain it I say. Kill it I say. Feeling it I say. Wobbly. Breakfast of champions I say. I say candy is dandy but liquor is quicker. I say Houston, we have a drinking problem. I say the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems. I say god only knows what I’d be without you. I say thirsty. I say parched. I say wet my whistle. Dying of thirst. Lap it up. Hook me up. Watering hole. Knock a few back. Pound a few down. My office. Out with the boys I say. Unwind I say. Nurse one I say. Apply myself I say. Toasted. Glow. A cold one a tall one a frosty I say. One for the road I say. Two-fisted I say. Never trust a man who doesn’t drink I say. Drink any man under the table I say. Then a binge then a spree then a jag then a bout. Coming home on all fours. Could use a drink I say. A shot of confidence I say. Steady my nerves I say. Drown my sorrows. I say kill for a drink. I say keep ‘em comin’. I say a stiff one. Drink deep drink hard hit the bottle. Two sheets to the wind then. Knackered then. Under the influence then. Half in the bag then. Out of my skull I say. Liquored up. Rip-roaring. Slammed. Fucking jacked. The booze talking. The room spinning. Feeling no pain. Buzzed. Giddy. Silly. Impaired. Intoxicated. Stewed. Juiced. Plotzed. Inebriated. Laminated. Swimming. Elated. Exalted. Debauched. Rock on. Drunk on. Bring it on. Pissed. Then bleary. Then bloodshot. Glassy-eyed. Red-nosed. Dizzy then. Groggy. On a bender I say. On a spree. I say off the wagon. I say on a slip. I say the drink. I say the bottle. I say drinkie-poo. A drink a drunk a drunkard. Swill. Swig. Shitfaced. Fucked up. Stupefied. Incapacitated. Raging. Seeing double. Shitty. Take the edge off I say. That’s better I say. Loaded I say. Wasted. Off my ass. Befuddled. Reeling. Tanked. Punch-drunk. Mean drunk. Maintenance drunk. Sloppy drunk happy drunk weepy drunk blind drunk dead drunk. Serious drinker. Hard drinker. Lush. Drink like a fish. Boozer. Booze hound. Alkie. Sponge. Then muddled. Then woozy. Then clouded. What day is it? Do you know me? Have you seen me? When did I start? Did I ever stop? Slurring. Reeling. Staggering. Overserved they say. Drunk as a skunk they say. Falling down drunk. Crawling down drunk. Drunk & disorderly. I say high tolerance. I say high capacity. They say protective custody. Blitzed. Shattered. Zonked. Annihilated. Blotto. Smashed. Soaked. Screwed. Pickled. Bombed. Stiff. Frazzled. Blasted. Plastered. Hammered. Tore up. Ripped up. Destroyed. Whittled. Plowed. Overcome. Overtaken. Comatose. Dead to the world. The old K.O. The horrors I say. The heebie-jeebies I say. The beast I say. The dt’s. B’jesus & pink elephants. A mindbender. Hittin’ it kinda hard they say. Go easy they say. Last call they say. Quitting time they say. They say shut off. They say dry out. Pass out. Lights out. Blackout. The bottom. The walking wounded. Cross-eyed & painless. Gone to the world. Gone. Gonzo. Wrecked. Sleep it off. Wake up on the floor. End up in the gutter. Off the stuff. Dry. Dry heaves. Gag. White knuckle. Lightweight I say. Hair of the dog I say. Eye-opener I say. A drop I say. A slug. A taste. A swallow. Down the hatch I say. I wouldn’t say no I say. I say whatever he’s having. I say next one’s on me. I say bottoms up. Put it on my tab. I say one more. I say same again
Nick Flynn (Another Bullshit Night in Suck City)
I gave her a look. “Rachel.”
“Grace, you have to admit this is pretty weird. Say it. You disappearing from the hospital and Olivia is — and Sam suddenly shows up with you and, well, the freaky hallucinogenic mushrooms are looking more and more realistic, especially when you start talking about wolves. Because next step is for Isabel Culpeper to show up saying that everybody’s going to be abducted by aliens and I have to tell you,I can’t take that in my fragile emotional state. I think that —”
I sighed. “Rachel.”
“Fine,” she said. She threw her bag in the backseat and climbed in after.
Maggie Stiefvater (Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1))
What do you have to say for yourself, boy?" Cgerise
"Sorry, Ma, I'm a sexy demon magnet?" Nick
"Don't you even take that tone with me, Mr. Triple-Threat-I-don't-have-to-listen-to-anyone-because-I'm-the-size-of-a-tabk. You're in the doghouse, buster. You might as well pack a bag 'cause you're going to be in there so long your name's going to be engraved on the mailbox." Cherise
"Ah, what'd I do, cher?" Bubba
"You dragged my baby into danger, and you-- Are you one of them?" Cherise
"I'm going with whatever answer doesn't get me swatted with that bat." Savitar
"Cherise, calm down. What are you doing here?" Bubba
"What do you think? I'm protecting my boys. Both of you ... Because Mark values his own life and inparticular his male body parts, he called me after he got off the phone with you to tell me what the two of you were doing. You didn't honestly believe that I've been ignorant of what you and Mark do at night all these years? Did you?" Cherise
"Um, yeah." Bubba
"Well then you're a fool,Michael Burdette. And I'm not." Cherise
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Illusion (Chronicles of Nick, #5))
Cheese runners shouted at it, tried to grab it, and flailed at it with sticks, but the piratical cheese scythed onward, reaching the bottom just ahead of the terrible carnage of men and cheeses as they piled up. Then it rolled back to the top and sat there demurely while still gently vibrating.
At the bottom of the slope, fights were breaking out among the cheese jockeys who were still capable of punching somebody, and since everybody was watching that, Tiffany took the opportunity to snatch up Horace and shove him in her bag. After all, he was hers. Well, that was to say she had made him, although something odd must have gone into the mix since Horace was the only cheese that would eat mice and, if you didn't nail him down, other cheeses as well.
Terry Pratchett (I Shall Wear Midnight (Discworld, #38; Tiffany Aching, #4))
Dad used to say lots of funny things - like he was speaking his own language sometimes. Twenty-three skidoo, salad days, nosey parker, bandbox fresh, the catbird seat, chocolate teapot, and something about Grandma sucking eggs. One of his favourites was 'safe as houses'. Teaching me to ride a bike, my mother worrying in the doorway: "Calm down, Linda, this street is as safe as houses." Convincing Jamie to sleep without his nightlight: "It's as safe as houses in here, son, not a monster for miles."
Then overnight the world turned into a hideous nightmare, and the phrase became a black joke to Jamie and me. Houses were the most dangerous places we knew.
Hiding in a patch of scrubby pines, watching a car pull out from the garage of a secluded home, deciding whether to make a food run, whether it was too dicey. "Do you think the parasites'll be long gone?" "No way - that place is as safe as houses. Let's get out of here."
And now I can sit here and watch TV like it is five years ago and Mom and Dad are in the other room and i've never spent a night hiding in a drainpipe with Jamie and a bunch of rats while bodysnatchers with spotlights search for the thieves who made off with a bag of dried beans and a bowl of cold spaghetti.
I know that if Jamie and I survived alone for twenty years we would never find this feeling on our own. The feeling of safety. More than safety, even - happiness. Safe and happy, two things I thought i'd never feel again. Jared made us feel that way without trying, just be being Jared.
I breathe in the scent of his skin and feel the warmth of his body under mine.
Jared makes everything safe, everything happy. Even houses.
Stephenie Meyer (The Host (The Host, #1))
May Hegel's philosophy of absolute nonsense - three-fourths cash and one-fourth crazy fancies - continue to pass for unfathomable wisdom without anyone suggesting as an appropriate motto for his writings Shakespeare's words: "Such stuff as madmen tongue and brain not," or, as an emblematical vignette, the cuttle-fish with its ink-bag, creating a cloud of darkness around it to prevent people from seeing what it is, with the device: mea caligine tutus. - May each day bring us, as hitherto, new systems adapted for University purposes, entirely made up of words and phrases and in a learned jargon besides, which allows people to talk whole days without saying anything; and may these delights never be disturbed by the Arabian proverb: "I hear the clappering of the mill, but I see no flour." - For all this is in accordance with the age and must have its course.
Arthur Schopenhauer (Essays of Schopenhauer)
I realize that people still read books now and some people actually love them, but in 1946 in the Village our feelings about books--I’m talking about my friends and myself--went beyond love. It was as if we didn’t know where we ended and books began. Books were our weather, our environment, our clothing. We didn’t simply read books; we became them. We took them into ourselves and made them into our histories. While it would be easy to say that we escaped into books, it might be truer to say that books escaped into us. Books were to us what drugs were to young men in the sixties.
They showed us what was possible. We had been living with whatever was close at hand, whatever was given, and books took us great distances. We had known only domestic emotions and they showed us what happens to emotions when they are homeless. Books gave us balance--the young are so unbalanced that anything can make them fall. Books steadied us; it was as if we carried a heavy bag of them in each hand and they kept us level. They gave us gravity.
Anatole Broyard (Kafka Was the Rage: A Greenwich Village Memoir)
For most of my life, I would have automatically said that I would opt for conscientious objector status, and in general, I still would. But the spirit of the question is would I ever, and there are instances where I might. If immediate intervention would have circumvented the genocide in Rwanda or stopped the Janjaweed in Darfur, would I choose pacifism? Of course not. Scott Simon, the reporter for National Public Radio and a committed lifelong Quaker, has written that it took looking into mass graves in former Yugoslavia to convince him that force is sometimes the only option to deter our species' murderous impulses.
While we're on the subject of the horrors of war, and humanity's most poisonous and least charitable attributes, let me not forget to mention Barbara Bush (that would be former First Lady and presidential mother as opposed to W's liquor-swilling, Girl Gone Wild, human ashtray of a daughter. I'm sorry, that's not fair. I've no idea if she smokes.) When the administration censored images of the flag-draped coffins of the young men and women being killed in Iraq - purportedly to respect "the privacy of the families" and not to minimize and cover up the true nature and consequences of the war - the family matriarch expressed her support for what was ultimately her son's decision by saying on Good Morning America on March 18, 2003, "Why should we hear about body bags and deaths? I mean it's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?"
Mrs. Bush is not getting any younger. When she eventually ceases to walk among us we will undoubtedly see photographs of her flag-draped coffin. Whatever obituaries that run will admiringly mention those wizened, dynastic loins of hers and praise her staunch refusal to color her hair or glamorize her image. But will they remember this particular statement of hers, this "Let them eat cake" for the twenty-first century? Unlikely, since it received far too little play and definitely insufficient outrage when she said it. So let us promise herewith to never forget her callous disregard for other parents' children while her own son was sending them to make the ultimate sacrifice, while asking of the rest of us little more than to promise to go shopping. Commit the quote to memory and say it whenever her name comes up. Remind others how she lacked even the bare minimum of human integrity, the most basic requirement of decency that says if you support a war, you should be willing, if not to join those nineteen-year-olds yourself, then at least, at the very least, to acknowledge that said war was actually going on. Stupid fucking cow.
David Rakoff (Don't Get Too Comfortable: The Indignities of Coach Class, The Torments of Low Thread Count, The Never-Ending Quest for Artisanal Olive Oil, and Other First World Problems)
Really, if you don’t want to, you don’t have to,” I say. “You can duck out—”
“Elle.” She comes around to my side of the truck and extends a hand inside. “Let us flee to yonder basement room and sew thy starry helm.”
When I don’t move, she yanks the passenger door open and grabs the duffel bag, pulling me out with it.
Ashley Poston (Geekerella (Once Upon a Con, #1))
Stitched into the bag’s side were several new lines of glowing red runic script.
“What does it say?” Alex asked.
“Oh, a few technical runes.” Blitz’s eyes crinkled with satisfaction. “Magic nuts and
bolts, terms and conditions, the end-user agreement. But there at the bottom, it says:
‘EMPTYLEATHER, a bag completed by Blitzen, son of Freya. Jack helped.’”
“I wrote that!” Jack said proudly. “I helped!
Rick Riordan (The Hammer of Thor (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, #2))
I'm staying right here," grumbled the rat. "I haven't the slightest interest in fairs."
"That's because you've never been to one," remarked the old sheep . "A fair is a rat's paradise. Everybody spills food at a fair. A rat can creep out late at night and have a feast. In the horse barn you will find oats that the trotters and pacers have spilled. In the trampled grass of the infield you will find old discarded lunch boxes containing the foul remains of peanut butter sandwiches, hard-boiled eggs, cracker crumbs, bits of doughnuts, and particles of cheese. In the hard-packed dirt of the midway, after the glaring lights are out and the people have gone home to bed, you will find a veritable treasure of popcorn fragments, frozen custard dribblings, candied apples abandoned by tired children, sugar fluff crystals, salted almonds, popsicles,partially gnawed ice cream cones,and the wooden sticks of lollypops. Everywhere is loot for a rat--in tents, in booths, in hay lofts--why, a fair has enough disgusting leftover food to satisfy a whole army of rats."
Templeton's eyes were blazing.
" Is this true?" he asked. "Is this appetizing yarn of yours true? I like high living, and what you say tempts me."
"It is true," said the old sheep. "Go to the Fair Templeton. You will find that the conditions at a fair will surpass your wildest dreams. Buckets with sour mash sticking to them, tin cans containing particles of tuna fish, greasy bags stuffed with rotten..."
"That's enough!" cried Templeton. "Don't tell me anymore I'm going!
E.B. White (Charlotte's Web)
I kept saying her name and she would ask What? and I’d say her name again. I’m not afraid of how this sounds to you. I’m not embarrassed now. But if you could understand, had I—can you see why there’s no way I could let her just go away after this? Why I felt this apical sadness and fear at the thought of her getting her bag and sandals and New Age blanket and leaving and laughing when I clutched her hem and begged her not to leave and said I loved her and closing the door gently and going off barefoot down the hall and never seeing her again? Why it didn’t matter if she was fluffy or not terribly bright? Nothing else mattered. She had all my attention. I’d fallen in love with her. I believed she could save me. I know how this sounds, trust me. I know your type and I know what you’re bound to ask. Ask it now. This is your chance. I felt she could save me I said. Ask me now. Say it. I stand here naked before you. Judge me, you chilly cunt. You dyke, you bitch, cooze, cunt, slut, gash. Happy now? All borne out? Be happy. I don’t care. I knew she could. I knew I loved. End of story.
David Foster Wallace (Brief Interviews with Hideous Men)
My,don't you have pretty eyes," he says. "It's a shame the rest of you is so plain."
My heart pounds. I tug my hand back, but his grip tightens. I smell something acrid and unpleasant on his breath.
"You look a little young to be walking around by yourself,dear," he says.
I stop tugging, and stand up straighter. I know I look young; I don't need to be reminded. "I'm older than I look," I retort. "I'm sixteen."
His lips spread wide, revealing a gray molar with a dark pit in the side. I can't tell if he's smiling or grimacing. "Then isn't today a special day for you? The day before you choose?"
"Let go of me," I say. I hear rining in my ears. My voice sounds clear and stern-not what I expected to hear. I feel like it doesn't belong to me.
I am ready.I know what to do. I picture myself bringing my elbow back and hitting him. I see the bag of apples flying away from me. I hear my running footsteps. I am prepared to act.
But then he releases my wrist, takes the apples,and says, "Choose wisely, little girl.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
There are the stubborn stumps of shame, grief that remains unsolvable after all the years, a bag of stones that goes with one wherever one goes and however the hour may call for dancing and for light feet. energies of the world, better than anger, better than bitterness and, because more interesting, more alleviating. And there is the thing that one does, the needle one plies, the work, and within that work a chance to take thoughts that are hot and formless and to place them slowly and with meticulous effort into some shapely heat-retaining form, even as the gods, or nature, or the soundless wheels of time have made forms all across the soft, curved universe—that is to say, having chosen to claim my life, I have made for myself, out of work and love, a handsome life.
Mary Oliver (Upstream: Selected Essays)
Jay Maisel always says to bring your camera, ‘cause it’s tough to take a picture without it. Pursuant to the above aforementioned piece of the rule book, subset three, clause A, paragraph four would be…use the camera.
Put it to your eye. You never know. There are lots of reasons, some of them even good, to just leave it on your shoulder or in your bag. Wrong lens. Wrong light. Aaahhh, it’s not that great, what am I gonna do with it anyway? I’ll have to put my coffee down. I’ll just delete it later, why bother? Lots of reasons not to take the dive into the eyepiece and once again try to sort out the world into an effective rectangle.
It’s almost always worth it to take a look.
Joe McNally (The Moment It Clicks: Photography Secrets from One of the World's Top Shooters)
If we were to define a sleeping bag as a house, India would move swiftly towards ending her housing shortage. A shortage of nearly thirty-one million units. Accept this definition, and you could go in for mass production of sleeping bags. We could then have passionate debates about the drastic reduction in the magnitude of the housing problem. The cover stories could run headlines: ‘Is it for real?’ And straps: ‘Sounds too good to be true, but it is.’ The government could boast that it had not only stepped up production of sleeping bags but had piled up an all-time record surplus of them. Say, thirty-seven million. Conservatives could argue that we were doing so well, the time had come to export sleeping bags, at ‘world prices’. The bleeding hearts could moan that sleeping bags had not reached the poorest. Investigative muckrakers could scrutinise the contracts given to manufacturers. Were the bags overpriced? Were they of good quality? That ends the housing shortage. There’s only one problem. Those without houses at the start of the programme will still be without houses at the end of it. (True, some of them will have sleeping bags, probably at world prices.)
Palagummi Sainath (Everybody loves a good drought)
Hello?" I say, sounding upbeat, and like I'm happy to be on the phone. I decide to pretend it's my imaginary girlfriend. Fuck pretending to be nice.
"Yo, " B. J. Says.
"What's going on, honey?" I say, trying to glance at Courtney out of the corner of my eye without her noticing that that's what I'm doing. She's going through her bag, probably looking for more makeup, so she can make herself look good for Lloyd.
"Honey?" B. J. Asks. "Jordy, I had no idea you felt that way about me. I have to warn you, though, I happen to be in a very committed relationship. "
"Yeah, I miss you, too.
Lauren Barnholdt (Two-Way Street)
I think we worship these stories of leaving it all behind and going somewhere new, but I’m beginning to see that every one of those stories has the same truth holding up this romantic idea of leaving: The stuff you’re not facing will follow you. It will get in the car too. It will pack a bag too. Leaving isn’t the key; changing is. I’m learning that life isn’t about the destinations we can boast about getting to; it’s about all the walking in between that feels pointless when you try to take a picture of it because no one will understand it like you do. It’s the in between stuff that fleshes out a story—gives it guts and transformation.
It’s not about the scenery changing or the person you say good night to. The traveler must be the one to change. That’s what makes the story good.
Hannah Brencher (Come Matter Here: Your Invitation to Be Here in a Getting There World)
Sholem [a painter] was saying that freedom, for him, is having the technical facility to be able to execute whatever he wants, just whatever image he has in his mind. But that's not freedom! That's control, or power. Whereas I think Margaux understands freedom to be the freedom to take risks, the freedom to do something bad or appear foolish. To not recognize that difference is a pretty big thing. [...]
"It's like with improv," Misha said. "True improv is about surprising yourself--but most people won't improvise truthfully. They're afraid. What they do is pull from their bag of tricks. They take what they already know how to do and apply it to the present situation. But that's cheating! And cheating's bad for an artist. It's bad in life--but it's really bad in art." -p.20-1, How Should A Person Be
Snarling an oath from an Icelandic saga, I reclaimed my place at the head of the queue.
"Oy!" yelled a punk rocker, with studs in his cranium. "There's a fackin' queue!"
Never apologize, advises Lloyd George. Say it again, only this time, ruder. "I know there's a 'fackin' queue'! I already queued in it once and I am not going to queue in it again just because Nina Simone over there won't sell me a ruddy ticket!"
A colored yeti in a clip-on uniform swooped. "Wassa bovver?"
"This old man here reckons his colostomy bag entitles him to jump the queue," said the skinhead, "and make racist slurs about the lady of Afro-Caribbean extraction in the advance-travel window."
I couldn't believe I was hearing this.
David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas)
I chuck my bag into his lap,perhaps a little too hard.St. Clair oofs and jerks forward.
"Watch it." Josh bites into a pink apple and talks through a full moouth. "He has parts down there you don't have."
"Ooo,parts," I say. "Intriguing. Tell me more."
Josh smiles sadly. "Sorry. Privelged information.Only people with parts can know about said parts."
St. Clair shakes the rest of the leaves from his hair and puts on The Hat. Rashmi makes a face at him. "Really? Today? In public?" she asks.
"Every day," he says. "As long as you're with me.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
It's dark because you're trying too hard," said Susila. "Dark because you want it to be light. Remember what you used to tell me when I was a little girl. 'Lightly, child, lightly. You've got to learn to do everything lightly. Think lightly, act lightly, feel lightly. Yes, feel lightly, even though you're feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.' I was so preposterously serious in those days, such a humorless little prig. Lightly, lightly—it was the best advice ever given me. Well, now I'm going to say the same thing to you, Lakshmi . . . Lightly, my darling, lightly. Even when it comes to dying. Nothing ponderous, or portentous, or emphatic. No rhetoric, no tremolos, no self-conscious persona putting on its celebrated imitation of Christ or Goethe or Little Nell. And, of course, no theology, no metaphysics. Just the fact of dying and the fact of the Clear Light. So throw away all your baggage and go forward. There are quicksands all about you, sucking at your feet, trying to suck you down into fear and self-pity and despair. That's why you must walk so lightly. Lightly, my darling. On tiptoes; and no luggage, not even a sponge bag. Completely unencumbered.
Aldous Huxley (Island)
A true thing about seeds is that they don't always stay seeds. In addition, most seeds grow up to be something. Some become plants or trees that then go about producing more seeds. Some seeds get popped and eaten and...well, you probably have a pretty good idea of what happens to things after they get eaten.
Some seeds are dried, some are pressed for oil, and some simply end up in bean bags or as the rattle in a baby's toy. It's probably fair to say that the life and times of a seed isn't necessarily the most exciting thing in the world, but what the seed lacks in excitement, it makes up for in miracles.
It's a miracle that a tiny seed can change from a dot in your palm into a towering tree whose wood can be made into the home you live in or the paper books are printed on.
Obert Skye (Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo (Leven Thumps, #1))
In other languages,
you are beautiful- mort, muerto- I wish
I spoke moon, I wish the bottom of the ocean
were sitting in that chair playing cards
and noticing how famous you are
on my cell phone- picture of your eyes
guarding your nose and the fire
you set by walking, picture of dawn
getting up early to enthrall your skin- what I hate
about stars is they’re not those candles
that make a joke of cake, that you blow on
and they die and come back, and you
you’re not those candles either, how often I realize
I’m not breathing, to be like you
or just afraid to move at all, a lung
or finger, is it time already
for inventory, a mountain, I have three
of those, a bag of hair, box of ashes, if you
were a cigarette I’d be cancer, if you
were a leaf, you were a leaf, every leaf, as far
as this tree can say.
I am in Love with you, it’s me who is in love with you not you,
I am in love with you.
Not in a way I wanted to but yeah the way I am fond to
Hey I am in love with you,
not treating you like I wanted to but just being the one that thought of to
yeah I am in love with you,
Loving you was the secrete I wanted to keep
and buried deep inside my emotional heap,
Doing everything possible what I had to
But baby it hurts as it hurts you too,
but yeah still I am in love with you,
Pulled myself million times because I got the wrong vibes all the time,
But the truth remains the same
baby hear me as I am in love with you,
Waiting on you I could see people were laughing on me
I knew all the while you weren't near me.
But you should know that I am in love with you
There were some days I missed you a lot and scared to tell you how i feel cold and hot
for you as I am in love with you is the only dream
And then I am in love with you
I remember I have cried to sleep
and bagged myself to keep you away
from the highest steep
the voice that said from within me I am in love with you
Just I LOVE YOU was the only words I wanna hear from you
even while knowing, you don’t mean to
Because simply I feel the way I wanted to
Loving to say I am in love with you.
wake up in the morning with only you in my mind till I sleep at deep way in the night
I know its all silly things for your kind
but its perfect to me as clearly - deeply in love with you
When you being nice to me that scares me sometimes
but bottom in my heart it feels so nice because during that time
I am in love with you,
Doesn't matter whatever I do with you even things i have never done before
and i enjoyed them all because simply as I am in love with you.
In the first waiting on you was the favorite thing in my day
weather it s a call or just a look from you from the farthest bay
I asked myself why and the voice within me said that I am in love with you.
Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts, as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
I had gone a-begging from door to door in the village path, when thy golden chariot appeared in the distance like a gorgeous dream and I wondered who was this King of all kings!
My hopes rose high and methought my evil days were at an end, and I stood waiting for alms to be given unasked and for wealth scattered on all sides in the dust.
The chariot stopped where I stood. Thy glance fell on me and thou camest down with a smile. I felt that the luck of my life had come at last. Then of a sudden thou didst hold out thy right hand and say `What hast thou to give to me?'
Ah, what a kingly jest was it to open thy palm to a beggar to beg! I was confused and stood undecided, and then from my wallet I slowly took out the least little grain of corn and gave it to thee.
But how great my surprise when at the day's end I emptied my bag on the floor to find a least little gram of gold among the poor heap. I bitterly wept and wished that I had had the heart to give thee my all.
Rabindranath Tagore (Gitanjali)
We could just chill if you want."
Emma raises a brow at Rachel. Rachel shrugs her innocence. "Nuh-uh. Don't look at me. I didn't teach him that."
"Picked it up all on my own," he says, retrieving his pencil from the floor.
"Figures," Emma sneers.
"Aww, don't hate on me, boo."
"Okay, I'm drawing the line at 'boo.' And don't call me 'shorty' either," Emma says.
He laughs. "That was next."
"No doubt. So, did anyone explain how you chill?"
Galen shrugs. "As far as I can tell, chillin' is the equivalent of being in a coma, only awake."
"That's about right."
"Yeah. Doesn't sound that appealing. Are all humans lazy?"
"Don't push it, Highness." But she's smirking.
"If I'm Highness, then you're 'boo.' Period."
Emma growls, but it doesn't sound as fierce as she intends. In fact, it's adorable. "Jeez! I won't call you Majesty either. And you Will. Not. Ever Call me 'boo' again."
His grin feels like it reaches all the way to his ears as he nods. "Did...did I just win an argument?"
She rolls her eyes. "Don't be stupid. We tied."
He laughs. "If you say I won, I'll let you open your present."
She glances at the gift bag and bites her lip-also adorable. She looks back at him. "Maybe I don't care about the present."
"Oh, you definitely care," he says, confident.
"No. I definitely do NOT," she says, crossing her arms.
He runs a hand through his hair. If she makes it any more difficult, he'll have to tell her where they're going. He gives his best nonchalant shrug. "That changes everything. I just figured since you like history...Anyway, just forget it. I won't bother you about it anymore." He stands and walks over to the bag, fingering the polka-dot tissue paper Rachel engorged it with.
"Even if I say you win, it's still a lie, you know." Emma huffs.
Galen won't take the bait. Not today. "Fine. It's a lie. I just want to hear you say it."
With an expression mixing surprise and suspicion in equal parts, she says it. And it sounds so sweet coming from those lips. "You won.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
I pulled the dress out of the bag and held it in front of me. Ella sat up straighter and squinted her eyes, while Michael and Paco made the noises men make when a woman says, “What do you think?” Fathers probably teach those noises to their sons when they’re young—“Stand up when you’re introduced to a lady, use your napkin instead of your sleeve, and make admiring noises when a woman shows you anything, no matter what it is, and asks you what you think about it. Never, never, never say you have no opinion.
Blaize Clement (Cat Sitter on a Hot Tin Roof (A Dixie Hemingway Mystery, #4))
You alarm me!' said the King. 'I feel faint—Give me a ham sandwich!'
On which the Messenger, to Alice's great amusement, opened a bag that hung round his neck, and handed a sandwich to the King, who devoured it greedily.
'Another sandwich!' said the King.
'There's nothing but hay left now,' the Messenger said, peeping into the bag.
'Hay, then,' the King murmured in a faint whisper.
Alice was glad to see that it revived him a good deal. 'There's nothing like eating hay when you're faint,' he remarked to her, as he munched away.
'I should think throwing cold water over you would be better,' Alice suggested: 'or some sal-volatile.'
'I didn't say there was nothing better,' the King replied. 'I said there was nothing like it.' Which Alice did not venture to deny.
Lewis Carroll (Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, #2))
So I got my stuff and the girl at the register puts these other things in my bag, too. Little free samples: gum and a comb and a marker pen. So I says to her, 'Look, girlie, I got false teeth and I wear a wig.' So she fishes back in my bag and takes out the comb and the gum. Left the pen in there. Anyways, I went back to the van, even though I knew it was locked. Figured I'd just wait and have a smoke. You can't smoke in the van, see? So while I'm waiting there, minding my own business, this car pulls into the handicapped space right next to us--brand-new car, white and clean, and it's got this bumper sticker on it that says, 'Life Is a Shit Sandwich.' Isn't that stupid? So this guy gets out--good-lookin' fella, in his twenties. I say to him, 'Hey, handsome, tell me something.' He takes a look at my walker and gets all panicky. 'I'm just running in for two seconds,' he says. See, he thinks I'm going to yell at him for parking in a handicapped space, but I ain't. I don't give a rat's ass about that, you see. I'd rather walk the extra ten feet than be called handicapped. Where was I?'
She amazed me. 'Life's a shit sandwich,' I said.
'Oh, yeah. Right. So that guy goes runnin' into the store and here's what I did. I fished that free pen out of the bag and marched right over there to that bumper of his. Got myself right down on the ground--and I wrote--just after the 'Life's a shit sandwich' part--I wrote, 'But only if you're a shithead.' 'Course, then I couldn't get myself back up again--had to yell over to a couple of kids at the phone booth to come pick me back up.
I’m serious,” I say. “I don’t want to lose him.”
“Then maybe you should go away for a little bit. After all, absence makes the heart grow horny, right?”
“That’s not exactly how the saying goes.”
“But it should, because you know it’s true. If you go away for a couple of days, Ben won’t know what to do with himself.”
“Maybe you’re right,” I say, tossing more candy corn into my mouth (therapy in a bag).
“Damn straight, I am. Now, the biggest question: Can I fit into your suitcase? Because I really don’t feel like staying here by myself.
Laurie Faria Stolarz (Deadly Little Games (Touch, #3))
I liked his attention. But I also felt like there was something sick and wrong about it. Like it might make me sick later. I thought of my grandmother, my father's mother. How when I used to visit her in Georgia she would always let me eat all the cookies and frozen egg rolls I wanted. "Go ahead, sweetheart, there's more," she would say. And it seemed okay because she was a grown-up, and I wanted all the Chips Ahoy! cookies in the bag. But I always ended up feeling extremely sick afterward. I looked at book, his eyes swollen with emotion.
Augusten Burroughs (Running with Scissors)
The Dora bag has straps, it’s like Backpack but with Dora on it instead of Backpack’s face. It has a handle too, when I try it pulls up, I think I broke it, but then it rolls, it’s a wheelie bag and a backpack at the same time, that’s magic. “You like it?” It’s Deana talking to me. “Would you like to keep your things in it?” “Maybe one that’s not pink,” says Paul to her. “What about this one, Jack, pretty cool or what?” He’s holding up a bag of Spider-Man. I give Dora a big hug. I think she whispers, Hola, Jack. Deana tries to take the Dora bag but I won’t let her. “It’s OK, I just have to pay the lady, you’ll get it back in two seconds…” It’s not two seconds, it’s thirty-seven.
Emma Donoghue (Room)
One afternoon while driving back from the beach, Hugh pointed out a McDonald's bag vomiting its contents onto the pavement. "I say that any company whose products are found on the ground automatically has to go out of business," he said. This is how we talk nowadays, as if our pronouncements hold actual weight and can be implemented at our discretion, like we're kings or warlocks. "That means no more McDonald's, no more Coke - none of it."
"That wouldn't affect you any,"I told him. Hugh doesn't drink soda or eat Big Macs. "But what if it was something you needed, like paint? I find buckets of it in the woods all the time."
"Fine," he said. "Get rid of it. I'll make my own."
If anyone could make his own paint, it would be Hugh.
"What about brushes?"
"Please," he said, and he shifted into a higher gear. "I could make those in my sleep.
David Sedaris (Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls)
You make out with a boy because he’s cute, but he has no substance, no words to offer you. His mouth tastes like stale beer and false promises. When he touches your chin, you offer your mouth up like a flower to to be plucked, all covered in red lipstick to attract his eye. When he reaches his hand down your shirt, he stops, hand on boob, and squeezes, like you’re a fruit he’s trying to juice. He doesn’t touch anything but skin, does not feel what’s within. In the morning, he texts you only to say, “I think I left the rest of my beer at your place, but it’s cool, you can drink it. Last night was fun.”
You kiss a girl because she’s new. Because she’s different and you’re twenty two, trying something else out because it’s all failed before. After spending six weekends together, you call her, only to be answered by a harsh beep informing you that her number has been disconnected. You learn that success doesn’t come through experimenting with your sexuality, and you’re left with a mouth full of ruin and more evidence that you are out of tune.
You fall for a boy who is so nice, you don’t think he can do any harm. When he mentions marriage and murder in the same sentence, you say, “Okay, okay, okay.” When you make a joke he does not laugh, but tilts his head and asks you how many drinks you’ve had in such a loving tone that you sober up immediately. He leaves bullet in your blood and disappears, saying, “Who wants a girl that’s filled with holes?”
You find out that a med student does. He spots you reading in a bar and compliments you on the dust spilling from your mouth. When you see his black doctor’s bag posed loyally at his side, you ask him if he’s got the tools to fix a mangled nervous system. He smiles at you, all teeth, and tells you to come with him. In the back of his car, he covers you in teethmarks and says, “There, now don’t you feel whole again.” But all the incisions do is let more cold air into your bones.
You wonder how many times you will collapse into ruins before you give up on rebuilding. You wonder if maybe you’d have more luck living amongst your rubble instead of looking for someone to repair it. The next time someone promises to flood you with light to erase your dark, you insist them you’re fine the way you are. They tell you there’s hope, that they had holes in their chest too, that they know how to patch them up. When they offer you a bottle in exchange for your mouth, you tell them you’re not looking for a way out. No, thank you, you tell them. Even though you are filled with ruins and rubble, you are as much your light as you are your dark.
Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts, as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, to absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
What happens when the YA thriller writer heroine tries to get thru airport security with her research notes in her bag? :
“How to murder people by poison without detection,” the TSA agent read aloud.
The woman behind Colbie gasped in horror.
“Okay,” Colbie said, pointing to them. “That’s not what it looks like.”
The woman behind her, cradling a leopard-print cat carrier, had turned and was frantically whispering to the people behind her.
“Really,” Colbie said. “It’s a funny story, actually.”
But the agent was flipping through her notes, not even remotely interested in her funny story. He didn’t need to read aloud what he was looking at, because she knew exactly what was there – other Google searches, such as how to get away with murder using a variety of different everyday products that weren’t considered weapons. “It’s research,” she said to the room.
"Yeah, that’s probably what I’d say too,” a guy said from somewhere behind her.
Jill Shalvis (Chasing Christmas Eve (Heartbreaker Bay, #4))
(Jen gets completely sloshed and it's not her wedding)
I was supposed to meet Carol and her family at the aquarium the next morning, and somehow had the presence of mind to leave a voicemail apologizing in advance for not being able to make it. I was please at myself for being so responsible and considerate. After I left the message, I blissfully headed off to bed, wearing a face full of makeup, all my grown up jewelry, and a relatively restrictive girdle.
Suffice it to say, yesterday was rough, what with my apartment spinning and all.
But today I felt better. That is, until Carol played me the voice mail I left for her at 1:03 AM. Somehow I thought I had been able to hold it together on the phone. Following is a transcript of the message I left:
30 seconds of heavy breathing, giggling, and intermittent hiccups (At first Carol thought it was a 911 call.)
Oh, heeheehee, I waassshh wayyyting for a beep. But noooooo beeeeeeep. Why don't you hash a beep on your, your, ummmmmm...celery phone? Noooooo beeeeeeep, hic, heeheeeheee.
Um, hiiiiii, itsch JEENNNNNNNN!! It's thirteen o'clock in the peeeeeee eeeemmmmmmm. Heeeeeeeellllllllllloooooooo! I went to my wedding tonight and it wash sooooo niiiiiiiiiice. Hic."
More giggling and the sound of a phone being dropped and retrieved
Nannyway, I am calling to telllll you noooooooooo fishies tomorry...no fishies for meeee! I hic, heeeee, can't smake it to the quariyummm. Maybeeee you can call me so I can say HIIIIIIIIIIIIIII later hich in the day hee hee hee. Call me at, um, 312, ummmmmmm, 312, uummmmm, hee hee hee I can't member my phone, Hic. Do you know my number? Can you call me and tell me what it isssch? I LIKESH TURKEY SAMMICHES!
10 seconds of chewing, giggling, and what may be gobbling sounds
Okay, GGGGGGGGooooooodniiiiiiiiiggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhttttt! No fish! Um, how do I turn this tthing off? Shhhhh, callllls' over. Beeee quiiiiiiietttt, hee hee hee."
15 more seconds of giggles, hiccups, shushing, and a great deal of banging
Perhaps this is why most people only have one wedding?
Jen Lancaster (Bitter Is the New Black: Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass, Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office)
Fun I love, but too much fun is of all things the most loathsome. Mirth is better than fun, and happiness is better than mirth. I feel that a man may be happy in this world. And I know that this world is a world of imagination and vision. I see every thing I paint in this world, but everybody does not see alike. To the eyes of a miser a guinea is far more beautiful than the Sun, and a bag worn with the use of money has more beautiful proportions than a vine filled with grapes. The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing which stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity, and by these I shall not regulate my proportions; and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself. As a man is, so he sees.
You certainly mistake, when you say that the visions of fancy are not to be found in this world. To me this world is all one continued vision of fancy or imagination, and I feel flattered when I am told so.
William Blake (The Portable Blake)
So, what’s the plan?” I asked as I sat down at the table not really big enough for two. Liam grabbed my bag and tossed it onto the table. “First we unpack, and then I expect to see you on your knees.” After the exchange with Diaz my brain automatically went somewhere very, very bad. “W-w-what?” I could feel the blush stretching over every inch of my body. Seriously, I think my feet were even embarrassed and angry. “I’m not… I won’t…” I knew the moment Liam realized what I was thinking because his face also shot up in flames. “No! Not… That.” He looked as though he was having some sort of episode, like maybe an aneurysm. “You were supposed to get down on your knees and beg me for forgiveness because you were wrong about the pizza guy. I don’t want… I mean, I wasn’t asking you to--” I held up a hand. “Please don’t say it. I think we’ve both been traumatized enough.
Do you think, little flower, that there will ever come a day when you regret meeting me?” he asked quietly.
“Yes,” she said simply.
“I see,” he said tightly.
“Would you like a specific date?”
“You are teasing me,” he realized suddenly.
“No, I’m dead serious. I have an exact date in mind.”
Jacob pulled back to see her eyes, looking utterly perplexed as her pupils sparkled with mischief.
“What date is that? And why are you thinking of pink elephants?”
“The date is September 8, because, according to Gideon, that’s possibly the day I will go into labor. I say ‘possibly,’ because combining all this human/Druid and Demon DNA ‘may make for a longer period of gestation than usual for a human,’ as the Ancient medic recently quoted. Now, as I understand it, women always regret ever letting a man touch them on that day.”
Jacob lurched to his feet, dropping her onto her toes, grabbing her by the arms, and holding her still as he raked a wild, inspecting gaze over her body.
“You are pregnant?” he demanded, shaking her a little. “How long have you known? You went into battle with that monster while you are carrying my child?”
“Our child,” she corrected indignantly, her fists landing firmly on her hips, “and Gideon only just told me, like, five seconds ago, so I didn’t know I was pregnant when I was fighting that thing!”
“But . . . he healed you just a few days ago! Why not tell you then?”
“Because I wasn’t pregnant then, Jacob. If you recall, we did make love between then and now.”
“Oh . . . oh Bella . . .” he said, his breath rushing from him all of a sudden.
He looked as if he needed to sit down and put a paper bag over his head. She reached to steady him as he sat back awkwardly on the altar. He leaned his forearms on his thighs, bending over them as he tried to catch his breath. Bella had the strangest urge to giggle, but she bit her lower lip to repress to impulse.
So much for the calm, cool, collected Enforcer who struck terror into the hearts of Demons everywhere.
“That is not funny,” he grumbled indignantly.
“Yeah? You should see what you look like from over here,” she teased.
“If you laugh at me I swear I am going to take you over my knee.”
“Promises, promises,” she laughed, hugging him with delight. Finally, Jacob laughed as well, his arm snaking out to circle her waist and draw her back into his lap.
“Did you ask . . . I mean, does he know what it is?”
“It’s a baby. I told him I didn’t want to know what it is. And don’t you dare find out, because you know the minute you do I’ll know, and if you spoil the surprise I’ll murder you.”
“Damn . . . she kills a couple of Demons and suddenly thinks she can order all of us around,” he taunted, pulling her close until he was nuzzling her neck, wondering if it was possible for such an underused heart as his to contain so much happiness.
Jacquelyn Frank (Jacob (Nightwalkers, #1))
Travel is transition, and at its best it is a journey from home, a setting forth. I hated parachuting into a place. I needed to be able to link one place to another. One of the problems I had with travel in general was the ease and speed with which a person could be transported from the familiar to the strange, the moon shot whereby the New York office worker, say, is insinuated overnight into the middle of Africa to gape at gorillas. That was just a way of feeling foreign. The other way, going slowly, crossing national frontiers, scuttling past razor wire with my bag and my passport, was the best way of being reminded that there was a relationship between Here and There, and that a travel narrative was the story of There and Back.
Paul Theroux (Dark Star Safari: Overland from Cairo to Cape Town)
When other countries run sustained trade deficits, they must finance these by selling off domestic assets or running into debt — debt which they actually are obliged to pay. It seems that only the Americans are so bold as to say “Screw the world. We’re going to do whatever we want.” Other countries simply cannot afford the chaos from which the U.S. economy is positioned to withstand as a result of the fact that foreign trade plays a smaller role in its economy than in those of nearly all other nations in today’s interdependent world.
Using debtor leverage to set the terms on which it will refrain from causing monetary chaos, America has turned seeming financial weakness into strength. U.S. Government debt has reached so large a magnitude that any attempt to replace it will entail an interregnum of financial chaos and political instability. American diplomats have learned that they are well positioned to come out on top in such grab-bags.
Michael Hudson (The Bubble and Beyond)
Once out of the mailroom, I began to learn more about fear. As soon
as fear begins to ascend, anatomically, from the pit of the stomach to the
throat and brain, from fear of violence to the more nameless kind, you
come to believe you are part of a horrible experiment. I learned to
distrust those superiors who encouraged independent thinking. When you
gave it to them, they returned it in the form of terror, for they knew
that ideas, only that, could hasten their obsolescence. Management asked
for new ideas all the time; memos circulated down the echelons, requesting
bold and challenging concepts. But I learned that new ideas could finish
you unless you wrapped them in a plastic bag. I learned that most of the
secretaries were more intelligent than most of the executives and that the
executive secretaries were to be feared more than anyone. I learned what
closed doors meant and that friendship was not negotiable currency and how
important it was to lie even when there was no need to lie. Words and
meanings were at odds. Words did not say what was being said nor even its
reverse. I learned to speak a new language and soon mastered the special
elements of that tongue.
Don DeLillo (Americana)
You know, I'm really trying to cut down on this stuff. But..." Peabody ripped into the pack of cookies. "Thing is, weird, McNab doesn't think I'm chubby. And when a guy sees you naked, he knows where the extra layers are."
"Peabody, do you have some delusion that I want to hear how McNab sees you naked?"
She crunched into a cookie. "I'm just saying. Anyway, you know we have sex, so you've probably reached the conclusion we're naked when we're having it. You being an ace detective and all."
"Peabody, in the chain of command, you may, on rare occasions and due to my astonishing good nature, respond to sarcasm with sarcasm. You are not permitted to lead with it. Give me a damn cookie."
"They're coconut crunchies. You hate coconut."
"Then why did you buy coconut?"
"To piss you off." Grinning now, Peabody pulled another pack of cookies from her bag. "Then I bought chocolate chip, just for you."
"Well, hand them over then."
"Okay, so ..." Peabody ripped open the second pack, offered Eve a cookie. "Anyway, McNab's got a little, bitty butt, and hardly any shoulders. Still -- "
"Stop. Stop right there. If I get an image of a naked McNab in my head, you're going back to traffic detail."
Peabody munched, hummed, waited.
"Damn it! There he is."
Hooting with laughter, Peabody polished off the last cookie. "Sorry. Dallas, I'm sorry. I couldn't help it. Kinda cute, isn't he?
J.D. Robb (Witness in Death (In Death, #10))
On a very hot day in August of 1994, my wife told me she was going down to the Derry Rite Aid to pick up a refill on her sinus medicine prescription - this is stuff you can buy over the counter these days, I believe. I’d finished writing for the day and offered to pick it up for her. She said thanks, but she wanted to get a piece of fish at the supermarket next door anyway; two birds with one stone and all that. She blew a kiss at me off the palm of her and and went out. The next time I saw her, she was on TV. That’s how you identify the dead here in Derry - no walking down a subterranean corridor with green tiles on the walls and long fluorescent bars overhead, no naked body rolling out of a chilly drawer on casters; you just go into an office marked PRIVATE and look at a TV screen and say yep or nope.
Stephen King (Bag of Bones)
Oh, by the way," Coop announces as he weaves his DeathBot ship through a barrage of space debris on his laptop screen. "In case you didn't know. It's national 'That's What She Said' Day."
I give him a thumbs-up. "I like it."
We're camping out in Sean's backyard tonight. It's another one of our traditions. One night, every summer, we buy a ton of junk food and energy drinks and set up Sean's six-person tent in the far corner of his yard.
We've got an extension cord running from the garage so that we can rough it in style, with computers and a TV and DVD player. There's a citronella candle burning in the middle of the tent to ward off mosquitoes and to mask the thick stink of mildew. Everyone's brought sleeping bags and pillows, but we aren't planning on logging too many Zs.
Sean enters the tent carrying his Xbox. "I don't think there are enough sockets for all of these."
I waggle my eyebrows at Coop. "That's what she said."
Coop busts up.
Sean stands there, looking confused. "I don't get it."
"That's what she says," Coop says, sending him and me into hysterics.
Sean sighs and puts the Xbox down. "I can see this is going to be a long night."
"That's what she said," me and Coop howl in chorus.
"Are you guys done yet?"
Coop is practically in tears. "That's what she said."
"Okay. I'll just keep my mouth shut," Sean grumbles.
"That's what she said." I can barely talk I'm laughing so hard.
"Enough. No more. My cheeks hurt," Coop says, rubbing his face.
I point at him. "That's what she said."
And with that, the three of us fall over in fits.
"Oh, man, now look what you made me do."
Coop motions to his computer. "That was my last DeathBot ship."
"That's what she said," Sean blurts out, laughing at his nonsensical joke.
Coop and I stare at him, and then silmultaniously, we hit Sean in the face with our pillows.
Don Calame (Swim the Fly (Swim the Fly, #1))
One more item slipped out of the bag. It was the metal identification tag from Maureen's cremation, the one I had burned with her just a few weeks before. These tags say with the body through the whole cremation, and leave stuck in with the ashes, which is how sacks of cremated remains found in old storage lockers and attics can still be identified years later. The tag I found was identical (except for the ID number) to the one I was putting in with Matthew now. I imagined his hands sinking into the grey mulch of Maureen's bones and finding the tag. I imagined him pulling the tag out and brushing the dusty metal against his cheek. It was a bizarre honor to have been a part of their last private moment together, the last act of their love story.
I cried (sobbed, if we're being honest) standing over Matthew's body, moments before it was loaded into the chamber. Even if all we love will die, I still ached for a love like theirs, to be adored so completely. Had not Disney guaranteed all of us such an ending?
Caitlin Doughty (Smoke Gets in Your Eyes & Other Lessons from the Crematory)
I had a chance to read
in prison once, too, but not to the end. I observed that while Dumas tries to create a feeling of horror, he portrays the Château d'If as a rather benevolent prison. Not to mention his missing such nice details as the carrying of the latrine bucket from the cell daily, about which Dumas with the ignorance of a free person says nothing. You can figure out why Dantès could escape. For years no one searched the cell, whereas cells are supposed to be searched every week. So the tunnel was not discovered. And then they never changed the guard detail, whereas experience tells us that guards should be changed every two hours so one can check on the other. At the Château d'If they didn't enter the cells and look around for days at a time. They didn't even have any peepholes, so d'If wasn't a prison at all, it was a seaside resort. They even left a metal bowl in the cell, with which Dantès could dig through the floor. Then, finally, they trustingly sewed a dead man up in a bag without burning his flesh with a red-hot iron in the morgue and without running him through with a bayonet at the guardhouse. Dumas ought to have tightened up his premises instead of darkening the atmosphere.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (The First Circle)
During those days before the girl from the lake was finally buried in her hometown, Jay had been the one who kept Violet sane. He slipped candy bars into her backpack for her to find and left little notes in her locker just to let her know he was thinking about her. She leaned on him every step of the way, and he never once complained. And afterward, when she felt back to her old self again, at least mostly anyway, he was still there.
She wondered what she’d done to deserve a friend like him, someone who never wavered and never questioned. Someone who was always there . . . being supportive, and funny, and thoughtful.
Violet stood in the hallway and watched him. He was digging through his locker looking for his math book, and even though she knew it wasn’t there, Violet just let him search, smiling to herself. Crumpled wads of paper fell out onto the floor at his feet.
He seemed to sense that she was staring and he looked back at her. “What?” he asked.
“Nothing,” she responded, the smile finding her lips.
He narrowed his eyes, realizing that he was the butt of some private joke. “What?”
She sighed and kicked a toe at his backpack, which was lying crookedly against the wall of lockers. “Your book’s in your bag, dumbass,” she announced as she turned away and started walking toward class.
She heard him groan, followed by the sound of his locket slamming, before he finally caught up with her.
“Why didn’t you say anything? Sometimes you really piss me off.”
It was easy to ignore the harsh words when his tone was anything but scolding.
She shrugged. “It’s fun to watch you scramble.”
“Yeah, fun. That’s what I was thinking.
Kimberly Derting (The Body Finder (The Body Finder, #1))
Sex," the driver said, "Has no one ever told you about it?"
I took the New York Times from my carry-on bag and pretended to read, an act that apparently explained it all.
"Ohhh," the driver said, "I understand. You do not like pussy. You like the dick. Is that it?" I brought the paper close to my face, and he stuck his arm through the little window and slapped the back of his seat. "David," he said, "David, listen to me when I am talking to you. I asked do you like the dick?"
"I just work," I told him. "I work, and then I go home, and then I work some more." I was trying to set a good example, trying to be the person I'd imagined him to be, but it was a lost cause.
"I fucky-fuck every day," he boasted. "Two women. I have a wife and another girl for the weekend. Two kind of pussy. Are you sure you no like to fucky-fuck?"
If forced to, I can live with the word "pussy," but "fucky-fuck" was making me carsick. "That is not a real word," I told him. "You can say fuck, but fucky-fuck is just nonsense. Nobody talks that way. You will never get ahead with that kind of language."
Traffic thickened because of an accident, and, as we slowed to a stop, the driver ran his tongue over his lips. "Fucky-fuck," he repeated. "I fucky-fucky-fucky fuck.
David Sedaris (When You Are Engulfed in Flames)
I opened the bag and pulled out a small box of chocolates. “Happy anniversary.”
“Oh. Thanks.” She flashed me a huge smile that would have looked totally real … if I didn’t know her better.
“Simon said that’s what I should get you. That or flowers. So you like it?”
Her face went bright red now as she stammered, “N-no, really. It’s great. It’s—”
“Completely and totally impersonal. Like something you’d buy in bulk for all your teachers.”
“No, I like this kind. You know I do and—”
She stopped as I held out the bag.
“Your real gift,” I said.
She looked in and let out a choking laugh. Then, still grinning, she reached in and pulled out a penlight, a Swiss army knife and a purse-sized can of mace.
She sputtered another laugh. “This is …”
“Practical?” I said.
“In my life, it is definitely practical. But I was going to say thoughtful.” She smiled up at me. “The most thoughtful gift I’ve ever gotten.”
“And the most completely unromantic? Simon almost had a heart attack when I showed him. He made me get the chocolates, as a backup.”
“I’m sure he did. Which I suppose explains why I ended up with you instead.” She rose on tiptoes again and put her arms around my neck. “Because buying me gifts to keep me safe? That’s my idea of romantic.”
Kelley Armstrong (Belonging (Darkest Powers, #3.5))
I made it three days before the text messages started one afternoon while I was trying to finish warming up before our afternoon session. I had gotten to the LC later than usual and had gone straight to the training room, praising Jesus that I’d decided to change my clothes before leaving the diner once I’d seen what time it was and had remembered lunchtime traffic was a real thing. I was in the middle of stretching my hips when my phone beeped from where I’d left it on top of my bag. I took it out and snickered immediately at the message after taking my time with it.
Jojo: WHAT THE FUCK JASMINE
I didn’t need to ask what my brother was what-the-fucking over. It had only been a matter of time. It was really hard to keep a secret in my family, and the only reason why my mom and Ben—who was the only person other than her who knew—had kept their mouths closed was because they had both agreed it would be more fun to piss off my siblings by not saying anything and letting them find out the hard way I was going to be competing again.
Life was all about the little things.
So, I’d slipped my phone back into my bag and kept stretching, not bothering to respond because it would just make him more mad.
Twenty minutes later, while I was still busy stretching, I pulled my phone out and wasn’t surprised more messages appeared.
Jojo: WHY WOULD YOU NOT TELL ME
Jojo: HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME
Jojo: DID THE REST OF YOU KEEP THIS FROM ME
Tali: What happened? What did she not tell you?
Tali: OH MY GOD, Jasmine, did you get knocked up?
Tali: I swear, if you got knocked up, I’m going to beat the hell out of you. We talked about contraception when you hit puberty.
Sebastian: Jasmine’s pregnant?
Rubes: She’s not pregnant.
Rubes: What happened, Jojo?
Jojo: MOM DID YOU KNOW ABOUT THIS
Tali: Would you just tell us what you’re talking about?
Jojo: JASMINE IS SKATING WITH IVAN LUKOV
Jojo: And I found out by going on Picturegram. Someone at the rink posted a picture of them in one of the training rooms. They were doing lifts.
Jojo: JASMINE I SWEAR TO GOD YOU BETTER EXPLAIN EVERYTHING RIGHT NOW
Tali: ARE YOU KIDDING ME? IS THIS TRUE?
Jojo: I’m going on Lukov’s website right now to confirm this
Rubes: I just called Mom but she isn’t answering the phone
Tali: She knew about this. WHO ELSE KNEW?
Sebastian: I didn’t. And quit texting Jas’s name over and over again. It’s annoying. She’s skating again. Good job, Jas. Happy for you.
Jojo: ^^ You’re such a vibe kill
Sebastian: No, I’m just not flipping my shit because she got a new partner.
Jojo: SHE DIDN’T TELL US FIRST THO. What is the point of being related if we didn’t get the scoop before everybody else?
Jojo: I FOUND OUT ON PICTUREGRAM
Sebastian: She doesn’t like you. I wouldn’t tell you either.
Tali: I can’t find anything about it online.
Tali: Tell us everything or I’m coming over to Mom’s today.
Sebastian: You’re annoying. Muting this until I get out of work.
Jojo: Party pooper
Tali: Party pooper
I typed out a reply, because knowing them, if I didn’t, the next time I looked at my phone, I’d have an endless column of JASMINE on there until they heard from me.
That didn’t mean my response had to be what they wanted.
Me: Who is Ivan Lukov?
Mariana Zapata (From Lukov with Love)
You know more useless crap, St. Clair. Good thing you're so darn cute," Josh says.
St. Clair smiles. "At least 'cemetary' sounds classier. And you must admit-this place is pretty classy. Or,I'm sorry." He turns back to me. "Would you rather be at the Lambert bash? I hear Dave Higgenbottom is bringing his beer bong."
"That's what I said. Higgenbum."
"Oh,leave him alone.Besides, by the time this place closes, we'll still have plenty of time to party." I roll my eyes at this last word.None of us have plans to attend,despite what I told Dave yesterday at lunch.
St. Clair nudges me with a tall thermos. "Perhaps you're upset because he won't have the opportunity to woo you with his astonishing knowledge of urban street racing."
I laugh. "Cut it out."
"And I hear he has exquisite taste in film. Maybe he'll take you to a midnight showing of Scooby-Doo 2."
I whack St. Clair with my bag, and he dodges aside,laughing.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
Oh God, my chin. I have a cluster of five hairs on the left side of my chin. They’re coarse and wiry, like boar hair, and for the past couple of years, they’ve been my hideous secret and my sworn enemies. They sprout up every couple of days, and so I have to be vigilant. I keep my weapons—Revlon tweezers and a 10X magnifying mirror—at home, in my Sherpa bag, and in my desk drawer at work, so in theory, I can be anywhere, and if one of those evil little weeds pokes through the surface, I can yank it. I’ve been in meetings with CEOs, some of the most powerful men in the world, and could barely stay focused on what they were saying because I’d inadvertently touched my chin and become obsessed with the idea of destroying five microscopic hairs. I hate them, and I’m terrified of someone else noticing them before I do, but I have to admit, there is almost nothing more satisfying than pulling them out.I stroke my chin, expecting to feel my Little Pig beard, but touch only smooth skin. My leg feels like a farm animal, which suggests I haven’t shaved in at least a week, but my chin is bare, which would put me in this bed for less than two days. My body hair isn’t making any sense.
Lisa Genova (Left Neglected)
Bwahahahahaha! Happy Halloweeeeen!”
I turn away from the closet—where I was just in the process of trying to find a Halloween-esque outfit that’s not a costume because I fucking hate dressing up—and gawk at the creature gracing my doorway. I can’t make heads or tails of what Allie is wearing. All I see is a skintight blue bodysuit, lots of feathers, and…are those cat ears?
I steal Allie’s trademark phrase by demanding, “What on God’s green planet are you supposed to be?”
“I’m a cat-bird.” Then she gives me a look that says, uh-doy.
“A cat bird? What is…okay…why?”
“Because I couldn’t decide if I wanted to be a cat or a bird, so Sean was like, just be both, and I was like, you know what? Brilliant idea, boyfriend.” She grins at me. “I’m pretty sure he was being a smartass, but I decided to treat the suggestion as gospel.”
I have to laugh. “He’s going to wish he suggested something less ridiculous, like sexy nurse, or sexy witch, or—”
“Sexy ghost, sexy tree, sexy box of Kleenex.” Allie sighs. “Gee, let’s just throw the word sexy in front of any mundane noun and look! A costume! Because here’s the thing, if you want to dress like a ho-bag, why not just go as a ho-bag? You know what? I hate Halloween.
Elle Kennedy (The Deal (Off-Campus, #1))
He’s brought a sleeping bag, one of those big green bulky L.L. Bean ones. I look at it questioningly.
Following my gaze, he turns red. “I told my parents I was going to help you study, then we might watch a movie, and if it got late enough, I’d crash on your living room floor.”
“And they said?”
“Mom said, ‘Have a nice time, dear.’ Dad just looked at me.”
He walks slowly over, his eyes locked on mine, then puts his hands around my waist.
“Um. So . . . are we going to study?” My tone’s deliberately casual.
Jase slides his thumbs behind my ears, rubbing the hollow at their base. He’s only inches from my face, still looking into my eyes. “You bet. I’m studying you.” He scans over me, slowly, then returns to my eyes. “You have little flecks of gold in the middle of the blue.” He bends forward and touches his lips to one eyelid, then the other, then moves back. “And your eyelashes aren’t blond at all, they’re brown. And . . .” He steps back a little, smiling slowly at me. “You’re already blushing—here”—his lips touch the pulse at the hollow of my throat—“and probably here . . .” The thumb that brushes against my breast feels warm even through my T-shirt.
In the movies, clothes just melt away when the couple is ready to make love. They’re all golden and backlit with the soundtrack soaring. In real life, it just isn’t like that. Jase has to take off his shirt and fumbles with his belt buckle and I hop around the room pulling off my socks, wondering just how unsexy that is. People in movies don’t even have socks. When Jase pulls off his jeans, change he has in his pocket slips out and clatters and rolls across the floor.
“Sorry!” he says, and we both freeze, even though no one’s home to hear the sound.
In movies, no one ever gets self-conscious at this point, thinking they should have brushed their teeth. In movies, it’s all beautifully choreographed, set to an increasingly dramatic soundtrack.
In movies, when the boy pulls the girl to him when they are both finally undressed, they never bump their teeth together and get embarrassed and have to laugh and try again.
But here’s the truth: In movies, it’s never half so lovely as it is here and now with Jase.
Huntley Fitzpatrick (My Life Next Door)
The Loneliness of the Military Historian
Confess: it's my profession
that alarms you.
This is why few people ask me to dinner,
though Lord knows I don't go out of my way to be scary.
I wear dresses of sensible cut
and unalarming shades of beige,
I smell of lavender and go to the hairdresser's:
no prophetess mane of mine,
complete with snakes, will frighten the youngsters.
If I roll my eyes and mutter,
if I clutch at my heart and scream in horror
like a third-rate actress chewing up a mad scene,
I do it in private and nobody sees
but the bathroom mirror.
In general I might agree with you:
women should not contemplate war,
should not weigh tactics impartially,
or evade the word enemy,
or view both sides and denounce nothing.
Women should march for peace,
or hand out white feathers to arouse bravery,
spit themselves on bayonets
to protect their babies,
whose skulls will be split anyway,
or,having been raped repeatedly,
hang themselves with their own hair.
There are the functions that inspire general comfort.
That, and the knitting of socks for the troops
and a sort of moral cheerleading.
Also: mourning the dead.
Sons,lovers and so forth.
All the killed children.
Instead of this, I tell
what I hope will pass as truth.
A blunt thing, not lovely.
The truth is seldom welcome,
especially at dinner,
though I am good at what I do.
My trade is courage and atrocities.
I look at them and do not condemn.
I write things down the way they happened,
as near as can be remembered.
I don't ask why, because it is mostly the same.
Wars happen because the ones who start them
think they can win.
In my dreams there is glamour.
The Vikings leave their fields
each year for a few months of killing and plunder,
much as the boys go hunting.
In real life they were farmers.
The come back loaded with splendour.
The Arabs ride against Crusaders
with scimitars that could sever
silk in the air.
A swift cut to the horse's neck
and a hunk of armour crashes down
like a tower. Fire against metal.
A poet might say: romance against banality.
When awake, I know better.
Despite the propaganda, there are no monsters,
or none that could be finally buried.
Finish one off, and circumstances
and the radio create another.
Believe me: whole armies have prayed fervently
to God all night and meant it,
and been slaughtered anyway.
Brutality wins frequently,
and large outcomes have turned on the invention
of a mechanical device, viz. radar.
True, valour sometimes counts for something,
as at Thermopylae. Sometimes being right -
though ultimate virtue, by agreed tradition,
is decided by the winner.
Sometimes men throw themselves on grenades
and burst like paper bags of guts
to save their comrades.
I can admire that.
But rats and cholera have won many wars.
Those, and potatoes,
or the absence of them.
It's no use pinning all those medals
across the chests of the dead.
Impressive, but I know too much.
Grand exploits merely depress me.
In the interests of research
I have walked on many battlefields
that once were liquid with pulped
men's bodies and spangled with exploded
shells and splayed bone.
All of them have been green again
by the time I got there.
Each has inspired a few good quotes in its day.
Sad marble angels brood like hens
over the grassy nests where nothing hatches.
(The angels could just as well be described as vulgar
or pitiless, depending on camera angle.)
The word glory figures a lot on gateways.
Of course I pick a flower or two
from each, and press it in the hotel Bible
for a souvenir.
I'm just as human as you.
But it's no use asking me for a final statement.
As I say, I deal in tactics.
for every year of peace there have been four hundred
years of war.
Margaret Atwood (Morning in the Burned House)
Ha! Listen, this guy walks into a bar, with a shopping bag, right? He sits down, puts the bag on the bar. Something in the bag is moving, and the bartender says ‘Hey, buddy, no animals in here’. You with me, Jones?” “Yah.” “The guy is looking real unhappy, totally down in the dumps, he reaches in the bag. He pulls out a brass lantern, then a small piano, a little stool, and finally a little guy in a tuxedo, about a foot tall. The little guy sits on the stool and starts playing the piano. Playing the piano, right?” “Yah. Got, it.” “Bartender says,” Williams’ grasp on a handhold slipped for a heart-stopping moment before the suit gloves restored their sticky grip. He could see the problem was some sort of fluid leaking from the access hatch above had coated the handhold. He moved his hand to the left to avoid the slippery fluid, and continued climbing down. “Bartender says, ‘That’s amazing, where’d you get him?’ Guy points to the lamp. ‘Magic genie granted me a wish, But he don’t hear so well-’ Before the guy can stop him, the bartender grabs the lamp, rubs it and shouts ‘I want a million bucks!’. POOF! The bar is filled with ducks! Ducks everywhere, under the tables, in the street outside, feathers flying all over the place. The bartender says ‘What the hell?’ So the guy says ‘I told you the genie don’t hear so well. You really think I asked for a twelve inch pianist?
Craig Alanson (Black Ops (Expeditionary Force, #4))
There.You're officially Canadian. Try not to abuse your new power."
"Whatever.I'm totally going out tonight."
"Good." He slows down. "You should."
We're both standing still. He's so close to me.His gaze is locked on mine, and my heart pounds painfully in my chest. I step back and look away. Toph. I like Toph,not St. Clair. Why do I have to keep reminding myself of this? St. Clair is taken.
"Did you paint these?" I'm desperate to change the mood. "These above your bed?" I glance back,and he's still staring at me.
He bites his thumbnail before replying. His voice is odd. "No.My mum did."
"Really? Wow,they're good. Really, really...good."
"Is this here in Paris?"
"No,it's the street I grew up on. In London."
"Hmm?" I stand with my back to him, trying to examine the paintings. They really are great. I just can't seem to focus. Of course it's not Paris. I should've known-
"That guy.Sideburns.You like him?"
My back squirms. "You've asked me that before."
"What I meant was," he says, flustered. "Your feelings haven't changed? Since you've been here?"
It takes a moment to consider the question. "It's not a matter of how I feel," I say at last. "I'm interested,but...I don't know if he's still interested in me."
St. Clair edges closer. "Does he still call?"
"Yeah.I mean,not often. But yes."
"Right.Right,well," he says, blinking. "There's your answer."
I look away. "I should go.I'm sure you have plans with Ellie."
"Yes.I mean,no. I mean, I don't know. If you aren't doing any-"
I open his door. "So I'll see you later. Thank you for the Canadian citizenship." I tap the patch on my bag.
St. Clair looks strangely hurt. "No problem. Happy to be of service."
I take the stairs two at a time to my floor. What just happened? One minute we were fine,and the next it was like I couldn't leave fast enough. I need to get out of here.I need to leave the dorm. Maybe I'm not a brave American,but I think I can be a brave Canadian.I grab the Pariscope from inside my room and jog downstairs.
I'm going to see Paris.Alone.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
I am sitting down to write in a state of some confusion; I have been reading a lot of different things that are merging into one another, and if one hopes to find a solution for oneself by this kind of reading, one is mistaken; one comes up against a wall, and cannot proceed. Your life is so very different, dearest. Except in relation to your fellow men, have you ever known uncertainty? Have you ever observed how, within yourself and independent of other people, diverse possibilities open up in several directions, thereby actually creating a ban on your every movement? Have you ever, without giving the slightest thought to anyone else, been in despair simply about yourself? Desperate enough to throw yourself on the ground and remain there beyond the Day of Judgment? How devout are you? You go to the synagogue; but I dare say you have not been recently. And what is it that sustains you, the idea of Judaism or of God? Are you aware, and this is the most important thing, of a continuous relationship between yourself and a reassuringly distant, if possibly infinite height or depth? He who feels this continuously has no need to roam about like a lost dog, mutely gazing around with imploring eyes; he never need yearn to slip into a grave as if it were a warm sleeping bag and life a cold winter night; and when climbing the stairs to his office he never need imagine that he is careering down the well of the staircase, flickering in the uncertain light, twisting from the speed of his fall, shaking his head with impatience. There are times, dearest, when I am convinced I am unfit for any human relationship.
Franz Kafka (Letters to Felice (Schocken Classics))
Now you've done it." His tone was quietly playful.
I couldn't help it.I looked up at him questioningly.
"You've added a third word to your repitoire. Hi,thanks,and now yes." His lips turned up at the corners,and the heat rushed to my face. He noticed. "At least that much hasn't changed."
I turned back to my notebook,my hands trembling.
He leaned toward me. "Now that we have our first conversation out of the way, do you want to tell me where you've been?" From the way he spoke I knew his smile was gone.
I could feel little beads of sweat form on my forehead.
"You left me.Without a word," he said. He sounded tentative, as if he were trying to keep his voice even. I took in a deep breath,but I couldn't figure out what he was feeling. There wasn't one singular emotion that was stronger than the others. "Don't you have anything to say to me?"
He waited. My heart felt like it would burst through my chest into a million little pieces,and I could see this wasn't going to work.
I started to close my book.
"Don't-" he blurted, and I froze. "Don't go.You don't have to talk to me.I'm the one who should go." His voice sounded achingly sad. I could hear him packing his bag.
Say something.Say something. "Um..."
Jack paused, as if further movement might stop my words.
He was the reason I came back.I couldn't scare him off. As hard as it would be to talk to him,it would be much harder to watch him walk out that door. "No," I said. I took a shaky breath. "You don't...have to leave. Please."
He took his book back out and put it on his desk. I followed,setting my own books out.
"Thank you," Jack whispered.
We didn't talk for the rest of the hour.
Brodi Ashton (Everneath (Everneath, #1))
I think you're talking shit. You think we don't all feel like that? Like we're crazy, like we're not a real person, like we don't exist? Everyone feels that way sometimes. I can remember talking to you when you lost your bag. So what? You can't remember and that's not a bad thing. It doesn't make me better than you. I'm a stranger to you, but here's what I see:
I see a girl who has suffered a terrible damage to her brain. Someone who, it seems, is shut away by her parents to keep her safe. But inside there is a vibrant person, a traveler, and her memory of this boy Drake has propelled her into action. I think, Flora, that you came here not to find Drake but to find yourself. It wasn't Drake--he's an unlikely romantic hero, really--it was you. Didn't you come here, perhaps, because you heard him talking about the place he was going to, and it called to you?"
I don't know what to say. I don't say anything.
" Our come from Oslo, and Svalbard called me, even though I'm not really the rugged adventurous type. Like you, I had to come. Some of us are meant to be here. We need this place...We need to be small specks in wild nature, by the pole. The midnight sun. The midday darkness. The northern lights. It called to you, Flora, and you answered. You overcame everything, and you came here, alone. You are the bravest person I've ever met.
Emily Barr (The One Memory of Flora Banks)
So,” he began, after several minutes of silence, “how much did it kill you having to text me?”
I chuckled. “A lot. I was just glad I didn’t throw away the receipt – I didn’t fancy digging through bags of rubbish.”
Danny threw me another half-smile. “So you didn’t throw it out after all? I knew it!”
I rolled my eyes. “Your arrogance astounds me … could you be anymore conceited?”
“Could you be anymore attracted to me?” He quipped back.
I scoffed at him. “In your dreams! Do you really get girls like this?”
He quirked an eyebrow and flashed me that adorable crooked grin. “Many. Why – you jealous?”
“Hardly,” I shot back at him, “you’re not my type so don’t flatter yourself.”
He shrugged. “One hour with me turning on the charm and you’d be singing a different tune … trust me on that.”
I laughed. “You know there’s a fine line between being charming and being cocky … and you my friend, fall into the latter. And it’s not something to be proud of – it’s not an attractive quality.”
Danny smirked yet again. “Ouch. You really know how to insult a guy. Are you always this pleasant?”
“Are you always this obnoxious?” I retorted back.
“Ooh touché. You know – if I didn’t know any better – I’d almost mistake your frostiness for flirting.” He flashed me another half-smile and threw me a knowing look.
I rolled my eyes again. “Well you would, wouldn’t you Mr Overly-sure-of-himself?”
I watched as his confidence seemed to go into overdrive. “Say what you will, but I know you’re secretly charmed by me.”
I shrugged. “Whatever … just don’t be too disappointed when I don’t fall at your feet.”
He looked at me with a twinkle in his eye. “Well, try not to be too surprised when you do.”
I raised an eyebrow at him. “Don’t hold your breath.
Joanne McClean (Learning to Breathe (Breathing, #1))
The practice of magic also demands the development of what is called the magical will. Will is very much akin to what Victorian schoolmasters called "character": honesty, self-discipline, commitment, and conviction.
Those who would practice magic must be scrupulously honest in their personal lives. In one sense, magic works on the principle that "it is so because I say it is so." A bag of herbs acquires the power to heal because I say it does. For my word to take on such force, I must be deeply and completely convinced that it is identified with truth as I know it. If I habitually lie to my lovers, steal from my boss, pilfer from supermarkets, or simply renege on my promises, I cannot have that conviction.
Unless I have enough personal power to keep commitments in my daily life, I will be unable to wield magical power. To work magic, I need a basic belief in my ability to do things and cause things to happen. That belief is generated and sustained by my daily actions. If I say I will finish a report by Thursday and I do so, I have strengthened my knowledge that I am a person who can do what I say I will do. If I let the report go until a week from next Monday, I have undermined that belief. If course, life is full of mistakes and miscalculations. But to a person who practices honesty and keeps commitments, "As I will, so mote it be" is not just a pretty phrase; it is a statement of fact.
Starhawk (The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Great Goddess)
We head to that corner of the basement. Rev straddles the weight bench and sits down while Declan sits on a yoga ball and leans against the corner. They fall into these positions so easily that I wonder if this is their space, the way Rowan and I claim her room or the plush couch in my basement.
I’m not a violent person, but hitting something sounds really good.
I draw back a hand and swing, throwing my whole body into it.
Ow. Ow. The bag swings slightly, but shock reverberates down my arm. I think I’ve dislocated every joint of every finger, but I can feel it, and it’s the first thing I’ve truly felt in weeks. It feels fantastic. I need one of these in my basement.
I grit my teeth and pull back my arm to do it again.
“Whoa.” A hand catches my arm in midswing.
I’m standing there, gasping, and Declan has a hold of my elbow. His eyebrows are way up.
“So . . . yeah,” he says. “I don’t want to be sexist here, but after the way you talk about cars, I didn’t expect you to throw a punch like that.”
I draw back and straighten, feeling foolish. “Sorry.”
“What are you apologizing for?” He looks at me like I’m crazy. “I just don’t want to watch you break a wrist.”
“Here.” Rev half stands, holding out a pair of black padded gloves. He’s pushed back the hood of his sweatshirt, and I wonder if he’s grown more comfortable around me—or if he’s just warm. “If you really want to beat on it, put on gloves
Brigid Kemmerer (Letters to the Lost (Letters to the Lost, #1))
How old is she now?” “Oh, she’s twenty now.” She hesitated. She was obligated to end our little chat with a stylized flourish. The way it’s done in serial television. So she wet her little bunny mouth, sleepied her eyes, widened her nostrils, patted her hair, arched her back, stood canted and hip-shot, huskied her voice and said, “See you aroun’, huh?” “Sure, Marianne. Sure.” Bless them all, the forlorn little rabbits. They are the displaced persons of our emotional culture. They are ravenous for romance, yet settle for what they call making out. Their futile, acne-pitted men drift out of high school into a world so surfeited with unskilled labor there is competition for bag-boy jobs in the supermarkets. They yearn for security, but all they can have is what they make for themselves, chittering little flocks of them in the restaurants and stores, talking of style and adornment, dreaming of the terribly sincere stranger who will come along and lift them out of the gypsy life of the two-bit tip and the unemployment, cut a tall cake with them, swell them up with sassy babies, and guide them masterfully into the shoal water of the electrified house where everybody brushes after every meal. But most of the wistful rabbits marry their unskilled men, and keep right on working. And discover the end of the dream. They have been taught that if you are sunny, cheery, sincere, group-adjusted, popular, the world is yours, including barbecue pits, charge plates, diaper service, percale sheets, friends for dinner, washer-dryer combinations, color slides of the kiddies on the home projector, and eternal whimsical romance—with crinkly smiles and Rock Hudson dialogue. So they all come smiling and confident and unskilled into a technician’s world, and in a few years they learn that it is all going to be grinding and brutal and hateful and precarious. These are the slums of the heart. Bless the bunnies. These are the new people, and we are making no place for them. We hold the dream in front of them like a carrot, and finally say sorry you can’t have any. And the schools where we teach them non-survival are gloriously architectured. They will never live in places so fine, unless they contract something incurable.
John D. MacDonald (The Deep Blue Good-By)
I've thought of myself a girl on several occasions because I like to polish shoes and find household tasks amusing. There was once even a time when I insisted on mending a torn suit with my own hands. And in winter I always light the heating stoves myself, as though this were the natural course of things. But of course I'm not a real girl. Please give me a moment to consider all this would entail. The first thing that comes to mind is the question of whether I might possibly be a girl has never, never, not for a single moment, troubled me, rattled my bourgeois composure or made me unhappy. An absolutely by no means unhappy person stands before you, I'd like to put quite special emphasis on this, for I have never experienced sexual torment or distress, for I was never at a loss for quite simple methods of freeing myself from pressures. A rather curious, that is to say, important discovery for me was that it filled me with the most delightful gaiety to imagine myself someone's servant.... My nature, then, merely inclines me to treat people well, to be helpful and so forth. Not long ago I carried with flabbergasting zeal a shopping bag full of new potatoes for a petit bourgeoise. She's have been perfectly able to tote it herself. Now my situation is this: my particular nature also sometimes seeks, I've discovered, a mother, a teacher, that is, to express myself better, an unapproachable entity, a sort of goddess. At times I find the goddess in an instant, whereas at others it takes time before I'm able to imagine her, that is, find her bright, bountiful figure and sense her power. And to achieve a moment of human happiness, I must always first think up a story containing an encounter between myself and another person, whereby I am always the subordinate, obedient, sacrificing, scrutinized, and chaperoned party. There's more to it, of course, quite a lot, but this still sheds light on a few things. Many conclude it must be terribly easy to carry out a course of treatment, as it were, upon my person, but they're all gravely mistaken. For, the moment anyone seems ready to start lording and lecturing it over me, something within me begins to laugh, to jeer, and then, of course, respect is out of the question, and within the apparently worthless individual arises a superior one whom I never expel when he appears in me....
Robert Walser (The Robber)
The women we become after children, she typed, then stopped to adjust the angle of the paper....We change shape, she continued, we buy low-heeled shoes, we cut off our long hair, We begin to carry in our bags half-eaten rusks, a small tractor, a shred of beloved fabric, a plastic doll. We lose muscle tone, sleep, reason, persoective. Our hearts begin to live outside our bodies. They breathe, they eat, they crawl and-look!-they walk, they begin to speak to us. We learn that we must sometimes walk an inch at a time, to stop and examine every stick, every stone, every squashed tin along the way. We get used to not getting where we were going. We learn to darn, perhaps to cook, to patch knees of dungarees. We get used to living with a love that suffuses us, suffocates us, blinds us, controls us. We live, We contemplate our bodies, our stretched skin, those threads of silver around our brows, our strangely enlarged feet. We learn to look less in the mirror. We put our dry-clean-only clothes to the back of the wardrobe. Eventually we throw them away. We school ourselves to stop saying 'shit' and 'damn' and learn to say 'my goodness' and 'heavens above.' We give up smoking, we color our hair, we search the vistas of parks, swimming-pools, libraries, cafes for others of our kind. We know each other by our pushchairs, our sleepless gazes, the beakers we carry. We learn how to cool a fever, ease a cough, the four indicators of meningitis, that one must sometimes push a swing for two hours. We buy biscuit cutters, washable paints, aprons, plastic bowls. We no longer tolerate delayed buses, fighting in the street, smoking in restaurants, sex after midnight, inconsistency, laziness, being cold. We contemplate younger women as they pass us in the street, with their cigarettes, their makeup, their tight-seamed dresses, their tiny handbags, their smooth washed hair, and we turn away, we put down our heads, we keep on pushing the pram up the hill.
Maggie O'Farrell (The Hand That First Held Mine)
Local Girl Missing, Feared Dead.
Beneath it was a photo of me-my most recent school photo.
“Oh, no.” My heart filling with dread, I took the paper from Mr. Smith’s hands. “Couldn’t they have found a better picture?”
Mr. Smith looked at me sharply. “Miss Oliviera,” he said, his gray eyebrows lowered. “I realize it’s all the rage with you young people today to toss off flippant one-liners so you can get your own reality television shows. But I highly doubt MTV will be coming down to Isla Huesos to film you in the Underworld. So that can’t be all you have to say about this.”
He was right, of course. Though I couldn’t say what I really wanted to, because John was in the room, and I didn’t want to make him feel worse than he already did.
But what I wanted to do was burst into tears.
“Is that about Pierce?” John looked uneasy. Outside, thunder rumbled again. This time, it sounded even closer than before.
“Yes, of course, it is, John,” Mr. Smith said. There was something strange about his voice. He sounded almost as if he were mad at John. Only why would he be? John had done the right thing. He’d explained about the Furies. “What did you expect? Have you gotten to the part about the reward your father is offering for information leading to your safe return, Miss Oliviera?”
My gaze flicked down the page. I wanted to throw up.
“One million dollars?” My dad’s company, one of the largest providers in the world of products and services to the oil, gas, and military industries, was valued at several hundred times that. “That cheapskate.”
This was all so very, very bad.
“One million dollars is a lot of money to most people.” Mr. Smith said, with a strong emphasis on most people. He still had that odd note in his voice. “Though I recognize that money may mean little to a resident of the Underworld. So I’d caution you to use judiciousness, wherever it is that you’re going, as there are many people on this island who’ll be more than willing to turn you in for only a small portion of that reward money. I don’t suppose I might ask where you’re going? Or suggest that you pay a call on your mother, who is beside herself with worry?”
“That’s a good idea,” I said. Why hadn’t I thought of it? I felt much better already. I could straighten out this whole thing with a single conversation. “I should call my mom-“
Both Mr. Smith’s cry of alarm and the fact that John grabbed me by the wrist as I was reaching into my book bag for my cell phone stopped me from making calls of any sort.
“You can’t use you phone,” Mr. Smith said. “The police-and your father-are surely waiting for you to do just that. They’ll triangulate on the signal from the closest cell tower, and find you.” When I stared at him for his use of the word triangulate, Mr. Smith shook his head and said, “My partner, Patrick, is obsessed with Law & Order reruns.
Meg Cabot (Underworld (Abandon, #2))
Sunday night is my personal weekly Halloween.
I walk along slowly and drag my fingertips along the bars of chocolate. Goddamn, you sexy little squares. Dark, milk, white, I do not discriminate. I eat it all. Those fluorescent sour candies that only obnoxious little boys like. I suck candy apples clean. If an envelope seal is sweet, I’ll lick it twice. Growing up, I was that kid who would easily get lured into a van with the promise of a lollipop.
Sometimes, I let the retail seduction last for twenty minutes, ignoring Marco and feeling up the merchandise, but I’m so tired of male voices.
“Five bags of marshmallows,” Marco says in a resigned tone. “Wine. And a can of cat food.”
“Cat food is low carb.” He makes no move to scan anything, so I scan each item myself and unroll a few notes from my tips. “Your job involves selling things. Sell them. Change, please.”
“I just don’t know why you do this to yourself.” Marco looks at the register with a moral dilemma in his eyes. “Every week you come and do this.”
He hesitates and looks over his shoulder where his sugar book sits under a layer of dust. He knows not to try to slip it into my bag with my purchases.
“I don’t know why you care, dude. Just serve me. I don’t need your help.” He’s not entirely wrong about my being an addict. I would lick a line of icing sugar off this counter right now if no one were around. I would walk into a cane plantation and bite right in... “Give me my change or I swear to God …” I squeeze my eyes shut and try to tamp down my temper. “Just treat me like any other customer.”
He gives me a few coins’ change and bags my sweet, spongy drugs.
Sally Thorne (99 Percent Mine)
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))
Is that...the Looney Tunes theme?"
Mer and St. Clair cock their ears.
"Why,yes.I believe it is," St. Clair says.
"I heard 'Love Shack' a few minutes ago," Mer says.
"It's official," I say. "America has finally ruined France."
"So can we go now?" St. Clair holds up a small bag. "I'm done."
"Ooo,what'd you get?" Mer asks. She takes his bag and pulls out a delicate, shimmery scarf. "Is it for Ellie?"
Mer pauses. "You didn't get anything for Ellie?"
"No,it's for Mum.Arrrgh." He rakes a hand through his hair. "Would you mind if we pop over to Sennelier before we go home?" Sennelier is a gorgeous little art supply sore,the kind that makes me wish I had an excuse to buy oil paints and pastels. Mer and I went with Rashmi last weekend. She bought Josh a new sketchbook for Hanukkah.
"Wow.Congratulations,St. Clair," I say. "Winner of today's Sucky Boyfriend award.And I thought Steve was bad-did you see what happened in calc?"
"You mean when Amanda caught him dirty-texting Nicole?" Mer asks. "I thought she was gonna stab him in the neck with her pencil."
"I've been busy," St. Clair says.
I glance at him. "I was just teasing."
"Well,you don't have to be such a bloody git about it."
"I wasn't being a git. I wasnt even being a twat, or a wanker, or any of your other bleeding Briticisms-"
"Piss off." He snatches his bag back from Mer and scowls at me.
"HEY!" Mer says. "It's Christmas. Ho-ho-ho. Deck the halls. Stop fighting."
"We weren't fighting," he and I say together.
She shakes her head. "Come on,St. Clair's right. Let's get out of here. This place gives me the creeps."
"I think it's pretty," I say. "Besides, I'd rather look at ribbons than dead rabbits."
"Not the hares again," St. Clair says. "You're as bad as Rashmi."
We wrestle through the Christmas crowds. "I can see why she was upset! The way they're hung up,like they'd died of nosebleeds. It's horrible. Poor Isis." All of the shops in Paris have outdone themselves with elaborate window displays,and the butcher is no exception. I pass the dead bunnies every time I go to the movies.
"In case you hadn't noticed," he says. "Isis is perfectly alive and well on the sixth floor.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
Everyone's here except for St. Clair." Meredith cranes her neck around the cafeteria. "He's usually running late."
"Always," Josh corrects. "Always running late."
I clear my throat. "I think I met him last night. In the hallway."
"Good hair and an English accent?" Meredith asks.
"Um.Yeah.I guess." I try to keep my voice casual.
Josh smirks. "Everyone's in luuurve with St. Clair."
"Oh,shut up," Meredith says.
"I'm not." Rashmi looks at me for the first time, calculating whether or not I might fall in love with her own boyfriend.
He lets go of her hand and gives an exaggerated sigh. "Well,I am. I'm asking him to prom. This is our year, I just know it."
"This school has a prom?" I ask.
"God no," Rashmi says. "Yeah,Josh. You and St. Clair would look really cute in matching tuxes."
"Tails." The English accent makes Meredith and me jump in our seats. Hallway boy. Beautiful boy. His hair is damp from the rain. "I insist the tuxes have tails, or I'm giving your corsage to Steve Carver instead."
"St. Clair!" Josh springs from his seat, and they give each other the classic two-thumps-on-the-back guy hug.
"No kiss? I'm crushed,mate."
"Thought it might miff the ol' ball and chain. She doesn't know about us yet."
"Whatever," Rashi says,but she's smiling now. It's a good look for her. She should utilize the corners of her mouth more often.
Beautiful Hallway Boy (Am I supposed to call him Etienne or St. Clair?) drops his bag and slides into the remaining seat between Rashmi and me. "Anna." He's surprised to see me,and I'm startled,too. He remembers me.
"Nice umbrella.Could've used that this morning." He shakes a hand through his hair, and a drop lands on my bare arm. Words fail me. Unfortunately, my stomach speaks for itself. His eyes pop at the rumble,and I'm alarmed by how big and brown they are. As if he needed any further weapons against the female race.
Josh must be right. Every girl in school must be in love with him.
"Sounds terrible.You ought to feed that thing. Unless..." He pretends to examine me, then comes in close with a whisper. "Unless you're one of those girls who never eats. Can't tolerate that, I'm afraid. Have to give you a lifetime table ban."
I'm determined to speak rationally in his presence. "I'm not sure how to order."
"Easy," Josh says. "Stand in line. Tell them what you want.Accept delicious goodies. And then give them your meal card and two pints of blood."
"I heard they raised it to three pints this year," Rashmi says.
"Bone marrow," Beautiful Hallway Boy says. "Or your left earlobe."
"I meant the menu,thank you very much." I gesture to the chalkboard above one of the chefs. An exquisite cursive hand has written out the morning's menu in pink and yellow and white.In French. "Not exactly my first language."
"You don't speak French?" Meredith asks.
"I've taken Spanish for three years. It's not like I ever thought I'd be moving to Paris."
"It's okay," Meredith says quickly. "A lot of people here don't speak French."
"But most of them do," Josh adds.
"But most of them not very well." Rashmi looks pointedly at him.
"You'll learn the lanaguage of food first. The language of love." Josh rubs his belly like a shiny Buddha. "Oeuf. Egg. Pomme. Apple. Lapin. Rabbit."
"Not funny." Rashmi punches him in the arm. "No wonder Isis bites you. Jerk."
I glance at the chalkboard again. It's still in French. "And, um, until then?"
"Right." Beautiful Hallway Boy pushes back his chair. "Come along, then. I haven't eaten either." I can't help but notice several girls gaping at him as we wind our way through the crowd.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
Kristin comes down the stairs, and the pressure on my chest snaps. I take a moment to turn away, inhaling deeply, blinking away tears. She sets the plate on a table behind the couch, and half tiptoes back up the stairs.
Thank god. I don’t think I could have handled maternal attention right this second. My body feels like it’s on a hair trigger.
I need to get it together. This is why people avoid me. Someone asks if I want a drink and I have a panic attack.
“You’re okay.” Declan is beside me, and his voice is low and soft, the way it was in the foyer. He’s so hard all the time, and that softness takes me by surprise. I blink up at him.
“You’re okay,” he says again.
I like that, how he’s so sure. Not Are you okay? No question about it.
He lifts one shoulder in a half shrug. “But if you’re going to lose it, this is a pretty safe place to fall apart.” He takes two cookies from the plate, then holds one out to me. “Here. Eat your feelings.”
I’m about to turn him down, but then I look at the cookie. I was expecting something basic, like sugar or chocolate chip. This looks like a miniature pie, and sugar glistens across the top. “What . . . is that?”
“Pecan pie cookies,” says Rev. He’s taken about five of them, and I think he might have shoved two in his mouth at once. “I could live on them for days.”
I take the one Declan offered and nibble a bit from the side. It is awesome.
I peer up at him sideways. “How did you know?”
He hesitates, but he doesn’t ask me what I mean. “I know the signs.”
“I’m going to get some sodas,” Rev says slowly, deliberately. “I’m going to bring you one. Blink once if that’s okay.”
I smile, but it feels watery around the edges. He’s teasing me, but it’s gentle teasing. Friendly. I blink once.
This is okay. I’m okay. Declan was right.
“Take it out on the punching bag,” calls Rev. “That’s what I do.”
My eyes go wide. “Really?”
“Do whatever you want,” says Declan. “As soon as we do anything meaningful, the baby will wake up.”
Rev returns with three sodas. “We’re doing something meaningful right now.”
“We are?” I say.
He meets my eyes. “Every moment is meaningful.”
The words could be cheesy—should be cheesy, in fact—but he says them with enough weight that I know he means them. I think of The Dark and all our talk of paths and loss and guilt.
Declan sighs and pops the cap on his soda. “This is where Rev starts to freak people out.”
“No,” I say, feeling like this afternoon could not be more surreal. Something about Rev’s statement steals some of my earlier guilt, to think that being here could carry as much weight as paying respects to my mother. I wish I knew how to tell whether this is a path I’m supposed to be on. “No, I like it. Can I really punch the bag?”
Rev shrugs and takes a sip of his soda. “It’s either that or we can break out the Play-Doh
Brigid Kemmerer (Letters to the Lost (Letters to the Lost, #1))
Reading his autobiography many years later, I was astonished to find that Edward since boyhood had—not unlike Isaiah Berlin—often felt himself ungainly and ill-favored and awkward in bearing. He had always seemed to me quite the reverse: a touch dandyish perhaps but—as the saying goes—perfectly secure in his masculinity. On one occasion, after lunch in Georgetown, he took me with him to a renowned local tobacconist and asked to do something I had never witnessed before: 'try on' a pipe. In case you ever wish to do this, here is the form: a solemn assistant produces a plastic envelope and fits it over the amber or ivory mouthpiece. You then clamp your teeth down to feel if the 'fit' and weight are easy to your jaw. If not, then repeat with various stems until your browsing is complete. In those days I could have inhaled ten cigarettes and drunk three Tanqueray martinis in the time spent on such flaneur flippancy, but I admired the commitment to smoking nonetheless. Taking coffee with him once in a shopping mall in Stanford, I saw him suddenly register something over my shoulder. It was a ladies' dress shop. He excused himself and dashed in, to emerge soon after with some fashionable and costly looking bags. 'Mariam,' he said as if by way of explanation, 'has never worn anything that I have not bought for her.' On another occasion in Manhattan, after acting as a magnificent, encyclopedic guide around the gorgeous Andalusia (Al-Andalus) exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, he was giving lunch to Carol and to me when she noticed that her purse had been lost or stolen. At once, he was at her service, not only suggesting shops in the vicinity where a replacement might be found, but also offering to be her guide and advisor until she had selected a suitable new sac à main. I could no more have proposed myself for such an expedition than suggested myself as a cosmonaut, so what this says about my own heterosexual confidence I leave to others.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
Part of what kept him standing in the restive group of men awaiting authorization to enter the airport was a kind of paralysis that resulted from Sylvanshine’s reflecting on the logistics of getting to the Peoria 047 REC—the issue of whether the REC sent a van for transfers or whether Sylvanshine would have to take a cab from the little airport had not been conclusively resolved—and then how to arrive and check in and where to store his three bags while he checked in and filled out his arrival and Post-code payroll and withholding forms and orientational materials then somehow get directions and proceed to the apartment that Systems had rented for him at government rates and get there in time to find someplace to eat that was either in walking distance or would require getting another cab—except the telephone in the alleged apartment wasn’t connected yet and he considered the prospects of being able to hail a cab from outside an apartment complex were at best iffy, and if he told the original cab he’d taken to the apartment to wait for him, there would be difficulties because how exactly would he reassure the cabbie that he really was coming right back out after dropping his bags and doing a quick spot check of the apartment’s condition and suitability instead of it being a ruse designed to defraud the driver of his fare, Sylvanshine ducking out the back of the Angler’s Cove apartment complex or even conceivably barricading himself in the apartment and not responding to the driver’s knock, or his ring if the apartment had a doorbell, which his and Reynolds’s current apartment in Martinsburg most assuredly did not, or the driver’s queries/threats through the apartment door, a scam that resided in Claude Sylvanshine’s awareness only because a number of independent Philadelphia commercial carriage operators had proposed heavy Schedule C losses under the proviso ‘Losses Through Theft of Service’ and detailed this type of scam as prevalent on the poorly typed or sometimes even handwritten attachments required to explain unusual or specific C-deductions like this, whereas were Sylvanshine to pay the fare and the tip and perhaps even a certain amount in advance on account so as to help assure the driver of his honorable intentions re the second leg of the sojourn there was no tangible guarantee that the average taxi driver—a cynical and ethically marginal species, hustlers, as even their smudged returns’ very low tip-income-vs.-number-of-fares-in-an-average-shift ratios in Philly had indicated—wouldn’t simply speed away with Sylvanshine’s money, creating enormous hassles in terms of filling out the internal forms for getting a percentage of his travel per diem reimbursed and also leaving Sylvanshine alone, famished (he was unable to eat before travel), phoneless, devoid of Reynolds’s counsel and logistical savvy in the sterile new unfurnished apartment, his stomach roiling in on itself in such a way that it would be all Sylvanshine could do to unpack in any kind of half-organized fashion and get to sleep on the nylon travel pallet on the unfinished floor in the possible presence of exotic Midwest bugs, to say nothing of putting in the hour of CPA exam review he’d promised himself this morning when he’d overslept slightly and then encountered last-minute packing problems that had canceled out the firmly scheduled hour of morning CPA review before one of the unmarked Systems vans arrived to take him and his bags out through Harpers Ferry and Ball’s Bluff to the airport, to say even less about any kind of systematic organization and mastery of the voluminous Post, Duty, Personnel, and Systems Protocols materials he should be receiving promptly after check-in and forms processing at the Post, which any reasonable Personnel Director would expect a new examiner to have thoroughly internalized before reporting for the first actual day interacting with REC examiners, and which there was no way in any real world that Sylvanshine could expect
David Foster Wallace (The Pale King)
Dear John Ambrose McClaren,
I know the exact day it all started. Fall, eighth grade. We got caught in the rain when we had to put all the softball bats away after gym. We started to run back to the building, and I couldn’t run as fast as you, so you stopped and grabbed my bag too. It was even better than if you’d grabbed my hand. I still remember the way you looked--your T-shirt was stuck to your back, your hair wet like you just came out of the shower. When it started to pour, you whooped and hollered like a little kid. There was this moment--you looked back at me, and your grin was as wide as your face. You said, “Come on, LJ!”
It was right then. That’s when I knew, all the way down to my soaking-wet Keds. I love you, John Ambrose McClaren. I really love you. I might have loved you for all of high school. I think you might have loved me back. If only you weren’t moving away, John! It’s so unfair when people move away. It’s like their parents just decide something and no one else gets a say in it. Not that I even deserve a say--I’m not your girlfriend or anything. But you at least deserve a say.
I was really hoping that one day I would get to call you Johnny. Your mom came to get you after school once, and a bunch of us were hanging out on the front steps. And you didn’t see her car, so she honked and called out, “Johnny!” I loved the sound of that. Johnny. One day, I bet your girlfriend will call you Johnny. She’s really lucky. Maybe you already have a girlfriend right now. If you do, know this--once upon a time in Virginia, a girl loved you.
I’m going to say it just this once, since you’ll never hear it anyway. Good-bye, Johnny.
I let out a scream, so loud and so piercing that Jamie barks in alarm. “Sorry,” I whisper, falling back against my pillows.
I cannot believe that John Ambrose McClaren read that letter. I didn’t remember it to be so…naked. With so much…yearning. God, why do I have to be a person who yearns so much? How horrible. How perfectly horrible. I’ve never been naked in front of a boy before, but now I feel like I have.
Jenny Han (P.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #2))
I am in my old room once more, for a little, and I am caught in musing - - how life is a swift motion, a continuous flowing, changing, and how one is always saying goodbye and going places, seeing people, doing things. Only in the rain, sometimes, only when the rain comes, closing in your pitifully small radius of activity, only when you sit and listen by the window, as the cold wet air blows thinly by the back of your neck - only then do you think and feel sick. You feel the days slipping by, elusive as slippery pink worms, through your fingers, and you wonder what you have for your eighteen years, and you think about how, with difficulty and concentration, you could bring back a day, a day of sun, blue skies and watercoloring by the sea. You could remember the sensual observations that made that day reality, and you could delude yourself into thinking - almost - that you could return to the past, and relive the days and hours in a quick space of time. But no, the quest of time past is more difficult than you think, and time present is eaten up by such plaintive searchings. The film of your days and nights is wound up tight in you, never to be re-run - and the occasional flashbacks are faint, blurred, unreal, as if seen through falling snow. Now, you begin to get scared. You don't believe in God, or a life-after-death, so you can't hope for sugar plums when your non-existent soul rises. You believe that whatever there is has got to come from man, and man is pretty creative in his good moments - pretty mature, pretty perceptive for his age - how many years is it, now? How many thousands? Yet, yet in this era of specialization, of infinite variety and complexity and myriad choices, what do you pick for yourself out of the grab-bag? Cats have nine lives, the saying goes. You have one; and somewhere along the thin, tenuous thread of your existence there is the black knot, the blood clot, the stopped heartbeat that spells the end of this particular individual which is spelled "I" and "You" and "Sylvia." So you wonder how to act, and how to be - and you wonder about values and attitudes. In the relativism and despair, in the waiting for the bombs to begin, for the blood (now spurting in Korea, in Germany, in Russia) to flow and trickle before your own eyes, you wonder with a quick sick fear how to cling to earth, to the seeds of grass and life. You wonder about your eighteen years, ricocheting between a stubborn determination that you've done well for your own capabilities and opportunities... that you're competing now with girls from all over America, and not just from the hometown: and a fear that you haven't done well enough - You wonder if you've got what it takes to keep building up obstacle courses for your self, and to keep leaping through them, sprained ankle or not. Again the refrain, what have you for your eighteen years? And you know that whatever tangible things you do have, they cannot be held, but, too, will decompose and slip away through your coarse-skinned and death-rigid fingers. So you will rot in the ground, and so you say, what the hell? Who cares? But you care, and somehow you don't want to live just one life, which could be typed, which could be tossed off in a thumbnail sketch = "She was the sort of girl.... And end in 25 words or less.
Sylvia Plath (The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath)
But I can cite ten other reasons for not being a father."
"First of all, I don't like motherhood," said Jakub, and he broke off pensively. "Our century has already unmasked all myths. Childhood has long ceased to be an age of innocence. Freud discovered infant sexuality and told us all about Oedipus. Only Jocasta remains untouchable; no one dares tear off her veil. Motherhood is the last and greatest taboo, the one that harbors the most grievous curse. There is no stronger bond than the one that shackles mother to child. This bond cripples the child's soul forever and prepares for the mother, when her son has grown up, the most cruel of all the griefs of love. I say that motherhood is a curse, and I refuse to contribute to it."
"Another reason I don't want to add to the number of mothers," said Jakub with some embarrassment, "is that I love the female body, and I am disgusted by the thought of my beloved's breast becoming a milk-bag."
"The doctor here will certainly confirm that physicians and nurses treat women hospitalized after an aborted pregnancy more harshly than those who have given birth, and show some contempt toward them even though they themselves will, at least once in their lives, need a similar operation. But for them it's a reflex stronger than any kind of thought, because the cult of procreation is an imperative of nature. That's why it's useless to look for the slightest rational argument in natalist propaganda. Do you perhaps think it's the voice of Jesus you're hearing in the natalist morality of the church? Do you think it's the voice of Marx you're hearing in the natalist propaganda of the Communist state? Impelled merely by the desire to perpetuate the species, mankind will end up smothering itself on its small planet. But the natalist propaganda mill grinds on, and the public is moved to tears by pictures of nursing mothers and infants making faces. It disgusts me. It chills me to think that, along with millions of other enthusiasts, I could be bending over a cradle with a silly smile."
"And of course I also have to ask myself what sort of world I'd be sending my child into. School soon takes him away to stuff his head with the falsehoods I've fought in vain against all my life. Should I see my son become a conformist fool? Or should I instill my own ideas into him and see him suffer because he'll be dragged into the same conflicts I was?"
"And of course I also have to think of myself. In this country children pay for their parents' disobedience, and parents for their children's disobedience. How many young people have been denied education because their parents fell into disgrace? And how many parents have chosen permanent cowardice for the sole purpose of preventing harm to their children? Anyone who wants to preserve at least some freedom here shouldn't have children," Jakub said, and fell into silence.
"The last reason carries so much weight that it counts for five," said Jakub. "Having a child is to show an absolute accord with mankind. If I have a child, it's as though I'm saying: I was born and have tasted life and declare it so good that it merits being duplicated."
"And you have not found life to be good?" asked Bertlef.
Jakub tried to be precise, and said cautiously: "All I know is that I could never say with complete conviction: Man is a wonderful being and I want to reproduce him.
Milan Kundera (Farewell Waltz)
That night at the Brooklyn party, I was playing the girl who was in style, the girl a man like Nick wants: the Cool Girl. Men always say that as the defining compliment, don’t they? She’s a cool girl. Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot. Hot and understanding. Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, shit on me, I don’t mind, I’m the Cool Girl. Men actually think this girl exists. Maybe they’re fooled because so many women are willing to pretend to be this girl. For a long time Cool Girl offended me. I used to see men—friends, coworkers, strangers—giddy over these awful pretender women, and I’d want to sit these men down and calmly say: You are not dating a woman, you are dating a woman who has watched too many movies written by socially awkward men who’d like to believe that this kind of woman exists and might kiss them. I’d want to grab the poor guy by his lapels or messenger bag and say: The bitch doesn’t really love chili dogs that much—no one loves chili dogs that much! And the Cool Girls are even more pathetic: They’re not even pretending to be the woman they want to be, they’re pretending to be the woman a man wants them to be. Oh, and if you’re not a Cool Girl, I beg you not to believe that your man doesn’t want the Cool Girl. It may be a slightly different version—maybe he’s a vegetarian, so Cool Girl loves seitan and is great with dogs; or maybe he’s a hipster artist, so Cool Girl is a tattooed, bespectacled nerd who loves comics. There are variations to the window dressing, but believe me, he wants Cool Girl, who is basically the girl who likes every fucking thing he likes and doesn’t ever complain. (How do you know you’re not Cool Girl? Because he says things like: “I like strong women.” If he says that to you, he will at some point fuck someone else. Because “I like strong women” is code for “I hate strong women.”) I waited patiently—years—for the pendulum to swing the other way, for men to start reading Jane Austen, learn how to knit, pretend to love cosmos, organize scrapbook parties, and make out with each other while we leer. And then we’d say, Yeah, he’s a Cool Guy. But it never happened. Instead, women across the nation colluded in our degradation! Pretty soon Cool Girl became the standard girl. Men believed she existed—she wasn’t just a dreamgirl one in a million. Every girl was supposed to be this girl, and if you weren’t, then there was something wrong with you. But it’s tempting to be Cool Girl. For someone like me, who likes to win, it’s tempting to want to be the girl every guy wants. When I met Nick, I knew immediately that was what he wanted, and for him, I guess I was willing to try. I will accept my portion of blame. The thing is, I was crazy about him at first. I found him perversely exotic, a good ole Missouri boy. He was so damn nice to be around. He teased things out in me that I didn’t know existed: a lightness, a humor, an ease. It was as if he hollowed me out and filled me with feathers. He helped me be Cool
Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl)
So . . . for some reason we thought you were the guys assigned to Ms. Lynde’s surveillance. Guess we were mistaken?”
“Nope, you got it right,” Kamin said. “We do the night shift. Nice girl. We talk a lot on the way to the gym.”
“Oh. Then I guess Agent Wilkins and I are just curious why you two are here instead of with her.”
Kamin waved this off. “It’s cool. We did a switcheroo with another cop, see?”
“A switcheroo . . . right. Remind me again how that works?” Jack asked.
“It’s because she’s got this big date tonight,” Kamin explained.
Jack cocked his head. “A date?”
Phelps chimed in. “Yeah, you know—with Max-the-investment-banker-she-met-on-the-Bloomingdales-escalator.”
“I must’ve missed that one.”
“Oh, it’s a great story,” Kamin assured him. “She crashed into him coming off the escalator and when her shopping bag spilled open, he told her he liked her shoes.”
“Ah . . . the Meet Cute,” Wilkins said with a grin.
Jack threw him a sharp look. “What did you just say?”
“You know, the Meet Cute.” Wilkins explained. “In romantic comedies, that’s what they call the moment when the man and woman first meet.” He rubbed his chin, thinking this over. “I don’t know, Jack . . . if she’s had her Meet Cute with another man that does not bode well for you.”
Jack nearly did a double take as he tried to figure out what the hell that was supposed to mean.
Phelps shook his head. “Nah, I wouldn’t go that far. She’s still on the fence about this guy. He’s got problems keeping his job from intruding on his personal life. But she’s feeling a lot of pressure with Amy’s wedding—she’s only got about ten days left to get a date.”
“She’s the maid of honor, see?” Kamin said.
Jack stared at all three of them. Their lips were moving and sound was coming out, but it was like they were speaking a different language.
Kamin turned to Phelps. “Frankly, I think she should just go with Collin, since he and Richard broke up.”
“Yeah, but you heard what she said. She and Collin need to stop using each other as a crutch. It’s starting to interfere with their other relationships.”
Unbelievable. Jack ran a hand through his hair, tempted to tear it out. But then he’d have a bald spot to thank Cameron Lynde for, and that would piss him off even more. “Can we get back to the switcheroo part?”
“Right, sorry. It was Slonsky’s suggestion.
Julie James (Something About You (FBI/US Attorney, #1))
Christy dug her hand deeper into her shoulder bag. Scanning the papers she finally located there, she found no phone numbers or addresses listed. All the plans had been made in such haste. All she knew was that someone was supposed to meet her here. She was here, and he or she wasn't.
Never in her life had she felt so completely alone. Stranded with nowhere to turn. A prayer came quickly to her lips. "Father God, I'm at Your mercy here. I know You're in control. Please show me what to do."
Suddenly she heard a voice calling to her.
Christy's heart stopped. Only one person in the entire world had ever called her by her Hawaiian name. She spun around.
"Kilikina," called out the tall, blond surfer who was running toward her.
Christy looked up into the screaming silver-blue eyes that could only belong to one person.
"Todd?" she whispered, convinced she was hallucinating.
"Kilikina," Todd wrapped his arms around her so tightly that for an instant she couldn't breathe. He held her a long time. Crying. She could feel his warm tears on her neck. She knew this had to be real. But how could it be?
"Todd?" she whispered again. "How? I mean, what...? I don't..."
Todd pulled away, and for the first time she noticed the big gouquet of white carnations in his hand. They were now a bit squashed.
"For you," he said, his eyes clearing and his rich voice sounding calm and steady. Then, seeing her shocked expression, he asked, "You really didn't know I was here, did you?"
Christy shook her head, unable to find any words.
"Didn't Dr. Benson tell you?"
She shook her head again.
"You mean you came all this way by yourself, and you didn't even know I was here?" Now it was Todd's turn to look surprised.
"No, I thought you were in Papua New Guinea or something. I had no idea you were here!"
"They needed me here more," Todd said with a chin-up gesture toward the beach. "It's the perfect place for me." With a wide smile spreading above his square jaw, he said, "Ever since I received the fax yesterday saying they were sending you, I've been out of my mind with joy! Kilikina, you can't imagine how I've been feeling."
Christy had never heard him talk like this before.
Todd took the bouquet from her and placed it on top of her luggage. Then, grasping both her quivering hands in his and looking into her eyes, he said, "Don't you see? There is no way you or I could ever have planned this. It's from God."
The shocked tears finally caught up to Christy's eyes, and she blinked to keep Todd in focus. "It is," she agreed. "God brought us back together, didn't He?" A giggle of joy and delight danced from her lips.
"Do you remember what I said when you gave me back your bracelet?" Todd asked. "I said that if God ever brought us back together, I would put that bracelet back on your wrist, and that time, it would stay on forever."
Christy nodded. She had replayed the memory of that day a thousand times in her mind. It had seemed impossible that God would bring them back together. Christy's heart pounded as she realized that God, in His weird way, had done the impossible.
Todd reached into his pocket and pulled out the "Forever" ID bracelet. He tenderly held Christy's wrist, and circling it with the gold chain, he secured the clasp.
Above their heads a fresh ocean wind blew through the palm trees. It almost sounded as if the trees were applauding.
Christy looked up from her wrist and met Todd's expectant gaze. Deep inside, Christy knew that with the blessing of the Lord, Todd had just stepped into the garden of her heart.
In the holiness of that moment, his silver-blue eyes embraced hers and he whispered, "I promise, Kilikina. Forever."
"Forever," Christy whispered back.
Then gently, reverently, Todd and Christy sealed their forever promise with a kiss.
Robin Jones Gunn (A Promise Is Forever (Christy Miller, #12))
I want to be married,” I blurted. “I want you to marry me.”
And so my entire carefully constructed speech was thrown out the window. My grandmother’s antique ring was in a box in the dresser—nowhere near me—and my plan to kneel and do everything right just evaporated.
In the circle of my arms, Chloe grew very still. “What did you just say?”
I had completely botched the plan, but it was too late to turn back now.
“I know we have only been together for a little over a year,” I explained, quickly. “Maybe it’s too soon? I understand if it’s too soon. It’s just that how you feel about the way we kiss? I feel that way about everything we do together. I love it. I love to be inside you, I love working with you, I love watching you work, I love fighting with you, and I love just sitting on the couch and laughing with you. I’m lost when I’m not with you, Chloe. I can’t think of anything, or anyone, who is more important to me, every second. And so for me, that means we’re already sort of married in my head. I guess I wanted to make it official somehow. Maybe I sound like an idiot?” I looked over at her, feeling my heart try to jackhammer its way up my throat. “I never expected to feel this way about someone.”
She stared at me, eyes wide and lips parted as if she couldn’t believe what she was hearing. I stood and ran over to the dresser, pulling the box from the drawer and carrying it over to her. When I opened the box and let her see my grandmother’s antique diamond and sapphire ring, she clapped a hand over her mouth.
“I want to be married,” I said again. Her silence was unnerving, and fuck, I’d completely botched this with my rambling nonsense. “Married to you, I mean.”
Her eyes filled with tears and she held them, unblinking. “You. Are such. An ass.”
Well, that was unexpected. I knew it might be too soon, but an ass? Really? I narrowed my eyes. “A simple ‘It’s too soon’ would have sufficed, Chloe. Jesus. I lay my heart out on the—”
She pushed off the bed and ran over to one of her bags, rummaging through it and pulling out a small blue fabric bag. She carried it back to me with the ribbon hooked over her long index finger, and dangled the bag in my face.
I ask her to marry me and she brings me a souvenir from New York? What the fuck is that? “What the fuck is that?” I asked.
“You tell me, genius.”
“Don’t get smart with me, Mills. It’s a bag. For all I know you have a granola bar, or your tampons, in there.”
“It’s a ring, dummy. For you.”
My heart was pounding so hard and fast I half wondered if this was what a heart attack felt like. “A ring for me?”
She pulled a small box out of the bag and showed it to me. It was smooth platinum, with a line of coarse titanium running through the middle.
“You were going to propose to me?” I asked, still completely confused. “Do women even do that?”
She punched me, hard, in the arm. “Yes, you chauvinist. And you totally stole my thunder.”
“So, is that a yes?” I asked, my bewilderment deepening. “You’ll marry me?”
“You tell me!” she yelled, but she was smiling.
“Technically you haven’t asked yet.”
“Goddamnit, Bennett! You haven’t, either!”
“Will you marry me?” I asked, laughing.
“Will you marry me?”
With a growl, I took the box and dropped it on the floor, flipping her onto her back.
Christina Lauren (Beautiful Bitch (Beautiful Bastard, #1.5))