Car Scratch Quotes

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

I understood why she did it. At that moment I knew why people tagged graffiti on the walls of neat little houses and scratched the paint on new cars and beat up well-tended children. It was only natural to want to destroy something you could never have.
Janet Fitch (White Oleander)
It is eerily terrifying that there is no sound when a heart breaks. Car accidents end with a bang, falling ends with a thud, even writing makes the scratching sound of pencil against paper. But the sound of a heart breaking is completely silent. Almost as though no one, not even the universe itself could create a sound for such devastation. Almost as though silence is the only way the universe could pay its respect to the sound of a heart falling apart.
Nikita Gill
What's the woman doing there?" he asked. "Covering a scratch on the hood. She was cheaper than a new paint job." He flipped through a few more pages of barely dressed women and classic cars. "Nick used to have magazines like this when we were kids. But without the cars." He rotated a photo sideways. "Or the bathing suits.
Kelley Armstrong (Bitten (Otherworld, #1))
Plastic ware," he said slowly, "like knives and forks and spoons?" I brushed a bit of dirt off the back of my car—was that a scratch?—and said casually, "Yeah, I guess.Just the basics, you know." "Did you need plastic ware?" he asked. I shrugged. "Because," he went on, and I fought the urge to squirm, "it's so funny, because I need plastic ware. Badly." "Can we go inside, please?" I asked, slamming the trunk shut. "It's hot out here." He looked at the bag again, then at me. And then, slowly, the smile I knew and dreaded crept across his face. "You bought me plastic ware," he said. "Didn't you?' "No," I growled, picking at my license plate. "You did!" he hooted, laughing out loud. "You bought me some forks. And knives. And spoons. Because—" "No," I said loudly. "—you love me!" He grinned, as if he'd solved the puzzler for all time, as I felt a flush creep across my face. Stupid Lissa. I could have killed her. "It was on sale," I told him again, as if this was some kind of an excuse. "You love me," he said simply, taking the bag and adding it to the others. "Only seven bucks," I added, but he was already walking away, so sure of himself. "It was on clearance, for God's sake." "Love me," he called out over his shoulder, in a singsong voice. "You. Love. Me.
Sarah Dessen (This Lullaby)
Daemon scratched his chest, his expression doubtful. “And how are we going to get her to exert energy.” Andrew grinned from across the room. “We could take her out to a field and chase her around in our cars. That sounds fun.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Obsidian (Lux, #1))
Until you got here,” he rasps, “all this place had ever been was a reminder of the ways I was a disappointment, and now you’re here, and—I don’t know. I feel like I’m okay. So if you’re the ‘wrong kind of woman,’ then I’m the wrong kind of man.” I can see all of the shades of him at once. Quiet, unfocused boy. Precocious, resentful preteen. Broody high schooler desperate to get out. Sharp-edged man trying to fit himself back into a place he never belonged to begin with. That’s the thing about being an adult standing beside your childhood race car bed. Time collapses, and instead of the version of you you’ve built from scratch, you’re all the hackneyed drafts that came before, all at once.
Emily Henry (Book Lovers)
When I was sixteen, I had just two things on my mind - girls and cars. I wasn't very good with girls. So I thought about cars. I thought about girls, too, but I had more luck with cars. Let's say that when I turned sixteen, a genie had appeared to me. And that genie said, 'Warren, I'm going to give you the car of your choice. It'll be here tomorrow morning with a big bow tied on it. Brand-new. And it's all yours.' Having heard all the genie stories, I would say, 'What's the catch?' And the genie would answer, 'There's only one catch. This is the last car you're ever going to ge tin your life. So it's got to last a lifetime.' If that had happened, I would have picked out that car. But, can you imagine, knowing it had to last a lifetime, what I would do with it? I would read the manual about five times. I would always keep it garaged. If there was the least little dent or scratch, I'd have it fixed right away because I wouldn't want it rusting. I would baby that car, because it would have to last a lifetime. That's exactly the position you are in concerning your mind and body. You only get one mind and one body. And it's got to last a lifetime. Now, it's very easy to let them ride for many years. But if you don't take care of that mind and that body, they'll be a wreck forty years later, just life the car would be. It's what you do right now, today, that determines how your mind and body will operate ten, twenty, and thirty years from now.
Warren Buffett
Cal: “Yesterday I was stuck in a car with you for eight hours.” Bastard. I didn’t even sing along with the radio. Much. Me: “Yeah. And?” Cal: “Something happened.” Me: “If you’re referring to my driving skills, may I just say I didn’t TOUCH that truck. What you felt was just the wind. We were going pretty fast. And there wasn’t even a scratch. I checked.” Every Boy's Got One
Meg Cabot
Nick sat on the stairs, completely comatose. He stared straight ahead as if he'd been frozen in place. "Nick? You all right?" He didn't respond. Kyrian moved around him until he stood in front of him. He snapped his fingers in front of Nick's face. "Kid?" Nick blinked before he met Kyrian's gaze. "I'm not worthy," he said in a breathless tone. Baffled by his comment, Kyrian stared at him. "What?" Nick gestured towards his cars. "Dude that's a Ferrari, Lamborghini, Bugatti, Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, and a Bentley. And I'm not talking the cheap models. Those are the top of the top of the top of the line, fully loaded. I swear, that's real gold trim in the Bugatti. There's more money in metal in here than my brain can even tabulate. Oh my God! I shouldn't even be breathing the same air." Kyrian laughed at his awed tone. "It's all right, Nick. I need you to clean them." "Are you out of your ever-loving mind? What if I scratch them?" "You won't" "Nah I might. Those aren't cars, Kyrian. Those are works of art. I'm talking serious modes of transportation." "I know, and I drive them all the time." "No, no, no, no, no. I can't touch something so fine. I can't" Kyrian cuffed him on the shoulder. "Yes, you can. They don't bite, and they need to be washed.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Invincible (Chronicles of Nick, #2))
Dan, this is crazy!" Amy quavered. "You can't drive a boat!" "Say's who? It's no different from Xbox!" Wham! The port-side rubber bumper at the launch's bow slammed into the end of an ancient cobblestone wharf. The small craft spun like a top, pitching Amy to the deck. Only an iron grip on the wheel saved Dan from a similar spill. He hung on for dear life. "Okay, scratch Xbox–think bumper cars! I rock at those! Remember the carnival?
Gordon Korman (One False Note (The 39 Clues, #2))
No one wants to hear you speak, Bradie Boy," Kitten said in that scratchy voice of hers. "Like that's ever stopped me. I can't believe we've got a bird and a cat in the car." Bradley chuckled. "I guess that makes me animal control. Nice." "I'm a Teran," Kitten said tightly, "not a cat. And if I hear you call me a cat one more time, I'll scratch your eyes out. Understand?" "Oh, I understand. I just don't think you'll like what I'm understanding, which is that you can't wait to get your hands on me.
Gena Showalter (Red Handed (Young Adult Alien Huntress, #1))
You ever think how the most minor decision can change the entire direction of your life? Like, say you miss your bus one morning, so you buy that second cup of coffee, buy a scratch ticket while you're at it. The scratch ticket hits. Suddenly you don't have to take the bus anymore. You drive to work in a Lincoln. But you get in a car crash and die. All because you missed your bus one day. I'm just saying there are threads, okay? Threads in our lives. You pull one, and everything else gets affected.
Dennis Lehane (Mystic River)
Raining. Oh, brother, a scratch on the fender. Damn rabbi on his unicycle. Wait a minute, where are my car keys? Could have sworn I left them in this pocket. No, just some loose change and ticket stubs from the all-black version of Elaine Stritch’ s one-woman show. Did I check my desk? Better go back inside. What’s in the top drawer here? Hmm. Envelopes, my paper clips, a loaded revolver in case the tenant in 2A begins yodelling again.
Woody Allen
Results for "Getting a dog is like getting married. It teaches you to be less self-centered, to accept sudden, surprising outbursts of affection, and not to be upset by a few scratches on your car.
Will Stanton
I get out of the car and move to stand in front of them. Over their slobbing bodies, I say, "Seriously?" I scratch my head. "I mean, seriously?
Victoria Scott (The Collector (Dante Walker, #1))
I leaned forward with my elbows on my knees and her book in my hands. Like a lot of things in my life, I'd just about worn it out, but it was worn out with love, and that's the best kind of worn-out there is. Maybe we're like all those used cars, broken hand tools, articles of old clothing, scratched record albums, and dog-eared books. Maybe there really isn't any such thing as mortality; that life simply wears us out with love.
Craig Johnson (Kindness Goes Unpunished (Walt Longmire, #3))
Reading these stories, it's tempting to think that the arts to be learned are those of tracking, hunting, navigating, skills of survival and escape. Even in the everyday world of the present, an anxiety to survive manifests itself in cars and clothes for far more rugged occasions than those at hand, as though to express some sense of the toughness of things and of readiness to face them. But the real difficulties, the real arts of survival, seem to lie in more subtle realms. There, what's called for is a kind of resilience of the psyche, a readiness to deal with what comes next. These captives lay out in a stark and dramatic way what goes on in every life: the transitions whereby you cease to be who you were. Seldom is it as dramatic, but nevertheless, something of this journey between the near and the far goes on in every life. Sometimes an old photograph, an old friend, an old letter will remind you that you are not who you once were, for the person who dwelt among them, valued this, chose that, wrote thus, no longer exists. Without noticing it you have traversed a great distance; the strange has become familiar and the familiar if not strange at least awkward or uncomfortable, an outgrown garment. And some people travel far more than others. There are those who receive as birthright an adequate or at least unquestioned sense of self and those who set out to reinvent themselves, for survival or for satisfaction, and travel far. Some people inherit values and practices as a house they inhabit; some of us have to burn down that house, find our own ground, build from scratch, even as a psychological metamorphosis.
Rebecca Solnit (A Field Guide to Getting Lost)
I remember that the afternoon light was another passenger in the car, witnessing two lives in motion.
Tembi Locke (From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home)
Hey, Zee,” I said. “I take it that you can fix it, but it’ll be miserable, and you’d rather haul it to the dump and start from scratch.” “Piece of junk,” groused Zee. “What’s not rusted to pieces is bent. If you took all the good parts and put them in a pile, you could carry them out in your pocket.” There was a little pause. “Even if you only had a small pocket.” I patted the car. “Don’t you listen to him,” I whispered to it. “You’ll be out of here and back on the road in no time.” Zee propelled himself all the way under the car so his head stuck out by my feet. “Don’t you promise something you can’t deliver,” he snarled. I raised my eyebrows, and said in dulcet tones, “Are you telling me you can’t fix it? I’m sorry. I distinctly remember you saying that there is nothing you can’t fix. I must have been mistaken, and it was someone else wearing your mouth.” He gave a growl that would have done Sam credit, and pushed himself back under again, muttering,“Deine Mutter war ein Cola-Automat!” “Her mama might have been a pop machine,” I said, responding to one of the remarks I understood even at full Zee-speed. “Your mama . . .” sounds the same in a number of languages. “But she was a beauty in her day.” I grinned at Gabriel. “We women have to stick together.
Patricia Briggs (Silver Borne (Mercy Thompson, #5))
The American really loves nothing but his automobile: not his wife his child nor his country nor even his bank-account first (in fact he doesn't really love that bank-account nearly as much as foreigners like to think because he will spend almost any or all of it for almost anything provided it is valueless enough) but his motor-car. Because the automobile has become our national sex symbol. We cannot really enjoy anything unless we can go up an alley for it. Yet our whole background and raising and training forbids the sub rosa and surreptitious. So we have to divorce our wife today in order to remove from our mistress the odium of mistress in order to divorce our wife tomorrow in order to remove from our mistress and so on. As a result of which the American woman has become cold and and undersexed; she has projected her libido on to the automobile not only because its glitter and gadgets and mobility pander to her vanity and incapacity (because of the dress decreed upon her by the national retailers association) to walk but because it will not maul her and tousle her, get her all sweaty and disarranged. So in order to capture and master anything at all of her anymore the American man has got to make that car his own. Which is why let him live in a rented rathole though he must he will not only own one but renew it each year in pristine virginity, lending it to no one, letting no other hand ever know the last secret forever chaste forever wanton intimacy of its pedals and levers, having nowhere to go in it himself and even if he did he would not go where scratch or blemish might deface it, spending all Sunday morning washing and polishing and waxing it because in doing that he is caressing the body of the woman who has long since now denied him her bed.
William Faulkner (Intruder in the Dust)
That’s the thing about being an adult standing beside your childhood race car bed. Time collapses, and instead of the version of you you’ve built from scratch, you’re all the hackneyed drafts that came before, all at once.
Emily Henry (Book Lovers)
Take most people, they're crazy about cars. They worry if they get a little scratch on them, and they're always talking about how many miles they get to a gallon, and if they get a brand-new car already they start thinking about trading it in for one that's even newer. I don't even like old cars. I mean they don't even interest me. I'd rather have a goddam horse. A horse is at least human, for God's sake.
J.D. Salinger
Orafoura once told me that if I were a car, I’d be a Ferrari. One that was scratched smashed, rusted, and stolen.
Jarod Kintz (This Book is Not for Sale)
I named my car Itch, not because it’s all scratched up, though it is, but because it got under my skin without tickling my fancy.
Jarod Kintz (This Book Has No Title)
We can talk to one another on telephones in banks, in cars, in line. No more sitting on the floor attached to a cord while everybody listens. No more standing outside the booth in the cold, fingering an adulterous dime. We send each other mail without stamps. Watch television without antennas. Wear seatbelts, smoke less, and never on a bus, never in the lobby while we’re waiting for the lawyer to call on us. Nowhere now, a typewriter ribbon. Quaintly the record album’s scratch and spin. Our groceries, scanned. Pump our own gas. Take off our shoes before boarding our plane. Those towers: Gone. And Pluto’s no longer a planet: Forget it. I could go on and on, but you’re still dead and nothing’s any different.
Laura Kasischke
But what my car needs is gas, not memories! How can you make a car go on memories?' B.D. scratched under her Admiral's hat. 'What'd you think gas was, girl? 'Course there's all sorts of fuel, wind and wishes and chocolate cake and collard greens and water and brawn, but you're wanting the kind that burns in an engine. That kind of gas is nothing more than the past stored up and fermented and kept down in the cellar of the earth till it's wanted. Gas is saved-up sunlight. Giant ferns and apples of immortality and dimetrodons and cyclopses and werewhales drank up the sun as it shone on their backs a million years ago and used it to be a bigger fern or make more werewhales or drop seeds of improbability.' Her otter's paws moved quick and sure, selecting a squat, square bottle here and a round rosy one there. 'It so happens sunshine has a fearful memory. It sticks around even after its favorite dimetrodon dies. Gets hard and wily. Turns into something you can touch, something you can drill, something you can pour. But it still remembers having one eye and slapping the ocean's face with a great heavy tail. It liked making more dinosaurs and growing a frond as tall as a bank. It likes to make things alive, to make things go.
Catherynne M. Valente (The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two (Fairyland, #3))
You are living on a planet spinning around the middle of outer space, and you’re either worrying about your blemishes, the scratch on your new car, or the fact that you burped in public. It’s not healthy. If your physical body were that sensitive, you would say you were sick. But our society considers psychological sensitivities normal. Because most of us don’t have to worry about food, clothing, or shelter, we have the luxury of worrying about a spot on our pants, or laughing too loud, or saying something wrong.
Michael A. Singer (The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself)
You’re seeing someone else, aren’t you?" Seeing someone else? How on earth could that explain any of this? Why would seeing someone else necessitate bringing home a middle­-aged woman, a teenaged punk and an American with a leather jacket and a Rod Stewart haircut? What would the story have been? But then, after reflection, I realised that Penny had probably been here before, and therefore knew that infidelity can usually provide the answer to any domestic mystery. If I had walked in with Sheena Easton and Donald Rumsfeld, Penny would probably have scratched her head for a few seconds before saying exactly the same thing. In other circumstances, on other evenings, it would have been the right conclusion, too; I used to be pretty resourceful when I was being unfaithful to Cindy, even if I do say so myself. I once drove a new BMW into a wall, simply because I needed to explain a four­-hour delay in getting home from work. Cindy came out into the street to inspect the crumpled bonnet, looked at me, and said, “You’re seeing someone else, aren’t you?” I denied it, of course. But then, anything – smashing up a new car, persuading Donald Rumsfeld to come to an Islington flat in the early hours of New Year’s Day – is easier than actually telling the truth. That look you get, the look which lets you see right through the eyes and down into the place where she keeps all the hurt and the rage and the loathing... Who wouldn’t go that extra yard to avoid it?
Nick Hornby (A Long Way Down)
Did you ever get fed up?" I said. "I mean did you ever get scared that everything was going to go lousy unless you did something? I mean do you like school and all that stuff?" "It's a terrific bore." "I mean do you hate it? I know it's a terrific bore, but do you hate it, is what I mean." "Well, I don't exactly hate it. You always have to--" "Well, I hate it. Boy, do I hate it," I said. "But it isn't just that. It's everything. I hate living in New York and all. Taxicabs, and Madison Avenue buses, with the drivers and all always yelling at you to get out at the rear door, and being introduced to phony guys that call the Lunts angels, and going up and down in elevators when you just want to go outside, and guys fitting your pants all the time at Brooks, and people always--" "Don't shout, please," old Sally said. Which was very funny, because I wasn't even shouting. "Take cars," I said. I said it in this very quiet voice. "Take most people, they're crazy about cars. They worry if they get a little scratch on them, and they're always talking about how many miles they get to a gallon, and if they get a brand-new car already they start thinking about trading it in for one that's even newer. I don't even like old cars. I mean they don't even interest me. I'd rather have a goddam horse. A horse is at least human, for God's sake. A horse you can at least--" "I don't know what you're even talking about," old Sally said. "You jump from one--" "You know something?" I said. You're probably the only reason I'm in New York right now, or anywhere. If you weren't around, I'd probably be someplace way the hell off. In the woods or some goddam place. You're the only reason I'm around, practically." "You're sweet," she said. But you could tell she wanted me to change the damn subject. "You ought to go to a boys' school sometime. Try it sometime," I said. "It's full of phonies, and all you do is study so that you can learn enough to be smart enough to be able to buy a goddam Cadillac some day, and you have to keep making believe you give a damn if the football team loses, and all you do is talk about girls and liquor and sex all day, and everybody sticks together in these dirty little goddam cliques. The guys that are on the basketball team stuck together, the Catholics stick together, the guys that play bridge stick together. Even the guys that belong to the goddam Book-of-the-Month Club stick together. If you try to have a little intelligent--" "Now, listen," old Sally said. "Lots of boys get more out of school that that." "I agree! I agree they do, some of them! But that's all I get out of it. See? That's my point. That's exactly my goddamn point," I said. "I don't get hardly anything out of anything. I'm in bad shape. I'm in lousy shape." "You certainly are.
J.D. Salinger (The Catcher in the Rye)
I can't believe you did that.' 'Why?' I felt a little weak at the knees, and I wasn't at all sure it was due to a sudden drop in blood pressure. 'Why wouldn't I? With you?' He put his arms around me and kissed me. That was a whole different kind of hunger, one I understood way better. Michael backed me up against the car and kissed me like it was the last night on earth, like the sun and stars would burn down before he'd let me go. The only thing that slowed us down was Shane saying, very clearly, 'I am driving off and leaving you here, I swear to God. You're embarrassing me.' Michael pulled back just enough that our lips were touching, but not pressed together, and sighed. There was so much in that sound, all his longing and his fear and his need and his frustration. 'Sorry,' he said. I smiled. 'For what?' He was still holding his thumb over the wound on my wrist. 'This,' he said, and pressed just a little harder before letting go. It didn't bleed. I purred lightly, and nipped at his mouth. 'I'm Catwoman,' I reminded him. 'And it's just a scratch.
Rachel Caine (All Hallows (The Morganville Vampires, #6.6))
It wasn’t beautiful. A Winter wedding is a union of elation and depression, red velvet blankets in a cheap motel room stained with semen from sex devoid of meaning, and black mold clinging to the fringe of floral shower curtains like a heap of dead forevers. You sat down at the foot of the bed, looking at me like I had already
driven away. I was thinking about watching CNN. How fucked up is that? I wanted to know that your second hand, off-white dress, and my black polyester bow tie wasn’t as tragic as a hurricane devouring a suburb, or a train derailment in no where, Virginia, ending the lives of two young college hopefuls. I was naïve. I thought that there were as many right ways to feel love as the amount of
 pubic hair, 
 belly lint, and 
scratch marks abandoned by lovers in our honeymoon suite. When you looked at me in bed that night, I put my hand on your chest to feel a little more human. I don’t know what to call you; a name does not describe the aches, or lack of. This love is unusual and comfortable. If you were to leave, I know I’d search for days, in newspapers and broadcasts, in car accidents and exposés on genocide in Kosovo. (How do I address this? How is one to feel about a love without a name?) My heart would be ambivalent, too scared to look for you behind the curtains of the motel window, outside in the abyss of powder and pay phones because I don’t know how to love you. -Kosovo
Lucas Regazzi
I trudged down the stairs and stood on the sidewalk examining my car. Deep scratch in the roof from a misplaced bullet. Hole in windsheild plus embeddedbullet in passenger seat. Bashed-in right rear quarter panel and right passenger-side door from slegehammer. Previous damage from creepy gun attack by insane stalker, And someone had spray painted EAT ME on the driver's side door. "Your car's a mess,"Lula said. "I don't know what it is with you and cars.
Janet Evanovich (Eleven on Top (Stephanie Plum, #11))
Shapechangers in Winter” Margaret Atwood I. Through the slit of our open window, the wind comes in and flows around us, nothingness in motion, like time. The power of what is not there. the snow empties itself down, a shadow turning to indigo, obliterating everything out there, roofs, cars, garbage cans, dead flowerstalks, dog turds, it doesn’t matter. you could read this as indifference on the part of the universe, or else a relentless forgiveness: all of our scratches and blots and mortal wounds and patched-up jobs wiped clean in the snow’s huge erasure.
Margaret Atwood (Morning In The Burned House: Poems)
In the crush men used the women to play silent games with themselves. One stared ironically at a dark-haired girl to see if she would lower her gaze. One, with his eyes, caught a bit of lace between two buttons of a blouse, or harpooned a strap. Others passed the time looking out the window into cars for a glimpse of an uncovered leg, the play of muscles as a foot pushed break or clutch, a hand absentmindedly scratching the inside of a thigh.
Elena Ferrante (Troubling Love)
What I’ve got here are my own constraints. I’m challenging myself, using found objects and making stuff that throws all this computational capacity at, you know, these trivial problems, like car-driving Elmo clusters and seashell toaster-robots. We have so much capacity that the trivia expands to fill it. And all that capacity is junk-capacity, it’s leftovers. There’s enough computational capacity in a junkyard to launch a space-program, and that’s by design. Remember the iPod? Why do you think it was so prone to scratching and going all gunky after a year in your pocket? Why would Apple build a handheld technology out of materials that turned to shit if you looked at them cross-eyed? It’s because the iPod was only meant to last a year!
Cory Doctorow (Makers)
But in a sense, destruction is a means of creation. When a vandal knoecks in the side of a telephone booth, or scratches his name on the side of a subway car, he is leaving his mark. He is, whether he knows it or not, attempting to show that he exists and that he has the ability to affect things, and to change things. Destructive violence is a way of saying, 'Look, I am here.' That's the easy way. That's negative creation. Positive creation is much more difficult - it requires patience and talent.
Anthony Burgess
A prominent israeli writer, Sami Michael, once told of a long car journey with a driver. At some point, the driver explained to Michael how important, indeed how urgent, it is for us Jews “to kill all the Arabs.” Sami Michael listened politely, and instead of reacting with horror, denunciation, or disgust, he asked the driver an innocent question: “And who, in your opinion, should kill all the Arabs?” “Us! The Jews! We have to! It’s either us or them! Can’t you see what they’re doing to us?” “But who, exactly, should actually kill all the Arabs? The army? The police? Firemen, perhaps? Or doctors in white coats, with syringes?” The driver scratched his head, pondered the question, and finally said, “We’ll have to divvy it up among us. Every Jewish man will have to kill a few Arabs.” Michael did not let up: “All right. Let’s say you, as a Haifa man, are in charge of one apartment building in Haifa. You go from door to door, ring the bells, and ask the residents politely, ‘Excuse me, would you happen to be Arabs?’ If the answer is yes, you shoot and kill them. When you’re done killing all the Arabs in the building, you go downstairs and head home, but before you get very far you hear a baby crying on the top floor. What do you do? Turn around? Go back? Go upstairs and shoot the baby? Yes or no?” A long silence. The driver considers. Finally he says, “Sir, you are a very cruel man!” This story exposes the confusion sometimes found in the fanatic’s mind: a mixture of intransigence with sentimentality and a lack of imagination.
Amos Oz (שלום לקנאים)
Flora is like a car, she wants everything on her terms. If I’d asked her to come with me for a swim, she’d probably have said no. Occasionally she’ll allow me to stroke and pet her, but if I put out an uninvited hand she’ll often scratch and claw, and run away.
Claire Fuller (Swimming Lessons)
Love is an art, Berk. Just like painting or music. Some painters draw mere lines, scratches on the canvas and call them art; some paint stars studded skies like van Gogh; or Chopin’s music conquers the hearts of millions while the execrable disco music blaring out of the open windows of a car have also their audience. Some describe love in high-flown flowery language and you identify yourself with the hero and the heroine and feel yourself in the seventh heaven while some give such a lamentable picture of it that you almost curse it!
T. Afsin Ilgar (Locked Lives)
Everyone knew that Jim's creative coup d'etat came from a suggestion from his great-uncle Max, who lived on a farm in Iowa. According to Jim [Jackers], his uncle had Mexicans running the farm while his days were spent in the farmhouse basement reconstructing a real train car from scratch, which was the only thing he had shown any interest in since the passing of his wife. He traveled to old train yards collecting the parts. When someone asked him at a family function why we was doing it, his answer was so that no one could remove the train car from the basement after he died. When it was pointed out to him that the boxcar could be removed by dismantling it, reversing the process by which he had constructed it, Jim's great uncle replied that no Jackers alive was willing to work that hard at anything.
Joshua Ferris (Then We Came to the End)
If you put shampoo into a car engine, you're not going to scratch your head when the thing conks out,' [Dale Pinnock] said. Yet every day, all over the Western world, we are putting into our bodies substances 'which are so far removed from what was intended for human fuel.
Johann Hari (Stolen Focus: Why You Can't Pay Attention— and How to Think Deeply Again)
Wow wow wow is all I can say! Remember how I always buy lunchtime Scratch-Off ticket? Have I said? Maybe did not say? Well, every Friday, to reward self for good week, I stop at store near home, treat self to Butterfinger, plus Scratch-Off ticket. Sometimes, if hard week, two Butterfingers. Sometimes, if very hard week, three Butterfingers. But, if three Butterfingers, no Scratch-Off. But Friday won ten grand!! On Scratch-Off! Dropped both Butterfingers, stood there holding dime used to scratch, mouth hanging open. Kind of reeled into magazine rack. Guy at register took ticket, read ticket, said, Winner! Guy righted magazine rack, shook my hand. Raced home on foot, forgetting car. Raced back for car. Halfway back, thought, What the heck, raced home on foot. Pam raced out, said, Where is car? Showed her Scratch-Off ticket. She stood stunned in yard. Are we rich now? Thomas said, racing out, dragging Ferber by collar. Not rich, Pam said. Richer, I said. Richer, Pam said. Damn. All began dancing around yard, Ferber looking witless at sudden dancing, then doing dance of own, by chasing own tail.
George Saunders (Tenth of December)
He got out of the car and headed up to the house. He looked on the sidewalk where once he had scratched his name on the wet cement, but it was no longer there. It was smooth, like when a wave washes away initials in a heart someone drew in the sand. Always more waves than words in hearts in the sand, it seemed.
David Duchovny (Bucky F*cking Dent)
Wouldn’t have expected someone as determined as you are to run.” She threw a pissed-off-woman look over her shoulder. “I’m not running. I’m regrouping before I give in to the urge to scratch your pretty car.” I lifted my hands in a gesture of surrender. “No need to threaten the car, Elle. That’s uncalled for.
Meghan March (Beneath These Chains (Beneath, #3))
Funnel The family story tells, and it was told true, of my great-grandfather who begat eight genius children and bought twelve almost-new grand pianos. He left a considerable estate when he died. The children honored their separate arts; two became moderately famous, three married and fattened their delicate share of wealth and brilliance. The sixth one was a concert pianist. She had a notable career and wore cropped hair and walked like a man, or so I heard when prying a childhood car into the hushed talk of the straight Maine clan. One died a pinafore child, she stays her five years forever. And here is one that wrote- I sort his odd books and wonder his once alive words and scratch out my short marginal notes and finger my accounts. back from that great-grandfather I have come to tidy a country graveyard for his sake, to chat with the custodian under a yearly sun and touch a ghost sound where it lies awake. I like best to think of that Bunyan man slapping his thighs and trading the yankee sale for one dozen grand pianos. it fit his plan of culture to do it big. On this same scale he built seven arking houses and they still stand. One, five stories up, straight up like a square box, still dominates its coastal edge of land. It is rented cheap in the summer musted air to sneaker-footed families who pad through its rooms and sometimes finger the yellow keys of an old piano that wheezes bells of mildew. Like a shoe factory amid the spruce trees it squats; flat roof and rows of windows spying through the mist. Where those eight children danced their starfished summers, the thirty-six pines sighing, that bearded man walked giant steps and chanced his gifts in numbers. Back from that great-grandfather I have come to puzzle a bending gravestone for his sake, to question this diminishing and feed a minimum of children their careful slice of suburban cake.
Anne Sexton
He picked up Gabe’s Camaro by the torn roof, the chassis creaking and groaning. He raised the car over his head and threw it down the road. It slammed into the wet asphalt and skidded in a shower of sparks for about half a mile before coming to a stop. The gas tank exploded. Not a scratch,I remembered Gabe saying. Oops.
Rick Riordan (The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1))
Click. Everyone briefly gathered and posed and smiling at their future selves. Beaches and cathedrals, bumper cars and birthday parties, glasses raised around a dining table. Each picture a little pause between events. No tantrums, no illness, no bad news, all the big stuff happening before and after and in between. The true magic happening only when the lesser magic fails, the ghost daughter who moved during the exposure, her face unreadable but more alive than all her frozen family. Double exposures, as if a little strip of time had been folded back on itself. Scratches and sun flares. Photos torn postdivorce, faces scratched out or Biroed over. The camera telling the truth only when something slips through its silver fingers.
Mark Haddon (The Red House: A Novel)
Despite having apparently conquered his most debilitating social problems, to this day, Daniel says he still can’t shave himself, or drive a car. The sound of the toothbrush scratching his teeth drives him mad. He says he avoids public places, and is obsessive about small things. For breakfast, he measures out exactly forty-five grams of porridge on an electric scale.
Joshua Foer (Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything)
He slammed his cup down. Coffee splashed over the rim and puddled around the base. “What on earth gave you the idea I want space? I want you here. With me. All the time. I want to come home and hear the shower running and get excited because I know you’re in it. I want to struggle every morning to get up and go to the gym because I hate the idea of leaving your warm body behind in bed. I want to hear a key turn in the lock and feel contented knowing you’re home. I don’t want fucking space, Harper.” Harper laughed. “What’s funny?” “I didn’t mean space. I meant space, like closet space, a drawer in the bedroom, part of the counter in the bathroom.” Trent’s mouth twitched, a slight smile making its way to his lips. “Like a compromise. A commitment that I want more. I seem to recall you telling me in the car about something being a step in the right direction to a goal we both agreed on. Well, I want all those things you just said, with you, eventually. And if we start to leave things at each other’s places, it’s a step, right?” Trent reached up, flexing his delicious tattooed bicep, and scratched the side of his head. Without speaking, he leapt to his feet, grabbing Harper and pulling her into a fireman’s lift. “Trent,” she squealed, kicking her feet to get free. “What are you doing?” He slapped her butt playfully and laughed as he carried her down the hallway. Reaching the bedroom, Trent threw her onto the bed. “We’re doing space. Today, right now.” He started pulling open his drawers, looking inside each one before pulling stuff out of the top drawer and dividing it between the others. “Okay, this is for your underwear. I need to see bras, panties, and whatever other girly shit you have in here before the end of the day.” Like a panther on the prowl, Trent launched himself at the bed, grabbing her ankle and pulling her to the edge of the bed before sweeping her into his arms to walk to the bathroom. He perched her on the corner of the vanity, where his stuff was spread across the two sinks. “Pick one.” “Pick one what?” “Sink. Which do you want?” “You’re giving me a whole sink? Wait … stop…” Trent grabbed her and started tickling her. Harper didn’t recognize the girly giggles that escaped her. Pointing to the sink farthest away from the door, she watched as he pushed his toothbrush, toothpaste, and styling products to the other side of the vanity. He did the same thing with the vanity drawers and created some space under the sink. “I expect to see toothbrush, toothpaste, your shampoo, and whatever it is that makes you smell like vanilla in here.” “You like the vanilla?” It never ceased to surprise her, the details he remembered. Turning, he grabbed her cheeks in both hands and kissed her hard. He trailed kisses behind her ear and inhaled deeply before returning to face her. “Absolutely. I fucking love vanilla,” he murmured against her lips before kissing her again, softly this time. “Oh and I’d better see a box of tampons too.” “Oh my goodness, you are beyond!” Harper blushed furiously. “I want you for so much more than just sex, Harper.
Scarlett Cole (The Strongest Steel (Second Circle Tattoos, #1))
And these are his daughters, Hallie and Luna. Guys, this is my cousin Winnie and her friend Ellie.” “Oh, we already know Winnie,” Hallie informed him. “You do?” Chip grinned down at her in surprise. “Yes, she lives next door,” said Luna excitedly, bouncing up and down. “We saw her bum today!” Record scratch. Horrible silence. Chip looked confused. “Her what?” “Her bum.” Luna patted her own backside while I held my breath and tried to make myself disappear. “We saw it when we were in her bedroom today.” “Luna!” Hallie elbowed her sister. “Daddy told us in the car not to tell that story tonight. You’re gonna get us in trouble and then we can’t go swimming tomorrow.” “I forgot.” Luna rubbed her shoulder and looked up at Dex. “Sorry, Daddy.” Dex struggled for words and came up with, “Fucking hell, Luna.
Melanie Harlow (Ignite (Cloverleigh Farms, #6))
There is a tendency for people affected by this epidemic to police each other or prescribe what the most important gestures would be for dealing with this experience of loss. I resent that. At the same time, I worry that friends will slowly become professional pallbearers, waiting for each death of their lovers, friends, and neighbors, and polishing their funeral speeches; perfecting their rituals of death rather than a relatively simple ritual of life such as screaming in the streets. I worry because of the urgency of the situations, because of seeing death coming in from the edges of abstraction where those with the luxury of time have cast it. I imagine what it would be like if friends had a demonstration each time a lover or a friend or a stranger died of AIDS. I imagine what it would be like if, each time a lover, friend or stranger died of this disease, their friends, lovers or neighbors would take the dead body and drive with it in a car a hundred miles an hour to washington d.c. and blast through the gates of the white house and come to a screeching halt before the entrance and dump their lifeless form on the front steps. It would be comforting to see those friends, neighbors, lovers and strangers mark time and place and history in such a public way. But, bottom line, this is my own feelings of urgency and need; bottom line, emotionally, even a tiny charcoal scratching done as a gesture to mark a person's response to this epidemic means whole worlds to me if it is hung in public; bottom line, each and every gesture carries a reverberation that is meaningful in its diversity; bottom line, we have to find our own forms of gesture and communication. You can never depend on the mass media to reflect us or our needs or our states of mind; bottom line, with enough gestures we can deafen the satellites and lift the curtains surrounding the control room.
David Wojnarowicz (Close to the Knives: A Memoir of Disintegration)
The Sydney of this time was a different place to the honeymoon city I'd visited with Damien. That one was the crescent of the bridge, the rolling waves beneath the ferry, the shaded streets in The Rocks where we'd bought touristy postcards to send home. Everywhere was so lush, everything blue and green. This Sydney was more or less the space between Campsie and Dulwich Hill. Suburban streets, 7-Eleven hot chocolate, stream, car fumes, perc in my nose and throat, light dancing across the scratched Perspex of train window.
Jennifer Down (Bodies of Light)
Justice and honesty and loyalty are not properties of this world, she thought; and then, by God, she rammed her old enemy, her ancient foe, the Coca-Cola truck, which went right on going without noticing. The impact spun her small car around; her headlights dimmed out, horrible noises of fender against tire shrieked, and then she was off the freeway onto the emergency strip, facing the other direction, water pouring from her radiator, with motorists slowing down to gape. Come back, you motherfucker, she said to herself, but the Coca-Cola truck was long gone, probably undented. Maybe a scratch. Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later, her war, her taking on a symbol and a reality that outweighed her. Now my insurance rates will go up, she realized as she climbed from her car. In this world you pay for tilting with evil in cold, hard cash. A late-model Mustang slowed and the driver, a man, called to her, “You want a ride, miss?” She did not answer. She just kept on going. A small figure on foot facing an infinity of oncoming lights.
Philip K. Dick (A Scanner Darkly)
My God,” she says. “I feel like I’ve gone through a car wash.” I laugh, or force myself to, because it’s not something I’d normally laugh at. “What about you?” she says to Scottie. “How did you make out?” “I’m a boy,” Scottie says. “Look at me.” Sand has gotten into the bottom of her suit, creating a huge bulge. She scratches at the bulge. “I’m going to go to work now,” she says. I think she’s impersonating me and that Mrs. Speer is getting an unrealistic, humiliating glimpse. “Scottie,” I say. “Take that out.” “It must be fun to have girls,” Mrs. Speer says. She looks at the ocean, and I see that she’s looking at Alex sunbathing on the floating raft. Sid leans over Alex and puts his mouth to hers. She raises a hand to his head, and for a moment I forget it’s my daughter out there and think of how long it has been since I’ve been kissed or kissed like that. “Or maybe you have your hands full,” Mrs. Speer says. “No, no,” I say. “It’s great,” and it is, I suppose, though I feel like I’ve just acquired them and don’t know yet. “They’ve been together for ages.” I gesture to Alex and Sid. I don’t understand if they’re a couple or if this is how all kids in high school act these days. Mrs. Speer looks at me curiously, as if she’s about to say something, but she doesn’t. “And boys.” I gesture to her little dorks. “They must keep you busy.” “They’re a handful. But they’re at such a fun age. It’s such a joy.” She gazes out at her boys. Her expression does little to convince me that they’re such a joy. I wonder how many times parents have these dull conversations with one another and how much they must hide. They’re so goddamn hyper, I’d do anything to inject them with a horse tranquilizer. They keep insisting that I watch what they can do, but I truly don’t give a fuck. How hard is it to jump off a diving board? My girls are messed up, I want to say. One talks dirty to her own reflection. Did you do that when you were growing up? “Your girls seem great, too,” she says. “How old are they?” “Ten and eighteen. And yours?” “Ten and twelve.” “Oh,” I say. “Great.” “Your younger one sure is funny,” she says. “I mean, not funny. I meant entertaining.” “Oh, yeah. That’s Scottie. She’s a riot.
Kaui Hart Hemmings (The Descendants)
It’s an affront, all of that. Weak knees, arthritic knuckles, varicose veins, infirmities, indignities – they aren’t ours, we never wanted or claimed them. Inside our heads we carry ourselves perfected – ourselves at the best age, and in the best light as well: never caught awkwardly, one leg out of a car, one still in, or picking our teeth, or slouching, or scratching our noses or bums. If naked, seen gracefully reclining through a gauzy mist, which is where movie stars come in: they assume such poses for us. They are our younger selves as they recede from us, glow, turn mythical.
Margaret Atwood (The Blind Assassin)
It was indeed a long wait, well over two hours. I sat in the car and listened to the radio and tried to picture, bite by bite, what it was like to eat a medianochesandwich: the crackle of the bread crust, socrisp and toasty it scratches the inside of your mouth as you bite down. Then the first taste of mustard, followed by the soothing cheese and the salt of the meat. Next bite—a piece of pickle. Chew it all up; let the flavors mingle. Swallow. Take a big sip of Iron Beer (pronounced Ee-roan Bay-er, and it’s a soda). Sigh. Sheer bliss. I would rather eat than do anything else except play with the Passenger. It’s a true miracle of genetics that I am not fat.
Jeff Lindsay
What should I use for a fake speech then?” Pico Not-Connected-To-Its-Source says from the car’s speakers. “I gave you the most accurate Literature Understanding Intelligence,” Yuan says. “That’s for book reviewing and suggesting you titles, not for making up a fake speech,” Pico protests. “I’m not connected to—” “Find something from my last fifty years of speeches. Be useful. Never bother me with Independence-Day speeches again.” Yuan silences the line. This time his voice sounds a bit cold, scratching the line of anger. Just a little. Perhaps, the death of thirty-seven rarest animals on the planet shouldn’t keep you calm after all. Even if they are ‘not pets’.
Misba (The High Auction (Wisdom Revolution, #1))
Why the hell do you insist on car pooling?" He scratches his head, sighing. "Look, if we car pool, it saves fuel, all right?" I snort out a laugh. "Daniel Kerrington giving a damn about Mother Earth? Wow. That's new." "Just because I'm an asshole to girls doesn't mean I'm an asshole to the environment." That has to be the weirdest thing to have come out of Daniel Kerrington's mouth. "So can you just save both of us the trouble by getting in this car?" He holds open the passenger door and gestures for me to get in. "I know you don't want to have to put up with me, and trust me, the feeling is completely mutual. But it's easier this way and it saves a lot of time." "And fuel," I add, just to make sure he didn't forget.
Claudia Tan (Perfect Illusion (Perfect Series, #1))
Rach-Uh, my mom says they'll help me blend in better. She says the color would just draw attention to me." Emma snorts. "Oh, she's definitely right. Blue eyes make you look so much more average. In fact, I almost didn't notice you standing there." "That hurts my feelings, Emma." He grins. She giggles. He says, "I'd consider forgiving you-if you come with me to the beach." She sighs. "I can't go with you, Galen." He runs a hand through his hair. "Honestly, Emma, I don't know how much more rejection I can take," he blurts out. In fact, he doesn't remember ever being rejected, except by Emma. Of course, that could be due to the fact that he's a Royal. Or maybe it's because he doesn't spend a lot of time with his kind anyway, let alone the females. Actually, he doesn't spend a lot of time with anyone except Rachel. And Rachel would give him her beating heart if he asked for it. "I'm sorry. It's not about you this time. Well, actually, it kind of is. My mom...well, she thinks we're dating." Her cheeks-and those lips-deepen to red. "Dating?" What is dating again? He tries to remember what Rachel told him...She said it's easy to remember because it's almost the same as...what is the rhyme for it? And then he remembers. "It's easy to remember, because dating rhymes with mating, and they're almost the same," she'd said. He blinks at Emma. "You're mom thinks we're ma-Uh, dating?" She nods biting her lip. For reasons he can't explain, this pleases him. He leans against the passenger door of her car. "Oh. Well. What does it matter if she thinks that?" "I told her we weren't dating, though. Just this morning. Going to the beach with you makes me look like a liar." He scratches the back of his neck. "I don't understand. If you told her we weren't dating, then why does she think we are?" She relaxes against his driver-side door. "Well, this is all actually your fault, not mine." "I'm obviously not asking the right questions-" "The way you acted toward me when I hit my head, Galen. Some people saw that. And they told my mom. She thinks I've been hiding you from her, keeping you a secret. Because she thinks we've been...we've been..." "Dating?" he offers. He can't understand why she'd have a difficult time discussing dating, if it means what he thinks it does-spending time with one human more than others to see if he or she would be a good mate. The Syrena do the same, only they call it sifting-and sifting doesn't take nearly as long as dating. A Syrena can sift out a mate within a few days. He'd laughed when Rachel said some humans date for years. So indecisive. Then an echo of Toraf's voice whispers to him, calling him a hypocrite. You're twenty years old. Why haven't you sifted for a mate? But that doesn't make him indecisive. He just hasn't had time to sift and keep his responsibility watching the humans. If it weren't for that, he'd already be settled down. How can Toraf think Emma's the reason he hasn't sifted yet? Up until three weeks ago, he didn't even know she existed.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
But surely the commute that defines the era was Noah's voyage aboard his eponymous ark, and to this day it remains the most epic commuting story ever told. As most people know, God felt that Earth had essentially "jumped the shark" (or "raped the angel" as they used to say back then), so rather than try to fix it, He instead decided to simply wash everyone away in a great flood and start over from scratch--just as you might do to your computer's hard drive if it has a really bad virus. So God spoke to Noah and commanded him to build an ark, aboard which he'd carry two of every animal in the world....Thus was born humankind's lust for gigantic vehicles, for God's instructions to Noah were basically the world's first car commercial, and the sales pitch was this: Large vehicles are your salvation.
I thought about whatever subliminal impulse had put me on the train to Farmingdale. Seeing Reva in full-blown Reva mode both delighted and disgusted me. Her repression, her transparent denial, her futile attempts to tap into the pain with me in the car, it all satisfied me somehow. Reva scratched at an itch that, on my own, I couldn’t reach. Watching her take what was deep and real and painful and ruin it by expressing it with such trite precision gave me reason to think Reva was an idiot, and therefore I could discount her pain, and with it, mine. Reva was like the pills I took. They turned everything, even hatred, even love, into fluff I could bat away. And that was exactly what I wanted—my emotions passing like headlights that shine softly through a window, sweep past me, illuminate something vaguely familiar, then fade and leave me in the dark again.
Ottessa Moshfegh (My Year of Rest and Relaxation)
Gabriel stared at the dashboard of Hunter’s Jeep and made no move to get out of the vehicle. “I don’t know what the hell we’re doing here,” he said. “Well,” said Hunter, “we could always go back to the house and watch Mamma Mia! with my grandparents. Or maybe we could stare at the police scanner for another hour and wait for nothing to happen. Or maybe ” “I just don’t feel like being at a party.” At this party. Full of guys who’d know he wasn’t allowed on the team. Full of girls who’d tease him about being an idiot. Hunter’s dog stuck his head between the seats, and Gabriel reached up to scratch him behind his ears. “I’ll just stay here with the dog.” Hunter sighed and gave him a look. “Come on, baby, don’t be like that. Did you pack your Midol?” “All right, all right.” Gabriel climbed out of the car, slamming the door behind him. “I don’t even know why I like you.
Brigid Kemmerer (Spark (Elemental, #2))
Jason, it’s a pleasure.” Instead of being in awe or “fangirling” over one of the best catchers in the country, my dad acts normal and doesn’t even mention the fact that Jason is a major league baseball player. “Going up north with my daughter?” “Yes, sir.” Jason sticks his hands in his back pockets and all I can focus on is the way his pecs press against the soft fabric of his shirt. “A-plus driver here in case you were wondering. No tickets, I enjoy a comfortable position of ten and two on the steering wheel, and I already established the rule in the car that it’s my playlist we’re listening to so there’s no fighting over music. Also, since it’s my off season, I took a siesta earlier today so I was fresh and alive for the drive tonight. I packed snacks, the tank is full, and there is water in reusable water bottles in the center console for each of us. Oh, and gum, in case I need something to chew if this one falls asleep.” He thumbs toward me. “I know how to use my fists if a bear comes near us, but I’m also not an idiot and know if it’s brown, hit the ground, if it’s black, fight that bastard back.” Oh my God, why is he so adorable? “I plan on teaching your daughter how to cook a proper meal this weekend, something she can make for you and your wife when you’re in town.” “Now this I like.” My dad chuckles. Chuckles. At Jason. I think I’m in an alternate universe. “I saw this great place that serves apparently the best pancakes in Illinois, so Sunday morning, I’d like to go there. I’d also like to hike, and when it comes to the sleeping arrangements, I was informed there are two bedrooms, and I plan on using one of them alone. No worries there.” Oh, I’m worried . . . that he plans on using the other one. “Well, looks like you’ve covered everything. This is a solid gentleman, Dottie.” I know. I really know. “Are you good? Am I allowed to leave now?” “I don’t know.” My dad scratches the side of his jaw. “Just from how charismatic this man is and his plans, I’m thinking I should take your place instead.” “I’m up for a bro weekend,” Jason says, his banter and decorum so easy. No wonder he’s loved so much. “Then I wouldn’t have to see the deep eye-roll your daughter gives me on a constant basis.” My dad leans in and says, “She gets that from me, but I will say this, I can’t possibly see myself eye-rolling with you. Do you have extra clothes packed for me?” “Do you mind sharing underwear with another man? Because I’m game.” My dad’s head falls back as he laughs. “I’ve never rubbed another man’s underwear on my junk, but never say never.” “Ohhh-kay, you two are done.” I reach up and press a kiss to my dad’s cheek. “We are leaving.” I take Jason by the arm and direct him back to the car. From over his shoulder, he mouths to my dad to call him, which my dad replies with a thumbs up. Ridiculous. Hilarious. When we’re saddled up in the car, I let out a long breath and shift my head to the side so I can look at him. Sincerely I say, “Sorry about that.” With the biggest smile on his face, his hand lands on my thigh. He gives it a good squeeze and says, “Don’t apologize, that was fucking awesome.
Meghan Quinn (The Lineup)
Also enraged at myself. Or not at myself - at this bad turn my body has done me. After having imposed itself on us like the egomaniac it is, clamouring about its own needs, foisting upon us its own sordid and perilous desires, the body's final trick is simply to absent itself. Just when you need it, just when you could use an arm or a leg, suddenly the body has other things to do. It falters, it buckles under you; it melts away as if made of snow, leaving nothing much. Two lumps of coal, an old hat, a grin made of pebbles. The bones dry sticks, easily broken. It's an affront, all of that. Weak knees, arthritic knuckles, varicose veins, infirmities, indignities - they aren't ours, we never wanted or claimed them. Inside our heads we carry ourselves perfected - ourselves at the best age, and in the best light as well: never caught awkwardly, one leg out of a car, one still in, or picking our teeth, or slouching, or scratching our noses or bums. If naked, seen gracefully reclining through a gauzy mist, which is where movie stars come in: they assume such poses for us. They are our younger selves as they recede from us, glow, turn mythical.
Margaret Atwood (The Blind Assassin)
Well, I hate it. Boy, do I hate it,” I said. “But it isn’t just that. It’s everything. I hate living in New York and all. Taxicabs, and Madison Avenue buses, with the drivers and all always yelling at you to get out at the rear door, and being introduced to phony guys that call the Lunts angels, and going up and down in elevators when you just want to go outside, and guys fitting your pants all the time at Brooks, and people always—” “Don’t shout, please,” old Sally said. Which was very funny, because I wasn’t even shouting. “Take cars,” I said. I said it in this very quiet voice. “Take most people, they’re crazy about cars. They worry if they get a little scratch on them, and they’re always talking about how many miles they get to a gallon, and if they get a brand-new car already they start thinking about trading it in for one that’s even newer. I don’t even like old cars. I mean they don’t even interest me. I’d rather have a goddam horse. A horse is at least human, for God’s sake. A horse you can at least—” “I don’t know what you’re even talking about,” old Sally said. “You jump from one—” “You know something?” I said. “You’re probably the only reason I’m in New York right now, or anywhere. If you weren’t around, I’d probably be someplace way the hell off. In the woods or some goddam place. You’re the only reason I’m around, practically.” “You’re sweet,” she said. But you could tell she wanted me to change the damn subject. “You ought to go to a boys’ school sometime. Try it sometime,” I said. “It’s full of phonies, and all you do is study so that you can learn enough to be smart enough to be able to buy a goddam Cadillac some day, and you have to keep making believe you give a damn if the football team loses, and all you do is talk about girls and liquor and sex all day, and everybody sticks together in these dirty little goddam cliques. The guys that are on the basketball team stick together, the Catholics stick together, the goddam intellectuals stick together, the guys that play bridge stick together. Even the guys that belong to the goddam Book-of-the-Month Club stick together. If you try to have a little intelligent—” “Now, listen,” old Sally said. “Lots of boys get more out of school than that.” “I agree! I agree they do, some of them! But that’s all I get out of it. See? That’s my point. That’s exactly my goddam point,” I said. “I don’t get hardly anything out of anything. I’m in bad shape. I’m in lousy shape.” “You certainly are.
J.D. Salinger (The Catcher in the Rye)
Melinda Pratt rides city bus number twelve to her cello lesson, wearing her mother's jean jacket and only one sock. Hallo, world, says Minna. Minna often addresses the world, sometimes silently, sometimes out loud. Bus number twelve is her favorite place for watching, inside and out. The bus passes cars and bicycles and people walking dogs. It passes store windows, and every so often Minna sees her face reflection, two dark eyes in a face as pale as a winter dawn. There are fourteen people on the bus today. Minna stands up to count them. She likes to count people, telephone poles, hats, umbrellas, and, lately, earrings. One girl, sitting directly in front of Minna, has seven earrings, five in one ear. She has wisps of dyed green hair that lie like forsythia buds against her neck. There are, Minna knows, a king, a past president of the United States, and a beauty queen on the bus. Minna can tell by looking. The king yawns and scratches his ear with his little finger. Scratches, not picks. The beauty queen sleeps, her mouth open, her hair the color of tomatoes not yet ripe. The past preside of the United States reads Teen Love and Body Builder's Annual. Next to Minna, leaning against the seat, is her cello in its zippered canvas case. Next to her cello is her younger brother, McGrew, who is humming. McGrew always hums. Sometimes he hums sentences, though most often it comes out like singing. McGrew's teachers do not enjoy McGrew answering questions in hums or song. Neither does the school principal, Mr. Ripley. McGrew spends lots of time sitting on the bench outside Mr. Ripley's office, humming. Today McGrew is humming the newspaper. First the headlines, then the sports section, then the comics. McGrew only laughs at the headlines. Minna smiles at her brother. He is small and stocky and compact like a suitcase. Minna loves him. McGrew always tells the truth, even when he shouldn't. He is kind. And he lends Minna money from the coffee jar he keeps beneath his mattress. Minna looks out the bus window and thinks about her life. Her one life. She likes artichokes and blue fingernail polish and Mozart played too fast. She loves baseball, and the month of March because no one else much likes March, and every shade of brown she has ever seen. But this is only one life. Someday, she knows, she will have another life. A better one. McGrew knows this, too. McGrew is ten years old. He knows nearly everything. He knows, for instance, that his older sister, Minna Pratt, age eleven, is sitting patiently next to her cello waiting to be a woman.
Patricia MacLachlan (The Facts and Fictions of Minna Pratt)
Some think that money and what it can buy will make them happy and so concentrate on earning it. But acquiring a better car, a nicer house, a better position, or more comfort will never satisfy them, for they are filled with the desire to have more. For example, some people have a passion for cars. It is very important that their car is a good make and the latest model; it has to have good engineering and a quality music system. They grow very emotionally attached to their auto and do not want it to have the slightest dent or scratch. But their satisfaction from driving a nice car does not last long. Soon a new model comes out, and theirs becomes an outdated model. It pains them to read that a faster car with more accessories and more advanced engineering is now on the market, and in an instant moment they lose all the pleasure they had in their once-coveted possession. Also, their wardrobe becomes a major problem for ignorant people. Some people want to follow the latest clothing fashions, even though they may not have enough money to do so. They buy an outfit that they like and find attractive, but stop liking it when it goes out of style or they see it on someone they do not like or, even worse, a rival. The outfit abruptly loses its appeal and becomes a source of irritation. In much the same way, seeing someone wearing nicer clothing than theirs makes them quite miserable. No matter how nice their own outfits are, they are worried that they are no more than ordinary, which makes then unhappy. Their habits, social activities, material means, or possessions will not make them happy, and their constant search for more will make them even more miserable. When they realize that they have really consumed and wasted all of this life’s pleasures, they generally get “angry at life.” Unwilling to solve their problems through belief, they remain mired in confusion and unhappiness. Therefore, in spite of all their efforts, they remain confused and unhappy. However, if they practiced religious morality, they would have a joy deeper than they could imagine.
Harun Yahya (Those Who Exhaust All Their Pleasures In This Life)
In the meantime, I tried my best to acclimate to my new life in the middle of nowhere. I had to get used to the fact that I lived twenty miles from the nearest grocery store. That I couldn’t just run next door when I ran out of eggs. That there was no such thing as sushi. Not that it would matter, anyway. No cowboy on the ranch would touch it. That’s bait, they’d say, laughing at any city person who would convince themselves that such a food was tasty. And the trash truck: there wasn’t one. In this strange new land, there was no infrastructure for dealing with trash. There were cows in my yard, and they pooped everywhere--on the porch, in the yard, even on my car if they happened to be walking near it when they dropped a load. There wasn’t a yard crew to clean it up. I wanted to hire people, but there were no people. The reality of my situation grew more crystal clear every day. One morning, after I choked down a bowl of cereal, I looked outside the window and saw a mountain lion siting on the hood of my car, licking his paws--likely, I imagined, after tearing a neighboring rancher’s wife from limb to limb and eating her for breakfast. I darted to the phone and called Marlboro Man, telling him there was a mountain lion sitting on my car. My heart beat inside my chest. I had no idea mountain lions were indigenous to the area. “It’s probably just a bobcat,” Marlboro Man reassured me. I didn’t believe him. “No way--it’s huge,” I cried. “It’s seriously got to be a mountain lion!” “I’ve gotta go,” he said. Cows mooed in the background. I hung up the phone, incredulous at Marlboro Man’s lack of concern, and banged on the window with the palm of my hand, hoping to scare the wild cat away. But it only looked up and stared at me through the window, imagining me on a plate with a side of pureed trout. My courtship with Marlboro Man, filled with fizzy romance, hadn’t prepared me for any of this; not the mice I heard scratching in the wall next to my bed, not the flat tires I got from driving my car up and down the jagged gravel roads. Before I got married, I didn’t know how to use a jack or a crowbar…and I didn’t want to have to learn now. I didn’t want to know that the smell in the laundry room was a dead rodent. I’d never smelled a dead rodent in my life: why, when I was supposed to be a young, euphoric newlywed, was I being forced to smell one now? During the day, I was cranky. At night, I was a mess. I hadn’t slept through the night once since we returned from our honeymoon. Besides the nausea, whose second evil wave typically hit right at bedtime, I was downright spooked. As I lay next to Marlboro Man, who slept like a baby every night, I thought of monsters and serial killers: Freddy Krueger and Michael Myers, Ted Bundy and Charles Manson. In the utter silence of the country, every tiny sound was amplified; I was certain if I let myself go to sleep, the murderer outside our window would get me.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
Rowan coughed and spluttered on his gulp of beer. “I’ve never played with my pussy,” he said with an amused glint in his eye.” Her cheeks heated at his dirty language, but the tingles running under her skin made her aware of her reaction to being alone in the hotel room with Rowan, sitting on the big bed and playing silly games. “I’ve never touched a woman’s breasts beside my own.” “I’ve never given a blow job.” “I’ve never received a blow job,” she said, tilting the mini wine bottle to her mouth and realizing it was empty. “I’ve never played I never with a woman I love before,” he said, setting his beer can on the nightstand with a clink. “I’ve never kissed a man in a hotel room before.” She pressed forward onto her hands and knees to reach and kiss him. Their lips lingered for a long moment before she leaned back and waited for his next I never. “I’ve never removed a woman’s shirt in a hotel room.” Now it was his turn to lean forward and tug her sweater up over her head. She thought long and hard about her next words, knowing he would act on whatever she said. “I’ve never ordered a man to take off his shirt in a hotel room,” she said finally and watched happily as he removed his long sleeve navy cotton T–shirt. She’d never tire of seeing his smooth skin over hard pectorals. A narrow line of hair trailed down the center of his belly disappearing into jeans. She’d licked her way along that line yesterday and licked her lips now in anticipation of tasting him again. “I’ve never kissed a woman’s nipples in a hotel room,” he said. In a flash, her bra was flying through the air to land in a pile on the carpet in front of the window, and Rowan’s mouth was on her breasts. Sensation spiraled through her as she shuddered and her arousal built. She’d been on edge since their heated kisses in the car in the parking lot, and it didn’t take much for Rowan’s tongue to turn her into a shuddering, needy wanton. “I think this game has turned from I Never into Truth or Dare,” she said, clasping Rowan’s head to her chest. He pulled away from his decadent kisses to look her in the face. “Let’s do it. Dare me, Jill.” The look in his eye told her she might’ve taken on more than she could handle. Though she’d been an active participant in their lovemaking up to now, Rowan had taken the lead and guided her. She had the power here. The question was what to do with it. “I dare you to”—she licked her lips thoughtfully—“I dare you to get naked and lie on your back. Eyes closed,” she added. When all was as she wanted, she leaned over him and planted a kiss on his lips. Then she kissed her way down his body, stopping at all the best spots. His chin, where his unshaven beard scratched at her skin. His pectorals, one nipple, then another. His belly button. “You’re ticklish,” she observed. “Yeah.” Then she made her way lower to his erection, lying over his belly pointing at the chin. She freaking loved his body and how it reacted to her every touch. Being alone with him in the hotel room was even better. Here there were no echoes of footsteps in the hallway, no clock ticking signaling the end of their hour together, no narrow bed forcing them to get creative in their positions. They had a king–size bed and a whole night to explore. Kneeling at the side, she took him in her mouth, eliciting a moan. His musky taste filled her mouth, and she lovingly used her tongue to drive him wild. His hand found the crease of her jeans between her legs and explored her while she used her mouth on him. She parted her legs, giving him better access, and it was all she could do to concentrate on giving him pleasure when he was making her feel so good. She wanted to straddle him so bad. The temptation to stop the foreplay and ride this thing to completion was great, but she held off. “Are you ready for me?” Rowan asked. “You want my cock in you?” His eyes remained closed, and a smile lingered on his face.
Lynne Silver (Desperate Match (Coded for Love, #5))
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Mission Viejo Auto Collision
Google unveiled its latest driverless car. It plans to build 100 prototypes from scratch, rather than modifying others’ vehicles as it has done in the past. The car has no steering wheel or pedals, only a “stop” and a “go” button. The two-seater electric vehicle can travel up to 25mph (40kph) and the firm hopes to pilot it on Californian roads within two years. However, there remain significant regulatory and legal barriers to its spread.
Sang had got down on all fours and crawled into Farouk’s coat closet, weeping uncontrollably, at one point hitting herself with a shoe. She’d refused to emerge from the closet until the policeman lifted her by the armpits and dragged her forcefully from the apartment, telling Paul to see her home. Tiny pieces of flower petals and leaves were still stuck in her hair. She had taken Paul’s hand in the elevator, and all the way back to the house. In the car, she had cried continuously with her head between her knees, not letting go of Paul’s hand, gripping it even as he shifted gears. He had put the seatbelt on her; her body had been stiff, unyielding. She seemed to know, without looking up, when they turned in to their road. By then, she had stopped crying. Her nose was running. She wiped it with the back of her hand. A light rain had begun to fall, and within seconds the windows and the windshield seemed covered with scratches, similar to the ones she’d inflicted on herself, the drops beading up in small diagonal lines.
Jhumpa Lahiri (Unaccustomed Earth)
I’ll be so romantic she’ll want to hop right in the sack”       “‘Atta boy,” I said and handed him the ring box.       “Call her. Ask her out to dinner tomorrow night. Tell her you have something special you want to give her,” Tory said.       He hopped right up, went out to the kitchen, called. We eavesdropped on the half of the conversation we could hear. When it was over, he padded back out to the living room. “It’s on. She said this has all happened so quickly, she’s still sorting it out. That’s why she’s been acting the way she has. But she said she knows she loves me and wants to spend her life with me.”       “Touching.” I tried not to laugh. “Tory and I want to share in this happiness. We’re planning on being at the wedding. That’s okay with you isn’t it?”       “Sure,” he said, brows knitting together in sincerity.       “I’m asking because I don’t want this to get too big. Will your boss be there?”       “Mr. D’Onifrio?”       I nodded.       “Yeah, I talked to him this afternoon. He wanted to know the exact time and place. I told him Friday two o’clock at City Hall, room 410. He told me he’d be there.”       “Just him? Or will other friends come along?”       “The boss won’t come alone. He’ll bring a car full, at least. Three, four guys.”       “We’ll be there, too. Let him know that, okay?”       “Sure. No problem.”       “I’m glad he’s coming. I know he’s pretty busy that day.”       Fish scratched his belly. “Yeah, he’s getting some big award that night. Kinda surprises me, him doing that during meeting time.”       “Meeting time?” Tory asked innocently.       “His bosses are going to be in town. Happens a couple of times a year. Everybody has to walk around
Jay Giles (Blindsided)
watch the goshawk snip, tear and wrench flesh from the rabbit’s foreleg. I feel sorry for the rabbit. Rabbit was born, grew up in the field, ate dandelions and grass, scratched his jaw with his feet, hopped about. Had baby rabbits of his own. Rabbit didn’t know what lonely was; he lived in a warren. And rabbit is now just a carefully packed assemblage of different kinds of food for a hawk who spends her evenings watching television on the living-room floor. Everything is so damn mysterious. Another car passes. Faces turn to watch me crouched with rabbit and hawk. I feel like a tableau at a roadside shrine. But I’m not sure what the shrine is for. I’m a roadside phenomenon. I am death to community. I am missing the point.
Helen Macdonald (H is for Hawk)
As a cop, he’d seen too many accidents so he was all for staid, sturdy cars that were built so tough you could drive them through a building and only have to buff out a few scratches.
Kristen Ashley (For You (The 'Burg, #1))
Have you ever owned a dog?” I smile. “Sure, when I was young. He was a beagle. We called him Ajax.” “Was he happy?” I have to think about that. “Yes, I think so. He was a dog. What’s not to be happy about?” She nods. “Did it bother him to know that he would live only a few years, that his whole life would barely span your childhood? Did it bother him to know that your father would have him put to sleep as soon as he became inconvenient to keep?” I shake my head. “That’s not what happened. But even if it were, no, it wouldn’t have bothered him. He was a dog. He didn’t know anything about that.” “No,” she says. “He did not. He knew that his belly was full, or that it was not. He knew that his ears were being scratched, or that they were not. This was enough for him. Is this not so?” I shrug. “I suppose so.” “A dog knows nothing of time, and a dog knows nothing of death. He lives in an eternal present, with no concern for what occurred yesterday, or for what will come tomorrow. This is the source of his happiness. If you could have told Ajax what the future had in store for him, would you have done so?” I give her a long look. I have no idea where she’s going with this. “I didn’t know what the future had in store for him,” I say finally. “He got hit by a car when I was twelve.” Aaliyah sighs loudly. “But if you had known, and could have told him, would you have done so?” “No,” I say. “Why would I do that?” She nods again, as if I’ve just made her point. “This is why Tariq asked me not to speak to you of the faith.” It takes a minute for that to sink in. “So in this scenario, I am the dog?” “Yes, Elise. You are the dog.
Edward Ashton (Three Days in April)
As the Model S fever gripped Silicon Valley, I visited Ford’s small research and development lab in Palo Alto. The head of the lab at the time was a ponytailed, sandal-wearing engineer named T. J. Giuli, who felt very jealous of Tesla. Inside of every Ford were dozens of computing systems made by different companies that all had to speak to each other and work as one. It was a mess of complexity that had evolved over time, and simplifying the situation would prove near impossible at this point, especially for a company like Ford, which needed to pump out hundreds of thousands of cars per year and could not afford to stop and reboot. Tesla, by contrast, got to start from scratch and make its own software the focus of the Model S. Giuli would have loved the same opportunity. “Software is in many ways the heart of the new vehicle experience,” he said. “From the powertrain to the warning chimes in the car, you’re using software to create an expressive and pleasing environment. The level of integration that the software has into the rest of the Model S is really impressive. Tesla is a benchmark for what we do here.” Not long after this chat, Giuli left Ford to become an engineer at a stealth start-up. There
Ashlee Vance (Elon Musk: How the Billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla is Shaping our Future)
Didn’t you hear what I just said?” She sounded far from calm. “I have to pee. In fact, scratch that, I don’t have to. I’m going to. Any minute now. And I don’t want to do it sitting in my car.
Rebecca Cantrell ("A" is for Actress (Malibu Mystery, #1))
I must have fallen asleep on a rock. It’s digging into my shoulder blade. I scrunch up and start to roll over, but then freeze. It’s not just a single rock. It’s a giant one. Like concrete. I go numb as I realize what this means. It can’t be…I ease open my eye, and then in an instant I’m sitting upright and looking around. And all I see are cars. And people in blue jeans. And street signs. And I smell smog and I hear radios crackling in the passing cabs. I close my eyes for at least ten seconds and then open them again, but it’s all still there. The twenty-first century. I can’t stop my face from falling. I’m back. Just when I’d realized I don’t want this at all, I’m back. My shopping bags are strewn around me. I’m wearing jeans. A T-shirt. My heels. I glance back to realize the Prada shop is still a few yards behind me, just where I’d left it. I’m sitting in the exact spot I’d fallen down. I never left at all. I stay put for a few moments as a pounding headache fades. Alex. Emily. Even Victoria. They were all make-believe. Some figment of my banged-up brain. That means the kiss…God, I made it all up! Every single thing! I want to lie back down, close my eyes, and go back. I want horrible soup and stiff corsets and lump mattresses. I’ll trade it all to see Alex again. To go to Emily’s wedding. A man trips on my foot and then has the nerve to glare at me, even though he basically kicked me in the shin. Yes, I’m definitely in the twenty-first century. I scramble to my feet and wipe the dirt off my jeans and lean over to pick up my bags. And then I notice them. My heels. My beautiful, damaged heels. I glance over my shoulder. Yes, the Prada shop is definitely still behind me. I’ve gone maybe four steps from the door. Nowhere near enough to ruin the heels like this. They’re scuffed, dented, and scratched. I gather up the rest of my bags, my grin in full-force. It wasn’t fake. It wasn’t make-believe or a dream or anything. It happened. As sure as the mud on the heels, it happened. There’s even a dent where the front door of Harksbury bounced off the toe. I don’t know how or why or anything, but somehow, I was there. I danced with Alex and helped Emily. I played a piano for a duke and a countess, and I ate more exotic animals than I ever wanted to. But it happened. I don’t understand it; I only know that the last month was real, and it was the best of my life. I sling the bags over my shoulder and practically skip down the block. No matter what happens next, no matter what happens for the rest of my life, I have something no one else will ever have. An adventure to rival Indiana Jones. A crazy month that can never be replicated.
Mandy Hubbard (Prada & Prejudice)
She was not alone. “There’s a definite panic on the hip scene in Cambridge,” wrote student radical Raymond Mungo that year, “people going to uncommonly arduous lengths (debt, sacrifice, the prospect of cold toes and brown rice forever) to get away while there’s still time.” And it wasn’t just Cambridge. All over the nation at the dawn of the 1970s, young people were suddenly feeling an urge to get away, to leave the city behind for a new way of life in the country. Some, like Mungo, filled an elderly New England farmhouse with a tangle of comrades. Others sought out mountain-side hermitages in New Mexico or remote single-family Edens in Tennessee. Hilltop Maoists traversed their fields with horse-drawn plows. Graduate students who had never before held a hammer overhauled tobacco barns and flipped through the Whole Earth Catalog by the light of kerosene lamps. Vietnam vets hand-mixed adobe bricks. Born-and-bred Brooklynites felled cedar in Oregon. Former debutants milked goats in Humboldt County and weeded strawberry beds with their babies strapped to their backs. Famous musicians forked organic compost into upstate gardens. College professors committed themselves to winter commutes that required swapping high heels for cross-country skis. Computer programmers turned the last page of Scott and Helen Nearing’s Living the Good Life and packed their families into the car the next day. Most had no farming or carpentry experience, but no matter. To go back to the land, it seemed, all that was necessary was an ardent belief that life in Middle America was corrupt and hollow, that consumer goods were burdensome and unnecessary, that protest was better lived than shouted, and that the best response to a broken culture was to simply reinvent it from scratch.
Kate Daloz (We Are As Gods: Back to the Land in the 1970s on the Quest for a New America)
The casting away of things is symbolic, you know. Talismanic. When you cast away things, you're also casting away the self-related others that are symbolically related to those things. You start a cleaning-out process. You begin to empty the vessel." Larry shook his head slowly. "I don't follow that." "Well, take an intelligent pre-plague man. Break his TV, and what does he do at night?" "Reads a book," Ralph said. "Goes to see his friends," Stu said. "Plays the stereo," Larry said, grinning. "Sure, all those things," Glen said. "But he's also missing that TV. There's a hole in his life where that TV used to be. In the back of his mind he's still thinking, At nine o'clock I'm going to pull a few beers and watch the Sox on the tube. And when he goes in there and sees that empty cabinet, he feels as disappointed as hell. A part of his accustomed life has been poured out, is it not so?" "Yeah," Ralph said. "Our TV went on the fritz once for two weeks and I didn't feel right until it was back." "It makes a bigger hole in his life if he watched a lot of TV, a smaller hole if he only used it a little bit. But something is gone. Now take away all his books, all his friends, and his stereo. Also remove all sustenance except what he can glean along the way. It's an emptying-out process and also a diminishing of the ego. Your selves, gentlemen--they are turning into a window-glass. Or better yet, empty tumblers." "But what's the point?" Ralph asked. "Why go through all the rigmarole?" Glen said, "If you read your Bible, you'll see that it was pretty traditional for these prophets to go out into the wilderness from time to time--Old Testament Magical Mystery Tours. The timespan given for these jaunts was usually forty days and forty nights, a Hebraic idiom that really means 'no one knows exactly how long he was gone, but it was quite a while.' Does that remind you of anyone?" "Sure. Mother," Ralph said. "Now think of yourself as a battery. You really are, you know. Your brain runs on chemically converted electrical current. For that matter, your muscles run on tiny charges, too--a chemical called acetylcholine allows the charge to pass when you need to move, and when you want to stop, another chemical, cholinesterase, is manufactured. Cholinesterase destroys acetylcholine, so your nerves become poor conductors again. Good thing, too. Otherwise, once you started scratching your nose, you'd never be able to stop. Okay, the point is this: Everything you think, everything you do, it all has to run off the battery. Like the accessories in a car." They were all listening closely. "Watching TV, reading books, talking with friends, eating a big dinner ... all of it runs off the battery. A normal life--at least in what used to be Western civilization--was like running a car with power windows, power brakes, power seats, all the goodies. But the more goodies you have, the less the battery can charge. True?" "Yeah," Ralph said. "Even a big Delco won't ever overcharge when it's sitting in a Cadillac." "Well, what we've done is to strip off the accessories. We're on charge." Ralph said uneasily: "If you put a car battery on charge for too long, she'll explode." "Yes," Glen agreed. "Same with people. The Bible tells us about Isaiah and Job and the others, but it doesn't say how many prophets came back from the wilderness with visions that had crisped their brains. I imagine there were some. But I have a healthy respect for human intelligence and the human psyche, in spite of an occasional throwback like East Texas here--" "Off my case, baldy," Stu growled. "Anyhow, the capacity of the human mind is a lot bigger than the biggest Delco battery. I think it can take a charge almost to infinity. In certain cases, perhaps beyond infinity." They walked in silence for a while, thinking this over. "Are we changing?" Stu asked quietly. "Yes," Glen answered. "Yes, I think we are.
Stephen King
The Cats in the City Location: an Arab city. Time: the age of defeat. The twenty-first century. General atmosphere: “fancy” neighborhoods. Expensive houses painted in tombstone colors. Beautiful and well-maintained gardens. Flowers that no one dares to smell. Imported cars. Imported devices. Imported clothes. Imported foods. Endless consumer shops for anything and everything. Between every other restaurant, there are shops selling cosmetics and souvenirs. Between every other consumer market, There is a worship place. All consumer shops are built skillfully On the scab of the same old wound; A wound that can flood the city with blood and death With the slightest fingernail scratch. As I walk farther from the city, The consumer shops vanish. The lights are suddenly dimmed. The cheering and the hustle and bustle of the consumers go silent. I see myself in total darkness. I am alone hearing nothing but the sounds of my footsteps, And the meows of hungry stray street cats, Covered with the ashes of daily existence. A thin and hungry cat approaches me, She meows in despair and starvation, Begging me for her bite of the day (or the week?) I throw her a small piece of my sandwich. She picks it up and runs away To celebrate her temporary gains! She leaves me alone wondering in darkness: What reflects the reality of this city more The 'fancy' neighborhoods I saw earlier, Or the starving cats in the darkness? June 8, 2014
Louis Yako (أنا زهرة برية [I am a Wildflower])
A man without family was nothing. He felt the pinch of the egg-sized cavity and scratched at his chest. He would have them back in the car in a day, maybe two. Then, they would go home and let the relief make them giddy and closer than they had been before. When they awoke tomorrow, they would talk and he would listen.
Keija Parssinen (The Ruins of Us)
Instead, I made myself do one of the relaxation exercises a long-ago yoga teacher had taught me. Name five things you can see. My mother. My father. The dining room table. The newspaper. The banana bread. Name four things you can touch. The skin of my arm. The fabric of the dining room chair cover. The wood of the kitchen table, the floor beneath my feet. The three things I could hear were the sound of cars on Riverside Drive, the scratch of my father’s pen on the page, and my own heartbeat, still thundering in my ears. I could smell banana bread and my own acrid, anxious sweat.
Jennifer Weiner (Big Summer)
Essentially, the Algerians said: 'Listen. We lost two hundred thousand in our civil war. Car bombs, villages destroyed, terrorist slashing the throats of families like sheep. We are still very busy. We don't have time for your indaginetta, your little investigation.' I realized something: They were on the front line. I was scratching the surface. Even when I captured real terrorists, they weren't the bosses. They were fanatics, criminals, idiots, sadists--manipulated from afar. Sometimes by masterminds, sometimes by Twitter, Facebook, all that crap.
Sebastian Rotella (Rip Crew (Valentine Pescatore #3))
The saddest steak is on the grill, its juices bleeding and sizzling into the fire. Death never tasted so good as a last meal. You once were admired, until she left when you couldn't fit through the door anymore. The mirror last laughs as your skin runs over the edges. One hand feeds time, the other hand scratches the face of the clock, swallowing the past. As the mirror smashes, the piano keys the car, and pieces reflect the thinner you once again.
Anthony Liccione
One mild and ordinary work-morning in Chicago, Lew happened to find himself on a public conveyance, head and eyes inclined nowhere in particular, when he entered, all too briefly, a condition he had no memory of having sought, which he later came to think of as grace. Despite the sorry history of rapid transit in this city, the corporate neglect and high likelihood of collision, injury, and death, the weekday-morning overture blared along as usual. Men went on grooming mustaches with gray-gloved fingers. A rolled umbrella dented a bowler hat, words were exchanged. Girl amanuenses in little Leghorn straw hats and striped shirtwaists with huge shoulders that took up more room in the car than angels’ wings dreamed with contrary feelings of what awaited them on upper floors of brand-new steel-frame “skyscrapers.” The horses stepped along in their own time and space. Passengers snorted, scratched, and read the newspaper, sometimes all at once, while others imagined that they could get back to some kind of vertical sleep. Lew found himself surrounded by a luminosity new to him, not even observed in dreams, nor easily attributable to the smoke-inflected sun beginning to light Chicago. He understood that things were exactly what they were. It seemed more than he could
Thomas Pynchon (Against the Day)
You are living on a planet spinning around the middle of outer space, and you’re either worrying about your blemishes, the scratch on your new car, or the fact that you burped in public. It’s not healthy.
Michael A. Singer (The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself)
Then we left it behind and entered another world. Steep, densely forested slopes closed in around us, plunging us into shadow as the road wound through them. Part of the huge Appalachian Mountains chain, the Smokies covered eight hundred square miles and spanned the border between Tennessee and North Carolina. They'd been declared a National Park, although looking out of the car window I thought that nature was blithely unaware of such distinctions. This was a wilderness that man had even now barely scratched. Coming from a crowded island like the UK, it was impossible not to be humbled by their sheer scale. There
Simon Beckett (Whispers of the Dead (David Hunter #3))
My courtship with Marlboro Man, filled with fizzy romance, hadn’t prepared me for any of this; not the mice I heard scratching in the wall next to my bed, not the flat tires I got from driving my car up and down the jagged gravel roads. Before I got married, I didn’t know how to use a jack or a crowbar…and I didn’t want to have to learn now. I didn’t want to know that the smell in the laundry room was a dead rodent. I’d never smelled a dead rodent in my life: why, when I was supposed to be a young, euphoric newlywed, was I being forced to smell one now? During the day, I was cranky. At night, I was a mess. I hadn’t slept through the night once since we returned from our honeymoon. Besides the nausea, whose second evil wave typically hit right at bedtime, I was downright spooked. As I lay next to Marlboro Man, who slept like a baby every night, I thought of monsters and serial killers: Freddy Krueger and Michael Myers, Ted Bundy and Charles Manson. In the utter silence of the country, every tiny sound was amplified; I was certain if I let myself go to sleep, the murderer outside our window would get me.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
The second thing is, when you are trying to go 10 times bigger, you have to start with a clean sheet of paper, and you approach the problem completely differently. I’ll give you my favorite example: Tesla. How did Elon start Tesla and build from scratch the safest, most extraordinary car, not even in America, but I think in the world? It’s by not having a legacy from the past to drag into the present. That’s important.
Timothy Ferriss (Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers)
Renee lifted her trusty Nikon and snapped a few shots of the car and the plate as it flew into the garage. The camera’s sturdy black housing was dinged and scratched from countless operations around the Mideast, but it was still as functional as it had been the day she bought it. It was her safety blanket and one of her only real possessions. She checked the images on the digital display just as a Chevy Malibu crept down the street and pulled into the target location. Renee knew she had to move or risk missing the meeting.
Joshua Hood (Clear by Fire (Search and Destroy, #1))
He knew he was not making enough of an effort. Margaret, with her news, her reports and small jokes, her flying starts at conversation, was trying so much harder. Every evening she had some disastrous item to offer up. Tonight the dog, but often it was a story from the news online: “Did you hear about—?” a tornado carrying away a trailer park in Nebraska, pirates kidnapping a family off their sailboat, the stoning of schoolgirls in Kabul, as if to say, “See? What’s happening to us is not so bad.” Then again she might offer something she’d heard on the radio while making dinner, a little mystery explained, how habits are formed or why people applaud after theater performances. She was trying, he realized with a stab of grief, to be interesting. Candles on the table, a vase of flowers, something baked for dessert. It was graceful of her, it was valiant. And all he wanted was for her to stop. The lawn mower from down the street quit and he could hear the cricket again. Margaret was gazing up at the oak trees, leaves dark now but trunks banded with gold. “You know”—he stood up to collect their glasses—“I was thinking I might mow the grass tonight. I might really enjoy something like that.” “Oh, I wish I’d known, Bill. It’s already done. The landscape guys were here yesterday. I got them to put more mulch around the hydrangeas.” Mulch. That explained the smell. Another fusillade of acorns hit car roofs along the street. This time Margaret had her hand on Binx’s collar, holding him back as he lunged forward, toenails scratching the patio slates.
Suzanne Berne (The Dogs of Littlefield)
Rule #6: Force Leftists to Answer Questions. This is really just a corollary of Rule #4. Leftists are only comfortable when they are forcing you to answer questions. If they have to answer questions, they begin to scratch their heads. The questions they prefer to ask are about your character; the questions they prefer not to answer are all of them. Instead, they like to dodge issues in favor of those character arguments. If you force a leftist to answer whether he or she would prefer to give up mom or dad in the name of political correctness – after all, all families are equal, so what difference does it make? – they will avoid. If you force a leftist to answer whether they would force churches to perform same-sex marriages, they will avoid. If you force a leftist to answer why we should all give up our nice cars while the Chinese and Russians continue to dump toxic waste into the atmosphere, they will avoid.
Ben Shapiro (How to Debate Leftists and Destroy Them: 11 Rules for Winning the Argument)
I hated the car, the rubber toys, disliked your friends and, worse, your relatives. The jingling of my tags drove me mad. You always scratched me in the wrong place. All I ever wanted from you was food and fresh water in my metal bowls. While you slept, I watched you breathe as the moon rose in the sky. It took all of my strength not to raise my head and howl. Now I am free of the collar, the yellow raincoat, monogrammed sweater; the absurdity of your lawn, and that is all you need to know about this place except what you already supposed and are glad it did not happen sooner- that everyone here can read and write, the dogs in poetry, the cats and all the others in prose.
Billy Collins (Aimless Love: New and Selected Poems)
The Revenant I am the dog you put to sleep, as you like to call the needle of oblivion, come back to tell you this simple thing; I never liked you-not one bit. When I licked your face, I thought of biting off your nose. When I watched you toweling yourself dry, I wanted to leap and unman you with a snap. I resented the way you moved, your lack of animal grace, the way you would sit in a chair to eat, a napkin on your lap, knife in your hand. I would have run away, but I was too weak, a trick you taught me while I was learning to sit and heel, and-greatest of insults-shake hands without a hand. I admit the sight of the leash would excite me but only because it meant I was about to smell things you had never touched. You do no want to believe this, but I have no reason to lie. I hated the car, the rubber toys, disliked your friends and, worse, your relatives. The jingling of my tags drove me mad. You always scratched me in the wrong place. All I ever wanted from you was food and fresh water in my metal bowls. While you slept, I watched you breathe as the moon rose in the sky. It took all of my strength not to raise my head and howl. Now I am free of the collar, the yellow raincoat, monogrammed sweater; the absurdity of your lawn, and that is all you need to know about this place except what you already supposed and are glad it did not happen sooner- that everyone here can read and write, the dogs in poetry, the cats and all the others in prose.
Billy Collins (Aimless Love: New and Selected Poems)
Fifteen years after leaving her husband, Frances—who never remarried—found herself in the headlines, accused of being a conniving homewrecker. In a lawsuit filed in March 1922, asking for $25,000 in damages, Mrs. Marion Mehren of 2971 Second Boulevard, Detroit, accused Frances of alienating the affections of her husband, Paul Mehren. According to Mrs. Mehren’s allegations, “the woman lawyer took her husband for automobile rides, permitted him to visit her at her apartment . . . and accepted gifts of groceries from him.” When Mrs. Mehren confronted her husband and “accused him of being too friendly with Mrs. Keusch,” he flew into a rage and “told her to ‘go ahead and get a divorce.’”9 For her part, Frances brushed off the accusations, “declaring that Mehren was nothing more than a chauffeur and a servant.” Six years earlier, while she was recovering from a knee injury, Mehren “scrubbed the floor of her apartment, washed dishes and performed other menial work.” Occasionally, she “employed him to take her for drives while she was convalescing.” She “paid him for everything he did for her,” as well as “for all the groceries.”10 The story took an even juicier turn during Mrs. Mehren’s court appearance that September, when she admitted to physically assaulting her alleged romantic rival. As she told the judge, she and her husband were out in their car when she spotted Mrs. Keusch, who called out “Hello, Paul” as they drove past. “Jumping from the car,” the enraged wife—who had known “her husband was going with another woman” ever since “he left home for three days in July, 1920”—had set upon Frances and badly “scratched her face.”11 Four years later, in August 1926, Frances Kehoe Keusch died of heart disease—chronic myocarditis.12 The scandal she had been involved in might have set tongues wagging at the time. Compared with the enormity perpetrated by another Kehoe sibling just one year later, however, it was a trivial matter indeed.
Harold Schechter (Maniac: The Bath School Disaster and the Birth of the Modern Mass Killer)
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It's like crawling into a cave I always knew was there but never explored. I remember putting my head into his salesman's briefcase when I was young. This time the bright eye I entered pulls away, a helium balloon. The musty air wheezes, sighs trapped for years in old motel rooms. Further down the sound turns to grey drippings that fall on my cheeks. Some boy has been here before. Burned matches in a corner, a tennis shoe, unreadable scratchings on the walls. This is far enough. Turning to find my way out, I tiptoe along a narrow black stream where white hands are rising, sinking. I find myself stepping into the water: like slipping my small feet into large dark shoes, it is deeper than I expected. Up to my knees, my waist, I see the opening again— a circle of sky cut with a dull car key, a blue mouth singing a melody I know by heart but have never heard before. As I go under, my arms, thick as my father's, reach above the surface then return to embrace me.
William Meissner