Dish It Out Quotes

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Male fantasies, male fantasies, is everything run by male fantasies? Up on a pedestal or down on your knees, it's all a male fantasy: that you're strong enough to take what they dish out, or else too weak to do anything about it. Even pretending you aren't catering to male fantasies is a male fantasy: pretending you're unseen, pretending you have a life of your own, that you can wash your feet and comb your hair unconscious of the ever-present watcher peering through the keyhole, peering through the keyhole in your own head, if nowhere else. You are a woman with a man inside watching a woman. You are your own voyeur.
Margaret Atwood (The Robber Bride)
I thought such awful thoughts that I cannot even say them out loud because they would make Jesus want to drink gin straight out of the cat dish.
Anne Lamott
I want a life that sizzles and pops and makes me laugh out loud. And I don't want to get to the end, or to tomorrow, even, and realize that my life is a collection of meetings and pop cans and errands and receipts and dirty dishes. I want to eat cold tangerines and sing out loud in the car with the windows open and wear pink shoes and stay up all night laughing and paint my walls the exact color of the sky right now. I want to sleep hard on clean white sheets and throw parties and eat ripe tomatoes and read books so good they make me jump up and down, and I want my everyday to make God belly laugh, glad that he gave life to someone who loves the gift.
Shauna Niequist (Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life)
As if Spade's chivalry would allow him to do anything to a woman. The harshest punishment she could imagine him dishing out to Cat would be refusing to open a door for her.
Jeaniene Frost (First Drop of Crimson (Night Huntress World, #1))
Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. What then kills love? Only this: Neglect. Not to see you when you stand before me. Not to think of you in the little things. Not to make the road wide for you, the table spread for you. To choose you out of habit not desire, to pass the flower seller without a thought. To leave the dishes unwashed, the bed unmade, to ignore you in the mornings, make use of you at night. To crave another while pecking your cheek. To say your name without hearing it, to assume it is mine to call.
Jeanette Winterson (Written on the Body)
Another old saying is that revenge is a dish best served cold. But it feels best served piping hot, straight out of the oven of outrage. My opinion? Take care of revenge right away.
Mindy Kaling (Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns))
As they passed the rows of houses they saw through the open doors that men were sweeping and dusting and washing dishes, while the women sat around in groups, gossiping and laughing. What has happened?' the Scarecrow asked a sad-looking man with a bushy beard, who wore an apron and was wheeling a baby carriage along the sidewalk. Why, we've had a revolution, your Majesty -- as you ought to know very well,' replied the man; 'and since you went away the women have been running things to suit themselves. I'm glad you have decided to come back and restore order, for doing housework and minding the children is wearing out the strength of every man in the Emerald City.' Hm!' said the Scarecrow, thoughtfully. 'If it is such hard work as you say, how did the women manage it so easily?' I really do not know,' replied the man, with a deep sigh. 'Perhaps the women are made of cast-iron.
L. Frank Baum (The Marvelous Land of Oz (Oz, #2))
When she's abandoned her moral center and teachings...when she's cast aside her facade of propriety and lady-like demeanor...when I have so corrupted this fragile thing and brought out a writhing, mewling, bucking, wanton whore for my enjoyment and pleasure.....enticing from within this feral lioness...growling and scratching and biting...taking everything I dish out to her.....at that moment she is never more beautiful to me.
Marquis de Sade
2. WHAT I AM NOT My brother and I used to play a game. I'd point to a chair. "THIS IS NOT A CHAIR," I'd say. Bird would point to the table. "THIS IS NOT A TABLE." "THIS IS NOT A WALL," I'd say. "THAT IS NOT A CEILING." We'd go on like that. "IT IS NOT RAINING OUT." "MY SHOE IS NOT UNTIED!" Bird would yell. I'd point to my elbow. "THIS IS NOT A SCRAPE." Bird would lift his knee. "THIS IS ALSO NOT A SCRAPE!" "THAT IS NOT A KETTLE!" "NOT A CUP!" "NOT A SPOON!" "NOT DIRTY DISHES!" We denied whole rooms, years, weathers. Once, at the peak of our shouting, Bird took a deep breath. At the top of his lungs, he shrieked: "I! HAVE NOT! BEEN! UNHAPPY! MY WHOLE! LIFE!" "But you're only seven," I said.
Nicole Krauss
Never take advice about never taking advice. That is an old vice of men - to dish it out without being able to take it - the blind leading the blind into more blindness.
Criss Jami (Healology)
There's a Polar Bear In our Frigidaire-- He likes it 'cause it's cold in there. With his seat in the meat And his face in the fish And his big hairy paws In the buttery dish, He's nibbling the noodles, And munching the rice, He's slurping the soda, He's licking the ice. And he lets out a roar If you open the door. And it gives me a scare To know he's in there-- That Polary Bear In our Fridgitydaire.
Shel Silverstein (A Light in the Attic)
I smiled back at her. I thought such awful thoughts that I cannot even say them out loud because they would make Jesus want to drink gin straight out of the cat dish.
Anne Lamott (Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith)
She put a hand on his hip and turned him to her. "But things could go wrong, so i want to tell you something while it's just the two of us, Eddie. I want to tell you how much I love you." She spoke simply, with no drama. I know you do," he said, "but I'll be damned if I know why." Because you made me feel whole," she said. "When I was younger, I used to vacillate between thinking love was this great and glorious mystery and thinking it was just something a bunch of Hollywood move producers made up to sell more tickets in the Depression, when Dish Night kind of played out." Eddie laughed. Now I think that all of us are born with a hole in our hearts, and we go around looking for the person who can fill it. You...Eddie, you fill me up.
Stephen King (Wolves of the Calla (The Dark Tower, #5))
You survived by seizing every tiny drop of love you could find anywhere, and milking it, relishing it, for all it was worth. And as you grew up, you sought love, anywhere you could find it, whether it was a teacher or a coach or a friend or a friend's parents. You sought those tiny droplets of love, basking in them when you found them. They sustained you. For all these years, you've lived under the illusion that somehow, you made it because you were tough enough to overpower the abuse, the hatred, the hard knocks of life. But really you made it because love is so powerful that tiny little doses of it are enough to overcome the pain of the worst things life can dish out. Toughness was a faulty coping mechanism you devised to get by. But, in reality, it has been your ability to never give up, to keep seeking love, and your resourcefulness to make that love last long enough to sustain you. That is what has gotten you by.
Rachel Reiland (Get Me Out of Here: My Recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder)
Maybe you had to leave in order to really miss a place; maybe you had to travel to figure out how beloved your starting point was... ...Parents aren't the people you come from. They're the people you want to be, when you grow up. I sat between my mother and my father, watching strangers on TV carry in Shaker rockers and dusty paintings and ancient beer tankards and cranberry glass dishes; people and their hidden treasures, who had to be told by experts that they'd taken something incredibly precious for granted.
Jodi Picoult (Handle with Care)
Della pretty much told him the same thing. And she gave him hell. The kind of hell only Della can dish out. Told him he was a piece of monkey shit and that he should go have himself castrated.
C.C. Hunter (Chosen at Nightfall (Shadow Falls, #5))
If while washing dishes, we think only of the cup of tea that awaits us, thus hurrying to get the dishes out of the way as if they were a nuisance, then we are not “washing the dishes to wash the dishes.” What’s more, we are not alive during the time we are washing the dishes. In fact we are completely incapable of realizing the miracle of life while standing at the sink. If we can’t wash the dishes, the chances are we won’t be able to drink our tea either. While drinking the cup of tea, we will only be thinking of other things, barely aware of the cup in our hands. Thus we are sucked away into the future—and we are incapable of actually living one minute of life.
Thich Nhat Hanh (The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation)
I told you in the course of this paper that Shakespeare had a sister; but do not look for her in Sir Sidney Lee’s life of the poet. She died young—alas, she never wrote a word. She lies buried where the omnibuses now stop, opposite the Elephant and Castle. Now my belief is that this poet who never wrote a word and was buried at the cross–roads still lives. She lives in you and in me, and in many other women who are not here to–night, for they are washing up the dishes and putting the children to bed. But she lives; for great poets do not die; they are continuing presences; they need only the opportunity to walk among us in the flesh. This opportunity, as I think, it is now coming within your power to give her. For my belief is that if we live another century or so—I am talking of the common life which is the real life and not of the little separate lives which we live as individuals—and have five hundred a year each of us and rooms of our own; if we have the habit of freedom and the courage to write exactly what we think; if we escape a little from the common sitting–room and see human beings not always in their relation to each other but in relation to reality; and the sky. too, and the trees or whatever it may be in themselves; if we look past Milton’s bogey, for no human being should shut out the view; if we face the fact, for it is a fact, that there is no arm to cling to, but that we go alone and that our relation is to the world of reality and not only to the world of men and women, then the opportunity will come and the dead poet who was Shakespeare’s sister will put on the body which she has so often laid down. Drawing her life from the lives of the unknown who were her forerunners, as her brother did before her, she will be born. As for her coming without that preparation, without that effort on our part, without that determination that when she is born again she shall find it possible to live and write her poetry, that we cannot expect, for that would he impossible. But I maintain that she would come if we worked for her, and that so to work, even in poverty and obscurity, is worth while.
Virginia Woolf (A Room of One’s Own)
Leave the dishes. Let the celery rot in the bottom drawer of the refrigerator and an earthen scum harden on the kitchen floor. Leave the black crumbs in the bottom of the toaster. Throw the cracked bowl out and don't patch the cup. Don't patch anything. Don't mend. Buy safety pins. Don't even sew on a button. Let the wind have its way, then the earth that invades as dust and then the dead foaming up in gray rolls underneath the couch. Talk to them. Tell them they are welcome. Don't keep all the pieces of the puzzles or the doll's tiny shoes in pairs, don't worry who uses whose toothbrush or if anything matches, at all. Except one word to another. Or a thought. Pursue the authentic-decide first what is authentic, then go after it with all your heart. Your heart, that place you don't even think of cleaning out. That closet stuffed with savage mementos. Don't sort the paper clips from screws from saved baby teeth or worry if we're all eating cereal for dinner again. Don't answer the telephone, ever, or weep over anything at all that breaks. Pink molds will grow within those sealed cartons in the refrigerator. Accept new forms of life and talk to the dead who drift in though the screened windows, who collect patiently on the tops of food jars and books. Recycle the mail, don't read it, don't read anything except what destroys the insulation between yourself and your experience or what pulls down or what strikes at or what shatters this ruse you call necessity.
Louise Erdrich (Original Fire)
Echo bent over the table to make her second shot. Her beautiful breasts were right there for me to see, but i wanted to do more than observe, i wanted to... "You should put your tongue back in your mouth. You 'll get all cotton-mouthed if it dries out." "I can't help it you 're hot." I loved it when she dished it out.
Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1))
Choose to be good and kind and tolerant regardless of the situation or who's involved, because life is more a matter of developing character than of dishing out just rewards.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, and Grumblings for Every Day of the Year)
Thank God for men who manage to hold from afar, wipe tears away with tender words and dish out the life force that is hope. She has never felt so alone but out there, across an ocean, and in a foreign land, there is a man who loves her and would lay down his life just so she could feel the light once again.
Donna Lynn Hope
The best way to keep your daughter out of hot water is to put some dishes in it.
Bob Phillips
There's only one way to defeat the sorrow and sadness of life - with laughter and rejoicing. Bring out the good dishes, put on your good clothes, no sense hoarding them.
Rohinton Mistry (Family Matters)
On those days when we're not ready to stop being offended, not ready to forgive, still determined to dish out the silent treatment, what we're actually saying is, "Thanks, but I don't want to become more like the Savior today. Maybe tomorrow, but not today." Perhaps those are the times when we need to pray the hardest, the times it becomes clear that a change in behavior is not enough--that we must have a change in nature.
Sheri Dew (Saying It Like It Is)
Am I gonna traumatize the fat cat if he sees me fuckin' you?" "As you know, his name is Spot, and he's immune to trauma. You can't feel it if your life is devoted to dishing it out.
Kristen Ashley (Raid (Unfinished Hero, #3))
Instead of seeing how much pain I can dish out towards those I disagree with, or who I believe have done me wrong, I seek to follow the golden rule and use my words and behavior to create more of what the world needs – love, compassion, and connection.
Aspen Baker
Yes, movies! Look at them — All of those glamorous people — having adventures — hogging it all, gobbling the whole thing up! You know what happens? People go to the movies instead of moving! Hollywood characters are supposed to have all the adventures for everybody in America, while everybody in America sits in a dark room and watches them have them! Yes, until there's a war. That's when adventure becomes available to the masses! Everyone's dish, not only Gable's! Then the people in the dark room come out of the dark room to have some adventures themselves — Goody, goody! — It's our turn now, to go to the south Sea Island — to make a safari — to be exotic, far-off! — But I'm not patient. I don't want to wait till then. I'm tired of the movies and I am about to move!
Tennessee Williams (The Glass Menagerie)
The most important thing we've learned, So far as children are concerned, Is never, NEVER, NEVER let Them near your television set -- Or better still, just don't install The idiotic thing at all. In almost every house we've been, We've watched them gaping at the screen. They loll and slop and lounge about, And stare until their eyes pop out. (Last week in someone's place we saw A dozen eyeballs on the floor.) They sit and stare and stare and sit Until they're hypnotised by it, Until they're absolutely drunk With all that shocking ghastly junk. Oh yes, we know it keeps them still, They don't climb out the window sill, They never fight or kick or punch, They leave you free to cook the lunch And wash the dishes in the sink -- But did you ever stop to think, To wonder just exactly what This does to your beloved tot? IT ROTS THE SENSE IN THE HEAD! IT KILLS IMAGINATION DEAD! IT CLOGS AND CLUTTERS UP THE MIND! IT MAKES A CHILD SO DULL AND BLIND HE CAN NO LONGER UNDERSTAND A FANTASY, A FAIRYLAND! HIS BRAIN BECOMES AS SOFT AS CHEESE! HIS POWERS OF THINKING RUST AND FREEZE! HE CANNOT THINK -- HE ONLY SEES! 'All right!' you'll cry. 'All right!' you'll say, 'But if we take the set away, What shall we do to entertain Our darling children? Please explain!' We'll answer this by asking you, 'What used the darling ones to do? 'How used they keep themselves contented Before this monster was invented?' Have you forgotten? Don't you know? We'll say it very loud and slow: THEY ... USED ... TO ... READ! They'd READ and READ, AND READ and READ, and then proceed To READ some more. Great Scott! Gadzooks! One half their lives was reading books! The nursery shelves held books galore! Books cluttered up the nursery floor! And in the bedroom, by the bed, More books were waiting to be read! Such wondrous, fine, fantastic tales Of dragons, gypsies, queens, and whales And treasure isles, and distant shores Where smugglers rowed with muffled oars, And pirates wearing purple pants, And sailing ships and elephants, And cannibals crouching 'round the pot, Stirring away at something hot. (It smells so good, what can it be? Good gracious, it's Penelope.) The younger ones had Beatrix Potter With Mr. Tod, the dirty rotter, And Squirrel Nutkin, Pigling Bland, And Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and- Just How The Camel Got His Hump, And How the Monkey Lost His Rump, And Mr. Toad, and bless my soul, There's Mr. Rat and Mr. Mole- Oh, books, what books they used to know, Those children living long ago! So please, oh please, we beg, we pray, Go throw your TV set away, And in its place you can install A lovely bookshelf on the wall. Then fill the shelves with lots of books, Ignoring all the dirty looks, The screams and yells, the bites and kicks, And children hitting you with sticks- Fear not, because we promise you That, in about a week or two Of having nothing else to do, They'll now begin to feel the need Of having something to read. And once they start -- oh boy, oh boy! You watch the slowly growing joy That fills their hearts. They'll grow so keen They'll wonder what they'd ever seen In that ridiculous machine, That nauseating, foul, unclean, Repulsive television screen! And later, each and every kid Will love you more for what you did.
Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Charlie Bucket, #1))
Then there came a faraway, booming voice like a low, clear bell. It came from the center of the bowl and down the great sides to the ground and then bounced toward her eagerly. 'You see I am fate,' it shouted, 'and stronger than your puny plans; and I am how-things-turn-out and I am different from your little dreams, and I am the flight of time and the end of beauty and unfulfilled desire; all the accidents and imperceptions and the little minutes that shape the crucial hours are mine. I am the exception that proves no rules, the limits of your control, the condiment in the dish of life.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Cut Glass Bowl and Other Stories (Macmillan Readers: Upper Level))
Don’t destroy yourself over somebody else’s foolishness. I know they betrayed you. I know they lied on you. I know they talked behind your back and told all of your business. I know they hurt you to the core. I know they turned their back on you. I know they cheated on you. I know they mislead you. I know, I KNOW. In spite of it all, you have to know that you are worth more than what they dished out to you. You will survive! You will make it through! Remember who YOU are and know YOUR self-worth!
Stephanie Lahart
For all these years, you’ve lived under the illusion that, somehow, you made it because you were tough enough to overpower the abuse, the hatred, the hard knocks of life. But really you made it because love is so powerful that tiny little doses of it are enough to overcome the pain of the worst things life can dish out. Toughness was a faulty coping mechanism you devised to get by. But, in reality, it has been your ability to never give up, to keep seeking love, and your resourcefulness to make that love last long enough to sustain you. That’s what has gotten you by
Rachel Reiland (Get Me Out of Here: My Recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder)
If peace comes from seeing the whole, then misery stems from a loss of perspective. We begin so aware and grateful. The sun somehow hangs there in the sky. The little bird sings. The miracle of life just happens. Then we stub our toe, and in that moment of pain, the whole world is reduced to our poor little toe. Now, for a day or two, it is difficult to walk. With every step, we are reminded of our poor little toe. Our vigilance becomes: Which defines our day—the pinch we feel in walking on a bruised toe, or the miracle still happening? It is the giving over to smallness that opens us to misery. In truth, we begin taking nothing for granted, grateful that we have enough to eat, that we are well enough to eat. But somehow, through the living of our days, our focus narrows like a camera that shutters down, cropping out the horizon, and one day we’re miffed at a diner because the eggs are runny or the hash isn’t seasoned just the way we like. When we narrow our focus, the problem seems everything. We forget when we were lonely, dreaming of a partner. We forget first beholding the beauty of another. We forget the comfort of first being seen and held and heard. When our view shuts down, we’re up in the night annoyed by the way our lover pulls the covers or leaves the dishes in the sink without soaking them first. In actuality, misery is a moment of suffering allowed to become everything. So, when feeling miserable, we must look wider than what hurts. When feeling a splinter, we must, while trying to remove it, remember there is a body that is not splinter, and a spirit that is not splinter, and a world that is not splinter.
Mark Nepo (The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have)
sometimes a man stands up during supper and walks outdoors, and keeps on walking, because of a church that stands somewhere in the East. And his children say blessings on him as if he were dead. And another man, who remains inside his own house, stays there, inside the dishes and in the glasses, so that his children have to go far out into the world toward that same church, which he forgot.
Rainer Maria Rilke
Interesting office management skills, kind of a 'violence is not the answer so I'm going to beat the shit out of you philosophy.
Craig Johnson (The Cold Dish (Walt Longmire, #1))
I’ve always known what you need. Someone to rage at who’s strong enough to take all the pain and fury you have to dish out until you’ve burned it out of your system and nothing is left but a pile of ashes from which the Phoenix rises. Kid, woman, whatever the hell you are—I want to see you rise. Even if you have to hate me.
Karen Marie Moning (Feversong (Fever, #9))
When I look at each of my brothers, I see two things. First, I see the next place I want to leave a rosy welt. Second, I see a good man who will always be there, no matter how hard life gets for me or him. Then, I get out of the way because I realize he’s coming at me with a wet dish towel.
Dan Pearce (Single Dad Laughing: The Best of Year One)
She’s really gone, then. The little girl with the back of her shirt sticking out like a duck tail, the one who needed help reaching the dishes, and who begged to see the frosted cakes in the bakery window. Time and tragedy have forced her to grow too quickly, at least for my taste, into a young woman who stitches bleeding wounds and knows our mother can hear only so much.
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
Do you play video games, Liv?’ he asked congenially. ‘Uh, yes.’ ‘Well, stop cleaning up the dishes and come play with us,’ he teased. I chuckled. ‘Are you asking me on a playdate?’ As soon as the words were out of my mouth, I regretted them. I wasn’t being flirty. I didn’t know how to be flirty! That was just my sense of humor, and now this guy was going to think I was coming on – Nate laughed, cutting me off. ‘Only because you got the Star Trek reference. Otherwise, girls aren’t allowed to play with us. They’re icky.’ Deadpan, I crossed my arms over my chest. ‘Well, boys are icky too.’ He grinned huge. ‘Ain’t that the truth.
Samantha Young (Before Jamaica Lane (On Dublin Street, #3))
A good man buys you tampons when you run out. He does the dishes. He makes you coffee before you're awake in the morning. He listens to you when you're talking, even if it's about home decor. He goes out of his way to touch you, even if it's just your hand. He doesn't call it 'babysitting' when he looks after his own children. He calls you from work just to hear your voice. And he always thinks you're beautiful, even---no, especially---when you don't.
Katherine Center (The Lost Husband)
The sky which had started out with such verve and spirit in the morning was beginning to lose its concentration and slip back into its normal English condition, that of a damp and rancid dish cloth.
Douglas Adams (Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (Dirk Gently, #1))
We've all made selfish, bad decisions We've all tried dishing out the blame Convinced our selves of our own actions My problem is I'll never change In doubt, some good comes out I'll fold before it's time Can't promise you that it's my last time, yeah.
Avenged Sevenfold
Creative people need time to just sit around and do nothing. I get some of my best ideas when I'm bored, which is why I never take my shirts to the cleaners. I love ironing my shirts-it's so boring, I almost always get good ideas. If you're out of ideas, wash the dishes. Take really long walk. Stare at a spot on the wall for as long as you can. As the artist Maira Kalman says, "Avoiding work is the way to focus my mind.
Austin Kleon (Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative)
His own beliefs being simple in comparison; the God he was familiar with dished out regular and doubtless deserved punishment and every once in a while, took pity on him, moreover resembling a relationship he once had with his nursemaid. 
Kate Rose (The Angel and the Apothecary)
You once told me you could stand many things.” My voice was raspy from all the emotions battering against those well-honed inner defenses. “So can I. I can stand whatever Apollyon dishes out, can take the bigotry from others over what I am, the freaky ghost juju from Marie, all the craziness my mother can throw at me, and even the pain of my uncle dying. But the one thing that I would never, ever recover from would be losing you. You made me promise before to go on if that happened, but Bones”—here my words broke and tears spilled down my cheeks—“I wouldn’t want to.” He’d been near the side of the bed when I started talking, but was in my arms before the first tear fell. Very softly, his lips brushed over those wet streaks, coming back pink from the drops still shimmering on them. “No matter what happens, you will never lose me,” he whispered. “I am forever yours, Kitten, in this life or the next.
Jeaniene Frost (This Side of the Grave (Night Huntress, #5))
I can handle pain.” I turn toward her. “I live in pain. I practically built a house there and set up a whole economy. I can take whatever they dish out.
Rebecca Yarros (Iron Flame (The Empyrean, #2))
No duties. I don’t have to be profound. I don’t have to be artistically perfect. Or sublime. Or edifying. I just wander. I say: ‘You were running, That’s fine. It was the thing to do.’ And now the music of the worlds transforms me. My planet enters a different house. Trees and lawns become more distinct. Philosophies one after another go out. Everything is lighter yet not less odd. Sauces, wine vintages, dishes of meat. We talk a little of district fairs, Of travels in a covered wagon with a cloud of dust behind, Of how rivers once were, what the scent of calamus is. That’s better than examining one’s private dreams. And meanwhile it has arrived. It’s here, invisible. Who can guess how it got here, everywhere. Let others take care of it. Time for me to play hooky. Buena notte. Ciao. Farewell.
Czesław Miłosz
I don't like cleaning or dusting or cooking or doing dishes, or any of those things," I explained to her. "And I don't usually do it. I find it boring, you see." "Everyone has to do those things," she said. "Rich people don't," I pointed out. Juniper laughed, as she often did at things I said in those early days, but at once became quite serious. "They miss a lot of fun," she said. "But quite apart from that--keeping yourself clean, preparing the food you are going to eat, clearing it away afterward--that's what life's about, Wise Child. When people forget that, or lose touch with it, then they lose touch with other important things as well." "Men don't do those things." "Exactly. Also, as you clean the house up, it gives you time to tidy yourself up inside--you'll see.
Monica Furlong (Wise Child (Doran, #1))
Cole!" Cassandra smacked him on the shoulder. "Wha-?" When he opened his mouth all you could see was half-chewed goo. "How old are you?" I demanded. I threw shrimp at him and it got stuck in his tangle of wig hair. Bergman fished it out, wiped it off, and put it back on the serving dish. "Now, thats disgusting," said Cassandra. "Children!" Vayl's voice boomed in our ears, loud and sudden enough to make us all jump guiltily. "I trust you are all preforming actual work right now." "Chill out, Vayl," I replied. "Bergman is just conducting and experiment to see how vampires respond to ingesting brown hair dye." "That makes me curious, Vayl," said Cole in a sticky, goodie-between-the-gums voice that reminded me of Winnie the Pooh after a major honey binge. "Have you ever colored your hair? You know blonds have more fun." "Not when they are in the hospital.
Jennifer Rardin (Another One Bites the Dust (Jaz Parks, #2))
When people don’t talk so much they don’t dish out the crap either.
Fredrik Backman (A Man Called Ove)
Whoever was in charge of dishing out my Immortal Bonds, must have been really drunk.
Cameo Renae (Tethered Wings (Hidden Wings, #3))
But then I realized, they weren't calling out for their own mothers. Not those weak women, those victims. Drug addicts, shopaholics, cookie bakers. They didn't mean the women who let them down, who failed to help them into womanhood, women who let their boyfriends run a train on them. Bingers, purgers, women smiling into mirrors, women in girdles, women on barstools. Not those women with their complaints and their magazines, controlling women, women who asked, what's in in for me? Not the women watching TV while they made dinner, women who dyed their hair blond behind closed doors trying to look twenty-three. They didn't mean the mothers washing dishes wishing they'd never married, the ones in the ER, saying they fell down the stairs, not the ones in prison saying lonliness is the human condition, get used to it. The wanted the real mother, the blood mother, the great womb, mother of fierce compassion, a woman large enough to hold all the pain, to carry it away. What we needed was someone who bled, someone deep and rich as a field, a wide-hipped mother, awesome, immense, women like huge soft couches, mothers coursing with blood, mothers big enough, wide enough for us to hid in, to sink down to the bottom of, mothers who would breathe for us when we could not breathe anymore, who would fight for us, who would kill for us, die for us.
Janet Fitch (White Oleander)
Paper Matches My aunts washed dishes while the uncles squirted each other on the lawn with garden hoses. Why are we in here, I said, and they are out there? That’s the way it is, said Aunt Hetty, the shriveled-up one. I have the rages that small animals have, being small, being animal. Written on me was a message, “At Your Service,” like a book of paper matches. One by one we were taken out and struck. We come bearing supper, our heads on fire.
Paulette Jiles
Laine slowly rolled out of bed. The queen size was one of the few new things in the house. But now, even the new bed felt tainted. It was an inner-spring monument to lies, a petri dish of mendacity she had shared with her faithless husband, and shared now with creeping dreams that flew from the light but left harsh scratches and diseased black feathers. Laine promised herself that, as soon as, she could, she would rid herself of this house, this bed, her clothes, her jewelry - everything but the flesh she lived in. She would scrub herself clean and flee to start a new life whose first and only commandment would be: Never let thyself be lied to again.
Stephen M. Irwin (The Dead Path)
Seek not that your sons and your daughters should not see visions, should not dream dreams; seek that they should see true visions, that they should dream noble dreams. Such out-going of the imagination is one with aspiration, and will do more to elevate above what is low and vile than all possible inculcations of morality.
George MacDonald (A Dish of Orts)
Butter melting on a dish meant someone nearby was in love, and a bird in the house take your bad luck out the window.
Alice Hoffman (The Rules of Magic (Practical Magic, #0.2))
This is an extra letter in the middle of the month because I'm rather lonely tonight. It's awfully stormy; the snow is beating against my tower. All the lights are out on the campus, but I drank black coffee and I can't go to sleep. I had a supper party this evening consisting of Sallie and Julia and Leonora Fenton - and sardines and toasted muffins and salad and fudge and coffee. Julia said she'd had a good time, but Sallie stayed to help wash the dishes.
Jean Webster (Daddy-Long-Legs (Daddy-Long-Legs, #1))
Your taste for literature did not come from your father, who read little, but from your mother, who taught it. You wondered how, being so different, they could have formed a union; but you noted that in you there was a mixture of the violence of the one and the gentleness of the other. Your father exerted his violence on others. Your mother was sympathetic to the suffering of others. One day you directed the violence you had inherited toward yourself. You dished it out like your father and you took it like your mother.
Édouard Levé (Suicide)
Dad took moving pictures of us children washing dishes, so that he could figure out how we could reduce our motions and thus hurry through the task. Irregular jobs, such as painting the back porch or removing a stump from the front lawn, were awarded on a low-bid basis. Each child who wanted extra pocket money submitted a sealed bid saying what he would do the job for. The lowest bidder got the contract.
Frank B. Gilbreth Jr. (Cheaper by the Dozen)
Being gloomy is easier than being cheerful. Anybody can say "I've got cancer" and get a rise out of a crowd. But how many of us can do five minutes of good stand-up comedy? And worrying is less work than doing something to fix the worry. This is especially true if we're careful to pick the biggest possible problems to worry about. Everybody wants to save the earth; nobody wants to help Mom do the dishes.
P.J. O'Rourke (All the Trouble in the World)
My mom says, "Do you know what the AIDS memorial quilt is all about?" Jump to how much I hate my brother at this moment. I bought this fabric because I thought it would make a nice panel for Shane," Mom says. "We just ran into some problems with what to sew on it." Give me amnesia. Flash. Give me new parents. Flash. Your mother didn't want to step on any toes," Dad says. He twists a drumstick off and starts scraping the meat onto a plate. "With gay stuff you have to be so careful since everything means something in secret code. I mean, we didn't want to give people the wrong idea." My Mom leans over to scoop yams onto my plate, and says, "Your father wanted a black border, but black on a field of blue would mean Shane was excited by leather sex, you know, bondage and discipline, sado and masochism." She says, "Really, those panels are to help the people left behind." Strangers are going to see us and see Shane's name," my dad says. "We didn't want them thinking things." The dishes all start their slow clockwise march around the table. The stuffing. The olives. The cranberry sauce. "I wanted pink triangles but all the panels have pink triangles," my mom says. "It's the Nazi symbol for homosexuals." She says,"Your father suggested black triangles, but that would mean Shane was a lesbian. It looks like female pubic hair. The black triangle does." My father says, "Then I wanted a green border, but it turns out that would mean Shane was a male prostitute." My mom says, "We almost chose a red border, but that would mean fisting. Brown would mean either scat or rimming, we couldn't figure which." Yellow," my father says, "means watersports." A lighter shade of blue," Mom says, "would mean just regular oral sex." Regular white," my father says, "would mean anal. White could also mean Shane was excited by men wearing underwear." He says, "I can't remember which." My mother passes me the quilted chicken with the rolls still warm inside. We're supposed to sit and eat with Shane dead all over the table in front of us. Finally we just gave up," my mom says, "and I made a nice tablecloth out of the material." Between the yams and the stuffing, Dad looks down at his plate and says, "Do you know about rimming?" I know it isn't table talk. And fisting?" my mom asks. I say, I know. I don't mention Manus and his vocational porno magazines. We sit there, all of us around a blue shroud with the turkey more like a big dead baked animal than ever, the stuffing chock full of organs you can still recognize, the heart and gizzard and liver, the gravy thick with cooked fat and blood. The flower centerpiece could be a casket spray. Would you pass the butter, please?" my mother says. To my father she says, "Do you know what felching is?
Chuck Palahniuk (Invisible Monsters)
I have learned to quit speeding through life, always trying to do too many things too quickly, without taking the time to enjoy each day’s doings. I think I always thought of real living as being high. I don’t mean on drugs – I mean real living was falling in love, or when I got my first job, or when I was able to help somebody, . . . In between the highs I was impatient – you know how it is – life seemed so Daily. Now I love the dailiness. I enjoy washing dishes, I enjoy cooking, I see my father’s roses out the kitchen window. I like picking beans. I notice everything – birdsongs, the clouds, the sound of wind, the glory of sunshine after two weeks of rain.
Olive Ann Burns
It was something I couldn't put my finger on or define clearly, but a whole mishmash of words and incidents, all rolling quickly and building, like a snowball down a hill, to gather strength and bulk to flatten me. It wasn't what they said, or even just the looks they exchanged when they asked me how school was that day and I just mumbled fine with my mouth full, glancing wistfully over at Scarlett's, where I was sure she was eating alone, in front of the TV, without having to answer to anyone. There had been a time, once, when my mother would have been the first I'd tell about Macon Faulkner, and what P.E. had become to me. But now I only saw her rigid neck, the tight, thin line of her lips as she sat across from me, reminding me to do my homework, no I couldn't go to Scarlett's it was a school night, don't forget to do the dishes and take the trash out. All she'd said to me for years. Only now they all seemed loaded with something else, something that fell between us on the table, blocking any further conversation.
Sarah Dessen (Someone Like You)
The moon is always jealous of the heat of the day, just as the sun always longs for something dark and deep. They could see how love might control you, from your head to your toes, not to mention every single part of you in between. A woman could want a man so much she might vomit in the kitchen sink or cry so fiercly blood would form in the corners of her eyes. She put her hand to her throat as though someone were strangling her, but really she was choking on all that love she thought she’d needed so badly. What had she thought, that love was a toy, something easy and sweet, just to play with? Real love was dangerous, it got you from inside and held on tight, and if you didn’t let go fast enough you might be willing to do anything for it’s sake. She refused to believe in superstition, she wouldn’t; yet it was claiming her. Some fates are guaranteed, no matter who tries to intervene. After all I’ve done for you is lodged somewhere in her brain, and far worse, it’s in her heart as well. She was bad luck, ill-fated and unfortunate as the plague. She is not worth his devotion. She wishes he would evaporate into thin air. Maybe then she wouldn’t have this feeling deep inside, a feeling she can deny all she wants, but that won’t stop it from being desire. Love is worth the sum of itself and nothing more. But that’s what happens when you’re a liar, especially when you’re telling the worst of these lies to yourself. He has stumbled into love, and now he’s stuck there. He’s fairly used to not getting what he wants, and he’s dealt with it, yet he can’t help but wonder if that’s only because he didn’t want anything so badly. It’s music, it’s a sound that is absurdly beautiful in his mouth, but she won’t pay attention. She knows from the time she spent on the back stairs of the aunts’ house that most things men say are lies. Don’t listen, she tells herself. None if it’s true and none of it matters, because he’s whispering that he’s been looking for her forever. She can’t believe it. She can’t listen to anything he tells her and she certainly can’t think, because if she did she might just think she’d better stop. What good would it do her to get involved with someone like him? She’d have to feel so much, and she’s not that kind. The greatest portion of grief is the one you dish out for yourself. She preferred cats to human beings and turned down every offer from the men who fell in love with her. They told her how sticks and stones could break bones, but taunting and name-calling were only for fools. — & now here she is, all used up. Although she’d never believe it, those lines in *’s face are the most beautiful part about her. They reveal what she’s gone through and what she’s survived and who exactly she is, deep inside. She’s gotten back some of what she’s lost. Attraction, she now understands, is a state of mind. If there’s one thing * is now certain of, it’s house you can amaze yourself by the things you’re willing to do. You really don’t know? That heart-attack thing you’ve been having? It’s love, that’s what it feels like. She knows now that when you don’t lose yourself in the bargain, you find you have double the love you started with, and that’s one recipe that can’t be tampered with. Always throw spilled salt over your left shoulder. Keep rosemary by your garden gate. Add pepper to your mashed potatoes. Plant roses and lavender, for luck. Fall in love whenever you can.
Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic (Practical Magic, #1))
Presently, out from the wrappings came a teapot, which caused her to clasp her hands with delight, for it was made in the likeness of a plump little Chinaman ... Two pretty cups with covers, and a fine scarlet tray, completed the set, and made one long to have a "dish of tea," even in Chinese style, without cream or sugar.
Louisa May Alcott (Eight Cousins (Eight Cousins, #1))
when you're a poet you can dish out whatever's on your mind and you don't have to apologize for it
Shannon Lynette (Skeletons)
I will gladly suffer anything Kolis dishes out as long as my blood is spilled instead of yours.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (A Light in the Flame (Flesh and Fire, #2))
The Americans as a nation are killing themselves with their vices and high living. As much as a man ought to eat in half an hour they swallow in three minutes gulping down their food like the [dog] under the table which when a chunk of meat is thrown down to it swallows it before you can say 'twice.' If you want a reform carry out the advice I have just given you. Dispense with your multitudinous dishes, and, depend upon it, you will do much towards preserving your families from sickness, disease and death.
Brigham Young (Journal of Discourses, Volume 13)
You're learning. So why don't we stop pretending? It's so much easier when you give up all those illusions and realize that the only justice you'll get in this life is the justice you dish out. It's a dog-eat-dog world out there, mate. You need to sharpen your teeth. Don't get angry. Get even.
Barry Jonsberg (Dreamrider)
Maybe Soto was right. It was silly to make a fetish out of love, and not to accept that love was like food, and each dish had its own flavor. The heart surely had room for more than one.
Ken Liu (The Grace of Kings (The Dandelion Dynasty, #1))
He's a jerk." “No Luminista. He's a young man who loves you but doesn't know how to treat you right yet. You have to show him how. Show him that you can take what he dishes out without crumbling. That you're beautiful and strong, and he should lift you up, not tear you down.
Ednah Walters (Betrayed (The Guardian Legacy, #1))
Develop the habit of doing unpleasant things quickly and without hesitation. If you are going to jump in the cold water, jump in the cold water. If you need to get up, get your ass out of bed. Do the dishes that need doing. Finish the hard jobs at work while everyone else is coming up with excuses to get out of them.
Rory Miller (Facing Violence: Preparing for the Unexpected)
When we came to America, though, we didn't know what the right thing was. Here we lived with no map. We became invisible, the people who swam in between other people's lives, bussing dishes, delivering groceries. What was wrong? We didn't know. The most important thing, Abba said, was not to stick out. Don't let them see you. But I think it hurt him, to hide so much.
Marina Budhos (Ask Me No Questions)
Like most people who love to cook, I like the tangible things...but what I like even more are the intangible things: the familiar voices that fall out of the folds of an old cookbook, or the scenes that replay like a film reel across my kitchen wall. When we fall in love with a certain dish, I think that's what we're often responding to: that something else behind the fork or the spoon, the familiar story that food tells.
Molly Wizenberg
Nicolas Herman, who was commonly known as Brother Lawrence, was a simple dishwasher in the institution where he lived. He said he did those dishes for the glory of God. When he was through with his humble work, he would fall down flat on the floor and worship God. Whatever he was told to do, he did it for the glory of God. He testified, “I wouldn’t as much as pick up a straw from the floor, but I did it for the glory of God.
A.W. Tozer (The Crucified Life: How To Live Out A Deeper Christian Experience)
While washing the dishes, you might be thinking about the tea afterwards, and so try to get them out of the way as quickly as possible in order to sit and drink tea. But that means that you are incapable of living during the time you are washing the dishes.
Thich Nhat Hanh (The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation)
The discovery of some toy duck in the soap dish, presumably the property of some former juvenile visitor, contributed not a little to this new and happier frame of mind. What with one thing and another, I hadn't played with toy ducks in my bath for years, and I found the novel experience most invigorating. For the benefit of those interested, I may mention that if you shove the thing under the surface with the sponge and then let it go, it shoots out of the water in a manner calculated to divert the most careworn. Ten minutes of this and I was enabled to return to the bedchamber much more the merry old Bertram.
P.G. Wodehouse (Right Ho, Jeeves (Jeeves, #6))
It would be nice to believe that love should be dished out in a fair way so that everyone got some. But that wasn't how it was going to be for me.
Margaret Atwood (The Year of the Flood (MaddAddam, #2))
Out of that kitchen came food not only that I had never tasted, but that I hadn’t even dreamed of tasting. Gumbo, corn jacks and blackened fish was just the start of many dishes. It was like finding all the exotic scents in the world and wrapping as many of them as you can into a dish. Cumin and coriander, paprika, red peppers, anise and fennel, burnt orange peel and chili. It felt like the sailors from every port in the world from Morocco and Madagascar to the coast of Malabar had each brought a spice with them to throw into the cooking pot.
Harry F. MacDonald (Magic Alex and the Secret History of Rock and Roll)
When I was younger, I used to vacillate between thinking love was this great and glorious mystery and thinking it was just something a bunch of Hollywood move producers made up to sell more tickets in the Depression, when Dish Night kind of played out." Eddie laughed. Now I think that all of us are born with a hole in our hearts, and we go around looking for the person who can fill it. You...Eddie, you fill me up.
Stephen King
I hoisted the lid off the Spode vegetable dish and, from the depths of its hand-painted butterflies and raspberries, spooned out a generous helping of peas. Using my knife as a ruler and my fork as a prod, I marshaled the peas so that they formed meticulous rows and columns across my plate: rank upon rank of little green spheres, spaced with a precision that would have delighted the heart of the most exacting Swiss watchmaker. Then, beginning at the bottom left, I speared the first pea with my fork and ate it.
Alan Bradley (The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (Flavia de Luce, #1))
Another old saying is that revenge is a dish best served cold. But it feels best served piping hot, straight out of the oven of outrage. My opinion? Take care of revenge right away. Push, shove, scratch that person while they’re still within arm’s reach. Don’t let them get away! Who knows when you’ll get this opportunity again?
Mindy Kaling (Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns))
On those days when we are not ready to stop being offended, not ready to forgive, still determined to dish out the silent treatment, what we are actually saying is, 'Thanks, but I don't want to become more like the Savior today. Maybe tomorrow, but not today.' Perhaps those are the times when we need to pray the hardest, the times it becomes clear that a change in behavior is not enough--that we must have a change in nature.
Sheri Dew
Former pleasures meant nothing to me anymore. Life was a series of tasks to be endured, and even the simplest ones were painfully arduous. It took everything I could muster to cook a meal, wash the dishes, or do the laundry. My income was virtually nonexistent. My occupation was therapy.
Rachel Reiland (Get Me Out of Here: My Recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder)
Good, because your mother says you’re not getting out of helping in the kitchen just because you’re a faerie princess now. She got you those long kitchen gloves so that you can still wash dishes.
Jim Butcher (Battle Ground (The Dresden Files, #17))
In Chicago, the appetite for every juicy tidbit about the case was fed by the yellow papers, which—when no actual news was available—cheerfully dished out wild rumor, lurid gossip, and even rank fabrication.
Harold Schechter (Hell's Princess: The Mystery of Belle Gunness, Butcher of Men)
Hello, Celaena,” he said as calmly as he could, well aware that two Fae males behind him could hear his thundering heart. Rolfe whipped his head toward him. Because it was Celaena who sat here—for whatever purpose, it was Celaena Sardothien in this room. She jerked her chin at Rolfe. “You’ve seen better days, but considering half your fleet has abandoned you, I’d say you look decent enough.” “Get out of my chair,” Rolfe said too quietly. Aelin did no such thing. She just gave Rowan a sultry sweep from foot to face. Rowan’s expression remained unreadable, eyes intent—near-glowing. And then Aelin said to Rowan with a secret smile, “You, I don’t know. But I’d like to.” Rowan’s lips tugged upward. “I’m not on the market, unfortunately.” “Pity,” Aelin said, cocking her head as she noticed a bowl of small emeralds on Rolfe’s desk. Don’t do it, don’t— Aelin swiped up the emeralds in a hand, picking them over as she glanced at Rowan beneath her lashes. “She must be a rare, staggering beauty to make you so faithful.” Gods save them all. He could have sworn Fenrys coughed behind him. Aelin chucked the emeralds into the metal dish as if they were bits of copper, their plunking the only sound. “She must be clever”—plunk—“and fascinating”—plunk—“and very, very talented.” Plunk, plunk, plunk went the emeralds. She examined the four gems remaining in her hand. “She must be the most wonderful person who ever existed.” Another cough from behind him—from Gavriel this time. But Aelin only had eyes for Rowan as the warrior said to her, “She is indeed that. And more.
Sarah J. Maas (Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass, #5))
That's how they get you. Framing you as the selfish bad guy if you don't dish out this one thing, just one thing for them. It's bullshit. Listen up: just because you have the capacity to do something for someone, it doesn't mean you have the obligation to, especially when they won't even appreciate you for doing it.
Xiran Jay Zhao (Iron Widow (Iron Widow, #1))
I am shocked to find that some people think a 2 star 'I liked it' rating is a bad rating. What? I liked it. I LIKED it! That means I read the whole thing, to the last page, in spite of my life raining comets on me. It's a good book that survives the reading process with me. If a book is so-so, it ends up under the bed somewhere, or maybe under a stinky judo bag in the back of the van. So a 2 star from me means,yes, I liked the book, and I'd loan it to a friend and it went everywhere in my jacket pocket or purse until I finished it. A 3 star means that I've ignored friends to finish it and my sink is full of dirty dishes. A 4 star means I'm probably in trouble with my editor for missing a deadline because I was reading this book. But I want you to know . . . I don't finish books I don't like. There's too many good ones out there waiting to be found. Robin Hobb, author
Robin Hobb
There was so much unpleasantness in the workaday world. The last thing you ever wanted to do at night was go home and do the dishes. And just the idea that part of the weekend had to be dedicated to getting the oil changed and doing the laundry was enough to make those of us still full from lunch want to lie down in the hallway and force anyone dumb enough to remain committed to walk around us. It might not be so bad. They could drop food down to us, or if that was not possible, crumbs from their PowerBars and bags of microwave popcorn surely would end up within an arm's length sooner or later. The cleaning crews, needing to vacuum, would inevitably turn us on our sides, preventing bedsores, and we would make little toys out of runs in the carpet, which, in moments of extreme regression, we might suck on for comfort.
Joshua Ferris (Then We Came to the End)
Fantasy novels reveal “emergency escape routes” from reality. Romance novels dish out a banquet of Eye Candy. Otherworldly passion erupts when the two collide in an epic novel of unforgettable characters and dire circumstances.
Sarah J. Pepper (Forbidden Beloved)
God layers good over the bad. It's what he does. And the more of the bad life dishes out, the more good God dishes out too. We just get so blinded--legitimately--by what hurts that we can't see the good brightening the darkness.
Michèle Phoenix
By the following morning, Anthony was drunk. By afternoon, he was hungover. His head was pounding, his ears were ringing, and his brothers, who had been surprised to discover him in such a state at their club, were talking far too loudly. Anthony put his hands over his ears and groaned.Everyone was talking far too loudly. “Kate boot you out of the house?” Colin asked, grabbing a walnut from a large pewter dish in the middle their table and splitting it open with a viciously loud crack. Anthony lifted his head just far enough to glare at him. Benedict watched his brother with raised brows and the vaguest hint of a smirk. “She definitely booted him out,” he said to Colin. “Hand me one of those walnuts, will you?” Colin tossed one across the table. “Do you want the crackers as well?” Benedict shook his head and grinned as he held up a fat, leather-bound book. “Much more satisfying to smash them.” “Don’t,” Anthony bit out, his hand shooting out to grab the book, “even think about it.” “Ears a bit sensitive this afternoon, are they?” If Anthony had had a pistol, he would have shot them both, hang the noise. “If I might offer you a piece of advice?” Colin said, munching on his walnut. “You might not,” Anthony replied. He looked up. Colin was chewing with his mouth open. As this had been strictly forbidden while growing up in their household, Anthony could only deduce that Colin was displaying such poor manners only to make more noise. “Close your damned mouth,” he muttered. Colin swallowed, smacked his lips, and took a sip of his tea to wash it all down. “Whatever you did, apologize for it. I know you, and I’m getting to know Kate, and knowing what I know—” “What the hell is he talking about?” Anthony grumbled. “I think,” Benedict said, leaning back in his chair, “that he’s telling you you’re an ass.” “Just so!” Colin exclaimed. Anthony just shook his head wearily. “It’s more complicated than you think.” “It always is,” Benedict said, with sincerity so false it almost managed to sound sincere. “When you two idiots find women gullible enough to actually marry you,” Anthony snapped, “then you may presume to offer me advice. But until then ...shut up.” Colin looked at Benedict. “Think he’s angry?” Benedict quirked a brow. “That or drunk.” Colin shook his head. “No, not drunk. Not anymore, at least. He’s clearly hungover.” “Which would explain,” Benedict said with a philosophical nod, “why he’s so angry.” Anthony spread one hand over his face and pressed hard against his temples with his thumb and middle finger. “God above,” he muttered. ‘‘What would it take to get you two to leave me alone?” “Go home, Anthony,” Benedict said, his voice surprisingly gentle.
Julia Quinn (The Viscount Who Loved Me (Bridgertons, #2))
At the pet store he picked out two painted turtles, each about as big around as a mayonnaise-jar lid. He bought them a large kidney shaped dish that had its own little island, a plastic palm tree, some aquatic plants, and a snail. The snail, presumably, to bolster the self-esteem of the turtles: "You think we're slow? Look at that guy." To store up the snail's morale in the same way, there was a rock.
Christopher Moore
.....if he’s not man enough to stand up to your father, and take the crap he has to dish out, then he’s not good enough to be with you.
Sam Crescent (She's Mine)
Just because I’d spent the last five years of my life dealing with diapers and dirty dishes didn’t mean my brain had turned into Gerber Oatmeal & Banana Cereal.
Karen MacInerney (Mother's Day Out (A Margie Peterson Mystery, #1))
Mamma says we would be wise to remember that what goes around usually comes back around to us - the good or the bad - depending on which we dish out.
Annette Bridges (The Gospel According to Mamma)
Even now, I sometimes run over in my mind all the men who catcall me the moment I step out my door, the men who corner me on subway platforms, the man who reached under my dress at a parade once and slipped his finger beneath my underwear. I think of my father complaining to my mother that the dishes weren't washed, or of the time they fought over something stupid and he called her a camel to shut her up. I grew up with dozens of boys who would one day become the same kind of man. Sometimes the world is one long chain of men from whose anger there is no protection, an obstacle course I run to stay safe.
Zeyn Joukhadar (The Thirty Names of Night)
They’re called sock puppets. We create armies of artificial online personas – user accounts that espouse views certain interested parties want espoused. We flood forums, online comment sections, social media. ... It’s amazing what a few people and a little money can accomplish online. Our puppets have turned whole elections. … Everything the public sees is managed. If there’s a valuable brand to protect – whether it’s a person or a dish soap – these fuckers are out there protecting it, shaping the narrative. I mean… who the hell follows dish soap on Twitter? How does anyone believe that shit’s real? (p. 292-294)
Daniel Suarez (Kill Decision)
In the end it never works out. You are who you are, no matter what you pretend at the beginning. So I’m not pretending. I drink to ignore my problems. I spend more time with my computer than with my friends. I am angry and lonely, but I can wash dishes just fine. I’m being honest. Please don’t be an asshole about this.
Joey Comeau (Overqualifieder)
Do not think of him with Blay. Do not think of him with Blay. Do not think of him— “I didn’t know you were a sherry man.” “Huh?" Qhuinn glanced down at what he’d poured himself. Fuck. In the midst of the self-lecture, he’d picked up the wrong bottle. “Oh, you know… I’m good with it.” To prove the point, he tossed back the hooch—and nearly choked as the sweetness hit his throat. He served himself another only so he didn’t look like the kind of idiot who wouldn’t know what he was dishing out into his own glass. Okay, gag. The second was worse than the first. From out of the corner of his eye, he watched Saxton settle in at the table, the brass lamp in front of him casting the most perfect glow over his face. Shiiiiiit, he looked like something out of a Ralph Lauren ad, with his buff-colored tweed jacket and his pointed pocket square and that button-down/sweater vest combo keeping his fucking liver cozy. Meanwhile, Qhuinn was sporting hospital scrubs, bare feet. And sherry.
J.R. Ward (Lover Reborn (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #10))
Although we couldn’t entertain on the same level we had previously enjoyed, we did have several friends over for dinner and managed to cook some delectable meals. For Mama’s birthday, we made a delicious chilled artichoke soup to accompany a French Provencal chicken dish served with leeks, rice, and John’s special green salad. We poured a classic white Burgundy and topped it off with a frozen lemon souffle. Not too bad for an out-of-work couple with a new baby.
Mallory M. O'Connor (The Kitchen and the Studio: A Memoir of Food and Art)
[S]ometimes, when you are a food person, the possible irrelevance of what you are doing doesn’t cross your mind until it’s too late. (Once, for example, when I was just starting out in the food business, I was hired by the caper people to develop a lot of recipes using capers, and it was weeks of tossing capers into just about everything but milkshakes before I came to terms with the fact that nobody really likes capers no matter what you do with them. Some people pretend to like capers, but the truth is that any dish that tastes good with capers in it tastes even better with capers not in in.
Nora Ephron (Heartburn)
I would carry myself with much more dignity than her. I wouldn't whisper with the king and demean myself as she did. I wouldn't send out dishes and wave to people like she did. I wouldn't trail all my brothers and sisters into court like she did. I would be much more reserved and cold. I wouldn't smile at anyone, I wouldn't bow to anyone. I would be a true queen, a queen of ice, without family or friends.
Philippa Gregory (The Kingmaker's Daughter (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #4; Cousins War, #4))
The actionable items were intangible (no, Belen said repeatedly, actually it was very simple, all you had to do was hold corporations responsible for their emissions, but for whatever reason her voice seemed to get drowned out by something, usually heartwarming ads where oil was being cleaned off of ducks with Very Effective dish soap). And also, they noted with importance, where were they supposed to get the money? Belen said wealth tax, and the wealthy said hm sorry what?
Olivie Blake (The Atlas Paradox (The Atlas, #2))
So? If I die, then I die! The loss to the world won’t be great. Yes, and I’m fairly bored with myself already. I am like a man who is yawning at a ball, whose reason for not going home to bed is only that his carriage hasn’t arrived yet. But the carriage is ready . . . farewell! I run through the memory of my past in its entirety and can’t help asking myself: Why have I lived? For what purpose was I born? . . . There probably was one once, and I probably did have a lofty calling, because I feel a boundless strength in my soul . . . But I didn’t divine this calling. I was carried away with the baits of passion, empty and unrewarding. I came out of their crucible as hard and cold as iron, but I had lost forever the ardor for noble aspirations, the best flower of life. Since then, how many times have I played the role of the ax in the hands of fate! Like an instrument of execution, I fell on the head of doomed martyrs, often without malice, always without regret . . . My love never brought anyone happiness, because I never sacrificed anything for those I loved: I loved for myself, for my personal pleasure. I was simply satisfying a strange need of the heart, with greediness, swallowing their feelings, their joys, their suffering—and was never sated. Just as a man, tormented by hunger, goes to sleep in exhaustion and dreams of sumptuous dishes and sparkling wine before him. He devours the airy gifts of his imagination with rapture, and he feels easier. But as soon as he wakes: the dream disappears . . . and all that remains is hunger and despair redoubled! And, maybe, I will die tomorrow! . . . And not one being on this earth will have ever understood me totally. Some thought of me as worse, some as better, than I actually am . . . Some will say “he was a good fellow,” others will say I was a swine. Both one and the other would be wrong. Given this, does it seem worth the effort to live? And yet, you live, out of curiosity, always wanting something new . . . Amusing and vexing!
Mikhail Lermontov (A Hero of Our Time)
​As a little girl, a woman is groomed to become a wife and a mother. She is trained to always make wise decisions, yet there will forever be limits and boundaries. As I look back, I remember being told what I could and could not do, simply because I was a girl. A little girl is told she cannot act like a boy; if she does, she will be classified as a “tomboy”. Climbing trees was prohibited, instead, she was taught to put a baby doll in a stroller and take the doll for a walk. She couldn’t sit as she pleased; she was told to only sit with her ankles crossed. Girls were given a kitchen playset that was equipped with a stove, sink, and an accessory set of play food dishes, pots, and pans, etc., along with a tea set to bring out the “elegance” in them. As the saying goes, “Girls are sugar and spice, and everything nice.” I’m taken aback by how girls are groomed to be a certain way; however, boys are able to love life and live freely without limitations and criticism.
Charlena E. Jackson (A Woman's Love Is Never Good Enough)
If you were very, very small, smaller than a leprechaun, smaller than a gnome or a fairy, and you lived in a vagina, every time a penis came in there would be a natural disaster. Your dishes would fall out of the cupboards and break and the furniture slide all the way to the other side of the room. It would take a long time to clean up afterwards.
Mary Ruefle (The Most of It)
What was happening to them was that every bad time produced a bad feeling that in turn produced several more bad times and several more bad feelings, so that their life together became crowded with bad times and bad feelings, so crowded that almost nothing else could grow in that dark field. But then she had a feeling of peace one morning that lingered from the evening before spent sewing while he sat reading in the next room. And a day or two later, she had a feeling of contentment that lingered in the morning from the evening before when he kept her company in the kitchen while she washed the dinner dishes. If the good times increased, she thought, each good time might produce a good feeling that would in turn produce several more good times that would produce several more good feelings. What she meant was that the good times might multiply perhaps as rapidly as the square of the square, or perhaps more rapidly, like mice, or like mushrooms springing up overnight from the scattered spore of a parent mushroom which in turn had sprung up overnight with a crowd of others from the scattered spore of a parent, until her life with him with be so crowded with good times that the good times might crowd out the bad as the bad times had by now almost crowded out the good.
Lydia Davis (Varieties of Disturbance)
Everything, including your set of hand-blown green glass dishes with the tiny bubbles and imperfections, little bits of sand, proof they were crafted by the honest, simple, hard-working indigenous aboriginal people of wherever, well, these dishes all get blown out by the blast. Picture floor-to-ceiling drapes blown out and flaming to shreds in the hot wind.
Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club)
Getting out of the house. Every. Single. Day. The best thing you can do for yourself, your sanity, and your baby is to leave the scene of the crime. Leave the place with the dishes in the sink and the overflowing Diaper Genie. Put your baby in a carrier or a stroller and go on a walk around the neighborhood. Put in some headphones and listen to Beyoncé or Adele or a podcast on business ethics. Do whatever you have to do to remind yourself that there is a life beyond your nest and that you are still part of it.
Rachel Hollis (Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be (Girl, Wash Your Face Series))
Come then, come with us, out into the night. Come now, America the lovesick, America the timid, the blessed, the educated, come stalk the dark backroads and stand outside the bright houses, calm as murderers in the yard, quiet as deer. Come, you slumberers, you lumps, arise from your legion of sleep and fly. Come, all you dreamers, all you zombies, all you monsters. What are you doing anyway, paying the bills, washing the dishes, waiting for the doorbell? Come on, take your keys, leave the bowl of candy on the porch, put on the suffocating mask of someone else and breathe. Be someone you don't love so much, for once. Listen: like the children, we only have one night.
Stewart O'Nan (The Night Country)
Quite how a heterosexual couple hiring a female cleaner ends up as a betrayal of feminism isn't terribly clear- unless you believe running a household is, in some way: a. an inarguable duty of womenkind- that, in addition, can b. only ever be done out of love, and never for cash, because that somehow "spoils" the magic of the household. As if dishes know they've been washed by hired help, instead of the woman of the house, and will feel all sad.
Caitlin Moran (How to Be a Woman)
In a lifetime of hearing people celebrate weekends, she finally saw what all the fuss was about. By no means did her workload cease on Saturday, but it did shift gears. If her kids wanted to pull everything out of the laundry basket to make a bird's nest and sit in it, fine. Dellarobia could even sit in there with them and incubate, if she so desired. Household chores no longer called her name exclusively. She had an income. She'd never before understood how much her life in this little house had felt to her like confinement in a sinking vehicle after driving off a bridge. ..... To open a hatch and swim away felt miraculous. Working outside the home took her about fifty yards from her kitchen, which was far enough. She couldn't see the dishes in the sink.
Barbara Kingsolver (Flight Behavior)
... has three different sizes of saucepans, and a dutch-oven. The skillet will be a give-away – too bad, stainless and all - but the sides are just not deep enough to-" "Fine fine fine – gawd, would you shut up and just buy it? Shees! I'm gonna go look at plates or something..." "Whoa – hold on there. You think I'm letting you pick out the plates all by yourself? I'm the cook. I get to pick the plates." "Oh god... I am not eating off Spiderman dishes!
Failte (The Girl For Me)
I practiced saying I was gay to inanimate objects around the house. I told the soap dish in the bathroom, the ceiling fan above my bed, the blue drinking glass I favored above all the others simply because over the years its entire family had perished one by one during various interactions with hard surfaces around the kitchen and I'd convinced myself our solitude was linked. "I'm gay," I told these things. "I'm a homo." I would wait for the orphaned drinking glass to shatter, the ceiling fan to drop, or for the soap dish to let out a bloodcurdling scream. But nothing ever happened. The world went on as ever.
Nick Burd (The Vast Fields of Ordinary)
I won’t share you, Dylan. I mean that. If you think for one second now that we’re married, you can try and pull some kind of shit over on me, you’d better think again. I can take whatever you can dish out when it comes to pain, embarrassment and humiliation, and whatever else you have going on in that wicked mind of yours, but I’ll be damned if I’ll share you with another woman. Or man.” What the fuck? I almost laugh at her, but she’s so serious she would probably slap the shit out of me. “Calm the hell down. I’m not trying to pull anything over on you, okay? And seriously, a man?” “Well, I don’t know. Maybe one of your secrets is that you like getting pegged in the ass or something.” This time I laugh out loud at her and she narrows her eyes at me. "Don’t ask me to peg you either, because it’s never going to happen.” I laugh even louder. Good God this woman is funny. “I promise you that I don’t want to be pegged, Isa.
Ella Dominguez (The Art of Domination (The Art of D/s, #2))
While people in today’s affluent societies work an average of forty to forty-five hours a week, and people in the developing world work sixty and even eighty hours a week, hunter-gatherers living today in the most inhospitable of habitats – such as the Kalahari Desert – work on average for just thirty-five to forty-five hours a week. They hunt only one day out of three, and gathering takes up just three to six hours daily. In normal times, this is enough to feed the band. It may well be that ancient hunter-gatherers living in zones more fertile than the Kalahari spent even less time obtaining food and raw materials. On top of that, foragers enjoyed a lighter load of household chores. They had no dishes to wash, no carpets to vacuum, no floors to polish, no nappies to change and no bills to pay.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
At school, he enacted a major piece of treachery against his parents. His right hand was Evil Dad, and his left was Righteous Mom. Evil Dad blustered and theorized and dished out pompous bullshit. Righteous Mom complained and accused. In Righteous Mom's cosmology, Evil Dad was the sole source of hemmoroids, kleptomania, global conflict, bad breath, tectonic-plate fault lines, and clogged drains, as well as every migraine headache and menstrual cramp Righteous Mom had ever suffered.
Margaret Atwood (Oryx and Crake (MaddAddam, #1))
She wrote, in the last pages, of feeling all the evil of the neighborhood around her. Rather, she wrote obscurely, good and evil are mixed together and reinforce each other in turn. Marcello, if you thought about it, was really a good arrangement, but the good tasted of the bad and the bad tasted of the good, it was a mixture that took your breath away. A few evenings earlier, something had happened that had really scared her. Marcello had left, the television was off, the house was empty, Rino was out, her parents were going to bed. She was alone in the kitchen washing the dishes and was tired, really without energy, when there was an explosion. She had turned suddenly and realized that the big copper pot had exploded. Like that, by itself. It was hanging on the nail where it normally hung, but in the middle there was a large hole and the rim was lifted and twisted and the pot itself was all deformed, as if it could no longer maintain its appearance as a pot. Her mother had hurried in in her nightgown and blamed her for dropping it and ruining it. But a copper pot, even if you drop it, doesn't break and doesn't become misshapen like that. "It's this sort of thing," Lila concluded, "that frightens me. More than Marcello, more than anyone. And I feel that I have to find a solution, otherwise, everything, one thing after another, will break, everything, everything.
Elena Ferrante (My Brilliant Friend (My Brilliant Friend #1))
I’ve lived a good many years, and seen a good many things, and one thing I know to be true is that we are all scarred, all broken in our own way. Some of us may break more quietly than others, but break we all do, when this world dishes out its worst.
Barbara Davis (The Last of the Moon Girls)
All the arguments in the world and it boiled down to he couldn't let her come to harm because of him. Bloody chivalrous side, it would emerge at the most inopportune times. Since when do I have fucking morals? And how do I get rid of them? Morals got in the way of violence and revenge. And Gene did so enjoy dishing out violent vengeance.
Eve Langlais (Polar Bared (Kodiak Point, #3))
And then I sagged forward, utterly spent, emptied…light as air. I felt like I could have floated up and out…slipping through the open window and drifting away across the rooftops and satellite dishes and telephone wires…sailing away into the faintly smiling stars.
Josh Lanyon (Death of a Pirate King (The Adrien English Mysteries, #4))
Dear Mr. Wedgewood, Welcome to the Flying Rose. I hope you have settled to sea comfortably. Your lot may improve in direct proportion to your willingness. I do look forward to more of your fare. Let me lay out my proposal: You will, of a Sunday, cook for me, and me alone, the finest supper. You will neither repeat a dish nor serve foods that are in the slightest degree mundane. In return I will continue to keep you alive and well, and we may discuss an improvement of your quarters after a time. Should you balk in any fashion you will find yourself swimming home, whole or in pieces, depending upon the severity of my disappointment. How does this strike you? In anticipation, Capt. Hannah Mabbot
Eli Brown (Cinnamon and Gunpowder)
The Tomorrow Man theory. It’s pretty basic. Today, right here, you are who you are. Tomorrow, you will be who you will be. Each and every night, we lie down to die, and each morning we arise, reborn. Now, those who are in good spirits, with strong mental health, they look out for their Tomorrow Man. They eat right today, they drink right today, they go to sleep early today–all so that Tomorrow Man, when he awakes in his bed reborn as Today Man, thanks Yesterday Man. He looks upon him fondly as a child might a good parent. He knows that someone–himself–was looking out for him. He feels cared for, and respected. Loved, in a word. And now he has a legacy to pass on to his subsequent selves…. But those who are in a bad way, with poor mental health, they constantly leave these messes for Tomorrow Man to clean up. They eat whatever the hell they want, drink like the night will never end, and then fall asleep to forget. They don’t respect Tomorrow Man because they don’t think through the fact that Tomorrow Man will be them. So then they wake up, new Today Man, groaning at the disrespect Yesterday Man showed them. Wondering why does that guy–myself–keep punishing me? But they never learn and instead come to settle for that behavior, eventually learning to ask and expect nothing of themselves. They pass along these same bad habits tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, and it becomes psychologically genetic, like a curse. Looking at you now, Maven, I can see exactly where you fall on this spectrum. You are a man constantly trying to fix today what Yesterday Man did to you. You make up your bed, you clean those dirty dishes from the night before, and pledge not to start drinking until six, thinking that’s the way to keep an even keel. But in reality you’re always playing catch-up. I know this because I’ve been there. The thing is–you can’t fix the mistakes of Yesterday. Yesterday Man is dead, he’s gone forever, and blame and atonement aren’t worth a damn. What you can do is help yourself today. Eat a vegetable. Read a book. Cut that hair of yours. Leave Tomorrow Man something more than a headache and a jam-packed colon. Do for Tomorrow Man what you would have wanted Yesterday Man to do for you.
Chuck Hogan
Look — you upset Cho when you said you were going to meet me, so she tried to make you jealous. It was her way of trying to find out how much you liked her.” “Is that what she was doing?” said Harry as Ron dropped onto the bench opposite them and pulled every dish within reach toward himself. “Well, wouldn’t it have been easier if she’d just asked me whether I liked her better than you?” “Girls don’t often ask questions like that,” said Hermione.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5))
actions on a loop. Change the diaper. Make the formula. Warm the bottle. Pour the Cheerios. Wipe up the mess. Negotiate. Beg. Change his sleeper. Get her clothes out. Where’s the lunch box? Bundle them up. Walk. Faster. We’re late. Hug her good-bye. Push the swing. Find the lost mitten. Rub the pinched finger. Give him a snack. Get another bottle. Kiss, kiss, kiss. Put him in the crib. Clean. Tidy. Find. Make. Defrost the chicken. Get him up from the crib. Kiss, kiss, kiss. Change his diaper. Put him in the high chair. Clean up his face. Wash the dishes. Tickle. Change the diaper. Tickle. Put the snacks in a baggie. Start the washing machine. Bundle him up. Buy diapers. And dish soap. Race for pickup. Hello, hello! Hurry, hurry. Unbundle. Laundry in the dryer. Turn on her show. Time-out. Please. Listen to my words. No! Stain remover. Diaper. Dinner. Dishes. Answer the question again and again. Run the bath. Take off their clothes.
Ashley Audrain (The Push)
Still, it is important for parents to continue to live their own lives. We can’t sit by and say we’ve already made our decisions, done our striving, and dish out opinions on the doings of our children. Words alone lack authority, and we risk making them surrogates for the life we’d like to lead. We can better relate to the budding aspirations of our children if we follow dreams of our own.
David Miller (AWOL on the Appalachian Trail)
We are not to work on the Sabbath because it takes us out of the play of joy. It is as bizarre as making love to your spouse, but getting out of bed during the process to cut your lawn or wash dishes. Such an offense would do far more than spoil the mood; it would be a direct assault on the integrity of joy, announcing that a mundane chore is more pleasurable than sexual joy with your spouse.
Dan B. Allender (Sabbath (The Ancient Practices Series))
While we're on brunch, how about hollandaise sauce? Not for me. Bacteria love hollandaise. And hollandaise, that delicate emulsion of egg yolks and clarified butter, must be held at a temperature not too hot nor too cold, lest it break when spooned over your poached eggs. Unfortunately, this lukewarm holding temperature is also the favorite environment for bacteria to copulate and reproduce in. Nobody I know has ever made hollandaise to order. Most likely, the stuff on your eggs was made hours ago and held on station. Equally disturbing is the likelihood that the butter used in the hollandaise is melted table butter, heated, clarified, and strained to get out all the breadcrumbs and cigarette butts. Butter is expensive, you know. Hollandaise is a veritable petri-dish of biohazards.
Anthony Bourdain (Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly)
There never was such a goose. Bob said he didn’t believe there ever was such a goose cooked. Its tenderness and flavour, size and cheapness, were the themes of universal admiration. Eked out by apple-sauce and mashed potatoes, it was a sufficient dinner for the whole family; indeed, as Mrs. Cratchit said with great delight (surveying one small atom of a bone upon the dish), they hadn’t ate it all at last!
Charles Dickens (A Christmas Carol)
Good parenting is about being confident that you have a far higher calling than to just be a friend or dish out punishment. It is about being an authority who loves always and takes the time to guide and train a child to grow into an independent person. It is about being the one who plants love, truth, and hope into the mind of a child.
Andy Kerckhoff (Critical Connection: A Practical Guide to Parenting Young Teens)
Neither of us ever threw anything away. We made a lot of mix tapes while we were together. Tapes for making out, tapes for dancing, tapes for falling asleep. Tapes for doing the dishes, for walking the dog. I kept them all. I have them piled up on my bookshelves, spilling out of my kitchen cabinets, scattered all over the bedroom floor. I don’t even have pots or pans in my kitchen, just that old boom-box on the counter, next to the sink. So many tapes.
Rob Sheffield (Love Is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time)
It was the forty-fathom slumber that clears the soul and eye and heart, and sends you to breakfast ravening. They emptied a big tin dish of juicy fragments of fish- the blood-ends the cook had collected overnight. They cleaned up the plates and pans of the elder mess, who were out fishing, sliced pork for the midday meal, swabbed down the foc'sle, filled the lamps, drew coal and water for the cook, an investigated the fore-hold, where the boat's stores were stacked. It was another perfect day - soft, mild and clear; and Harvey breathed to the very bottom of his lungs.
Rudyard Kipling (Captains Courageous)
I often wonder why women have careers,' said Shredded Napkin suddenly, showing his teeth. I don't think he can possibly be saying what I think he's saying. He isn't, of course. Never mind. I'll stand this because Reality is dishing it out and I suppose I ought to learn to adjust to it. Besides, he may be sincere. There is a human being in there. At least he isn't telling me about something he read in the paper on women's liberation and then laughing at it.
Joanna Russ (On Strike Against God)
ah yes I know them well who was the first person in the universe before there was anybody that made it all who ah that they dont know neither do I so there you are they might as well try to stop the sun from rising tomorrow the sun shines for you he said the day we were lying among the rhododendrons on Howth head in the grey tweed suit and his straw hat the day I got him to propose to me yes first I gave him the bit of seedcake out of my mouth and it was leapyear like now yes 16 years ago my God after that long kiss I near lost my breath yes he said I was a flower of the mountain yes so we are flowers all a womans body yes that was one true thing he said in his life and the sun shines for you today yes that was why I liked him because I saw he understood or felt what a woman is and I knew I could always get round him and I gave him all the pleasure I could leading him on till he asked me to say yes and I wouldnt answer first only looked out over the sea and the sky I was thinking of so many things he didnt know of Mulvey and Mr Stanhope and Hester and father and old captain Groves and the sailors playing all birds fly and I say stoop and washing up dishes they called it on the pier and the sentry in front of the governors house with the thing round his white helmet poor devil half roasted and the Spanish girls laughing in their shawls and their tall combs and the auctions in the morning the Greeks and the jews and the Arabs and the devil knows who else from all the ends of Europe and Duke street and the fowl market all clucking outside Larby Sharons and the poor donkeys slipping half asleep and the vague fellows in the cloaks asleep in the shade on the steps and the big wheels of the carts of the bulls and the old castle thousands of years old yes and those handsome Moors all in white and turbans like kings asking you to sit down in their little bit of a shop and Ronda with the old windows of the posadas glancing eyes a lattice hid for her lover to kiss the iron and the wineshops half open at night and the castanets and the night we missed the boat at Algeciras the watchman going about serene with his lamp and O that awful deepdown torrent O and the sea the sea crimson sometimes like fire and the glorious sunsets and the figtrees in the Alameda gardens yes and all the queer little streets and the pink and blue and yellow houses and the rosegardens and the jessamine and geraniums and cactuses and Gibraltar as a girl where I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.
James Joyce (Ulysses)
Nothing irks me more than the vocabulary of social responsibility. The very word ‘duty’ is unpleasant to me, like an unwanted guest. But the terms ‘civic duty’, ‘solidarity’, ‘humanitarianism’ and others of the same ilk disgust me like rubbish dumped out of a window right on top of me. I’m offended by the implicit assumption that these expressions pertain to me, that I should find them worthwhile and even meaningful. I recently saw in a toy-shop window some objects that reminded me exactly of what these expressions are: make-believe dishes filled with make-believe tidbits for the miniature table of a doll. For the real, sensual, vain and selfish man, the friend of others because he has the gift of speech and the enemy of others because he has the gift of life, what is there to gain from playing with the dolls of hollow and meaningless words?
Fernando Pessoa (The Book of Disquiet)
Now keep in mind that the typical Greek myth goes something like this: innocent shepherd boy is minding his own business, an overflying god spies him and gets a hard-on, swoops down and rapes him silly; while the victim is still staggering around in a daze, that god’s wife or lover, in a jealous rage, turns him–the helpless, innocent victim, that is–into let’s say an immortal turtle and e.g. power-staples him to a sheet of plywood with a dish of turtle food just out of his reach and leaves him out in the sun forever to be repeatedly disemboweled by army ants and stung by hornets or something. So if Arachne had dissed anyone else in the Pantheon, she would have been just a smoking hole in the ground before she knew what hit her.
Neal Stephenson (Cryptonomicon (Crypto, #1))
Too often we only identify the crucial points in our lives in retrospect. At the time we are too absorbed in the fetid detail of the moment to spot where it is leading us. But not this time. I was experiencing one of my dad’s deafening moments. If my life could be understood as a meal of many courses (and let’s be honest, much of it actually was), then I had finished the starters and I was limbering up for the main event. So far, of course, I had made a stinking mess of it. I had spilled the wine. I had dropped my cutlery on the floor and sprayed the fine white linen with sauce. I had even spat out some of my food because I didn’t like the taste of it. “But it doesn’t matter because, look, here come the waiters. They are scraping away the debris with their little horn and steel blades, pulled with studied grace from the hidden pockets of their white aprons. They are laying new tablecloths, arranging new cutlery, placing before me great domed wine glasses, newly polished to a sparkle. There are more dishes to come, more flavors to try, and this time I will not spill or spit or drop or splash. I will not push the plate away from me, the food only half eaten. I am ready for everything they are preparing to serve me. Be in no doubt; it will all be fine.” (pp.115-6)
Jay Rayner (Eating Crow: A Novel of Apology)
Everyone in the world needs two, three jobs,” I said, without hesitation. “One job isn’t enough, just as one life isn’t enough. I want to have a dozen of both.” “Bull’s-eye. Doctors should dig ditches. Ditchdiggers ought to run kindergartens one day a week. Philosophers should wash dishes in a greasy spoon two nights out of ten. Mathematicians should blow whistles at high school gyms. Poets should drive trucks for a change of menu and police detectives—” “Should own and operate the Garden of Eden,” I said, quietly.
Ray Bradbury (Death Is a Lonely Business (Crumley Mysteries, #1))
Why, this is the world's soul; and just of the same piece Is every flatterer's spirit. Who can call him His friend that dips in the same dish? for, in My knowing, Timon has been this lord's father, And kept his credit with his purse, Supported his estate; nay, Timon's money Has paid his men their wages: he ne'er drinks, But Timon's silver treads upon his lip; And yet — O, see the monstrousness of man When he looks out in an ungrateful shape!— He does deny him, in respect of his, What charitable men afford to beggars.
William Shakespeare (Timon of Athens)
Grandmother had had to be frugal all her life, and so she had a weakness for extravagance. She watched the basin and the barrels and every crevice in the granite fill with water and overflow. She looked at the mattresses out being aired and the dishes that were washing themselves. She sighed contentedly, and, absorbed in thought, she filled a coffee cup with precious drinking water and poured it over a daisy.
Tove Jansson (The Summer Book)
At some time all cities have this feel: in London it's at five or six on a winer evening. Paris has it too, late, when the cafes are closing up. In New York it can happen anytime: early in the morning as the light climbs over the canyon streets and the avenues stretch so far into the distance that it seems the whole world is city; or now, as the chimes of midnight hang in the rain and all the city's longings acquire the clarity and certainty of sudden understanding. The day coming to an end and people unable to evade any longer the nagging sense of futility that has been growing stronger through the day, knowing that they will feel better when they wake up and it is daylight again but knowing also that each day leads to this sense of quiet isolation. Whether the plates have been stacked neatly away or the sink is cluttered with unwashed dishes makes no difference because all these details--the clothes hanging in the closet, the sheets on the bed--tell the same story--a story in which they walk to the window and look out at the rain-lit streets, wondering how many other people are looking out like this, people who look forward to Monday because the weekdays have a purpose which vanishes at the weekend when there is only the laundry and the papers. And knowing also that these thoughts do not represent any kind of revelation because by now they have themselves become part of the same routine of bearable despair, a summing up that is all the time dissolving into everyday. A time in the day when it is possible to regret everything and nothing in the same breath, when the only wish of all bachelors is that there was someone who loved them, who was thinking of them even if she was on the other side of the world. When a woman, feeling the city falling damp around her, hearing music from a radio somewhere, looks up and imagines the lives being led behind the yellow-lighted windows: a man at his sink, a family crowded together around a television, lovers drawing curtains, someone at his desk, hearing the same tune on the radio, writing these words.
Geoff Dyer (But Beautiful: A Book About Jazz)
This is precisely why we must see that each choice to do the next thing is an act of worship, and therefore fundamentally good. Feeding your pets is an act of worship. Brushing your teeth is. Doing the dishes. Getting dressed. Going to work. Insofar as each of these actions assumes that this life in this fallen world is good and worth living despite suffering, they are acts of faith in God. Choose to do the next thing before and unto God, take a step toward the block. That is all you must ever do and all you can do. It is your spiritual act of worship.
Alan Noble (On Getting Out of Bed: The Burden and Gift of Living)
Few would fail to notice the growing common ground between the perpetrators of 9/11 and the official response to it called “the war on terror.” Both sides deny the possibility of a middle ground, calling for a war to the finish. Both rally forces in the name of justice but understand justice as revenge. If the perpetrators of 9/11 refuse to distinguish between official America and the American people, target and victim, “the war on terror” has proceeded by dishing out collective punishment, with callous disregard for either “collateral damage” or legitimate grievances.
Mahmood Mamdani (Good Muslim, Bad Muslim: America, the Cold War, and the Roots of Terror)
The only acceptable hobby, throughout all stages of life, is cookery. As a child: adorable baked items. Twenties: much appreciated spag bol and fry-ups. Thirties and forties: lovely stuff with butternut squash and chorizo from the Guardian food section. Fifties and sixties: beef wellington from the Sunday Telegraph magazine. Seventies and eighties: back to the adorable baked items. Perfect. The only teeny tiny downside of this hobby is that I HATE COOKING. Don't get me wrong; I absolutely adore the eating of the food. It's just the awful boring, frightening putting together of it that makes me want to shove my own fists in my mouth. It's a lovely idea: follow the recipe and you'll end up with something exactly like the pretty picture in the book, only even more delicious. But the reality's rather different. Within fifteen minutes of embarking on a dish I generally find myself in tears in the middle of what appears to be a bombsite, looking like a mentally unstable art teacher in a butter-splattered apron, wondering a) just how I am supposed to get hold of a thimble and a half of FairTrade hazelnut oil (why is there always the one impossible-to-find recipe ingredient? Sesame paste, anyone?) and b) just how I managed to get flour through two closed doors onto the living-room curtains, when I don't recall having used any flour and oh-this-is-terrible-let's-just-go-out-and-get-a-Wagamama's-and-to-hell-with-the-cost, dammit.
Miranda Hart (Is It Just Me?)
The top landing of any Bedford Park building’s stairwell felt so much safer. Lying there, flat on a bed of marble, using my backpack for a pillow, whole lives played out beneath me: the smell of food cooking; lovers’ arguments; dishes clanking; TVs blasting at top volume; my old shows, The Simpsons and Jeopardy!; rap music—all carrying me back to University Avenue. Mostly, though, I heard families: children calling out for mothers, husbands speaking their wives’ names, sending me reminders of the way love stretched between a handful of people fills a space, transforms it into a home.
Liz Murray (Breaking Night)
I am realizing people hurt in different ways. No pain looks the same. They don’t laugh at the same jokes. They stop tending to the garden. Leave all the lights off. Pick at their fingernails. I try not to focus on what their hurt looks like so much anymore, but what still remains the same; their perfume, their favorite colors and hiding places, and what it means to feel better. Getting out of bed. A good, warm lunch at the diner. Curling their hair or doing the dishes. Regardless of what sadness looks like, wearing their body like old clothes, I watch the way they come back to themselves, every time. Granting what time they need for themselves. Undressing the loneliness. Filling the absence. How gorgeous it is to watch someone be well.
Schuyler Peck
When they tear a workingman's hand in a machine or kill him, you can understand-- the workingman himself is at fault. But in a case like this, when they suck a man's blood out of him and throw him away like a carcass --that can't be explained in any way. I can comprehend every murder; but torturing for mere sport I can't comprehend. And why do they torture the people? To what purpose do they torture us all? For fun, for mere amusement, so that they can live pleasantly on the earth; so that they can buy everything with the blood of the people, a prima donna, horses, silver knives, golden dishes, expensive toys for their children. YOU work, work, work, work more and more, and I'LL hoard money by your labor and give my mistress a golden wash basin
Maxim Gorky (Mother)
...the lovable is not scarce- it is everywhere. Everything you touch is lovable. There is a hufe surplus, a thousand wonderful things to do, see, feel, taste and smell and a million wonderful people to respond to, talk to, do things for, and delight in, ideas to play with, skills to learn, pictures to paint, songs to sing, grass to mow, poems to write, food to cook and dishes to wash. Each of these is one more occasion to love, out of countless such.
Frank Adams
The clock! That twelve-figured moon skull, that white spider belly! How serenely the hands move with their filigree pointers, and how steadily! Twelve hours, and twelve hours, and begin again! Eat, speak, sleep, cross a street, wash a dish! The clock is still ticking. All its vistas are just so broad—are regular. (Notice that word.) Every day, twelve little bins in which to order disorderly life, and even more disorderly thought. The town’s clock cries out, and the face on every wrist hums or shines; the world keeps pace with itself. Another day is passing, a regular and ordinary day. (Notice that word also.) _______
Mary Oliver (Upstream: Selected Essays)
Father had stretched out his long legs and was tilting back in his chair. Mother sat with her knees crossed, in blue slacks, smoking a Chesterfield. The dessert dishes were still on the table. My sisters were nowhere in evidence. It was a warm evening; the big dining-room windows gave onto blooming rhododendrons. Mother regarded me warmly. She gave me to understand that she was glad I had found what I had been looking for, but that she and father were happy to sit with their coffee, and would not be coming down. She did not say, but I understood at once, that they had their pursuits (coffee?) and I had mine. She did not say, but I began to understand then, that you do what you do out of your private passion for the thing itself. I had essentially been handed my own life. In subsequent years my parents would praise my drawings and poems, and supply me with books, art supplies, and sports equipment, and listen to my troubles and enthusiasms, and supervise my hours, and discuss and inform, but they would not get involved with my detective work, nor hear about my reading, nor inquire about my homework or term papers or exams, nor visit the salamanders I caught, nor listen to me play the piano, nor attend my field hockey games, nor fuss over my insect collection with me, or my poetry collection or stamp collection or rock collection. My days and nights were my own to plan and fill.
Annie Dillard (An American Childhood)
As I repeatedly went forth with him and began to understand the ignorance and contradictions and language difficulties with which he contended, and the doubtful sources of his information and the seemingly bottomless history and darkness out of which the dishes of New York emerge, the deeper grew my suspicion that his work finally consisted of minting or perpetuating and in any event circulating misconceptions about his subject and in this way adding to the endless perplexity of the world.
Joseph O'Neill (Netherland)
People who have never canoed a wild river, or who have done so only with a guide in the stern, are apt to assume that novelty, plus healthful exercise, account for the value of the trip. I thought so too, until I met the two college boys on the Flambeau. Supper dishes washed, we sat on the bank watching a buck dunking for water plants on the far shore. Soon the buck raised his head, cocked his ears upstream, and then bounded for cover. Around the bend now came the cause of his alarm: two boys in a canoe. Spying us, they edged in to pass the time of day. ‘What time is it?’ was their first question. They explained that their watches had run down, and for the first time in their lives there was no clock, whistle, or radio to set watches by. For two days they had lived by ‘sun-time,’ and were getting a thrill out of it. No servant brought them meals: they got their meat out of the river, or went without. No traffic cop whistled them off the hidden rock in the next rapids. No friendly roof kept them dry when they misguessed whether or not to pitch the tent. No guide showed them which camping spots offered a nightlong breeze, and which a nightlong misery of mosquitoes; which firewood made clean coals, and which only smoke. Before our young adventurers pushed off downstream, we learned that both were slated for the Army upon the conclusion of their trip. Now the motif was clear. This trip was their first and last taste of freedom, an interlude between two regimentations: the campus and the barracks. The elemental simplicities of wilderness travel were thrills not only because of their novelty, but because they represented complete freedom to make mistakes. The wilderness gave them their first taste of those rewards and penalties for wise and foolish acts which every woodsman faces daily, but against which civilization has built a thousand buffers. These boys were ‘on their own’ in this particular sense. Perhaps every youth needs an occasional wilderness trip, in order to learn the meaning of this particular freedom.
Aldo Leopold (A Sand County Almanac; with essays on conservation from Round River)
So after some instruction, Joseph put on the apron and started carefully polishing the clean dishes even though it made no sense to him. Over the course of the day, he learned how to wash the floors and clean the windows and empty out the iron stove. Soon the kitchen smelled of lemons and spices, fresh bread and soap. There was a short break for lunch before resuming work. The light shifted during the afternoon and cascaded through the clean windows, burnishing the room with gold. Joseph was so focused on the work, on the patters of the silverware and the curve of the handles on the ancient pitchers and measuring cups, that he forgot for a little while about his parents, and St. Anthony's, and the fire, and losing Blink. He felt a kind of pride in being allowed to touch all the delicate glassware, plates, and bowls, and he hadn't broken a single thing.
Brian Selznick (The Marvels)
Here I am baking cookies and looking all over the house for you,” she turned her attention to Gabe and uncovered his eyes, “hoping to bring my man something to munch on, and instead I walk in on your crazy monkey sex! Thanks you two, now I’m officially scarred for life.” She swatted the air in front of her, as if she could shoo away the images, and darted over the broken dishes and cookies, up the staircase, with a flustered string of expletives. Gabe watched her ascend the stairway and let out another amused cackle. “Oh don’t mind her. She’s acting like she just witnessed her parents in the act.” Bending down, he snatched a cookie and gave us a thumbs-up. “You look hot, kids. Carry on.
Rachael Wade (The Tragedy of Knowledge (Resistance, #3))
dishes piled in the sink, books littering the coffee table— are harder than others. Today, my head is packed with cockroaches, dizziness, and everywhere it hurts. Venom in the jaw, behind the eyes, between the blades. Still, the dog is snoring on my right, the cat, on my left. Outside, all those redbuds are just getting good. I tell a friend, The body is so body. And she nods. I used to like the darkest stories, the bleak snippets someone would toss out about just how bad it could get. My stepfather told me a story about when he lived on the streets as a kid, how hed, some nights, sleep under the grill at a fast food restaurant until both he and his buddy got fired. I used to like that story for some reason, something in me that believed in overcoming. But right now all I want is a story about human kindness, the way once, when I couldn’t stop crying because I was fifteen and heartbroken, he came in and made me eat a small pizza he’d cut up into tiny bites until the tears stopped. Maybe I was just hungry, I said. And he nodded, holding out the last piece.
Ada Limon (The Hurting Kind)
We at length, when we had captured as many fish as we could possibly utilize, set about cleaning and preparing their flesh. Some we salted, some we dried like the herrings, some we treated like the tunny of the Mediterranean—we prepared them in oil. Of the roe of the sturgeon I decided to form caviare, the great Russian dish. I removed from it all the membranes by which it is surrounded, washed it in vinegar, salted it, pressed out all the moisture caused by the wet-absorbing properties of the salt, packed it in small barrels, and
Johann David Wyss (The Swiss Family Robinson)
After three hours, I come back to the waiting room. It is a cosmetic surgery office, so a little like a hotel lobby, underheated and expensively decorated, with candy in little dishes, emerald-green plush chairs, and upscale fashion magazines artfully displayed against the wall. A young woman comes in, frantic to get a pimple "zapped" before she sees her family over the holidays. An older woman comes in with her daughter for a follow-up visit to a face-lift. She is wearing a scarf and dark glasses. The nurse examines her bruises right out in the waiting room. And you are in the operating room having your body and your gender legally altered. I feel like laughing, but I know it makes me sound like a lunatic.
Joan Nestle
I need to dream. I need to believe. I need to know that I have some control in my life. That if I work hard, that I will be rewarded. That life is not arbitrary. I need to believe that bad things happen to good people, for a greater reason. That dedication, sacrifice, hard work, discipline are all worthy attributes that will eventually produce extraordinary results. That if I live a certain lifestyle, that my family will be better for that. That there is a direct link between my actions and my results. That If I prepare properly that I can face the insurmountable foe and look him in the eye and say “Bring it on, I can take whatever you can dish out.” I need to keep living in order to save my daughter from dying.
JohnA Passaro (6 Minutes Wrestling With Life (Every Breath Is Gold #1))
I was a soldier, executing a series of physical actions on a loop. Change the diaper. Make the formula. Warm the bottle. Pour the Cheerios. Wipe up the mess. Negotiate. Beg. Change his sleeper. Get her clothes out. Where’s the lunch box? Bundle them up. Walk. Faster. We’re late. Hug her good-bye. Push the swing. Find the lost mitten. Rub the pinched finger. Give him a snack. Get another bottle. Kiss, kiss, kiss. Put him in the crib. Clean. Tidy. Find. Make. Defrost the chicken. Get him up from the crib. Kiss, kiss, kiss. Change his diaper. Put him in the high chair. Clean up his face. Wash the dishes. Tickle. Change the diaper. Tickle. Put the snacks in a baggie. Start the washing machine. Bundle him up. Buy diapers. And dish soap. Race for pickup. Hello, hello! Hurry, hurry. Unbundle. Laundry in the dryer. Turn on her show. Time-out. Please. Listen to my words. No! Stain remover. Diaper. Dinner. Dishes. Answer the question again and again. Run the bath. Take off their clothes. Wipe up the floor. Are you listening? Brush teeth. Find Benny the Bunny. Put on pajamas. Nurse. A story. Another story. Keep going, keep going, keep going.
Ashley Audrain (The Push)
Lovely and unremarkable, the clutter of mugs and books, the almost-empty Fig Newtons box, thick dishes in a big tin tray, the knife still standing in the butter, change like the color of river water in the delicate shift to day. Thin fog veils the hedges, where a neighbor dog makes rounds. 'Go to bed. It doesn't matter about the washing-up. Take this book along.' Whatever it was we said that night is gone, framed like a photograph nobody took. Stretched out on a camp cot with the book, I think that we will talk all night again, there, or another where, but I am wrong.
Marilyn Hacker (Winter Numbers: Poems)
And now, restored to the status of daughter in her own home, Amina began to feel the emotions of other people's food seeping into her - because Reverend Mother doled out the curries and meatballs of intransigence, dishes imbued with the personality of their creator; Amina ate the fish salans of stubbornness and the birianis of determination. And, although Mary's pickles had a partially counteractive effect - since she had stirred into them the guilt of her heart, and the fear of discovery, so that, good as they tasted, they had the power of making those who ate them subject to nameless uncertainties and dreams of accusing fingers - the diet provided by Reverend Mother filled Amina with a kind of rage, and even produced slight signs of improvements in her defeated husband.
Salman Rushdie (Midnight's Children)
My wakeup call wasn’t some light switch of empowerment. From as early as preschool I feared that if I didn’t grow up to be the pretty princess men fawned over, I was a failure. That mentality was my disease. It got me raped. It made me feel dirty and devalued because my cherry wasn’t popped on a bed of rose petals. It fueled an adolescence juggling starvation and vomiting until my throat bled out and my stomach acid burned through the plumbing. It made me snort coke, smoke meth, and routinely gulp down narcotic petri dishes in hopes of obtaining hallucinogenic intimacy with junkie boyfriends. But most of all, it made me waste my youth chasing, obsessing over, fighting for, worshipping, clinging to, and crying over one after another loser. At some point, I just quit giving a fuck.
Maggie Georgiana Young (Just Another Number)
Things I Used to Get Hit For: Talking back. Being smart. Acting stupid. Not listening. Not answering the first time. Not doing what I’m told. Not doing it the second time I’m told. Running, jumping, yelling, laughing, falling down, skipping stairs, lying in the snow, rolling in the grass, playing in the dirt, walking in mud, not wiping my feet, not taking my shoes off. Sliding down the banister, acting like a wild Indian in the hallway. Making a mess and leaving it. Pissing my pants, just a little. Peeing the bed, hardly at all. Sleeping with a butter knife under my pillow. Shitting the bed because I was sick and it just ran out of me, but still my fault because I’m old enough to know better. Saying shit instead of crap or poop or number two. Not knowing better. Knowing something and doing it wrong anyway. Lying. Not confessing the truth even when I don’t know it. Telling white lies, even little ones, because fibbing isn’t fooling and not the least bit funny. Laughing at anything that’s not funny, especially cripples and retards. Covering up my white lies with more lies, black lies. Not coming the exact second I’m called. Getting out of bed too early, sometimes before the birds, and turning on the TV, which is one reason the picture tube died. Wearing out the cheap plastic hole on the channel selector by turning it so fast it sounds like a machine gun. Playing flip-and-catch with the TV’s volume button then losing it down the hole next to the radiator pipe. Vomiting. Gagging like I’m going to vomit. Saying puke instead of vomit. Throwing up anyplace but in the toilet or in a designated throw-up bucket. Using scissors on my hair. Cutting Kelly’s doll’s hair really short. Pinching Kelly. Punching Kelly even though she kicked me first. Tickling her too hard. Taking food without asking. Eating sugar from the sugar bowl. Not sharing. Not remembering to say please and thank you. Mumbling like an idiot. Using the emergency flashlight to read a comic book in bed because batteries don’t grow on trees. Splashing in puddles, even the puddles I don’t see until it’s too late. Giving my mother’s good rhinestone earrings to the teacher for Valentine’s Day. Splashing in the bathtub and getting the floor wet. Using the good towels. Leaving the good towels on the floor, though sometimes they fall all by themselves. Eating crackers in bed. Staining my shirt, tearing the knee in my pants, ruining my good clothes. Not changing into old clothes that don’t fit the minute I get home. Wasting food. Not eating everything on my plate. Hiding lumpy mashed potatoes and butternut squash and rubbery string beans or any food I don’t like under the vinyl seat cushions Mom bought for the wooden kitchen chairs. Leaving the butter dish out in summer and ruining the tablecloth. Making bubbles in my milk. Using a straw like a pee shooter. Throwing tooth picks at my sister. Wasting toothpicks and glue making junky little things that no one wants. School papers. Notes from the teacher. Report cards. Whispering in church. Sleeping in church. Notes from the assistant principal. Being late for anything. Walking out of Woolworth’s eating a candy bar I didn’t pay for. Riding my bike in the street. Leaving my bike out in the rain. Getting my bike stolen while visiting Grandpa Rudy at the hospital because I didn’t put a lock on it. Not washing my feet. Spitting. Getting a nosebleed in church. Embarrassing my mother in any way, anywhere, anytime, especially in public. Being a jerk. Acting shy. Being impolite. Forgetting what good manners are for. Being alive in all the wrong places with all the wrong people at all the wrong times.
Bob Thurber (Paperboy: A Dysfunctional Novel)
Because I live in south Florida I store cans of black beans and gallons of water in my closet in preparation for hurricane season. I throw a hurricane party in January. You’re my only guest. We play Marco Polo in bed. The sheets are wet like the roof caved in. There’s a million of me in you. You try to count me as I taste the sweat on the back of your neck. I call you Sexy Sexy, and we do everything twice. After, still sweating, we drink Crystal Light out of plastic water bottles. We discuss the pros and cons of vasectomies. It’s not invasive you say. I wrap the bedsheet around my waist. Minor surgery you say. You slur the word surgery, like it’s a garnish on a dish you just prepared. I eat your hair until you agree to no longer talk about vasectomies. We agree to have children someday, and that they will be beautiful even if they’re not. As I watch your eyes grow heavy like soggy clothes, I tell you When I grow up I’m going to be a famous writer. When I’m famous I’ll sign autographs on Etch-A-Sketches. I’ll write poems about writing other poems, so other poets will get me. You open your eyes long enough to tell me that when you grow up, you’re going to be a steamboat operator. Your pores can never be too clean you say. I say I like your pores just fine. I say Your pores are tops. I kiss you with my whole mouth, and you fall asleep next to my molars. In the morning, we eat french toast with powdered sugar. I wear the sugar like a mustache. You wear earmuffs and pretend we’re in a silent movie. I mouth Olive juice, but I really do love you. This is an awesome hurricane party you say, but it comes out as a yell because you can’t gauge your own volume with the earmuffs on. You yell I want to make something cute with you. I say Let me kiss the insides of your arms. You have no idea what I just said, but you like the way I smile.
Gregory Sherl
A SPOONFUL OF KINDNESS When Tommy, my son, was three years old, my wife, Lilly, and I took him for his annual checkup and the pediatrician asked us what his eating habits were like. “Well,” we confessed, “he’s going through this phase of only liking chicken fingers and carbs, so we’ve kind of given up trying to get him to eat vegetables for now. It’s become too much of a struggle every night.” The pediatrician nodded and smiled, and then said, “Well, you can’t really force him to eat the veggies, guys, but your job is to make sure they’re on his plate. He can’t eat them if they’re not even on his plate.” I’ve thought about that a lot over the years. I think about it with teaching. My students can’t learn what I don’t teach them. Kindness. Empathy. Compassion. It’s not part of the curriculum, I know, but I still have to keep dishing it out onto their plates every day. Maybe they’ll eat it; maybe they won’t. Either way, my job is to keep on serving it to them. Hopefully, a little mouthful of kindness today may make them hungry for a bigger taste of it tomorrow. —Mr. Browne
R.J. Palacio (365 Days of Wonder: Mr. Browne's Precepts)
Back out of all this now too much for us, Back in a time made simple by the loss Of detail, burned, dissolved, and broken off Like graveyard marble sculpture in the weather, There is a house that is no more a house Upon a farm that is no more a farm And in a town that is no more a town. The road there, if you’ll let a guide direct you Who only has at heart your getting lost, May seem as if it should have been a quarry— Great monolithic knees the former town Long since gave up pretense of keeping covered. And there’s a story in a book about it: Besides the wear of iron wagon wheels The ledges show lines ruled southeast-northwest, The chisel work of an enormous Glacier That braced his feet against the Arctic Pole. You must not mind a certain coolness from him Still said to haunt this side of Panther Mountain. Nor need you mind the serial ordeal Of being watched from forty cellar holes As if by eye pairs out of forty firkins. As for the woods’ excitement over you That sends light rustle rushes to their leaves, Charge that to upstart inexperience. Where were they all not twenty years ago? They think too much of having shaded out A few old pecker-fretted apple trees. Make yourself up a cheering song of how Someone’s road home from work this once was, Who may be just ahead of you on foot Or creaking with a buggy load of grain. The height of the adventure is the height Of country where two village cultures faded Into each other. Both of them are lost. And if you’re lost enough to find yourself By now, pull in your ladder road behind you And put a sign up CLOSED to all but me. Then make yourself at home. The only field Now left’s no bigger than a harness gall. First there’s the children’s house of make-believe, Some shattered dishes underneath a pine, The playthings in the playhouse of the children. Weep for what little things could make them glad. Then for the house that is no more a house, But only a belilaced cellar hole, Now slowly closing like a dent in dough. This was no playhouse but a house in earnest. Your destination and your destiny’s A brook that was the water of the house, Cold as a spring as yet so near its source, Too lofty and original to rage. (We know the valley streams that when aroused Will leave their tatters hung on barb and thorn.) I have kept hidden in the instep arch Of an old cedar at the waterside A broken drinking goblet like the Grail Under a spell so the wrong ones can’t find it, So can’t get saved, as Saint Mark says they mustn’t. (I stole the goblet from the children’s playhouse.) Here are your waters and your watering place. Drink and be whole again beyond confusion.
Robert Frost
The next day, when I came home from the library, there was a small, used red record player in my room. I found my mother in the kitchen and spotted a bandage taped to her arm. “Ma,” I asked. “Where did you get the money for the record player?” “I had it saved,” she lied. My father lived well, had a large house and an expensive imported car, wanted for little, and gave nothing. My mother lived on welfare in a slum and sold her blood to the Red Cross to get me a record player. “Education is everything, Johnny,” she said, as she headed for the refrigerator to get me food. “You get smart like regular people and you don’t have to live like this no more.” She and I were not hugging types, but I put my hand on her shoulder as she washed the dishes with her back to me and she said, in best Brooklynese, “So go and enjoy, already.” My father always said I was my mother’s son and I was proud of that. On her good days, she was a good and noble thing to be a part of. That evening, I plugged in the red record player and placed it by the window. My mother and I took the kitchen chairs out to the porch and listened to Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony from beginning to end, as we watched the oil-stained waters of the Mad River roll by. It was a good night, another good night, one of many that have blessed my life.
John William Tuohy
In historical terms women, black people in general, were very attracted to very bright-colored clothing. Most people are frightened by color anyway...They just are. In this culture quiet colors are considered elegant. Civilized Western people wouldn’t buy bloodred sheets or dishes. There may be something more to it than what I am suggesting. But the slave population had no access even to what color there was, because they wore slave clothes, hand-me-downs, work clothes made out of burlap and sacking. For them a colored dress would be luxurious; it wouldn’t matter whether it was rich or poor cloth . . . just to have a red or a yellow dress. I stripped Beloved of color so that there are only the small moments when Sethe runs amok buying ribbons and bows, enjoying herself the way children enjoy that kind of color. The whole business of color was why slavery was able to last such a long time. It wasn’t as though you had a class of convicts who could dress themselves up and pass themselves off. No, these were people marked because of their skin color, as well as other features. So color is a signifying mark. Baby Suggs dreams of color and says, “Bring me a little lavender.” It is a kind of luxury. We are so inundated with color and visuals. I just wanted to pull it back so that one could feel that hunger and that delight.
Toni Morrison
Getting tired already, minnow?” Toraf taunts as he wraps strong arms around Galen’s neck in a choke hold. Galen promptly flips him forward and onto his back. Toraf bounces once with the force. “You must have been drinking salt water,” Galen returns, “to have delusions like that.” Toraf kicks Galen’s legs out from under him, and the scuffle is taken to the floor. Just when I wonder how long this can really go on, the older Syrena steps into the dining room and confirms his identity with the authority in his voice. “That’s enough. Get up.” Toraf scrambles to his feet and steps away from Galen, who reluctantly complies. “Yes, Highness. Sorry, Highness,” Toraf says, breathless. There is not a small amount of shame on Toraf’s face. In fact, even Galen looks conscience stricken. “Apologies, King Antonis,” he says quickly. “I didn’t see you there.” King Antonis. Mom’s dad. My grandfather. Holy! Antonis lifts his chin, satisfied. “I didn’t think so.” Mom steps over the dish debris and embraces her dad. “Thank you for interrupting. It was getting a tad boring. It was obvious no one would win.” Mom is such a dude sometimes. Grom winks at Galen, who shrugs.
Anna Banks (Of Triton (The Syrena Legacy, #2))
... a tiny room, furnished in early MFI, of which every surface was covered in china ornaments and plaster knick-knacks whose only virtue was that they were small, and therefore of limited individual horribleness. Cumulatively, they were like an infestation. Little vases, ashtrays, animals, shepherdesses, tramps, boots, tobys, ruined castles, civic shields of seaside towns, thimbles, bambis, pink goggle-eyed puppies sitting up and begging, scooped-out swans plainly meant to double as soap dishes, donkeys with empry panniers which ought to have held pin-cushions or perhaps bunches of violets -- all jostled together in a sad visual cacophony of bad taste and birthday presents and fading holiday memories, too many to be loved, justifying themselves by their sheer weight of numbers as 'collections' do.
Cynthia Harrod-Eagles (Blood Lines (Bill Slider, #5))
Nevertheless, beneath me—along the river bank, beneath the bridges, in the shadow of the walls, I could almost hear the collective, shivering sigh—were lovers and ruins, sleeping, embracing, coupling, drinking, staring out at the descending night. Behind the walls of the houses I passed, the French nation was clearing away the dishes, putting little Jean Pierre and Marie to bed, scowling over the eternal problems of the sou, the shop, the church, the unsteady State. Those walls, those shuttered windows held them in and protected them against the darkness and the long moan of this long night. Ten years hence, little Jean Pierre or Marie might find themselves out here beside the river and wonder, like me, how they had fallen out of the web of safety. What a long way, I thought, I’ve come—to be destroyed!
James Baldwin (Giovanni's Room)
I was so struck by Flow’s negative implications for parents that I decided I wanted to speak to Csikszentmihalyi, just to make sure I wasn’t misreading him. And eventually I did, at a conference in Philadelphia where he was one of the marquee speakers. As we sat down to chat, the first thing I asked was why he talked so little about family life in Flow. He devotes only ten pages to it. “Let me tell you a couple of things that may be relevant to you,” he said. And then he told a personal story. When Csikszentmihalyi first developed the Experience Sampling Method, one of the first people he tried it out on was himself. “And at the end of the week,” he said, “I looked at my responses, and one thing that suddenly was very strange to me was that every time I was with my two sons, my moods were always very, very negative.” His sons weren’t toddlers at that point either. They were older. “And I said, ‘This doesn’t make any sense to me, because I’m very proud of them, and we have a good relationship.’ ” But then he started to look at what, specifically, he was doing with his sons that made his feelings so negative. “And what was I doing?” he asked. “I was saying, ‘It’s time to get up, or you will be late for school.’ Or, ‘You haven’t put away your cereal dish from breakfast.’ ” He was nagging, in other words, and nagging is not a flow activity. “I realized,” he said, “that being a parent consists, in large part, of correcting the growth pattern of a person who is not necessarily ready to live in a civilized society.” I asked if, in that same data set, he had any numbers about flow in family life. None were in his book. He said he did. “They were low. Family life is organized in a way that flow is very difficult to achieve, because we assume that family life is supposed to relax us and to make us happy. But instead of being happy, people get bored.” Or enervated, as he’d said before, when talking about disciplining his sons. And because children are constantly changing, the “rules” of handling them change too, which can further confound a family’s ability to flow. “And then we get into these spirals of conflict and so forth,” he continued. “That’s why I’m saying it’s easier to get into flow at work. Work is more structured. It’s structured more like a game. It has clear goals, you get feedback, you know what has to be done, there are limits.” He thought about this. “Partly, the lack of structure in family life, which seems to give people freedom, is actually a kind of an impediment.
Jennifer Senior (All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood)
In the course of my life I have had pre-pubescent ballerinas; emaciated duchesses, dolorous and forever tired, melomaniac and morphine-sodden; bankers' wives with eyes hollower than those of suburban streetwalkers; music-hall chorus girls who tip creosote into their Roederer when getting drunk... I have even had the awkward androgynes, the unsexed dishes of the day of the *tables d'hote* of Montmartre. Like any vulgar follower of fashion, like any member of the herd, I have made love to bony and improbably slender little girls, frightened and macabre, spiced with carbolic and peppered with chlorotic make-up. Like an imbecile, I have believed in the mouths of prey and sacrificial victims. Like a simpleton, I have believed in the large lewd eyes of a ragged heap of sickly little creatures: alcoholic and cynical shop girls and whores. The profundity of their eyes and the mystery of their mouths... the jewellers of some and the manicurists of others furnish them with *eaux de toilette*, with soaps and rouges. And Fanny the etheromaniac, rising every morning for a measured dose of cola and coca, does not put ether only on her handkerchief. It is all fakery and self-advertisement - *truquage and battage*, as their vile argot has it. Their phosphorescent rottenness, their emaciated fervour, their Lesbian blight, their shop-sign vices set up to arouse their clients, to excite the perversity of young and old men alike in the sickness of perverse tastes! All of it can sparkle and catch fire only at the hour when the gas is lit in the corridors of the music-halls and the crude nickel-plated decor of the bars. Beneath the cerise three-ply collars of the night-prowlers, as beneath the bulging silks of the cyclist, the whole seductive display of passionate pallor, of knowing depravity, of exhausted and sensual anaemia - all the charm of spicy flowers celebrated in the writings of Paul Bourget and Maurice Barres - is nothing but a role carefully learned and rehearsed a hundred times over. It is a chapter of the MANCHON DE FRANCINE read over and over again, swotted up and acted out by ingenious barnstormers, fully conscious of the squalid salacity of the male of the species, and knowledgeable in the means of starting up the broken-down engines of their customers. To think that I also have loved these maleficent and sick little beasts, these fake Primaveras, these discounted Jocondes, the whole hundred-franc stock-in-trade of Leonardos and Botticellis from the workshops of painters and the drinking-dens of aesthetes, these flowers mounted on a brass thread in Montparnasse and Levallois-Perret! And the odious and tiresome travesty - the corsetted torso slapped on top of heron's legs, painful to behold, the ugly features primed by boulevard boxes, the fake Dresden of Nina Grandiere retouched from a medicine bottle, complaining and spectral at the same time - of Mademoiselle Guilbert and her long black gloves!... Have I now had enough of the horror of this nightmare! How have I been able to tolerate it for so long? The fact is that I was then ignorant even of the nature of my sickness. It was latent in me, like a fire smouldering beneath the ashes. I have cherished it since... perhaps since early childhood, for it must always have been in me, although I did not know it!
Jean Lorrain (Monsieur De Phocas)
Hampden College, as a body, was always strangely prone to hysteria. Whether from isolation, malice, or simple boredom, people there were far more credulous and excitable than educated people are generally believed to be, and this hermetic, overheated atmosphere made it a thriving black petrie dish of melodrama and distortion. I remember well, for instance, the blind animal terror which ensued when some townie set off the civil defense sirens as a joke. Someone said it was a nuclear attack; TV and radio reception, never good there in the mountains, happened to be particularly bad that night, and in the ensuing stampede for the telephones the switchboard shorted out, plunging the school into a violent and almost unimaginable panic. Cars collided in the parking lot. People sceamed, wept, gave away t heir possessions, huddled in small groups for comfort and warmth. Some hippies barricaded themselves in the Science Building, in the lone bomb shelter, and refused to let anyone in who didn't know the world to "Sugar Magnolia." Factions formed, leaders rose from the chaos. Though the world, in fact, was not destroyed, everyone had a marvelous time and people spoke fondly of the event for years afterward.
Donna Tartt (The Secret History)
Much of Chinese society still expected its women to hold themselves in a sedate manner, lower their eyelids in response to men's stares, and restrict their smile to a faint curve of the lips which did not expose their teeth. They were not meant to use hand gestures at all. If they contravened any of these canons of behavior they would be considered 'flirtatious." Under Mao, flirting with./bre/gners was an unspeakable crime. I was furious at the innuendo against me. It had been my Communist parents who had given me a liberal upbringing. They had regarded the restrictions on women as precisely the sort of thing a Communist revolution should put an end to. But now oppression of women joined hands with political repression, and served resentment and petty jealousy. One day, a Pakistani ship arrived. The Pakistani military attache came down from Peking. Long ordered us all to spring-clean the club from top to bottom, and laid on a banquet, for which he asked me to be his interpreter, which made some of the other students extremely envious. A few days later the Pakistanis gave a farewell dinner on their ship, and I was invited. The military attache had been to Sichuan, and they had prepared a special Sichuan dish for me. Long was delighted by the invitation, as was I. But despite a personal appeal from the captain and even a threat from Long to bar future students, my teachers said that no one was allowed on board a foreign ship. "Who would take the responsibility if someone sailed away on the ship?" they asked. I was told to say I was busy that evening. As far as I knew, I was turning down the only chance I would ever have of a trip out to sea, a foreign meal, a proper conversation in English, and an experience of the outside world. Even so, I could not silence the whispers. Ming asked pointedly, "Why do foreigners like her so much?" as though there was something suspicious in that. The report filed on me at the end of the trip said my behavior was 'politically dubious." In this lovely port, with its sunshine, sea breezes, and coconut trees, every occasion that should have been joyous was turned into misery. I had a good friend in the group who tried to cheer me up by putting my distress into perspective. Of course, what I encountered was no more than minor unpleasantness compared with what victims of jealousy suffered in the earlier years of the Cultural Revolution. But the thought that this was what my life at its best would be like depressed me even more. This friend was the son of a colleague of my father's. The other students from cities were also friendly to me. It was easy to distinguish them from the students of peasant backgrounds, who provided most of the student officials.
Jung Chang (Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China)
White women—feminists included—have revealed a historical reluctance to acknowledge the struggles of household workers. They have rarely been involved in the Sisyphean task of ameliorating the conditions of domestic service. The convenient omission of household workers’ problems from the programs of “middle-class” feminists past and present has often turned out to be a veiled justification—at least on the part of the affluent women—of their own exploitative treatment of their maids. In 1902 the author of an article entitled “A Nine-Hour Day for Domestic Servants” described a conversation with a feminist friend who had asked her to sign a petition urging employers to furnish seats for women clerks. “The girls,” she said, “have to stand on their feet ten hours a day and it makes my heart ache to see their tired faces.” “Mrs. Jones,” said I, “how many hours a day does your maid stand upon her feet?” “Why, I don’t know,” she gasped, “five or six I suppose.” “At what time does she rise?” “At six.” “And at what hour does she finish at night?” “Oh, about eight, I think, generally.” “That makes fourteen hours …” “… (S)he can often sit down at her work.” “At what work? Washing? Ironing? Sweeping? Making beds? Cooking? Washing dishes? … Perhaps she sits for two hours at her meals and preparing vegetables, and four days in the week she has an hour in the afternoon. According to that, your maid is on her feet at least eleven hours a day with a score of stair-climbings included. It seems to me that her case is more pitiable than that of the store clerk.” My caller rose with red cheeks and flashing eyes. “My maid always has Sunday after dinner,” she said. “Yes, but the clerk has all day Sunday. Please don’t go until I have signed that petition. No one would be more thankful than I to see the clerks have a chance to sit …
Angela Y. Davis (Women, Race & Class)
RubyMars: Have you heard anything else about when you’re leaving for good? AHall80: Not yet, but everything seems to be on schedule. Should be about 8 weeks. The longest 8 weeks of my life. RubyMars: I’m sure. AHall80: I want a shitty, greasy, deep dish pizza like you can’t imagine. I can already taste it. AHall80: A hot shower… a real bed… AC everywhere… RubyMars: Clean clothes? AHall80: Clean clothes. Clean socks. No sand. RubyMars: Clean underwear. RubyMars: No sand? I thought you were planning on going to the beach? AHall80: The beach is different. There’s water. It isn’t just desert and more desert. RubyMars: I guess that makes sense. RubyMars: My brother said once that his goal is to never see sand in his life again. AHall80: For real. RubyMars: What I didn’t finish saying was that he said that, but he’s gone to Cancun twice with his boyfriend, LOL. AHall80: It’s different. I’m over this sand shit. AHall80: Never again RubyMars: Does that mean you’re dead set on not re-enlisting? AHall80: … RubyMars: Whatever you want. I’m not judging. We don’t have to talk about it. AHall80: It’s not that I don’t want to talk about it… RubyMars: But you don’t want to talk about it. AHall80: :] Basically. RubyMars: I’ll change the subject then. RubyMars: Have you gone #2 lately? AHall80: Three days ago. RubyMars: Are you joking? AHall80: I wish. RubyMars: AARON AHall80: I know. I KNOW. RubyMars: Does it hurt? AHall80: Uh, when it comes out? RubyMars: Omg RubyMars: Aaron RubyMars: I meant your stomach. RubyMars: Does your stomach hurt? RubyMars: I can’t breathe RubyMars: Or type RubyMars: I didn’t mean your… rectum. RubyMars: Aaron? RubyMars: Aaron? RubyMars: Are you there? RubyMars: AARON? AHall80: You’re not the only one who couldn’t breathe or type. RubyMars: LMAO I’m crying. AHall80: me too AHall80: me too RubyMars: I mean… you can tell me if your butt hurts too, I guess. AHall80: Ruby, stop RubyMars: Seriously. You can tell me. I won’t judge. RubyMars: It happens. RubyMars: I think. AHall80: Stop RubyMars: I can’t breathe AHall80: I don’t know when the last time I laughed so hard was. AHall80: Everyone is looking at me wondering wtf happened. RubyMars: Your rectum happened AHall80: BYE RubyMars: I can’t stop laughing AHall80: You’re never hearing from me again RubyMars: There are tears coming out of my eyes. AHall80: Bye. I’ll write you again when I find my balls. RubyMars: It was nice knowing you. AHall80: BYE
Mariana Zapata (Dear Aaron)
Ildiko shuddered.  Her hope to never again see or eat the Kai’s most beloved and revolting delicacy had been in vain.  When Brishen informed her that the dish was one of Serovek’s favorites, she resigned herself to another culinary battle with her food and put the scarpatine on the menu.  She ordered roasted potatoes as well, much to the head cook’s disgust. When servants brought out the food and set it on the table, Brishen leaned close and whispered in her ear.  “Revenge, wife?” “Hardly,” she replied, keeping a wary eye on the pie closest to her.  The golden top crust, with its sprinkle of sparkling salt, pitched in a lazy undulation.  “But I’m starving, and I have no intention of filling up on that abomination.” Their guest of honor didn’t share their dislike of either food.  As deft as any Kai, Serovek made short work of the scarpatine and its whipping tail, cleaved open the shell with his knife and took a generous bite of the steaming gray meat. Ildiko’s stomach heaved.  She forgot her nausea when Serovek complimented her.  “An excellent choice to pair the scarpatine with the potato, Your Highness.  They are better together than apart.” Beside her, Brishen choked into his goblet.  He wiped his mouth with his sanap.  “What a waste of good scarpatine,” he muttered under his breath. What a waste of a nice potato, she thought.  However, the more she thought on Serovek’s remark, the more her amusement grew. “And what has you smiling so brightly?”  Brishen stared at her, his lambent eyes glowing nearly white in the hall’s torchlight. She glanced at Serovek, happily cleaning his plate and shooting the occasional glance at Anhuset nearby.  Brishen’s cousin refused to meet his gaze, but Ildiko had caught the woman watching the Beladine lord more than a few times during dinner. “That’s us, you know,” she said. “What is us?” “The scarpatine and the potato.  Better together than alone.  At least I think so.” One of Brishen’s eyebrows slid upward.  “I thought we were hag and dead eel.  I think I like those comparisons more.”  He shoved his barely-touched potato to the edge of his plate with his knife tip, upper lip curled in revulsion to reveal a gleaming white fang. Ildiko laughed and stabbed a piece of the potato off his plate.  She popped it into her mouth and chewed with gusto, eager to blunt the taste of scarpatine still lingering on her tongue.
Grace Draven (Radiance (Wraith Kings, #1))
I immersed myself in my relationship with my husband, in little ways at first. Dutch would come home from his morning workout and I’d bring him coffee as he stepped out of the shower. He’d slip into a crisp white shirt and dark slacks and run a little goop through his hair, and I’d eye him in the mirror with desire and a sultry smile that he couldn’t miss. He’d head to work and I’d put a love note in his bag—just a line about how proud I was of him. How beautiful he was. How happy I was as his wife. He’d come home and cook dinner and instead of camping out in front of the TV while he fussed in the kitchen, I’d keep him company at the kitchen table and we’d talk about our days, about our future, about whatever came to mind. After dinner, he’d clear the table and I’d do the dishes, making sure to compliment him on the meal. On those weekends when he’d head outside to mow the lawn, I’d bring him an ice-cold beer. And, in those times when Dutch was in the mood and maybe I wasn’t, well, I got in the mood and we had fun. As the weeks passed and I kept discovering little ways to open myself up to him, the most amazing thing happened. I found myself falling madly, deeply, passionately, head-over-heels in love with my husband. I’d loved him as much as I thought I could love anybody before I’d married him, but in treating him like my own personal Superman, I discovered how much of a superhero he actually was. How giving he was. How generous. How kind, caring, and considerate. How passionate. How loving. How genuinely good. And whatever wounds had never fully healed from my childhood finally, at long last, formed scar tissue. It was like being able to take a full breath of air for the first time in my life. It was transformative. And it likely would save our marriage, because, at some point, all that withholding would’ve turned a loving man bitter. On some level I think I’d known that and yet I’d needed my sister to point it out to me and help me change. Sometimes it’s good to have people in your life that know you better than you know yourself.
Victoria Laurie (Sense of Deception (Psychic Eye Mystery, #13))
What would you like for your own life, Kate, if you could choose?” “Anything?” “Of course anything.” “That’s really easy, Aunty Ivy.” “Go on then.” “A straw hat...with a bright scarlet ribbon tied around the top and a bow at the back. A tea-dress like girls used to wear, with big red poppies all over the fabric. A pair of flat, white pumps, comfortable but really pretty. A bicycle with a basket on the front. In the basket is a loaf of fresh bread, cheese, fruit oh...and a bottle of sparkly wine, you know, like posh people drink. “I’m cycling down a lane. There are no lorries or cars or bicycles. No people – just me. The sun is shining through the trees, making patterns on the ground. At the end of the lane is a gate, sort of hidden between the bushes and trees. I stop at the gate, get off the bike and wheel it into the garden. “In the garden there are flowers of all kinds, especially roses. They’re my favourite. I walk down the little path to a cottage. It’s not big, just big enough. The front door needs painting and has a little stained glass window at the top. I take the food out of the basket and go through the door. “Inside, everything is clean, pretty and bright. There are vases of flowers on every surface and it smells sweet, like lemon cake. At the end of the room are French windows. They need painting too, but it doesn’t matter. I go through the French windows into a beautiful garden. Even more flowers there...and a veranda. On the veranda is an old rocking chair with patchwork cushions and next to it a little table that has an oriental tablecloth with gold tassels. I put the food on the table and pour the wine into a glass. I’d sit in the rocking chair and close my eyes and think to myself... this is my place.” From A DISH OF STONES
Valentina Hepburn (A Dish of Stones)
JESUS & THE WEATHER I don't think Jesus Who is Our Lord would have liked the weather in Limerick because it's always raining and the Shannon keeps the whole city damp. My father says the Shannon is a killer river because it killed my two brothers. When you look at pictures of Jesus He's always wandering around ancient Israel in a sheet. It never rains there and you never hear of anyone coughing or getting consumption or anything like that and no one has a job there because all they do is stand around and eat manna and shake their fists and go to crucifixions. Anytime Jesus got hungry all He had to do was go up the road to a fig tree or an orange tree and have His fill. If He wanted a pint He could wave His hand over a big glass and there was the pint. Or He could visit Mary Magdalene and her sister, Martha, and they'd give Him His dinner no questions asked and He'd get his feet washed and dried with Mary Magdalene's hair while Martha washed the dishes, which I don't think is fair. Why should she have to wash the dishes while her sister sits out there chatting away with Our Lord? It's a good thing Jesus decided to be born Jewish in that warm place because if he was born in Limerick he'd catch the consumption and be dead in a month and there wouldn't be any Catholic Church and there wouldn't be any Communion or Confirmation and we wouldn't have to learn the catechism and write compositions about Him. The End.
Frank McCourt (Angela's Ashes (Frank McCourt, #1))
Discovering a note in the mending basket, Phoebe plucked it out and unfolded it. She instantly recognized West's handwriting. Unemployed Feline Seeking Household Position To Whom It May Concern, I hereby offer my services as an experienced mouser and personal companion. References from a reputable family to be provided upon request. Willing to accept room and board in lieu of pay. Indoor lodgings preferred. Your servant, Galoshes the Cat Glancing up from the note, Phoebe found her parents' questioning gazes on her. "Job application," she explained sourly. "From the cat." "How charming," Seraphina exclaimed, reading over her shoulder. "'Personal companion,' my foot," Phoebe muttered. "This is a semi-feral animal who has lived in outbuildings and fed on vermin." "I wonder," Seraphina said thoughtfully. "If she were truly feral, she wouldn't want any contact with humans. With time and patience, she might become domesticated." Phoebe rolled her eyes. "It seems we'll find out." The boys returned from the dining car with a bowl of water and a tray of refreshments. Galoshes descended to the floor long enough to devour a boiled egg, an anchovy canapé, and a spoonful of black caviar from a silver dish on ice. Licking her lips and purring, the cat jumped back into Phoebe's lap and curled up with a sigh. "I'd say she's adjusting quite well," Seraphina commented with a grin, and elbowed Phoebe gently. "One never knows who might rise above their disreputable past.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil's Daughter (The Ravenels, #5))
Once there was a little girl who played her music for a little boy in the wood. She was small and dark, he was tall and fair, and the two of them made a fancy pair as they danced together, dancing to the music the little girl heard in her head. Her grandmother had told her to beware the wolves that prowled in the wood, but the little girl knew the little boy was not dangerous, even if he was the king of the goblins. Will you marry me, Elisabeth? the little boy asked, and the little girl did not wonder at how he knew her name. Oh, she replied, but I am too young to marry. Then I will wait, the little boy said. I will wait as long as you remember. And the little girl laughed as she danced with the Goblin King, the little boy who was always just a little older, a little out of reach. As the seasons turned and the years passed, the little girl grew older but the Goblin King remained the same. She washed the dishes, cleaned the floors, brushed her sister’s hair, yet still ran to the forest to meet her old friend in the grove. Their games were different now, truth and forfeit and challenges and dares. Will you marry me, Elisabeth? the little boy asked, and the little girl did not yet understand his question was not part of a game. Oh, she replied, but you have not yet won my hand. Then I will win, the little boy said. I will win until you surrender. And the little girl laughed as she played against the Goblin King, losing every hand and every round. Winter turned to spring, spring to summer, summer into autumn, autumn back into winter, but each turning of the year grew harder and harder as the little girl grew up while the Goblin King remained the same. She washed the dishes, cleaned the floors, brushed her sister’s hair, soothed her brother’s fears, hid her father’s purse, counted the coins, and no longer went into the woods to see her old friend. Will you marry me, Elisabeth? the Goblin King asked. But the little girl did not reply.
S. Jae-Jones (Wintersong (Wintersong, #1))
Sheila and Hugh Resting in arms Testing your charms Repeating a ritualized “I love you” Sharing a fight Or a kiss in the night Shrugging when friends ask “What’s new?” After the wedding Her hips started spreading His hair line began to recede They remained together Out of habit now And not out of any great need He’ll show up from work Showing signs of strain While her day was spent cleaning Letting the soap operas wash her brain . . . He reads the evening paper She calls him in to eat They share their meal silently She’s bored, he’s just beat Then they climb the stairs Multiplying the monotony With each step they take The hours spent sleeping They find more satisfying Than those spent awake He removes his work clothes She puts on her curlers and cream Hoping the sheets will protect them From the demon of daily routine Then he clicks off the lamp And the darkness holds no noise For in the dark you can be anyone Housewives will be girls And businessmen boys . . . “I love you, Sheila” I love you, Hugh” But she’s deciding on dishes And his thoughts are all askew And the sheets supply refuge For this perpetual pair Neither really knowing anymore Why the other one is there
Carrie Fisher (The Princess Diarist)
There was no good name for this spot. Evie, who had shot like an arrow from school into life, who had never wavered, who had seen clear right from the start where she wanted to get to, had lately found herself more and more in the brambles. Somehow, here she was, no longer certain where she was going. Or even if she wanted to get there. The jobs had been won, the beds made, the dishes washed, the children sprouted. The wheel had stopped, and now what? Where, for instance, was the story of a middle-aged orphan with the gray streak in her hair, the historian who had rustled thirteenth-century women's lives out of fugitive pages, who believed more than most that there was no such thing as the certainty of a plot in the story of a life, in fact who taught this to students year in and year our, and yet who found herself lately longing, above all else for just that? Longing, against reason, for some kind of clear direction, for the promise of a pattern. For this relief--she pulled against the shoulder strap of her satchel--the unbearable relief of an omniscient narrator. Adolescence, she reflected, pushing open the classroom door with a kind of savage glee, had nothing on this.
Sarah Blake (The Guest Book)
Chang-bo took to his bed, or rather to the quilts on the floor that was all they had left. His legs swelled up like balloons with what Mrs. Song had come to recognize as edema — fluid retention brought on by starvation. He talked incessantly about food. He spoke of the tofu soups his mother made him as a child and an unusually delicious meal of steamed crab with ginger that Mrs. Song had cooked for him when they were newlyweds. He had an uncanny ability to remember details of dishes she had cooked decades earlier. He was sweetly sentimental, even romantic, when he spoke about their meals together. He would take her hand in his own, his eyes wet and cloudy with the mist of his memories. “Come, darling. Let’s go to a good restaurant and order a nice bottle of wine,” he told his wife one morning when they were stirring on the blankets. They hadn’t eaten in three days. Mrs. Song looked at her husband with alarm, worried that he was hallucinating. She ran out the door to the market, moving fast and forgetting all about the pain in her back. She was determined to steal, beg — whatever it took — to get some food for her husband. She spotted her older sister selling noodles. Her sister wasn’t faring well — her skin was flaked just like Chang-bo’s from malnutrition — so Mrs. Song had resisted asking her for help, but now she was desperate, and of course, her sister couldn’t refuse. “I’ll pay you back,” Mrs. Song promised as she ran back home, the adrenaline pumping her legs. Chang-bo was curled up on his side under the blanket. Mrs. Song called his name. When he didn’t respond, she went to turn him over — it wasn’t diffcult now that he had lost so much weight, but his legs and arms were stiff and got in the way. Mrs. Song pounded and pounded on his chest, screaming for help even as she knew it was too late.
Barbara Demick (Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea)
I usually enjoy setting up a new kitchen, but this has become a joyless and highly charged task. My mother and I each have our own set of kitchen boxes, which means that if there are two cheese graters between us, only one will make it into a cupboard. The other will be put back in a box or given to Goodwill. Each such little decision has the weight of a Middle East negotiation. While her kitchenware is serviceable, I’m a sucker for the high end: All-Clad saucepans and Emile Henry pie dishes. Before long, I’m shaking my head at pretty much everything my mother removes from her San Diego boxes. She takes each rejected item as a personal slight – which in fact it is. I begrudge her even her lightweight bowls, which she can lift easily with her injured hand. Here she is, a fragile old woman barely able to bend down as she peers into a low cupboard, looking for a place where she can share life with her grown daughter. At such a sight my heart should be big, but it’s small, so small that when I see her start stuffing her serving spoons into the same drawer as my own sturdy pieces, lovingly accumulated over the years, it makes me crazy. Suddenly I’m acting out decades of unvoiced anger about my mother’s parenting, which seems to be materializing in the form of her makeshift collection of kitchenware being unpacked into my drawers. When I became a mother myself, I developed a self-righteous sense of superiority to my mother: I was better than my mother, for having successfully picked myself up and dusted myself off, for never having lain in bed for days on end, too blotto to get my child off to school or even to know if it was a school day. By sheer force of will and strength of character, I believed, I had risen above all that she succumbed to and skirted all that I might have inherited. This, of course, is too obnoxiously smug to say in words. So I say it with flatware.
Katie Hafner (Mother Daughter Me)
The taste for books was an early one. As a child he was sometimes found at midnight by a page still reading. They took his taper away, and he bred glow-worms to serve his purpose. They took the glow-worms away, and he almost burnt the house down with a tinder. To put it in a nutshell, leaving the novelist to smooth out the crumpled silk and all its implications, he was a nobleman afflicted with a love of literature. Many people of his time, still more of his rank, escaped the infection and were thus free to run or ride or make love at their own sweet will. But some were early infected by a germ said to be bred of the pollen of the asphodel and to be blown out of Greece and Italy, which was of so deadly a nature that it would shake the hand as it was raised to strike, and cloud the eye as it sought its prey, and make the tongue stammer as it declared its love. It was the fatal nature of this disease to substitute a phantom for reality, so that Orlando, to whom fortune had given every gift--plate, linen, houses, men-servants, carpets, beds in profusion--had only to open a book for the whole vast accumulation to turn to mist. The nine acres of stone which were his house vanished; one hundred and fifty indoor servants disappeared; his eighty riding horses became invisible; it would take too long to count the carpets, sofas, trappings, china, plate, cruets, chafing dishes and other movables often of beaten gold, which evaporated like so much sea mist under the miasma. So it was, and Orlando would sit by himself, reading, a naked man.
Virginia Woolf
Footsteps from the stairwell startle him out of the past. He turns around as Emma's mother takes the last step into the dining area, Emma right behind her. Mrs. McIntosh glides over and puts her arm around him. The smile on her face is genuine, but Emma's smile is more like a straight line. And she's blushing. "Galen, it's very nice to meet you," she says, ushering him into the kitchen. "Emma tells me you're taking her to the beach behind your house today. To swim?" "Yes, ma'am." Her transformation makes him wary. She smiles. "Well, good luck with getting her in the water. Since I'm a little pressed for time, I can't follow you over there, so I just need to see your driver's license while Emma runs outside to get your plate number." Emma rolls her eyes as she shuffles through a drawer and pulls out a pen and paper. She slams the door behind her when she leaves, which shakes the dishes on the wall. Galen nods, pulls out his wallet, and hands over the fake license. Mrs. McIntosh studies it and rummages through her purse until she produces a pen-which she uses to write on her hand. “Just need your license number in case we ever have any problems. But we’re not going to have any problems, are we, Galen? Because you’ll always have my daughter-my only daughter-home on time, isn’t that right?” He nods, then swallows. She holds out his license. When he accepts it, she grabs his wrist, pulling him close. She glances at the garage door and back to him. “Tell me right now, Galen Forza. Are you or are you not dating my daughter?” Great. She still doesn’t believe Emma. If she won’t believe them anyway, why keep trying to convince her? If she thinks they’re dating, the time he intends to spend with Emma will seem normal. But if they spend time together and tell her they’re not dating, she’ll be nothing but suspicious. Possibly even spy on them-which is less than ideal. So, dating Emma is the only way to make sure she mates with Grom. Things just get better and better. “Yes,” he says. “We’re definitely dating.” She narrows her eyes. “Why would she tell me you’re not?” He shrugs. “Maybe she’s ashamed of me.” To his surprise, she chuckles. “I seriously doubt that, Galen Forza.” Her humor is short lived. She grabs a fistful of his T-shirt. “Are you sleeping with her?” Sleeping…Didn’t Rachel say sleeping and mating are the same thing? Dating and mating are similar. But sleeping and mating are the same exact same. He shakes his head. “No, ma’am.” She raises a no-nonsense brow. “Why not? What’s wrong with my daughter?” That is unexpected. He suspects this woman can sense a lie like Toraf can track Rayna. All she’s looking for is honesty, but the real truth would just get him arrested. I’m crazy about your daughter-I’m just saving her for my brother. So he seasons his answer with the frankness she seems to crave. “There’s nothing wrong with your daughter, Mrs. McIntosh. I said we’re not sleeping together. I didn’t say I didn’t want to.” She inhales sharply and releases him. Clearing her throat, she smoothes out his wrinkled shirt with her hand, then pats his chest. “Good answer, Galen. Good answer.” Emma flings open the garage door and stops short. “Mom, what are you doing?” Mrs. McIntosh steps away and stalks to the counter. “Galen and I were just chitchatting. What took you so long?” Galen guesses her ability to sense a lie probably has something to do with her ability to tell one. Emma shoots him a quizzical look, but he returns a casual shrug. Her mother grabs a set of keys from a hook by the refrigerator and nudges her daughter out of the way, but not before snatching the paper out of her hand.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
Needless to say, cooking for a man with such a delicate palate can be challenging and every once in a while I like to make something that isn't served with a glass of milk and a side of applesauce. This can be difficult with a husband with such discriminating taste buds. Difficult, but not impossible, if you're willing to lie. Which I am.   During the winter months I love to make soups and one of my favorites is taco soup. It has all of the basic food groups in one bowl; meat, veggies, beans, and Fritos. It's perfection. I've been warming bodies and cleaning colons with this recipe for years. However, when I met my husband he advised he didn't like beans, so he couldn't eat taco soup. This was not the response I hoped for.   I decided to make it for him anyway. The first time I did I debated whether to add beans. I knew he wouldn't eat it if I did, but I also knew the beans were what gave it the strong flavor. I decided the only way to maintain the integrity of the soup was to sacrifice mine. I lied to him about the ingredients. Because my husband is not only picky but also observant, I knew I couldn't just dump the beans into the soup undetected. Rather, I had to go incognito. For that, I implored the use of the food processor, who was happy to accommodate after sitting in the cabinet untouched for years.   I dumped the cans of beans in the processor and pureed them into a paste. I then dumped the paste into the taco soup mixture, returning the food processor to the cabinet where it would sit untouched for another six months.   When it came time to eat, I dished out a heaping bowl of soup and handed it to my husband. We sat down to eat and I anxiously awaited his verdict, knowing he was eating a heaping bowl of deceit.   “This is delicious. What's in it?” he asked, in between mouthfuls of soup.   “It's just a mixture of taco ingredients,” I innocently replied, focusing on the layer of Fritos covering my bowl.   “Whatever it is, it's amazing,” he responded, quickly devouring each bite.   At that moment I wanted nothing more than to slap the spoon out of his hand and yell “That's beans, bitch!” However, I refrained because I'm classy (and because I didn't want to clean up the mess).
Jen Mann (I Just Want to Be Alone (I Just Want to Pee Alone))
It has now been many months, at the present writing, since I have had a nourishing meal, but I shall soon have one—a modest, private affair, all to myself. I have selected a few dishes, and made out a little bill of fare, which will go home in the steamer that precedes me, and be hot when I arrive—as follows: Radishes. Baked apples, with cream Fried oysters; stewed oysters. Frogs. American coffee, with real cream. American butter. Fried chicken, Southern style. Porter-house steak. Saratoga potatoes. Broiled chicken, American style. Hot biscuits, Southern style. Hot wheat-bread, Southern style. Hot buckwheat cakes. American toast. Clear maple syrup. Virginia bacon, broiled. Blue points, on the half shell. Cherry-stone clams. San Francisco mussels, steamed. Oyster soup. Clam Soup. Philadelphia Terapin soup. Oysters roasted in shell-Northern style. Soft-shell crabs. Connecticut shad. Baltimore perch. Brook trout, from Sierra Nevadas. Lake trout, from Tahoe. Sheep-head and croakers, from New Orleans. Black bass from the Mississippi. American roast beef. Roast turkey, Thanksgiving style. Cranberry sauce. Celery. Roast wild turkey. Woodcock. Canvas-back-duck, from Baltimore. Prairie liens, from Illinois. Missouri partridges, broiled. 'Possum. Coon. Boston bacon and beans. Bacon and greens, Southern style. Hominy. Boiled onions. Turnips. Pumpkin. Squash. Asparagus. Butter beans. Sweet potatoes. Lettuce. Succotash. String beans. Mashed potatoes. Catsup. Boiled potatoes, in their skins. New potatoes, minus the skins. Early rose potatoes, roasted in the ashes, Southern style, served hot. Sliced tomatoes, with sugar or vinegar. Stewed tomatoes. Green corn, cut from the ear and served with butter and pepper. Green corn, on the ear. Hot corn-pone, with chitlings, Southern style. Hot hoe-cake, Southern style. Hot egg-bread, Southern style. Hot light-bread, Southern style. Buttermilk. Iced sweet milk. Apple dumplings, with real cream. Apple pie. Apple fritters. Apple puffs, Southern style. Peach cobbler, Southern style Peach pie. American mince pie. Pumpkin pie. Squash pie. All sorts of American pastry. Fresh American fruits of all sorts, including strawberries which are not to be doled out as if they were jewelry, but in a more liberal way. Ice-water—not prepared in the ineffectual goblet, but in the sincere and capable refrigerator.
Mark Twain
Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb-nail. In the midst of this chopping sea of civilized life, such are the clouds and storms and quicksands and thousand-and-one items to be allowed for, that a man has to live, if he would not founder and go to the bottom and not make his port at all, by dead reckoning, and he must be a great calculator indeed who succeeds. Simplify, simplify. Instead of three meals a day, if it be necessary eat but one; instead of a hundred dishes, five; and reduce other things in proportion. Our life is like a German Confederacy, made up of petty states, with its boundary forever fluctuating, so that even a German cannot tell you how it is bounded at any moment. The nation itself, with all its so-called internal improvements, which, by the way are all external and superficial, is just such an unwieldy and overgrown establishment, cluttered with furniture and tripped up by its own traps, ruined by luxury and heedless expense, by want of calculation and a worthy aim, as the million households in the land; and the only cure for it, as for them, is in a rigid economy, a stern and more than Spartan simplicity of life and elevation of purpose. It lives too fast. Men think that it is essential that the Nation have commerce, and export ice, and talk through a telegraph, and ride thirty miles an hour, without a doubt, whether they do or not; but whether we should live like baboons or like men, is a little uncertain. If we do not get out sleepers, and forge rails, and devote days and nights to the work, but go to tinkering upon our lives to improve them, who will build railroads? And if railroads are not built, how shall we get to heaven in season? But if we stay at home and mind our business, who will want railroads? We do not ride on the railroad; it rides upon us.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden)
Good night, Grandma!” I called as I was skipping out of the kitchen with Adria on my heels. Grandma, who was at the sink rinsing dishes to stack in the dishwasher, stopped and looked at us. She had a funny expression on her face, which made Adria and me pause in the doorway and look back at her, waiting. Grandma wiped her hands on a dishtowel and said, “Simone, Adria, come here.” There was something different in her tone. I didn’t know what to expect “You know, girls,” she said as we stood in front of her, “we adopted you both today. So I’m your mother now, and he”—she pointed at my grandpa, who was wiping the table mats—“he’s your father.” Grandpa paused what he was doing, stood up straight, and smiled. I just glanced from one to the other, my eyes big and round. What had happened in court that day suddenly became clear. “Does that mean I can call you Mom and Dad?” I asked. “It’s up to you,” my grandma said, one hand cupping my cheek, the other one smoothing Adria’s hair. “Call us whatever you want to. Now go to bed.” The two of us scampered upstairs without another word. But when Adria went into the bathroom to brush her teeth, I stood in the middle of our bedroom, my hands pressed against my temples. I was hopping from one foot to the other and jumping up and down, so much excitement was flowing through me. Mom. Dad. Mom. Dad. I kept whispering the words, getting used to the sound of them. Finally, feeling as if I would burst, I ran back downstairs to the kitchen. “Mom?” I said, standing in the doorway. She looked across at me, her lips twitching like she was trying not to smile. “Yes, Simone?” I turned to where Grandpa was putting away the table mats. “Dad?” “What is it, Simone?” “Nothing!” I said, squealing and bouncing up and down gleefully. I had done it—I’d called them Mom and Dad! I turned without another word and raced back up the stairs. In my room, I flopped backward onto my bed and let out a happy sigh. Adria and I were finally and forever home.
Simone Biles (Courage to Soar: A Body in Motion, a Life in Balance)
Only a fool says in his heart There is no Creator, no King of kings, Only mules would dare to bray These lethal mutterings. Over darkened minds as these The Darkness bears full sway, Fruitless, yet, bearing fruit, In their fell, destructive way. Sterile, though proliferate, A filthy progeny sees the day, When Evil, Thought and Action mate: Breeding sin, rebels and decay. The blackest deeds and foul ideals, Multiply throughout the earth, Through deadened, lifeless, braying souls, The Darkness labours and gives birth. Taking the Lord’s abundant gifts And rotting them to the core, They dress their dish and serve it out Foul seeds to infect thousands more. ‘The Tree of Life is dead!’ they cry, ‘And that of Knowledge not enough, Let us glut on the ashen apples Of Sodom and Gomorrah.’ Have pity on Thy children, Lord, Left sorrowing on this earth, While fools and all their kindred Cast shadows with their murk, And to the dwindling wise, They toss their heads and wryly smirk. The world daily grinds to dust Virtue’s fair unicorns, Rather, it would now beget Vice’s mutant manticores. Wisdom crushed, our joy is gone, Buried under anxious fears For lost rights and freedoms, We shed many bitter tears. Death is life, Life is no more, Humanity buried in a tomb, In a fatal prenatal world Where tiny flowers Are ripped from the womb, Discarded, thrown away, Inconvenient lives That barely bloomed. Our elders fare no better, Their wisdom unwanted by and by, Boarded out to end their days, And forsaken are left to die. Only the youthful and the useful, In this capital age prosper and fly. Yet, they too are quickly strangled, Before their future plans are met, Professions legally pre-enslaved Held bound by mounting student debt. Our leaders all harangue for peace Yet perpetrate the horror, Of economic greed shored up Through manufactured war. Our armies now welter In foreign civilian gore. How many of our kin are slain For hollow martial honour? As if we could forget, ignore, The scourge of nuclear power, Alas, victors are rarely tried For their woeful crimes of war. Hope and pray we never see A repeat of Hiroshima. No more! Crimes are legion, The deeds of devil-spawn! What has happened to the souls Your Divine Image was minted on? They are now recast: Crooked coins of Caesar and The Whore of Babylon. How often mankind shuts its ears To Your music celestial, Mankind would rather march To the anthems of Hell. If humanity cannot be reclaimed By Your Mercy and great Love Deservedly we should be struck By Vengeance from above. Many dread the Final Day, And the Crack of Doom For others the Apocalypse Will never come too soon. ‘Lift up your heads, be glad’, Fools shall bray no more For at last the Master comes To thresh His threshing floor.
E.A. Bucchianeri (Vocation of a Gadfly (Gadfly Saga, #2))
It [the charcuterie] was almost on the corner of the Rue Pirouette and was a joy to behold. It was bright and inviting, with touches of brilliant colour standing out amidst white marble. The signboard, on which the name QUENU-GRADELLE glittered in fat gilt letter encircled by leaves and branches painted on a soft-hued background, was protected by a sheet of glass. On the two side panels of the shop front, similarly painted and under glass, were chubby little Cupids playing in the midst of boars' heads, pork chops, and strings of sausages; and these still lifes, adorned with scrolls and rosettes, had been designed in so pretty and tender a style that the raw meat lying there assumed the reddish tint of raspberry jam. Within this delightful frame, the window display was arranged. It was set out on a bed of fine shavings of blue paper; a few cleverly positioned fern leaves transformed some of the plates into bouquets of flowers fringed with foliage. There were vast quantities of rich, succulent things, things that melted in the mouth. Down below, quite close to the window, jars of rillettes were interspersed with pots of mustard. Above these were some boned hams, nicely rounded, golden with breadcrumbs, and adorned at the knuckles with green rosettes. Then came the larger dishes--stuffed Strasbourg tongues, with their red, varnished look, the colour of blood next to the pallor of the sausages and pigs' trotters; strings of black pudding coiled like harmless snakes; andouilles piled up in twos and bursting with health; saucissons in little silver copes that made them look like choristers; pies, hot from the oven, with little banner-like tickets stuck in them; big hams, and great cuts of veal and pork, whose jelly was as limpid as crystallized sugar. Towards the back were large tureens in which the meats and minces lay asleep in lakes of solidified fat. Strewn between the various plates and sishes, on the bed of blue shavings, were bottles of relish, sauce, and preserved truffles, pots of foie gras, and tins of sardines and tuna fish. A box of creamy cheeses and one full of snails stuffed with butter and parsley had been dropped in each corner. Finally, at the very top of the display, falling from a bar with sharp prongs, strings of sausages and saveloys hung down symmetrically like the cords and tassels of some opulent tapestry, while behind, threads of caul were stretched out like white lacework. There, on the highest tier of this temple of gluttony, amid the caul and between two bunches of purple gladioli, the alter display was crowned by a small, square fish tank with a little ornamental rockery, in which two goldfish swam in endless circles.
Émile Zola
The day wore on.While yet Rycca slept, Dragon did all the things she had said he would do-paced back and forth, contemplated mayhem,and even honed his blade on the whetstone from the stable.All except being oblivious to her,for that he could never manage. But when she awoke,sitting up heavy-lidded, her mouth so full and soft it was all he could do not to crawl back into bed with her,he put aside such pursuits and controlled himself admirably well,so he thought. Yet in the midst of preparing a meal for them from the provisions in the pantry of the lodge,he was stopped by Rycca's hand settling upon his. "Dragon," she said softly, "if you add any more salt to that stew, we will need a barrel of water and more to drink with it." He looked down, saw that she was right, and cursed under his breath. Dumping out the spoiled stew, he started over. They ate late but they did eat.He was quite determined she would do so,and for once she seemed to have a decent appetite. "I'm glad to see your stomach is better," he said as she was finishing. She looked up,startled. "What makes you say that?" "You haven't seemed able to eat regularly of late." "Oh,well,you know...so many changes...travel...all that." He nodded,reached for his goblet, and damn near knocked it over as a sudden thought roared through him. "Rycca?" She rose quickly,gathering up the dishes. His hand lashed out, closing on her wrist. Gently but inexorably, he returned her to her seat. Without taking his eyes from her,he asked, "Is there something you should tell me?" "Something...?" "I ask myself what sort of changes may cause a woman to be afflicted with an uneasy stomach and it occurs to me I've been a damned idiot." "Not so! You could never be that." "Oh,really? How otherwise would I fail to notice that your courses have not come of late? Or is that also due to travel,wife?" "Some women are not all that regular." "Some women do not concern me.You do,Rycca. I swear,if you are with child and have not told me, I will-" She squared her shoulders,lifted her head,and met his eyes hard on. "Will what?" "What? Will what? Does that mean-" "I'm sorry,Dragon." Truly repentant, Rycca sighed deeply. "I was going to tell you.I was just waiting for a calmer time.I didn't want you to worry more." Still grappling with what she had just revealed,he stared at her in astonishment. "You mean worry that my wife and our child are bait for a murderous traitor?" "I know you're angry and you have a right to be.But if I had told you, we wouldn't be here now." "Damn right we wouldn't be!" He got up from the table so abruptly that his chair toppled over and crashed to the floor.Ignoring it,Dragon paced back and forth,glaring at her. Rycca waited,trusting the storm to pass. As she did,she counted silently, curious to see just how long it would take her husband to grasp fully what he had discovered. Nine...ten... "We're going to have a baby." Not long at all. She nodded happily. "Yes,we are, and you're going to be a wonderful father." He walked back to the table,picked her up out of her chair,held her high against his chest,and stared at her. "My God-" Rycca laughed. "You can't possibly be surprised.It's not as though we haven't been doing our best to make this happen." "True,but still it's absolutely incredible." Very gently,she touched his face. "Perhaps we think of miracles wrongly. They're supposed to be extraordinarily rare but in fact they're as commonplace as a bouquet of wildflowers plucked by a warrior...or a woman having a baby." Dragon sat down with her still in his arms and held her very close.He swallowed several times and said nothing. Both could have remained contentedly like that for a long while, but only a few minutes passed before they were interrupted. The raven lit on the sill of the open window just long enough to catch their attention,then she was gone into the bloodred glare of the dying day.
Josie Litton (Come Back to Me (Viking & Saxon, #3))
Yesterday while I was on the side of the mat next to some wrestlers who were warming up for their next match, I found myself standing side by side next to an extraordinary wrestler. He was warming up and he had that look of desperation on his face that wrestlers get when their match is about to start and their coach is across the gym coaching on another mat in a match that is already in progress. “Hey do you have a coach.” I asked him. “He's not here right now.” He quietly answered me ready to take on the task of wrestling his opponent alone. “Would you mind if I coached you?” His face tilted up at me with a slight smile and said. “That would be great.” Through the sounds of whistles and yelling fans I heard him ask me what my name was. “My name is John.” I replied. “Hi John, I am Nishan” he said while extending his hand for a handshake. He paused for a second and then he said to me: “John I am going to lose this match”. He said that as if he was preparing me so I wouldn’t get hurt when my coaching skills didn’t work magic with him today. I just said, “Nishan - No score of a match will ever make you a winner. You are already a winner by stepping onto that mat.” With that he just smiled and slowly ran on to the mat, ready for battle, but half knowing what the probable outcome would be. When you first see Nishan you will notice that his legs are frail - very frail. So frail that they have to be supported by custom made, form fitted braces to help support and straighten his limbs. Braces that I recognize all to well. Some would say Nishan has a handicap. I say that he has a gift. To me the word handicap is a word that describes what one “can’t do”. That doesn’t describe Nishan. Nishan is doing. The word “gift” is a word that describes something of value that you give to others. And without knowing it, Nishan is giving us all a gift. I believe Nishan’s gift is inspiration. The ability to look the odds in the eye and say “You don’t pertain to me.” The ability to keep moving forward. Perseverance. A “Whatever it takes” attitude. As he predicted, the outcome of his match wasn’t great. That is, if the only thing you judge a wrestling match by is the actual score. Nishan tried as hard as he could, but he couldn’t overcome the twenty-six pound weight difference that he was giving up to his opponent on this day in order to compete. You see, Nishan weighs only 80 pounds and the lowest weight class in this tournament was 106. Nishan knew he was spotting his opponent 26 pounds going into every match on this day. He wrestled anyway. I never did get the chance to ask him why he wrestles, but if I had to guess I would say, after watching him all day long, that Nishan wrestles for the same reasons that we all wrestle for. We wrestle to feel alive, to push ourselves to our mental, physical and emotional limits - levels we never knew we could reach. We wrestle to learn to use 100% of what we have today in hopes that our maximum today will be our minimum tomorrow. We wrestle to measure where we started from, to know where we are now, and to plan on getting where we want to be in the future. We wrestle to look the seemingly insurmountable opponent right in the eye and say, “Bring it on. - I can take whatever you can dish out.” Sometimes life is your opponent and just showing up is a victory. You don't need to score more points than your opponent in order to accomplish that. No Nishan didn’t score more points than any of his opponents on this day, that would have been nice, but I don’t believe that was the most important thing to Nishan. Without knowing for sure - the most important thing to him on this day was to walk with pride like a wrestler up to a thirty two foot circle, have all eyes from the crowd on him, to watch him compete one on one against his opponent - giving it all that he had. That is what competition is all about. Most of the times in wrestlin
JohnA Passaro
Nobody ever talked about what a struggle this all was. I could see why women used to die in childbirth. They didn't catch some kind of microbe, or even hemorrhage. They just gave up. They knew that if they didn't die, they'd be going through it again the next year, and the next. I couldn't understand how a woman might just stop trying, like a tired swimmer, let her head go under, the water fill her lungs. I slowly massaged Yvonne's neck, her shoulders, I wouldn't let her go under. She sucked ice through threadbare white terry. If my mother were here, she'd have made Melinda meek cough up the drugs, sure enough. "Mamacita, ay," Yvonne wailed. I didn't know why she would call her mother. She hated her mother. She hadn't seen her in six years, since the day she locked Yvonne and her brother and sisters in their apartment in Burbank to go out and party, and never came back. Yvonne said she let her boyfriends run a train on her when she was eleven. I didn't even know what that meant. Gang bang, she said. And still she called out, Mama. It wasn't just Yvonne. All down the ward, they called for their mothers. ... I held onto Yvonne's hands, and I imagined my mother, seventeen years ago, giving birth to me. Did she call for her mother?...I thought of her mother, the one picture I had, the little I knew. Karin Thorvald, who may or may not have been a distant relation of King Olaf of Norway, classical actress and drunk, who could recite Shakespeare by heart while feeding the chickens and who drowned in the cow pond when my mother was thirteen. I couldn't imagine her calling out for anyone. But then I realized, they didn't mean their own mothers. Not those weak women, those victims. Drug addicts, shopaholics, cookie bakers. They didn't mean the women who let them down, who failed to help them into womanhood, women who let their boyfriends run a train on them. Bingers and purgers, women smiling into mirrors, women in girdles, women in barstools. Not those women with their complaints and their magazines, controlling women, women who asked, what's in it for me? Not the women who watched TV while they made dinner, women who dyed their hair blond behind closed doors trying to look twenty-three. They didn't mean the mothers washing dishes wishing they'd never married, the ones in the ER, saying they fell down the stairs, not the ones in prison saying loneliness is the human condition, get used to it. They wanted the real mother, the blood mother, the great womb, mother of a fierce compassion, a woman large enough to hold all the pain, to carry it away. What we needed was someone who bled, someone deep and rich as a field, a wide-hipped mother, awesome, immense, women like huge soft couches, mothers coursing with blood, mothers big enough, wide enough, for us to hide in, to sink down to the bottom of, mothers who would breathe for is when we could not breathe anymore, who would fight for us, who would kill for us, die for us. Yvonne was sitting up, holding her breath, eyes bulging out. It was the thing she should not do. "Breathe," I said in her ear. "Please, Yvonne, try." She tried to breathe, a couple of shallow inhalations, but it hurt too much. She flopped back on the narrow bed, too tired to go on. All she could do was grip my hand and cry. And I thought of the way the baby was linked to her, as she was linked to her mother, and her mother, all the way back, insider and inside, knit into a chain of disaster that brought her to this bed, this day. And not only her. I wondered what my own inheritance was going to be. "I wish I was dead," Yvonne said into the pillowcase with the flowers I'd brought from home. The baby came four hours later. A girl, born 5:32 PM.
Janet Fitch (White Oleander)