Fencing Get Quotes

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Adults follow paths. Children explore. Adults are content to walk the same way, hundreds of times, or thousands; perhaps it never occurs to adults to step off the paths, to creep beneath rhododendrons, to find the spaces between fences. I was a child, which meant that I knew a dozen different ways of getting out of our property and into the lane, ways that would not involve walking down our drive.
Neil Gaiman (The Ocean at the End of the Lane)
As I got closer to the fence, I held my shirt over my nose to block the smell. One stallion waded through the muck and whinnied angrily at me. He bared his teeth, which were pointed like a bear's. I tried to talk to him in my mind. I can do that with most horses. Hi, I told him. I'm going to clean your stables. Won't that be great? Yes! The horse said. Come inside! Eat you! Tasty half-blood! But I'm Poseidon's son, I protested. He created horses. Usually this gets me VIP treatment in the equestrian world, not this time. Yes! The horse agreed enthusiastically. Poseidon can come in, too! We will eat you both! Seafood! Seafood! The other horses chimed in as they waded through the field.
Rick Riordan (The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #4))
This girl shivers and crawls under the covers with all her clothes on and falls into an overdue library book, a faerie story with rats and marrow and burning curses. The sentences build a fence around her, a Times Roman 10-point barricade, to keep the thorny voices in her head from getting too close.
Laurie Halse Anderson (Wintergirls)
We're on the other side of the fence now, Lena,' she says, tiredly, as she passes. "Don't you get it? You can't tell me what to feel.
Lauren Oliver (Pandemonium (Delirium, #2))
Insomnia I cannot get to sleep tonight. I toss and turn and flop. I try to count some fluffy sheep while o'er a fence they hop. I try to think of pleasant dreams of places really cool. I don't know why I cannot sleep - I slept just fine at school.
Kathy Kenney-Marshall
That was the only time, as I stood there, looking at that strange rubbish, feeling the wind coming across those empty fields, that I started to imagine just a little fantasy thing, because this was Norfolk after all, and it was only a couple of weeks since I’d lost him. I was thinking about the rubbish, the flapping plastic in the branches, the shore-line of odd stuff caught along the fencing, and I half-closed my eyes and imagined this was the spot where everything I'd ever lost since my childhood had washed up, and I was now standing here in front of it, and if I waited long enough, a tiny figure would appear on the horizon across the field, and gradually get larger until I'd see it was Tommy, and he'd wave, maybe even call. The fantasy never got beyond that --I didn't let it-- and though the tears rolled down my face, I wasn't sobbing or out of control. I just waited a bit, then turned back to the car, to drive off to wherever it was I was supposed to be.
Kazuo Ishiguro (Never Let Me Go)
I don’t know how to get over it.” “You can only go through it.
Kasie West (On the Fence)
Whereas some dwell on the bright side of life, enjoying an exciting spectrum of contingencies, and get all the breaks, others live in the confined inner court of their being, cramped within the fence of their mind. Only imagination may arouse a spark of expectation, stir up resilience and create an equitable prospect.
Erik Pevernagie
I done learned my mistake and learned to do what's right by it. You still trying to get something for nothing. Life don't owe you nothing. You owe it to yourself. - Troy -
August Wilson (Fences (August Wilson Century Cycle))
I don't know why it's called "getting lost." Even when you turn down the wrong street, when you find yourself at the dead end of a chain-link fence or a road that turnd to sand, you are somewhere. It just isn't where you expected to be.
Jodi Picoult (Vanishing Acts)
You're trying to play a game designed by men. You'll never win, because the deck is stacked and marked, and also you've been blindfolded and set on fire. You can work hard and believe in yourself and be the smartest person in the room and you'll still get beat by the boys who haven't two cents to rub together. So if you can't win the game, you have to cheat. You operate outside the walls they've built to fence you in. You rob them in the dark, while they're drunk on spirits you offered them. Poison their waters and drink only wine.
Mackenzi Lee (The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy (Montague Siblings, #2))
You're a freak. But I really can't accept these-' Were you raised in a barn? Don't be ruuuuuude, my boy. They're a gift.' Blay shook his head. 'Take them, John. You're just going to lose this argument, and it will save us from the theatrics.' Theatrics?' Qhuinn leaped up and assumed a Roman oratory pose. 'Whither thou knowest thy ass from thy elbow, young scribe?' Blay blushed. 'Come on-' Qhuinn threw himself at Blay, grasping onto the guy's shoulders and hanging his full weight off him. 'Hold me. Your insult has left me breathless. I'm agasp.' Blay grunted and scrambled to keep Qhuinn up off the floor. 'That's agape.' Agasp sounds better.' Blay was trying not to smile, trying not to be delighted, but his eyes were sparkling like sapphires and his cheeks were getting red. With a silent laugh, John sat on one of the locker room benches, shook out his pair of white socks, and pulled them on under his new old jeans. 'You sure, Qhuinn? 'Cause I have a feeling they're going to fit and you might change your mind. Qhuinn abruptly lifted himself off Blay and straightened his clothes with a sharp tug. 'And now you offend my honor.' Facing off at John, he flipped into a fencing stance. Touché.' Blay laughed. 'That's en garde, you damn fool.' Qhuinn shot a look over his shoulder. 'ça va, Brutus?' Et tu?' That would be tutu, I believe, and you can keep the cross-dressing to yourself, ya perv.' Qhuinn flashed a brilliant smile, all twelve kinds of proud for being such an ass. 'Now, put the fuckers on, John, and let's be done with this. Before we have to put Blay in an iron lung.' Try sanitarium.' No, thanks, I had a big lunch.
J.R. Ward (Lover Enshrined (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #6))
I have it in my head that when we’re born, God writes things down on our hearts. See, on some people’s hearts he writes “happy” and on some people’s hearts he writes “sad” and on some people’s hearts he writes “crazy” and on some people’s hearts he writes “genius” and on some people’s hearts he writes “angry” and on some people’s hearts he writes “winner” and on some people’s hearts he writes “loser.” I keep seeing a newspaper being tossed around in the wind. And then a strong gust comes along and the newspaper is thrown against a barbed wire fence and it gets ripped to shreds in an instant. That’s how I feel. I think God is the wind. It’s all like a game to him. Him. God. And it’s all pretty much random. He takes out his pen and starts writing on our blank hearts. When it came to my turn, he wrote “sad.” I don’t like God very much. Apparently, he doesn’t like me very much either.
Benjamin Alire Sáenz (Last Night I Sang to the Monster)
I lost hope when I saw the horses’ teeth. As I got closer to the fence, I held my shirt over my nose to block the smell. One stallion waded through the muck and whinnied angrily at me. He bared his teeth, which were pointed like a bear’s. I tried to talk to him in my mind. I can do that with most horses. Hi, I told him. I’m going to clean your stables. Won’t that be great? Yes! The horse said. Come inside! Eat you! Tasty half-blood! But I’m Poseidon’s son, I protested. He created horses. Usually this gets me VIP treatment in the equestrian world, but not this time. Yes! The horse agreed enthusiastically. Poseidon can come in, too! We will eat you both! Seafood!
Rick Riordan (The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #4))
This is how your heart gets snagged, like a balloon on a barbed-wire fence, this is where pieces of you get torn away.
Pete Wentz (Gray)
She doesn't understand that doors, walls, fences, ceilings - they're helpless to keep out what determinedly desires to get in.
Sonya Hartnett (Surrender)
Rooney dropped to her knees. ‘Georgia, I am never going to stop being your friend. And I don’t mean that in the boring average meaning of ‘friend’ where we stop talking regularly when we’re twenty-five because we’ve both met nice young men and gone off to have babies, and only get to meet up twice a year. I mean I’m going to pester you to buy a house next door to me when we’re forty-five and have finally saved up enough for our deposits. I mean I’m going to be crashing round yours every night for dinner because you know I can’t fucking cook to save my life, and if I’ve got kids and a spouse, they’ll probably come round with me, because otherwise they’ll be living on chicken nuggets and chips. I mean I’m going to be the one bringing you soup when you text me that you’re sick and can’t get out of bed and ferrying you to the doctor’s even when you don’t want to go because you feel guilty about using the NHS when you just have a stomach bug. I mean we’re gonna knock down the fence between our gardens so we have one big garden, and we can both get a dog and take turns looking after it. I mean I’m going to be here, annoying you, until we’re old ladies, sitting in the same care home, talking about putting on a Shakespeare because we’re all old and bored as shit.
Alice Oseman (Loveless)
Guilt isn't in cat vocabulary. They never suffer remorse for eating too much, sleeping too long or hogging the warmest cushion in the house. They welcome every pleasurable moment as it unravels and savour it to the full until a butterfly or falling leaf diverts their attention. They don't waste energy counting the number of calories they've consumed or the hours they've frittered away sunbathing. Cats don't beat themselves up about not working hard enough. They don't get up and go, they sit down and stay. For them, lethargy is an art form. From their vantage points on top of fences and window ledges, they see the treadmills of human obligations for what they are - a meaningless waste of nap time.
Helen Brown (Cleo: How an Uppity Cat Helped Heal a Family)
He is all pine and I am apple orchard. My apple trees will never get across And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him. He only says, "Good fences make good neighbors.
Robert Frost
It's so unfair, I don't see whij I have to be stuck over here on this side of the fence where there's no one to talk to and no one to play with and you get to have dozens of friends are probably playing for hours every day, I'll have to speak to Father about it.
John Boyne (The Boy in the Striped Pajamas)
There is something in man that loves a wall, but what wall menders and fence builders do not get is that when they fence something out, they are also fencing themselves in. Not one but two prisons are made by one wall.
David Duchovny (Holy Cow)
It's gas! It's gonna blow!" Ben shouts. He throws open the passenger door and takes off, running in a panic. He hurdles a split-rail fence and tears across a hay field. I get out as well, but not in quite the same hurry. Radar is outside, too, and as Ben hauls ass, Radar is laughing. "It's the beer," he says.
John Green (Paper Towns)
Against all odds, we made it to the top of the fence. Getting over to the other side was much more difficult, and I had to do a fair amount of acrobatics to help Adrian make the transition while keeping myself steady. Finally, I wrangled him into the correct position to climb down. "Good," I said. "Now just reverse what you did before, one hand down in front of the-" Something slipped, either his hand or foot, and Adrian plummeted to the ground. It wasn't that long of a drop, and his height helped a little- not that he was in any shape to actually use his legs and land on his feet. I winced. "Or you can just take the short way down," I said.
Richelle Mead (The Golden Lily (Bloodlines, #2))
If you are not angry with your average performance, you can't effect a change! You must get upset to grab the energy to break the fence confining you!
Israelmore Ayivor (The Great Hand Book of Quotes)
The new country lay open before me: there were no fences in those days, and I could choose my own way over the grass uplands, trusting the pony to get me home again. Sometimes I followed the sunflower-bordered roads. Fuchs told me that the sunflowers were introduced into that country by the Mormons; that at the time of the persecution when they left Missouri and struck out into the wilderness to find a place where they could worship God in their own way, the members of the first exploring party, crossing the plains to Utah, scattered sunflower seeds as they went. The next summer, when the long trains of wagons came through with all the women and children, they had a sunflower trail to follow. I believe that botanists do not confirm Jake's story but, insist that the sunflower was native to those plains. Nevertheless, that legend has stuck in my mind, and sunflower-bordered roads always seem to me the roads to freedom.
Willa Cather (My Ántonia)
How did you meet him?" I asked her. She smiled. "Here, actually. During a dinner rush. He was sitting at the counter and Isabel knocked a cup of coffee in his lap." "Ouch," I said. "No kidding. She was so slammed she just kept moving, so I cleaned it up and made all the apologies. He said it was okay,, no problem, and I laughed and said pretty girls get away with anything." She looked down, twisting her ring a bit so the diamond sat in the centre of her finger, "And he smiled, and looked at Isabel, and said she wasn't his type." There was a faint cheer from the stadium, and I saw a ball whiz over the far fence and out of sight. "And so," she went on, "I said, "Oh really? What is your type, exactly?" and he looked up at me and said, "You.
Sarah Dessen (Keeping the Moon)
I understand that you are an accomplished swords-man,” she finally said. He eyed her curiously. Where was she going with this? “I like to fence, yes,” he replied. “I have always wanted to learn.” “Good God,” Gregory grunted. “I would be quite good at it,” she protested. “I’m sure you would,” her brother replied, “which is why you should never be allowed within thirty feet of a sword.” He turned to Gareth. “She’s quite diabolical.” “Yes, I’d noticed,” Gareth murmured, deciding that maybe there might be a bit more to Hyacinth’s brother than he had thought. Gregory shrugged, reaching for a piece of shortbread. “It’s probably why we can’t seem to get her married off.” “Gregory!” This came from Hyacinth, but that was only because Lady Bridgerton had excused herself and followed one of the footmen into the hall. “It’s a compliment!” Gregory protested. “Haven’t you waited your entire life for me to agree that you’re smarter than any of the poor fools who have attempted to court you?” “You might find it difficult to believe,” Hyacinth shot back, “but I haven’t been going to bed each night thinking to myself—Oh, I do wish my brother would offer me something that passes for a compliment in his twisted mind.
Julia Quinn (It's in His Kiss (Bridgertons, #7))
So I’m not going to be able to get up on the fence and sing ‘Yankee Doodle Dandy’ while waving six American flags and twirling a baton?
Rachel Hawkins (Royals (Royals, #1))
You’d think bad guys would get a little creative,” Razor whispered as we crawled under the fence. “Old, abandoned buildings are such a cliché.
Ada Adams (ReAwakened (Angel Creek, #2))
Our institutions are too big; they represent not the best but the worst characteristics of human beings. By submitting to huge hierarchies of power, we gain freedom from personal responsibility for what we do and are forced to do - the seduction of it - but we lose the dignity of being real men and women. Power corrupts; attracts the worst and corrupts the best. ... Refuse to participate in evil; insist on taking part in what is healthy, generous, and responsible. Stand up, speak out, and when necessary fight back. Get down off the fence and lend a hand, grab a-hold, be a citizen - not a subject.
Edward Abbey (Postcards from Ed: Dispatches and Salvos from an American Iconoclast)
Your daddy is standing in a swimming pool out a little bit from the edge. You are, let’s say, three years old and standing on the edge of the pool. Daddy holds out his arms to you and says, “Jump, I’ll catch you. I promise.” Now, how do you make your daddy look good at that moment? Answer: trust him and jump. Have faith in him and jump. That makes him look strong and wise and loving. But if you won’t jump, if you shake your head and run away from the edge, you make your daddy look bad. It looks like you are saying, “he can’t catch me” or “he won’t catch me” or “it’s not a good idea to do what he tells me to do.” And all three of those make your dad look bad. But you don’t want to make God look bad. So you trust him. Then you make him look good–which he really is. And that is what we mean when we say, “Faith glorifies God” or “Faith gives God glory.” It makes him look as good as he really is. So trusting God is really important. And the harder it seems for him to fulfill his promise, the better he looks when you trust him. Suppose that you are at the deep end of a pool by the diving board. You are four years old and can’t swim, and your daddy is at the other end of the pool. Suddenly a big, mean dog crawls under the fence and shows his teeth and growls at you and starts coming toward you to bite you. You crawl up on the diving board and walk toward the end to get away from him. The dog puts his front paws up on the diving board. Just then, your daddy sees what’s happening and calls out, “Johnny, jump in the water. I’ll get you.” Now, you have never jumped from one meter high and you can’t swim and your daddy is not underneath you and this water is way over your head. How do you make your daddy look good in that moment? You jump. And almost as soon as you hit the water, you feel his hands under your arms and he treads water holding you safely while someone chases the dog away. Then he takes you to the side of the pool. We give glory to God when we trust him to do what he has promised to do–especially when all human possibilities are exhausted. Faith glorifies God. That is why God planned for faith to be the way we are justified.
John Piper
The ticking inside On the inside of him there’s a wire fence And past the wire fence is a dog And past the dog are thieves And past the thieves Is a gang of bad dreams And past the dreams If you can get past the dreams Are the things that make him tick Tick, tick, tick (Page 54).
Cath Crowley (Graffiti Moon)
Tell me,' I said. 'Tell me when you notice me.' I notice you going into church,' Joshua said. 'I notice your hair, how blond it is. But how in some light it looks like it has red in it. I notice the way you smell when we're close. And the way you walk when we're headed home from church and your family gets out of the Temple first. I notice how you are with your family and how you hold your little sisters. I've seen you stand out on your doorstep and look across the desert. I've watched you walk toward the Compound fence and then on past that. You've been walking for years.
Carol Lynch Williams
Best day of my life hasn't happened yet. But I know it. I see it every day. The best day of my life is the day I buy my mom a huge fucking house. And not just like out in the woods, but in the middle of Mountain Brook, with all the Weekday Warriors' parents. With all y'all's parents. And I'm not buying it with a mortgage either. I'm buying it with cash money, and I am driving my mom there, and I'm going to open her side of the car door and she'll get out and look at this house—this house is like picket fence and two stories and everything, you know—and I'm going to hand her the keys to her house and I'll say, 'Thanks.' Man, she helped fill out my application to this place. And she let me come here, and that's no easy thing when you come from where we do, to let your son go away to school. So that's the best day of my life.
John Green (Looking for Alaska)
Neil is softer than I realized, and I’m a barbed-wire fence. Every time he gets too close, I make myself sharper.
Rachel Lynn Solomon (Today Tonight Tomorrow)
What breadth, what beauty and power of human nature and development there must be in a woman to get over all palisades, all fences, within which she is held captive!
Alexander Herzen
The sentences build a fence around her, a Times Roman 10-point barricade, to keep the thorny voices in her head from getting too close.
Laurie Halse Anderson (Wintergirls)
I was with her for about six years before I asked her to marry me, which only means one thing: I shouldn’t have done it! If you wait six years to get engaged, you are on the fence.
Marc Maron (Attempting Normal)
I had this vision of the two of us holding hands or getting into some light petting behind shower curtains or up in the fencing aisle or some shit.
Susan Juby (Home to Woefield (Woefield, #1))
In 1965, a psychologist named Martin Seligman started shocking dogs. He was trying to expand on the research of Pavlov--the guy who could make dogs salivate when they heard a bell ring. Seligman wanted to head in the other direction, and when he rang his bell, instead of providing food, he zapped the dogs with electricity. To keep them still, he restrained them in a harness during the experiment. After they were conditioned, he put these dogs in a big box with a little fence dividing it into two halves. He figured if the dog rang the bell, it would hop over the fence to escape, but it didn't. It just sat there and braced itself. They decided to try shocking the dog after the bell. The dog still just sat there and took it. When they put a dog in the box that had never been shocked before or had previously been allowed to escape and tried to zap it--it jumped the fence. You are just like these dogs. If, over the course of your life, you have experienced crushing defeat or pummeling abuse or loss of control, you convince yourself over time that there is no escape, and if escape is offered, you will not act--you become a nihilist who trusts futility above optimism. Studies of the clinically depressed show that they often give in to defeat and stop trying. . . Any extended period of negative emotions can lead to you giving in to despair and accepting your fate. If you remain alone for a long time, you will decide loneliness is a fact of life and pass up opportunities to hang out with people. The loss of control in any situation can lead to this state. . . Choices, even small ones, can hold back the crushing weight of helplessness, but you can't stop there. You must fight back your behavior and learn to fail with pride. Failing often is the only way to ever get the things you want out of life. Besides death, your destiny is not inescapable.
David McRaney (You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory Is Mostly Fiction, and 46 Other Ways You're Deluding Yourself)
The greener grass is getting more water. Water the grass on your side of the fence and stop looking over at what's on the other side
Terri D.
I knew, though, that life was never that easy, that instead of doors being opened for you, to get anywhere, you had to jump over fences.
W. Bruce Cameron (A Dog's Way Home)
Like you? I go out of here every morning… bust my butt…putting up with them crackers everyday…cause I like you? You about the biggest fool I ever saw. It’s my JOB. It’s my RESPONSIBILITY! You understand that? A man got to take care of his family. You live in my house… sleep on my bed clothes…fill you belly up with my food… cause you my son. You my flesh and blood. Not ‘cause I like you! Cause it’s my duty to take care of you. I OWE a responsibility to you! Let’s get this straight right here… before it go along any further… I ain’t got to like you. Mr. Rand don’t five me money come payday cause he likes me. He gives me cause he OWE me. I done give you everything I had to give you. I gave you your life! Me and your mama worked that out between us. And liking your black ass wasn’t part of the bargain. Don’t try and go through life worrying about if somebody like you or not. You best be making sure they doing right by you. You understand what I’m saying, boy?” - August Wilson, Fences, 1986.
August Wilson (Fences (The Century Cycle, #6))
She gets my need to fix things that have broken along the way, to mend fences. Maybe if we all just tried to put the pieces back together as soon as they fell out of place, the puzzles in our lives would feel more like an accomplishment than a chore.
Megan Bostic (Never Eighteen)
Begin. Keep on beginning. Nibble on everything. Take a hike. Teach yourself to whistle. Lie. The older you get the more they'll want your stories. Make them up. Talk to stones. Short-out electric fences. Swim with the sea turtle into the moon. Learn how to die. Eat moonshine pie. Drink wild geranium tea. Run naked in the rain. Everything that happens will happen and none of us will be safe from it. Pull up anchors. Sit close to the god of night. Lie still in a stream and breathe water. Climb to the top of the highest tree until you come to the branch where the blue heron sleeps. Eat poems for breakfast. Wear them on your forehead. Lick the mountain's bare shoulder. Measure the color of days around your mother's death. Put your hands over your face and listen to what they tell you.
Ellen Kort
I’m not the white-picket-fence kind of guy. So don’t go building castles in the air. You’ll get trapped in the rubble when they collapse.
Maureen Child (Baby Bonanza (Billionaires and Babies, #2))
My apple trees will never get across and eat the cones under his pines,I tell him.He only says,"Good fences make good neighbors.
Robert Frost (Mending Wall)
I didn't know why it's called "getting lost". even when you turn down the wrong street, when you find yourself at the dead end of a chain-link fence or a road that turns to sand, you are somewhere. It just isn't where you expected
Jodi Picoult (Vanishing Acts)
I lead a life much below my level. Beyond the books, which trickle in slowly (I have to read what I can get, not what I have a mind to read), I have nothing to sustain my inner life; and everything around me exudes an indescribable prosiness, which presses down on me too with its brutal weight. Nothing on the order of a stroll with a dear person, not one hour of quiet and serene contemplation--all is tainted by mundane worry and staleness. I take it that productive creators fence themselves off from their environment by a certain regimen of living, a certain organization of their daily routine that does not allow the workaday banality, humdrum job, and the rest of it to get to them. I badly feel the lack of such a regimen, my incapacity to subject myself to such a discipline. One must, for instance, fence off one's inner life, not permit the vermin of ordinary cares to infest it. Some blindness used to protect me from this truth; I wore blinkers like a horse in harness. Now reality has won and penetrated my interior.
Bruno Schulz
She stretched her arms towards me without moving from the spot, as if there were a fence preventing her from getting any closer. I rushed over and embraced her and she clung to me as if she were drowning.
Taichi Yamada
If Mr. Ex is keeping you on the fence, now would be the perfect time to tell him you hope he calls when he figures out what he wants out of life.  In the mean time you will not be waiting for him.  Your next move is to let your actions speak louder than any words you could ever communicate and go completely silent.
Leslie Braswell (Ignore the Guy, Get the Guy: The Art of No Contact: A Woman's Survival Guide to Mastering A Breakup and Taking Back Her Power)
You can get used to anything, especially when you have no option. If you have to pay, you pay; it's just a question of attitude. At a particular moment in your life you adopt a certain position, whether mistaken or not. You decide to be like this or that. You burn your boats, and then all you can do is defend that position, come what may.
Arturo Pérez-Reverte (The Fencing Master)
Past the flannel plains and blacktop graphs and skylines of canted rust, and past the tobacco-brown river overhung with weeping trees and coins of sunlight through them on the water downriver, to the place beyond the windbreak, where untilled fields simmer shrilly in the A.M. heat: shattercane, lamb's-quarter, cutgrass, sawbrier, nutgrass, jimsonweed, wild mint, dandelion, foxtail, muscadine, spinecabbage, goldenrod, creeping charlie, butter-print, nightshade, ragweed, wild oat, vetch, butcher grass, invaginate volunteer beans, all heads gently nodding in a morning breeze like a mother's soft hand on your cheek. An arrow of starlings fired from the windbreak's thatch. The glitter of dew that stays where it is and steams all day. A sunflower, four more, one bowed, and horses in the distance standing rigid and still as toys. All nodding. Electric sounds of insects at their business. Ale-colored sunshine and pale sky and whorls of cirrus so high they cast no shadow. Insects all business all the time. Quartz and chert and schist and chondrite iron scabs in granite. Very old land. Look around you. The horizon trembling, shapeless. We are all of us brothers. Some crows come overhead then, three or four, not a murder, on the wing, silent with intent, corn-bound for the pasture's wire beyond which one horse smells at the other's behind, the lead horse's tail obligingly lifted. Your shoes' brand incised in the dew. An alfalfa breeze. Socks' burrs. Dry scratching inside a culvert. Rusted wire and tilted posts more a symbol of restraint than a fence per se. NO HUNTING. The shush of the interstate off past the windbreak. The pasture's crows standing at angles, turning up patties to get at the worms underneath, the shapes of the worms incised in the overturned dung and baked by the sun all day until hardened, there to stay, tiny vacant lines in rows and inset curls that do not close because head never quite touches tail. Read these.
David Foster Wallace (The Pale King)
I’m kind of hoping it will end like this. You made me happy. Very happy. But…you deserve everything. Wife, kids, a white picket fence.” “And I’ll have all of it. With you.” “You know that can’t happen with me.” “Then it can’t happen with anyone. There won’t be a next Rosie. And there won’t be another story like ours. This is it, Rose LeBlanc. And this is us. If there is no you, then there is no me.” “You know, I always hated Romeo and Juliet . The play. The movie. The very idea. It was tragic, all right. Tragically stupid. I mean, they were what? Thirteen? Sixteen? What a waste of life, to kill yourself because your family wouldn’t let you get hitched. But Romeo and Juliet were right. I was the next eleven years killing myself slowly while I grieved for you. Then you came back, and I still thought it was just a fascination. But now that I know…” “Now that I know that it can only ever be you, you’re going to get better for me so Earth won’t explode. Can you do that, Sirius? I promise not to leave this room until you get out. Not even for a shower. Not even to get you your chocolate chip cookies. I’ll get someone to drive all the way to New York and bring them for you.” “I love you.” Rosie’s tears curtained her vision. “I love you, Baby LeBlanc,” I said. “So fucking much. You taught me how to love. How well did I do?” “A-plus,” she whispered. “You aced it. Can you promise me something?” “Anything.” “ Live .” “Not without you.” “And have kids. Lots of them. They’re fun.” “Rosie…” “I’m not afraid. I got what I wanted from this life. You .” “Rosie.” “I love you, Earth. You were good to me.” “Rose!” Her eyes closed, the door opened, the sound on her monitor went off, and my heart disintegrated. Piece. By piece. By piece.
L.J. Shen (Ruckus (Sinners of Saint, #2))
Is the grass really greener on the other side of the fence? No. The grass is greener where you water it.
Melissa Michaels (Love the Home You Have: Simple Ways to…Embrace Your Style *Get Organized *Delight in Where You Are)
know when you need to draw your lines in the sand. know when you need to lock your windows & your doors. know when you need to put your fences up. (& when you need to lace them with barber wire.) truth is, we have control over very little but we have every say in who gets our love. - boundaries
Amanda Lovelace (Dragonhearts)
CORY: The whole time I was growing up...living in his house...Papa was like a shadow that followed you everywhere. It weighed on you and sunk into your flesh. It would wrap around you and lay there until you couldn't tell which one was you anymore. That shadow digging in your flesh. Trying to crawl in. Trying to live through you. Everywhere I looked, Troy Maxson was staring back at me...hiding under the bed...in the closet. I'm just saying I've got to find a way to get rid of that shadow, Mama.
August Wilson (Fences (The Century Cycle, #6))
Yeah. Good.” I clear my throat. “So, this plan. It’s kind of stupid, right?” “It’s not ... stupid.” “Oh, come on. Trusting Marcus is stupid. Trying to get past the Dauntless at the fence is stupid. Going against the Dauntless and factionless is stupid. All three combined is ... a different kind of stupid formerly unheard of by humankind.” “Unfortunately it’s also the best plan we have,” she points out. “If we want everyone to know the truth.
Veronica Roth (Insurgent (Divergent, #2))
You said we've got a new page. I figure I've got some say in what gets written on it. So I'm going to work on you. Last time around, you threw yourself at me.” “I did no such thing.” “Sure you did. But I can see I've got my work cut out for me this time. That's okay.” He skimmed his thumb over her knuckles before she jerked her hand free. “In fact, I think I'm going to enjoy it.” “I don't know why I waste my time trying to mend fences with you. You're as arrogant as you ever were.” “Just the way you like me, sweetheart.
Nora Roberts (The Reef)
Damn. Is everyone in this world a secret prepper?” I asked him. “No, the zombies are the neighbors who never prepped! Those are the ones you gotta worry about. The rest of us go along to get along.
Boyd Craven (Good Fences (Scorched Earth))
I was thinking about the rubbish, the flapping plastic in the branches, the shore-line of odd stuff caught along the fencing, and I half closed my eyes and imaginated this was the spot where everything I'd ever lost since my childhood had washed up, and I was now standing here in front of it, and if I waited long enough, a tiny figure would appear on the horizon across the field, and gradually get larger until I'd see it was Tommy, and he'd wave, maybe even call.
Kazuo Ishiguro (Never Let Me Go)
In the matter of reforming things, as distinct from deforming them, there is one plain and simple principle; a principle which will probably be called a paradox. There exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road. The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, "I don't see the use of this; let us clear it away." To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: "If you don't see the use of it, I certainly won't let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it." This paradox rests on the most elementary common sense. The gate or fence did not grow there. It was not set up by somnambulists who built it in their sleep. It is highly improbable that it was put there by escaped lunatics who were for some reason loose in the street. Some person had some reason for thinking it would be a good thing for somebody. And until we know what the reason was, we really cannot judge whether the reason was reasonable. It is extremely probable that we have overlooked some whole aspect of the question, if something set up by human beings like ourselves seems to be entirely meaningless and mysterious. There are reformers who get over this difficulty by assuming that all their fathers were fools; but if that be so, we can only say that folly appears to be a hereditary disease. But the truth is that nobody has any business to destroy a social institution until he has really seen it as an historical institution. If he knows how it arose, and what purposes it was supposed to serve, he may really be able to say that they were bad purposes, that they have since become bad purposes, or that they are purposes which are no longer served. But if he simply stares at the thing as a senseless monstrosity that has somehow sprung up in his path, it is he and not the traditionalist who is suffering from an illusion.
G.K. Chesterton
Our world isn’t about ideology anymore. It’s about complexity. We live in a complex bureaucratic state with complex laws and complex business practices, and the few organizations with the corporate willpower to master these complexities will inevitably own the political power. On the other hand, movements like the Tea Party more than anything else reflect a widespread longing for simpler times and simple solutions—just throw the U.S. Constitution at the whole mess and everything will be jake. For immigration, build a big fence. Abolish the Federal Reserve, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Education. At times the overt longing for simple answers that you get from Tea Party leaders is so earnest and touching, it almost makes you forget how insane most of them are.
Matt Taibbi (Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America)
Between the roof of the shed and the big plant that hangs over the fence from the house next door I could see the constellation Orion. People say that Orion is called Orion because Orion was a hunter and the constellation looks like a hunter with a club and a bow and arrow, like this: But this is really silly because it is just stars, and you could join up the dots in any way you wanted, and you could make it look like a lady with an umbrella who is waving, or the coffeemaker which Mrs. Shears has, which is from Italy, with a handle and steam coming out, or like a dinosaur. And there aren't any lines in space, so you could join bits of Orion to bits of Lepus or Taurus or Gemini and say that they were a constellation called the Bunch of Grapes or Jesus or the Bicycle (except that they didn't have bicycles in Roman and Greek times, which was when they called Orion Orion). And anyway, Orion is not a hunter or a coffeemaker or a dinosaur. It is just Betelgeuse and Bellatrix and Alnilam and Rigel and 17 other stars I don't know the names of. And they are nuclear explosions billions of miles away. And that is the truth. I stayed awake until 5:47. That was the last time I looked at my watch before I fell asleep. It has a luminous face and lights up if you press a button, so I could read it in the dark. I was cold and I was frightened Father might come out and find me. But I felt safer in the garden because I was hidden. I looked at the sky a lot. I like looking up at the sky in the garden at night. In summer I sometimes come outside at night with my torch and my planisphere, which is two circles of plastic with a pin through the middle. And on the bottom is a map of the sky and on top is an aperture which is an opening shaped in a parabola and you turn it round to see a map of the sky that you can see on that day of the year from the latitude 51.5° north, which is the latitude that Swindon is on, because the largest bit of the sky is always on the other side of the earth. And when you look at the sky you know you are looking at stars which are hundreds and thousands of light-years away from you. And some of the stars don't even exist anymore because their light has taken so long to get to us that they are already dead, or they have exploded and collapsed into red dwarfs. And that makes you seem very small, and if you have difficult things in your life it is nice to think that they are what is called negligible, which means that they are so small you don't have to take them into account when you are calculating something. I didn't sleep very well because of the cold and because the ground was very bumpy and pointy underneath me and because Toby was scratching in his cage a lot. But when I woke up properly it was dawn and the sky was all orange and blue and purple and I could hear birds singing, which is called the Dawn Chorus. And I stayed where I was for another 2 hours and 32 minutes, and then I heard Father come into the garden and call out, "Christopher...? Christopher...?
Mark Haddon (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time)
I wanted to put my hand to an enormous paean which would unify my vision of America with words spilled out in the modern spontaneous method. Instead of just a horizontal account of travels on the road, I wanted a vertical, metaphysical study. ... This feeling may soon be obsolete as America enters its High Civilization period and no one will get sentimental or poetic any more about trains and dew on fences at dawn in Missouri.
Jack Kerouac
3. The séance was for real and everyone knows it. But they won’t discuss it because A. they don’t trust me, B. they don’t like me, or C. they’re playing it down because they’re plotting to get me alone after school, duct tape my mouth, and throw me over the fence so Annaliese can rip out my throat with her ghostly teeth. Okay. Now that’s paranoid.
Jeannine Garsee (The Unquiet)
If you’re fit and healthy and capable of mending a fence or stacking shelves, and you’re not doing either of those things, then I say you don’t get the right to vote. I don’t want someone who’s too lazy to get a job making decisions on how this country should be run.
Karl Wiggins (100 Common Sense Policies to make BRITAIN GREAT again)
You're trying to play a game designed by men. You'll never win, because the deck is staked and marked, and also you've been blindfolded and set on fire. You can work hard and believe in yourself and be the smartest person in the room and you'll still get beat by the boys who haven't two cents to rub together. So if you can't win the game, you have to cheat. You operate outside the walls they've built to fence you in. You rob them in the dark, while they're drunk on spirits you offered them. Poison their waters and drink only wine.
Mackenzi Lee (The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy (Montague Siblings, #2))
If you put fences around people, you get sheep. Give people the room they need.
James C. Collins
If the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, chances are it’s getting better care.
Frank Sonnenberg (Soul Food: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life)
The woman must look like the weathered side of a rotted fence post if she had to get a man this way.
Lindsey Brookes (Kidnapped Cowboy (Captured Hearts, #1))
Instead of getting a soft fence against the cold, shadowy, unapplausive audience of his life, had he only given it a more substantial presence?
George Eliot (Middlemarch)
Remember that rabbit-proof fencing you told me about? You get that at a hardware store or is it special order?
Elle Lothlorien (Alice in Wonderland)
Speak, breathe, prophesy, get behind a pulpit and preach, mark exam papers, run a company or a nonprofit, clean your kitchen, put paint on a canvas, organize, rabble-rouse, find transcendence in the laundry pile while you pray in obscurity, deliver babies for Haitian mothers in the midwifery clinic—work the Love out and in and around you however God has made you and placed you to do it. Just do it. Don’t let the lies fence you in or hold you back.
Sarah Bessey (Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible's View of Women)
I don't think she's being mysterious on purpose. It's like she can't help it. She's not shy--she'll talk to anyone--and she's not exactly distant, but even so, she's unreachable, as if there's an invisible fence around her, or a force field the repels whatever gets too close.
Sue Halpern (Summer Hours at the Robbers Library)
Yeah, Johnnie,’ I said, ‘it’s a screwed up, bitched up world, and I’m afraid it’s going to stay that way. And I’ll tell you why. Because no one, almost no one, sees anything wrong with it. They can’t see that things are screwed up, so they’re not worried about it. What they’re worried about is guys like you. ‘They’re worried about guys liking a drink and taking it. Guys getting a piece of tail without paying a preacher for it. Guys who know what makes ’em feel good, and aren’t going to be talked out of the motion … They don’t like you guys, and they crack down on you. And the way it looks to me they’re going to be cracking down harder and harder as time goes on. You ask me why I stick around, knowing the score, and it’s hard to explain. I guess I king of got a foot on both fences, Johnnie. I planted ’em there early and now they’ve taken root, and I can’t move either way and I can’t jump. All I can do is wait until I split. Right down the middle.
Jim Thompson (The Killer Inside Me)
There are very subtle shades of violence, I can assure you. A civilization that renounces the possibility of resorting to violence in thought or deed destroys itself. It becomes a flock of sheep that will get their throats cut by the first person to come along. The same thing happens to men.
Arturo Pérez-Reverte (The Fencing Master)
It's a queer thing is a man's soul. It is the whole of him. Which means it is the unknown him, as well as the known. It seems to me just funny, professors and Benjamins fixing the functions of the soul. Why, the soul of man is a vast forest, and all Benjamin intended was a neat back garden. And we've all got to fit into his kitchen garden scheme of things. Hail Columbia ! The soul of man is a dark forest. The Hercynian Wood that scared the Romans so, and out of which came the white- skinned hordes of the next civilization. Who knows what will come out of the soul of man? The soul of man is a dark vast forest, with wild life in it. Think of Benjamin fencing it off! Oh, but Benjamin fenced a little tract that he called the soul of man, and proceeded to get it into cultivation. Providence, forsooth! And they think that bit of barbed wire is going to keep us in pound for ever? More fools they. ... Man is a moral animal. All right. I am a moral animal. And I'm going to remain such. I'm not going to be turned into a virtuous little automaton as Benjamin would have me. 'This is good, that is bad. Turn the little handle and let the good tap flow,' saith Benjamin, and all America with him. 'But first of all extirpate those savages who are always turning on the bad tap.' I am a moral animal. But I am not a moral machine. I don't work with a little set of handles or levers. The Temperance- silence-order- resolution-frugality-industry-sincerity - justice- moderation-cleanliness-tranquillity-chastity-humility keyboard is not going to get me going. I'm really not just an automatic piano with a moral Benjamin getting tunes out of me. Here's my creed, against Benjamin's. This is what I believe: 'That I am I.' ' That my soul is a dark forest.' 'That my known self will never be more than a little clearing in the forest.' 'Thatgods, strange gods, come forth f rom the forest into the clearing of my known self, and then go back.' ' That I must have the courage to let them come and go.' ' That I will never let mankind put anything over me, but that I will try always to recognize and submit to the gods in me and the gods in other men and women.' There is my creed. He who runs may read. He who prefers to crawl, or to go by gasoline, can call it rot.
D.H. Lawrence (Studies in Classic American Literature)
White picket fence? I’ll hire someone to put it up. Fluffy dog to greet us when we get home? I’ll steal Marcus’s. Little children running everywhere… I’m not sure where to get them but I’m sure it can’t be hard. “What?
Alice Winters (How to Lure a Hunter (VRC: Vampire Related Crimes, #3))
She tells stories of working beside her father, cleaning out fence rows with his sling blade and hoe. Her stories help me to see, as we work together, that history is being made as it gets told. Passed on as it passes by.
Eric Overby (Journey)
Real love ain't no fantasy - it's messy, and sometimes it's downright hard. And with real love there's no guarantee you'll never get hurt. You can't love somebody with one foot out of the door. If you love her, its got to be all the way, no matter what happens. That's real love - not this straddling the fence thing you've got going on.
Debra Ullrick (The Unlikely Wife (Bowen, #2))
I listened to the static echoing in my ear and thought of those herds of horses you get in the vast wild spaces of America and Australia, the ones running free, fighting off bobcats or dingoes and living lean on what they find, gold and tangled in the fierce sun. My friend Alan from when I was a kid, he worked on a ranch in Wyoming one summer, on a J1 visa. He watched guys breaking those horses. He told me that every now and then there was one that couldn't be broken, one wild to the bone. Those horses fought the bridle and the fence till they were ripped up and streaming blood, till they smashed their legs or their necks to splinters, till they died of fighting to run.
Tana French (The Likeness (Dublin Murder Squad, #2))
The truth is that I've never cared anything about sports. In PE, I do my best to get hit with the dodgeball on the first throw so I can sit out and read instead of play. I'd rather eat a hot dog at a baseball game than play baseball. I'd rather paint a soccer ball than kick one. I don't mind running, but only if I'm running toward something wonderful. I don't see the point in running away from anything, ever. But tree climbing is different. Tree climbing is natural and easy and I'm pretty sure I could climb for hours and never get tired. Mama says it's the mountain girl in me. She says mountain girls climb trees and fences and anything else that gets us closer to the stars.
Natalie Lloyd (A Snicker of Magic)
He glances back at me. "But there's hardly ever any activity outside the fence these days, at least close by. Only the people we put out, and they rarely try to get back into Westfall. I guess they figure it's better to take your chances out there than be guaranteed a death sentence in here." "Either option sounds pretty horrible to me." Bishop shrugs. "I don't know, sometimes I think we should just tear down the fence. Towns didn't have fences around them before the war and everything was fine. I think it was supposed to keep us safe, but instead it's made us scared.
Amy Engel (The Book of Ivy (The Book of Ivy, #1))
I have that old sinking feeling. I've been overly available, sickeningly sweet and forever enabling all in the name of being 'liked.' I've compromised myself. I've suffered fools, idiots and dullards. I've gone on far too many dates with men because I felt guilty that they liked me more than I liked them. I've fallen deeply and madly I'm love with men I've never met just because I thought they looked 'deep.' I've built whole futures with men I hardly knew; I've planned weddings and named invisible children based on a side glance. I've made chemistry where there was none. I've forced intimacy while building higher Walls. I've been alone in a two year relationship. I've faked more orgasms than I can count while being comfortable with no affection at all. I realise I have to make a decision right here and now. Do I go back to the sliver of a person I was before or do I, despite whatever bullshit happened tonight, hold on to this... This authenticity? If I go back to the the way I was before tonight, I'll have to compromise myself, follow rules with men who have none, hold my tongue, be quiet and laugh at shitty jokes. I have to never be challenged, yet be called challenging when I have an opinion or, really, speak at all. I'll never be torched by someone and get goosebumps again. I'll never be outside of myself. I'll never let go. I'll never lose myself. I'll never know what real love is - both for someone else and for me. I'll look back on this life and wish I could do it all over again. I finally see the consequences of that life. The path more travelled only led to someone else's life: an idealised, saturated world of White picket fences and gingham tablecloths. A life where the real me is locked away. Sure i had a plus-one but at what price? No. No matter how awkward and painful this gets, I can't go back.
Liza Palmer (More Like Her)
He was not sure that there were any great moments. Things were not the same and now life only came in flashes. He had flashes of the old greatness with his bulls, but they were not of value because he had discounted them in advance when he had picked the bulls out for their safety, getting out of a motor and leaning on a fence, looking over at the herd on the ranch of his friend the bull-breeder. So he had two small, manageable bulls without much horns, and when he felt the greatness again coming, just a little of it through the pain that was always with him, it had been discounted and sold in advance, and it did not give him a good feeling. It was the greatness, but it did not make bull-fighting wonderful to him any more.
Ernest Hemingway (The Sun Also Rises: The Authorized Edition (Hemingway Library Edition))
I got up to get us a drink of water and as I stood in the kitchen in the early morning light, running the water out of the tap, I looked out at the hills at the back of the town, at the trees on the hills, at the bushes in the garden, at the birds, at the brand new leaves on a branch, at a cat on a fence, at the bits of wood that made the fence, and I wondered if everything I saw, if maybe every landscape we casually glanced at, was the outcome of an ecstasy we didn't even know was happening, a love-act moving at a speed slow and steady enough for us to be deceived into thinking it was just everyday reality.
Ali Smith (Girl Meets Boy)
The day was fine and breezy, and neither of them felt like staying indoors, so they walked past the Three Broomsticks and climbed a slope to visit the Shrieking Shack, the most haunted dwelling in Britain. It stood a little way above the rest of the village, and even in daylight was slightly creepy, with its boarded windows and dank overgrown garden. ‘Even the Hogwarts ghosts avoid it,’ said Ron, as they leaned on the fence, looking up at it. ‘I asked Nearly Headless Nick … he says he’s heard a very rough crowd live here. No one can get in. Fred and George tried, obviously, but all the entrances are sealed shut …
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
The highway looked different to him now, as they drove on. In theory it was the same stretch of tarmac, bounded by the same traffic paraphernalia and flimsy metal fences, but it had been transformed by their own intent. It was no longer a straight line to an airport, it was a mysterious hinterland of shadowy detours and hidey-holes. Proof, once again, that reality was not objective, but always waiting to be reshaped and redefined by one’s attitude. Of course, everybody on earth had the power to reshape reality. It was one of the things Peter and Beatrice talked about a lot. The challenge of getting people to grasp that life was only as grim and confining as you perceived it to be. The challenge of getting people to see that the immutable facts of existence were not so immutable after all. The challenge of finding a simpler word for immutable than immutable.
Michel Faber (The Book of Strange New Things)
How do people get to this clandestine Archipelago? Hour by hour planes fly there, ships steer their course there, and trains thunder off to it--but all with nary a mark on them to tell of their destination. And at ticket windows or at travel bureaus for Soviet or foreign tourists the employees would be astounded if you were to ask for a ticket to go there. They know nothing and they've never heard of the Archipelago as a whole or any one of its innumerable islands. Those who go to the Archipelago to administer it get there via the training schools of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Those who go there to be guards are conscripted via the military conscription centers. And those who, like you and me, dear reader, go there to die, must get there solely and compulsorily via arrest. Arrest! Need it be said that it is a breaking point in your life, a bolt of lightning which has scored a direct hit on you? That it is an unassimilable spiritual earthquake not every person can cope with, as a result of which people often slip into insanity? The Universe has as many different centers as there are living beings in it. Each of us is a center of the Universe, and that Universe is shattered when they hiss at you: "You are under arrest." If you are arrested, can anything else remain unshattered by this cataclysm? But the darkened mind is incapable of embracing these dis­placements in our universe, and both the most sophisticated and the veriest simpleton among us, drawing on all life's experience, can gasp out only: "Me? What for?" And this is a question which, though repeated millions and millions of times before, has yet to receive an answer. Arrest is an instantaneous, shattering thrust, expulsion, somer­sault from one state into another. We have been happily borne—or perhaps have unhappily dragged our weary way—down the long and crooked streets of our lives, past all kinds of walls and fences made of rotting wood, rammed earth, brick, concrete, iron railings. We have never given a thought to what lies behind them. We have never tried to pene­trate them with our vision or our understanding. But there is where the Gulag country begins, right next to us, two yards away from us. In addition, we have failed to notice an enormous num­ber of closely fitted, well-disguised doors and gates in these fences. All those gates were prepared for us, every last one! And all of a sudden the fateful gate swings quickly open, and four white male hands, unaccustomed to physical labor but none­theless strong and tenacious, grab us by the leg, arm, collar, cap, ear, and drag us in like a sack, and the gate behind us, the gate to our past life, is slammed shut once and for all. That's all there is to it! You are arrested! And you'll find nothing better to respond with than a lamblike bleat: "Me? What for?" That's what arrest is: it's a blinding flash and a blow which shifts the present instantly into the past and the impossible into omnipotent actuality. That's all. And neither for the first hour nor for the first day will you be able to grasp anything else.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956: An Experiment in Literary Investigation V-VII)
Woman . . . I do the best I can do. I come in here every Friday. I carry a sack of potatoes and a bucket of lard. You all line up at the door with your hands out. I give you the lint from my pockets. I give you my sweat and my blood. I ain't got no tears. I done spent them. We go upstairs in that room at night . . . and I fall down on you and try to blast a hole into forever. I get up Monday morning . . . find my lunch on the table. I go out. Make my way. Find my strength to carry me through to the next Friday.
August Wilson (Fences (The Century Cycle, #6))
A change in direction was required. The story you finished was perhaps never the one you began. Yes! He would take charge of his life anew, binding his breaking selves together. Those changes in himself that he sought, he himself would initiate and make them. No more of this miasmic, absent drift. How had he ever persuaded himself that his money-mad burg would rescue him all by itself, this Gotham in which Jokers and Penguins were running riot with no Batman (or even Robin) to frustrate their schemes, this Metropolis built of Kryptonite in which no Superman dared set foot, where wealth was mistaken for riches and the joy of possession for happiness, where people lived such polished lives that the great rough truths of raw existence had been rubbed and buffed away, and in which human souls had wandered so separately for so long that they barely remembered how to touch; this city whose fabled electricity powered the electric fences that were being erected between men and men, and men and women, too? Rome did not fall because her armies weakened but because Romans forgot what being Roman meant. Might this new Rome actually be more provincial than its provinces; might these new Romans have forgotten what and how to value, or had they never known? Were all empires so undeserving, or was this one particularly crass? Was nobody in all this bustling endeavor and material plenitude engaged, any longer, on the deep quarry-work of the mind and heart? O Dream-America, was civilization's quest to end in obesity and trivia, at Roy Rogers and Planet Hollywood, in USA Today and on E!; or in million-dollar-game-show greed or fly-on-the-wall voyeurism; or in the eternal confessional booth of Ricki and Oprah and Jerry, whose guests murdered each other after the show; or in a spurt of gross-out dumb-and-dumber comedies designed for young people who sat in darkness howling their ignorance at the silver screen; or even at the unattainable tables of Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Alain Ducasse? What of the search for the hidden keys that unlock the doors of exaltation? Who demolished the City on the Hill and put in its place a row of electric chairs, those dealers in death's democracy, where everyone, the innocent, the mentally deficient, the guilty, could come to die side by side? Who paved Paradise and put up a parking lot? Who settled for George W. Gush's boredom and Al Bore's gush? Who let Charlton Heston out of his cage and then asked why children were getting shot? What, America, of the Grail? O ye Yankee Galahads, ye Hoosier Lancelots, O Parsifals of the stockyards, what of the Table Round? He felt a flood bursting in him and did not hold back. Yes, it had seduced him, America; yes, its brilliance aroused him, and its vast potency too, and he was compromised by this seduction. What he opposed in it he must also attack in himself. It made him want what it promised and eternally withheld. Everyone was an American now, or at least Americanized: Indians, Uzbeks, Japanese, Lilliputians, all. America was the world's playing field, its rule book, umpire, and ball. Even anti-Americanism was Americanism in disguise, conceding, as it did, that America was the only game in town and the matter of America the only business at hand; and so, like everyone, Malik Solanka now walked its high corridors cap in hand, a supplicant at its feast; but that did not mean he could not look it in the eye. Arthur had fallen, Excalibur was lost and dark Mordred was king. Beside him on the throne of Camelot sat the queen, his sister, the witch Morgan le Fay.
Salman Rushdie (Fury)
It's like she was metal and I was a magnet, Roc. But at the same time it felt like someone had shoved an electric wire into my skin and was frying me from the inside. It hurt like hell. No, worse than hell, Roc. And yet, somehow across the distance, through the fence, over the mob of people, I felt a pull to her, even though I knew it would hurt me to be closer to her. I probably would have just let it go, chalked it up to male hormones, but then when she acted so strong, pushed that guy... I don't know, since then I can't get her out of my mind.
David Estes (The Moon Dwellers (The Dwellers, #1))
You right! You one hundred percent right! I done spent the last seventeen years worrying about what you got. Now it’s your turn, see? I’ll tell you what to do. You grown . . . we don established that. You a man. Now, let’s see you act like one. Turn your behind around and walk out this yard. And when you get out there in the alley . . . you can forget about this house. See? Cause this is my house. You go on and be a man and get your own house. You can forget about this. You can forget about this. ‘Cause this is mine. You go on and get yours because I’m through with doing for you.
August Wilson (Fences (The Century Cycle, #6))
The dream that I've been having, about my high-school sweetheart, is not really about my high-school sweetheart, when you get right down to it. It's not a dream about Alison Koechner and our lost love and the precious little three-bedroom house in Maine we might have built together, had things gone a different way. I am not dreaming of white picket fences and Sunday crosswords and warm tea. There's no asteroid in the dream. In the dream, life continues. Simple life, happy and white-picket lined or otherwise. Mere life. Goes on. When I'm dreaming of Alison Koechner, what I'm dreaming of is not dying.
Ben H. Winters (The Last Policeman (The Last Policeman, #1))
Little of that makes for love, but it does pump desire. The woman who churned a man's blood as she leaned all alone on a fence by a country road might not expect even to catch his eye in the City. But if she is clipping quickly down the big-city street in heels, swinging her purse, or sitting on a stoop with a cool beer in her hand, dangling her shoe from the toes of her foot, the man, reacting to her posture, to soft skin on stone, the weight of the building stressing the delicate, dangling shoe, is captured. And he'd think it was the woman he wanted, and not some combination of curved stone, and a swinging, high-heeled shoe moving in and out of sunlight. He would know right away the deception, the trick of shapes and light and movement, but it wouldn't matter at all because the deception was part of it too. Anyway, he could feel his lungs going in and out. There is no air in the City but there is breath, and every morning it races through him like laughing gas brightening his eyes, his talk, and his expectations. In no time at all he forgets little pebbly creeks and apple trees so old they lay their branches along the ground and you have to reach down or stoop to pick the fruit. He forgets a sun that used to slide up like the yolk of a good country egg, thick and red-orange at the bottom of the sky, and he doesn't miss it, doesn't look up to see what happened to it or to stars made irrelevant by the light of thrilling, wasteful street lamps. That kind of fascination, permanent and out of control, seizes children, young girls, men of every description, mothers, brides, and barfly women, and if they have their way and get to the City, they feel more like themselves, more like the people they always believed they were.
Toni Morrison (Jazz (Beloved Trilogy, #2))
Naw. But I just can’t get used to it,” Bigger said. “I swear to God I can’t. I know I oughtn’t think about it, but I can’t help it. Every time I think about it I feel like somebody’s poking a red-hot iron down my throat. Goddammit, look! We live here and they live there. We black and they white. They got things and we ain’t. They do things and we can’t. It’s just like living in jail. Half the time I feel like I’m on the outside of the world peeping in through a knothole in the fence….
Richard Wright (Native Son)
We all know that if you swing for the fences, you’re going to strike out a lot, but you’re also going to hit some home runs. The difference between baseball and business, however, is that baseball has a truncated outcome distribution. When you swing, no matter how well you connect with the ball, the most runs you can get is four. In business, every once in a while, when you step up to the plate, you can score 1,000 runs. This long-tailed distribution of returns is why it’s important to be bold.
Brad Stone (Amazon Unbound: Jeff Bezos and the Invention of a Global Empire)
When we got more houses than we can live in, more cars than we can ride in, more food than we can eat ourselves, the only way of getting richer by cutting off those who don't have enough. If everybody has more than enough, what good is my more-than-enough? What good is a wide meadow open to everyone? It isn't until others are fenced out that the open pasture begins to have real value. What good is being a major if you can't have more than a second lieutenant? What good is a second lieutenant for that matter?
Nelson Algren (A Walk on the Wild Side)
I’m a barbed-wire fence. Every time he gets too close, I make myself sharper.
Rachel Lynn Solomon (Today Tonight Tomorrow)
Beyond all of that, I could see the wall I had seen from inside the train, the wall that runs along the train line. I assumed that there, behind it, was the west, and I was right. I could have been wrong, but I was right.' If she had any future it was over there, and she needed to get to it. I sit in the chair exploring the meaning of dumbstruck, rolling the word around in my mind. I laugh with Miriam as she laughs at herself, and at the boldness of being sixteen. At sixteen you are invulnerable. I laugh with her about rummaging around for a ladder in other people's sheds, and I laugh harder when she finds one. We laugh at the improbability of it, of someone barely more than a child poking around in Beatrix Potter's garden by the Wall, watching out for Mr McGregor and his blunderbuss, and looking for a step-ladder to scale one of the most fortified barriers on earth. We both like the girl she was, and I like the woman she has become. She says suddenly, 'I still have the scars on my hands from climbing the barbed wire, but you can't see them so well now.' She holds out her hands. The soft parts of her palms are crazed with definite white scares, each about a centimeter long. The first fence was wire mesh with a roll of barbed wire along the top.
Anna Funder (Stasiland: Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall)
God is a good horseman. He waits while we circle the fences of our lives—whatever they are, whether it be a bad childhood, or a destructive habit, family problems, an addiction, a personal tragedy, an inability to forgive someone else or to allow ourselves to ask forgiveness, or believe we deserve it. The Good Horseman waits, and each time we turn and look at Him, He stretches out His hand, slow and quiet, until finally, sooner or later, we reach for it, and we come to the center with Him, and find that peace was waiting there all along.
Lisa Wingate (Word Gets Around (Welcome to Daily, Texas #2))
First there is the World. Then there is the Other World. The Other World is where I sometimes lose my footing. In its calendar turnings, its preinvented existence. The barrage of twists and turns where I sometimes get weary trying to keep up with it, minute by minute adapt: the world of the stoplight, the no-smoking signs, the rental world, the split-rail fencing shielding hundreds of miles of barren wilderness from the human step. A place where by virtue of ha ing been born centuries late one is denied access to earth of space, choice or movement. The brought up world; the owned world. The world of coded sounds: the world of language, the world of lies. The packaged world; the world of speed in metallic motion. The Other World where I've always felt like an alien.
David Wojnarowicz (Close to the Knives: A Memoir of Disintegration)
Then he skipped out, and saw Sid just starting up the outside stairway that led to the back rooms on the second floor. Clods were handy and the air was full of them in a twinkling. They raged around Sid like a hail-storm; and before Aunt Polly could collect her surprised faculties and sally to the rescue, six or seven clods had taken personal effect, and Tom was over the fence and gone. There was a gate, but as a general thing he was too crowded for time to make use of it. His soul was at peace, now that he had settled with Sid for calling attention to his black thread and getting him into trouble.
Mark Twain (The Adventures of Tom Sawyer)
When I was a boy, that was all I wanted—to grow a pair of wings and get up into the sky. I had a basement full of failed wing projects. Boards and capes and motors, even a pile of found feathers I once tried to glue together with a bottle of Elmer’s; you should have seen your grandmother’s face. But I never got any higher than the backyard fence I’d launch from. I never got inside a cloud. Your raven did.
Beth Kephart (Undercover (Laura Geringer Books (Hardcover)))
This book is not the memoir of a contented man. It's not the poignant reflections of a white-haired guru who has finally figured out the secret to contentment. It's more like sweaty, bloody, hastily scribbled notes from a battlefield. I'm still struggling to escape the sinister fingers on this conspiracy. I'm still waging war against the discontentment that rages in my life. I can see contentment in the distance, like a hazy oasis, but I have to pick my way through a minefield to get there. I'm not the contented man God wants me to be, but I'm fighting to get there. I'm writing this book the hope that you'll join me in the fight.
Stephen Altrogge (The Greener Grass Conspiracy: Finding Contentment on Your Side of the Fence)
But we don't get to choose what sticks. How many times I have run my fingers along a picket fence and thought, "This! I will remember this moment always!" and all that remains is the memory of a desire to hold on to a memory.
Abigail Thomas (A Three Dog Life)
1 The summer our marriage failed we picked sage to sweeten our hot dark car. We sat in the yard with heavy glasses of iced tea, talking about which seeds to sow when the soil was cool. Praising our large, smooth spinach leaves, free this year of Fusarium wilt, downy mildew, blue mold. And then we spoke of flowers, and there was a joke, you said, about old florists who were forced to make other arrangements. Delphiniums flared along the back fence. All summer it hurt to look at you. 2 I heard a woman on the bus say, “He and I were going in different directions.” As if it had something to do with a latitude or a pole. Trying to write down how love empties itself from a house, how a view changes, how the sign for infinity turns into a noose for a couple. Trying to say that weather weighed down all the streets we traveled on, that if gravel sinks, it keeps sinking. How can I blame you who kneeled day after day in wet soil, pulling slugs from the seedlings? You who built a ten-foot arch for the beans, who hated a bird feeder left unfilled. You who gave carrots to a gang of girls on bicycles. 3 On our last trip we drove through rain to a town lit with vacancies. We’d come to watch whales. At the dock we met five other couples—all of us fluorescent, waterproof, ready for the pitch and frequency of the motor that would lure these great mammals near. The boat chugged forward—trailing a long, creamy wake. The captain spoke from a loudspeaker: In winter gray whales love Laguna Guerrero; it’s warm and calm, no killer whales gulp down their calves. Today we’ll see them on their way to Alaska. If we get close enough, observe their eyes—they’re bigger than baseballs, but can only look down. Whales can communicate at a distance of 300 miles—but it’s my guess they’re all saying, Can you hear me? His laughter crackled. When he told us Pink Floyd is slang for a whale’s two-foot penis, I stopped listening. The boat rocked, and for two hours our eyes were lost in the waves—but no whales surfaced, blowing or breaching or expelling water through baleen plates. Again and again you patiently wiped the spray from your glasses. We smiled to each other, good troopers used to disappointment. On the way back you pointed at cormorants riding the waves— you knew them by name: the Brants, the Pelagic, the double-breasted. I only said, I’m sure whales were swimming under us by the dozens. 4 Trying to write that I loved the work of an argument, the exhaustion of forgiving, the next morning, washing our handprints off the wineglasses. How I loved sitting with our friends under the plum trees, in the white wire chairs, at the glass table. How you stood by the grill, delicately broiling the fish. How the dill grew tall by the window. Trying to explain how camellias spoil and bloom at the same time, how their perfume makes lovers ache. Trying to describe the ways sex darkens and dies, how two bodies can lie together, entwined, out of habit. Finding themselves later, tired, by a fire, on an old couch that no longer reassures. The night we eloped we drove to the rainforest and found ourselves in fog so thick our lights were useless. There’s no choice, you said, we must have faith in our blindness. How I believed you. Trying to imagine the road beneath us, we inched forward, honking, gently, again and again.
Dina Ben-Lev
Another voice rages. I hate that boy! I hate me! I am so incredibly stupid! A sunflower leans over the fence, smiling How dare you! I rip off its head and throw it in the gutter. The smart thing to do is to keep going on. Walk away quickly and no one will know what I've done. But I can't move because my eyes are locked on the slowly opening front door - locked on Mrs Muir. 'I'm sorry.' My tiny voice sounds so pathetically lame, but I've still got more lameness for her. 'I never do this sort of thing. I like sunflowers. I was just angry about something - nothing to do with you or the flower. I'm really, really sorry.' 'Oh, you are upset! Well, never mind'. Mrs Muir comes closer to me. 'Goodness, we all get cross. The main thing is: did it make you feel any better?' 'No. Yes. Maybe. A little bit.' 'Would you like to do another one? There's more out the back, too. You go for your life dear. I don't mind at all - they need a good pruning.
Bill Condon (A Straight Line to My Heart)
Margot says, “Wait, we have to cheers my sister getting into William and Mary!” My smile feels frozen as everyone clinks their custard cups against mine. Ravi says, “Well done, Lara Jean. Didn’t Jon Stewart go there?” Surprised, I say, “Why yes, yes he did. That’s a pretty random fact to know.” “Ravi’s specialty is random facts,” Margot says, licking her spoon. “Don’t get him started on the mating habits of bonobos.” “Two words,” Ravi says. Then he looks from Peter to me and whispers, “Penis fencing.
Jenny Han (Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #3))
I thought about all the fences that get built in this world - the ones that divide folks and tear them up, like the actions of the Kaiser and his henchmen, and the ones that bring folks closer together, like this stretch of fence Karl Mueller had build for me.
Kirby Larson (Hattie Big Sky (Hattie, #1))
The grass is always greener…wherever you water and mow. No matter how big or how small, take care of the things you currently have. See to it that your marriage, your children, your job and the blessings you have been entrusted with get plenty of water and sunshine. Pull the inevitable weeds that pop up, keep that lawn of life manicured and trimmed; don’t forget the edging. Add seeds of growth where you find deficiencies, nurture the flowers that bloom and rejoice in the sight of the healthy beauty that lies within your very own fence line.
Jason Versey (A Walk with Prudence)
When you infiltrate the enemy line and come to a naturally fortified place, use the appropriate tools to gain entrance successfully. To get into an impregnable castle with a high stone wall, a high fence, a barrier, or a castle not naturally fortified but well constructed, or even one fortified with water such as a river, it is essential for you to prepare yourself with useful tools before you embark on a shinobi mission. In addition, you need to use the appropriate weapons when you invade the enemy's residence. This chapter shows how you create these tools.
Antony Cummins (The Secret Traditions of the Shinobi: Hattori Hanzo's Shinobi Hiden and Other Ninja Scrolls)
Are you falling asleep before midnight?" Cassie leaned over the edge of the couch to look at Jack. He was stretched out on the floor, his head resting against a pillow near the center of the couch, his eyes closed. She was now wide awake and headache free. He wasn't in so good a shape. "The new year is eighteen minutes away." "Come kiss me awake in seventeen minutes." She blinked at that lazy suggestion, gave a quick grin, and dropped Benji on his chest. He opened one eye to look up at her as he settled his hand lightly on the kitten. "That's a no?" She smiled. She was looking forward to dating him, but she was smart enough to know he'd value more what he had to work at. He sighed. "That was a no. How much longer am I going to be on the fence with you?" "Is that a rhetorical question or do you want an answer?" If this was the right relationship God had for her future, time taken now would improve it, not hurt it. She was ready to admit she was tired of being alone. He scratched Benji under the chin and the kitten curled up on his chest and batted a paw at his hand. "Rhetorical. I'd hate to get my hopes up." She leaned her chin against her hand, looking down at him. "I like you, Jack." "You just figured that out?" "I'll like you more when you catch my mouse." "The only way we are going to catch T.J. is to turn this place into a cheese factory and help her get so fat and slow that she can no longer run and hide." Or you could move your left hand about three inches to the right right and catch her." Jack opened one eye and glanced toward his left. The white mouse was sitting motionless beside the plate he had set down earlier. "Let her have the cheeseburger. You put mustard on it." "You're horrible." He smiled. "I'm serious." "So am I." Jack leaned over, caught Cassie's foot, and tumbled her to the floor. "Oops." "That wasn't fair. You scared my mouse." Jack set the kitten on the floor. "Benji, go get her mouse." The kitten took off after it. "You're teaching her to be a mouser." "Working on it. Come here. You owe me a kiss for the new year." "Do I?" She reached over to the bowl of chocolates on the table and unwrapped a kiss. She popped the chocolate kiss into his mouth. "I called your bluff." He smiled and rubbed his hand across her forearm braced against his chest. "That will last me until next year." She glanced at the muted television. "That's two minutes away." "Two minutes to put this year behind us." He slid one arm behind his head, adjusting the pillow. She patted his chest with her hand. "That shouldn't take long." She felt him laugh. "It ended up being a very good year," she offered. "Next year will be even better." "Really? Promise?" "Absolutely." He reached behind her ear and a gold coin reappeared. "What do you think? Heads you say yes when I ask you out, tails you say no?" She grinned at the idea. "Are you cheating again?" She took the coin. "This one isn't edible," she realized, disappointed. And then she turned it over. "A real two-headed coin?" "A rare find." He smiled. "Like you." "That sounds like a bit of honey." "I'm good at being mushy." "Oh, really?" He glanced over her shoulder. "Turn up the TV. There's the countdown." She grabbed for the remote and hit the wrong button. The TV came on full volume just as the fireworks went off. Benji went racing past them spooked by the noise to dive under the collar of the jacket Jack had tossed on the floor. The white mouse scurried to run into the jacket sleeve. "Tell me I didn't see what I think I just did." "I won't tell you," Jack agreed, amused. He watched the jacket move and raised an eyebrow. "Am I supposed to rescue the kitten or the mouse?
Dee Henderson (The Protector (O'Malley, #4))
To daughter Scotty Oct. 20, 1936 p. 313 Don't be a bit discouraged about your story not being tops. At the same time, I am not going to encourage you about it, because, after all, if you want to get into the big time, you have to have your own fences to jump and learn from experience. Nobody ever became a writer just by wanting to be one. If you have anything to say, anything you feel nobody has ever said before, you have got to feel it so desperately that you will find some way to say it that nobody has ever found before, so that the thing you have to say and the way of saying it blend as one matter - as indissolubly as if they were conceived together. Let me preach again for a moment: I mean that what you have felt and thought will by itself invent a new style, so that when people talk about style they are always a little astonished at the newness of it, because they think that it is only style that they are talking about, when what they are talking about is the attempt to express a new idea with such force that it will have the originality of the thought. It is an awfully lonesome business, and as you know, I never wanted you to go into it, but if you are going into it at all I want you to go into it knowing the sort of things that took me years to learn.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (A Life in Letters)
Flocks of magpies have descended on our yard. I cannot sleep for all their raucous behavior. Perched on weathered fences, their green-black tales, long as rulers, wave up and down, reprimanding me for all I have not done. I have done nothing for weeks. I have no work. I don't want to see anyone much less talk. All I want to do is sleep. Monday, I hit rock-bottom, different from bedrock, which is solid, expansive, full of light and originality. Rock-bottom is the bottom of the rock, the underbelly that rarely gets turned over; but when it does, I am the spider that scurries from daylight to find another place to hide. Today I feel stronger, learning to live with the natural cycles of a day and to not expect so much from myself. As women, we hold the moon in our bellies. It is too much to ask to operate on full-moon energy three hundred and sixty-five days a year. I am in a crescent phase. And the energy we expend emotionally belongs to the hidden side of the moon....
Terry Tempest Williams (Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place)
If you were walking through the woods and found a turtle on top of a fence post, you could rationally conclude that it didn’t get there by itself. Someone put it there. Even if you didn’t have an explanation for who did it, you would be reasonable in assuming that time and chance wouldn’t eventually place a turtle on a fence post.
Rice Broocks (God's Not Dead: Evidence for God in an Age of Uncertainty)
But when you get hunted—that’s different. Somepin happens to you. You ain’t strong; maybe you’re fierce, but you ain’t strong. I been hunted now for a long time. I ain’t a hunter no more. I’d maybe shoot a fella in the dark, but I don’t maul nobody with a fence stake no more. It don’t do no good to fool you or me. That’s how it is.
John Steinbeck (The Grapes of Wrath)
There’s the idea of wilderness, and then there’s the unglamorous labor of it, the never-ending grind of securing firewood; bringing in groceries over absurd distances; tending the vegetable garden and maintaining the fences that keep the deer from eating all the vegetables; repairing the generator; remembering to get gas for the generator; composting; running out of water in the summertime; never having enough money because job opportunities in the wilderness are limited; managing the seething resentment of your only child, who doesn’t understand your love of the wilderness and asks every week why you can’t just live in a normal place that isn’t wilderness; etc.
Emily St. John Mandel (The Glass Hotel)
[...] she had written Clare a letter in school yesterday afternoon and delivered it herself on the way home. In this letter she had mildly said, «Everyone thinks I am sullen, surly, sulky, grim; but I am the two hemispheres of Ptolemaic marvels, I am lost Atlantis risen from the sea, the Western Isles of infinite promise, the apples of the Hesperides and daily make the voyage to Cytherea, island of snaky trees and abundant shade with leaves large and dripping juice, the fruit that is my heart, but I have a thousand hearts hung on every trees, yes, my heart drips alone every fence paling. I am mad with my heart which beats too much in the world and falls in love at every instant with every reflection that glimmers in it.» And much more of this, which she was accustomed to write to Clare, stuff almost without meaning, but yet which seemed to have the entire meaning of life for her, and which made Clare exclaim a dozen times, «Oh, Louie, I can’t believe it, when I get your letters, you are the same person: when I meet you at school I keep looking at you in surprise!»
Christina Stead (The Man Who Loved Children)
Will you just tell me, Brian.I need you to tell me you love me." "I'm getting to it." He turned back. "I never thought I wanted family.I want to make children with you,Keeley.I want ours. Please don't cry." "I'm trying not to.Hurry up." "I can't be rushed at such a time.Sniffle those back or I'll blunder it.That's the way." He moved to her. "I don't want to own horses, but I can make an exception for the gift you gave me today.As a kind of symbol of things. I didn't have faith in him, not pure faith, that he'd run to win.I didn't have faith in you, either.Give me your hand." She held it out, clasping his. "Tell me." "I've never said the words to another woman. You'll be my first, and you'll be my last.I loved you from the first instant, in a kind of blinding flash. Over time the love I have for you has strengthened, and deepened until it's like something alive inside me." "That's everything I needed to hear." She brought his hand to her cheek. "Marry me, Brian." "Bloody hell.Will you let me do the asking?" She had to bite her lip to hold off the watery chuckle. "Sorry." With a laugh, he plucked her off her feet. "Well, what the hell.Sure, I'll marry you." "Right away." "Right away." He brushed his lips over her temple. "I love you,Keeley, and since you're birdbrain enough to want to marry a hardheaded Irish horse's ass, I believe it was, I'll go up now and ask your father." "As my-Brian, really." "I'll do this proper. But maybe I'll take you with me,in case he's found that shotgun." She laughed, rubbed her cheek against his. "I'll protect you." He set her on her feet.They began to walk together past the sharply colored fall flowers, the white fences and fields where horses raced their shadows. When he reached to take her hand, Keeley gripped his firmly.And had everything.
Nora Roberts (Irish Rebel (Irish Hearts, #3))
Lila had always thought of secrets like gold coins. They could be hoarded, or put to use, but once you spent them, or lost them, it was a beast to get your hands on more. Because of that, she’d always guarded her secrets, prized them above any take. The fences back in Grey London hadn’t known she was a street rat. The street patrols hadn’t known she was a girl.
V.E. Schwab (A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic, #3))
at Dunkin’ Donuts, how did we move our anchor to Starbucks? This is where it gets really interesting. When Howard Shultz created Starbucks, he was as intuitive a businessman as Salvador Assael. He worked diligently to separate Starbucks from other coffee shops, not through price but through ambience. Accordingly, he designed Starbucks from the very beginning to feel like a continental coffeehouse. The early shops were fragrant with the smell of roasted beans (and better-quality roasted beans than those at Dunkin’ Donuts). They sold fancy French coffee presses. The showcases presented alluring snacks—almond croissants, biscotti, raspberry custard pastries, and others. Whereas Dunkin’ Donuts had small, medium, and large coffees, Starbucks offered Short, Tall, Grande, and Venti, as well as drinks with high-pedigree names like Caffè Americano, Caffè Misto, Macchiato, and Frappuccino. Starbucks did everything in its power, in other words, to make the experience feel different—so different that we would not use the prices at Dunkin’ Donuts as an anchor, but instead would be open to the new anchor that Starbucks was preparing for us. And that, to a great extent, is how Starbucks succeeded. GEORGE, DRAZEN, AND I were so excited with the experiments on coherent arbitrariness that we decided to push the idea one step farther. This time, we had a different twist to explore. Do you remember the famous episode in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, the one in which Tom turned the whitewashing of Aunt Polly’s fence into an exercise in manipulating his friends? As I’m sure you recall, Tom applied the paint with gusto, pretending to enjoy the job. “Do you call this work?” Tom told his friends. “Does a boy get a chance to whitewash a fence every day?” Armed with this new “information,” his friends discovered the joys of whitewashing a fence. Before long, Tom’s friends were not only paying him for the privilege, but deriving real pleasure from the task—a win-win outcome if there ever was one. From our perspective, Tom transformed a negative experience to a positive one—he transformed a situation in which compensation was required to one in which people (Tom’s friends) would pay to get in on the fun. Could we do the same? We
Dan Ariely (Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions)
Jenny remembers what it was like, all those years ago. It was never dolls for her, nothing so tangible as that. It was more of a feeling. As if, for the first several years of her life, everything held over her a sort of knowledge and insistence. Fence posts, wallpaper, the lawn at certain hours of the day. These things glowered at her, or smiled. Even something as ordinary as the blue rolling chair in her father's office had some hold on her, some whisper of a new dimension in its puffs of dust sent upward by her fists against its cushions. There was an intensity inherent in everything until, one day, there wasn't. The blue chair rolled on its wheels to the window when she pushed it. The rising dust was rising dust. And when it was gone, there was only a knot of longing somewhere deep inside of her, a vacant ache: adolescence. Boredom. It's why we fall in love, Jenny will tell June. We fall in love to get back to that dimension, that wonder. She goes to the laundry room, where, from a pile of clean clothes, she picks out a few articles of June's, folds them, then goes upstairs to knock on her daughter's door and tell her that this, this lost doll world, is the reason there is love.
Emily Ruskovich (Idaho)
The other thing to remember, of course, is that most people get no help at all. I sure didn't, oh, no: it was just me and Castle, charging, desperate, through the country darkness, and that's how it is for most people who dare to run - no help from no Airlines, no help from no one. They just go, man, after years of planning or in the heat of a sudden moment they go, hurl their skinny bodies over a cyclone fence or purge themselves into a moat, break free of a chain line or a guard's hard grip and run, brother, run, sister, run along back roads and through forests. No planes and no cars or trucks, either. Just brave souls darting across open fields and wading in and out of rivers and stumbling along deer paths through dark woods. Find the star and follow it, as runners have done all the way back to the days of Old Slavery.
Ben H. Winters (Underground Airlines)
TROY: Death ain't nothing. I done seen him. Done wrasled with him. You can't tell me nothing about death. death ain't nothing but a fastball on the outside corner. And you know what I'll do to that! Lookee here, Bono...am I lying? You get one of them fastballs, about waist high, over the outside corner of the plate where you can get the meat of the bat on it...and good god! You can kiss it goodbye. Now, am I lying?
August Wilson (Fences (The Century Cycle, #6))
A small gingerbread house sat in between two large trees. White frosting covered its pointed roof, gumdrops were clumped around like shrubbery, and candy canes lined the path to the front door like a picket fence. “Look, Conner!” Alex said, catching her breath. “It’s a gingerbread house, a real gingerbread house! Look how cute it is!” “Whoa,” Conner said. “I feel like I may get diabetes from just looking at that place.
Chris Colfer (The Wishing Spell (The Land of Stories, #1))
that smallest point of light was a thought, just floating out there. And the thought was: “I.” And when I turned and looked at the thought, all I had to do was become interested in it, in any way interested, and this little point of light would move closer and closer and closer. It was like moving close to a knothole in a fence—when you get your eye right up to it, you don’t see the fence anymore; you see what’s on the other side. So as this little point of “I” came closer, I started to perceive through this point called “me.” And I found that in that point called “me” was the whole world. The whole world was contained within that “I,” within that little point called “me.” There wasn’t really an I, but an emptiness that could go into and out of that point, in and out of it, and it’s like the whole world could flicker on and off, and on and off, and on and off.
Adyashanti (The End of Your World: Uncensored Straight Talk on the Nature of Enlightenment)
Even if you are someone used to wearing armor, guarded and afraid, I think love is such a strong force it would find a way through your protective guard. It will get to your heart, and you can’t put any fences around that. As much as you might try, you simply can’t. You’re going to have other forces that will be operative at the same time if it is right for you to fall in love with this activity or individual or cause or process. There
Sidney Poitier (Life Beyond Measure: Letters to My Great-Granddaughter)
Often we are led to a wall, it is too high, we cannot get over it and we stand there and stare at it. Rationalism says, “There is no getting over it, just go away.” Yet natural development has led the patient up to an almost impossible situation to show him that this is the end of his rational solutions. It is meant that he should get there, and perhaps stay there, make roots and grow like a tree; in time overcome the obstacle, grow over the wall. There are things in our psychology that cannot be answered today. You may be up against a stone wall but you should stay there and grow, and in six weeks or a year you have grown over it. The I Ching expresses that beautifully. A similar situation which looks quite hopeless is depicted thus: “a goat butts against a hedge and gets its horns entangled.” But in the next line: “The hedge opens; there is no entanglement/ Power depends upon the axle of a big cart.” So if you could stop butting against the fence you would not get your horns entangles, and presently you would have the power of a cart with four wheels. There is another way in nature, the way of a tree…The tree stands still and grows and makes roots and eventually overcomes the obstacle. [The Seminars. Volume One, Dream Analysis: Notes of the seminar given in 1928-30. p.249]
C.G. Jung
ref·u·gee noun: a person who flees for refuge or safety We are, each of us, refugees when we flee from burning buildings into the arms of loving families. When we flee from floods and earthquakes to sleep on blue mats in community centres. We are, each of us, refugees when we flee from abusive relationships, and shooters in cinemas and shopping centres. Sometimes it takes only a day for our countries to persecute us because of our creed, race, or sexual orientation. Sometimes it takes only a minute for the missiles to rain down and leave our towns in ruin and destitution. We are, each of us, refugees longing for that amniotic tranquillity dreaming of freedom and safety when fences and barbed wires spring into walled gardens. Lebanese, Sudanese, Libyan and Syrian, Yemeni, Somali, Palestinian, and Ethiopian, like our brothers and sisters, we are, each of us, refugees. The bombs fell in their cafés and squares where once poetry, dancing, and laughter prevailed. Only their olive trees remember music and merriment now as their cities wail for departed children without a funeral. We are, each of us, refugees. Don’t let stamped paper tell you differently. We’ve been fleeing for centuries because to stay means getting bullets in our heads because to stay means being hanged by our necks because to stay means being jailed, raped and left for dead. But we can, each of us, serve as one another’s refuge so we don't board dinghies when we can’t swim so we don’t climb walls with snipers aimed at our chest so we don’t choose to remain and die instead. When home turns into hell, you, too, will run with tears in your eyes screaming rescue me! and then you’ll know for certain: you've always been a refugee.
Kamand Kojouri
Amaranth" There are no starfish in the sky tonight, But there is one below your belly, And there are cold evenings in your eyes. If I could get to your house I would look under the bed of your childhood, The tongueless loafer without laces or eyes, The cave of your young foot With its odor of moon, its dampness Coming from underground, your shoe Which also bled and is now an island. You have to remember these are the memories Of a survivor, you have to remember. You could be looking for clay to haul away, Fill for the deep washouts of your love. All your old loves, they bled to death, too. Your hair is like a cemetery full of hands, Fingers in the moonlight. When you come down to the heart Bring your post-hole diggers and crowbar. Do not set a corner, a fence won’t last. Do not bury our first child there, Or set a post, Although I have tasted blood on the lips of a stranger, At night and in the rain.
Frank Stanford (What About This: Collected Poems of Frank Stanford)
dinner. I would climb over the farmer’s fence and toss back to my father samples of the crop I was harvesting. It could be ears of corn or tomatoes or whatever was in season. That’s what you had to do to get by and put food on the table. But the farmers weren’t any too happy with our ideas about sharing in nature’s bounty. Some nights they’d be waiting for us with shotguns. Some farmer would chase me, and I’d jump over the fence and get hit in the butt with birdshot. One
Charles Brandt ("I Heard You Paint Houses", Updated Edition: Frank "The Irishman" Sheeran & Closing the Case on Jimmy Hoffa)
Old Timer Farmer's Wisdom in Haiku Keep skunks, city slickers, Jews, lawyers at a distance Or else ya' get fucked. Life is simpler when You plow around the stump Or else ya' get fucked. If you don’tknow bees Are faster than your tractor Ya' gonna’get fucked. Do your pissing down Stream and your drinking upstream Or else ya' get fucked. Fences need to be Horse-high, pig-tight,bull-strong Or else ya' get fucked Cheat an Indian Out of his liquor money Ya' gonna get stabbed.
Beryl Dov
Why are you smiling?” Harvard asked, teasing. “Because I know something you don’t know,” Aiden teased back. Harvard raised an eyebrow. “And what is that?” “You’re really cute,” murmured Aiden, and leaned in. His lean was arrested when Harvard laughed. “Ha! That’s such a line. These things really work on your guys?” Overcome by the magnitude of this insult, Aiden snapped, “Invariably!” Harvard rolled his eyes. “I hate to tell you this, buddy, but I think they’re letting you get away with substandard lines because you’re cute.” Aiden paused, torn between being deeply offended and ridiculously flattered. Harvard bit his lip, seeming to think this over. “I guess if you guys both know you’re just playing around, what you say doesn’t really count,” he offered. “That’s why people call them lines, like the things you say in a play. I know this isn’t real, but…” Aiden tried to keep his voice soft, to be understanding. “But it’s practice for being real.” His mouth twisted on the name, but he forced it out. “For Neil.” Harvard winced. Aiden supposed it might feel a little weird, to hear the name of the boy he actually liked, while tangled up with another. For Harvard, who was so good, it might feel close to cheating. Aiden didn’t want to say the name or hear it or think it. Harvard seemed to be struggling with a thought, and Aiden waited to hear Harvard tell him what he wanted. That was all Aiden wished to know or to do. What Harvard wanted.
Sarah Rees Brennan (Striking Distance (Fence, #1))
CHAPTER ONE A Boy at the Window FOR A LONG TIME AFTER THAT SUMMER, the four Penderwick sisters still talked of Arundel. Fate drove us there, Jane would say. No, it was the greedy landlord who sold our vacation house on Cape Cod, someone else would say, probably Skye. Who knew which was right? But it was true that the beach house they usually rented had been sold at the last minute, and the Penderwicks were suddenly without summer plans. Mr. Penderwick called everywhere, but Cape Cod was booked solid, and his daughters were starting to think they would be spending their whole vacation at home in Cameron, Massachusetts. Not that they didn’t love Cameron, but what is summer without a trip to somewhere special? Then, out of the blue, Mr. Penderwick heard through a friend of a friend about a cottage in the Berkshire Mountains. It had plenty of bedrooms and a big fenced-in pen for a dog—perfect for big, black, clumsy, lovable Hound Penderwick—and it was available to be rented for three weeks in August. Mr. Penderwick snatched it up, sight unseen. He didn’t know what he was getting us into, Batty would say. Rosalind always said, It’s too bad Mommy never saw Arundel—she would have loved the gardens. And Jane would say, There are much better gardens in heaven. And Mommy will never have to bump into Mrs. Tifton in heaven, Skye added to make her sisters laugh. And laugh they would, and the talk would move on to other things, until the next time someone remembered Arundel.
Jeanne Birdsall (The Penderwicks Collection: The Penderwicks; The Penderwicks on Gardam Street; The Penderwick at Point Mouette)
Two hours ago I took a break from writing this to take a walk before the sun went down. I had an urge to play Willie Nelson's "Crazy" on the Red Hot Country CD before going out, but didn't. When I turned the bend on 49th Terrace, my usual walk, Crazy sung by Patsy Cline was pouring, I mean POURING, out the windows of a house. I leaned back against a fence across the street and watched the house lift off. An operatic, cinematic moment, everything locked into a single frame that gets you high. Like You I'm Trapped.
Chris Kraus (I Love Dick)
As the days grew longer our father began spending more and more time alone in his room. He stopped reading the newspaper. He no longer listened to Dr. IQ. with us on the radio. "There's already enough noise in my head," he explained. The handwriting in his notebook grew smaller and fainter and then disappeared from the page altogether. Now whenever we passed by his door we saw him sitting on the edge of his bed with his hands in his lap, staring out through the window as though he were waiting for something to happen. Sometimes he'd get dressed and put on his coat but he could not make himself walk out the front door. In the evening he often went to bed early, at seven, right after supper - 'Might as well get the day over with' - but he slept poorly and woke often from the same recurring dream: It was five minutes past curfew and he was trapped outside, in the world, on the wrong side of the fence. "I've got to get back,' he'd wake up shouting. 'You're home now,' our mother would remind him. 'It's all right. You can stay.
Julie Otsuka (When the Emperor Was Divine)
The junkies had themselves a field day, they didn’t care for the safety of the overseas tourists, no sir. They would stop at nothing. Some tourists were left bloodied and battered on the sacred ground of the Wallace Monument, minus their video cameras and the likes. The camera’s were soon sold to a fence in the Raploch for pennies, compared to the actual price it was worth, then the junkies didn’t waste much time getting to Big Mags’ door with the £20 that they had got from the local fence in the nearby neighbourhood.
Stephen Richards (Scottish Hard Bastards)
The conservative does not defend the Old Regime; he speaks on behalf of old regimes—in the family, the factory, the field. There, ordinary men, and sometimes women, get to play the part of little lords and ladies, supervising their underlings as if they all belong to a feudal estate . . . The task of this type of conservatism---democratic feudalism—-becomes clear: surround these old regimes with fences and gates, protect them from meddlesome intruders like the state or a social movement, while descanting on mobility and innovation, freedom and the future.
Corey Robin
I didnt look back the tree frogs didnt pay me any mind the gray light like moss in the trees drizzling but still it wouldnt rain after a while I turned went back to the edge of the woods as soon as I got there I began to smell honeysuckle again I could see the lights on the courthouse clock and the glare of town the square on the sky and the dark willows along the branch and the light in mothers windows the light still on in Benjys room and I stooped through the fence and went across the pasture running I ran in the gray grass among the crickets the honeysuckle getting stronger and stronger and the smell of water then I could see the water the color of gray honeysuckle I lay down on the bank with my face close to the ground so I couldnt smell the honeysuckle I couldnt smell it then and I lay there feeling the earth going through my clothes listening to the water and after a while I wasnt breathing so hard and I lay there thinking that if I didnt move my face I wouldnt have to breathe hard and smell it and then I wasnt thinking about anything at all she came along the bank and stopped I didnt move its late you go on home what
William Faulkner (The Sound and the Fury (Vintage International))
I think I would make a very good astronaut. To be a good astronaut you have to be intelligent and I’m intelligent. You also have to understand how machines work and I’m good at understanding how machines work. You also have to be someone who would like being on their own in a tiny spacecraft thousands and thousands of miles away from the surface of the earth and not panic or get claustrophobia or homesick or insane. And I really like little spaces, so long as there is no one else in them with me. Sometimes when I want to be on my own I get into the airing cupboard outside the bathroom and slide in beside the boiler and pull the door closed behind me and sit there and think for hours and it makes me feel very calm. So I would have to be an astronaut on my own, or have my own part of the space craft which no one else could come into. And also there are no yellow things or brown things in a space craft, so that would be okay too. And I would have to talk to other people from Mission Control, but we would do that through a radio linkup and a TV monitor, so they wouldn’t be like real people who are strangers, but it would be like playing a computer game. Also I wouldn’t be homesick at all because I’d be surrounded by things I like, which are machines and computers and outer space. And I would be able to look out of a little window in the spacecraft and know that there was no one near me for thousands and thousands of miles, which is what I sometimes pretend at night in the summer when I go and lie on the lawn and look up at the sky and I put my hands round the sides of my face so that I can’t see the fence and the chimney and the washing line and I can pretend I’m in space. And all I could see would be stars. And stars are the places where molecules that life is made of were constructed billions of years ago. For example, all the iron in your blood which keeps you from being anemic was made in a star. And I would like it if I could take Toby with me into space, and that might be allowed because they sometimes do take animals into space for experiments, so if I could think of a good experiment you could do with a rat that didn’t hurt the rat, I could make them let me take Toby. But if they didn’t let me I would still go because it would be a Dream Come True.
Mark Haddon (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time)
If you're on benefits you shouldn't get to vote. You’re making no contribution to society, so why should you have a say in how it’s run? If you’re retired, of course you vote. You’ve made your contributions. If you’re a stay-at-home mum, then likewise you get to vote. And if ill or invalided in some way, the same. But if you’re fit and healthy and capable of mending a fence or stacking shelves, and you’re not doing either of those things, then you don’t get to vote. I don’t want someone who’s too lazy to get a job making decisions on how this country should be run.
Karl Wiggins (100 Common Sense Policies to make BRITAIN GREAT again)
I envision my mind as a plot of grass full of sheep surrounded by a perimeter of electric fence. If I'm not constantly vigilant and aware of my thoughts, the electric fence shuts off, the sheep jump out, and my panic gets away from me. The chance for an attack is especially bad just before bed or when I'm distracted or lost in thought in the car, causing me to slap myself in the face as hard as I can or bite the inside of my upper arm. If I can feel the pain, then I am still alive and can begin to focus on rounding up the sheep again. See? This makes perfect sense in my head.
Brittany Gibbons (Fat Girl Walking: Sex, Food, Love, and Being Comfortable in Your Skin...Every Inch of It)
So . . . for some reason we thought you were the guys assigned to Ms. Lynde’s surveillance. Guess we were mistaken?” “Nope, you got it right,” Kamin said. “We do the night shift. Nice girl. We talk a lot on the way to the gym.” “Oh. Then I guess Agent Wilkins and I are just curious why you two are here instead of with her.” Kamin waved this off. “It’s cool. We did a switcheroo with another cop, see?” “A switcheroo . . . right. Remind me again how that works?” Jack asked. “It’s because she’s got this big date tonight,” Kamin explained. Jack cocked his head. “A date?” Phelps chimed in. “Yeah, you know—with Max-the-investment-banker-she-met-on-the-Bloomingdales-escalator.” “I must’ve missed that one.” “Oh, it’s a great story,” Kamin assured him. “She crashed into him coming off the escalator and when her shopping bag spilled open, he told her he liked her shoes.” “Ah . . . the Meet Cute,” Wilkins said with a grin. Jack threw him a sharp look. “What did you just say?” “You know, the Meet Cute.” Wilkins explained. “In romantic comedies, that’s what they call the moment when the man and woman first meet.” He rubbed his chin, thinking this over. “I don’t know, Jack . . . if she’s had her Meet Cute with another man that does not bode well for you.” Jack nearly did a double take as he tried to figure out what the hell that was supposed to mean. Phelps shook his head. “Nah, I wouldn’t go that far. She’s still on the fence about this guy. He’s got problems keeping his job from intruding on his personal life. But she’s feeling a lot of pressure with Amy’s wedding—she’s only got about ten days left to get a date.” “She’s the maid of honor, see?” Kamin said. Jack stared at all three of them. Their lips were moving and sound was coming out, but it was like they were speaking a different language. Kamin turned to Phelps. “Frankly, I think she should just go with Collin, since he and Richard broke up.” “Yeah, but you heard what she said. She and Collin need to stop using each other as a crutch. It’s starting to interfere with their other relationships.” Unbelievable. Jack ran a hand through his hair, tempted to tear it out. But then he’d have a bald spot to thank Cameron Lynde for, and that would piss him off even more. “Can we get back to the switcheroo part?” “Right, sorry. It was Slonsky’s suggestion. 
Julie James (Something About You (FBI/US Attorney, #1))
YOU CAN KIND of see them if you get on your tippy toes and look over the fence,” A.J. says. “There, in the distance!” They had left Alice at seven that morning, taken the ferry to Hyannis, then driven two hours to Portsmouth only to discover that the Green Animals Topiary Garden is closed from November through May. A.J. finds that he cannot make eye contact with either his daughter or Lambiase. It is twenty-nine degrees, but shame is keeping him warm. Maya stands on her toes and when that doesn’t work, she tries hopping. “I can’t see anything,” she says. “Here, I’ll get you higher,” Lambiase says, lifting Maya onto his shoulders. “Maybe I can see a little bit,” Maya says doubtfully. “No, I definitely cannot see anything. They’re all covered.” Her lower lip begins to quiver. She looks at A.J. with pained eyes. He doesn’t think he can take any more of this. Suddenly, she smiles brightly at A.J. “But you know what, Daddy? I can imagine what the elephant looks like under the blanket. And the tiger! And the unicorn!” She nods at her father as if to say, Clearly this imaginative exercise must have been your point in taking me here in the middle of winter. “That’s
Gabrielle Zevin (The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry)
When I finally made it across the dune, I found her gazing at the ocean and holding a weathered fence post as if it were the mast of a sailboat. 'That was quite a sprint you did on that soft sand,' I said, huffing and puffing. She smiled, but didn't respond. So I clarified, 'That sand is hard to get through.' She laughed. 'It's easier to get through the tough stuff if I give it a little muscle.' I looked at her out of the corner of my eye and said coyly, 'I think there's a life lesson there.' 'Nah,' she refuted. 'I've exercised my whole life. Lots of practice. It comes naturally now.' Like I said.
Emily Colson (Dancing with Max: A Mother and Son Who Broke Free)
It’s all true. I needed to talk to Bernadette about her blackberry bushes, which are growing down her hill, under my fence, and invading my garden. I was forced to hire a specialist, who said Bernadette’s blackberries are going to destroy the foundation of my home. Naturally, I wanted to have a friendly chat with Bernadette. So I walked up to her car while she was in the pickup line. Mea culpa! But how else are you ever going to get a word with that woman? She’s like Franklin Delano Roosevelt. You see her only from the waist up, driving past. I don’t think she has once gotten out of her car to walk Bee into school.
Maria Semple (Where'd You Go, Bernadette)
The two parts cannot be done simultaneously. A border fence must be started first—and completed first. Only after all the ACLU lawsuits and INS rulings have run their course, and the border is still secure, do we move to Step Two. I happen to think we don’t do the amnesty part ever, but it’s tendentious even to discuss what to do with illegal aliens already here until we can prevent more from coming. We’ll talk about legalization as soon as it’s as hard to get into the United States as it used to be to get out of East Germany. To review: Step One: Secure the border. Step Two: Discuss what to do with illegals already here.
Ann Coulter (¡Adios, America!: The Left's Plan to Turn Our Country into a Third World Hellhole)
We do not converse. She visits me to talk. My task to murmur. She talks about her grandsons, her daughter who lives in Delphi, her sister or her husband - both gone - obscure friends - dead - obscurer aunts and uncles - lost - ancient neighbors, members of her church or of her clubs - passed or passing on; and in this way she brings the ends of her life together with a terrifying rush: she is a girl, a wife, a mother, widow, all at once. All at once - appalling - but I believe it; I wince in expectation of the clap. Her talk's a fence - shade drawn, window fastened, door that's locked - for no one dies taking tea in a kitchen; and as her years compress and begin to jumble, I really believe in the brevity of life; I sweat in my wonder; death is the dog down the street, the angry gander, bedroom spider, goblin who's come to get her; and it occurs to me that in my listening posture I'm the boy who suffered the winds of my grandfather with an exactly similar politeness, that I am, right now, all my ages, out in elbows, as angular as badly stacekd cards. Thus was I, when I loved you, every man I could be, youth and child - far from enough - and you, so strangely ambiguous a being, met me, h eart for spade, play after play, the whole run of our suits.
William H. Gass (In the Heart of the Heart of the Country and Other Stories)
It's be when you first learn to walk that I get daily demonstrations of the asymmetry in our relationship. You'll be incessantly running off somewhere, and each time you walk into a door frame or scrape your knee, the pain feels like it's my own. It'll be like growing an errant limb, an extension of myself whose sensory nerves report pain just fine, but whose motor nerves don't convey my commands at all. It's so unfair: I'm going to give birth to an animated voodoo doll of myself. I didn't see this in the contract when I signed up. Was this part of the deal? And then there will be the times when I see you laughing. Like the time you'll be playing with the neighbor's puppy, poking your hands through the chain-link fence separating our back yards, and you'll be laughing so hard you'll start hiccuping. The puppy will run inside the neighbor's house, and your laughter will gradually subside, letting you catch your breath. Then the puppy will come back to the fence to lick your fingers again, and you'll shriek and start laughing again. it will be the most wonderful sound I could ever imagine, a sound that makes me feel like a fountain, or a wellspring. Now if only I can remember that sound the next time your blithe disregard for self-preservation gives me a heart attack.
Ted Chiang (Stories of Your Life and Others)
In high school I developed a habit of wandering through shopping malls after school, swaying through the bright, chill mezzanines until I was so dazed with consumer goods and product codes, with promenades and escalators, with mirrors and Muzak and noise and light, that a fuse would blow in my brain and all at once everything would become unintelligible: color without form, a babble of detached molecules. Then I would walk like a zombie to the parking lot and drive to the baseball field, where I wouldn't even get out of the car, just sit with my hands on the steering wheel and stare at the Cyclone fence and the yellowed winter grass until the sun went down and it was too dark for me to see.
Donna Tartt (The Secret History)
When we first arrived at Auschwitz there were birds. I didn't know what kind, just brown birds, like the finches. They came for about a week and then the Nazis electrified the fences. I was out early the first morning they had the power on. A whole flight of these little birds came in and as they settled on the wire they made quick bright bursts of flame and smoke. The others did not know what was happening and they kept coming in and getting incinerated. The next day the birds did not come close to the camp. We saw them in the distance for a few days, but they never came close. At first I thought they had just naturally learned a lesson, but then I realized they had become sensitive to evil.
Lawrence Thornton (Imagining Argentina)
I mean I'm going to pester you to buy a house next doo to me when we're forty-five and have finally saved up enough for our deposits. I mean I'm going to be crashing round yours every night for dinner because you know I can't fucking cook to save my life, and if I've got a spouse, they'll probably come with me, because otherwise they'll be living on chicken nuggets and chips. I mean I'm going to be the one bringing you soup when you text me that you're sick and can't get out of bed and ferrying you to the doctor's even when you just have a stomach bug. I mean we're gonna knock down the fence between our gardens so we have one big garden, and we can both get a dog and take turns looking after it.
Alice Oseman (Loveless)
settle steadily down as a staid, sensible piece of paper ought to do, but it insists on contravening every recognized rule of decorum, turning over and darting hither and thither in the most erratic manner, much after the style of an untrained horse.” This was the kind of horse, he said, that men had to learn to manage in order to fly, and there were two ways: One is to get on him and learn by actual practice how each motion and trick may be best met; the other is to sit on a fence and watch the beast a while, and then retire to the house and at leisure figure out the best way of overcoming his jumps and kicks. The latter system is the safest, but the former, on the whole, turns out the larger proportion of good riders.
David McCullough (The Wright Brothers)
There was an open gate a little way along, and Lyra could have followed him, bit she hung back unwillingly. Pantalaimon looked at her, and then became a badger. She knew what he was doing. Dæmons could move no more than a few yards from their humans, and if she stood by the fence and he remained a bird, he wouldn't get near the bear; so he was going to pull. She felt angry and miserable. His badger claws dug into the earth and he walked forwards. It was such a strange tormenting feeling when your dæmon was pulling at the link between you; part physical pain deep in the chest, part intense sadnessmand love. And she knew it was the same for him. Everyone tested it when they were growing up: seeing how far they could apart, coming back with intense relief. He tugged a little harder. "Don't, Pan!" But he didn't stop. The bear watched motionless. The pain in Lyra's heart grew more and more unbearable, and a sob of longing rose in her throat. "Pan –" then she was through the gate, scrambling over the icy mud towards him, and he turned into a wildcat and sprang up into her arms, and then they were clinging together tightly with little shaky sounds of unhappiness coming from both. "I thought you really would –" "No –" "I couldn't belief how much it hurt–" and then she brushed away the tears angrily and sniffed hard. He nestled in her arms, and she knew she would rather die than let them be parted and face that sadness again; it would send her mad with grief and terror.
Philip Pullman (The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, #1))
The shadows that descended over the ground outside were so long and distorted that they no longer bore any resemblance to the forms that created them. As though they had sprung forth in their own right, as though there existed a parallel reality of darkness, with dark-fences, dark-trees, dark-houses, populated by dark-people, somehow stranded here in the light, where they seemed so misshapen and helpless, as far from their element as a reef with seaweed and shells and crabs is from the receding water, one might imagine. Oh, isn’t that why shadows get longer and longer in the evening? They are reaching out for the night, this tidal water of darkness that washes over the earth to fulfill for a few hours the shadows’ innermost yearnings.
Karl Ove Knausgård (My Struggle: Book 3)
The point here for the best kids is to inculcate their sense that it’s never about being seen. It’s never. If they can get that inculcated, the Show won’t fuck them up, Schtitt thinks. If they can forget everything but the game when all of you out there outside the fence see only them and want only them and the game’s incidental to you, for you it’s about entertainment and personality, it’s about the statue, but if they can get inculcated right they’ll never be slaves to the statue, they’ll never blow their brains out after winning an event when they win, or dive out a third-story window when they start to stop getting poked at or profiled, when their blossom starts to fade. Whether or not you mean to, babe, you chew them up, it’s what you do.
David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest)
In the late 1960s, a young Martin Seligman, now the pooh-bah of the positive-psychology movement, conducted experiments with dogs. He would place a dog in a cage and give it a (supposedly harmless) electric shock. The dog, though, could escape to another side of the cage and avoid the shock, the onset of which was signaled by a loud noise and a flashing light. Then Seligman put the dog in a no-win situation. No matter what he did, he couldn’t avoid getting shocked. Then, and this is the part that surprised Seligman, when he returned the same dog to a cage where he could easily avoid the shock (by jumping over a low fence), the dog did nothing. He just sat there and endured the shocks. He had been taught to believe that the situation was hopeless.
Eric Weiner (The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World)
When there’s a fire in the country, everyone shows up. It’s an unwritten rule, a universal rural truth. Helping neighbors fight fire on their land is the ultimate show of support and goodwill, not to mention a clear acknowledgement that prairie fires are no respecters of persons or fence lines and can quickly jump from ranch to ranch, taking nutritive grass, animals, and structures along with it. Plus, while it’s probably only a small part, it’s an excuse for a bunch of men to get together and, well, fight fire…to gather around a huge inferno and start up the sprayers…to drive around and extinguish flames…to light backfires and try to anticipate changes in the direction of the wind. Men, whether they admit it or not, thrive on that kind of thing.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
is something a friend once told me. She said that every single one of us at birth is given an emotional acre all our own. You get one, your awful Uncle Phil gets one, I get one, Tricia Nixon gets one, everyone gets one. And as long as you don’t hurt anyone, you really get to do with your acre as you please. You can plant fruit trees or flowers or alphabetized rows of vegetables, or nothing at all. If you want your acre to look like a giant garage sale, or an auto-wrecking yard, that’s what you get to do with it. There’s a fence around your acre, though, with a gate, and if people keep coming onto your land and sliming it or trying to get you to do what they think is right, you get to ask them to leave. And they have to go, because this is your acre.
Anne Lamott (Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life)
Okay, so English settlers brought rabbits with them to Australia to breed for food and stuff, right? But they escaped and basically started destroying the country, eating the vegetation, that kind of thing. So by the early 1900s, the government was trying to figure out a way to get rid of all the rabbits. Want to hear what their genius plan was? The rabbit-proof fence. Worked out great for the rabbits. Once they learned how to play badminton and got the hang of tennis on grass, they couldn’t remember how they ever lived without it. Supposedly there was something like six hundred million rabbits by 1950. But you’re missing the point. The point is that even though it was pretty obvious from the beginning it wasn’t working, they kept right on building it—two thousand miles of it.
Elle Lothlorien (Alice in Wonderland)
Yeah,” Stoney muttered, “easy. Except for all the guns and the running around and the chance that somebody might try to follow you. Or that somebody might recognize you. You’ve been on TV, if you’ll recall.” “Ah, but I thought of that,” she returned, reaching into a sack beside her and pulling out a blonde wig. “I hope that thing’s bulletproof,” her former fence said dourly. She smiled at Rick. “Is it true, Mr. Addison?” she chirped, pulling on the headpiece. “Do billionaires prefer blondes?” He snorted, reaching across the table to twist a strand of the golden blonde hair in his fingers. “You look good in any color, Yank. If being blonde will get you out of the Met safely, then yes, today I prefer blondes.” She stood, leaning over to kiss him on his sensuous mouth. “Good answer.
Suzanne Enoch (Billionaires Prefer Blondes (Samantha Jellicoe, #3))
Falling into this elaborate daydream about me and Heather Craven forever after. Imagining us as married professionals with our six towheaded children running loose in our suburbanite home as surrounded by a lush yard and fenced. Walking toward the door yelling, “Honey, I’m home!” and having Heather answer my call. Imagining the family dog jumping me, slobbering over in greeting and my laughing heartily as I was knocked to the ground. At one point getting so steeped in the fantasy that I actually found myself troubleshooting marital problems in advance, arguing with the fantasy love of my life before the dog grew on me over whether we should even have a dog; wasn’t six dependents enough? Losing the argument and then reluctantly accepting this new intrusion and competitor for Heather’s affections.
Tommy Walker (Monstrous: The Autobiography of a Serial Killer but for the Grace of God)
Apparently, it’s other boys’ faces once the prank is accomplished that will be amusing? The part about being amusing is not important. The part that is important is getting justice for Nicholas. Do you understand?” Seiji hoped he had explained it right this time. “Tell me about Nicholas,” said his father. “About—Nicholas?” Seiji repeated uncertainly. “Would I like him?” “I shouldn’t think so,” said Seiji. “He has terrible manners. And a basically unfortunate way of speaking and interacting with the world generally. He’s very untidy, too.” “Oh, but you hate it when things aren’t in the correct places,” murmured his father. “I still remember that time we had the ambassador’s son over for a playdate, and you made him cry.” “What is the point of painstakingly building castles with blocks only to knock them down?” Seiji asked. “Or sniveling?” He dismissed his father’s reminiscences. “Anyway, that was when I was very young and it no longer matters, so I don’t see the point of bringing it up. The point is—” “Justice for Nicholas,” said his father. “Is Nicholas—very good at fencing?” “No,” said Seiji plainly. There was a stunned silence. “He has a certain raw potential, but he hasn’t been properly trained because of his socioeconomic circumstances,” Seiji continued. “I wish to discuss this topic with you on our winter vacation. I think there must be foundations and scholarships set up. Many valuable fencers could be lost. It is almost too late for Nicholas. I shall be forced to teach him extremely rigorously.” There was more silence. Seiji wondered if his father had dropped his phone.
Sarah Rees Brennan (Striking Distance (Fence, #1))
The train slows down when we get closer to the fence, a signal from the driver that we should get off soon. Tobias and I sit in the doorway of the car as it moves lazily over the tracks. He puts his arm around me and touches his nose to my hair, taking a breath. I look at him, at the collarbone peeking out from the neck of his T-shirt, at the faint curl of his lip, and I feel something heating up inside me. “What are you thinking about?” he says into my ear, softly. I jerk to attention. I look at him all the time, but not always like that--I feel like he just caught me doing something embarrassing. “Nothing! Why?” “No reason.” He pulls me closer to his side, and I rest my head on his shoulder, taking deep breaths of the cool air. It still smells like summer, like grass baking in the heat of the sun.
Veronica Roth (Allegiant (Divergent, #3))
Outsized returns often come from betting against conventional wisdom, and conventional wisdom is usually right. Given a 10 percent chance of a 100 times payoff, you should take that bet every time. But you're still going to be wrong nine times out of ten . . . We all know that if you swing for the fences, you're going to strike out a lot, but you're also going to hit some home runs. The difference between baseball and business, however, is that baseball has a truncated outcome distribution. When you swing, no matter how well you connect with the ball, the most runs you can get is four. In business, every once in a while, when you step up to the plate, you can score 1,000 runs. This long-tailed distribution of returns is why it's important to be bold. Big winners pay for so many experiments." ​— ​Jeff Bezos
Alex Hormozi ($100M Offers: How To Make Offers So Good People Feel Stupid Saying No)
There’s one in every neighborhood. The family that never mows their lawn. Has toys scattered everywhere. The ones who never plant flowers, or do and let them die. The messy family who lowers real estate values. Here they are. Right next door. You’ve got that bulb wrong side up, Samantha.” I switched the bulb around, scooting my knees in the dirt to get closer to the fence, my eyes never leaving the father as he swung a baby from a car seat while a curly-haired toddler climbed his back. “They look nice,” I said. I remember there was a silence then, and I looked up at my mother. She was shaking her head at me, a strange expression on her face. “Nice isn’t the point here, Samantha. You’re seven years old. You need to understand what’s important. Five children. Good God. Just like your father’s family. Insanity.
Huntley Fitzpatrick (My Life Next Door)
I only wanted books—nothing more—only books, only words, it was never anything but words—give them to me, I don’t have any! Look, see, I don’t have any! Look, I’m naked, barefoot, I’m standing before you—nothing in my pants pockets, nothing under my shirt or under my arm! They’re not stuck in my beard! Inside—look—there aren’t any inside either—everything’s been turned inside out, there’s nothing there! Only guts! I’m hungry! I’m tormented!... What do you mean there’s nothing? Then how can you talk and cry, what words are you frightened with, which ones do you call out in your sleep? Don’t nighttime cries roam inside you, a thudding twilight murmur, a fresh morning shriek? There they are words—don’t you recognize them? They’re writhing inside you, trying to get out! There they are! They’re yours! From wood, stone, roots, growing in strength, a dull mooing and whining in the gut is trying to get out; a piece of tongue curls, the torn nostrils swell in torment. That’s how the bewitched, beaten, and twisted snuffle with a mangy wail, their boiled white eyes locked up in closets, their vein torn out, backbone gnawed; that’s right, that’s how your pushkin writhe, or mushkin—what is in my name for you?—pushkin-mushkin, flung upon the hillock like a shaggy black idol, forever flattened by fences, up to his ears in di, the pushkin-stump, legless, six-fingered, biting his tongue, nose in his chest—and his head can’t be raised!—pushkin, tearing off the poisoned shirt, ropes, chains, caftan, noose, that wooden heaviness: let me out, let me out! What is in my name for you? Why does the wind spin in the gully? How many roads must a man walk down? What do you want, old man? Why do you trouble me? My Lord, what is the matter? Ennui, oh, Nin! Grab the inks and cry! Open the dungeon wide! I’m here! I’m innocent! I’m with you! I’m with you!
Tatyana Tolstaya (The Slynx)
Unexpected tears burned at her eyes. An impulse to put her arms around him, to stroke her hands over his strong back, propelled her a step forward. No! She gripped the top rail of the fence, appalled. Not three minutes ago she’d told Marti how the lessons learned about this man on Santa Estella and in the years since were deeply ingrained. Then, one sympathetic exchange with him–good heavens, she didn’t even know if her suppositions were close to the mark–and she would throw her arms around him? Maybe she needed to be more careful around him. Much more careful. And maybe she better keep an eye on the weather forecast for hurricanes venturing into Wyoming. * * * * “Now, Matthew, you stay put,” Kendra ordered once she had him encased in his bib and safely in his high chair. “ ‘Unch!” he ordered. “Please?” “Pease.” “That’s a good boy. I’ll get it right away.” Over her shoulder, she added to Daniel, “Keep an eye on him, will
Patricia McLinn (Lost and Found Groom (A Place Called Home, #1))
There's a faulty signal on this line, about halfway through my journey. I assume it must be faulty, in any case, because it's almost always red; we stop there most days, sometimes just for a few seconds, sometimes for minutes on end. If I sit in carriage D, which I usually do, and the train stops at this signal, which it almost always does, I have a perfect view into my favourite trackside house: number fifteen. Number fifteen is much like the other houses along this stretch of track: a Victorian semi, two storeys high, overlooking a narrow, well-tended garden which runs around twenty feet down towards some fencing, beyond which lie a few metres of no man's land before you get to the railway track. I know this house by heart. I know every brick, I know the colour of the curtains in the upstairs bedroom (beige, with a dark-blue print), I know that the paint is peeling off the bathroom window frame and that there are four tiles missing from a section of the roof over on the right-hand side.
Paula Hawkins (The Girl on the Train)
You’re just pushing your food around, aren’t you? You’ve barely taken two bites. I thought you loved Lou’s Cornish hens.” “I do. I’m sorry. All I can think about is that English project due this week.” I look over at Ryder with a faux scowl. “We’re already way behind--you’ve always got some excuse. We should probably work on it tonight.” “Probably so,” Ryder says with an exasperated-sounding sigh. “That’s the third project the two of you have been paired up on,” Mama says, shaking her head. “I hope you two can behave well enough to get your work done properly. No more arguing like the last time.” We’d pretended to fight over a calculus project. Yes, a calculus project. Is there really any such thing? “We’re trying really hard to behave,” I say, shooting Ryder a sidelong glance. “Right?” His cheeks pinken deliciously at the innuendo. I love it when Ryder blushes. Totally adorable. “Right,” he mumbles, his gaze fixed on his lap. Laura Grace gives us both a pointed look. “You two better learn to get along, you hear? You’re going to be spending a lot of time together for the next four years.” Four years. Just the two of us--away from our meddling mamas. I have to bite my lip to force back the smile that’s threatening to give us away. “She’s right,” Mama says, nodding. “The only way I’m allowing Jemma to go to NYU is if she promises not to go off campus without Ryder to escort her.” Escort me? What is it, the 1950s or something? Besides, I don’t think she realizes that NYU isn’t a traditional campus. There’s no fences or gates or anything like that. I guess she’ll find out when she comes to visit over Thanksgiving, but by then it’ll be too late. That’s what she gets for not looking over the application materials I gave her. “Fine,” I say, trying to sound slightly annoyed. “I promise.” Beneath the table, Ryder releases my hand and lays it open in my lap, palm up. And then I feel him tracing letters on my palm with his fingertip. I. L. O. V. E. Y.O.U. I can’t help myself--I shiver. I shiver a lot when Ryder’s around, it turns out. He seems to have that effect on me.
Kristi Cook (Magnolia (Magnolia Branch, #1))
I’m sorry, Shiloh,” I whisper, over and over, both hands on him so’s he won’t try to get up. The blood’s just pouring from a rip in his ear. “I’m so sorry! Jesus help me, I didn’t know Bakers’ dog could leap that fence.” When we get to the bottom of the lane, instead of going up the road toward Judd’s place, Dad turns left toward Friendly, and halfway around the first curve, he pulls in Doc Murphy’s driveway. Light’s still on in a window, but I think old doc was in bed, ’cause he come to the door in his pajamas. “Ray Preston?” he says when he sees Dad. “I sure am sorry to bother you this hour of the night,” Dad says, “but I got a dog here hurt bad, and if you could take a look at him, see if he can be saved, I’d be much obliged. We’ll pay. . . .” “I’m no vet,” says Doc Murphy, but he’s already standing aside, holding the screen open with one hand so we can carry Shiloh in. The doc’s a short man, round belly, don’t seem to practice what he preaches about eating right, but he’s got a kind heart, and he lays out some newspapers on his kitchen table.
Phyllis Reynolds Naylor (Shiloh (Shiloh Series Book 1))
No one called him Fai except his grandmother. What sort of name is Frank? she would scold. That is not a Chinese name. I’m not Chinese, Frank thought, but he didn’t dare say that. His mother had told him years ago: There is no arguing with Grandmother. It’ll only make you suffer worse. She’d been right. And now Frank had no one except his grandmother. Thud. A fourth arrow hit the fence post and stuck there, quivering. “Fai,” said his grandmother. Frank turned. She was clutching a shoebox-sized mahogany chest that Frank had never seen before. With her high-collared black dress and severe bun of gray hair, she looked like a school teacher from the 1800s. She surveyed the carnage: her porcelain in the wagon, the shards of her favorite tea sets scattered over the lawn, Frank’s arrows sticking out of the ground, the trees, the fence posts, and one in the head of a smiling garden gnome. Frank thought she would yell, or hit him with the box. He’d never done anything this bad before. He’d never felt so angry. Grandmother’s face was full of bitterness and disapproval. She looked nothing like Frank’s mom. He wondered how his mother had turned out to be so nice—always laughing, always gentle. Frank couldn’t imagine his mom growing up with Grandmother any more than he could imagine her on the battlefield—though the two situations probably weren’t that different. He waited for Grandmother to explode. Maybe he’d be grounded and wouldn’t have to go to the funeral. He wanted to hurt her for being so mean all the time, for letting his mother go off to war, for scolding him to get over it. All she cared about was her stupid collection. “Stop this ridiculous behavior,” Grandmother said. She didn’t sound very irritated. “It is beneath you.” To Frank’s astonishment, she kicked aside one of her favorite teacups. “The car will be here soon,” she said. “We must talk.” Frank was dumbfounded. He looked more closely at the mahogany box. For a horrible moment, he wondered if it contained his mother’s ashes, but that was impossible. Grandmother had told him there would be a military burial. Then why did Grandmother hold the box
Rick Riordan (The Son of Neptune (The Heroes of Olympus, #2))
GRIEF FEELS LIKE THIS: an okay day and a good day and an okay day ten a bad. Bad that follow and empties you. Bad like a sinkhole. It feels like an unrelenting urge to lay your head down on the table, wherever you are, whomever you are with. It feels like a night of vivid dreams, and when you wake, all day you hold one dream close because in it everything was back to how it once was. It feels like you've fallen overboard. You are swimming to get back, but the boat moves steadily away. You can see the lights; you can hear the laughter and music on the decks. You try to follow. The boat moves away. It feels like missing. You miss her. You miss him. You miss belonging. You miss the bench by the fence. You miss the walk from the lockers. You miss the talks by the pool, in the hammock, at night, on the phone, the screen winking blue light. You miss the stories on the bed, by the window, beside the desk, on the dunes. You miss his voice. You miss her smile. You miss and miss and miss and miss. And all you want to do is walk into a forest and cover yourself with leaves.
Helena Fox
Could Smudge’s nest have been built right on top of the old SkyClan camp? That might explain why he had been dreaming so vividly about the fleeing cats. “Smudge,” he began, interrupting a discussion between his friend and Hattie about catmint, “is it okay if I stay with you tonight?” Smudge blinked in surprise. “Of course. But will it be okay with . . . with the other cats in your Clan?” His concern moved Firestar. Smudge might be a kittypet, but he was a true friend. “They’ll be fine, I promise. I just think this will help me figure out, you know, what we were talking about earlier.” “Oh, I see.” Smudge looked alarmed as he added, “But I’m not sure how easy it’ll be getting you inside the nest.” “I don’t need to come inside,” Firestar told him. StarClan forbid! “I’ll be fine in the garden, thanks.” The black-and-white cat nodded. “Okay. Well, come on over.” “I’ve got to find my Clanmates first and let them know I won’t be back tonight.” Firestar jumped down from the fence, back into the forest. Behind him, he heard Hattie meowing inquisitively, “Why does Firestar want to stay in your garden? Why doesn’t he want to stay in mine?
Erin Hunter (Firestar's Quest (Warriors Super Edition, #1))
Work" I laid telephone line, then cable when it came along. I pulled T-shirts off a silk-screen press. I cleaned offices in buildings thirty-five floors high. I filed the metal edges of grease fryers hot off a welding line. I humped sod in townhouse complexes, and when it became grass I cut it. I sorted mail. I washed police cars, and then I changed their oil. I installed remotes on gas meters so a truck could simply drive down the street and get the readings. I set posts and put up fences, wood and chain link. Five a.m. at the racetrack, I walked hot horses after their exercise. I bathed them. I mopped and swept aisles in a grocery store. Eventually, I stocked shelves. I corrected errors on mortgage papers for a bank. I racked tables in a pool hall. There’s more I’m not telling you. All of this befell me as an adult. As a kid, I cut neighbors’ lawns and delivered newspapers, and I watched after little kids while their parents worked. I painted houses. I collected frogs from ponds and sold them to pet stores. And so on. At fifteen, I went for a busboy position at an all-night diner, but they told me to come back when I turned sixteen. I did. Sometimes, on top of one, I took a second job. It gave me just enough time to sleep between the two. And eat. My father worked, harder than I did, and then he died. Then I worked harder. My mother said, “You’re the man of the house now.” I was seventeen. She kept an eye on me, to make sure I worked. I did. You've just read about all that. Eventually she died, too. I watched my social security numbers grow. I have a pretty good lump. I could leave it to somebody, a spouse or dependent. But there's no one. I have no plan to spend it, but I’ve paid into it. Today I quit my job, my jobs. I had them all written down, phone numbers too, and I called them. You should have seen me, dialing and dialing, crossing names off the list as I went. Some of them I called sounded angry. Some didn’t remember me, and a few didn’t answer. Others had answering machines, but I told the machines I quit anyway. I think about my father. How he worked. I sit by the phone now, after quitting all my jobs, and wish he could see this. A blank calendar on the wall. A single bulb hanging over my head, from a single cord, like the one he wrapped around his neck just before he died.
Michael Stigman
Even when you're keeping score, golf is all about focusing on the shot at hand, the total score being a sum of those shots. On magic mushrooms, each shot was an act of self-expression - a karate kick, a pirouette, a paintbrush stroke. The course was an aren, a stage, and a canvas. That's the way it felt playing in the backcountry, too. Going beyond the simple visual appreciation of a landscape and interacting with it beyond the reach of the physical body. Launching shots across canyons and rivers and down mountainsides and beaches. The motion of the body determining the motion of the ball - its flight an extension of the body like a spider riding the wind on a silken thread or a perfectly cast fly arcing down onto the surface of the water. This is the part of the game that is hard for nongolfers to see. You have to play to feel it. It isn't visible through the TV screen or from outside the picket fences and privet hedges. The forest gets lost in tress of tartan and argyle, visors and V-necks. Golf seems to be one thing but is very much another, and backcountry golf and mushroom night golf are as true to the nature of the game as any stuffy country club championship or Saturday Nassau or fourball.
John Dunn (Loopers: A Caddie's Twenty-Year Golf Odyssey)
I brushed my teeth like a crazed lunatic as I examined myself in the mirror. Why couldn’t I look the women in commercials who wake up in a bed with ironed sheets and a dewy complexion with their hair perfectly tousled? I wasn’t fit for human eyes, let alone the piercing eyes of the sexy, magnetic Marlboro Man, who by now was walking up the stairs to my bedroom. I could hear the clomping of his boots. The boots were in my bedroom by now, and so was the gravelly voice attached to them. “Hey,” I heard him say. I patted an ice-cold washcloth on my face and said ten Hail Marys, incredulous that I would yet again find myself trapped in the prison of a bathroom with Marlboro Man, my cowboy love, on the other side of the door. What in the world was he doing there? Didn’t he have some cows to wrangle? Some fence to fix? It was broad daylight; didn’t he have a ranch to run? I needed to speak to him about his work ethic. “Oh, hello,” I responded through the door, ransacking the hamper in my bathroom for something, anything better than the sacrilege that adorned my body. Didn’t I have any respect for myself? I heard Marlboro Man laugh quietly. “What’re you doing in there?” I found my favorite pair of faded, soft jeans. “Hiding,” I replied, stepping into them and buttoning the waist. “Well, c’mere,” he said softly. My jeans were damp from sitting in the hamper next to a wet washcloth for two days, and the best top I could find was a cardinal and gold FIGHT ON! T-shirt from my ‘SC days. It wasn’t dingy, and it didn’t smell. That was the best I could do at the time. Oh, how far I’d fallen from the black heels and glitz of Los Angeles. Accepting defeat, I shrugged and swung open the door. He was standing there, smiling. His impish grin jumped out and grabbed me, as it always did. “Well, good morning!” he said, wrapping his arms around my waist. His lips settled on my neck. I was glad I’d spritzed myself with Giorgio. “Good morning,” I whispered back, a slight edge to my voice. Equal parts embarrassed at my puffy eyes and at the fact that I’d slept so late that day, I kept hugging him tightly, hoping against hope he’d never let go and never back up enough to get a good, long look at me. Maybe if we just stood there for fifty years or so, wrinkles would eventually shield my puffiness. “So,” Marlboro Man said. “What have you been doing all day?” I hesitated for a moment, then launched into a full-scale monologue. “Well, of course I had my usual twenty-mile run, then I went on a hike and then I read The Iliad. Twice. You don’t even want to know the rest. It’ll make you tired just hearing about it.” “Uh-huh,” he said, his blue-green eyes fixed on mine. I melted in his arms once again. It happened any time, every time, he held me. He kissed me, despite my gold FIGHT ON! T-shirt. My eyes were closed, and I was in a black hole, a vortex of romance, existing in something other than a human body. I floated on vapors. Marlboro Man whispered in my ear, “So…,” and his grip around my waist tightened. And then, in an instant, I plunged back to earth, back to my bedroom, and landed with a loud thud on the floor. “R-R-R-R-Ree?” A thundering voice entered the room. It was my brother Mike. And he was barreling toward Marlboro Man and me, his arms outstretched. “Hey!” Mike yelled. “W-w-w-what are you guys doin’?” And before either of us knew it, Mike’s arms were around us both, holding us in a great big bear hug. “Well, hi, Mike,” Marlboro Man said, clearly trying to reconcile the fact that my adult brother had his arms around him. It wasn’t awkward for me; it was just annoying. Mike had interrupted our moment. He was always doing that.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
I’ve only an hour,” Colin said as he attached the safety tip to his foil. “I have an appointment this afternoon.” “No matter,” Benedict replied, lunging forward a few times to loosen up the muscles in his leg. He hadn’t fenced in some time; the sword felt good in his hand. He drew back and touched the tip to the floor, letting the blade bend slightly. “It won’t take more than an hour to best you.” Colin rolled his eyes before he drew down his mask. Benedict walked to the center of the room. “Are you ready?” “Not quite,” Colin replied, following him. Benedict lunged again. “I said I wasn’t ready!” Colin hollered as he jumped out of the way. “You’re too slow,” Benedict snapped. Colin cursed under his breath, then added a louder, “Bloody hell,” for good measure. “What’s gotten into you?” “Nothing,” Benedict nearly snarled. “Why would you say so?” Colin took a step backward until they were a suitable distance apart to start the match. “Oh, I don’t know,” he intoned, sarcasm evident. “I suppose it could be because you nearly took my head off.” “I’ve a tip on my blade.” “And you were slashing like you were using a sabre,” Colin shot back. Benedict gave a hard smile. “It’s more fun that way.” “Not for my neck.” Colin passed his sword from hand to hand as he flexed and stretched his fingers. He paused and frowned. “You sure you have a foil there?” Benedict scowled. “For the love of God, Colin, I would never use a real weapon.” “Just making sure,” Colin muttered, touching his neck lightly. “Are you ready?” Benedict nodded and bent his knees. “Regular rules,” Colin said, assuming a fencer’s crouch. “No slashing.” Benedict gave him a curt nod. “En garde!” Both men raised their right arms, twisting their wrists until their palms were up, foils gripped in their fingers. “Is that new?” Colin suddenly asked, eyeing the handle of Benedict’s foil with interest. Benedict cursed at the loss of his concentration. “Yes, it’s new,” he bit off. “I prefer an Italian grip.” Colin stepped back, completely losing his fencing posture as he looked at his own foil, with a less elaborate French grip. “Might I borrow it some time? I wouldn’t mind seeing if—” “Yes!” Benedict snapped, barely resisting the urge to advance and lunge that very second. “Will you get back en garde?” Colin gave him a lopsided smile, and Benedict just knew that he had asked about his grip simply to annoy him. “As you wish,” Colin murmured, assuming position again.
Julia Quinn (An Offer From a Gentleman (Bridgertons, #3))
were good friends. They’d maintained their friendship after Ted was out of the game. Both of them were avid fishermen, but they both had different ideas about it. They would hassle on technique, and neither would give in to the other.” Wallace Lawrimore vividly remembered the April 6, 1939, game in Florence between the Red Sox and the Reds. “Daddy carried two carloads of family to the game. We all went up to the dugout to tell Cronin we wanted some passes to get in. I got a program from that day, with all the players’ autographs.” The one ball field Florence had was deemed unsuitable for a major-league game because the fences were too short, so it was decided to build a field from scratch at the local fairgrounds. They laid down a coating of dirt for the infield and put up some circus-style bleachers for the 2,285 spectators who showed up, but when it came time for the game, gale-force winds blowing out toward left field drove the dirt everywhere, and conditions made the game virtually unplayable. It was called in the ninth inning, with the score tied 18–18, because they ran out of baseballs. Ted went 1–2 before leaving the game in the third inning after complaining of chills and a fever. Several days later, Gerry Moore of the Globe summed up spring training
Ben Bradlee Jr. (The Kid: The Immortal Life of Ted Williams)
A reply dated 13 May finally arrived from the town clerk. Mr Mottershead could open the zoo subject to: 1) the type of animals being limited to those already described in previous correspondence; 2) the estate should not be used as an amusement park, racing track or public dance hall; and 3) no animals were to be kept within a distance of a hundred feet from the existing road. This necessitated the purchase of an additional strip of land between the road and the estate, which would have to be securely enclosed, but which couldn't be used for animals. (First it was used as a children's playground and later became a self-service cafe.) Somehow my dad managed to get a further mortgage of £350 to pay for the land and fencing. Of all the conditions, the most damaging in the long term was the last: the zoo was allowed 'no advertisement, sign or noticeboard which can be seen from the road above-mentioned'. Only a small sign at the entrance to the estate would be permitted, which meant the lodge, which was a good twenty-five yards from the road was completely invisible to any passing car. This would remain a problem for a very long time. For many years, the night before bank holidays, Dad and his friends would have to go out and hang temporary posters under the official road signs on the Chester bypass. The police turned a blind eye as long as they were taken down shortly afterwards.
June Mottershead (Our Zoo)
Marlboro Man’s call woke me up the next morning. It was almost eleven. “Hey,” he said. “What’s up?” I hopped out of bed, blinking and stumbling around my room. “Who me? Oh, nothing.” I felt like I’d been drugged. “Were you asleep?” he said. “Who, me?” I said again, trying to snap out of my stupor. I was stalling, trying my darnedest to get my bearings. “Yes. You,” he said, chuckling. “I can’t believe you were asleep!” “I wasn’t asleep! I was…I just…” I was a loser. A pathetic, late-sleeping loser. “You’re a real go-getter in the mornings, aren’t you?” I loved it when he played along with me. I rubbed my eyes and pinched my own cheek, trying to wake up. “Yep. Kinda,” I answered. Then, changing the subject: “So…what are you up to today?” “Oh, I had to run to the city early this morning,” he said. “Really?” I interrupted. The city was over two hours from his house. “You got an early start!” I would never understand these early mornings. When does anyone ever sleep out there? Marlboro Man continued, undaunted. “Oh, and by the way…I’m pulling into your driveway right now.” Huh? I ran to my bathroom mirror and looked at myself. I shuddered at the sight: puffy eyes, matted hair, pillow mark on my left cheek. Loose, faded pajamas. Bag lady material. Sleeping till eleven had not been good for my appearance. “No. No you’re not,” I begged. “Yep. I am,” he answered. “No you’re not,” I repeated. “Yes. I am,” he said. I slammed my bathroom door and hit the lock. Please, Lord, please, I prayed, grabbing my toothbrush. Please let him be joking. I brushed my teeth like a crazed lunatic as I examined myself in the mirror. Why couldn’t I look the women in commercials who wake up in a bed with ironed sheets and a dewy complexion with their hair perfectly tousled? I wasn’t fit for human eyes, let alone the piercing eyes of the sexy, magnetic Marlboro Man, who by now was walking up the stairs to my bedroom. I could hear the clomping of his boots. The boots were in my bedroom by now, and so was the gravelly voice attached to them. “Hey,” I heard him say. I patted an ice-cold washcloth on my face and said ten Hail Marys, incredulous that I would yet again find myself trapped in the prison of a bathroom with Marlboro Man, my cowboy love, on the other side of the door. What in the world was he doing there? Didn’t he have some cows to wrangle? Some fence to fix? It was broad daylight; didn’t he have a ranch to run? I needed to speak to him about his work ethic. “Oh, hello,” I responded through the door, ransacking the hamper in my bathroom for something, anything better than the sacrilege that adorned my body. Didn’t I have any respect for myself? I heard Marlboro Man laugh quietly. “What’re you doing in there?” I found my favorite pair of faded, soft jeans. “Hiding,” I replied, stepping into them and buttoning the waist. “Well, c’mere,” he said softly.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
There was a note on the table.” “Bring it here,” Van Eck barked. The boy strode down the aisle, and Van Eck snatched the note from his hand. “What does it … what does it say?” asked Bajan. His voice was tremulous. Maybe Inej had been right about Alys and the music teacher. Van Eck backhanded him. “If I find out you knew anything about this—” “I didn’t!” Bajan cried. “I knew nothing. I followed your orders to the letter!” Van Eck crumpled the note in his fist, but not before Inej made out the words in Kaz’s jagged, unmistakable hand: Noon tomorrow. Goedmedbridge. With her knives. “The note was weighted down with this.” The boy reached into his pocket and drew out a tie pin—a fat ruby surrounded by golden laurel leaves. Kaz had stolen it from Van Eck back when they’d first been hired for the Ice Court job. Inej hadn’t had the chance to fence it before they left Ketterdam. Somehow Kaz must have gotten hold of it again. “Brekker,” Van Eck snarled, his voice taut with rage. Inej couldn’t help it. She started to laugh. Van Eck slapped her hard. He grabbed her tunic and shook her so that her bones rattled. “Brekker thinks we’re still playing a game, does he? She is my wife. She carries my heir.” Inej laughed even harder, all the horrors of the past week rising from her chest in giddy peals. She wasn’t sure she could have stopped if she wanted to. “And you were foolish enough to tell Kaz all of that on Vellgeluk.” “Shall I have Franke fetch the mallet and show you just how serious I am?” “Mister Van Eck,” Bajan pleaded. But Inej was done being frightened of this man. Before Van Eck could take another breath, she slammed her forehead upward, shattering his nose. He screamed and released her as blood gushed over his fine mercher suit. Instantly, his guards were on her, pulling her back. “You little wretch,” Van Eck said, holding a monogrammed handkerchief to his face. “You little whore. I’ll take a hammer to both your legs myself—” “Go on, Van Eck, threaten me. Tell me all the little things I am. You lay a finger on me and Kaz Brekker will cut the baby from your pretty wife’s stomach and hang its body from a balcony at the Exchange.” Ugly words, speech that pricked her conscience, but Van Eck deserved the images she’d planted in his mind. Though she didn’t believe Kaz would do such a thing, she felt grateful for each nasty, vicious thing Dirtyhands had done to earn his reputation—a reputation that would haunt Van Eck every second until his wife was returned. “Be silent,” he shouted, spittle flying from his mouth. “You think he won’t?” Inej taunted. She could feel the heat in her cheek from where his hand had struck her, could see the mallet still resting in the guard’s hand. Van Eck had given her fear and she was happy to return it to him. “Vile, ruthless, amoral. Isn’t that why you hired Kaz in the first place? Because he does the things that no one else dares? Go on, Van Eck. Break my legs and see what happens. Dare him.” Had she really believed a merch could outthink Kaz Brekker? Kaz would get her free and then they’d show this man exactly what whores and canal rats could do. “Console yourself,” she said as Van Eck clutched the ragged corner of the table for support. “Even better men can be bested.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
Hello,” she says. “My name is Amanda Ritter. In this file I will tell you only what you need to know. I am the leader of an organization fighting for justice and peace. This fight has become increasingly more important--and consequently, nearly impossible--in the past few decades. That is because of this.” Images flash across the wall, almost too fast for me to see. A man on his knees with a gun pressed to his forehead. The woman pointing it at him, her face emotionless. From a distance, a small person hanging by the neck from a telephone pole. A hole in the ground the size of a house, full of bodies. And there are other images too, but they move faster, so I get only impressions of blood and bone and death and cruelty, empty faces, soulless eyes, terrified eyes. Just when I have had enough, when I feel like I am going to scream if I see any more, the woman reappears on the screen, behind her desk. “You do not remember any of that,” she says. “But if you are thinking these are the actions of a terrorist group or a tyrannical government regime, you are only partially correct. Half of the people in those pictures, committing those terrible acts, were your neighbors. Your relatives. Your coworkers. The battle we are fighting is not against a particular group. It is against human nature itself--or at least what it has become.” This is what Jeanine was willing to enslave minds and murder people for--to keep us all from knowing. To keep us all ignorant and safe and inside the fence. There is a part of me that understands. “That is why you are so important,” Amanda says. “Our struggle against violence and cruelty is only treating the symptoms of a disease, not curing it. You are the cure. “In order to keep you safe, we devised a way for you to be separated from us. From our water supply. From our technology. From our societal structure. We have formed your society in a particular way in the hope that you will rediscover the moral sense most of us have lost. Over time, we hope that you will begin to change as most of us cannot. “The reason I am leaving this footage for you is so that you will know when it’s time to help us. You will know that it is time when there are many among you whose minds appear to be more flexible than the others. The name you should give those people is Divergent. Once they become abundant among you, your leaders should give the command for Amity to unlock the gate forever, so that you may emerge from your isolation.” And that is what my parents wanted to do: to take what we had learned and use it to help others. Abnegation to the end. “The information in this video is to be restricted to those in government only,” Amanda says. “You are to be a clean slate. But do not forget us.” She smiles a little. “I am about to join your number,” she says. “Like the rest of you, I will voluntarily forget my name, my family, and my home. I will take on a new identity, with false memories and a false history. But so that you know the information I have provided you with is accurate, I will tell you the name I am about to take as my own.” Her smile broadens, and for a moment, I feel that I recognize her. “My name will be Edith Prior,” she says. “And there is much I am happy to forget.” Prior. The video stops. The projector glows blue against the wall. I clutch Tobias’s hand, and there is a moment of silence like a withheld breath. Then the shouting begins.
Veronica Roth (Insurgent (Divergent, #2))
the absence of an ‘international standard burglar’, the nearest I know to a working classification is one developed by a U.S. Army expert [118]. Derek is a 19-year old addict. He's looking for a low-risk opportunity to steal something he can sell for his next fix. Charlie is a 40-year old inadequate with seven convictions for burglary. He's spent seventeen of the last twenty-five years in prison. Although not very intelligent he is cunning and experienced; he has picked up a lot of ‘lore’ during his spells inside. He steals from small shops and suburban houses, taking whatever he thinks he can sell to local fences. Bruno is a ‘gentleman criminal’. His business is mostly stealing art. As a cover, he runs a small art gallery. He has a (forged) university degree in art history on the wall, and one conviction for robbery eighteen years ago. After two years in jail, he changed his name and moved to a different part of the country. He has done occasional ‘black bag’ jobs for intelligence agencies who know his past. He'd like to get into computer crime, but the most he's done so far is stripping $100,000 worth of memory chips from a university's PCs back in the mid-1990s when there was a memory famine. Abdurrahman heads a cell of a dozen militants, most with military training. They have infantry weapons and explosives, with PhD-grade technical support provided by a disreputable country. Abdurrahman himself came third out of a class of 280 at the military academy of that country but was not promoted because he's from the wrong ethnic group. He thinks of himself as a good man rather than a bad man. His mission is to steal plutonium. So Derek is unskilled, Charlie is skilled, Bruno is highly skilled and may have the help of an unskilled insider such as a cleaner, while Abdurrahman is not only highly skilled but has substantial resources.
Ross J. Anderson (Security Engineering: A Guide to Building Dependable Distributed Systems)
This is ridiculous. You’re bleeding. Don’t lie to me, I can smell it. You’re hurt. You need a medmage.” “I’m not hurt that badly.” His lips wrinkled, showing his teeth. “How badly do you have to be hurt?” “There is a right-to-life exemption, which permits us to leave the scene if our injuries are life threatening. We’d have to provide paperwork from a hospital, or a qualified medmage, showing that we had to get treatment or we would’ve died. My injuries are not life threatening.” “Paperwork is not a problem.” “Yes, but I won’t lie.” “How do you know your injuries aren’t life threatening? You’re covered in the fluid from its guts. How do you know it’s not poisonous?” “If it’s poisonous, we’ll deal with it when I feel sick.” “Fine. I’ll stay here with this thing, and you will drive yourself to the hospital.” “No.” He hit me with an alpha stare. I opened my eyes as wide as I could. “Why, of course, Your Majesty. What was I thinking? I will go and do this right away, just please don’t look at me.” “Kate, get in the car.” “Maybe you should growl dramatically. I don’t think I’m intimidated enough.” “I will put you in the car.” “No, you won’t. First, it took both of us to kill that thing, and if it reinvents itself again, it will take both of us again. I’m not leaving you alone with it. Second, if you try to physically carry me to the car, I will resist and bleed more. Third, you can possibly stuff me in the car against my will, but you can’t make me drive.” He snarled. “Argh! Why don’t you ever do anything I ask you to?” “Because you don’t ask. You tell me.” We glared at each other. “I’m not going to the hospital because of a shallow cut.” And possibly a strained shoulder, a few gashes to my legs, and a bruised right side. “It could be worse. I could’ve hit a brick wall instead of a nice, fragile old fence . . .” He held up his hand. “I’m going to get a medkit out of the car.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Shifts (Kate Daniels, #8))
Meanwhile, Trucker and I, through all of this, had been renting that cottage together, on a country estate six miles outside of Bristol. We were paying a tiny rent, as the place was so rundown, with no heating or modern conveniences. But I loved it. The cottage overlooked a huge green valley on one side and had beautiful woodland on the other. We had friends around most nights, held live music parties, and burned wood from the dilapidated shed as heating for the solid-fuel stove. Our newly found army pay was spent on a bar tab in the local pub. We were probably the tenants from hell, as we let the garden fall into disrepair, and burned our way steadily through the wood of the various rotting sheds in the garden. But heh, the landlord was a miserable old sod with a terrible reputation, anyway! When the grass got too long we tried trimming it--but broke both our string trimmers. Instead we torched the garden. This worked a little too well, and we narrowly avoided burning down the whole cottage as the fire spread wildly. What was great about the place was that we could get in and out of Bristol on our 100 cc motorbikes, riding almost all the way on little footpaths through the woods--without ever having to go on any roads. I remember one night, after a fun evening out in town, Trucker and I were riding our motorbikes back home. My exhaust started to malfunction--glowing red, then white hot--before letting out one massive backfire and grinding to a halt. We found some old fence wire in the dark and Trucker towed me all the way home, both of us crying with laughter. From then on my bike would only start by rolling it down the farm track that ran down the steep valley next to our house. If the motorbike hadn’t jump-started by the bottom I would have to push the damn thing two hundred yards up the hill and try again. It was ridiculous, but kept me fit--and Trucker amused. Fun days.
Bear Grylls (Mud, Sweat and Tears)
Harvard pointed. “You know, right there is when the stuntman catches the sword out of frame.” “I know.” Aiden did know. Harvard always told him this fact at this precise moment. Aiden had watched this movie without Harvard once—on a date. Seeing the sword fly without the familiar murmur had upset Aiden enough to turn off the movie. Tonight, Harvard was here with him. They were both lying on their stomachs with their legs kicked up and their hands cupped in their chins, as though they were six years old. They weren’t. Aiden tangled their legs together slightly, deliberately. It felt far more dangerous than crossing swords. Aiden couldn’t imagine a match with so much at stake. “During a date when you stay in,” Aiden said, teaching, “you should try to see if the other person is receptive to you getting closer.” Harvard gave Aiden a look out of the corner of his eye, and let their legs stay tangled, resting with light pressure against one another. Love was a delusion, nothing but an electrical impulse in the brain, but there were many impulses running electric under Aiden’s skin right now. The man in black smiled beneath his mask and switched his sword to his right hand. The clash of swords rang over the sound of the sea. Aiden sneaked another look at Harvard, the shine of his dark eyes and white teeth in the silvery glow from the screen. Harvard caught him looking, but he returned Aiden’s look with a look of his own, warmly affectionate and never suspicious at all. Harvard never suspected a thing. Because Aiden was his best friend, and Harvard trusted him. And Harvard could trust him. Aiden would never do anything to hurt Harvard, not anything at all. Aiden moved in still closer, his arm set against Harvard’s, solid muscle under the thin material of his shirtsleeve. He could put his arm around Harvard’s shoulders or slip an arm around his waist or lean in. He was allowed, just for tonight.
Sarah Rees Brennan (Striking Distance (Fence, #1))
I don’t believe in love that never ends,” said Aiden, his whisper clear and distinct. “I don’t believe in being true until death or finding the other half of your soul.” Harvard raised an eyebrow but didn’t comment. Privately, he considered that it might be good that Aiden hadn’t delivered this speech to this guy he apparently liked so much—whom Aiden had never even mentioned to his best friend before now. This speech was not romantic. Once again, Harvard had to wonder if what he’d been assuming was Aiden’s romantic prowess had actually been many guys letting Aiden get away with murder because he was awfully cute. But Aiden sounded upset, and that spoke to an instinct in Harvard natural as breath. He put his arm around Aiden, and drew his best friend close against him, warm skin and soft hair and barely there shirt and all, and tried to make a sound that was more soothing than fraught. “I don’t believe in songs or promises. I don’t believe in hearts or flowers or lightning strikes.” Aiden snatched a breath as though it was his last before drowning. “I never believed in anything but you.” “Aiden,” said Harvard, bewildered and on the verge of distress. He felt as if there was something he wasn’t getting here. Even more urgently, he felt he should cut off Aiden. It had been a mistake to ask. This wasn’t meant for Harvard, but for someone else, and worse than anything, there was pain in Aiden’s voice. That must be stopped now. Aiden kissed him, startling and fierce, and said against Harvard’s mouth, “Shut up. Let me… let me.” Harvard nodded involuntarily, because of the way Aiden had asked, unable to deny Aiden even things Harvard should refuse to give. Aiden’s warm breath was running down into the small shivery space between the fabric of Harvard’s shirt and his skin. It was panic-inducing, feeling all the impulses of Harvard’s body and his heart like wires that were not only crossed but also impossibly tangled. Disentangling them felt potentially deadly. Everything inside him was in electric knots. “I’ll let you do anything you want,” Harvard told him, “but don’t—don’t—” Hurt yourself. Seeing Aiden sad was unbearable. Harvard didn’t know what to do to fix it. The kiss had turned the air between them into dry grass or kindling, a space where there might be smoke or fire at any moment. Aiden was focused on toying with the collar of Harvard’s shirt, Aiden’s brows drawn together in concentration. Aiden’s fingertips glancing against his skin burned. “You’re so warm,” Aiden said. “Nothing else ever was. I only knew goodness existed because you were the best. You’re the best of everything to me.” Harvard made a wretched sound, leaning in to press his forehead against Aiden’s. He’d known Aiden was lonely, that the long line of guys wasn’t just to have fun but tied up in the cold, huge manor where Aiden had spent his whole childhood, in Aiden’s father with his flat shark eyes and sharp shark smile, and in the long line of stepmothers who Aiden’s father chose because he had no use for people with hearts. Harvard had always known Aiden’s father wanted to crush the heart out of Aiden. He’d always worried Aiden’s father would succeed. Aiden said, his voice distant even though he was so close, “I always knew all of you was too much to ask for.” Harvard didn’t know what to say, so he obeyed a wild foolish impulse, turned his face the crucial fraction toward Aiden’s, and kissed him. Aiden sank into the kiss with a faint sweet noise, as though he’d finally heard Harvard’s wordless cry of distress and was answering it with belated reassurance: No, I’ll be all right. We’re not lost. The idea of anyone not loving Aiden back was unimaginable, but it had clearly happened. Harvard couldn’t think of how to say it, so he tried to make the kiss say it. I’m so sorry you were in pain. I never guessed. I’m sorry I can’t fix this, but I would if I could. He didn’t love you, but I do.
Sarah Rees Brennan (Striking Distance (Fence, #1))
When the bullhorn signaled that he'd met the qualifying time,he struggled to gather his wits,waiting until Devil was right alongside the gate before he freed his hand,cutting himself loose. He flew through the air and over the corral fence,landing in the dirt at Marilee Trainor's feet. "My God! Don't move." She was beside him in the blink of an eye,kneeling in the dirt,probing for broken bones. Wyatt lay perfectly still,enjoying the feel of those clever, practiced hands moving over him.When she moved from his legs to his torso and arms,he opened his eyes to narrow slits and watched her from beneath lowered lids. She was the perfect combination of beauty and brains.He could see the wheels turning as she did a thorough exam.Even her brow,furrowed in concentration,couldn't mar that flawless complexion. Her eyes, the color of the palest milk chocolate, were narrowed in thought.Strands of red hair dipped over one cheek, giving her a sultry look. Satisfied that nothing was broken, she sat back on her heels,feeling a moment of giddy relief. That was when she realized that he was staring. She waved a hand before his eyes. "How many fingers can you see?" "Four fingers and a thumb. Or should I say four beautiful,long,slender fingers and one perfect thumb,connected to one perfect arm of one perfectly gorgeous female? And,I'm happy to add,there's no ring on the third finger of that hand." She caught the smug little grin on his lips. Her tone hardened. "I get it. A showboat.I should have known.I don't have time to waste on some silver-tongued actor." "Why,thank you.I had no idea you'd examined my tongue.Mind if I examine yours?" She started to stand,but his hand shot out,catching her by the wrist. "Sorry.That was really cheesy, but I couldn't resist teasing you." His tone altered,deepened,just enough to have her glancing over to see if he was still teasing. He met her look. "Are you always this serious?" Despite his apology,she wasn't about to let him off the hook,or change her mind about him.
R.C. Ryan (Montana Destiny)
Yes, he was down at the edge of the garden on this side, standing by the fence. I thought”—he hesitated, looking down into his glass—“I rather thought he was looking up at your window.” “My window? How extraordinary!” I couldn’t repress a mild shiver, and went across to fasten the shutters, though it seemed a bit late for that. Frank followed me across the room, still talking. “Yes, I could see you myself from below. You were brushing your hair and cursing a bit because it was standing on end.” “In that case, the fellow was probably enjoying a good laugh,” I said tartly. Frank shook his head, though he smiled and smoothed his hands over my hair. “No, he wasn’t laughing. In fact, he seemed terribly unhappy about something. Not that I could see his face well; just something about the way he stood. I came up behind him, and when he didn’t move, I asked politely if I could help him with something. He acted at first as though he didn’t hear me, and I thought perhaps he didn’t, over the noise of the wind, so I repeated myself, and I reached out to tap his shoulder, to get his attention, you know. But before I could touch him, he whirled suddenly round and pushed past me and walked off down the road.” “Sounds a bit rude, but not very ghostly,” I observed, draining my glass. “What did he look like?” “Big chap,” said Frank, frowning in recollection. “And a Scot, in complete Highland rig-out, complete to sporran and the most beautiful running-stag brooch on his plaid. I wanted to ask where he’d got it from, but he was off before I could.” I went to the bureau and poured another drink. “Well, not so unusual an appearance for these parts, surely? I’ve seen men dressed like that in the village now and then.” “Nooo …” Frank sounded doubtful. “No, it wasn’t his dress that was odd. But when he pushed past me, I could swear he was close enough that I should have felt him brush my sleeve—but I didn’t. And I was intrigued enough to turn round and watch him as he walked away. He walked down the Gereside Road, but when he’d almost reached the corner, he … disappeared. That’s when I began to feel a bit cold down the backbone.
Diana Gabaldon (Outlander (Outlander, #1))
In less than a week, Harvard was going to call on his darling Neil and explain how sorry he was for all his imaginary offenses, and Neil would say that he’d only been put off by Harvard’s awful best friend. Then Harvard would realize everything had been Aiden’s fault all along, and also Neil would tell Harvard that he missed him, and they would get back together. Aiden would have to pretend he was happy for them. This was one of a very few, very precious days, like fairy gold turning to dust and leaves as they slipped through his fingers. And Aiden was wasting it by being sick and disgusting. “Sorry for being gross,” Aiden murmured into his pillow. “Hey, no,” said Harvard. “You’re still really cute.” Aiden scoffed into the pillow, which turned into more coughing. Harvard patted him on the back. Harvard was so good at this boyfriend thing it was ridiculous. He was screwing up the boyfriend curve for all other boyfriends. That was why Aiden didn’t want any of the others. He felt horrible and unpleasantly hot, and he could only bear this when Harvard was with him. Most of life was generally unfair and unpleasant, but it was all right if Harvard was there. “Stay with me until I go to sleep,” Aiden murmured, willfully forgetting that lunch was over and Harvard should go to class. For Aiden, Harvard would usually break the rules. “If you want me to,” Harvard murmured back. Aiden was ill and miserable and unguarded enough to whisper, “I never want anything but you.” “Okay.” Harvard laughed quietly, kindly. “I think the cough syrup has made you a little loopy.” Aiden wanted to be angry with Harvard for never understanding, but thank God Harvard didn’t. Besides, Aiden never could entirely manage to be angry with him. The emotion wouldn’t coalesce in Aiden’s chest, always collapsing in on itself and changing into different feelings. As Aiden slid into sleep, like tumbling beneath a blanket of darkness, he felt an awareness even with his eyes closed that someone was stooping over him, like an intuition of a shadow, and then the soft press of Harvard’s lips against Aiden’s forehead. More a blessing than a kiss.
Sarah Rees Brennan (Striking Distance (Fence, #1))
It takes me nearly a half hour to make what should be a ten-minute trip, and by the time I pull up in front of my house, my hands are cramped from my death grip on the steering wheel. It’s not until I step out of the car, my legs feeling like they’re made of Jell-O, that I notice Ryder’s Durango parked in front of me. “Where the hell have you been?” he calls out from the front porch, just as I make a mad dash to join him there. His face is red, his brow furrowed over stormy eyes. “They let us out an hour ago!” I am really not in the mood for his crap. “Yeah, so?” “So I was worried sick. A tornado touched down over by the Roberts’ place.” “I know! I mean, I didn’t know it touched down, but I was still at school when the sirens went off.” I drop my ridiculously heavy backpack and shake the rain from my hair. “Is everyone okay over there?” He runs a visibly trembling hand through his hair. “Yeah, it just tore up their fence or something. Jesus, Jemma!” “What is wrong with you? Why are you even here?” “I’m supposed to stay over here, remember?” “What…now?” I look past him and notice an army-green duffel bag by the front door. He’s got a key--he could’ve just let himself in. “I figured now’s as good a time as any. We need to put sandbags in front of the back door before it gets any worst out, and then we’ve got to do something about the barn. It’s awful close to the creek, and the water’s rising fast.” “Well, what do you propose we do?” “Don’t you keep your guns out there? We should move them inside. And your dad has some expensive tools in his workshop--we should get those, too.” I let out a sigh. He’s got a point. “Can I at least go inside first? Put my stuff away?” “Sure?” He moves to the edge of the porch and gazes up at the sky. “It looks like we might get a break in a few minutes, once this band moves through. Might as well wait for it.” I dig out my keys and unlock the door. I can hear the dogs howling their heads off the minute I step inside. “I’ve gotta let Beau and Sadie out,” I say over my shoulder as I head toward the kitchen. “Take your stuff to the guest room and get settled, why don’t you?” That’s my attempt at reestablishing the fact that I’m in charge here, not him. This is my house. My stuff. My life.
Kristi Cook (Magnolia (Magnolia Branch, #1))
He was sitting at his desk. He had to get some relief from seeing what he did not want to see. The factory was empty. There was only the night watchman who’d come on duty with his dogs. He was down in the parking lot, patrolling the perimeter of the double-thick chain-link fence, a fence topped off, after the riots, with supplemental scrolls of razor ribbon that were to admonish the boss each and every morning he pulled in and parked his car, “Leave! Leave! Leave!” He was sitting alone in the last factory left in the worst city in the world. And it was worse even than sitting there during the riots, Springfield Avenue in flames, South Orange Avenue in flames, Bergen Street under attack, sirens going off, weapons firing, snipers from rooftops blasting the street lights, looting crowds crazed in the street, kids carrying off radios and lamps and television sets, men toting armfuls of clothing, women pushing baby carriages heavily loaded with cartons of liquor and cases of beer, people pushing pieces of new furniture right down the center of the street, stealing sofas, cribs, kitchen tables, stealing washers and dryers and ovens—stealing not in the shadows but out in the open. Their strength is tremendous, their teamwork is flawless. The shattering of glass windows is thrilling. The not paying for things is intoxicating. The American appetite for ownership is dazzling to behold. This is shoplifting. Everything free that everyone craves, a wonton free-for-all free of charge, everyone uncontrollable with thinking, Here it is! Let it come! In Newark’s burning Mardi Gras streets, a force is released that feels redemptive, something purifying is happening, something spiritual and revolutionary perceptible to all. The surreal vision of household appliances out under the stars and agleam in the glow of the flames incinerating the Central Ward promises the liberation of all mankind. Yes, here it is, let it come, yes, the magnificent opportunity, one of human history’s rare transmogrifying moments: the old ways of suffering are burning blessedly away in the flames, never again to be resurrected, instead to be superseded, within only hours, by suffering that will be so gruesome, so monstrous, so unrelenting and abundant, that its abatement will take the next five hundred years. The fire this time—and next? After the fire? Nothing. Nothing in Newark ever again.
Philip Roth (American Pastoral)
May I speak with you for a minute, Frank?” He stopped working. “James, Dan. Keep Janie out of trouble.” “Yes, sir.” Both boys gave a salute. Frank’s long legs consumed the expanse, and he met me in the bright sunlight. We rounded the corner of the barn and moved away from its wall, closer to the pigpen. “Is there a problem?” He bent slightly, resting his arms on the top of the rail fence surrounding the sty, one foot propped up on the lower slat. I picked at the jagged edge of a fingernail and cleared my throat. “I’m going home.” “I know.” He looked almost . . . stricken. But it passed. Worried about not having made arrangement yet for the children, I imagined. He cleared his throat, kicked at a clod of dirt. “At the end of the month.” “This morning, actually. I have my train ticket.” Only his jaw moved, the muscle tightening and loosening and tightening again. I paced behind him, reached the other side of the small enclosure, chewed my lip, waited for him to say something. Anything. But the silence closed in around me. I had to get free of it. “I’ve been here long enough. I know that now. You need to be with your family, Frank. You need to sleep in your own bed, be among your own things. The children are comfortable with you again. Besides”—I grabbed the top rail of the pen to hold me steady—“I have my own life to live.” I stared off into the distance, hoping he thought I gazed happily into the life I desired. The quiet boiled between us until his words spat out like a flash of lightning. “Just like that, you’d abandon us?” I whirled to face him. “Just a few days earlier than you promised to send me home, remember?” He shoved his hands into the pockets of his overalls and looked me over as if I were a possum in the bedroom. “They’ve lost their mother. And Adabelle. Now they’ll lose you, too. You don’t think they’ll feel that?” I shook my head, my heart breaking into tiny shards. “They’re young. They’ll take to whoever you bring in as quickly as they took to me.” His face reddened. He stalked toward the barn, then turned and came back, pointing his finger in my face. “Let’s get this straight. I’ve not asked you to leave. You’ve taken this on yourself.” “It’s for the best, Frank. It really is. But . . .” I hesitated. The intensity of his anger made me unsure of my final request. My voice shrank to nearly a whisper. “Will you tell them for me?” His eyebrows arched. He threw back his head and belched a derisive laugh. “You want to leave? Fine. I can’t stop you. But I’m not going to be the one to tell them. You are.
Anne Mateer (Wings of a Dream)
What would be the natural thing? A man goes to college. He works as he wants to work, he plays as he wants to play, he exercises for the fun of the game, he makes friends where he wants to make them, he is held in by no fear of criticism above, for the class ahead of him has nothing to do with his standing in his own class. Everything he does has the one vital quality: it is spontaneous. That is the flame of youth itself. Now, what really exists?" "...I say our colleges to-day are business colleges—Yale more so, perhaps, because it is more sensitively American. Let's take up any side of our life here. Begin with athletics. What has become of the natural, spontaneous joy of contest? Instead you have one of the most perfectly organized business systems for achieving a required result—success. Football is driving, slavish work; there isn't one man in twenty who gets any real pleasure out of it. Professional baseball is not more rigorously disciplined and driven than our 'amateur' teams. Add the crew and the track. Play, the fun of the thing itself, doesn't exist; and why? Because we have made a business out of it all, and the college is scoured for material, just as drummers are sent out to bring in business. "Take another case. A man has a knack at the banjo or guitar, or has a good voice. What is the spontaneous thing? To meet with other kindred spirits in informal gatherings in one another's rooms or at the fence, according to the whim of the moment. Instead what happens? You have our university musical clubs, thoroughly professional organizations. If you are material, you must get out and begin to work for them—coach with a professional coach, make the Apollo clubs, and, working on, some day in junior year reach the varsity organization and go out on a professional tour. Again an organization conceived on business lines. "The same is true with the competition for our papers: the struggle for existence outside in a business world is not one whit more intense than the struggle to win out in the News or Lit competition. We are like a beef trust, with every by-product organized, down to the last possibility. You come to Yale—what is said to you? 'Be natural, be spontaneous, revel in a certain freedom, enjoy a leisure you'll never get again, browse around, give your imagination a chance, see every one, rub wits with every one, get to know yourself.' "Is that what's said? No. What are you told, instead? 'Here are twenty great machines that need new bolts and wheels. Get out and work. Work harder than the next man, who is going to try to outwork you. And, in order to succeed, work at only one thing. You don't count—everything for the college.' Regan says the colleges don't represent the nation; I say they don't even represent the individual.
Owen Johnson (Stover at Yale)
Trying to get to 124 for the second time now, he regretted that conversation: the high tone he took; his refusal to see the effect of marrow weariness in a woman he believed was a mountain. Now, too late, he understood her. The heart that pumped out love, the mouth that spoke the Word, didn't count. They came in her yard anyway and she could not approve or condemn Sethe's rough choice. One or the other might have saved her, but beaten up by the claims of both, she went to bed. The whitefolks had tired her out at last. And him. Eighteen seventy-four and whitefolks were still on the loose. Whole towns wiped clean of Negroes; eighty-seven lynchings in one year alone in Kentucky; four colored schools burned to the ground; grown men whipped like children; children whipped like adults; black women raped by the crew; property taken, necks broken. He smelled skin, skin and hot blood. The skin was one thing, but human blood cooked in a lynch fire was a whole other thing. The stench stank. Stank up off the pages of the North Star, out of the mouths of witnesses, etched in crooked handwriting in letters delivered by hand. Detailed in documents and petitions full of whereas and presented to any legal body who'd read it, it stank. But none of that had worn out his marrow. None of that. It was the ribbon. Tying his flatbed up on the bank of the Licking River, securing it the best he could, he caught sight of something red on its bottom. Reaching for it, he thought it was a cardinal feather stuck to his boat. He tugged and what came loose in his hand was a red ribbon knotted around a curl of wet woolly hair, clinging still to its bit of scalp. He untied the ribbon and put it in his pocket, dropped the curl in the weeds. On the way home, he stopped, short of breath and dizzy. He waited until the spell passed before continuing on his way. A moment later, his breath left him again. This time he sat down by a fence. Rested, he got to his feet, but before he took a step he turned to look back down the road he was traveling and said, to its frozen mud and the river beyond, "What are these people? You tell me, Jesus. What are they?" When he got to his house he was too tired to eat the food his sister and nephews had prepared. He sat on the porch in the cold till way past dark and went to his bed only because his sister's voice calling him was getting nervous. He kept the ribbon; the skin smell nagged him, and his weakened marrow made him dwell on Baby Suggs' wish to consider what in the world was harmless. He hoped she stuck to blue, yellow, maybe green, and never fixed on red. Mistaking her, upbraiding her, owing her, now he needed to let her know he knew, and to get right with her and her kin. So, in spite of his exhausted marrow, he kept on through the voices and tried once more to knock at the door of 124. This time, although he couldn't cipher but one word, he believed he knew who spoke them. The people of the broken necks, of fire-cooked blood and black girls who had lost their ribbons. What a roaring.
Toni Morrison (Beloved)
It was getting difficult to see exactly what was going on in the pool and a fourth officer jumped in as one came up with the unconscious form of the first cop. While others pulled the half-drowned man from the pool, three more wrestled Skorzeny to the surface and dragged him to the steps at the shallow end of the pool. He wasn't struggling any longer. Nor was he breathing with any apparent difficulty. The biggest of the three cops later admitted to punching him as hard as he could in the stomach and Skorzey doubled over. Another half-dragged him, still on his feet, shirt torn, jacket ripped, out of the pool and put a handcuff on his left wrist. Skorzeny pulled his arm away from the cop and, suddenly straightening, elbow-jabbed him in the gut, sending him sprawling and rolling back into the pool. Skorzeny turned toward the back fence and was now between the pool and a small palm tree. Before him were two advancing officers, pistols leveled. Behind him two more circled the pool. Skorzeny lunged forward and all fired simultaneously. The noise was deafening. Lights in neighboring houses began to go on. Skorzeny's body twitched and bucked as the heavy slugs ripped through his body. His forward momentum carried him into the officers ahead of him and he half-crawled, half-staggered to the southeast corner of the yard where another gate was set into the fiberglass fencing. Two more officers, across the pool, cut loose with their pistols, emptying them into this writing body which danced like a puppet. Another cop fired two shots from his pump-action shotgun and Skorzeny was lifted clean off his feet and slammed against the gate, sagging to the ground. En masse from both ends of the pool they advanced, when he gave out with a terrible hissing snarl and started to rise once more. All movement ceased as the cops, to a man, stood frozen in their tracks. Skorzeny stood there like some hideous caricature, his shredding clothing and skin hanging like limp rags from his scarecrow form. His flesh was ripped in several places and he was oozing something that looked like watered-down blood. It was pinkish and transparent. He stood there like a living nightmare. Then he straightened and raised his fist with the cuff still dangling from it like a charm bracelet. 'Fools!' he shrieked. 'You can't kill me. You can't even hurt me.' Overhead, the copter hovered, the copilot giving a blow-by-blow description of the fight over the radio. The police on the ground were paralyzed. Nearly thirty shots had been fired (the bullets later tallied in reports turned in by the participating officers) and their quarry was still as strong as ever. He'd been hit repeatedly in the head and legs, so a bulletproof vest wasn't the answer. And at distances sometimes as little as five feet, they could hardly have missed. They'd seen him hit. They stood frozen in an eerie tableau as the still roiling pool water threw weird reflections all over the yard. Then Skorzeny did the most frightening thing of all. He smiled. A red-rimmed, hideous grin revealing fangs that 'would have done justice to a Doberman Pinscher.
Jeff Rice (The Night Stalker)
Dear, What’s the Point of it All? What is the point of being nice? When you do not know what you are going to get from it? Knowing eventually sooner rather than later someone and maybe that person you are being nice to will turn their back on you. I always have to stay grounded and focused. When I am there for people, I feel like I am always punished for it. I am always treated as if I committed a crime. I was there for my mom; however, she was killing me slowly but surely. Like my mom, I noticed that when people get themselves in some shit, they get stuck in their own mess. They are confident that they do not have to deal with the consequences—because they know the ‘kind’ person will bail them out. What’s the point of being kind? Like my mom and the officer, there are so many people in the world who are judgmental and tainted because of their selfish needs. What’s the point of my life? Here I am in a library filled with many books. I can read them and go anywhere I want to in my mind, but after I close the book, I will have to snap out of my fantasy world and welcome the cruel cold world, which is reality. If I was a book, I would be better off left on the shelf. There is no excitement in my life—only struggles. What’s the point of living and loving life when the only thing I do is read between the lines and tread carefully? Come to think about it, I am a book that nobody can understand or read. They think they know what is best for me, but if they only take the time to listen, I would be so happy to tell them about me and my needs and wants. My actions scream for attention, but time after time, I am ignored. Sadly, without a care, they were quick to rip out the pages. Yet, once again, nobody noticed me. What’s the point of it all when I never had an opportunity to make a mistake? If I did one thing wrong, they would give up on me and send me to one home after another. I’ve always been fully exposed and had to walk in a line filled with sharp curves from disappointment to disappointment. Sorrow is my aura, and sadness hugs me tightly. It is hard to cry when my eyes are closed shut by the barbed wire fence of my eyelashes as they prohibit tears from falling. What’s the point of complicating my life? I am always back to where I started, and then ... I relive the same patterns, but on a more difficult journey. I believe when you put yourself in your own mess that you should clean it up and start over. What’s wrong with that? Nothing. However, when someone else puts you in their mess, you do not know how to clean up the mess they’ve made. You do not know how to start over because you do not know where to begin. I look at it this way; it is like telling a dead person he/she can start over. How so, when that person’s life no longer exists? I know my life isn’t over. However, I am lost in a maze my mom set up for herself—and she too is lost in her own maze. When a person gets lost in their own maze, they are really fucked up. However, this maze shouldn’t be left for me to figure out. Unfortunately, I am in it, and I have to find my way out one way or another. What’s the point of taking Kace from me? He was safe and in good hands. Now he is worse off with people who are abusing him. He didn’t ask for this—I didn’t either. He deserves so much better. Again, what is the point of it all? What’s the point of making me suffer? Do you get a kick out of it? What are you trying to accomplish? I am trying to understand; what is the point of it all? What is the point? I don’t know why I am here.
Charlena E. Jackson (Pinwheels and Dandelions)