Hats Down Quotes

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You should date a girl who reads. Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes, who has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve. Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag. She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she has found the book she wants. You see that weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a secondhand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow and worn. She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book. Buy her another cup of coffee. Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice. It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas, for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry and in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does. She has to give it a shot somehow. Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world. Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who read understand that all things must come to end, but that you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two. Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series. If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are. You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype. You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots. Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads. Or better yet, date a girl who writes.
Rosemarie Urquico
If your brains were dynamite there wouldn't be enough to blow your hat off.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Timequake)
Girls," their mother interjected, "you must both stop being strange - it is unattractive. And don't forget your hats. It would be absolutely the end for me if you two came down with freckles at a time like this.
Anna Godbersen (The Luxe (Luxe, #1))
He trapped my hand against his chest and yanked my sleeve down past my wrist, covering my hand with it. Just as quickly, he did the same thing with the other sleeve. He held my shirt by the cuffs, my hands captured. My mouth opened in protest. Reeling me closer, he didn’t stop until I was directly in front of him. Suddenly he lifted me onto the counter. My face was level with his. He fixed me with a dark, inviting smile. And that’s when I realized this moment had been dancing around the edge of my fantasies for several days now. "Take off your hat," I said, the words tumbling out before I could stop them. He slid it around, the brim facing backward. I scooted to the edge of the counter, my legs dangling one on either side of him. Something inside of me was telling me to stop—but I swept that voice to the far back of my mind. He spread his hands on the counter, just outside my hips. Tilting his head to one side, he moved closer. His scent, which was all damp dark earth, overwhelmed me. I inhaled two sharp breaths. No. This wasn’t right. Not this, not with Patch. He was frightening. In a good way, yes. But also in a bad way. A very bad way. "You should go," I breathed. "You should definitely go." "Go here?" His mouth was on my shoulder. "Or here?" It moved up my neck. My brain couldn’t process one logical thought. Patch’s mouth was roaming north, up over my jaw, gently sucking at my skin... "My legs are falling asleep," I blurted. It wasn’t a total lie. I was experiencing tingling sensations all through my body, legs included. "I could solve that." Patch’s hands closed on my hips.
Becca Fitzpatrick (Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush, #1))
Policemen and security guards wear hats with a peak that comes down low over their eyes. Apparently this is for psychological reasons. Eyebrows are very expressive and you appear a lot more authoritative if you keep them covered up. The advantage of this is that it makes a lot harder for cops to see anything more than six foot off the ground. Which is why painting rooftops and bridges is so easy.
Banksy (Wall and Piece)
But this is inaccurate. A runaway train is an accident. Me, I'll jump in front of the tracks. I'll even tie myself down in front of the speeding engine. There's some illogical part of me hat still believes if you want Superman to show up, first there's got to be someone worth saving.
Jodi Picoult (My Sister's Keeper)
A legion of horribles, hundreds in number, half naked or clad in costumes attic or biblical or wardrobed out of a fevered dream with the skins of animals and silk finery and pieces of uniform still tracked with the blood of prior owners, coats of slain dragoons, frogged and braided cavalry jackets, one in a stovepipe hat and one with an umbrella and one in white stockings and a bloodstained wedding veil and some in headgear or cranefeathers or rawhide helmets that bore the horns of bull or buffalo and one in a pigeontailed coat worn backwards and otherwise naked and one in the armor of a Spanish conquistador, the breastplate and pauldrons deeply dented with old blows of mace or sabre done in another country by men whose very bones were dust and many with their braids spliced up with the hair of other beasts until they trailed upon the ground and their horses' ears and tails worked with bits of brightly colored cloth and one whose horse's whole head was painted crimson red and all the horsemen's faces gaudy and grotesque with daubings like a company of mounted clowns, death hilarious, all howling in a barbarous tongue and riding down upon them like a horde from a hell more horrible yet than the brimstone land of Christian reckoning, screeching and yammering and clothed in smoke like those vaporous beings in regions beyond right knowing where the eye wanders and the lip jerks and drools.
Cormac McCarthy (Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West)
A mouse slid out from under his hat and scrambled down his sleeve, across his lap, and down to the floor. Nothing,' said Fenworth, 'should distract from a wizard's dignity.
Donita K. Paul (DragonQuest (DragonKeeper Chronicles, #2))
Dwarfs were not a naturally religious species, but in a world where pit props could crack without warning and pockets of fire damp could suddenly explode they'd seen the need for gods as the sort of supernatural equivalent of a hard hat. Besides, when you hit your thumb with an eight-pound hammer it's nice to be able to blaspheme. It takes a very special and strong-minded kind of atheist to jump up and down with their hand clasped under their other armpit and shout, "Oh, random-fluctuations-in-the-space-time-continuum!" or "Aaargh, primitive-and-outmoded-concept on a crutch!
Terry Pratchett (Men at Arms (Discworld, #15; City Watch, #2))
Civilized people must, I believe, satisfy the following criteria: 1) They respect human beings as individuals and are therefore always tolerant, gentle, courteous and amenable ... They do not create scenes over a hammer or a mislaid eraser; they do not make you feel they are conferring a great benefit on you when they live with you, and they don't make a scandal when they leave. (...) 2) They have compassion for other people besides beggars and cats. Their hearts suffer the pain of what is hidden to the naked eye. (...) 3) They respect other people's property, and therefore pay their debts. 4) They are not devious, and they fear lies as they fear fire. They don't tell lies even in the most trivial matters. To lie to someone is to insult them, and the liar is diminished in the eyes of the person he lies to. Civilized people don't put on airs; they behave in the street as they would at home, they don't show off to impress their juniors. (...) 5) They don't run themselves down in order to provoke the sympathy of others. They don't play on other people's heartstrings to be sighed over and cosseted ... that sort of thing is just cheap striving for effects, it's vulgar, old hat and false. (...) 6) They are not vain. They don't waste time with the fake jewellery of hobnobbing with celebrities, being permitted to shake the hand of a drunken [judicial orator], the exaggerated bonhomie of the first person they meet at the Salon, being the life and soul of the bar ... They regard prases like 'I am a representative of the Press!!' -- the sort of thing one only hears from [very minor journalists] -- as absurd. If they have done a brass farthing's work they don't pass it off as if it were 100 roubles' by swanking about with their portfolios, and they don't boast of being able to gain admission to places other people aren't allowed in (...) True talent always sits in the shade, mingles with the crowd, avoids the limelight ... As Krylov said, the empty barrel makes more noise than the full one. (...) 7) If they do possess talent, they value it ... They take pride in it ... they know they have a responsibility to exert a civilizing influence on [others] rather than aimlessly hanging out with them. And they are fastidious in their habits. (...) 8) They work at developing their aesthetic sensibility ... Civilized people don't simply obey their baser instincts ... they require mens sana in corpore sano. And so on. That's what civilized people are like ... Reading Pickwick and learning a speech from Faust by heart is not enough if your aim is to become a truly civilized person and not to sink below the level of your surroundings. [From a letter to Nikolay Chekhov, March 1886]
Anton Chekhov (A Life in Letters)
Franz Kafka is Dead He died in a tree from which he wouldn't come down. "Come down!" they cried to him. "Come down! Come down!" Silence filled the night, and the night filled the silence, while they waited for Kafka to speak. "I can't," he finally said, with a note of wistfulness. "Why?" they cried. Stars spilled across the black sky. "Because then you'll stop asking for me." The people whispered and nodded among themselves. They put their arms around each other, and touched their children's hair. They took off their hats and raised them to the small, sickly man with the ears of a strange animal, sitting in his black velvet suit in the dark tree. Then they turned and started for home under the canopy of leaves. Children were carried on their fathers' shoulders, sleepy from having been taken to see who wrote his books on pieces of bark he tore off the tree from which he refused to come down. In his delicate, beautiful, illegible handwriting. And they admired those books, and they admired his will and stamina. After all: who doesn't wish to make a spectacle of his loneliness? One by one families broke off with a good night and a squeeze of the hands, suddenly grateful for the company of neighbors. Doors closed to warm houses. Candles were lit in windows. Far off, in his perch in the trees , Kafka listened to it all: the rustle of the clothes being dropped to the floor, or lips fluttering along naked shoulders, beds creaking along the weight of tenderness. It all caught in the delicate pointed shells of his ears and rolled like pinballs through the great hall of his mind. That night a freezing wind blew in. When the children woke up, they went to the window and found the world encased in ice. One child, the smallest, shrieked out in delight and her cry tore through the silence and exploded the ice of a giant oak tree. The world shone. They found him frozen on the ground like a bird. It's said that when they put their ears to the shell of his ears, they could hear themselves.
Nicole Krauss (The History of Love)
They saw him walk away, leave a world he'd never really been part of. They saw him pull his hat down low and get onto his bike. He forgot the Walkman's earplugs. Maybe, Anna thought, he didn't need them anymore; maybe the white noise had finally made it into his head.
Antonia Michaelis (The Storyteller)
All I wanted was to be left alone. They abhor a vacuum, other people. You find a quiet corner where you can hunker down in peace, and the next minute there they are, crowding around you in their party hats, tooting their paper whistles in your face and insisting you get up and join in the knees-up.
John Banville
When I was all set to go, when I had my bags and all, I stood for a while next to the stairs and took a last look down the goddam corridor. I was sort of crying. I don't know why. I put my red hunting hat on, and turned the peak around to the back, the way I liked it, and then I yelled at the top of my goddam voice, "Sleep tight, ya morons!" I'll bet I woke up every bastard on the whole floor. Then I got the hell out. Some stupid guy had thrown peanut shells all over the stairs, and I damn near broke my crazy neck.
J.D. Salinger (The Catcher in the Rye)
I followed him through the halls of the enormous church until we got to the staff's kitchen. He went to the fridge, opened it, and came out with a bottle of bourbon. He poured some into a coffee cup, drank it down, and poured some more. He offered me the bottle. No, thanks. Aren't you supposed to drink vodka? Aren't you supposed to wear a pointy hat and ride on a flying broomstick? Touche, I said.
Jim Butcher (Small Favor (The Dresden Files, #10))
London The Institute Year of Our Lord 1878 “Mother, Father, my chwaer fach, It’s my seventeenth birthday today. I know that to write to you is to break the law, I know that I will likely tear this letter into pieces when it is finished. As I have done on all my birthdays past since I was twelve. But I write anyway, to commemorate the occasion - the way some make yearly pilgrimages to a grave, to remember the death of a loved one. For are we not dead to each other? I wonder if when you woke this morning you remembered that today, seventeen years ago, you had a son? I wonder if you think of me and imagine my life here in the Institute in London? I doubt you could imagine it. It is so very different from our house surrounded by mountains, and the great clear blue sky and the endless green. Here, everything is black and gray and brown, and the sunsets are painted in smoke and blood. I wonder if you worry that I am lonely or, as Mother always used to, that I am cold, that I have gone out into the rain again without a hat? No one here worries about those details. There are so many things that could kill us at any moment; catching a chill hardly seems important. I wonder if you knew that I could hear you that day you came for me, when I was twelve. I crawled under the bed to block out the sound of you crying my name, but I heard you. I heard mother call for her fach, her little one. I bit my hands until they bled but I did not come down. And, eventually, Charlotte convinced you to go away. I thought you might come again but you never did. Herondales are stubborn like that. I remember the great sighs of relief you would both give each time the Council came to ask me if I wished to join the Nephilim and leave my family, and each time I said no and I send them away. I wonder if you knew I was tempted by the idea of a life of glory, of fighting, of killing to protect as a man should. It is in our blood - the call to the seraph and the stele, to marks and to monsters. I wonder why you left the Nephilim, Father? I wonder why Mother chose not to Ascend and to become a Shadowhunter? Is it because you found them cruel or cold? I have no fathom side. Charlotte, especially, is kind to me, little knowing how much I do not deserve it. Henry is mad as a brush, but a good man. He would have made Ella laugh. There is little good to be said about Jessamine, but she is harmless. As little as there is good to say about her, there is as much good to say about Jem: He is the brother Father always thought I should have. Blood of my blood - though we are no relation. Though I might have lost everything else, at least I have gained one thing in his friendship. And we have a new addition to our household too. Her name is Tessa. A pretty name, is it not? When the clouds used to roll over the mountains from the ocean? That gray is the color of her eyes. And now I will tell you a terrible truth, since I never intend to send this letter. I came here to the Institute because I had nowhere else to go. I did not expect it to ever be home, but in the time I have been here I have discovered that I am a true Shadowhunter. In some way my blood tells me that this is what I was born to do.If only I had known before and gone with the Clave the first time they asked me, perhaps I could have saved Ella’s life. Perhaps I could have saved my own. Your Son, Will
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2))
When I am an old woman I shall wear purple with a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me. And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves and satin sandles, and say we've no money for butter. I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells And run my stick along the public railings And make up for the sobriety of my youth. I shall go out in my slippers in the rain and pick flowers in other people's gardens And learn to spit. You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat And eat three pounds of sausages at a go Or only bread and pickle for a week And hoard pens and pencils and beer mats and things in boxes. But now we must have clothes that keep us dry And pay our rent and not swear in the street And set a good example for the children.
Jenny Joseph (Warning: When I am an Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple)
When a country is defeated, there remain only mountains and rivers, and on a ruined castle in spring only grasses thrive. I sat down on my hat and wept bitterly till I almost forgot time. A thicket of summer grass Is all that remains Of the dreams and ambitions Of ancient warriors.
Matsuo Bashō (The Narrow Road to the Deep North and Other Travel Sketches (Yuasa))
He rushed past the usual fragments of painful memories – his mother smiling down at him, her face illuminated by the sunlight rippling off the Venetian Grand Canal; his sister Bianca laughing as she pulled him across the Mall in Washington, D.C., her green floppy hat shading her eyes and the splash of freckles across her nose. He saw Percy Jackson on a snowy cliff outside Westover Hall, shielding Nico and Bianca from the manticore as Nico clutched a Mythomagic figurine and whispered, I’m scared. He saw Minos, his old ghostly mentor, leading him through the Labyrinth. Minos’s smile was cold and cruel. Don’t worry, son of Hades. You will have your revenge.
Rick Riordan (The Blood of Olympus (The Heroes of Olympus, #5))
You swallow hard when you discover that the old coffee shop is now a chain pharmacy, that the place where you first kissed so-and-so is now a discount electronics retailer, that where you bought this very jacket is now rubble behind a blue plywood fence and a future office building. Damage has been done to your city. You say, ''It happened overnight.'' But of course it didn't. Your pizza parlor, his shoeshine stand, her hat store: when they were here, we neglected them. For all you know, the place closed down moments after the last time you walked out the door. (Ten months ago? Six years? Fifteen? You can't remember, can you?) And there have been five stores in that spot before the travel agency. Five different neighborhoods coming and going between then and now, other people's other cities. Or 15, 25, 100 neighborhoods. Thousands of people pass that storefront every day, each one haunting the streets of his or her own New York, not one of them seeing the same thing.
Colson Whitehead (The Colossus of New York)
Writing stays. It fastens words down. A man can speak his mind and some nasty wee scuggan will write it down and who knows what he’ll do with those words? Ye might as weel nail a man’s shadow tae the wall!
Terry Pratchett (A Hat Full of Sky (Discworld, #32))
Today I'm on tell you bout a man from outer space." She just loves hearing about peoples from outer space. Her favorite show on the tee-vee is My Favorite Martian, I pull on my antennae hats I shaped last night out a tin foil, fasten em on our heads. One for her and one for me. We look like we a couple a crazy people in them things. "One day, a wise Martian come down to Earth to teach us people a thing or two," I say. "Martian? How big?" "oh, he about six-two." "What's his name?" "Martian Luther King." She take a deep breath and lean her head down on my shoulder. I feel her three-year-old heart racing against mine, flapping like butterflies on my white uniform. "He was a real nice Martian, Mister King. Looked just like us, nose, mouth, hair up on his head, but sometime people looked at him funny and sometime, well, I guess sometime people was just downright mean." I coul get in a lot a trouble telling her these little stories, especially with Mister Leefolt. But Mae Mobley know these our "secret stories". "Why Aibee? Why was they so mean to him?" she ask. "Cause he was green.
Kathryn Stockett (The Help)
Now that’s what I call magic—seein’ all that, dealin’ with all that, and still goin’ on. It’s sittin’ up all night with some poor old man who’s leavin’ the world, taking away such pain as you can, comfortin’ their terror, seein’ ‘em safely on their way…and then cleanin’ ‘em up, layin’ ‘em out, making ‘em neat for the funeral, and helpin’ the weeping widow strip the bed and wash the sheets—which is, let me tell you, no errand for the fainthearted—and stayin’ up the next night to watch over the coffin before the funeral, and then going home and sitting down for five minutes before some shouting angry man comes bangin’ on your door ‘cuz his wife’s havin’ difficulty givin’ birth to their first child and the midwife’s at her wits’ end and then getting up and fetching your bag and going out again…We all do that, in our own way, and she does it better’n me, if I was to put my hand on my heart. That is the root and heart and soul and center of witchcraft, that is. The soul and center!
Terry Pratchett (A Hat Full of Sky (Discworld, #32; Tiffany Aching, #2))
Charles gave his hat to Mary, set his lapels, wished he were dead, then went down the hall and into his ordeal.
John Fowles (The French Lieutenant's Woman)
Sure, some find gunning down unsuspecting, innocent animals to be a real hoot. I mean, for Christ sake, they mantle the decapitated, formaldehyde-stuffed heads on the wall. Then, of course, there are the people who enjoy putting sunglasses or hats on it, even putting a blowout in its mouth as if it were an avid party animal. If it had any hands, there would surely be a plastic cup full of cheap beer in it, as well. We can’t forget that it would be named some horrendous name, such as Bill or Frank, something so plain, ordinary, and down-right ridiculous that makes me want to bitch-slap the perpetrators.
Chase Brooks
Robots are important also. If I don my pure-scientist hat, I would say just send robots; I'll stay down here and get the data. But nobody's ever given a parade for a robot. Nobody's ever named a high school after a robot. So when I don my public-educator hat, I have to recognize the elements of exploration that excite people. It's not only the discoveries and the beautiful photos that come down from the heavens; it's the vicarious participation in discovery itself.
Neil deGrasse Tyson (Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier)
Fear that I was very different from everyone else. Fear that deep down inside I was a shallow fraud, that after the revolution or after Jesus came down to straighten everything out, everyone from hippies to hard-hats would unfold and blossom into the beautiful people they were while I would remain a gnarled little wart in the corner, oozing bile and giving off putrid smells.
Mark Vonnegut (The Eden Express: A Memoir of Insanity)
I liked myself this way, it was such a relief to be free of disguises an prettiness and attractiveness. Above all that horrible, false, debilitating attractiveness that women hide behind. I puled my hat down over my ears so that they stuck out beneath it. 'I must remember this whn I get back. I must not fall into that trap again.' I must let people see me as I am. Like this? Yes, why not like this. But then I realized hat the rules pertaining to one set of circumstances do not necessarily pertain to another. Back there, this would just be another disguise. Back there, there was no nakedness, no one could afford it. Everyone had their social personae well fortified...
Robyn Davidson (Tracks: A Woman's Solo Trek Across 1700 Miles of Australian Outback)
If you're not a king you can wear a hat to be distinguished. And if you're not a king and you don't wear a hat you end up being a nobody.
Juan Pablo Villalobos (Down the Rabbit Hole)
Why didn't you guess this would happen?" Elayne demanded. He looked at her, expressionless. One side of his mouth twitched up, then he pulled his hat down, shading his eyepatch. "Light," Elayne said. "You knew. You spent this whole week planning with us, and you knew the entire time you'd throw it out with the dishwater.
Robert Jordan (A Memory of Light (The Wheel of Time, #14))
Lassiter skidded in from the billiards room, the fallen angel glowing from his black-and-blond hair and white eyes, all the way down to his shitkickers. Then again, maybe the illumination wasn’t his nature, but that gold he insisted on wearing. He looked like a living, breathing jewelry tree. “I’m here. Where’s my chauffeur hat?” “Here, use mine,” Butch said, outing a B Sox cap and throwing it over. “It’ll help that hair of yours.” The angel caught the thing on the fly and stared at the red S. “I’m sorry, I can’t.” “Do not tell me you’re a Yankees fan,” V drawled. “I’ll have to kill you, and frankly, tonight we need all the wingmen we’ve got.” Lassiter tossed the cap back. Whistled. Looked casual. “Are you serious?” Butch said. Like the guy had maybe volunteered for a lobotomy. Or a limb amputation. Or a pedicure. “No fucking way,” V echoed. “When and where did you become a friend of the enemy—” The angel held up his palms. “It’s not my fault you guys suck—” Tohr actually stepped in front of Lassiter, like he was worried that something a lot more than smack talk was going to start flying. And the sad thing was, he was right to be concerned. Apart from their shellans, V and Butch loved the Sox above almost everything else—including sanity.
J.R. Ward (Lover at Last (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #11))
I shall approach. Before taking off his hat, I shall take off my own. I shall say, "The Marquis de Saint Eustache, I believe." He will say, "The celebrated Mr. Syme, I presume." He will say in the most exquisite French, "How are you?" I shall reply in the most exquisite Cockney, "Oh, just the Syme."' 'Oh shut it...what are you really going to do?' 'But it was a lovely catechism! ...Do let me read it to you. It has only forty-three questions and answers, some of the Marquis's answers are wonderfully witty. I like to be just to my enemy.' 'But what's the good of it all?' asked Dr. Bull in exasperation. 'It leads up to the challenge...when the Marquis as given the forty-ninth reply, which runs--' 'Has it...occurred to you...that the Marquis may not say all the forty-three things you have put down for him?' 'How true that is! ...Sir, you have a intellect beyond the common.
G.K. Chesterton (The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare)
Making the decision to leave Valve strikes me as right up there with turning down the throne to Narnia, but then call me an idealist, and I guess I probably wouldn't want to spend my whole life making new hats for Team Fortress 2 either.
Yahtzee Croshaw
Then come on up. DO everyone a favor and shut me up," he said. "Put down your money, pick up that ball, and let it fly, looker." "I'd rather not" People laughed. He flapped his arms and squawked like a chicken "Afraid you can't throw that far?" "I know I can" He lifted his hat in a small salute to my claim. Blond curls slipped out, then he plopped the hat back on and said, "I dare you.
Elizabeth Chandler (Don't Tell (Dark Secrets, #2))
The next night I went back to the sea dressed in 1950s silk travel scarves – Paris with the Eiffel tower and ladies in hats and pink poodles, Venice with bronze horses and gondoliers, New York in celestial blue and silver. I brought candles and lit the candles, all the candles, in a circle around the lifeguard stand and put a tape in my boom box. I came down the ramp with the sea lapping at my feet and the air like a scarf of warm silk and the stars like my tiara. And my angel was sitting there solemnly in the sand, sitting cross-legged like a buddha, with sand freckling his brown limbs and he watched me the way no boy had ever watched me before, with so much tenderness and also a tremendous sorrow, which was what my dances were about just as much, the sorrow of not being loved the way my womb, rocking emptily inside of me, insisted I be loved, the sorrow of never finding the thing I had been searching for.
Francesca Lia Block (Echo)
Oh, once you’ve been initiated into the Elderly, the world doesn’t want you back.” Veronica settled herself in a rattan chair and adjusted her hat just so. “We—by whom I mean anyone over sixty—commit two offenses just by existing. One is Lack of Velocity. We drive too slowly, walk too slowly, talk too slowly. The world will do business with dictators, perverts, and drug barons of all stripes, but being slowed down it cannot abide. Our second offence is being Everyman’s memento mori. The world can only get comfy in shiny-eyed denial if we are out of sight.
David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas)
The industrial towns were far away, a smudge of smoke and misery hidden by the curve of the earth's surface. Down here it was still the England I had known in my childhood: the railway-cuttings smothered in wild flowers, the deep meadows where the great shining horses browse and meditate, the slow-moving streams bordered by willows, the green bosoms of the elms, the larkspurs in the cottage gardens; and then the huge peaceful wilderness of outer London, the barges on the miry river, the familiar streets, the posters telling of cricket matches and Royal weddings, the men in bowler hats, the pigeons in Trafalgar Square, the red buses, the blue policemen—all sleeping the deep, deep sleep of England, from which I sometimes fear that we shall never wake till we are jerked out of it by the roar of bombs.
George Orwell (Homage to Catalonia)
What about me?’ said Grantaire. ‘I’m here.’ ‘You?’ ‘Yes, me.’ ‘You? Rally Republicans! You? In defence of principles, fire up hearts that have grown cold!’ ‘Why not?’ ‘Are you capable of being good for something?’ ‘I have the vague ambition to be,’ said Grantaire. ‘You don’t believe in anything.’ ‘I believe in you.’ ‘Grantaire, will you do me a favour?’ ‘Anything. Polish your boots.’ ‘Well, don’t meddle in our affairs. Go and sleep off the effects of your absinthe.’ ‘You’re heartless, Enjolras.’ ‘As if you’d be the man to send to the Maine gate! As if you were capable of it!’ ‘I’m capable of going down Rue des Grès, crossing Place St-Michel, heading off along Rue Monsieur-le-Prince, taking Rue de Vaugirard, passing the Carmelite convent, turning into Rue d’Assas, proceeding to Rue du Cherche-Midi, leaving the Military Court behind me, wending my way along Rue des Vieilles-Tuileries, striding across the boulevard, following Chaussée du Maine, walking through the toll-gate and going into Richefeu’s. I’m capable of that. My shoes are capable of that.’ ‘Do you know them at all, those comrades who meet at Richefeu’s?' ‘Not very well. But we’re on friendly terms.’ ‘What will you say to them?’ ‘I’ll talk to them about Robespierre, of course! And about Danton. About principles.’ ‘You?’ ‘Yes, me. But I’m not being given the credit I deserve. When I put my mind to it, I’m terrific. I’ve read Prudhomme, I’m familiar with the Social Contract, I know by heart my constitution of the year II. “The liberty of the citizen ends where the liberty of another citizen begins.” Do you take me for a brute beast? I have in my drawer an old promissory note from the time of the Revolution. The rights of man, the sovereignty of the people, for God’s sake! I’m even a bit of an Hébertist. I can keep coming out with some wonderful things, watch in hand, for a whole six hours by the clock.’ ‘Be serious,’ said Enjolras. ‘I mean it,’ replied Grantaire. Enjolras thought for a few moments, and with the gesture of a man who had come to a decision, ‘Grantaire,’ he said gravely, ‘I agree to try you out. You’ll go to the Maine toll-gate.’ Grantaire lived in furnished lodgings very close to Café Musain. He went out, and came back five minutes later. He had gone home to put on a Robespierre-style waistcoat. ‘Red,’ he said as he came in, gazing intently at Enjolras. Then, with an energetic pat of his hand, he pressed the two scarlet lapels of the waistcoat to his chest. And stepping close to Enjolras he said in his ear, ‘Don’t worry.’ He resolutely jammed on his hat, and off he went.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
An instant later, a silk hat materialised in the air beside me, considerably down and to the left, and my special, only technically unassigned cohort grinned up at me - for a moment, I rather thought he was going to slip his hand into mine.
J.D. Salinger (Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters & Seymour: An Introduction)
There are few things more mysterious than endings. I mean, for example, when did the Greek gods end, exactly? Was there a day when Zeus waved magisterially down from Olympus and Aphrodite and her lover Ares, and her crippled husband Hephaestus ) I always felt sorry for him), and all the rest got rolled up like a worn-out carpet?
Salley Vickers
I’ve been thinking about the way, when you walk down a crowded aisle, people pull in their legs to let you by. Or how strangers still say “bless you” when someone sneezes, a leftover from the Bubonic plague. “Don’t die,” we are saying. And sometimes, when you spill lemons from your grocery bag, someone else will help you pick them up. Mostly, we don’t want to harm each other. We want to be handed our cup of coffee hot, and to say thank you to the person handing it. To smile at them and for them to smile back. For the waitress to call us honey when she sets down the bowl of clam chowder, and for the driver in the red pick-up truck to let us pass. We have so little of each other, now. So far from tribe and fire. Only these brief moments of exchange. What if they are the true dwelling of the holy, these fleeting temples we make together when we say, “Here, have my seat,” “Go ahead—you first,” “I like your hat.
Danusha Laméris (The Moons of August)
Shapes began to appear in the mist as it thickened. Clary saw herself and Simon as children, holding hands, crossing a street in Brooklyn,; she had barrettes in her hair and Simon was adorably rumpled, his glasses sliding off his nose. There they were again, throwing snowballs in Prospect Park; and at Luke's farmhouse, tanned from summer, hanging upside down from tree branches. She saw them in Java Jones, listening to Eric's terrible poetry, and on the back of a flying motorcycle as it crashed into a parking lot, with Jace there, looking at them, his eyes squinted against the sun. And there was Simon with Isabelle, his hands curved around her face, kissing her, and she could see Isabelle as Simon saw her: fragile and strong, and so, so beautiful. And there was Valentine's ship, Simon kneeling on Jace, blood on his mouth and shirt, and blood at Jace's throat, and there was the cell in Idris, and Hodge's weathered face, and Simon and Clary again, Clary etching the Mark of Cain onto his forehead. Maureen, and her blood on the floor, and her little pink hat, and the rooftop in Manhattan where Lilith had raised Sebastian, and Clary was passing him a gold ring across a table, and an Angel was rising out of a lake before him and he was kissing Isabelle...
Cassandra Clare (City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6))
I happen to be one of those people whose memory shuts down under pressure. The answers would come to me in the middle of the night in my sleep! Besides, I am a millionaire.
Terry Pratchett (A Hat Full of Sky (Discworld, #32; Tiffany Aching, #2))
Will you let me lift you?" he said. "Just let me lift you. Just let me see how light you are." "All right," she said. "Do you want me to take off my coat?" "Yes, yes, yes," he said. "Take off your coat." She stood. She let her coat fall to the sofa. "Can I do it now?" he said. "Yes." He put his hands under her arms. He raised her off the floor and then put her down gently. "Oh you're so light!" he shouted. "Your'e so light, you're so fragile, you don't weigh any more than a suitcase. Why, I could carry you, I could carry you anywhere, I could carry you from one end of New York to the other." He got his hat and coat and ran out of the house.
John Cheever (The Stories of John Cheever)
Like my kith and kin before me, I swagger-staggered in high heels, and I wore a dress and a hat to church. But my fabulous tail often fell below my hemline, and my ears twitched until my hat pitched, at the very least, down over both my eyes, and sometimes clear across the room.
Clarissa Pinkola Estés (Women Who Run With the Wolves)
All that the unsuspecting Bilbo saw that morning was an old man with a staff. He had a tall pointed blue hat, a long grey cloak, a silver scarf over which his long white beard hung down below his waist, and immense black boots. "Good morning!" said Bilbo, and he meant it. The sun was shining, and the grass was very green. But Gandalf looked at him from under long bushy eyebrows that stuck out further than the brim of his shady hat. "What do you mean?" he said. "Do you wish me a good morning, or mean that it is a good morning whether I wish it or not; or that you feel good this morning; or that it is a morning to be good on?" "All of them at once," said Bilbo. "And a very fine morning for a pipe of tobacco out of doors, into the bargain." Then Bilbo sat down on a seat by his door, crossed his legs, and blew out a beautiful grey ring of smoke that sailed up into the air without breaking and floated away over The Hill.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Hobbit (The Lord of the Rings, #0))
There are a thousand unnoticed openings, continued my father, which let a penetrating eye at once into a man's soul; and I maintain it, added he, that a man of sense does not lay down his hat in coming into a room, -- or take it up in going out of it, but something escapes, which discovers him.
Laurence Sterne (Tristram Shandy)
A child of about eleven, garbed in a very short, very tight, very ugly dress of yellowish-gray wincey. She wore a faded brown sailor hat and beneath the hat, extending down her back, were two braids of very thick, decidedly red hair. Her face was small, white and thin, also much freckled; her mouth was large and so were her eyes, which looked green in some lights and moods and gray in others.
L.M. Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables)
You want to know the coolest part?" Mom chimed in. "There isn't assigned seating at the dinning room, and they have tables for four. That means the three of us can sit down and if we pile the extra chair with our gloves and hats, nobody can sit with us!" Dad and I looked a each other, like, Is she joking? "And penguins," Mom quickly added. "I'm wildly excited about all those penguins.
Maria Semple (Where'd You Go, Bernadette)
Jaenelle opened her mouth, closed it, and finally said timidly, “Do you think, when I’m grown up, I could wear an outfit like that?” Daemon bit his cheek. He didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Buying time, he looked down at himself. “Well,” he said, giving it slow consideration, “the shirt would have to be altered somewhat to accommodate a female figure, but I don’t see why not.” Jaenelle beamed. “Daemon, it’s a wonderful hat.” It took him a moment to admit it to himself, but he was miffed. He stood in front of her, on display as it were, and the thing that fascinated her most was his hat. You do know how to bruise a man’s ego, don’t you, little one? he thought dryly as he said, “Would you like to try it on?” Jaenelle bounced to the mirror, brushing against him as she passed.
Anne Bishop (Daughter of the Blood (The Black Jewels, #1))
When Atticus came home to dinner he found me crouched down aiming across the street. "What are you shooting at?" "Miss Maudie's rear end." Atticus turned and saw my generous target bending over her bushes. He pushed his hat to the back of his head and crossed the street. "Maudie," he called, "I thought I'd better warn you. You're in considerable peril." Miss Maudie straightened up and looked toward me. She said,"Atticus, you are a devil from hell.
Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird)
When the Whispering Mountain shall scream aloud And the castle of Malyn ride on a cloud, Then Malyn's lord shall have and hold The lost that is found, the harp of gold. Then Fig-hat Ben shall wear a shroud, Then shall the despoiler, that was so proud, Plunge headlong down from Devil's Leap; Then shall the Children from darkness creep, And the men of the glen avoid disaster, And the Harp of Teirtu find her master.
Joan Aiken (The Whispering Mountain (The Wolves Chronicles, #0))
All the jokes about men sitting down on their hats are really theological jokes; they are concerned with the Dual Nature of Man. They refer to the primary paradox that man is superior to all the things around him and yet is at their mercy.
G.K. Chesterton (All Things Considered)
He wanted you to rob a bank to prove you were a hero?” Skepticism dripped from Victor’s voice. “And then what?” “What the fuck does it look like, ass hat?” Barry gestured down at his body. “He killed me! The bastard walks right up in the middle of a demonstration he told me to do, and he shoots me.
V.E. Schwab (Vicious (Villains, #1))
Wipe the pap of your mother's breast off thy lips and give me a hatful of that dirt,' the man with his chin on the ground said. 'No one of us will see the sun go down this night.
Ernest Hemingway (For Whom the Bell Tolls)
When I set my hat at a certain angle and saunter down Seventh Avenue. . . . the cosmic Zora emerges. . . . How can anybody deny themselves the pleasure of my company? It’s beyond me!
Zadie Smith (Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays)
Our way was to share a fire until it burned down, ayi? To speak to each other until every person was satisfied. Younger men listened to older men. Now the Beelezi tell us the vote of a young, careless man counts the same as the vote of an elder.' In the hazy heat Tata Ndu paused to take off his hat, turn it carefully in his hands, then replace it above the high dome of his forehead. No one breathed. 'White men tell us: Vote, bantu! They tell us: You do not all have to agree, ce n'est pas necessaire! If two men vote yes and one says no, the matter is finished. A bu, even a child can see how that will end. It takes three stones in the fire to hold up the pot. Take one away, leave the other two, and what? The pot will spill into the fire.
Barbara Kingsolver (The Poisonwood Bible)
Jin made a sound as high pitched as a tea kettle as his spherical body vibrated with excitement. "Pirate hunters. We're going to be pirate hunters." Damn it. She'd lost him. Jin bobbed up and down, looking like a jack in the box. "I never say this, but be yourself, Kira, and we can realize our lifelong dream." Jin screamed to himself as he careened in a circle. "We'll get a big fancy hat and an artificial leg. This is going to be great.
T.A. White (Threshold of Annihilation (The Firebird Chronicles, #3))
He sighed and opened the black box and took out his rings and slipped them on. Another box held a set of knives and Klatchian steel, their blades darkened with lamp black. Various cunning and intricate devices were taken from velvet bags and dropped into pockets. A couple of long-bladed throwing tlingas were slipped into their sheaths inside his boots. A thin silk line and folding grapnel were wound around his waist, over the chain-mail shirt. A blowpipe was attached to its leather thong and dropped down the back of his cloak; Teppic picked a slim tin container with an assortment of darts, their tips corked and their stems braille-coded for ease of selection in the dark. He winced, checked the blade of his rapier and slung the baldric over his right shoulder, to balance the bag of lead slingshot ammunition. As an afterthought he opened his sock drawer and took a pistol crossbow, a flask of oil, a roll of lockpicks and, after some consideration, a punch dagger, a bag of assorted caltrops and a set of brass knuckles. Teppic picked up his hat and checked it's lining for the coil of cheesewire. He placed it on his head at a jaunty angle, took a last satisfied look at himself in the mirror, turned on his heel and, very slowly, fell over.
Terry Pratchett (Pyramids (Discworld, #7))
He wasn’t so frightening, for a Voidbringer. He must have been like … the Voidbringer all the other ones made fun of for wearing silly hats. The one that would correct all the others, and explain which fork they had to use when they sat down to consume human souls.
Brandon Sanderson (Edgedancer (The Stormlight Archive #2.5))
It can't be done, old thing. Sorry, but it's out of the question. I couldn't go through all that again." "Not for me?" "Not for a dozen more like you." "I never thought," said Bingo sorrowfully, "to hear those words from Bertie Wooster!" "Well, you've heard them now," I said. "Paste them in your hat." "Bertie, we were at school together." "It wasn't my fault." "We've been pals for fifteen years." "I know. It's going to take me the rest of my life to live it down.
P.G. Wodehouse
So Big Bear dined with the Princess, "Did you see him? You'd never have guessed!" His party hat was like her crown, and they talked until the sun went down. From the winter poem, The Fairytale Princess
Suzy Davies (Celebrate The Seasons)
Why a unicorn? Maybe the unicorn, too, is one of the Men Without Women. I mean, I've never seen a unicorn couple. He -- it has to be a he, right? -- is always alone, sharp horn thrust toward the sky. Maybe we should adopt him as the symbol of Men Without Women, of the loneliness we carry as our burden. Perhaps we should sew unicorn badges on our breast pockets and hats, and quietly parade down streets all over the world. No music, no flags, no ticker tape. Probably.
Haruki Murakami
Teddy risked a look backward and nodded as he handed Henry his hat. The two men shook hands and then walked past each other Teddy moving in the direction of Henry's room and Henry the hat pulled down over his face toward the Cutting carriage that was waiting by the curb.
Anna Godbersen (Rumors (Luxe, #2))
On her head perched a pillbox hat with an absurd little veil. She'd pulled the dotted veil up out of her eyes, but not completely - it hung lopsidedly, dangling over her right brow. Her dark brown dress was filmed with dust she'd raised, and dust caught on her damp cheeks. One lock of hair had escaped her coiffure, a red snake dancing down her bodice. She was delightfully mussed, and dear God, he wanted her.
Jennifer Ashley (The Duke's Perfect Wife (MacKenzies & McBrides, #4))
In the words of Mr Thierry Coup of Warner Bros: 'We are taking the most iconic and powerful moments of the stories and putting them in an immersive environment. It is taking the theme park experience to a new level.' And of course I wish Thierry and his colleagues every possible luck, and I am sure it will be wonderful. But I cannot conceal my feelings; and the more I think of those millions of beaming kids waving their wands and scampering the Styrofoam turrets of Hogwartse_STmk, and the more I think of those millions of poor put-upon parents who must now pay to fly to Orlando and pay to buy wizard hats and wizard cloaks and wizard burgers washed down with wizard meade_STmk, the more I grind my teeth in jealous irritation. Because the fact is that Harry Potter is not American. He is British. Where is Diagon Alley, where they buy wands and stuff? It is in London, and if you want to get into the Ministry of Magic you disappear down a London telephone box. The train for Hogwarts goes from King's Cross, not Grand Central Station, and what is Harry Potter all about? It is about the ritual and intrigue and dorm-feast excitement of a British boarding school of a kind that you just don't find in America. Hogwarts is a place where children occasionally get cross with each other—not 'mad'—and where the situation is usually saved by a good old British sense of HUMOUR. WITH A U. RIGHT? NOT HUMOR. GOTTIT?
Boris Johnson
Crawley, I do trust that you have rung that bell, for if I stand in this disagreeable wind you know I shall take cold, and my colds always descend upon my chest. How thoughtless it was in you to have handed me down from the chaise until the door had been opened! Ah, here is that deplorable henchman! Yes, Barrow, it is I indeed. Take my hat – no, Crawley had best take my hat, perhaps. And yet, if he does so, who is to assist me out of my greatcoat? How difficult all these arrangements are! Ah, a happy thought! You have laid my hat down, Crawley! I do not know where I should be without you. Now my coat, and pray be careful! Where is a mirror? Crawley, you cannot have been so foolish as to have packed all my hand-mirrors! No I thought not: hold it a little higher, I beg of you, and give me my comb! Yes, that will serve, Barrow, you may announce me to your mistress!
Georgette Heyer (The Reluctant Widow)
Aidan was fascinated by Mr. Stock's hat. Perhaps it had once been a trilby sort of thing. It may once hace even been a definite color. Now it was more like something that had grown - like a fungus - on Mr. Stock's head, so mashed and used and rammed down by earthy hands that you could have thought it was a mushroom that had accidentally grown into a sort of gnome-hat. It had a slightly domed top and a floppy edge. And a definite smell
Diana Wynne Jones (Enchanted Glass)
The stranger came early in February, one wintry day, through a biting wind and a driving snow, the last snowfall of the year, over the down, walking as it seemed from Bramblehurst railway station, and carrying a little black portmanteau in his thickly gloved hand. He was wrapped up from head to foot, and the brim of his soft felt hat hid every inch of his face but the shiny tip of his nose; the snow had piled itself against his shoulders and chest, and added a white crest to the burden he carried. He staggered into the Coarch and Horses, more dead than alive as it seemed, and flung his portmanteau down. "A fire," he cried, "in the name of human charity! A room and a fire!" He stamped and shook the snow from off himself in the bar, and followed Mrs. Hall into her guest parlour to strike his bargain. And with that much introduction, that and a ready acquiescence to terms and a couple of sovereigns flung upon the table, he took up his quarters in the inn.
H.G. Wells (The Invisible Man)
But he’d also gotten a personal prickly chill all over from his own thinking. He could do the dextral pain the same way: Abiding. No one single instant of it was unendurable. Here was a second right here: he endured it. What was undealable-with was the thought of all the instants all lined up and stretching ahead, glittering. And the projected future fear of the A.D.A., whoever was out there in a hat eating Third World fast food; the fear of getting convicted of Nuckslaughter, of V.I.P.-suffocation; of a lifetime on the edge of his bunk in M.C.I. Walpole, remembering. It’s too much to think about. To Abide there. But none of it’s as of now real. What’s real is the tube and Noxzema and pain. And this could be done just like the Old Cold Bird. He could just hunker down in the space between each heartbeat and make each heartbeat a wall and live in there. Not let his head look over. What’s unendurable is what his own head could make of it all. What his head could report to him, looking over and ahead and reporting. But he could choose not to listen; he could treat his head like G. Day or R. Lenz: clueless noise. He hadn’t quite gotten this before now, how it wasn’t just the matter of riding out the cravings for a Substance: everything unendurable was in the head, was the head not Abiding in the Present but hopping the wall and doing a recon and then returning with unendurable news you then somehow believed.
David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest)
Kaz heaved a sigh as he braced himself for three painful flights of stairs. He looked over his shoulder and said, “Please, my darling Inej, treasure of my heart, won’t you do me the honour of acquiring me a new hat?” Inej cast a meaningful glance at his cane. “Have a long trip down,” she said, then leaped onto the banister, sliding from one flight to the next, slick as butter in a pan.
Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1))
She had on a black, wide brimmed hat with a bit of a veil coming down over her face. Fluffy, black, chandelle feathers adorned the crown. My first thought was that Elizabeth and her hat would never fit in the back seat of Phil's Eos.
Susan Bernhardt (The Ginseng Conspiracy (A Kay Driscoll Mystery Book 1))
Forty feet long sixty feet high hotel Covered with old gray for buzzing flies Eye like mango flowing orange pus Ears Durga people vomiting in their sleep Got huge legs a dozen buses move inside Calcutta Swallowing mouthfuls of dead rats Mangy dogs bark out of a thousand breasts Garbage pouring from its ass behind alleys Always pissing yellow Hooghly water Bellybutton melted Chinatown brown puddles Coughing lungs Sound going down the sewer Nose smell a big gray Bidi Heart bumping and crashing over tramcar tracks Covered with a hat of cloudy iron Suffering water buffalo head lowered To pull the huge cart of year uphill
Allen Ginsberg
Excuse me while I throw this down, I’m old and cranky and tired of hearing the idiocy repeated by people who ought to know better. Real women do not have curves. Real women do not look like just one thing. Real women have curves, and not. They are tall, and not. They are brown-skinned, and olive-skinned, and not. They have small breasts, and big ones, and no breasts whatsoever. Real women start their lives as baby girls. And as baby boys. And as babies of indeterminate biological sex whose bodies terrify their doctors and families into making all kinds of very sudden decisions. Real women have big hands and small hands and long elegant fingers and short stubby fingers and manicures and broken nails with dirt under them. Real women have armpit hair and leg hair and pubic hair and facial hair and chest hair and sexy moustaches and full, luxuriant beards. Real women have none of these things, spontaneously or as the result of intentional change. Real women are bald as eggs, by chance and by choice and by chemo. Real women have hair so long they can sit on it. Real women wear wigs and weaves and extensions and kufi and do-rags and hairnets and hijab and headscarves and hats and yarmulkes and textured rubber swim caps with the plastic flowers on the sides. Real women wear high heels and skirts. Or not. Real women are feminine and smell good and they are masculine and smell good and they are androgynous and smell good, except when they don’t smell so good, but that can be changed if desired because real women change stuff when they want to. Real women have ovaries. Unless they don’t, and sometimes they don’t because they were born that way and sometimes they don’t because they had to have their ovaries removed. Real women have uteruses, unless they don’t, see above. Real women have vaginas and clitorises and XX sex chromosomes and high estrogen levels, they ovulate and menstruate and can get pregnant and have babies. Except sometimes not, for a rather spectacular array of reasons both spontaneous and induced. Real women are fat. And thin. And both, and neither, and otherwise. Doesn’t make them any less real. There is a phrase I wish I could engrave upon the hearts of every single person, everywhere in the world, and it is this sentence which comes from the genius lips of the grand and eloquent Mr. Glenn Marla: There is no wrong way to have a body. I’m going to say it again because it’s important: There is no wrong way to have a body. And if your moral compass points in any way, shape, or form to equality, you need to get this through your thick skull and stop with the “real women are like such-and-so” crap. You are not the authority on what “real” human beings are, and who qualifies as “real” and on what basis. All human beings are real. Yes, I know you’re tired of feeling disenfranchised. It is a tiresome and loathsome thing to be and to feel. But the tit-for-tat disenfranchisement of others is not going to solve that problem. Solidarity has to start somewhere and it might as well be with you and me
Hanne Blank
I'm getting my ass kicked by tiny faeries!" I shouted back, fumbling to start the car. "They've got my freaking number!" "Run away!" Bob giggled. "Run away! Tiny faeries!" growled in frustration and popped the Redcap's hat down over Bob. "Stop being a jerk. This is serious." Bob's voice was only barely muffled. It sounded like he couldn't breathe. "Serious! Tiny! Faeries! The m-m- mighty wizard Dresden!
Jim Butcher (Cold Days (The Dresden Files, #14))
No. The two kinds of fools we have in Russia," karkov grinned and began. "First there is the winter fool. The winter fool comes to the door of your house and he knocks loudly. You go to the door and you see him there and you have never seen him before. He is an impressive sight. He is a very big man and he has on high boots and a fur coat and a fur hat and he is all covered with snow. First he stamps his boots and snow falls from them. Then he takes off his fur coat and shakes it and more snow falls from them, Then he takes off his fur hat and knocks it against the door. More snow falls from his fur hat. Then he stamps his boots again and advances into the room. Then you look at him and you see he is a fool. That is the winter fool." "Now in the summer you see a fool going down the street and he is waving his arms and jerking his head from side to side and everybody from two hundred yards away can tell he is a fool. that is a summer fool. This economist is a winter fool.
Ernest Hemingway (For Whom the Bell Tolls)
Oh, and put in an order for a new hat.” “Please.” Kaz heaved a sigh as he braced himself for three painful flights of stairs. He looked over his shoulder and said, “Please, my darling Inej, treasure of my heart, won’t you do me the honor of acquiring me a new hat?” Inej cast a meaningful glance at his cane. “Have a long trip down,” she said, then leapt onto the banister, sliding from one flight to the next, slick as butter in a pan.
Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1))
an old man with a staff. He had a tall pointed blue hat, a long grey cloak, a silver scarf over which his long white beard hung down
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Hobbit)
What are you doing?” Ya!” said Jane, whirling around, her hands held up menacingly. It was Mr. Nobley with coat, hat, and cane, watching her with wide eyes. Jane took several quick (but oh so casual) steps away from Martin’s window. Um, did I just say, ‘Ya’?” You just said ‘Ya,”’ he confirmed. “If I am not mistaken, it was a battle cry, warning that you were about to attack me.” I, uh. . .“ She stopped to laugh. “I wasn’t aware until this precise and awkward moment that when startled in a strange place, my instincts would have me pretend to be a ninja.” *** Surely a young beauty like yourself is lonely, too. It can be part of the game, if you like.” Get off,” she said, thoroughly done with this. His answer was to lean in closer. So she kneed him in groin. As hard as she could. Aw, ow, dammit!” He doubled over and thudded onto knees. Jane brushed off her knee, feeling like it had touched son thing dirty. “Aw, ow, dammit indeed! What’re you thinking?” Jane heard hurried footsteps coming down the stairs. It Mr. Nobley. Miss Erstwhile!” He was barefoot in his breeches, his shirt untucked. He glanced down at the groaning man. “Sir Templeton!” Ow, she kicked me,” said Sir Templeton. Kneed him, I kneed him,” Jane said. “I don’t kick. Not even when 1m a ninja.” Mr. Nobley stood a moment in silence, looking over the scene. “I hope you remembered to shout ‘Ya’ when taking him down. I hear that is very effective.” I’m afraid I neglected that bit, but I’ll certainly ‘ya’ from here to London if he ever touches me again.
Shannon Hale
On Ove’s side of the track it’s empty but for three overdimensioned municipal employees in their midthirties in workmen’s trousers and hard hats, standing in a ring and staring down into a hole. Around them is a carelessly erected loop of cordon tape. One of them has a mug of coffee from 7-Eleven; another is eating a banana; the third is trying to poke his cell phone without removing his gloves. It’s not going so well. And the hole stays where it is. And still we’re surprised when the whole world comes crashing down in a financial crisis, Ove thinks. When people do little more than standing around eating bananas and looking into holes in the ground all day.
Fredrik Backman (A Man Called Ove)
To Summarize briefly: A white rabbit is pulled out of a top hat. Because it is an extremely large rabbit, the trick takes many billions of years. All mortals are born at the very tip of the rabbit's fine hairs. where they are in a position to wonder at the impossibility of the trick. But as they grow older they work themselves even deeper into the fur. And there they stay. They become so comfortable they never risk crawling back up the fragile hairs again. Only philosophers embark on this perilous expedition to the outermost reaches of language and existence. Some of the fall off, but other cling on desperately and yell at the people nestling deep in the snug softness, stuffing themselves with delicious food and drink. 'Ladies and gentlemen,' they yell, 'we are floating in space!' but none of the people down there care. 'What a bunch of troublemakers!' they say. And they keep on chatting: Would you pass the butter, please? How much have our stocks risen today? What is the price of tomatoes? Have you heard that Princes Di is expecting again?
Jostein Gaarder (Sophie's World)
Someday, the lady would not be imaginary. The clothes would not be borrowed and ill-fitting. Someday she would stride down the street and women would fall at her feet (not failing to notice the perfectly polished brogues) and men would tip their hats to a lady-killer more accomplished than they.
Cassandra Clare (Every Exquisite Thing (Ghosts of the Shadow Market, #3))
there was a sort of embarrassment about storytelling that struck home powerfully about one hundred years ago, at the beginning of modernism. We see a similar reaction in painting and in music. It's a preoccupation suddenly with the surface rather than the depth. So you get, for example, Picasso and Braque making all kinds of experiments with the actual surface of the painting. That becomes the interesting thing, much more interesting than the thing depicted, which is just an old newspaper, a glass of wine, something like that. In music, the Second Viennese School becomes very interested in what happens when the surface, the diatonic structure of the keys breaks down, and we look at the notes themselves in a sort of tone row, instead of concentrating on things like tunes, which are sort of further in, if you like. That happened, of course, in literature, too, with such great works as James Joyce's Ulysses, which is all about, really, how it's told. Not so much about what happens, which is a pretty banal event in a banal man's life. It's about how it's told. The surface suddenly became passionately interesting to artists in every field about a hundred years ago. In the field of literature, story retreated. The books we talked about just now, Middlemarch, Bleak House, Vanity Fair -- their authors were the great storytellers as well as the great artists. After modernism, things changed. Indeed, modernism sometimes seems to me like an equivalent of the Fall. Remember, the first thing Adam and Eve did when they ate the fruit was to discover that they had no clothes on. They were embarrassed. Embarrassment was the first consequence of the Fall. And embarrassment was the first literary consequence of this modernist discovery of the surface. "Am I telling a story? Oh my God, this is terrible. I must stop telling a story and focus on the minute gradations of consciousness as they filter through somebody's..." So there was a great split that took place. Story retreated, as it were, into genre fiction-into crime fiction, into science fiction, into romantic fiction-whereas the high-art literary people went another way. Children's books held onto the story, because children are rarely interested in surfaces in that sort of way. They're interested in what-happened and what-happened next. I found it a great discipline, when I was writing The Golden Compass and other books, to think that there were some children in the audience. I put it like that because I don't say I write for children. I find it hard to understand how some writers can say with great confidence, "Oh, I write for fourth grade children" or "I write for boys of 12 or 13." How do they know? I don't know. I would rather consider myself in the rather romantic position of the old storyteller in the marketplace: you sit down on your little bit of carpet with your hat upturned in front of you, and you start to tell a story. Your interest really is not in excluding people and saying to some of them, "No, you can't come, because it's just for so-and-so." My interest as a storyteller is to have as big an audience as possible. That will include children, I hope, and it will include adults, I hope. If dogs and horses want to stop and listen, they're welcome as well.
Philip Pullman
I had a dream once that Boughton and I were down at the river looking around in the shallows for something or other - when we were boys it would have been tadpoles - and my grandfather stalked out of the trees in that furious way he had, scooped his hat full of water, and threw it, so as sheet of water came sailing toward us, billowing in the air like a veil, and fell down over us. Then he put his hat back on his head and stalked off into the trees again and left us standing there in that glistening river, amazed at ourselves and shining like the apostles. I mention his because it seems to me transformations just that abrupt do occur in this life, and they occur unsought and unawaited, and they beggar your hopes and your deserving. This came to my mind as I was reflecting on the day I first say your mother, that blessed, rainy Pentecost
Marilynne Robinson (Gilead)
He tried to think of his brother, of revenge, of Pekka Rollins tied to a chair in the house on Zelverstraat, trade orders stuffed down his throat as Kaz forced him to remember Jordie’s name. But all he could think of was Inej. She had to live. She had to have made it out of the Ice Court. And if she hadn’t, then he had to live to rescue her. The ache in his lungs was unbearable. He needed to tell her … what? That she was lovely and brave and better than anything he deserved. That he was twisted, crooked, wrong, but not so broken that he couldn’t pull himself together into some semblance of a man for her. That without meaning to, he’d begun to lean on her, to look for her, to need her near. He needed to thank her for his new hat. The
Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1))
I chuck my bag into his lap,perhaps a little too hard.St. Clair oofs and jerks forward. "Watch it." Josh bites into a pink apple and talks through a full moouth. "He has parts down there you don't have." "Ooo,parts," I say. "Intriguing. Tell me more." Josh smiles sadly. "Sorry. Privelged information.Only people with parts can know about said parts." St. Clair shakes the rest of the leaves from his hair and puts on The Hat. Rashmi makes a face at him. "Really? Today? In public?" she asks. "Every day," he says. "As long as you're with me.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
How do you get through any of your classes?" Cath had hours of assigned reading, almost every single night. "Coping strategies." "Such as?" "I record my lectures and listen to them later. Professors usually cover most of what's on the test in class. And I find study groups." "And you lean on Reagan --" "Not just Reagan." He grinned. "I'm really good at quickly identifying the smartest girl in every class." Cath frowned at him. "God, Levi, that's so exploitive." "How is it exploitive? I don't make them wear miniskirts. I don't call them 'baby.' I just say, 'Hello, smart girl, would you like to talk to me about Great Expectations?'" "They probably think you like them." "I do like them." "If it wasn't exploitive, you'd harass smart boys, too --" "I do, in a pinch. Do you feel exploited, Cather?" He was still grinning at her over his coffee cup. "No," she said, "I know that you don't like me." "You don't know anything." "So, this is old hat for you? Finding a girl to read a whole book to you?" He shook his head. "No, this is a first." "Well, now I feel exploited," she said, setting her drink down and reaching for the book. "Thank you," he said. "Chapter seven --" "I'm serious." Levi pulled the book down and looked at her. "Thank you." Cath held his eyes for a few seconds. Then she nodded and pulled back the book.
Rainbow Rowell (Fangirl)
A moment later,the gunshot startled them all, well, all of them except Chad Kinkaid, who fired it. The dogs that had followed him in had still been barking around his horse's feet. The shot hit the dirt near them and sent them hightailing it elsewhere. Amanda had squealed in surprise,one hand had flown to her chest and was still there. "Was that really necessary?" she asked derisively. Chad Kinkaid pulled his hat back down over his forehead,gathered his reins in preparation of riding off, and with a lazy smile,said, "No,ma'am. It was a pleasure though.
Johanna Lindsey (A Man to Call My Own)
But what my car needs is gas, not memories! How can you make a car go on memories?' B.D. scratched under her Admiral's hat. 'What'd you think gas was, girl? 'Course there's all sorts of fuel, wind and wishes and chocolate cake and collard greens and water and brawn, but you're wanting the kind that burns in an engine. That kind of gas is nothing more than the past stored up and fermented and kept down in the cellar of the earth till it's wanted. Gas is saved-up sunlight. Giant ferns and apples of immortality and dimetrodons and cyclopses and werewhales drank up the sun as it shone on their backs a million years ago and used it to be a bigger fern or make more werewhales or drop seeds of improbability.' Her otter's paws moved quick and sure, selecting a squat, square bottle here and a round rosy one there. 'It so happens sunshine has a fearful memory. It sticks around even after its favorite dimetrodon dies. Gets hard and wily. Turns into something you can touch, something you can drill, something you can pour. But it still remembers having one eye and slapping the ocean's face with a great heavy tail. It liked making more dinosaurs and growing a frond as tall as a bank. It likes to make things alive, to make things go.
Catherynne M. Valente (The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two (Fairyland, #3))
Warning When I am an old woman I shall wear purple With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me. And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter. I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells And run my stick along the public railings And make up for the sobriety of my youth. I shall go out in my slippers in the rain And pick flowers in other people's gardens And learn to spit. You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat And eat three pounds of sausages at a go Or only bread and pickle for a week And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes. But now we must have clothes that keep us dry And pay our rent and not swear in the street And set a good example for the children. We must have friends to dinner and read the papers. But maybe I ought to practice a little now? So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.
Jenny Joseph
Life, how I have dreaded you," said Rhoda, "oh, human beings, how I have hated you! How you have nudged, how you have interrupted, how hideous you have looked in Oxford Street, how squalid sitting opposite each other staring in the Tube! Now as I climb this mountain, from the top of which I shall see Africa, my mind is printed with brown-paper parcels and your faces. I have been stained by you and corrupted. You smelt so unpleasant, too, lining up outside doors to buy tickets. All were dressed in indeterminate shades of grey and brown, never even a blue feather pinned to a hat. None had the courage to be one thing rather than another. What dissolution of the soul you demanded in order to get through one day, what lies, bowings, scrapings, fluency and servility! How you changed me to one spot, one hour, one chair, and sat yourselves down opposite! How you snatched from me the white spaces that lie between hour and hour and rolled them into dirty pellets and tossed them into wastepaper baskets with your greasy paws. Yet those were my life.
Virginia Woolf (The Waves)
To settle down, to Make Good, to sell your soul for a villa and an aspidistra! To turn into the typical little bowler-hatted sneak—Strube’s “little man”—the little docile cit who slips home by the six-fifteen to a supper of cottage pie and stewed tinned pears, half an hour’s listening-in to the B.B.C. Symphony Concert, and then perhaps a spot of licit sexual intercourse if his wife “feels in the mood!” What a fate! No, it isn’t like that that one was meant to live.
George Orwell (Keep the Aspidistra Flying)
The cops of America are poster-boys of low self-esteem. Their uniforms, silly hats, and sparkling patent leather girdles freighted down with shiny handcuffs, walkie-talkies, and spray canisters of Mace apparently do not make them feel secure enough, so they always add the hostile interrogation to make sure that the accosted citizens know who is in charge.
Rinker Buck (The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey)
Part of our skittishness about Christian perfection is linguistic confusion. The English word "perfect" has absorbed the Greek notion of "teleos". When the Greeks looked at a building's blueprint, they pictured the building whole and complete. They envisioned the blueprint finished down to the bathroom tile and announced, "Ah, this is perfect." The problem is that "teleos" suggests that perfection is something we can build or achieve. The Hebrews looked at the same blueprint more practically. They envisioned the process of building from hard hats to hammers, from scaffolding to skylights. "Ah," the Hebrews said. "This is perfect." The Hebrews and the early Christians understood perfection as a process, not a product. Our identity as Christians depends upon life lived in relationship with God, not upon the quality of our achievements.
Kenda Creasy Dean (The Godbearing Life: The Art of Soul Tending for Youth Ministry)
What I'd saved: lost. Worse: I lost it. Can't even tell myself that I sort of lost it that lost I keep it still. I lost the saved. I've lost. I'm lost. This is pain, one dies of or kills. Kill it and one kills oneself. Splashes of bloody skin all over my notebooks. I haven't forgotten a dream, as it is written happens in the realm of dreams. One forgets a dream, then one forgets one has forgotten, nothing dies of this. I've lost The Dream. I cannot tell a soul. I will not enter alive into the beyond. I search for an explanation. To the labyrinth I descend with the chapeau. Maleficent remains but remains, therefore blessed. If I could ask my friend. No one else. He and only he knows the extraordinary value of what is lost, greater by far that the value of what one keeps. Suddenly I'm only this torch consuming itself. What to do? I had the papers, I took them from myself, I threw them in the Trash, I threw out my own being, I had the memory of the future at the window I broke me, I tore up the secret into a thousand pieces, I tweezed the sublime out of me, I had god I squashed him with a hat, this is not the first time I take myself to the labyrinth but this is the first time I go down into the labyrinth. I went right by the very trash bin of my being, how can you do away with your own eyes, I did it, who knows how
Hélène Cixous
She had learned how to talk some and leave some. She was a rut in the road. Plenty of life beneath the surface but it was kept beaten down by the wheels. Sometimes she stuck out into the future, imagining her life different from what it was. But mostly she lived between her hat and her heels, with her emotional disturbances like shade patterns in the woods--come and gone with the sun. She got nothing from Jody except what money could buy, and she was giving away what she didn't value.
Zora Neale Hurston
One summer afternoon I came home and found all the umbrellas sitting in the kitchen, with straw hats on, telling who they are. ... The umbrella that peels the potatoes with a pencil and makes a pink ink with the peelings stood up and said, "I am the umbrella that peels the potatoes with a pencil and makes a pink ink with the peelings." ... The umbrella that runs to the corner to get corners for the handkerchiefs stood up and said, "I am the umbrella that runs to the corner to get corners for the handkerchiefs." ... "I am the umbrella that holds up the sky. I am the umbrella the rain comes through. I am the umbrella that tells the sky when to begin raining and when to stop raining. "I am the umbrella that goes to pieces when the wind blows and then puts itself back together again when the wind goes down. I am the first umbrella, the last umbrella, the one and only umbrella all other umbrellas are named after, first, last and always." When the stranger finished this speech telling who he was and where he came from, all the other umbrellas sat still for a little while, to be respectful.
Carl Sandburg (Rootabaga Stories)
Movement at the door of the cabin, and a small figure that I recognized as Amy Higgins appeared. The tall woman pulled off her hat and waved it, her long red hair streaming out like a banner in the wind. “Hello, the house!” she called, laughing. Then I was flying down the hill, with Jamie just before me, arms flung wide, the two of us flying together on that same wind.
Diana Gabaldon (Written in My Own Heart's Blood (Outlander, #8))
and that most international treaty problems would vanish overnight if everyone would just get over their snobbery long enough to sit down, have a cup of tea together, and recognise that they were all exactly the same person in slightly different hats.
Natasha Pulley (The Lost Future of Pepperharrow (Watchmaker of Filigree Street #2))
The rain set early in tonight, The sullen wind was soon awake, It tore the elm-tops down for spite, And did its worst to vex the lake: I listened with heart fit to break. When glided in Porphyria; straight She shut the cold out and the storm, And kneeled and made the cheerless grate Blaze up, and all the cottage warm; Which done, she rose, and from her form Withdrew the dripping cloak and shawl, And laid her soiled gloves by, untied Her hat and let the damp hair fall, And, last, she sat down by my side And called me. When no voice replied, She put my arm about her waist, And made her smooth white shoulder bare, And all her yellow hair displaced, And, stooping, made my cheek lie there, And spread, o'er all, her yellow hair, Murmuring how she loved me — she Too weak, for all her heart's endeavor, To set its struggling passion free From pride, and vainer ties dissever, And give herself to me forever. But passion sometimes would prevail, Nor could tonight's gay feast restrain A sudden thought of one so pale For love of her, and all in vain: So, she was come through wind and rain. Be sure I looked up at her eyes Happy and proud; at last l knew Porphyria worshiped me: surprise Made my heart swell, and still it grew While I debated what to do. That moment she was mine, mine, fair, Perfectly pure and good: I found A thing to do, and all her hair In one long yellow string l wound Three times her little throat around, And strangled her. No pain felt she; I am quite sure she felt no pain. As a shut bud that holds a bee, I warily oped her lids: again Laughed the blue eyes without a stain. And l untightened next the tress About her neck; her cheek once more Blushed bright beneath my burning kiss: I propped her head up as before, Only, this time my shoulder bore Her head, which droops upon it still: The smiling rosy little head, So glad it has its utmost will, That all it scorned at once is fled, And I, its love, am gained instead! Porphyria's love: she guessed not how Her darling one wish would be heard. And thus we sit together now, And all night long we have not stirred, And yet God has not said aword!
Robert Browning (Robert Browning's Poetry)
You absurd boy! Oh, Evelyn, I'm so thankful you've come, but what in the world has detained you? I've been sick with apprehension!" There was a quizzical gleam in the gentleman's eyes, but he said in accents of deep reproach: "Come, come, Mama - !" "It may be very well for you to say Come, come, Mama," she retorted, "but when you faithfully promised to return not a day later than -" She broke off, staring down at him in sudden doubt. Abandoning the portmanteau, the gentleman shrugged the greatcoat from his shoulder, pulled off his hat, and mounted the remaining stairs two at a time, saying still more reproachfully: "No, really, Mama! How can you be so unnatural a parent?" "Kit!" uttered his unnatural parent, in a smothered shriek. "Oh, my darling, my dearest son!
Georgette Heyer (False Colours)
This was self-defense. You’re unarmed. He wanted your gold. I’ll call your lawyer.” She put her hat on his head. “What about the witness?” Beckett wheezed. “There is no witness.” Eve leaned down and placed a gentle kiss on Beckett’s lips. Our first fucking kiss.
Debra Anastasia (Poughkeepsie (Poughkeepsie Brotherhood, #1))
Boy, you resolve not to go down the path of a Dark Lord and the universe starts messing with you the instant the Hat comes off your head. Some days it just doesn't pay to fight destiny. Maybe I'll wait until tomorrow to start on my resolution to not be a Dark Lord.
Eliezer Yudkowsky (Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality)
Osh, we are going to have to tie you up and torture you. Sorry.” “Really?” He stood and removed his top hat, a broad grin splitting his perfect face. With the enthusiasm of a virgin at a brothel, he slapped his hands together and rubbed them in anticipation. “Where do you want me?” Osh sat down and Garrett began the bondage process. Was it wrong that I had a hankering for gay porn at that moment?
Darynda Jones (The Trouble with Twelfth Grave (Charley Davidson, #12))
I knew-exactly-the moment I fell for him. "When we're up on the mountain getting ready to go down for that woman's body, you remember, you smiled at me." It was like the sun hat touched the earth and been born in his body. "That's when I think I really lost my reason.
James Buchanan (Spin Out (Deputy Joe, #2))
this sentence I'm reading is terrific" i can be quite sarcastic when I'm in the mood. He didn't get it, though. He started walking around the room again, picking up all my personal stuff, and Stradlater's. Finally, I put my book down on the floor. you couldn't read anything with a guy like Ackley around. It was impossible. I slid way the hell down in my chair and watched old Ackley making himself at home. I was feeling sort of tired from the trip to New York and all, and I started yawning. then horsing around a little bit. Sometimes I horse around quite a lot, just to keep from getting bored. what i did was, I pulled the old peak of my hunting hat around to the front, then pulled it way down over my eyes. that way i couldn't see a goddam thing."I think I'm going blind,"I said in this very hoarse voice."Mother darling, everything's getting do dark in here." "You're nuts. I swear to God,"Ackley said. "Mother darling, give me your hand, Why won't you give me your hand?" "For Chrissake, grow up." I started groping around in front of me, like a blind guy, but without getting up or anything. I kept saying,"mother darling, why wont you give me you're hand ?" I was only horsing around, naturally.
J.D. Salinger (The Catcher in the Rye)
Jack was led out of the dark room into the strong light, and as they guided him up the steps he could see nothing for the glare. 'Your head here sir, if you please,' said the sheriff's man in a low, nervous, conciliating voice, 'and your hands just here.'    The man was slowly fumbling with the bolt, hinge and staple, and as Jack stood there with his hands in the lower half-rounds, his sight cleared: he saw that the broad street was filled with silent, attentive men, some in long togs, some in shore-going rig, some in plain frocks, but all perfectly recognizable as seamen. And officers, by the dozen, by the score: midshipmen and officers. Babbington was there, immediately in front of the pillory, facing him with his hat off, and Pullings, Stephen of course, Mowett, Dundas . . . He nodded to them, with almost no change in his iron expression, and his eye moved on: Parker, Rowan, Williamson, Hervey . . . and men from long, long ago, men he could scarcely name, lieutenants and commanders putting their promotion at risk, midshipmen and master's mates their commissions, warrant-officers their advancement.    'The head a trifle forward, if you please, sir,' murmured the sheriff's man, and the upper half of the wooden frame came down, imprisoning his defenceless face. He heard the click of the bolt and then in the dead silence a strong voice cry 'Off hats'. With one movement hundreds of broad-brimmed tarpaulin-covered hats flew off and the cheering began, the fierce full-throated cheering he had so often heard in battle.
Patrick O'Brian (The Reverse of the Medal (Aubrey/Maturin, #11))
ah yes I know them well who was the first person in the universe before there was anybody that made it all who ah that they dont know neither do I so there you are they might as well try to stop the sun from rising tomorrow the sun shines for you he said the day we were lying among the rhododendrons on Howth head in the grey tweed suit and his straw hat the day I got him to propose to me yes first I gave him the bit of seedcake out of my mouth and it was leapyear like now yes 16 years ago my God after that long kiss I near lost my breath yes he said I was a flower of the mountain yes so we are flowers all a womans body yes that was one true thing he said in his life and the sun shines for you today yes that was why I liked him because I saw he understood or felt what a woman is and I knew I could always get round him and I gave him all the pleasure I could leading him on till he asked me to say yes and I wouldnt answer first only looked out over the sea and the sky I was thinking of so many things he didnt know of Mulvey and Mr Stanhope and Hester and father and old captain Groves and the sailors playing all birds fly and I say stoop and washing up dishes they called it on the pier and the sentry in front of the governors house with the thing round his white helmet poor devil half roasted and the Spanish girls laughing in their shawls and their tall combs and the auctions in the morning the Greeks and the jews and the Arabs and the devil knows who else from all the ends of Europe and Duke street and the fowl market all clucking outside Larby Sharons and the poor donkeys slipping half asleep and the vague fellows in the cloaks asleep in the shade on the steps and the big wheels of the carts of the bulls and the old castle thousands of years old yes and those handsome Moors all in white and turbans like kings asking you to sit down in their little bit of a shop and Ronda with the old windows of the posadas glancing eyes a lattice hid for her lover to kiss the iron and the wineshops half open at night and the castanets and the night we missed the boat at Algeciras the watchman going about serene with his lamp and O that awful deepdown torrent O and the sea the sea crimson sometimes like fire and the glorious sunsets and the figtrees in the Alameda gardens yes and all the queer little streets and the pink and blue and yellow houses and the rosegardens and the jessamine and geraniums and cactuses and Gibraltar as a girl where I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.
James Joyce (Ulysses)
Gate C22 At gate C22 in the Portland airport a man in a broad-band leather hat kissed a woman arriving from Orange County. They kissed and kissed and kissed. Long after the other passengers clicked the handles of their carry-ons and wheeled briskly toward short-term parking, the couple stood there, arms wrapped around each other like he’d just staggered off the boat at Ellis Island, like she’d been released at last from ICU, snapped out of a coma, survived bone cancer, made it down from Annapurna in only the clothes she was wearing. Neither of them was young. His beard was gray. She carried a few extra pounds you could imagine her saying she had to lose. But they kissed lavish kisses like the ocean in the early morning, the way it gathers and swells, sucking each rock under, swallowing it again and again. We were all watching– passengers waiting for the delayed flight to San Jose, the stewardesses, the pilots, the aproned woman icing Cinnabons, the man selling sunglasses. We couldn’t look away. We could taste the kisses crushed in our mouths. But the best part was his face. When he drew back and looked at her, his smile soft with wonder, almost as though he were a mother still open from giving birth, as your mother must have looked at you, no matter what happened after–if she beat you or left you or you’re lonely now–you once lay there, the vernix not yet wiped off, and someone gazed at you as if you were the first sunrise seen from the Earth. The whole wing of the airport hushed, all of us trying to slip into that woman’s middle-aged body, her plaid Bermuda shorts, sleeveless blouse, glasses, little gold hoop earrings, tilting our heads up.
Ellen Bass (The Human Line)
After a while he pulled his hat down over his eyes and stood and placed his hands outstretched on the roof of the cab and rode in that manner. As if he were some personage bearing news for the countryside. As if he were some newfound evangelical being conveyed down out of the mountains....
Cormac McCarthy
Out of the apartment houses come women who should be young but have faces like stale beer; men with pulled down hats and quick eyes that look the street over behind the cupped hand that shields the match flame; worn intellectuals with cigarette coughs and no money in the bank; fly cops with granite faces and unwavering eyes; cookies and coke peddlers; people who look like nothing in particular and know it, and once in a while even men that actually go to work. But they come out early, when the wide cracked sidewalks are empty and still have dew on them. (from) "The High Window
Raymond Chandler
I walked past the lady in yellow robes and the maid bringing her a letter, past the soldier with a magnificent hat and the girl smiling at him, thinking of warm lips, brown eyes, blue eyes. Her brown eyes stopped me. It's the painting from whose frame a girl looks out, ignoring her beefy music teacher, whose proprietary hand rests on her chair. The light is muted, winter light, but her face is bright. I looked into her brown eyes and I recoiled. She was warning me of something-- she had looked up from her work to warn me. Her mouth was slightly open, as if she had just drawn a breath in order to say to me, "Don't!" I moved backward, trying to get beyond the range of her urgency. But her urgency filled the corridor. "Wait," she was saying, "wait! Don't go!" ... She had changed a lot in sixteen years. She was no longer urgent. In fact, she was sad. She was young and distracted, and her teacher was bearing down on her, trying to get her to pay attention. But she was looking out, looking for someone who would see her. This time I read the title of the painting: Girl Interrupted at Her Music. Interrupted at her music.- as my life had been, interrupted in the music of being seventeen, as her life had been, snatched and fixed on canvas: one moment made to stand still and to stand for all the other moments, whatever they would be or might have been. What life can recover from that? I had something to tell her now "I see you," I said. My boyfriend found me crying in the hallway. "What's the matter with you?" he asked. "Don't you see, she's trying to get out," I said, pointing at her.
Susanna Kaysen (Girl, Interrupted)
Keys parachuted down into one of the exact seats he purchased that he and his father sat in as season ticket holders in the Old Barn on Grand River Avenue. Keys slipped his arm around the empty chair dressed with his father’s withering Tiger’s baseball cap, secured to the seat with a quarter inch drywall screw. Keys reflected upon his father, who chauffeured Keys and other players, every weekend, to a hockey tournament somewhere, “You know pop…every kid you gave a ride too game or practice, came to your funeral. When this hat falls away, no more screws, pop. I’m gonna branch out…make new friends. Soon as these gypsy moths get a hold of your precious, Old English “D”, here--turn your glory years, Kaline and Mclain into tree threads.
Kevin Moccia (The Beagle and the Hare)
In times of old when I was new And Hogwarts barely started The founders of our noble school Thought never to be parted: United by a common goal, They had the selfsame yearning, To make the world’s best magic school And pass along their learning. “Together we will build and teach!” The four good friends decided And never did they dream that they Might someday be divided, For were there such friends anywhere As Slytherin and Gryffindor? Unless it was the second pair Of Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw? So how could it have gone so wrong? How could such friendships fail? Why, I was there and so can tell The whole sad, sorry tale. Said Slytherin, “We’ll teach just those Whose ancestry is purest.” Said Ravenclaw, “We’ll teach those whose Intelligence is surest.” Said Gryffindor, “We’ll teach all those With brave deeds to their name.” Said Hufflepuff, “I’ll teach the lot, And treat them just the same.” These differences caused little strife When first they came to light, For each of the four founders had A House in which they might Take only those they wanted, so, For instance, Slytherin Took only pure-blood wizards Of great cunning, just like him, And only those of sharpest mind Were taught by Ravenclaw While the bravest and the boldest Went to daring Gryffindor. Good Hufflepuff, she took the rest, And taught them all she knew, Thus the Houses and their founders Retained friendships firm and true. So Hogwarts worked in harmony For several happy years, But then discord crept among us Feeding on our faults and fears. The Houses that, like pillars four, Had once held up our school, Now turned upon each other and, Divided, sought to rule. And for a while it seemed the school Must meet an early end, What with dueling and with fighting And the clash of friend on friend And at last there came a morning When old Slytherin departed And though the fighting then died out He left us quite downhearted. And never since the founders four Were whittled down to three Have the Houses been united As they once were meant to be. And now the Sorting Hat is here And you all know the score: I sort you into Houses Because that is what I’m for, But this year I’ll go further, Listen closely to my song: Though condemned I am to split you Still I worry that it’s wrong, Though I must fulfill my duty And must quarter every year Still I wonder whether Sorting May not bring the end I fear. Oh, know the perils, read the signs, The warning history shows, For our Hogwarts is in danger From external, deadly foes And we must unite inside her Or we’ll crumble from within. I have told you, I have warned you. . . . Let the Sorting now begin. The hat became motionless once more;
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5))
Chamberlain raised his saber, let loose the shout that was the greatest sound he could make, boiling the yell up from his chest: Fix bayonets! Charge! Fix bayonets! Charge! Fix bayonets! Charge! He leaped down from the boulder, still screaming, his voice beginning to to crack and give, and all around him his men were roaring animal screams, and he saw the whole Regiment rising and pouring over the wall and beginning to bound down through the dark bushes, over the dead and dying wounded, hats coming off, hair flying, mouths making sounds, one man firing as he ran, the last bullet, last round.
Michael Shaara (The Killer Angels (The Civil War Trilogy, #2))
To a casual passerby, his appearance would not have inspired much confidence. His overcoat was patched in spots and frayed at the cuffs, he wore an old tweed suit that was missing a button, his white shirt was stained with ink and tobacco, and his tie--this was perhaps the strangest of all--was knotted not once, but twice, as if he'd forgotten whether he'd tied it and, rather than glancing down to check, had simply tied it again for good measure. His white hair poked out from beneath his hat, and his eyebrows rose from his forehead like great snowy horns, curling over a pair of bent and patched tortoiseshell glasses. All in all, he looked like someone who'd gotten dressed in the midst of a whirlwind and, thinking he still looked too presentable, had thrown himself down a flight of stairs. It was when you looked in his eyes that everything changed. Reflecting no light save their own, they shone brightly in the snow-muffled night, and there was in them a look of such uncommon energy and kindness and understanding that you forgot entirely about the tobacco and ink stains on his shirt and the patches on his glasses and that his tie was knotted twice over. You looked in them and knew that you were in the presence of true wisdom.
John Stephens (The Emerald Atlas (The Books of Beginning, #1))
Auri grew serious. “Now close your eyes and bend down so I can give you your second present.” Puzzled, I closed my eyes and bent at the waist, wondering if she had made me a hat as well. I felt her hands on either side of my face, then she gave me a tiny, delicate kiss in the middle of my forehead. Surprised, I opened my eyes. But she was already standing several steps away, her hands clasped nervously behind her back. I couldn’t think of anything to say. Auri took a step forward. “You are special to me,” she said seriously, her face grave. “I want you to know I will always take care of you.” She reached out tentatively and wiped at my cheeks. “No. None of that tonight. This is your third present. If things are bad, you can come and stay with me in the Underthing. It is nice there, and you will be safe.” “Thank you, Auri,” I said as soon as I was able. “You are special to me, too.” “Of course I am,” she said matter-of-factly. “I am as lovely as the moon.
Patrick Rothfuss
He (Lafcadio) was sitting all alone in a compartment of the train which was carrying him away from Rome, & contemplating–not without satisfaction–his hands in their grey doeskin gloves, as they lay on the rich fawn-colored plaid, which, in spite of the heat, he had spread negligently over his knees. Through the soft woolen material of his traveling-suit he breathed ease and comfort at every pore; his neck was unconfined in its collar which without being low was unstarched, & from beneath which the narrow line of a bronze silk necktie ran, slender as a grass snake, over his pleated shirt. He was at ease in his skin, at ease in his shoes, which were cut out of the same doeskin as his gloves; his foot in its elastic prison could stretch, could bend, could feel itself alive. His beaver hat was pulled down over his eyes & kept out the landscape; he was smoking dried juniper, after the Algerian fashion, in a little clay pipe & letting his thoughts wander at their will …
André Gide
You saved me, you should remember me. The spring of the year; young men buying tickets for the ferryboats. Laughter, because the air is full of apple blossoms. When I woke up, I realized I was capable of the same feeling. I remember sounds like that from my childhood, laughter for no cause, simply because the world is beautiful, something like that. Lugano. Tables under the apple trees. Deckhands raising and lowering the colored flags. And by the lake’s edge, a young man throws his hat into the water; perhaps his sweetheart has accepted him. Crucial sounds or gestures like a track laid down before the larger themes and then unused, buried. Islands in the distance. My mother holding out a plate of little cakes— as far as I remember, changed in no detail, the moment vivid, intact, having never been exposed to light, so that I woke elated, at my age hungry for life, utterly confident— By the tables, patches of new grass, the pale green pieced into the dark existing ground. Surely spring has been returned to me, this time not as a lover but a messenger of death, yet it is still spring, it is still meant tenderly.
Louise Glück
They are demanding equal rights with us,’ says Mrs. Fiedke. ‘That’s why I never vote with the Liberals. Perfume, jewellery, hair down to their shoulders, and I’m not talking about the ones who were born like that. I mean, the ones that can’t help it should be put on an island. It’s the others I’m talking about. There was a time they would stand up and open the door for you. They would take their hat off. But they want their equality today. All I say is that if God had intended them to be as good as us he wouldn’t have made them different from us to the naked eye. They don’t want to be all dressed alike any more. Which is only a move against us. You couldn’t run an army like that, let alone the male sex. With all due respects to Mr. Fiedke, may he rest in peace, the male sex is getting out of hand. Of course, Mr. Fiedke knew his place as a man, give him his due.’ ….. ‘If we don’t look lively,’ she says, ‘they will be taking over the homes and the children, and sitting about having chats while we go and fight to defend them and work to keep them. They won’t be content with equal rights only. Next thing they’ll want the upper hand, mark my words. Diamond earrings, I’ve read in the paper.
Muriel Spark (The Driver's Seat)
I restrained the urge to slam my door. On the right stood a teenage guy with thick chestnut hair, chocolatey brown eyes, and the kind of perfectly square jaw I thought only existed on models. He wore khaki pants and a white shirt - classic preppy gear, though on him it looked incredibly hot. The man on the left had black hair with wings of pure white at the temples, and unbelievable blue eyes the color of the Caribbean. Not that I've ever seen the Caribbean, but I swear you could have cut and pasted his eyes right into an ad for the Bahamas. Meanwhile, I looked like I didn't know how to operate a washing machine. My shorts had a glob of strawberry jelly on them from breakfast, my wrinkled gray T-shirt looked like it had been slept in (which it had), and my Seattle Mariners baseball hat had a dark ring around the brim. Grandma practically winced as her gaze traveled up and down my outfit. Her taste runs toward matching velour tracksuits, so I don't usually worry about her opinion much. Still, this time I think she was right.
Inara Scott (The Candidates (Delcroix Academy, #1))
Where there is Sorrow there is holy ground. Some day you will realise what that means. You will know nothing of life till you do. Robbie, and natures like his, can realise it. When I was brought down from my prison to the Court of Bankruptcy between two policemen, Robbie waited in the long dreary corridor, that before the whole crowd, whom an action so sweet and simple hushed into silence, he might gravely raise his hat to me, as handcuffed and with bowed head I passed him by. Men have gone to heaven for smaller things than that.
Oscar Wilde (De Profundis and Other Writings)
Then we were at the fountain - we stop and look up at the many illuminated windows of number 2. "This is as far as you can walk me," she says. "Thanks for taking me home." I bowed, not daring to say a word. I doffed my hat and stood bareheaded. I wondered if she would give me her hand. "Why don't you ask me to walk back with you part of the way?" She says playfully. But she looks down at the tip of her shoe. "Gee," I answer, "if only you would!" "Sure, but only a little way." And we turned around. I was utterly bewildered, I didn't know which way was up anymore; this person turned all my thinking topsy-turvy. I was enchanted, wonderfully glad; I felt as though I were dying from happiness. She had expressly wanted to go back with me, it wasn't my idea, it was her own wish. I gaze and gaze at her, growing more and more cocky, and she encourages me, drawing me toward her by every word she speaks. I forget for a moment my poverty, my humble self, my whole miserable existence, I feel the blood coursing warmly through my body as in the old days, before I broke down.
Knut Hamsun (Hunger)
People hate that I flip two cigarettes Upside down in each pack for luck, But I hate that people notice When you gain three pounds, But not when you buy a new hat. I’ve been told that the way I sleep With one leg draped over The person lying next to me Is annoying, But I think it’s annoying When people tell me I look pretty, But only when I paint my face. I’ve heard that old men Like to touch the girls who work late at bars, But I want to know Why they never kiss the women they married forty-two years ago. I’ve noticed that mothers teach their daughters That it’s rude to refuse a hug From an uncle they’ve met three times, But forget to teach them That they aren’t obliged to kiss The boy who paid for dinner.
thewriterandthewildflower
It hums under the surface-that feeling August felt when she stepped inside Delilah's, when Miss Ivy calls her by name, when they paraded down to the Q behind Isaiah in his top hat, when the guy at the bodega doesn't card her, when Jane looks at her like she could be a part of her mental photo album of the city. That feeling that she lives here, like really lives here.
Casey McQuiston (One Last Stop)
An open car drove by, fleeing into the country. The car was overfilled with people bound for a picnic. There was a jumble of bright sweaters, and scarfs fluttering in the wind; a jumble of voices shrieking without purpose over the roar of the motor, and overstressed hiccoughs of laughter; a girl sat sidewise, her legs flung over the side of the car; she wore a man's straw hat slipping down to her nose and she yanked savagely at the strings of a ukelele, ejecting raucous sounds, yelling 'Hey!' These people were enjoying a day of their existence; they were shrieking to the sky their release from the work and the burdens of the days behind them; they had worked and carried the burdens in order to reach a goal -- and this was the goal.
Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead)
The word began to filter down the lines, and the grumbling stopped, there was something new about this march, something these men had never been a part of before. If the fight in the Wilderness had not gone their way—the most optimistic called it a draw—they were not doing what this army had always done before, they were not going back above the river. If they had never said much about Grant, had never thought him any different from the ones who had come before, if they had become so used to the steady parade of failure, this time there was a difference. Some wanted to cheer, but were hushed by nervous officers. So along the dusty roads hats went up and muskets were held high, a silent salute to this new commander. This time, they were marching south.
Jeff Shaara (The Last Full Measure (The Civil War Trilogy, #3))
We all want to live in a world where we can make a difference... That's why Spider-Man fights the good fight. Or Captain Marvel. Or me. Or... There are a lot of us. And we don't all wear masks these days. Iron Man went public. So did Captain America. Others. Probably because it's harder to keep secrets in an internet surveillance age. But I think some of it, too, is that the ethical paradox can wear you down. No one on the white-hat side has ever hidden his or her identity with less than noble intent: to make the fight about something bigger than us. To represent a greater justice, where the focus can be on right and wrong... and not on whether the bad guys will exact reprisal on those close to us. And sometimes you have to lie... because you can justify a lie if lives are riding on it. Even as you fight for, as the saying goes, truth and justice... even if you're a lawyer who has sworn to live by the truth... you willingly bear false witness.
Mark Waid (Daredevil by Mark Waid, Volume 7)
The school year progressed slowly. I felt as if I had been in the sixth grade for years, yet it was only October. Halloween was approaching. Coming from Ireland, we had never thought of it as a big holiday, though Sarah and I usually went out trick-or treating. For the last couple of years I had been too sick to go out, but this year Halloween fell on a day when I felt quiet fine. My mother was the one who came up with the Eskimo idea. I put on a winter coat, made a fish out of paper, which I hung on the end of a stick, and wrapped my face up in a scarf. My hair was growing in, and I loved the way the top of the hood rubbed against it. By this time my hat had become part of me; I took it off only at home. Sometimes kids would make fun of me, run past me, knock my hat off, and call me Baldy. I hated this, but I assumed that one day my hair would grow in, and on that day the teasing would end. We walked around the neighborhood with our pillowcase sacks, running into other groups of kids and comparing notes: the house three doors down gave whole candy bars, while the house next to that gave only cheap mints. I felt wonderful. It was only as the night wore on and the moon came out and the older kids, the big kids, went on their rounds that I began to realize why I felt so good. No one could see me clearly. No one could see my face.
Lucy Grealy (Autobiography of a Face)
On September 29, as they closed on her at the Capes of Virginia, Blackbeard donned his new, terrifying battle attire. He wore a silk sling over his shoulders, to which were attached “three brace of pistols, hanging in holsters like bandaliers.” Under his hat, he tied on lit fuses, allowing some of them to dangle down on each side of his face, surrounding it with a halo of smoke and fire. So adorned, a contemporary biographer reported, “his eyes naturally looking fierce and wild, [that he] made altogether such a figure that imagination cannot form an idea of a fury from Hell to look more frightful.
Colin Woodard (The Republic of Pirates: Being the true and surprising story of the Caribbean pirates and the man who brought them down)
Nay, 'twill be this hour ere I have done weeping. All the kind of the Launces have this very fault. I have received my proportion, like the prodigious son, and am going with Sir Proteus to the Imperial's court. I think Crab, my dog, be the sourest-natured dog that lives. My mother weeping, my father wailing, my sister crying, our maid howling, our cat wringing her hands, and all our house in a great perplexity, yet did not this cruel-hearted cur shed one tear. He is a stone, a very pebble stone, and has no more pity in him than a dog. A Jew would have wept to have seen our parting. Why, my grandam, having no eyes, look you, wept herself blind at my parting. Nay, I'll show you the manner of it. This shoe is my father. No, this left shoe is my father. No, no, this left shoe is my mother. Nay, that cannot be so neither. Yes, it is so, it is so -- it hath the worser sole. This shoe with the hole in it is my mother, and this my father. A vengeance on't! There 'tis. Now, sir, this staff is my sister, for, look you, she is as white as a lily and as small as a wand. This hat is Nan, our maid. I am the dog. No, the dog is himself, and I am the dog -- O, the dog is me, and I am myself. Ay, so, so. Now come I to my father: 'Father, your blessing.' Now should not the shoe speak a word for weeping. Now should I kiss my father -- well, he weeps on. Now come I to my mother. O, that she could speak now like a wood woman! Well, I kiss her -- why, there 'tis: here's my mother's breath up and down. Now come I to my sister; mark the moan she makes. Now the dog all this while sheds not a tear nor speaks a word!
William Shakespeare (The Two Gentlemen of Verona)
Meanwhile the colonel followed the mad woman, and by a strange effect of the superexcitation of his senses, saw her in the darkness, through the mist, as plainly as in broad daylight; he heard her sighs, her confused words, in spite of the continual moan of the autumn winds rushing through the deserted streets. A few late townspeople, the collars of their coats raised to the level of their ears, their hands in their pockets, and their hats pressed down over their eyes, passed, at infrequent intervals, along the pavements; doors were heard to shut with a crash. An ill-fastened shutter banged against a wall, a tile torn from a housetop by the wind fell into the street; then, again, the immense torrent of air whirled on its course, drowning with its lugubrious voice all other sounds of the night. It was one of those cold nights at the end of October, when the weathercocks, shaken by the north wind, turn giddily on the high roofs, and cry with shrilly voices, 'Winter! - Winter! - Winter is come!' ("The Child Stealer")
Erckmann-Chatrian (Reign of Terror Volume 2: Great Victorian Horror Stories)
By Jove, it's great! Walk along the streets on some spring morning. The little women, daintily tripping along, seem to blossom out like flowers. What a delightful, charming sight! The dainty perfume of violet is everywhere. The city is gay, and everybody notices the women. By Jove, how tempting they are in their light, thin dresses, which occasionally give one a glimpse of the delicate pink flesh beneath! "One saunters along, head up, mind alert, and eyes open. I tell you it's great! You see her in the distance, while still a block away; you already know that she is going to please you at closer quarters. You can recognize her by the flower on her hat, the toss of her head, or her gait. She approaches, and you say to yourself: 'Look out, here she is!' You come closer to her and you devour her with your eyes. "Is it a young girl running errands for some store, a young woman returning from church, or hastening to see her lover? What do you care? Her well-rounded bosom shows through the thin waist. Oh, if you could only take her in your arms and fondle and kiss her! Her glance may be timid or bold, her hair light or dark. What difference does it make? She brushes against you, and a cold shiver runs down your spine. Ah, how you wish for her all day! How many of these dear creatures have I met this way, and how wildly in love I would have been had I known them more intimately. "Have you ever noticed that the ones we would love the most distractedly are those whom we never meet to know? Curious, isn't it? From time to time we barely catch a glimpse of some woman, the mere sight of whom thrills our senses. But it goes no further. When I think of all the adorable creatures that I have elbowed in the streets of Paris, I fairly rave. Who are they! Where are they? Where can I find them again? There is a proverb which says that happiness often passes our way; I am sure that I have often passed alongside the one who could have caught me like a linnet in the snare of her fresh beauty.
Guy de Maupassant (Selected Short Stories)
It was tradition for every member of a crew to give a copper to the newest member as a show of good faith. I’d seen my father’s crews do the same many times. But in the years since I first set foot on Jeval, I’d never been given anything. Ever. I didn’t bother trying to hold back my tears. They streamed down my face one after the other as I hugged the hat to me. Like a weary bird flying out over the most desolate sea, I finally had a place to land.
Adrienne Young (Fable (Fable, #1))
Er Lang examined his shoes in dismay. “You should have told me there was mud down here.” “Is that all you can say?” But I was glad, so glad to see him that I hugged him tightly. Despite his concern about his shoes, he didn’t seem to mind as I pressed my grimy face against his shoulder. “Last time it was a cemetery, and now the bottom of a well,” he remarked. “What were you doing anyway?” As I explained, his tone became icy. “So, you saved a murderer and let yourself be abandoned. Do you have some sort of death wish?” “Why are you so angry?” Pushing back his hat, I searched his face. It was a mistake, for faced with his unnerving good looks, I could only drop my eyes. “You might have broken your neck. Why can’t you leave these things to the proper authorities?” “I didn’t do it on purpose.” Incredibly, we were arguing again. “And where were you all this time? You could have sent me a message!” “How was I supposed to do that when you never left the house alone?” “But you could have come at any time. I was waiting for you!” Er Lang was incensed. “Is this the thanks I get?” If I had thought it through, I would never have done it. But I grasped the collar of his rope and pulled his face to mine. “Thank you,” I said, and kissed him. I meant to break away at once, but he caught me, his hand behind my head. “Are you going to complain about this?” he demanded. Wordlessly, I shook my head. My face reddened, remembering my awkward remarks about tongues last time. He must have recalled them as well, for he gave me an inscrutable look. “Open your mouth then.” “Why?” “I’m going to put my tongue in.” That he could joke at a time like this was really unbelievable. Despite my outrage, however, I flung myself into his arms. Half laughing, half furious, I pressed my mouth fiercely against his. He pinned me against the well shaft. The stone chilled my back through my wet clothes, but my skin burned where he held my wrists. Gasping, I could feel the heat of him as his tongue slipped inside. My pulse raced; my body trembled uncontrollably. There was only the hard pressure of his mouth, the slick thrust of his tongue. I wanted to cry, but no tears came. A river was melting in me, my core dissolving like wax in his arms. My ears hummed, I could only hear the rasping of our breaths, the hammering of my heart. A stifled moan escaped my lips. He gave a long sigh and broke away.
Yangsze Choo (The Ghost Bride)
The Peacemaker Colt has now been in production, without change in design, for a century. Buy one to-day and it would be indistinguishable from the one Wyatt Earp wore when he was the Marshal of Dodge City. It is the oldest hand-gun in the world, without question the most famous and, if efficiency in its designated task of maiming and killing be taken as criterion of its worth, then it is also probably the best hand-gun ever made. It is no light thing, it is true, to be wounded by some of the Peacemaker’s more highly esteemed competitors, such as the Luger or Mauser: but the high-velocity, narrow-calibre, steel-cased shell from either of those just goes straight through you, leaving a small neat hole in its wake and spending the bulk of its energy on the distant landscape whereas the large and unjacketed soft-nosed lead bullet from the Colt mushrooms on impact, tearing and smashing bone and muscle and tissue as it goes and expending all its energy on you. In short when a Peacemaker’s bullet hits you in, say, the leg, you don’t curse, step into shelter, roll and light a cigarette one-handed then smartly shoot your assailant between the eyes. When a Peacemaker bullet hits your leg you fall to the ground unconscious, and if it hits the thigh-bone and you are lucky enough to survive the torn arteries and shock, then you will never walk again without crutches because a totally disintegrated femur leaves the surgeon with no option but to cut your leg off. And so I stood absolutely motionless, not breathing, for the Peacemaker Colt that had prompted this unpleasant train of thought was pointed directly at my right thigh. Another thing about the Peacemaker: because of the very heavy and varying trigger pressure required to operate the semi-automatic mechanism, it can be wildly inaccurate unless held in a strong and steady hand. There was no such hope here. The hand that held the Colt, the hand that lay so lightly yet purposefully on the radio-operator’s table, was the steadiest hand I’ve ever seen. It was literally motionless. I could see the hand very clearly. The light in the radio cabin was very dim, the rheostat of the angled table lamp had been turned down until only a faint pool of yellow fell on the scratched metal of the table, cutting the arm off at the cuff, but the hand was very clear. Rock-steady, the gun could have lain no quieter in the marbled hand of a statue. Beyond the pool of light I could half sense, half see the dark outline of a figure leaning back against the bulkhead, head slightly tilted to one side, the white gleam of unwinking eyes under the peak of a hat. My eyes went back to the hand. The angle of the Colt hadn’t varied by a fraction of a degree. Unconsciously, almost, I braced my right leg to meet the impending shock. Defensively, this was a very good move, about as useful as holding up a sheet of newspaper in front of me. I wished to God that Colonel Sam Colt had gone in for inventing something else, something useful, like safety-pins.
Alistair MacLean (When Eight Bells Toll)
Thought I saw you on the beach this morning...Thought I saw you standing on the white strand, your back to the wind. The rain had stopped and there was a brisk clarity in the air. You watched me over your left shoulder, head tucked in coyly. Seabirds flying low in the sky, and the grey-green waves at your foot. A whole panorama thrown up behind you. I was on the coast road coming back from the shops. I stopped walking once I caught sight of you. You were wearing a reefer jacket with the collar turned up against the weather. It might have been navy, but it looked black in the distance. As did your trousers. As did your shoes. All of you was black except your face and hair. You wore no hat...Never once saw you in Winter clothes, yet there you were as clear as day for a whole moment. Only your eyes were visible above the upturned collar. Your hair was in your eyes. You watched me through those pale strands. And I watched you. Intently. The man from down the road drove by in his faded red car. He was going the other way, so he didn't offer a lift. He just waved. I waved back. And then I turned to you again, and we looked at each other a little longer. Very calm. Heart barely shifted. Too far away to see your features. No matter. There was salt on your face. Sea salt. It was in your hair. It was on your mouth. It was all over you, as though you gazed at me through ice. And it was all over me. It tingled on my skin. After a time I moved off, and you broke into two. You realigned yourself into driftwood and stone. I came inside and lit a fire. Sat in front of it and watched it burn. The window fogged up as my clothes and hair dried out. That was hours ago. The fire is nearly gone. But I can still taste the salt on my lips. It is a dry and stinging substance and it is everywhere now. It has touched everything that is left. Coated every surface with its sparkling silt. I will always be thirsty.
Claire Kilroy (All Summer)
His son Peter Bucky happily spent time driving Einstein around, and he later wrote down some of his recollections in extensive notebooks. They provide a delightful picture of the mildly eccentric but deeply un-affected Einstein in his later years. Peter tells, for example, of driving in his convertible with Einstein when it suddenly started to rain. Einstein pulled off his hat and put it under his coat. When Peter looked quizzical, Einstein explained: “You see, my hair has withstood water many times before, but I don’t know how many times my hat can.
Walter Isaacson (Einstein: His Life and Universe)
Many of the old houses, round about, speak very plainly of those days when Kingston was a royal borough, and nobles and courtiers lived there, near their King, and the long road to the palace gates was gay all day with clanking steel and prancing palfreys, and rustling silks and velvets, and fair faces.  The large and spacious houses, with their oriel, latticed windows, their huge fireplaces, and their gabled roofs, breathe of the days of hose and doublet, of pearl-embroidered stomachers, and complicated oaths.  They were upraised in the days “when men knew how to build.”  The hard red bricks have only grown more firmly set with time, and their oak stairs do not creak and grunt when you try to go down them quietly. Speaking of oak staircases reminds me that there is a magnificent carved oak staircase in one of the houses in Kingston.  It is a shop now, in the market-place, but it was evidently once the mansion of some great personage.  A friend of mine, who lives at Kingston, went in there to buy a hat one day, and, in a thoughtless moment, put his hand in his pocket and paid for it then and there.
Jerome K. Jerome (Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog))
The Last Leaf I saw him once before, As he passed by the door, And again The pavement stones resound, As he totters o'er the ground With his cane. They say that in his prime, Ere the pruning-knife of Time Cut him down, Not a better man was found By the Crier on his round Through the town. But now he walks the streets, And looks at all he meets Sad and wan, And he shakes his feeble head, That it seems as if he said, "They are gone." The mossy marbles rest On the lips that he has prest In their bloom, And the names he loved to hear Have been carved for many a year On the tomb. My grandmamma has said Poor old lady, she is dead Long ago That he had a Roman nose, And his cheek was like a rose In the snow; But now his nose is thin, And it rests upon his chin Like a staff, And a crook is in his back, And a melancholy crack In his laugh. I know it is a sin For me to sit and grin At him here; But the old three-cornered hat, And the breeches, and all that, Are so queer! And if I should live to be The last leaf upon the tree In the spring, Let them smile, as I do now, At the old forsaken bough Where I cling.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.
In Berkeley and San Francisco, the revolution didn't seem to far away. A lot of white radicals, hippies, Chicanos, Blacks, and Asians were ready to get down. But i hadn't forgotten the hard hats and the red necks and the bible belt and the so called middle amerikans who had elected Nixon. I couldn't imagine how the "new left" was talking to those people, much less organizing and changing their minds. I decided the only way i would come up with answers was to on keep studying and struggling. I didn't know how half of what i was studying would fit in but i figured it would all come in handy some day. I read about guerrilla warfare and clandestine struggle without having the faintest idea that one day i would go underground. It's kind of funny when i think about it because reading that stuff had probably saved my life a million times.
Assata Shakur (Assata: An Autobiography)
Call me Ishmael. Some years ago--never mind how long precisely--having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen and regulating the circulation. Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off--then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can. This is my substitute for pistol and ball. With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship. There is nothing surprising in this. If they but knew it, almost all men in their degree, some time or other, cherish very nearly the same feelings towards the ocean with me. There now is your insular city of the Manhattoes, belted round by wharves as Indian isles by coral reefs--commerce surrounds it with her surf. Right and left, the streets take you waterward. Its extreme downtown is the battery, where that noble mole is washed by waves, and cooled by breezes, which a few hours previous were out of sight of land. Look at the crowds of water-gazers there. Circumambulate the city of a dreamy Sabbath afternoon. Go from Corlears Hook to Coenties Slip, and from thence, by Whitehall, northward. What do you see?--Posted like silent sentinels all around the town, stand thousands upon thousands of mortal men fixed in ocean reveries. Some leaning against the spiles; some seated upon the pier-heads; some looking over the bulwarks of ships from China; some high aloft in the rigging, as if striving to get a still better seaward peep. But these are all landsmen; of week days pent up in lath and plaster--tied to counters, nailed to benches, clinched to desks. How then is this? Are the green fields gone? What do they here? But look! here come more crowds, pacing straight for the water, and seemingly bound for a dive. Strange! Nothing will content them but the extremest limit of the land; loitering under the shady lee of yonder warehouses will not suffice. No. They must get just as nigh the water as they possibly can without falling in. And there they stand--miles of them--leagues. Inlanders all, they come from lanes and alleys, streets and avenues--north, east, south, and west. Yet here they all unite. Tell me, does the magnetic virtue of the needles of the compasses of all those ships attract them thither? Once more. Say you are in the country; in some high land of lakes. Take almost any path you please, and ten to one it carries you down in a dale, and leaves you there by a pool in the stream. There is magic in it. Let the most absent-minded of men be plunged in his deepest reveries--stand that man on his legs, set his feet a-going, and he will infallibly lead you to water, if water there be in all that region. Should you ever be athirst in the great American desert, try this experiment, if your caravan happen to be supplied with a metaphysical professor. Yes, as every one knows, meditation and water are wedded for ever.
Herman Melville (Moby-Dick or, the Whale)
THE FORTRESS Under the pink quilted covers I hold the pulse that counts your blood. I think the woods outdoors are half asleep, left over from summer like a stack of books after a flood, left over like those promises I never keep. On the right, the scrub pine tree waits like a fruit store holding up bunches of tufted broccoli. We watch the wind from our square bed. I press down my index finger -- half in jest, half in dread -- on the brown mole under your left eye, inherited from my right cheek: a spot of danger where a bewitched worm ate its way through our soul in search of beauty. My child, since July the leaves have been fed secretly from a pool of beet-red dye. And sometimes they are battle green with trunks as wet as hunters' boots, smacked hard by the wind, clean as oilskins. No, the wind's not off the ocean. Yes, it cried in your room like a wolf and your pony tail hurt you. That was a long time ago. The wind rolled the tide like a dying woman. She wouldn't sleep, she rolled there all night, grunting and sighing. Darling, life is not in my hands; life with its terrible changes will take you, bombs or glands, your own child at your breast, your own house on your own land. Outside the bittersweet turns orange. Before she died, my mother and I picked those fat branches, finding orange nipples on the gray wire strands. We weeded the forest, curing trees like cripples. Your feet thump-thump against my back and you whisper to yourself. Child, what are you wishing? What pact are you making? What mouse runs between your eyes? What ark can I fill for you when the world goes wild? The woods are underwater, their weeds are shaking in the tide; birches like zebra fish flash by in a pack. Child, I cannot promise that you will get your wish. I cannot promise very much. I give you the images I know. Lie still with me and watch. A pheasant moves by like a seal, pulled through the mulch by his thick white collar. He's on show like a clown. He drags a beige feather that he removed, one time, from an old lady's hat. We laugh and we touch. I promise you love. Time will not take away that.
Anne Sexton (Selected Poems)
Oooo, what is that?” Red yelled when she saw the palace. “That’s Buckingham Palace,” Alex said. “It’s where the monarchy resides.” Red was mesmerized. “What a stylish and tasteful place! Look at that beautiful statue out front of it in the middle of the street! That looks exactly like the statue I wanted to build in celebration of Charlie’s and my wedding!” Red left the others and flew down to the gate. She peered through the bars at the palace in delight. She had to hang on to the bars tightly because the fairy dust was making her drift back to the sky. One of the palace guards on duty saw Red and stared at her in disbelief. It wasn’t every day he saw a floating woman at the gate. “Yoo-hoo!” Red called to him. “I just love your hat! Please tell the current monarch that Queen Red of the Center Kingdom says hello —” Conner flew to the gate and pulled Red’s hands off the bars. “Red, come on. You’re gonna get left behind!
Chris Colfer (Beyond the Kingdoms (The Land of Stories #4))
When I was brought down from my prison to the Court of Bankruptcy, between two policemen,—waited in the long dreary corridor that, before the whole crowd, whom an action so sweet and simple hushed into silence, he might gravely raise his hat to me, as, handcuffed and with bowed head, I passed him by. Men have gone to heaven for smaller things than that. It was in this spirit, and with this mode of love, that the saints knelt down to wash the feet of the poor, or stooped to kiss the leper on the cheek. I have never said one single word to him about what he did. I do not know to the present moment whether he is aware that I was even conscious of his action. It is not a thing for which one can render formal thanks in formal words. I store it in the treasure-house of my heart. I keep it there as a secret debt that I am glad to think I can never possibly repay. It is embalmed and kept sweet by the myrrh and cassia of many tears.
Oscar Wilde (De Profundis)
KODO SAWAKI: During World War II, when I visited a coal mine in Kyushu, they allowed me to go into the mine. Like the miners, I put on a hard hat with a headlamp and went down the shaft in an elevator. For a while, I thought the elevator was going down very fast. Then I started to feel as if it were going up. I shone my headlamp on the shaft and realized the elevator was still going down steadily. When an elevator starts descending with increasing speed, we feel it going down, but once the speed becomes fixed, we feel as if the elevator were rising. The balance has shifted. In the ups and downs of life, we’re deceived by the difference in the balance. Saying, “I’ve had satori!” is only feeling a difference in the balance. Saying, “I’m deluded!” is feeling another. To say food tastes delicious or terrible, to be rich or poor, all are just feelings about shifts in the balance. In most cases, our ordinary way of thinking only considers differences in the balance. Human beings put I into everything without knowing it. We sometimes say, “That was really good!” What’s it good for? It’s just good for me, that’s all. We usually do things expecting some personal profit. And if the results turn out different from our hidden agenda, we feel disappointed and exhausted.
Kosho Uchiyama (Zen Teaching of Homeless Kodo)
And what of our understanding?" he demanded. "The handfasting?" Lizzie's heart skipped a beat. She swallowed down her fear and lifted her chin. "I've no' cried off if that is what you mean. You sent me a bonnet--" "Woman, I've never in my life imagine one could attach so much meaning to a bloody bonnet It was a hat! No' a jewel, no' a horse--" "And I am still waiting to hear you say that you esteem me," she said stubbornly. "If ye donna, I will return to Thorntree today and you have my vow I shall never bother you again." "I donna esteem you! he cried heavenward, and Lizzie's heart lurched. "What is in that head of yours, lass? I love you!
Julia London (Highland Scandal (The Scandalous Series, #2))
Ieronym took hold of the cable with both hands, curved himself into a question mark, and grunted. The ferry creaked and lurched. The silhouette of the peasant in the tall hat slowly began to recede from me--which meant that the ferry was moving. Soon Ieronym straightened up and began working with one hand. We were silent and looked at the bank towards which we were now moving. There the "lumination" which the peasant had been waiting for was already beginning. At the water's edge, barrels of pitch blazed like huge bonfires. Their reflection, crimson as the rising moon, crept to meet us in long, wide stripes. The burning barrels threw light on their own smoke and on the long human shadows that flitted about the fire; but further to the sides and behind them, where the velvet ringing rushed from, was the same impenetrable darkness. Suddenly slashing it open, the golden ribbon of a rocket soared skywards; it described an arc and, as if shattering against the sky, burst and came sifting down in sparks. On the bank a noise was heard resembling a distant "hoorah." "How beautiful," I said. "It's even impossible to say how beautiful!" sighed Ieronym. "It's that kind of night, sir! At other times you don't pay attention to rockets, but now any vain thing makes you glad. Where are you from?
Anton Chekhov (Short Stories)
It doesn't happen to me anymore, because a fresh generation of Africans and Asians has arisen to take over the business, but in my early years in Washington, D.C., I would often find myself in the back of a big beat-up old cab driven by an African-American veteran. I became used to the formalities of the mise-en-scène: on some hot and drowsy Dixie-like afternoon I would flag down a flaking Chevy. Behind the wheel, leaning wa-aay back and relaxed, often with a cigar stub in the corner of his mouth (and, I am not making this up, but sometimes also with a genuine porkpie hat on the back of his head) would be a grizzled man with the waist of his pants somewhere up around his armpits. I would state my desired destination. In accordance with ancient cabdriver custom, he would say nothing inresponse but simply engage the stickshift on his steering wheel and begin to cruise in a leisurely fashion. There would be a pause. Then: 'You from England?' I would always try to say something along the lines of 'Well, I'm in no position to deny it.' This occasionally got me a grin; in any case, I always knew what was coming next. 'I was there once.' 'Were you in the service?' 'I sure was.' 'Did you get to Normandy?' 'Yes, sir.' But it wasn't Normandy or combat about which they wanted to reminisce. (With real combat veterans, by the way, it almost never is.) It was England itself. 'Man did it know how to rain… and the warm beer. Nice people, though. Real nice.' I would never forget to say, as I got out and deliberately didn't overtip (that seeming a cheap thing to do), how much this effort on their part was remembered and appreciated.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
Maj Thapa rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and served till he retired. He continued to attend almost all the Republic Day parades from 1964 to 2004. Sick and undergoing dialysis for kidney failure in Delhi, Lt Col Thapa would slip in and out of consciousness in his last year. Poornima, who was taking care of him, pleaded with him to not attend the parade that year, but he refused gently yet firmly. ‘When I wear my uniform and go for the parade, I represent my soldiers; those men who fought a war with me. I cannot let them down,’ he told her. Though he could hardly stand for long or even stay alert, he put on his uniform, pinned on his PVC, tilted his Gorkha hat at the perfect angle and went for the parade, remembers Poornima. Through sheer willpower, he managed to stand in the jeep till he had saluted the President. After that, he sat down. That would be the last Republic Day parade he would attend. On 5 September 2005, Lt Col Thapa died of kidney failure. He was 77 years old.
Rachna Bisht Rawat (The Brave: Param Vir Chakra Stories)
When she (Marjorie) was at her prayers (which was pretty often just now), and at other times, when the air lightened suddenly about her and the burdens of earth were lifted as if another hand were put to them, why, then, all was glory, and she saw Robin as transfigured and herself beneath him all but adoring. Little visions came and went before her imagination. Robin riding, like some knight on an adventure, to do Christ's work; Robin at the altar, in his vestments; Robin absolving penitents- all in a rosy light of faith and romance. She saw him even on the scaffold, undaunted and resolute, with God's light on his face, and the crowd awed beneath him; she saw his soul entering heaven, with all the harps ringing to meet him, and eternity begun...and then, at other times, when the heaviness came down on her, as clouds upon the Derbyshire hills, she understood nothing but that she had lost him; that she was not to be hers, but Another's; that a loveless and empty life lay before her, and a womanhood that was without its fruition. And it was this latter mood that fell on her, swift and entire, when, looking out from her window a little before dinnertime, she saw suddenly his hat, and his horse's head, jerking up the steep path to the house. She fell on her knees by her bedside. 'Jesu!' She cried. 'Jesu! Give me strength to meet him.
Robert Hugh Benson (Come Rack! Come Rope!)
WHEN I AM AN OLD WOMAN I SHALL WEAR PURPLE With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me. And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter. I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells And run my stick along the public railings And make up for the sobriety of my youth. I shall go out in my slippers in the rain And pick the flowers in other people's gardens And learn to spit You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat And eat three pounds of sausages at a go Or only bread and pickle for a week And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes But now we must have clothes that keep us dry And pay our rent and not swear in the street And set a good example for the children. We must have friends to dinner and read the papers. But maybe I ought to practice a little now? So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.
Jenny Joseph
When we entered a classroom we always tossed our caps on the floor, to free our hands; as soon as we crossed the threshold we would throw them under the bench so hard that they struck the wall and raised a cloud of dust; this was "the way it should be done." But the new boy either failed to notice this maneuver or was too shy to perform it himself, for he was still holding his cap on his lap at the end of the prayer. It was a head-gear of composite nature, combining elements of the busby, the lancer cap, the round hat, the otter-skin cap and the cotton nightcap--one of those wretched things whose mute ugliness has great depths of expression, like an idiot's face. Egg-shaped and stiffened by whalebone, it began with three rounded bands, followed by alternating diamond-shaped patches of velvet and rabbit fur separated by a red stripe, and finally there was a kind of bag terminating in a cardboard-lined polygon covered with complicated braid. A network of gold wire was attached to the top of this polygon by a long, extremely thin cord, forming a kind of tassel. The cap was new; its visor was shiny. "Stand up," said the teacher. He stood up; his cap fell. The whole class began to laugh. He bent down and picked it up. A boy beside him knocked it down again with his elbow; he picked it up once again. "Will you please put your helmet away?" said the teacher, a witty man.
Gustave Flaubert (Madame Bovary)
What would you like for your own life, Kate, if you could choose?” “Anything?” “Of course anything.” “That’s really easy, Aunty Ivy.” “Go on then.” “A straw hat...with a bright scarlet ribbon tied around the top and a bow at the back. A tea-dress like girls used to wear, with big red poppies all over the fabric. A pair of flat, white pumps, comfortable but really pretty. A bicycle with a basket on the front. In the basket is a loaf of fresh bread, cheese, fruit oh...and a bottle of sparkly wine, you know, like posh people drink. “I’m cycling down a lane. There are no lorries or cars or bicycles. No people – just me. The sun is shining through the trees, making patterns on the ground. At the end of the lane is a gate, sort of hidden between the bushes and trees. I stop at the gate, get off the bike and wheel it into the garden. “In the garden there are flowers of all kinds, especially roses. They’re my favourite. I walk down the little path to a cottage. It’s not big, just big enough. The front door needs painting and has a little stained glass window at the top. I take the food out of the basket and go through the door. “Inside, everything is clean, pretty and bright. There are vases of flowers on every surface and it smells sweet, like lemon cake. At the end of the room are French windows. They need painting too, but it doesn’t matter. I go through the French windows into a beautiful garden. Even more flowers there...and a veranda. On the veranda is an old rocking chair with patchwork cushions and next to it a little table that has an oriental tablecloth with gold tassels. I put the food on the table and pour the wine into a glass. I’d sit in the rocking chair and close my eyes and think to myself... this is my place.” From A DISH OF STONES
Valentina Hepburn (A Dish of Stones)
She climbed down the cliffs after tying her sweater loosely around her waist. Down below she could see nothing but jagged rocks and waves. She was creful, but I watched her feet more than the view she saw- I worried about her slipping. My mother's desire to reach those waves, touch her feet to another ocean on the other side of the country, was all she was thinking of- the pure baptismal goal of it. Whoosh and you can start over again. Or was life more like the horrible game in gym that has you running from one side of an enclosed space to another, picking up and setting down wooden blocks without end? She was thinking reach the waves, the waves, the waves, and I was watching her navigate the rocks, and when we heard her we did so together- looking up in shock. It was a baby on the beach. In among the rocks was a sandy cove, my mother now saw, and crawling across the sand on a blanket was a baby in knitted pink cap and singlet and boots. She was alone on the blanket with a stuffed white toy- my mother thought a lamb. With their backs to my mother as she descended were a group of adults-very official and frantic-looking- wearing black and navy with cool slants to their hats and boots. Then my wildlife photographer's eye saw the tripods and silver circles rimmed by wire, which, when a young man moved them left or right, bounced light off or on the baby on her blanket. My mother started laughing, but only one assistant turned to notice her up among the rocks; everyone else was too busy. This was an ad for something. I imagined, but what? New fresh infant girls to replace your own? As my mother laughed and I watched her face light up, I also saw it fall into strange lines. She saw the waves behind the girl child and how both beautiful and intoxicating they were- they could sweep up so softly and remove this gril from the beach. All the stylish people could chase after her, but she would drown in a moment- no one, not even a mother who had every nerve attuned to anticipate disaster, could have saved her if the waves leapt up, if life went on as usual and freak accidents peppered a calm shore.
Alice Sebold (The Lovely Bones)
In the meantime, the Bear had attained the Avenue, where blinding, brilliant traffic travelled like a line of light from north to south, as if between worlds. But it was Jacob who saw the ladder, wrestled with the angel, and obtained a birthright under false pretenses. The Bear had done none of these things. He pulled the hat brim farther down on his face and walked south beneath the vault of darkness, above him like guardians or heralds the electric signs of bars and stores- white, orange, yellow, gold, red, brilliant blue and green, occasional imperial purple - as if they were angels that had descended to earth only to hire themselves out as lures for business, possibly for reasons of pity. The Bear walked beneath them like a resolute and powerful man, the saxophone case at his side swinging like a cache of fate, love, gold or vengeance. When he realised that he could have his pick of them - that all options, attributions and possibilities actually were open to him, that he was, at the moment, exalted, liberated, free - he stopped walking for a moment, put down the saxophone case, looked gradually around him at the Avenue, raised his snout and smiled broadly, and there on the pavement stretched out his great and inevitable arms. Aah. The night entered him like honey, and he began so heartily and with such depth of pleasure that it might have been for the first time in his life, to laugh out loud.
Rafi Zabor
Inside the house there was no sound save the ticking of the mantel clock in the front room. He went out and shut the door. "Dark and cold and no wind and a thin gray reef beginning along the eastern rim of the world. He walked out on the prairie and stood holding his hat like some supplicant to the darkness over them all and he stood there for a long time. "As he turned to go he heard the train. He stopped and waited for it. He could feel it under his feet. It came boring out of the east like some ribald satellite of the coming sun howling and bellowing in the distance and the long light of the headlamp running through the tangled mesquite brakes and creating out of the night the endless fenceline down the dead straight right of way and sucking it back again wire and post mile on mile into the darkness after where the boilersmoke disbanded slowly along the faint new horizon and the sound came lagging and he stood still holding his hat in his hands in the passing ground-shudder watching it till it was gone. Then he turned and went back to the house.
Cormac McCarthy (All the Pretty Horses (The Border Trilogy, #1))
Once he saw a young girl with a small black satchel descend from a train, and she seemed so lonely and frightened that he wanted to shout to her and run down to her and smile and tell her, My name is Joe Silvera. I was born in this town, but I went away when I was seventeen and stayed away seven years. I've been back four months. I live across the street. I'm a painter. Come on up to my place and rest; I've got some wine. All he did, though, was stare at her, and finally when she disappeared, walking down Tulare Street, he wanted very much, even then, to run down to the street and catch up with her; and a day later he wanted to look for her all over town; and a week later he wondered where she might be.
William Saroyan (Love, Here is My Hat)
Exchanging Hats Unfunny uncles who insist in trying on a lady's hat, --oh, even if the joke falls flat, we share your slight transvestite twist in spite of our embarrassment. Costume and custom are complex. The headgear of the other sex inspires us to experiment. Anandrous aunts, who, at the beach with paper plates upon your laps, keep putting on the yachtsmen's caps with exhibitionistic screech, the visors hanging o'er the ear so that the golden anchors drag, --the tides of fashion never lag. Such caps may not be worn next year. Or you who don the paper plate itself, and put some grapes upon it, or sport the Indian's feather bonnet, --perversities may aggravate the natural madness of the hatter. And if the opera hats collapse and crowns grow draughty, then, perhaps, he thinks what might a miter matter? Unfunny uncle, you who wore a hat too big, or one too many, tell us, can't you, are there any stars inside your black fedora? Aunt exemplary and slim, with avernal eyes, we wonder what slow changes they see under their vast, shady, turned-down brim.
Elizabeth Bishop
This was why love was so dangerous. Love turned the world into a garden, so beguiling it was easy to forget that rose petals sails appeared charmed. They blazed red in the day and silver at night, like a magician’s cloak, hinting at mysteries concealed beneath, which Tella planned to uncover that night. Drunken laughter floated above her as Tella delved deeper into the ship’s underbelly in search of Nigel the Fortune-teller. Her first evening on the vessel she’d made the mistake of sleeping, not realizing until the following day that Legend’s performers had switched their waking hours to prepare for the next Caraval. They slumbered in the day and woke after sunset. All Tella had learned her first day aboard La Esmeralda was that Nigel was on the ship, but she had yet to actually see him. The creaking halls beneath decks were like the bridges of Caraval, leading different places at different hours and making it difficult to know who stayed in which room. Tella wondered if Legend had designed it that way, or if it was just the unpredictable nature of magic. She imagined Legend in his top hat, laughing at the question and at the idea that magic had more control than he did. For many, Legend was the definition of magic. When she had first arrived on Isla de los Sueños, Tella suspected everyone could be Legend. Julian had so many secrets that she’d questioned if Legend’s identity was one of them, up until he’d briefly died. Caspar, with his sparkling eyes and rich laugh, had played the role of Legend in the last game, and at times he’d been so convincing Tella wondered if he was actually acting. At first sight, Dante, who was almost too beautiful to be real, looked like the Legend she’d always imagined. Tella could picture Dante’s wide shoulders filling out a black tailcoat while a velvet top hat shadowed his head. But the more Tella thought about Legend, the more she wondered if he even ever wore a top hat. If maybe the symbol was another thing to throw people off. Perhaps Legend was more magic than man and Tella had never met him in the flesh at all. The boat rocked and an actual laugh pierced the quiet. Tella froze. The laughter ceased but the air in the thin corridor shifted. What had smelled of salt and wood and damp turned thick and velvet-sweet. The scent of roses. Tella’s skin prickled; gooseflesh rose on her bare arms. At her feet a puddle of petals formed a seductive trail of red. Tella might not have known Legend’s true name, but she knew he favored red and roses and games. Was this his way of toying with her? Did he know what she was up to? The bumps on her arms crawled up to her neck and into her scalp as her newest pair of slippers crushed the tender petals. If Legend knew what she was after, Tella couldn’t imagine he would guide her in the correct direction, and yet the trail of petals was too tempting to avoid. They led to a door that glowed copper around the edges. She turned the knob. And her world transformed into a garden, a paradise made of blossoming flowers and bewitching romance. The walls were formed of moonlight. The ceiling was made of roses that dripped down toward the table in the center of the room, covered with plates of cakes and candlelight and sparkling honey wine. But none of it was for Tella. It was all for Scarlett. Tella had stumbled into her sister’s love story and it was so romantic it was painful to watch. Scarlett stood across the chamber. Her full ruby gown bloomed brighter than any flowers, and her glowing skin rivaled the moon as she gazed up at Julian. They touched nothing except each other. While Scarlett pressed her lips to Julian’s, his arms wrapped around her as if he’d found the one thing he never wanted to let go of. This was why love was so dangerous. Love turned the world into a garden, so beguiling it was easy to forget that rose petals were as ephemeral as feelings, eventually they would wilt and die, leaving nothing but the thorns.
Stephanie Garber (Legendary (Caraval, #2))
You mean his kisses." Hannah corrected her. Jonas narrowed his gaze. "You seem obsessed with his kisses, Hannah." She shrugged. "It's been a while. I'm looking for a little action." His eyebrow shot up. "Oh, really?" Jonas leaned down, his hand twisting in her hair, holding her head perfectly still as his mouth took possession of hers. Libby gasped in shock. The kiss seemed to go on and on forever. And there was definitely tongue. Hannah not only wasn't struggling, she seemed to be kissing him back. Jonas pulled away just as abruptly, shoving his hat on his head and turning toward the living room. "That should hold you for a while. Next time you're feeling a little hard up, give me a call." He strode out of the room.
Christine Feehan (Dangerous Tides (Drake Sisters, #4))
That’s just the way life is. It can be exquisite, cruel, frequently wacky, but above all utterly, utterly random. Those twin imposters in the bell-fringed jester hats, Justice and Fairness—they aren’t constants of the natural order like entropy or the periodic table. They’re completely alien notions to the way things happen out there in the human rain forest. Justice and Fairness are the things we’re supposed to contribute back to the world for giving us the gift of life—not birthrights we should expect and demand every second of the day. What do you say we drop the intellectual cowardice? There is no fate, and there is no safety net. I’m not saying God doesn’t exist. I believe in God. But he’s not a micromanager, so stop asking Him to drop the crisis in Rwanda and help you find your wallet. Life is a long, lonely journey down a day-in-day-out lard-trail of dropped tacos. Mop it up, not for yourself, but for the guy behind you who’s too busy trying not to drop his own tacos to make sure he doesn’t slip and fall on your mistakes. So don’t speed and weave in traffic; other people have babies in their cars. Don’t litter. Don’t begrudge the poor because they have a fucking food stamp. Don’t be rude to overwhelmed minimum-wage sales clerks, especially teenagers—they have that job because they don’t have a clue. You didn’t either at that age. Be understanding with them. Share your clues. Remember that your sense of humor is inversely proportional to your intolerance. Stop and think on Veterans Day. And don’t forget to vote. That is, unless you send money to TV preachers, have more than a passing interest in alien abduction or recentlypurchased a fish on a wall plaque that sings ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy.’ In that case, the polls are a scary place! Under every ballot box is a trapdoor chute to an extraterrestrial escape pod filled with dental tools and squeaking, masturbating little green men from the Devil Star. In conclusion, Class of Ninety-seven, keep your chins up, grab your mops and get in the game. You don’t have to make a pile of money or change society. Just clean up after yourselves without complaining. And, above all, please stop and appreciate the days when the tacos don’t fall, and give heartfelt thanks to whomever you pray to….
Tim Dorsey (Triggerfish Twist (Serge Storms, #4))
A hundred hands wanted shaking, a hundred tongues expressed their condolences. Thank you, said William, and Kind of you, endlessly. Between his uncle and the helpfulness of the Misses Young and all these other people, William was never alone, not for an hour, except to sleep. He went to bed with the distant, certain expectation that overnight the world would put itself right. He slept for long hours: endless, dreamless sleep, which did not refresh, and when he woke the world bewildered him by persisting in its wayward course. He felt weighted down and dreary. A fog settled between him and his own thoughts, and behind it, unformulated, unexamined, was this: How long before things go back to normal? His mother was dead: he had seen the body; yet this knowledge refused to find a settled place in his mind. It came and went, surprised him every time he chanced upon it, and there were a million reasons not to believe it. His mother was dead, but look: here were her clothes and here her tea cups, here her Sunday hat on the shelf over the coat hook. His mother was dead, but hark: the garden gate! Any moment now she would come through the door.
Diane Setterfield (Bellman & Black)
I’ll need a deposit, of course. I think that’s where your ring comes in handy.” Ira extended his open hand toward Camille. She took off the sapphire and slapped it into his palm. “And McGreenery?” Oscar asked. Ira nodded and threw his hat back on. He pulled it tight and grinned from ear to ear. “Leave him to me, mates. I’ll meet you at the blacksmith’s in town tomorrow morning, eight o’clock sharp.” Oscar took a step closer, towering over Ira. “If you’re not there, I’ll find you. And you don’t want me to have to find you.” Ira cleared his throat and pulled the brim of his hat. “Then I better not oversleep.” He swiveled on his heel with the same lighthearted air Camille had loved about her father and strolled back down the road. The similarity to her father ended there.
Angie Frazier (Everlasting (Everlasting, #1))
The decades that she devoted to conserving her husband’s legacy made Eliza only more militantly loyal to his memory, and there was one injury she could never forget: the exposure of the Maria Reynolds affair, for which she squarely blamed James Monroe. In the 1820s, after Monroe had completed two terms as president, he called upon Eliza in Washington, D.C., hoping to thaw the frost between them. Eliza was then about seventy and staying at her daughter’s home. She was sitting in the backyard with her fifteen-year-old nephew when a maid emerged and presented the ex-president’s card. Far from being flattered by this distinguished visitor, Eliza was taken aback. “She read the name and stood holding the card, much perturbed,” said her nephew. “Her voice sank and she spoke very low, as she always did when she was angry. ‘What has that man come to see me for?’” The nephew said that Monroe must have stopped by to pay his respects. She wavered. “I will see him,” she finally agreed.13 So the small woman with the upright carriage and the sturdy, determined step marched stiffly into the house. When she entered the parlor, Monroe rose to greet her. Eliza then did something out of character and socially unthinkable: she stood facing the ex-president but did not invite him to sit down. With a bow, Monroe began what sounded like a well-rehearsed speech, stating “that it was many years since they had met, that the lapse of time brought its softening influences, that they both were nearing the grave, when past differences could be forgiven and forgotten.”14 Eliza saw that Monroe was trying to draw a moral equation between them and apportion blame equally for the long rupture in their relationship. Even at this late date, thirty years after the fact, she was not in a forgiving mood. “Mr. Monroe,” she told him, “if you have come to tell me that you repent, that you are sorry, very sorry, for the misrepresentations and the slanders and the stories you circulated against my dear husband, if you have come to say this, I understand it. But otherwise, no lapse of time, no nearness to the grave, makes any difference.”15 Monroe took in this rebuke without comment. Stunned by the fiery words delivered by the elderly little woman in widow’s weeds, the ex-president picked up his hat, bid Eliza good day, and left the house, never to return.
Ron Chernow (Alexander Hamilton)
So where is it?” Harry asked suspiciously. “Unfortunately,” said Scrimgeour, “that sword was not Dumbledore’s to give away. The sword of Godric Gryffindor is an important historical artifact, and as such, belongs—” “It belongs to Harry!” said Hermione hotly. “It chose him, he was the one who found it, it came to him out of the Sorting Hat—” “According to reliable historical sources, the sword may present itself to any worthy Gryffindor,” said Scrimgeour. “That does not make it the exclusive property of Mr. Potter, whatever Dumbledore may have decided.” Scrimgeour scratched his badly shaven cheek, scrutinizing Harry. “Why do you think—?” “—Dumbledore wanted to give me the sword?” said Harry, struggling to keep his temper. “Maybe he thought it would look nice on my wall.” “This is not a joke, Potter!” growled Scrimgeour. “Was it because Dumbledore believed that only the sword of Godric Gryffindor could defeat the Heir of Slytherin? Did he wish to give you that sword, Potter, because he believed, as do many, that you are the one destined to destroy He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named?” “Interesting theory,” said Harry. “Has anyone ever tried sticking a sword in Voldemort? Maybe the Ministry should put some people onto that, instead of wasting their time stripping down Deluminators or covering up breakouts from Azakaban. So is this what you’ve been doing, Minister, shut up in your office, trying to break open a Snitch? People are dying—I was nearly one of them—Voldemort chased me across three counties, he killed Mad-Eye Moody, but there’s been no word about any of that from the Ministry, has there? And you still expect us to cooperate with you?” “You go too far!” shouted Scrimgeour, standing up; Harry jumped to his feet too. Scrimgeour limped toward Harry and jabbed him hard in the chest with the point of his wand: It singed a hole in Harry’s T-shirt like a lit cigarette. “Oi!” said Ron, jumping up and raising his own wand, but Harry said, “No! D’you want to give him an excuse to arrest us?” “Remembered you’re not at school, have you?” said Scrimgeour, breathing hard into Harry’s face. “Remembered that I am not Dumbledore, who forgave your insolence and insubordination? You may wear that scar like a crown, Potter, but it is not up to a seventeen-year-old boy to tell me how to do my job! It’s time you learned some respect!” “It’s time you earned it,” said Harry.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
We’re workers, they say. Work, they call it! That’s the crummiest part of the whole business. We’re down in the hold, heaving and panting, stinking and sweating our balls off, and meanwhile! Up on deck in the fresh air, what do you see?! Our masters having a fine time with beautiful pink and perfumed women on their laps. They send for us, we’re brought up on deck. They put on their top hats and give us a big spiel like as follows: “You no-good swine! We’re at war! Those stinkers in Country No. 2! We’re going to board them and cut their livers out! Let’s go! Let’s go! We’ve got everything we need on board! All together now! Let’s hear you shout so the deck trembles: ‘Long live Country No. 1!’ So you’ll be heard for miles around. The man that shouts the loudest will get a medal and a lollipop! Let’s
Louis-Ferdinand Céline (Journey to the End of the Night)
At the end of the world there lies a mountain so high it makes you dizzy even to think about it. It is as black as soot, as smooth as silk, terribly steep, and where there should be a bottom, there are only clouds. But high up on the peak stands the Hobgoblin's House, and it looks like this." And Snufkin drew a house in the sand. "Hasn't it got any windows?" asked Sniff. "No," said Snufkin, "and it hasn't got a door either, because the Hobgoblin always goes home by air riding on a black panther. He goes out every night and collects rubies in his hat." "What did you say?" asked Sniff, with his eyes popping out of his head. "Rubies! Where does he get them from?" "The Hobgoblin can change himself into anything he likes," Snufkin answered, "and then he can crawl under the ground and even down onto the sea bed where buried treasure lies.
Tove Jansson (Finn Family Moomintroll (The Moomins, #3))
When she first fell in love with Jack, she had dreamed she could fly, that on a warm, inky black night she had pushed off the grass with her bare feet to float among the leafy treetops and stars in her nightgown. The sensation had returned. Through the window, the night air appeared dense, each snowflake slowed in its long, tumbling fall through the black. It was the kind of snow that brought children running out their doors, made them turn their faces skyward, and spin in circles with their arms outstretched. She stood spellbound in her apron, a washrag in her hand. Perhaps it was the recollection of that dream, or the hypnotic nature of the spinning snow. Maybe it was Esther in her overalls and flowered blouse, shooting bears and laughing out loud. Mabel set down the rag and untied her apron. She slipped her feet into her boots, put on one of Jack’s wool coats, and found a hat and some mittens.
Eowyn Ivey (The Snow Child)
ON THE A TRAIN There were no seats to be had on the A train last night, but I had a good grip on the pole at the end of one of the seats and I was reading the beauty column of the Journal-American, which the man next to me was holding up in front of him. All of a sudden I felt a tap on my arm, and I looked down and there was a man beginning to stand up from the seat where he was sitting. "Would you like to sit down?" he said. Well, I said the first thing that came into my head, I was so surprised and pleased to be offered a seat in the subway. "Oh, thank you very much," I said, "but I am getting out at the next station." He sat back and that was that, but I felt all set up and I thought what a nice man he must be and I wondered what his wife was like and I thought how lucky she was to have such a polite husband, and then all of a sudden I realized that I wasn't getting out at the next station at all but the one after that, and I felt perfectly terrible. I decided to get out at the next station anyway, but then I thought, If I get out at the next station and wait around for the next train I'll miss my bus and they only go every hour and that will be silly. So I decided to brazen it out as best I could, and when the train was slowing up at the next station I stared at the man until I caught his eye and then I said, "I just remembered this isn't my station after all." Then I thought he would think I was asking him to stand up and give me his seat, so I said, "But I still don't want to sit down, because I'm getting off at the next station." I showed him by my expression that I thought it was all rather funny, and he smiled, more or less, and nodded, and lifted his hat and put it back on his head again and looked away. He was one of those small, rather glum or sad men who always look off into the distance after they have finished what they are saying, when they speak. I felt quite proud of my strong-mindedness at not getting off the train and missing my bus simply because of the fear of a little embarrassment, but just as the train was shutting its doors I peered out and there it was, 168th Street. "Oh dear!" I said. "That was my station and now I have missed the bus!" I was fit to be fled, and I had spoken quite loudly, and I felt extremely foolish, and I looked down, and the man who had offered me his seat was partly looking at me, and I said, "Now, isn't that silly? That was my station. A Hundred and Sixty-eighth Street is where I'm supposed to get off." I couldn't help laughing, it was all so awful, and he looked away, and the train fidgeted along to the next station, and I got off as quickly as I possibly could and tore over to the downtown platform and got a local to 168th, but of course I had missed my bus by a minute, or maybe two minutes. I felt very much at a loose end wandering around 168th Street, and I finally went into a rudely appointed but friendly bar and had a martini, warm but very soothing, which cost me only fifty cents. While I was sipping it, trying to make it last to exactly the moment that would get me a good place in the bus queue without having to stand too long in the cold, I wondered what I should have done about that man in the subway. After all, if I had taken his seat I probably would have got out at 168th Street, which would have meant that I would hardly have been sitting down before I would have been getting up again, and that would have seemed odd. And rather grasping of me. And he wouldn't have got his seat back, because some other grasping person would have slipped into it ahead of him when I got up. He seemed a retiring sort of man, not pushy at all. I hesitate to think of how he must have regretted offering me his seat. Sometimes it is very hard to know the right thing to do.
Maeve Brennan
Bitch" Now, when he and I meet, after all these years, I say to the bitch inside me, don’t start growling. He isn’t a trespasser anymore, Just an old acquaintance tipping his hat. My voice says, “Nice to see you,” As the bitch starts to bark hysterically. He isn’t an enemy now, Where are your manners, I say, as I say, “How are the children? They must be growing up.” At a kind word from him, a look like the old days, The bitch changes her tone; she begins to whimper. She wants to snuggle up to him, to cringe. Down, girl! Keep your distance Or I’ll give you a taste of the choke-chain. “Fine, I’m just fine,” I tell him. She slobbers and grovels. After all, I am her mistress. She is basically loyal. It’s just that she remembers how she came running Each evening, when she heard his step; How she lay at his feet and looked up adoringly Though he was absorbed in his paper; Or, bored with her devotion, ordered her to the kitchen Until he was ready to play. But the small careless kindnesses When he’d had a good day, or a couple of drinks, Come back to her now, seem more important Than the casual cruelties, the ultimate dismissal. “It’s nice to know you are doing so well,” I say. He couldn’t have taken you with him; You were too demonstrative, too clumsy, Not like the well-groomed pets of his new friends. “Give my regards to your wife,” I say. You gag As I drag you off by the scruff, Saying, “Goodbye! Goodbye! Nice to have seen you again.
Carolyn Kizer
all this important stuff has *no one in charge of it.* Some people claim to be, but they're in charge of one tiny piece of it, and maybe they think *their* piece is a brake or a steering wheel, but they're wrong. The world's economy is a runaway train, the driver dead at the switch, the passengers clinging on for dear life as their possessions go flying off the freight-cars and out the windows, and each curve in the tracks threatens to take it off the rails altogether. There's a small number of people in the back of the train who fiercely argue about when it will go off the rails, and whether the train can be slowed down by everyone just calming down and acting as though everything was all right. These people are the economists, and some of the first-class passengers pay them very well for their predictions about whether the train is doing all right and which side of the car they should lean into to prevent their hats from falling off on the next corner. Everyone else ignores them.
Cory Doctorow (For the Win)
Said Red Molly to James that's a fine motorbike A girl could feel special on any such like Said James to Red Molly, my hat's off to you It's a Vincent Black Lightning, 1952 And I've seen you at the corners and cafes it seems Red hair and black leather, my favourite colour scheme And he pulled her on behind And down to Boxhill they did ride Said James to Red Molly, here's a ring for your right hand But I'll tell you in earnest I'm a dangerous man I've fought with the law since I was seventeen I robbed many a man to get my Vincent machine Now I'm 21 years, I might make 22 And I don't mind dying, but for the love of you And if fate should break my stride Then I'll give you my Vincent to ride Come down, come down, Red Molly, called Sergeant McRae For they've taken young James Adie for armed robbery Shotgun blast hit his chest, left nothing inside Oh, come down, Red Molly to his dying bedside When she came to the hospital, there wasn't much left He was running out of road, he was running out of breath But he smiled to see her cry And said I'll give you my Vincent to ride Says James, in my opinion, there's nothing in this world Beats a 52 Vincent and a red headed girl Now Nortons and Indians and Greeveses won't do They don't have a soul like a Vincent 52 He reached for her hand and he slipped her the keys He said I've got no further use for these I see angels on Ariels in leather and chrome Swooping down from heaven to carry me home And he gave her one last kiss and died And he gave her his Vincent to ride
Richard L. Thompson
Please wait here. "Annoying yet romantic," she said aloud. She sat down on the folding chair and peered inside the paper bag. A handful of tiny jam-filled donuts dusted with cinnamon and sugar sent up an intoxicating scent. The bag was warm in her hands, flecked with little bits of oil seeping through. Luce popped one into her mouth and took a sip from the tiny white cup, which contained the richest, most delightful espresso Luce had ever tasted. "Enjoying the bombolini?" Daniel called from below. Luce shot to her feet and leaned over the railing to find him standing at the back of a gondola painted with images of angels. He wore a flat straw hat bound with a thick red ribbon, and used a broad wooden paddle to steer the boat slowly toward her. Her heart surged the way it did each time she first saw Daniel in another life. But he was here. He was hers. This was happening now. "Dip them in the espresso, then tell me what it's like to be in Heaven," Daniel said, smiling up at her. "How do I get down to you?" she called. He pointed to the narrowest spiral staircase Luce had ever seen, just to the right of the railing. She grabbed the coffee and bag of donuts, slipped the peony stem behind her ear, and made for the steps. She could feel Daniel's eyes on her as she climbed over the railing and slinked down the stairs. Every time she made a full rotation on the staircase, she caught a teasing flash of his violet eyes. By the time she made it to the bottom, he had extended his hand to help her onto the boat. There was the electricity she'd been yearning for since she awoke. The spark that passed between them every time they touched. Daniel wrapped his arms around her waist and drew her in so that there was no space between their bodies. He kissed her, long and deep, until she was dizzy. "Now that's the way to start a morning." Daniel's fingers traced the petals of the peony behind her ear. A slight weight suddenly tugged at her neck and when she reached up, her hands found a find chain, which her fingers traced down to a silver locket. She held it out and looked at the red rose engraved on its face. Her locket!
Lauren Kate (Rapture (Fallen, #4))
West couldn't simply leave the man like this, he didn't have it in him. "Goodman Heath," he said as he approached, and the peasant looked up at him, surprised. He fumbled for his hat and made to rise, muttering apologies. "No, please, don't get up." West sat down on the bench. He stared at his feet, unable to look the man in the eye. There was an awkward silence. "I have a friend who sits on the Commission for Land and Agriculture. There might be something he can do for you…" He trailed off, embarrassed, squinting up the corridor. The farmer gave a sad smile. "I'd be right grateful for anything you could do." "Yes, yes, of course, I'll do what I can." It would do no good whatsoever, and they both knew it. West grimaced and bit his lip. "You'd better take this," and he pressed his purse into the peasant's limp, calloused fingers. Heath looked at him, mouth slightly open. West gave a quick, awkward smile then got to his feet. He was very keen to be off. "Sir!" called Goodman Heath after him, but West was already hurrying down the corridor, and he didn't look back.
Joe Abercrombie (The Blade Itself (The First Law, #1))
Thus engaged, with her right elbow supported by her left hand, Madame Defarge said nothing when her lord came in, but coughed just one grain of cough. This, in combination with the lifting of her darkly defined eyebrows over her toothpick by the breadth of a line, suggested to her husband that he would do well to look round the shop among the customers, for any new customer who had dropped in while he stepped over the way. The wine-shop keeper accordingly rolled his eyes about, until they rested upon an elderly gentleman and a young lady, who were seated in a corner. Other company were there: two playing cards, two playing dominoes, three standing by the counter lengthening out a short supply of wine. As he passed behind the counter, he took notice that the elderly gentleman said in a look to the young lady, "This is our man." "What the devil do you do in that galley there?" said Monsieur Defarge to himself; "I don't know you." But, he feigned not to notice the two strangers, and fell into discourse with the triumvirate of customers who were drinking at the counter. "How goes it, Jacques?" said one of these three to Monsieur Defarge. "Is all the spilt wine swallowed?" "Every drop, Jacques," answered Monsieur Defarge. When this interchange of Christian name was effected, Madame Defarge, picking her teeth with her toothpick, coughed another grain of cough, and raised her eyebrows by the breadth of another line. "It is not often," said the second of the three, addressing Monsieur Defarge, "that many of these miserable beasts know the taste of wine, or of anything but black bread and death. Is it not so, Jacques?" "It is so, Jacques," Monsieur Defarge returned. At this second interchange of the Christian name, Madame Defarge, still using her toothpick with profound composure, coughed another grain of cough, and raised her eyebrows by the breadth of another line. The last of the three now said his say, as he put down his empty drinking vessel and smacked his lips. "Ah! So much the worse! A bitter taste it is that such poor cattle always have in their mouths, and hard lives they live, Jacques. Am I right, Jacques?" "You are right, Jacques," was the response of Monsieur Defarge. This third interchange of the Christian name was completed at the moment when Madame Defarge put her toothpick by, kept her eyebrows up, and slightly rustled in her seat. "Hold then! True!" muttered her husband. "Gentlemen--my wife!" The three customers pulled off their hats to Madame Defarge, with three flourishes. She acknowledged their homage by bending her head, and giving them a quick look. Then she glanced in a casual manner round the wine-shop, took up her knitting with great apparent calmness and repose of spirit, and became absorbed in it. "Gentlemen," said her husband, who had kept his bright eye observantly upon her, "good day. The chamber, furnished bachelor- fashion, that you wished to see, and were inquiring for when I stepped out, is on the fifth floor. The doorway of the staircase gives on the little courtyard close to the left here," pointing with his hand, "near to the window of my establishment. But, now that I remember, one of you has already been there, and can show the way. Gentlemen, adieu!" They paid for their wine, and left the place. The eyes of Monsieur Defarge were studying his wife at her knitting when the elderly gentleman advanced from his corner, and begged the favour of a word. "Willingly, sir," said Monsieur Defarge, and quietly stepped with him to the door. Their conference was very short, but very decided. Almost at the first word, Monsieur Defarge started and became deeply attentive. It had not lasted a minute, when he nodded and went out. The gentleman then beckoned to the young lady, and they, too, went out. Madame Defarge knitted with nimble fingers and steady eyebrows, and saw nothing.
Charles Dickens (A Tale of Two Cities)
Nor could I fail to recall my friendship with Howard K. Beale, professor of American History at the University of North Carolina. There he was, one day in 1940, standing just outside my room in the men’s dormitory at St. Augustine’s, in his chesterfield topcoat, white silk scarf, and bowler hat, with his calling card in hand, perhaps looking for a silver tray in which to drop it. Paul Buck, whom he knew at Harvard, had told him to look me up. He wanted to invite me to his home in Chapel Hill to have lunch or dinner and to meet his family. From that point on we saw each other regularly. After I moved to Durham, he invited me each year to give a lecture on “The Negro in American Social Thought” in one of his classes. One day when I was en route to Beale’s class, I encountered one of his colleagues, who greeted me and inquired where I was going. I returned the greeting and told him that I was going to Howard Beale’s class to give a lecture. After I began the lecture I noticed that Howard was called out of the class. He returned shortly, and I did not give it another thought. Some years later, after we both had left North Carolina, Howard told me that he had been called out to answer a long-distance phone call from a trustee of the university who had heard that a Negro was lecturing in his class. The trustee ordered Beale to remove me immediately. In recounting this story, Beale told me that he had said that he was not in the habit of letting trustees plan his courses, and he promptly hung up. Within a few years Howard accepted a professorship at the University of Wisconsin. A favorite comment from Chapel Hill was that upon his departure from North Carolina, blood pressures went down all over the state.
John Hope Franklin (Mirror to America)
But every single day after work Tatiana brushed her hair and ran outside, thinking, please be there, and every single day after work Alexander was. Though he never asked her to go to the Summer Garden anymore or to sit on the bench under the trees with him, his hat was always in his hands. Exhausted and slow, they meandered from tram to canal to tram, reluctantly parting at Grechesky Prospekt, three blocks away from her apartment building. During their walks sometimes they talked about Alexander’s America or his life in Moscow, and sometimes they talked about Tatiana’s Lake Ilmen and her summers in Luga, and sometimes they chatted about the war, though less and less because of the anxiety over Pasha, and sometimes Alexander taught Tatiana a little English. Sometimes they told jokes, and sometimes they barely spoke at all. A few times Alexander let Tatiana carry his rifle as a balancing stick while she walked a high ledge on the side of Obvodnoy Canal. “Don’t fall into the water, Tania,” he once said, “because I can’t swim.” “Is that true?” she asked incredulously, nearly toppling over. Grabbing the end of his rifle to steady her, Alexander said with a grin, “Let’s not find out, shall we? I don’t want to lose my weapon.” “That’s all right,” Tatiana said, precariously teetering on the ledge and laughing. “I can swim perfectly well. I’ll save your weapon for you. Want to see?” “No, thank you.” And sometimes, when Alexander talked, Tatiana found her lower jaw drifting down and was suddenly and awkwardly aware that she had been staring at him so long that her mouth had dropped open. She didn’t know what to look at when he talked—his caramel eyes that blinked and smiled and shined and were grim or his vibrant mouth that moved and opened and breathed and spoke. Her eyes darted from his eyes to his lips and circled from his hair to his jaw as if they were afraid she would miss something if she didn’t stare at everything all at once. There were some pieces of his fascinating life that Alexander did not wish to talk about—and didn’t. Not about the last time he saw his father, not about how he became Alexander Belov, not about how he received his medal of valor. Tatiana didn’t care and never did more than gently press him. She would take from him what he needed to give her and wait impatiently for the rest.
Paullina Simons (The Bronze Horseman (The Bronze Horseman, #1))
She was a hunchback with a sweet smile. She smiled sweetly at anything; she couldn't help it; the trees, me, the grass, anything. The basket pulled her down, dragging her toward the ground. She was such a tiny woman, with a hurt face, as if slapped forever. She wore a funny old hat, an absurd hat, a maddening hat, a hat to make me cry, a hat with faded red berries on the brim. And there she was, smiling at everything, struggling across the carpet with a heavy basket containing Lord knew what, wearing a plumed hat with red berries. I got up. It was so mysterious. There I was, like magic, standing up, my two feet on the ground, my eyes drenched. I said, "Let me help." She smiled again and gave me the basket. We began to walk. She led the way. Beyond the trees it was stifling. And she smiled. It was so sweet it nearly tore my head off. She talked, she told me things I never remembered. It didn't matter. In a« dream she held me, in a dream I followed under the blinding sun. For blocks we went forward. I hoped it would never end. Always she talked in a low voice made of human music. What words! What she said! I remembered nothing. I was only happy. But in my heart I was dying. It should have been so. We stepped from so many curbs, I wondered why she did not sit upon one and hold my head while I drifted away. It was the chance that never came again. That old woman with the bent back! Old woman, I feel so joyfully your pain. Ask me a favor, you old woman you! Anything. To die is easy. Make it that. To cry is easy, lift your skirt and let me cry and let my tears wash your feet to let you know I know what life has been for you, because my back is bent too, but my heart is whole, my tears are delicious, my love is yours, to give you joy where God has failed. To die is so easy and you may have my life if you wish it, you old woman, you hurt me so, you did, I will do anything for you, to die for you, the blood of my eighteen years flowing in the gutters of Wilmington and down to the sea for you, for you that you might find such joy as is now mine and stand erect without the horror of that twist. I left the old woman at her door. The trees shimmered. The clouds laughed. The blue sky took me up. Where am I? Is this Wilmington, California? Haven't I been here before? A melody moved my feet. The air soared with Arturo in it, puffing him in and out and making him something and nothing. My heart laughed and laughed. Goodbye to Nietzsche and Schopenhauer and all of you, you fools, I am much greater than all of you! Through my veins ran music of blood. Would it last? It could not last. I must hurry. But where? And I ran toward home. Now I am home. I left the book in the park. To hell with it. No more books for me. I kissed my mother. I clung to her passionately. On my knees I fell at her feet to kiss her feet and cling to her ankles until it must have hurt her and amazed her that it was I.
John Fante (The Road to Los Angeles (The Saga of Arturo Bandini, #2))
Poem for My Father You closed the door. I was on the other side, screaming. It was black in your mind. Blacker than burned-out fire. Blacker than poison. Outside everything looked the same. You looked the same. You walked in your body like a living man. But you were not. would you not speak to me for weeks would you hang your coat in the closet without saying hello would you find a shoe out of place and beat me would you come home late would i lose the key would you find my glasses in the garbage would you put me on your knee would you read the bible to me in your smoking jacket after your mother died would you come home drunk and snore would you beat me on the legs would you carry me up the stairs by my hair so that my feet never touch the bottom would you make everything worse to make everything better i believe in god, the father almighty, the maker of heaven, the maker of my heaven and my hell. would you beat my mother would you beat her till she cries like a rabbit would you beat her in a corner of the kitchen while i am in the bathroom trying to bury my head underwater would you carry her to the bed would you put cotton and alcohol on her swollen head would you make love to her hair would you caress her hair would you rub her breasts with ben gay until she stinks would you sleep in the other room in the bed next to me while she sleeps on the pull-out cot would you come on the sheet while i am sleeping. later i look for the spot would you go to embalming school with the last of my mother's money would i see your picture in the book with all the other black boys you were the handsomest would you make the dead look beautiful would the men at the elks club would the rich ladies at funerals would the ugly drunk winos on the street know ben pretty ben regular ben would your father leave you when you were three with a mother who threw butcher knives at you would he leave you with her screaming red hair would he leave you to be smothered by a pillow she put over your head would he send for you during the summer like a rich uncle would you come in pretty corduroys until you were nine and never heard from him again would you hate him would you hate him every time you dragged hundred pound cartons of soap down the stairs into white ladies' basements would you hate him for fucking the woman who gave birth to you hate him flying by her house in the red truck so that other father threw down his hat in the street and stomped on it angry like we never saw him (bye bye to the will of grandpa bye bye to the family fortune bye bye when he stompled that hat, to the gold watch, embalmer's palace, grandbaby's college) mother crying silently, making floating island sending it up to the old man's ulcer would grandmother's diamonds close their heartsparks in the corner of the closet yellow like the eyes of cockroaches? Old man whose sperm swims in my veins, come back in love, come back in pain.
Toi Derricotte
What is this food in my head, anyway? Let’s see...it’s green and good for you and so delicious. It’s prepared by angels with love. The minute you bite into it, it’s savory, chewy, nourishing, and whole- some. You feel instantly revitalized. A small, tiny amount, just a few bites, rejuvenates every cell, deepens your breath, clears your mind, heals your wounds, and mends your heart. It’s made from joyous plants that voluntarily separate themselves from their stalks, laying themselves at the feet of the approaching gardener who gathers them. They eagerly offer their vital energies to nourish living spirits. The angels in their chef hats, singing mantras, cook it tenderly to retain all the benefits of the generous plants. It’s barely sweet, barely salty, and contains all the freshness of spring herbs, summer fruit, spreading leaves, and burgeoning seeds. It comes premade in bags or boxes...you just open it up, sit down, and enjoy. It’s a full meal, enough maybe for a whole day, maybe for a week, maybe for your family, maybe for your friends and neighbors. It multiplies like loaves and fishes, in little biodegradable containers that vaporize instantly the moment you finish them, without any greenhouse emissions. Nothing to clean up!
Kimber Simpkins (Full: How one woman found yoga, eased her inner hunger, and started loving herself)
You’re more interested, finally, in living life again in your writing than in making money. Now, let’s understand—writers do like money; artists, contrary to popular belief, do like to eat. It’s only that money isn’t the driving force. I feel very rich when I have time to write and very poor when I get a regular paycheck and no time to work at my real work. Think of it. Employers pay salaries for time. That is the basic commodity that human beings have that is valuable. We exchange our time in life for money. Writers stay with the first step—their time—and feel it is valuable even before they get money for it. They hold on to it and aren’t so eager to sell it. It’s like inheriting land from your family. It’s always been in your family: they have always owned it. Someone comes along and wants to buy it. Writers, if they are smart, won’t sell too much of it. They know once it’s sold, they might be able to buy a second car, but there will be no place they can go to sit still, no place to dream on. So it is good to be a little dumb when you want to write. You carry that slow person inside you who needs time; it keeps you from selling it all away. That person will need a place to go and will demand to stare into rain puddles in the rain, usually with no hat on, and to feel the drops on her scalp.
Natalie Goldberg (Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within)
This place, our little cloud forest, even though we missed our papi, it was the most beautiful place you've ever seen. We didn't really know that then, because it was the only place we'd ever seen, except in picture in books and magazines, but now that's I've seen other place, I know. I know how beautiful it was. And we loved it anyway even before we knew. Because the trees had these enormous dark green leaves, as a big as a bed, and they would sway in the wind. And when it rain you could hear the big, fat raindrops splatting onto those giant leaves, and you could only see the sky in bright blue patches if you were walking a long way off to a friend's house or to church or something, when you passed through a clearing and all those leaves would back away and open up and the hot sunshine would beat down all yellow and gold and sticky. And there were waterfalls everywhere with big rock pools where you could take a bath and the water was always warm and it smelled like sunlight. And at night there was the sound of the tree frogs and the music of the rushing water from the falls and all the songs of the night birds, and Mami would make the most delicious chilate, and Abuela would sing to us in the old language, and Soledad and I would gather herbs and dry them and bundle them for Papi to sell in the market when he had a day off, and that's how we passed our days.' Luca can see it. He's there, far away in the misty cloud forest, in a hut with a packed dirt floor and a cool breeze, with Rebeca and Soledad and their mami and abuela, and he can even see their father, far away down the mountain and through the streets of that clogged, enormous city, wearing a long apron and a chef's hat, and his pockets full of dried herbs. Luca can smell the wood of the fire, the cocoa and cinnamon of the chilate, and that's how he knows Rebeca is magical, because she can transport him a thousand miles away into her own mountain homestead just by the sound of her voice.
Jeanine Cummins (American Dirt)
Even today, every night of the year, the Queen’s Keys are carried in great ceremony to lock up the gates of the Tower. The Chief Yeoman Warder at 9:53 meets his escort warders and they walk to the gates. They arrive at 10:00 p.m. exactly and are challenged by a sentry with a bayonet who cries loudly, “Who comes here?” The reply by the Chief is, “The Keys.” “Whose keys?” “Queen Elizabeth’s keys.” “Pass, Queen Elizabeth’s keys, and all is well.” The party passes through the Bloody Tower Archway into the fortress and halts at the Broadway Steps. At the top of the stairs, the Tower Guard presents arms and the Chief Warder raises his hat and proclaims, “God preserve Queen Elizabeth.” The sentry replies, “Amen!” Afterward, the keys are taken to the Queen’s House for safekeeping and the Last Post is sounded. This ancient ceremony was interrupted only once since the 14th century. During World War II there was an air raid on London. Bombs fell on the Victorian guardroom just as the party was coming through the Bloody Tower Archway. The noise knocked down the Chief Yeoman and one of the Warder escorts. In the Tower is a letter from the Officer of the Guard in which he apologizes to King George VI for the ceremony finishing late, as well as a reply from the King which states that the officer is not to be punished since the delay was due to enemy action.
Debra Brown (Castles, Customs, and Kings: True Tales by English Historical Fiction Authors)
Charlotte was used to all the marks of war: the shabbiness of things, bad food, shop queues, posters about the war effort, people with worried faces, people dressed in black. She was used to seeing the wounded men from the hospital with their bright blue uniforms and bright red ties, the colours, she thought, if not the clothes of Arthur's soldiers. Such things did not disturb her, and the war seemed quite remote. But this disturbed her, the grotesque kind of circus that came now. It did not seem remote at all, nor did it fit with her vague ideas of war gained from those books of Arthur's she had read, with their flags and glory and brave drummer boys. How could you dare to become a soldier, knowing that you might end like this? There were men like clowns with white heads, white arms, white legs, men with crutches, slings, and bloodied bandages, and all so distressingly like men you would expect to see walking down the street, two armed, two legged, in hats instead of bandages and suits of black not battered khaki. Some came on stretchers borne by whole and ordinary men, some hobbled and leaned on whole ordinary arms. Most had mud dried thick across their clothes, and all came from the dark station's mouth with the spewings of trains behind, the clankings, thumpings, grindings, the sounds like great devils taking in breaths and blowing them out again.
Penelope Farmer (Charlotte Sometimes (Aviary Hall, #3))
I looked around for the tunic so I could leave the room; not for worlds would I go out dressed thus into the midst of a lot of staring Renselaeus warriors. Unless Galdran has won! The terrible thought froze me for a moment, but then I looked down at that fire and realized that if Galdran had beaten us, I’d hardly be in such comfortable surroundings again. More likely I’d have woken in some dungeon somewhere, with clanking chains attached to every limb. I held my head in my hands, trying to get the strength to stand; then my door opened, thrust by an impatient hand. Branaric stood there, grinning in surprise. “You’re awake! Healer said you’d likely sleep out the day.” I nodded slowly, eyeing his flushed cheeks and overbright eyes. His right arm rested in a sling. “You are also sick,” I observed. “Merrily so,” he agreed, “but I cannot for the life of me keep still. Burn it! Truth to tell, I never thought I’d live to see this day.” “What day?” I asked, and then, narrowly, “We’re not prisoners, are we? Where is Galdran?” “Ash,” Bran said with a laugh. I gaped. “Dead?” “Dead and burned, though no one shed a tear at his funeral fire. And you should have seen his minions scatter beforehand! The rest couldn’t surrender fast enough!” He laughed again, then, “Ulp! Forgot. Want tea?” “Oh yes,” I said with enthusiasm. “I was just looking for my tunic. Or rather, the one I was wearing.” “Mud,” he said succinctly. “Galdran smacked you off your horse and you landed flat in a mud puddle. Hold there!” I sat down on the bunk again, questions swarming through my mind like angry bees. Branaric was back in a moment, carefully carrying a brimming mug in his one good hand, and some folded cloth and a plain brown citizen’s hat tucked under his arm. “Here ye are, sister,” he said cheerily. “Let’s celebrate.” I took the mug, and as he toasted me with a pretend one, I lifted mine to him and drank deeply. The listerblossom infusion flooded me from head to heels with soothing warmth. I sighed with relief, then said, “Now, tell me everything.” He chuckled and leaned against the door. “That’s a comprehensive command! Where to begin?
Sherwood Smith (Crown Duel (Crown & Court, #1))
Part 3 Anna: St. Clair… Etienne: And that. Why don’t you call me Etienne any more? Anna: But … no one else calls you that. It was weird. Right? Etienne: No. It wasn’t And every time you say St. Clair, it’s like you’re rejecting me again. Anna: I have never rejected you. Etienne: But you have. And for Dave. Anna: And you rejected me for Ellie on my birhtday. I don’t understand. If you liked me so much, why didn’t you break up with her? Etienne: I’ve been confused. I’ve been so stupid. Anna: Yes. You have. Etienne: I deserve that. Anna: Yes. You do. But I’ve been stupid, too. You were right. About … the alone thing. Etienne: I’ve been thinking lately. About my mum and dad. How she gives in to him. How she won’t leave him. And as much as I love her, I hate her for it. I don’t understand why she won’t stand up for herself, why she won’t go for what she wants. But I’ve been doing t he same thing. I’m just like her. Anna: You aren’t like your mom. Etienne: I am. But I don’t want to be like that any more, I want what I want. I told my father’s friends that I’m studying at Berkeley next year. It worked. He’s really, really angry with me, but it worked. You told me to go for his pride. You were right. Anna: So.You’re moving to California? Etienne: I have to. Anna: Right. Because of your mom. Etienne: Because of you. I’ll only be a twenty-minute train ride from your school, and I’ll make the commute to see you every night. I’d take a commute ten times that just tob e with you every night. You’re the most incredible girl I’ve ever known. You’re gorgeous and smart, and you make me laugh lilke no one else can. And I can talk to you. And I know after all this I don’t deserve you, but what I’m trying to say ist hat I love you, Anna. Very much.Oh God, And I’ve mucked things up again, haven’t I? I didn’t mean to attack you like this. I mean I did but … all right. I’ll leave. Or you can go down first, and then I’l come down, and I promise I’ll never bother you again… Anna: No. Etienne: I’m so sorry. I never meant to hurt you. Anna: Please stopl apologizing, Etienne. Etienne: Say my name again Anna: Etienne. Etienne: Anna? Anna: Yes? Etienne: Will you please tell me you love me? I’m dying here.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
That day in Chartres they had passed through town and watched women kneeling at the edge of the water, pounding clothes against a flat, wooden board. Yves had watched them for a long time. They had wandered up and down the old crooked streets, in the hot sun; Eric remembered a lizard darting across a wall; and everywhere the cathedral pursued them. It is impossible to be in that town and not be in the shadow of those great towers; impossible to find oneself on those plains and not be troubled by that cruel and elegant, dogmatic and pagan presence. The town was full of tourists, with their cameras, their three-quarter coats, bright flowered dresses and shirts, their children, college insignia, Panama hats, sharp, nasal cries, and automobiles crawling like monstrous gleaming bugs over the laming, cobblestoned streets. Tourist buses, from Holland, from Denmark, from Germany, stood in the square before the cathedral. Tow-haired boys and girls, earnest, carrying knapsacks, wearing khaki-colored shorts, with heavy buttocks and thighs, wandered dully through the town. American soldiers, some in uniform, some in civilian clothes, leaned over bridges, entered bistros in strident, uneasy, smiling packs, circled displays of colored post cards, and picked up meretricious mementos, of a sacred character. All of the beauty of the town, all the energy of the plains, and all the power and dignity of the people seemed to have been sucked out of them by the cathedral. It was as though the cathedral demanded, and received, a perpetual, living sacrifice. It towered over the town, more like an affliction than a blessing, and made everything seem, by comparison with itself, wretched and makeshift indeed. The houses in which the people lived did not suggest shelter, or safety. The great shadow which lay over them revealed them as mere doomed bits of wood and mineral, set down in the path of a hurricane which, presently, would blow them into eternity. And this shadow lay heavy on the people, too. They seemed stunted and misshapen; the only color in their faces suggested too much bad wine and too little sun; even the children seemed to have been hatched in a cellar. It was a town like some towns in the American South, frozen in its history as Lot's wife was trapped in salt, and doomed, therefore, as its history, that overwhelming, omnipresent gift of God, could not be questioned, to be the property of the gray, unquestioning mediocre.
James Baldwin (Another Country)
He sat down among the evidence at a barren communal desk in the basement of the station. He looked through the stack of extra fliers that my father had made up. He had memorized my face, but still he looked at them. He had come to believe that the best hope in my case might be the recent rise in development in the area. With all the land churning and changing, perhaps other clues whould be found that would provide the answer he needed. In the bottom of the box was the bag with my jingle-bell hat. When he'd handled it to my mother, she had collasped on the rug. He still couldn't pinpoint the moment he'd fallen in love with her. I knew it was the day he'd sat in our family room while my mother drew stick figures on butcher paper and Buckley and Nate slept toe to toe on the couch. I felt sorry for him. He had tried to solve my murder and he failed. He had tried to love my mother and he had failed. Len looked at the drawing of the cornfield that Lindsey had stolen and forced himself to acknowledge this: in his cautiousness, he had allowed a murderer to get away. He could not shake his guilt. He knew, if no one else did, that by being with my mother in the mall that day he was the one to blame for George Harvey's freedom. He took his wallet out of his back pocket and laid down the photos of all the unsolved cases he had ever worked on. Among them were his wife's. He turned them all face-down. 'Gone,' he wrote on each one of them. He would no longer wait for a date to mark an understanding of who or why or how. He would never understand all the reasons why his wife had killed herself. He would never understand how so many children went missing. He placed these photos in the box with my evidence and turned the lights off in the cold room.
Alice Sebold
We also have to consider the many different kinds of rape we have learned about over the past few years as conservative politicians blunder through trying to explain their stances on sexual violence and abortion. For instance, Indiana treasurer Richard Mourdock, running for the US Senate in 2012, said, in a debate, "I struggled with it myself for a long time, and I realized that life is a gift from God, and I think even when life begins int hat horrible situation of rape, that is something God intended to happen." I've been obsessing over these words, and trying to understand how someone who purports to believe in God can also believe that anything born of rape is God-intended. Just as there are many different kinds of rape, there are many different kinds of God. I am also reminded that women, more often than not, are the recipient of God's intentions and must also bear the burdens of these intentions. Mourdock is certainly not alone in offering up opinions about rape. Former Missouri representative Todd Akin believes in "legitimate rape" and the oxymoronic "forcible rape," not to be confused with all that illegitimate rape going on. Ron Paul believes in the existence of "honest rape," but turns a blind eye to the dishonest rapes out there. Former Wisconsin State representative Roger Rivard believes some girls, "they rape so easy." Lest you think these new definitions of rape are only the purview of men, failed Senate candidate Linda McMahon of Connecticut has introduced us to the idea of "emergency rape." Given this bizarre array of new rape definitions, it is hard to reconcile the belief that women are rising when there is still so much in our cultural climate working to hold women down. We can, I suppose, take comfort in knowing that none of these people is in a position of power anymore.
Roxane Gay
Already it is twilight down in the Laredito. Bats fly forth from their roostings in courthouse and tower and circle the quarter. The air is full of the smell of burning charcoal. Children and dogs squat by the mud stoops and gamecocks flap and settle in the branches of the fruit trees. They go afoot, these comrades, down along a bare adobe wall. Band music carries dimly from the square. They pass a watercart in the street and they pass a hole in the wall where by the light of a small forgefire an old man beats out shapes of metal. They pass in a doorway a young girl whose beauty becomes the flowers about. They arrive at last before a wooden door. It is hinged into a larger door or gate and all must step over the foot-high sill where a thousand boots have scuffled away the wood, where fools in their hundreds have tripped or fallen or tottered drunkenly into the street. They pass along a ramada in a courtyard by an old grape arbor where small fowl nod in the dusk among the gnarled and barren vines and they enter a cantina where the lamps are lit and they cross stooping under a low beam to a bar and belly up one two three. There is an old disordered Mennonite in this place and he turns to study them. A thin man in a leather weskit, a black and straightbrim hat set square on his head, a thin rim of whiskers. The recruits order glasses of whiskey and drink them down and order more. There are monte games at tables by the wall and there are whores at another table who look the recruits over. The recruits stand sideways along the bar with their thumbs in their belts and watch the room. They talk among themselves of the expedition in loud voices and the old Mennonite shakes a rueful head and sips his drink and mutters. They'll stop you at the river, he says. The second corporal looks past his comrades. Are you talking to me? At the river. Be told. They'll jail you to a man. Who will? The United States Army. General Worth. They hell they will. Pray that they will. He looks at his comrades. He leans toward the Mennonite. What does that mean, old man? Do ye cross that river with yon filibuster armed ye'll not cross it back. Don't aim to cross it back. We goin to Sonora. What's it to you, old man? The Mennonite watches the enshadowed dark before them as it is reflected to him in the mirror over the bar. He turns to them. His eyes are wet, he speaks slowly. The wrath of God lies sleeping. It was hid a million years before men were and only men have power to wake it. Hell aint half full. Hear me. Ye carry war of a madman's making into a foreign land. Ye'll wake more than the dogs. But they berated the old man and swore at him until he moved off down the bar muttering, and how else could it be? How these things end. In confusion and curses and blood. They drank on and the wind blew in the streets and the stars that had been overhead lay low in the west and these young men fell afoul of others and words were said that could not be put right again and in the dawn the kid and the second corporal knelt over the boy from Missouri who had been named Earl and they spoke his name but he never spoke back. He lay on his side in the dust of the courtyard. The men were gone, the whores were gone. An old man swept the clay floor within the cantina. The boy lay with his skull broken in a pool of blood, none knew by whom. A third one came to be with them in the courtyard. It was the Mennonite. A warm wind was blowing and the east held a gray light. The fowls roosting among the grapevines had begun to stir and call. There is no such joy in the tavern as upon the road thereto, said the Mennonite. He had been holding his hat in his hands and now he set it upon his head again and turned and went out the gate.
Cormac McCarthy (Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West)
Despite the gloom she could make out enough of his finely chiseled features to fleetingly rethink the CPR issue. The man was a knock out, with cheek bones sharp enough to cut cheese on, an arrow straight nose, a strong jaw, and a well cut mouth that subjected both cruelty and sensuality. He stirred groaning softly, hands flailing as if he was searching for something. Mary moved out the way as he rolled towards her coming to rest on his back. As she lent over him to get another look dark eyelashes flickered, opened. His eyes were pale and striking, something flashing in them like lightning cutting through turbulent storm clouds. A pair of fey owlish brows slanted down in to a perplexed frown as he stared up at her. Mary let out a startled yelp when she was grabbed, and then rolled beneath a larger body, his heavy weight, her arms pinioned above her in just one of his large hands. Her hat yanked off and her features quickly scanned. Outrage quickly turned in to fear. The glacial scrutiny made her tremble as if an arctic wind had caressed her body, not that the shear brute strength the stranger wielded alone was not frightening enough. “I’m just trying to help you.” Mary breathed, fighting down the rising panic as his gaze bored in to her. “You must have fallen of your bike.” She had worked Crown defense long enough to have encountered more then a few clients who were nothing more then malicious, ill tempered, brutal thugs. This man Mary knew on an intuitive level was far more dangerous, because he was a killer, because he was devoid of all those things. There was a detachment to his inspection of her, considering if she was pray or a pet. Not human. Something deeply buried stirred. An ancestral memory whispered through her mind like the scent of wood smoke on the night air, instinctive as the fear of the falling, and things that lurked in the dark.
D.M. Alexandra
The way you see the change in a person you've been away from for a long time, where somebody who sees him every day, day in, day out, wouldn't notice because the change is gradual. All up the coast I could see the signs of what the Combine had accomplished since I was last through this country, things like, for example a train stopping at a station and laying a string of full-grown men in mirrored suits and machined hats, laying them like a hatch of identical insects, half-life things coming pht-pht-pht out of the last car, then hooting its electric whistle and moving on down the spoiled land to deposit another hatch. Or things like five thousand houses punched out identical by a machine and strung across the hills outside of town, so fresh from the factory theyre still linked together like sausages, a sign saying NEST IN THE WEST HOMES NO DWN. PAYMENT FOR VETS, a playground down the hill from the houses, behind a checker-wire fence and another sign that read ST. LUKE'S SCHOOL FOR BOYS there were five thousand kids in green corduroy pants and white shirts under green pullover sweaters playing crack-the-whip across an acre of crushed gravel. The line popped and twisted and jerked like a snake, and every crack popped a little kid off the end, sent him rolling up against the fence like a tumbleweed. Every crack. And it was always the same little kid, over and over. All that five thousand kids lived in those five thousand houses, owned by those guys that got off the train. The houses looked so much alike that, time and time again, the kids went home by mistake to different houses and different families. Nobody ever noticed. They ate and went to bed. The only one they noticed was the little kid at the end of the whip. He'd always be so scuffed and bruised that he'd show up out of place wherever he went. He wasn't able to open up and laugh either. It's a hard thing to laugh if you can feel the pressure of those beams coming from every new car that passes, or every new house you pass.
Ken Kesey (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest)
The street sprinkler went past and, as its rasping rotary broom spread water over the tarmac, half the pavement looked as if it had been painted with a dark stain. A big yellow dog had mounted a tiny white bitch who stood quite still. In the fashion of colonials the old gentleman wore a light jacket, almost white, and a straw hat. Everything held its position in space as if prepared for an apotheosis. In the sky the towers of Notre-Dame gathered about themselves a nimbus of heat, and the sparrows – minor actors almost invisible from the street – made themselves at home high up among the gargoyles. A string of barges drawn by a tug with a white and red pennant had crossed the breadth of Paris and the tug lowered its funnel, either in salute or to pass under the Pont Saint-Louis. Sunlight poured down rich and luxuriant, fluid and gilded as oil, picking out highlights on the Seine, on the pavement dampened by the sprinkler, on a dormer window, and on a tile roof on the Île Saint-Louis. A mute, overbrimming life flowed from each inanimate thing, shadows were violet as in impressionist canvases, taxis redder on the white bridge, buses greener. A faint breeze set the leaves of a chestnut tree trembling, and all down the length of the quai there rose a palpitation which drew voluptuously nearer and nearer to become a refreshing breath fluttering the engravings pinned to the booksellers’ stalls. People had come from far away, from the four corners of the earth, to live that one moment. Sightseeing cars were lined up on the parvis of Notre-Dame, and an agitated little man was talking through a megaphone. Nearer to the old gentleman, to the bookseller dressed in black, an American student contemplated the universe through the view-finder of his Leica. Paris was immense and calm, almost silent, with her sheaves of light, her expanses of shadow in just the right places, her sounds which penetrated the silence at just the right moment. The old gentleman with the light-coloured jacket had opened a portfolio filled with coloured prints and, the better to look at them, propped up the portfolio on the stone parapet. The American student wore a red checked shirt and was coatless. The bookseller on her folding chair moved her lips without looking at her customer, to whom she was speaking in a tireless stream. That was all doubtless part of the symphony. She was knitting. Red wool slipped through her fingers. The white bitch’s spine sagged beneath the weight of the big male, whose tongue was hanging out. And then when everything was in its place, when the perfection of that particular morning reached an almost frightening point, the old gentleman died without saying a word, without a cry, without a contortion while he was looking at his coloured prints, listening to the voice of the bookseller as it ran on and on, to the cheeping of the sparrows, the occasional horns of taxis. He must have died standing up, one elbow on the stone ledge, a total lack of astonishment in his blue eyes. He swayed and fell to the pavement, dragging along with him the portfolio with all its prints scattered about him. The male dog wasn’t at all frightened, never stopped. The woman let her ball of wool fall from her lap and stood up suddenly, crying out: ‘Monsieur Bouvet!
Georges Simenon
Mr. Grayson was just…explaining the workings of the ship.” She attempted to tug her hand from Gray’s grasp, shooting him a pained look when he refused to relinquish his prize. Gray said smoothly, “Actually, we were discussing debts. Miss Turner still owes me her fare, and I-“ “And I told you, you’ll have it today.” Beneath that abomination of a skirt wrapped about his leg, she planted her heel atop his booted toe and transferred all her weight onto it. Firmly. Once again, Gray regretted trading his old, sturdy boots for these foppish monstrosities. Her little pointed heel bit straight through the thin leather. With a tight grimace, Gray released her hand. He’d been about to say, and I have her handkerchief to return. But just for that, he wouldn’t. “Good afternoon, then.” A sweet smile graced her face as she stomped down on his foot again, harder. Then she turned and flounced away. He made an amused face at Jonas. “I think she likes me.” “In my cabin, Gray.” Gray gritted his teeth and followed Joss down the hatch. Whether he liked being Gray’s half brother or not, Joss was damn lucky right now that he was. Gray wouldn’t have suffered that supercilious command for any bond weaker than blood. “You gave me your word, Gray.” “Did I? And what word was that?” Joss tossed his hat on the wood-framed bed and stripped off his greatcoat with agitated movements. “You know damn well what I mean. You said you wouldn’t pursue Miss Turner. Now you’re kissing her hand and making a spectacle in front of the whole ship. Bailey’s already taking bets from the sailors as to how many days it’ll take you to bed her.” “Really?” Gray rubbed the back of his neck. “I hope he’s giving even odds on three. Two, if you’ll send young Davy up the mast again. That got her quite excited.” Joss glared at him. “Need I remind you that this was your idea? You wanted a respectable merchant vessel. I’m trying to command it as such, but that’ll be a bit difficult if you intend to stage a bawdy-house revue on deck every forenoon.” Gray smiled as Joss slung himself into the captain’s chair. “Be careful, Joss. I do believe you nearly made a joke. People might get the idea you have a sense of humor.” “I don’t see anything humorous about this. This isn’t a pleasure cruise around the Mediterranean.
Tessa Dare (Surrender of a Siren (The Wanton Dairymaid Trilogy, #2))
Soon, droves of children start to show up, keeping us rather busy. We start tallying up the number of Trolls, Batmans, Lego men, and princesses we see. The most popular costume? Batman and Superwoman with the fabrics and accessories varying from child to child. But my favorite so far is the girl who dressed as Little Debbie, but then again, I may be biased. “I think she might be my new favorite,” Emma says as a little girl dressed as a nurse walks away. “That’s because you’re a nurse, but you can’t play favorites,” I say, reminding Emma of the rules. She levels with me. “This coming from the guy whose favorite child was dressed as Little Debbie.” “Come on.” I lean back in my chair and motion to my head. “She had the rim of blue on her hat. That’s attention to detail.” “And good fucking parenting,” Tucker chimes in, and we clink our beer bottles together. Amelia chuckles next to me as Emma shakes her head. “Ridiculous. What about you, Amelia? What costume has been your favorite so far?” “Hmm, it’s been a tough competition. There has been some real winning costumes and some absolute piss-poor ones.” She shakes her head. “Just because you put a scarf around your neck and call yourself Jack Frost doesn’t mean you dressed up.” “Ugh, that costume was dumb.” “It shouldn’t be referred to as a costume, but that’s beside the point.” I like how much Amelia is getting into this little pretend competition. She’s a far cry from the girl who first came home earlier. I love that having Tucker and Emma over has given me more time with Amelia, getting to know the woman she is today, but also managed to put that beautiful smile back on her face. “So who takes the cake for you?” I ask, nudging her leg with mine. Smiling up at me, she says, “Hands down it’s the little boy who dressed as Dwight Schrute from The Office. I think I giggled for five minutes straight after he left. That costume was spot on.” “Oh shit, you’re right,” I reply as Emma and Tucker agree with me. “He even had the watch calculator.” “And the small nose Dwight always complains about.” Emma chuckles. “Yeah, he has to be the winner.” “Now, now, now, let’s not get too hasty. Little Debbie is still in the running,” Tucker points out. Amelia leans forward, seeming incredibly comfortable, and says, “There is no way Little Debbie beats Dwight. Sorry, dude.” The shocked look on Tucker’s face is comical. He’s just been put in his place and the old Amelia has returned. I fucking love it.
Meghan Quinn (The Other Brother (Binghamton, #4))
Unfortunately, the Hospital Fund Raising Committee, to which Elizabeth was assigned, spent most of its time mired down in petty trivialities and rarely made a decision on anything. In a fit of bored frustration, Elizabeth finally asked Ian to step into their drawing room one day, while the committee was meeting there, and to give them the benefit of his expertise. “And,” she laughingly warned him in the privacy of his study when he agreed to join them, “no matter how they prose on about every tiny, meaningless expenditure-which they will-promise me you won’t point out to them that you could build six hospitals with less effort and time.” “Could I do that?” he asked, grinning. “Absolutely!” She sighed. “Between them, they must have half the money in Europe, yet they debate about every shilling to be spent as if it were coming out of their own reticules and likely to send them to debtors’ gaol.” “If they offend your thrifty sensibilities, they must be a rare group,” Ian teased. Elizabeth gave him a distracted smile, but when they neared the drawing room, where the committee was drinking tea in Ian’s priceless Sevres china cups, she turned to him and added hastily, “Oh, and don’t comment on Lady Wiltshire’s blue hat.” “Why not?” “Because it’s her hair.” “I wouldn’t do such a thing,” he protested, grinning at her. “Yes, you would!” she whispered, trying to frown and chuckling instead. “The dowager duchess told me that, last night, you complimented the furry dog Lady Shirley had draped over her arm.” “Madam, I was following your specific instructions to be nice to the eccentric old harridan. Why shouldn’t I have complimented her dog?” “Because it was a new fur muff of a rare sort, of which she was extravagantly proud.” “There is no fur on earth that mangy, Elizabeth,” he replied with an impenitent grin. “She’s hoaxing the lot of you,” he added seriously. Elizabeth swallowed a startled laugh and said with an imploring look, “Promise me you’ll be very nice, and very patient with the committee.” “I promise,” he said gravely, but when she reached for the door handle and opened the door-when it was too late to step back and yank it closed-he leaned close to her ear and whispered, “Did you know a camel is the only animal invented by a committee, which is why it turned out the way it has?” If the committee was surprised to see the formerly curt and irascible Marquess of Kensington stroll into their midst wearing a beatific smile worth of a choir boy, they were doubtlessly shocked to see his wife’s hands clamped over her face and her eyes tearing with mirth.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Lord,it's hot in here!" she exclaimed, waving a bedraggled towel in front of her face. "Wouldn't mind a swim myself." Paying him no mind, she unfastened a couple of buttons on her shirt, parted it, and blotted the swells of her breasts with the towel. As she bent down and reached into a cupboard, the shirt gaped. Paralysis afflicted Rider from his eyeballs down. Unaware of his stymied condition, Willow rummaged though the cupboard and asked, "Did Juan and Taylo get back yet?" No answer. "Sinclair?" She found a chunk of soap and a towel and rose from her stooped position to find Rider's eyes glued to her breasts. The soap thunked Rider on his chest and broke his trance. He glanced up just in time to get a towel in his face but managed to catch it before it joined the soap on the floor. "I'm sorry. What did you say?" "Never mind," She spun away to face the stove and to conceal her flaming face. Busily stirring with one hand, she nonchalantly rebuttoned her blouse with the other. "Don't tarry," she warned over her shoulder, "supper is almost ready." Tarry? Tarry? If he remained a minute longer, he was going to have dessert here and now and to hell with supper! He lowered his hat a few discreet inches to hide the evidence of his stirring desire. Then,with an ease he didn't feel, he picked up the soap. "I'll hurry, and thanks for the soap." He turned to leave, then stopped, a devilish glint in his eye. After the emotional turmoil she'd just put him through, she more than deserved a little teasing. "You're welcome to join me for a swim, if you like." His smile was wide and audacious. "I'm not shy." Willow turned to face him, fork in hand. "Let's you and me get something straight, Sinclair. I ain't shy and I don't shock easy neither. You see, I reckon you ain't got nothin' my brothers don't." Her bald remark shocked him as intended but Rider was not to be outdone. "Maybe I don't." He grinned rakishly. "But I've been told I have a rather...exceptional physique." Willow rolled her eyes. "Well, as you can see, I ain't got time to do any comparing. Now,go take your bath and get outta my hair!" Rider swung the towel over his shoulder and turned to leave again. Disappointed by his inability to rile her, he added, "Shucks, Freckles. I was kind of hoping you'd scrub my back. I've been told my back is a mighty fi-" She jabbed the air with the big fork, motioning to the door. "I'm going! I'm going! This place is hazardous to a man's health." He ducked out the door,laughing. "And stop calling me Freckles!" she yelled after him. Grinning and shaking her head, Willow directed her attention back to the stove. Rider Sinclair was an odd egg if ever she saw one. One minute the man was purely obnoxious, the next, teasing and charming.
Charlotte McPherren (Song of the Willow)
Onions! Fresh, hot, sweet onions,” Sam called as Mary Lou pulled the cart down Main Street. “Eight cents a dozen.” It was a beautiful spring morning. The sky was painted pale blue and pink—the same color as the lake and the peach trees along its shore. Mrs. Gladys Tennyson was wearing just her nightgown and robe as she came running down the street after Sam. Mrs. Tennyson was normally a very proper woman who never went out in public without dressing up in fine clothes and a hat. So it was quite surprising to the people of Green Lake to see her running past them. “Sam!” she shouted. “Whoa, Mary Lou,” said Sam, stopping his mule and cart. “G’morning, Mrs. Tennyson,” he said. “How’s little Becca doing?” Gladys Tennyson was all smiles. “I think she’s going to be all right. The fever broke about an hour ago. Thanks to you.” “I’m sure the good Lord and Doc Hawthorn deserve most of the credit.” “The Good Lord, yes,” agreed Mrs. Tennyson, “but not Dr. Hawthorn. That quack wanted to put leeches on her stomach! Leeches! My word! He said they would suck out the bad blood. Now you tell me. How would a leech know good blood from bad blood?” “I wouldn’t know,” said Sam. “It was your onion tonic,” said Mrs. Tennyson. “That’s what saved her.” Other townspeople made their way to the cart. “Good morning, Gladys,” said Hattie Parker. “Don’t you look lovely this morning.” Several people snickered. “Good morning, Hattie,” Mrs. Tennyson replied. “Does your husband know you’re parading about in your bed clothes?” Hattie asked. There were more snickers. “My husband knows exactly where I am and how I am dressed, thank you,” said Mrs. Tennyson. “We have both been up all night and half the morning with Rebecca. She almost died from stomach sickness. It seems she ate some bad meat.” Hattie’s face flushed. Her husband, Jim Parker, was the butcher. “It made my husband and me sick as well,” said Mrs. Tennyson, “but it nearly killed Becca, what with her being so young. Sam saved her life.” “It wasn’t me,” said Sam. “It was the onions.” “I’m glad Becca’s all right,” Hattie said contritely. “I keep telling Jim he needs to wash his knives,” said Mr. Pike, who owned the general store. Hattie Parker excused herself, then turned and quickly walked away. “Tell Becca that when she feels up to it to come by the store for a piece of candy,” said Mr. Pike. “Thank you, I’ll do that.” Before returning home, Mrs. Tennyson bought a dozen onions from Sam. She gave him a dime and told him to keep the change. “I don’t take charity,” Sam told her. “But if you want to buy a few extra onions for Mary Lou, I’m sure she’d appreciate it.” “All right then,” said Mrs. Tennyson, “give me my change in onions.” Sam gave Mrs. Tennyson an additional three onions, and she fed them one at a time to Mary Lou. She laughed as the old donkey ate them out of her hand.
Louis Sachar (Holes)
Motor-scooter riders with big beards and girl friends who bounce on the back of the scooters and wear their hair long in front of their faces as well as behind, drunks who follow the advice of the Hat Council and are always turned out in hats, but not hats the Council would approve. Mr. Lacey, the locksmith,, shups up his shop for a while and goes to exchange time of day with Mr. Slube at the cigar store. Mr. Koochagian, the tailor, waters luxuriant jungle of plants in his window, gives them a critical look from the outside, accepts compliments on them from two passers-by, fingers the leaves on the plane tree in front of our house with a thoughtful gardener's appraisal, and crosses the street for a bite at the Ideal where he can keep an eye on customers and wigwag across the message that he is coming. The baby carriages come out, and clusters of everyone from toddlers with dolls to teenagers with homework gather at the stoops. When I get home from work, the ballet is reaching its cresendo. This is the time roller skates and stilts and tricycles and games in the lee of the stoop with bottletops and plastic cowboys, this is the time of bundles and packages, zigzagging from the drug store to the fruit stand and back over to the butcher's; this is the time when teenagers, all dressed up, are pausing to ask if their slips shows or their collars look right; this is the time when beautiful girls get out of MG's; this is the time when the fire engines go through; this is the time when anybody you know on Hudson street will go by. As the darkness thickens and Mr. Halpert moors the laundry cart to the cellar door again, the ballet goes under lights, eddying back nad forth but intensifying at the bright spotlight pools of Joe's sidewalk pizza, the bars, the delicatessen, the restaurant and the drug store. The night workers stop now at the delicatessen, to pick up salami and a container of milk. Things have settled down for the evening but the street and its ballet have not come to a stop. I know the deep night ballet and its seasons best from waking long after midnight to tend a baby and, sitting in the dark, seeing the shadows and hearing sounds of the sidewalk. Mostly it is a sound like infinitely patterning snatches of party conversation, and, about three in the morning, singing, very good singing. Sometimes their is a sharpness and anger or sad, sad weeping, or a flurry of search for a string of beads broken. One night a young man came roaring along, bellowing terrible language at two girls whom he had apparently picked up and who were disappointing him. Doors opened, a wary semicircle formed around him, not too close, until police came. Out came the heads, too, along the Hudsons street, offering opinion, "Drunk...Crazy...A wild kid from the suburbs" Deep in the night, I am almost unaware of how many people are on the street unless someone calls the together. Like the bagpipe. Who the piper is and why he favored our street I have no idea.
Jane Jacobs