Mining City Quotes

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Let me wake up next to you, have coffee in the morning and wander through the city with your hand in mine, and I'll be happy for the rest of my fucked up little life.
Charlotte Eriksson (Empty Roads & Broken Bottles: in search for The Great Perhaps)
Fresh is better. But you've never drunk fresh blood. Have you?" Simon raised his eyebrow in response. "Well, aside from mine of course," Jace said. "And I'm pretty sure my blood is fan-tastic.
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
There are things our souls want, and mine wants you.
Cassandra Clare (City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6))
I love New York, even though it isn't mine, the way something has to be, a tree or a street or a house, something, anyway, that belongs to me because I belong to it.
Truman Capote
But you've never drunk fresh blood. Have you?" Simon raised his eyebrows in response. "Well, aside from mine, of course," Jace said. "And I'm sure my blood is fan-tastic.
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
He understands why people hold hands: he’d always thought it was about possessiveness, saying This is mine. But it’s about maintaining contact. It is about speaking without words. It is about I want you with me and don’t go.
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
I'm not a man. I have no male pride for you to trick me with, and I am not interested in single combat. That is entirely a weakness of your sex, not mine. I am a woman. I will use any weapon and all weapons to get what I want.
Cassandra Clare (City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4))
The Lower City is MINE, Its People are MINE. If I Find Them That's Doing All This Kidnapping And Murdering, They'd Best Pray For Mercy, Because Once I Get My Teeth In 'Em I Will NEVER Let Them Go.
Tamora Pierce (Terrier (Beka Cooper, #1))
But isn't that what love is, Clarissa? Ownership? 'I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine,' as the Song of Songs goes." "No. And don't quote the Bible at me. I don't think you get it...It's not just that someone belongs to you, it's that you give yourself to them. I doubt you've ever given anything to anyone. Except maybe nightmares." "To give yourself to someone?" The thin smile didn't waver. "As you've given yourself to Jonathan?" "What?" "You think I haven't seen the way you two look at each other? The way he says your name? You may not think I can feel, but that doesn't mean I can't see feelings in others.
Cassandra Clare (City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2))
I'd rather waltz than just walk through the forest The trees keep the tempo and they sway in time Quartet of crickets chime in for the chorus If I were to pluck on your heartstrings, would you strum on mine?
Owl City
Before I die I want to have kids. Live in London. Own a pet giraffe. Skydive. Divide by zero. Play the piano. Speak French. Write a book. Travel to a different planet. Be a better dad than mine was. Feel good about myself. Go to New York City. Know equality. Live.
Jennifer Niven (All the Bright Places)
I still search for you in crowds, in empty fields and soaring clouds. In city lights and passing cars, on winding roads and wishing stars. I wonder where you could be now, for years I’ve not said your name out loud. And longer since I called you mine— time has passed for you and I. But I have learnt to live without, I do not mind— I still love you anyhow.
Lang Leav (Lullabies)
It was a dark, blustery afternoon in spring, and the city of London was chasing a small mining town across the dried-out bed of the old North Sea.
Philip Reeve (Mortal Engines (The Hungry City Chronicles, #1))
Chills run down my spine as our fingers intwine And your sighs harmonize with mine Unmistakably I can still feel your heart Beat fast when you dance with me.
Owl City (Ocean Eyes [Deluxe Edition])
He touched my cheek softly, his eyes intense as they gazed into mine."You might have to teach me a little about the human world, but I'm willing to learn if it means being close to you." He smiled again, a wry quirk of his lips. "I'm sure I can adapt to 'being human' if I must. If you want me to attend classes as a student, I can do that. If you want to move to a large city to pursue your dreams, I will follow. And if, someday, you wish to be married in a white gown and make this official in human eyes I'm willing to do that, too." He leaned in, close enough for me to see my reflection in his silver gaze." For better or worse, I'm afraid you're stuck with me now.
Julie Kagawa (The Iron Queen (The Iron Fey, #3))
For ages you have come and gone courting this delusion. For ages you have run from the pain and forfeited the ecstasy. So come, return to the root of the root of your own soul. Although you appear in earthly form Your essence is pure Consciousness. You are the fearless guardian of Divine Light. So come, return to the root of the root of your own soul. When you lose all sense of self the bonds of a thousand chains will vanish. Lose yourself completely, Return to the root of the root of your own soul. You descended from Adam, by the pure Word of God, but you turned your sight to the empty show of this world. Alas, how can you be satisfied with so little? So come, return to the root of the root of your own soul. Why are you so enchanted by this world when a mine of gold lies within you? Open your eyes and come --- Return to the root of the root of your own soul. You were born from the rays of God's Majesty when the stars were in their perfect place. How long will you suffer from the blows of a nonexistent hand? So come, return to the root of the root of your own soul. You are a ruby encased in granite. How long will you decieve Us with this outer show? O friend, We can see the truth in your eyes! So come, return to the root of the root of your own soul. After one moment with that glorious Friend you became loving, radiant, and ecstatic. Your eyes were sweet and full of fire. Come, return to the root of the root of your own soul. Shams-e Tabriz, the King of the Tavern has handed you an eternal cup, And God in all His glory is pouring the wine. So come! Drink! Return to the root of the root of your own soul. Soul of all souls, life of all life - you are That. Seen and unseen, moving and unmoving - you are That. The road that leads to the City is endless; Go without head and feet and you'll already be there. What else could you be? - you are That.
Rumi
The fire, baby. It'll burn us both. There's no place in this world for our kind of fire. My warrior woman. My valkyrie. You'll always be mine. Always. And never.
Frank Miller (Sin City, Vol. 3: The Big Fat Kill (Sin City, #3))
Ugh," he said after a few swallows. "Dead blood." Jace's eyebrows went up. " Isn't all blood dead?" "The longer the animal whose blood I'm drinking has been dead, the worse the blood tastes," Simon explained. "Fresh is better." "But you've never drunk fresh blood. Have you?" Simon raised his own eyebrows in response. "Well, aside from mine, of course," Jace said. "And I'm sure my blood is fan-tastic.
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
And he understands. He understands why people hold hands: he’d always thought it was about possessiveness, saying This is mine. But it’s about maintaining contact. It is about speaking without words. It is about I want you with me and don’t go.
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
Annabeth, thank goodness, would be staying in New York. She'd gotten permission from her parents to attend a boarding school in the city so she could be close to Olympus and oversee the rebuilding efforts. "And close to me?" I asked. "Well, someone's got a big sense of his own importance." But she laced her fingers through mine. I remembered what she'd told me in New York, about building something permanent, and I thought—just maybe—we were off to a good start.
Rick Riordan (The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #5))
I’ll never pause again, never stand still, till either death hath closed these eyes of mine, or fortune given me measure of revenge.’ 
Cassandra Clare (City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6))
There was a man once who said that mothers carry the key of our souls with them all our lives. But you threw mine away
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
When they bombed Hiroshima, the explosion formed a mini-supernova, so every living animal, human or plant that received direct contact with the rays from that sun was instantly turned to ash. And what was left of the city soon followed. The long-lasting damage of nuclear radiation caused an entire city and its population to turn into powder. When I was born, my mom says I looked around the whole hospital room with a stare that said, "This? I've done this before." She says I have old eyes. When my Grandpa Genji died, I was only five years old, but I took my mom by the hand and told her, "Don't worry, he'll come back as a baby." And yet, for someone who's apparently done this already, I still haven't figured anything out yet. My knees still buckle every time I get on a stage. My self-confidence can be measured out in teaspoons mixed into my poetry, and it still always tastes funny in my mouth. But in Hiroshima, some people were wiped clean away, leaving only a wristwatch or a diary page. So no matter that I have inhibitions to fill all my pockets, I keep trying, hoping that one day I'll write a poem I can be proud to let sit in a museum exhibit as the only proof I existed. My parents named me Sarah, which is a biblical name. In the original story God told Sarah she could do something impossible and she laughed, because the first Sarah, she didn't know what to do with impossible. And me? Well, neither do I, but I see the impossible every day. Impossible is trying to connect in this world, trying to hold onto others while things are blowing up around you, knowing that while you're speaking, they aren't just waiting for their turn to talk -- they hear you. They feel exactly what you feel at the same time that you feel it. It's what I strive for every time I open my mouth -- that impossible connection. There's this piece of wall in Hiroshima that was completely burnt black by the radiation. But on the front step, a person who was sitting there blocked the rays from hitting the stone. The only thing left now is a permanent shadow of positive light. After the A bomb, specialists said it would take 75 years for the radiation damaged soil of Hiroshima City to ever grow anything again. But that spring, there were new buds popping up from the earth. When I meet you, in that moment, I'm no longer a part of your future. I start quickly becoming part of your past. But in that instant, I get to share your present. And you, you get to share mine. And that is the greatest present of all. So if you tell me I can do the impossible, I'll probably laugh at you. I don't know if I can change the world yet, because I don't know that much about it -- and I don't know that much about reincarnation either, but if you make me laugh hard enough, sometimes I forget what century I'm in. This isn't my first time here. This isn't my last time here. These aren't the last words I'll share. But just in case, I'm trying my hardest to get it right this time around.
Sarah Kay
It was a time I slept in many rooms, called myself by many names. I wandered through the quarters of the city like alluvium wanders the river banks. I knew every kind of joy, ascents of every hue. Mine was the twilight and the morning. Mine was a world of rooftops and love songs.
Roman Payne (Rooftop Soliloquy)
To my son, If you are reading this letter, then I am dead. I expect to die, if not today, then soon. I expect that Valentine will kill me. For all his talk of loving me, for all his desire for a right-hand man, he knows that I have doubts. And he is a man who cannot abide doubt. I do not know how you will be brought up. I do not know what they will tell you about me. I do not even know who will give you this letter. I entrust it to Amatis, but I cannot see what the future holds. All I know is that this is my chance to give you an accounting of a man you may well hate. There are three things you must know about me. The first is that I have been a coward. Throughout my life I have made the wrong decisions, because they were easy, because they were self-serving, because I was afraid. At first I believed in Valentine’s cause. I turned from my family and to the Circle because I fancied myself better than Downworlders and the Clave and my suffocating parents. My anger against them was a tool Valentine bent to his will as he bent and changed so many of us. When he drove Lucian away I did not question it but gladly took his place for my own. When he demanded I leave Amatis, the woman I love, and marry Celine, a girl I did not know, I did as he asked, to my everlasting shame. I cannot imagine what you might be thinking now, knowing that the girl I speak of was your mother. The second thing you must know is this. Do not blame Celine for any of this, whatever you do. It was not her fault, but mine. Your mother was an innocent from a family that brutalized her. She wanted only kindess, to feel safe and loved. And though my heart had been given already, I loved her, in my fashion, just as in my heart, I was faithful to Amatis. Non sum qualis eram bonae sub regno Cynarae. I wonder if you love Latin as I do, and poetry. I wonder who has taught you. The third and hardest thing you must know is that I was prepared to hate you. The son of myslef and the child-bride I barely knew, you seemed to be the culmination of all the wrong decisions I had made, all the small compromises that led to my dissolution. Yet as you grew inside my mind, as you grew in the world, a blameless innocent, I began to realize that I did not hate you. It is the nature of parents to see their own image in their children, and it was myself I hated, not you. For there is only one thing I wan from you, my son — one thing from you, and of you. I want you to be a better man than I was. Let no one else tell you who you are or should be. Love where you wish to. Believe as you wish to. Take freedom as your right. I don’t ask that you save the world, my boy, my child, the only child I will ever have. I ask only that you be happy. Stephen
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
But you've never drunk fresh blood. Have you?" Simon raised his own eyebrows in response. "Well, aside from mine, of course," Jace said. "And I'm sure my blood is fan-tastic." Simon set the empty flask down on the arm of the chair by the bed. "There's something very wrong with you," he said. "Mentally, I mean.
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other. A solemn consideration, when I enter a great city by night, that every one of those darkly clustered houses encloses its own secret; that every room in every one of them encloses its own secret; that every beating heart in the hundreds of thousands of breasts there, is, in some of its imaginings, a secret to the heart nearest it! Something of the awfulness, even of Death itself, is referable to this. No more can I turn the leaves of this dear book that I loved, and vainly hope in time to read it all. No more can I look into the depths of this unfathomable water, wherein, as momentary lights glanced into it, I have had glimpses of buried treasure and other things submerged. It was appointed that the book should shut with a a spring, for ever and for ever, when I had read but a page. It was appointed that the water should be locked in an eternal frost, when the light was playing on its surface, and I stood in ignorance on the shore. My friend is dead, my neighbour is dead, my love, the darling of my soul, is dead; it is the inexorable consolidation and perpetuation of the secret that was always in that individuality, and which I shall carry in mine to my life's end. In any of the burial-places of this city through which I pass, is there a sleeper more inscrutable than its busy inhabitants are, in their innermost personality, to me, or than I am to them?
Charles Dickens (A Tale of Two Cities)
The touch was so hesitant at first, I thought for sure that he was still asleep, shifting in dreams. Liam’s hand came down next to mine on the seat, his fingers inching over one at a time, hooking over mine in a way that was as tender as it was shy. I bit my lip, letting his warm, rough skin engulf mine. His eyes were still shut and stayed that way, even as I saw him struggle to swallow. There was nothing to say now. Our linked hands rose as he guided them to rest against his chest, and they stayed there, through the song, the mountains, the cities. Until the end.
Alexandra Bracken (Never Fade (The Darkest Minds, #2))
I am no more annoyed when I think of the expression, than I should be annoyed by a man's opinion of a picture of mine, who had no eye for pictures; or of a piece of music of mine, who had no ear for music.
Charles Dickens (A Tale of Two Cities)
eat, baby. eat. chew. please. I know it hurts. I know it doesn’t feel good. please. I know your hunger is different than mine. I know it doesn’t taste the same as mine. imagine you could grow up all over again and pinpoint the millisecond that you started counting calories like casualties of war, mourning each one like it had a family. would you? sometimes I wonder that. sometimes I wonder if you would go back and watch yourself reappear and disappear right in front of your own eyes. and I love you so much. I am going to hold your little hand through the night. just please eat. just a little. you wrote a poem once, about a city of walking skeletons. the teacher called home because you told her you wished it could be like that here. let me tell you something about bones, baby. they are not warm or soft. the wind whistles through them like they are holes in a tree. and they break, too. they break right in half. they bruise and splinter like wood. are you hungry? I know. I know how much you hate that question. I will find another way to ask it, someday. please. the voices. I know they are all yelling at you to stretch yourself thinner. l hear them counting, always counting. I wish I had been there when the world made you snap yourself in half. I would have told you that your body is not a war-zone, that, sometimes, it is okay to leave your plate empty.
Caitlyn Siehl
You are mine. Mine. I won’t let anyone touch you ever again. No one, you hear me? Not Martin, not any fucking man. No more, Benjamin. Are we clear? Do you understand me? No more!” ~Marcus
T.A. Webb (Knightmare (City Knight #2))
Every returning New Yorker asks the question: Is this still my city? I have a ready answer, cloaked in obstinate despair: It is. And if it's not, I will love it all the more. I will love it to the point where it becomes mine again.
Gary Shteyngart (Super Sad True Love Story)
He reassures her, but he feels her soft laughter travel through their joined hands — how did that happen? — as they make their way downstairs. And he understands. He understands why people hold hands: he’d always thought it was about possessiveness, saying This is mine. But it’s about maintaining contact. It is about speaking without words. It is about I want you with me and don’t go. He wants her in his bedroom. And not in that way — no girl has ever been in his bedroom that way. It is his private space, his sanctuary. But he wants Clary there. He wants her to see him, the reality of him, not the image he shows the world. He wants to lie down on the bed with her and have her curl into him. He wants to hold her as she breathes softly through the night; to see her as no one else sees her: vulnerable and asleep. To see her and to be seen.
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
There are things we want, down under what we know, under even what we feel. There are things our souls want, and mine wants you.
Cassandra Clare (City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6))
If you were close enough to her ruby-red lips you would hear her say, 'I will rise now and go about the city in the streets, and in the broad ways I will seek the one I love.' She is whispering that, and she whispers, 'By night on my bed I sought him whom my soul loveth. Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth. My beloved is mine and I am his.
Neil Gaiman (American Gods (American Gods, #1))
My life is mine to spend," she said. "And I will not spend it here, no matter how nice your city is, or how much safer it might be. We had a deal, Kell. And now you have Tieren to guard your story and heal your brother. I'm of no use to him. Let me be of use to you.
V.E. Schwab (A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic, #1))
Your mother stands against everything my parents believe in," I say. "But I'm not my parents." "Aria," Hunter whispers into my ear. "Yes?" "Just kiss me." We press our lips together gentle, and it's like I am alive, on fire, like I can do anything in the world. I know this because he's a mystic, but there's something more familiar, something safe and sexy and irresistible about the way his lips feel, his tongue brushing lightly against mine. Our passion is like what's described in my love letters: it's like coming home, finally, when I never even knew I'd been away.
Theo Lawrence (Mystic City (Mystic City, #1))
I’ll never pause again, never stand still, till either death hath closed these eyes of mine, or fortune given me measure of revenge.
City of Heavenly Fire Cassandra Clare
A Great Rabbi stands, teaching in the marketplace. It happens that a husband finds proof that morning of his wife's adultery, and a mob carries her to the marketplace to stone her to death. There is a familiar version of this story, but a friend of mine - a Speaker for the Dead - has told me of two other Rabbis that faced the same situation. Those are the ones I'm going to tell you. The Rabbi walks forward and stands beside the woman. Out of respect for him the mob forbears and waits with the stones heavy in their hands. 'Is there any man here,' he says to them, 'who has not desired another man's wife, another woman's husband?' They murmur and say, 'We all know the desire, but Rabbi none of us has acted on it.' The Rabbi says, 'Then kneel down and give thanks that God has made you strong.' He takes the woman by the hand and leads her out of the market. Just before he lets her go, he whispers to her, 'Tell the Lord Magistrate who saved his mistress, then he'll know I am his loyal servant.' So the woman lives because the community is too corrupt to protect itself from disorder. Another Rabbi. Another city. He goes to her and stops the mob as in the other story and says, 'Which of you is without sin? Let him cast the first stone.' The people are abashed, and they forget their unity of purpose in the memory of their own individual sins. ‘Someday,’ they think, ‘I may be like this woman. And I’ll hope for forgiveness and another chance. I should treat her as I wish to be treated.’ As they opened their hands and let their stones fall to the ground, the Rabbi picks up one of the fallen stones, lifts it high over the woman’s head and throws it straight down with all his might it crushes her skull and dashes her brain among the cobblestones. ‘Nor am I without sins,’ he says to the people, ‘but if we allow only perfect people to enforce the law, the law will soon be dead – and our city with it.’ So the woman died because her community was too rigid to endure her deviance. The famous version of this story is noteworthy because it is so startlingly rare in our experience. Most communities lurch between decay and rigor mortis and when they veer too far they die. Only one Rabbi dared to expect of us such a perfect balance that we could preserve the law and still forgive the deviation. So of course, we killed him. -San Angelo Letters to an Incipient Heretic
Orson Scott Card (Speaker for the Dead (Ender's Saga, #2))
Violet’s eyes meet mine. I give her a look that tries to say, “What is wrong with these people?
Amy Ewing (The House of the Stone (The Lone City, #1.5))
Tell your masters the Alpha of the Timberwolf Pack says these streets are mine. This city, this territory is mine. If you sell drugs to poison my wolves, I will come for you. If you threaten my Pack, I will come for you. If you break the laws of my Pack land, I will come for you. The challenge is issued. And I will not be as quick as I was with this cur. Now go.
L.L. Raand (Blood Hunt (Midnight Hunters #2))
Isnt all blood dead? You have never drank fresh blood before, have you?-Jace Simon raised his eyebrow. Well, except for mine which I know tastes fantastic...-Jace
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
I'm in love with New York. It matches my mood. I'm not overwhelmed. It is the suitable scene for my ever ever heightened life. I love the proportions, the amplitude, the brilliance, the polish, the solidity. I look up at Radio City insolently and love it. It's all great, and Babylonian. Broadway at night. Cellophane. The newness. The vitality. True, it is only physical. But it's inspiring. Just bring your own contents, and you create a sparkle of the highest power. I'm not moved, not speechless. I stand straight, tough and I meet the impact. I feel the glow and the dancing in everything. The radio music in the taxis, scientific magic, which can all be used lyrically. That's my last word. Give New York to a poet. He can use it. It can be poetized. Or maybe that's mania of mine, to poetize. I live lightly, smoothly, actively, ears or eyes wide open, alert, oiled! I feel the glow and the dancing in every thing and the tempo is like that of my blood. I'm at once beyond, over and in New York, tasting it fully.
Anaïs Nin
My name is October Christine Daye; I live in a city by the sea where the fog paints the early morning, parking is more precious than gold, and Kelpies wait for the unwary on street corners. Neither of the worlds I live in is quite mine, but no one can take them away from me. I did what had to be done, and I think I may finally be starting to understand what's important. It's all about finding the way home, wherever that is. I plan on finding out. I have time.
Seanan McGuire (Rosemary and Rue (October Daye, #1))
There's a reason for every journey, and mine was prompted by boredom and the recklessness of youth, by a wish to break the bounds of my normal existence and familiarise myself with life and the world at large.
Walter Moers
And I’m going to make you fall in love with me all over again. Every morning and every night. In every city and at the edge of every ocean. I’ll remind you why you’re mine and why I’ve always been yours.
Meredith Wild (Hard Love (Hacker, #5))
He'll just track us down and follow us and then he'll kill Carrot!" "Why?" "Because Carrot's mine!
Terry Pratchett (The Fifth Elephant (Discworld, #24; City Watch, #5))
There had been that battle over the awful sign the city put up near his house when he was about seven years old, the one that read “Slow Children Playing”. He was so proud of his mom when she called the city government to complain about it and then appealed to the city council. “Why don’t you put up signs saying ‘Smart Children Playing’ on other streets instead of picking on kids like mine?
Steve Bates (Back To You)
He had to think he was Michael Wayland’s son, or the Lightwoods would not have protected him as they did. It was Michael they owed a debt to, not me. It was on Michael’s account that they loved him, not mine.” “Maybe they loved him on his own account,” said Clary.
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
When we got to the marina we saw this beautiful boat named Tara waiting for us. Fredo, Carin, Ryan, Dan, Kenny, Allison, my mom, and me were all together to enjoy that extraordinary day. As the boat pulled away from the city, its skyline vanished into the horizon. The captain took us to this area where we sailed through caves and lush hilly landscapes. All of a sudden, the captain pushed the throttle all the way down and we started bombing across the water like we were in a James Bond movie. Everyone's hair was blowing all over the place, especially the girls'. Of course, mine was perfect (ha,ha), but theirs ended up looking like the worst case of bed head I've seen! It was so funny.
Justin Bieber (Justin Bieber: Just Getting Started)
You said, "I will go to another land, I will go to another sea. Another city will be found, better than this. Every effort of mine is condemned by fate; and my heart is-like a corpse-buried. How long in this wasteland will my mind remain. Wherever I turn my eyes, wherever I may look I see the black ruins of my life here, where I spent so many years, and ruined and wasted." New lands you will not find, you will not find other seas. The city will follow you. You will roam the same streets. And you will age in the same neighborhoods; in these same houses you will grow gray. Always you will arrive in this city. To another land-do not hope- there is no ship for you, there is no road. As you have ruined your life here in this little corner, you have destroyed it in the whole world.2
Constantinos P. Cavafy
Never forget, Alexandros, that this flesh, this body, does not belong to us. Thank God it doesn’t. If I thought this stuff was mine, I could not advance a pace into the face of the enemy. But it is not ours, my friend. It belongs to the gods and to our children, our fathers and mothers and those of Lakedaemon a hundred, a thousand years yet unborn. It belongs to the city which gives us all we have and demands no less in requital.
Steven Pressfield (Gates of Fire)
Its pointless. Hopeless. Even if she weren't afraid of me, we'll always be enemies at the core. She rules a wicked, selfish city, and my tribe suffers for her peoples comfort. Shes a queen; I'm her prisoner. I resent her and she fears me, and there are times when I fear her, too. I am her monster, and she is mine. But right now none of it matters.
Stacey Jay (Of Beast and Beauty)
I take his hand in mine, running my fingers over the palm. His hands are lovely and lean, and I can't help thinking about those hands on my body. The sexiest part of a man is his hands.
Candace Bushnell (Summer and the City (The Carrie Diaries, #2))
The Pomegranate The only legend I have ever loved is the story of a daughter lost in hell. And found and rescued there. Love and blackmail are the gist of it. Ceres and Persephone the names. And the best thing about the legend is I can enter it anywhere. And have. As a child in exile in a city of fogs and strange consonants, I read it first and at first I was an exiled child in the crackling dusk of the underworld, the stars blighted. Later I walked out in a summer twilight searching for my daughter at bed-time. When she came running I was ready to make any bargain to keep her. I carried her back past whitebeams and wasps and honey-scented buddleias. But I was Ceres then and I knew winter was in store for every leaf on every tree on that road. Was inescapable for each one we passed. And for me. It is winter and the stars are hidden. I climb the stairs and stand where I can see my child asleep beside her teen magazines, her can of Coke, her plate of uncut fruit. The pomegranate! How did I forget it? She could have come home and been safe and ended the story and all our heart-broken searching but she reached out a hand and plucked a pomegranate. She put out her hand and pulled down the French sound for apple and the noise of stone and the proof that even in the place of death, at the heart of legend, in the midst of rocks full of unshed tears ready to be diamonds by the time the story was told, a child can be hungry. I could warn her. There is still a chance. The rain is cold. The road is flint-coloured. The suburb has cars and cable television. The veiled stars are above ground. It is another world. But what else can a mother give her daughter but such beautiful rifts in time? If I defer the grief I will diminish the gift. The legend will be hers as well as mine. She will enter it. As I have. She will wake up. She will hold the papery flushed skin in her hand. And to her lips. I will say nothing.
Eavan Boland
And now the measure of my song is done: The work has reached its end; the book is mine, None shall unwrite these words: nor angry Jove, Nor war, nor fire, nor flood, Nor venomous time that eats our lives away. Then let that morning come, as come it will, When this disguise I carry shall be no more, And all the treacherous years of life undone, And yet my name shall rise to heavenly music, The deathless music of the circling stars. As long as Rome is the Eternal City These lines shall echo from the lips of men, As long as poetry speaks truth on earth, That immortality is mine to wear.
Ovid (Metamorphoses)
These late eclipses in the sun and moon portend no good to us: though the wisdom of nature can reason it thus and thus, yet nature finds itself scourged by the sequent effects: love cools, friendship falls off, brothers divide: in cities, mutinies; in countries, discord; in palaces, treason; and the bond cracked 'twixt son and father. This villain of mine comes under the prediction; there's son against father: the king falls from bias of nature; there's father against child. We have seen the best of our time: machinations, hollowness, treachery, and all ruinous disorders, follow us disquietly to our graves. Find out this villain, Edmund; it shall lose thee nothing; do it carefully. And the noble and true-hearted Kent banished! his offence, honesty! 'Tis strange.
William Shakespeare (King Lear)
The evil of our times, are mines, dams, power plants and hundreds of smart cities. Shadeless roads, widened by cutting down trees; rivers diverted to fill the flush tanks of five-star hotels; hillocks, the abode of tribal gods, laid bare due to mining; marketplaces without sparrows and trees without birds
U.R. Ananthamurthy
From the ruins, lonely and inexplicable as the sphinx, rose the Empire State Building. And just as it had been tradition of mine to climb to the Plaza roof to take leave of the beautiful city extending as far as the eyes could see, so now I went to the roof of that last and most magnificent of towers. Then I understood. Everything was explained. I had discovered the crowning error of the city. Its Pandora's box. Full of vaunting pride, the New Yorker had climbed here, and seen with dismay what he had never suspected. That the city was not the endless sucession of canyons that he had supposed, but that it had limits, fading out into the country on all sides into an expanse of green and blue. That alone was limitless. And with the awful realization that New York was a city after all and not a universe, the whole shining ediface that he had reared in his mind came crashing down. That was the gift of Alfred Smith to the citizens of New York.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (My Lost City: Personal Essays 1920-40 (Works of F. Scott Fitzgerald))
I tramp the perpetual journey My signs are a rain-proof coat, good shoes, and a staff cut from the woods, No friend of mine takes his ease in my chair, I have no chair, no philosophy, I lead no man to a dinner-table, library, exchange, But each man and each woman of you I lead upon a knoll, My left hand hooking you round the waist, My right hand pointing to landscapes of continents and the public road. Not I, not any one else can travel that road for you, You must travel it for yourself. It is not far, it is within reach, Perhaps you have been on it since you were born and did not know, Perhaps it is everywhere on water and on land. Shoulder your duds dear son, and I will mine, and let us hasten forth, Wonderful cities and free nations we shall fetch as we go. If you tire, give me both burdens, and rest the chuff of your hand on my hip, And in due time you shall repay the same service to me, For after we start we never lie by again. This day before dawn I ascended a hill and look'd at the crowded heaven, And I said to my spirit When we become the enfolders of those orbs, and the pleasure and knowledge of every thing in them, shall we be fill'd and satisfied then? And my spirit said No, we but level that lift to pass and continue beyond. You are also asking me questions and I hear you, I answer that I cannot answer, you must find out for yourself. Sit a while dear son, Here are biscuits to eat and here is milk to drink, But as soon as you sleep and renew yourself in sweet clothes, I kiss you with a good-by kiss and open the gate for your egress hence. Long enough have you dream'd contemptible dreams, Now I wash the gum from your eyes, You must habit yourself to the dazzle of the light and of every moment of your life. Long have you timidly waded holding a plank by the shore, Now I will you to be a bold swimmer, To jump off in the midst of the sea, rise again, nod to me, shout, and laughingly dash with your hair.
Walt Whitman (Song of Myself)
When we unloaded the last box Vincent surprised me by taking my hand and placing a kiss on my knuckles. His deep chocolate eyes gazed into mine as he spoke with an air of knowing wisdom, “If I ever cheated on my wife I think she’d have cut my balls off. If you don’t want to castrate this guy after what he’s done then he’s not the one for you.” he nodded as though affirming the truth of his words.
Penny Reid (Neanderthal Seeks Human (Knitting in the City, #1))
I had forgotten how gently time passes in Paris. As lively as the city is, there's a stillness to it, a peace that lures you in. In Paris, with a glass of wine in your hand, you can just be. All along the Seine, street lamps come on, apartment windows turn golden. "It's seven," Julien says, and I realize that he has been keeping time all along, waiting. He is so American. No sitting idle, forgetting oneself, not for this young man of mine.
Kristin Hannah (The Nightingale)
Though cast away am I from the heart of my city, black tears dribble from mine eyes at the sight of the fearful trail blazing towards her gates!
Gene Luen Yang (Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Promise, Part 3 (The Promise, #3))
The fire, baby. It'll burn us both. There's no place in this world for our kind of fire. My warrior woman. My valkyrie. You'll always be mine. Always. And never.”.
Frank Miller (Sin City (Sin City, #1))
You’re better looking than me. You’re more intelligent than me. Your personality is more likable than mine. You make more money than me. Your family is nicer than mine. Your religion is better than mine. You’ve seen more beaches than me. You’ve been to more cities than me. Your automobile is nicer than mine. Your significant other is better looking than mine. Your candidate won. Your home team won. You’re number one. But life is a tie. We all die.
Jason Daniel Chaplin
Not with a mother like mine.” I let out a sigh. “I can hear her right now. ‘Boone, do you have to kiss like such a slut? Good Christ, if your tongue goes any farther down his throat you’ll be able to tell what the man had for breakfast. Do it like they did in those old-time movies…classy…not like a sailor on leave.
Ethan Day (Sno Ho (Summit City, #1))
The only dream I ever had was the dream of New York itself, and for me, from the minute I touched down in this city, that was enough. It became the best teacher I ever had. If your mother is anything like mine, after all, there are a lot of important things she probably didn't teach you: how to use a vibrator; how to go to a loan shark and pull a loan at 17 percent that's due in thirty days; how to hire your first divorce attorney; what to look for in a doula (a birth coach) should you find yourself alone and pregnant. My mother never taught me how to date three people at the same time or how to interview a nanny or what to wear in an ashram in India or how to meditate. She also failed to mention crotchless underwear, how to make my first down payment on an apartment, the benefits of renting verses owning, and the difference between a slant-6 engine and a V-8 (in case I wanted to get a muscle car), not to mention how to employ a team of people to help me with my life, from trainers to hair colorists to nutritionists to shrinks. (Luckily, New York became one of many other moms I am to have in my lifetime.) So many mothers say they want their daughters to be independent, but what they really hope is that they'll find a well-compensated banker or lawyer and settle down between the ages of twenty-five and twenty-eight in Greenwich, Darien, or That Town, USA, to raise babies, do the grocery shopping, and work out in relative comfort for the rest of their lives. I know this because I employ their daughters. They raise us to think they want us to have careers, and they send us to college, but even they don't really believe women can be autonomous and take care of themselves.
Kelly Cutrone (If You Have to Cry, Go Outside: And Other Things Your Mother Never Told You)
Citizens of Luna, I ask that you stop what you’re doing to listen to this message. My name is Selene Blackburn. I am the daughter of the late Queen Channary, niece to Princess Levana, and the rightful heir to Luna’s throne. You were told that I died thirteen years ago in a nursery fire, but the truth is that my aunt, Levana, did try to kill me, but I was rescued and taken to Earth. There, I have been raised and protected in preparation for the time when I would return to Luna and reclaim my birthright. In my absence, Levana has enslaved you. She takes your sons and turns them into monsters. She takes your shell infants and slaughters them. She lets you go hungry, while the people in Artemisia gorge themselves on rich foods and delicacies. But Levana’s rule is coming to an end. I have returned and I am here to take back what’s mine. Soon, Levana is going to marry Emperor Kaito of Earth and be crowned the empress of the Eastern Commonwealth, an honor that could not be given to anyone less deserving. I refuse to allow Levana to extend her tyranny. I will not stand aside while my aunt enslaves and abuses my people here on Luna, and wages a war across Earth. Which is why, before an Earthen crown can be placed on Levana’s head, I will bring an army to the gates of Artemisia. I ask that you, citizens of Luna, be that army. You have the power to fight against Levana and the people that oppress you. Beginning now, tonight, I urge you to join me in rebelling against this regime. No longer will we obey her curfews or forgo our rights to meet and talk and be heard. No longer will we give up our children to become her disposable guards and soldiers. No longer will we slave away growing food and raising wildlife, only to see it shipped off to Artemisia while our children starve around us. No longer will we build weapons for Levana’s war. Instead, we will take them for ourselves, for our war. Become my army. Stand up and reclaim your homes from the guards who abuse and terrorize you. Send a message to Levana that you will no longer be controlled by fear and manipulation. And upon the commencement of the royal coronation, I ask that all able-bodied citizens join me in a march against Artemisia and the queen’s palace. Together we will guarantee a better future for Luna. A future without oppression. A future in which any Lunar, no matter the sector they live in or the family they were born to, can achieve their ambitions and live without fear of unjust persecution or a lifetime of slavery. I understand that I am asking you to risk your lives. Levana’s thaumaturges are powerful, her guards are skilled, her soldiers are brutal. But if we join together, we can be invincible. They can’t control us all. With the people united into one army, we will surround the capital city and overthrow the imposter who sits on my throne. Help me. Fight for me. And I will be the first ruler in the history of Luna who will also fight for you.
Marissa Meyer (Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4))
In mine, in space, in city and sky, we have lived our lives in fear. Fear of death. Fear of pain. Today, fear only that we fail. We cannot. We stand upon the edge of darkness holding the lone torch left to man. That torch will not go out. Not while I draw breath. Not while your hearts beat in your chests. Not while our ships yet have menace in them. Let others dream. Let others sing. We chosen few are the fire of our people." I beat my chest. "We are not Red, not Blue or Gold or Gray or Obsidian. We are humanity. We are the tide. And today we reclaim the lives that have been stolen from us. We build the future we were promised.
Pierce Brown (Morning Star (Red Rising Saga, #3))
We treat our stone wives with much more care than they treat their warm ones, anyway. I personally dust mine once a week, and I know Khaamil gives them presents when I am not looking. These are yours - they are in your care, and you must be faithful.
Catherynne M. Valente (In the Cities of Coin and Spice (The Orphan's Tales, #2))
We rode the basement trains all night, speeding through the subterrains. I held her chin in the cup of my hand and her eyes held tight to mine, imploring me to reveal to her the mystery of that which awaits us on the pavement above, come the day we ascend from this labyrinth of trains... 'We will ride these beautiful basement trains forever,' said I, 'nothing awaits us; and as your beauty folds, so do my dreams. Come, my love, let us wander these tunnels of the endless city. This holy, endless city!
Roman Payne (The Basement Trains (a 21st century poem))
I rested my cheek against his back and closed my eyes, breathing in his scent. It reminded me of his apartment, and his sheets, and the way he smelled when he walked around with a towel around his waist. The city blurred past us, and I didn’t care how fast he was driving, or how cold the wind was as it whipped across my skin; I wasn’t even paying attention to where we were. The only thing I could think about was his body against mine. We had no destination or time frame, and we drove the streets long after they had been abandoned by everyone but us.
Jamie McGuire (Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1))
It’s rare that a story begins at the beginning. In the grand scheme of things, I really turned up at the beginning of the end of this one. After all, the story of the Rephaim and Scion started almost two hundred years before I was born - and human lives, to Rephaim, are as fleeting as a single heartbeat. Some revolutions change the world in a day. Others take decades or centuries or more, and others still never come to fruition. Mine began with a moment and a choice. Mine began with the blooming of a flower in a secret city on the border between worlds. You’ll have to wait and see how it ends. Welcome back to Scion.
Samantha Shannon (The Mime Order (The Bone Season, #2))
There are friends with whom we share neither interests nor any particular experiences, friends with whom we never correspond, whom we seldom meet and then only by chance, but whose existence nonetheless has for us a special if uncanny meaning. For me the Eiffel Tower is just such a friend, and not merely because it happens to be the symbol of a city, for Paris leaves me neither hot nor cold. I first became aware of this attachment of mine when reading in the paper about plans for its demolition, the mere thought of which filled me with alarm.
Stanisław Lem
You think of a woman, a favorite dress, your old father's breasts the last time you saw him, his breath, brief, the leaf you've torn from a vine and which you hold now to your cheek like a train ticket or a piece of cloth, a little hand or a blade-- it all depends on the course of your memory. It's a place for those who own no place to correspond to ruins in the soul. It's mine. It's all yours.
Li-Young Lee (The City in Which I Love You)
Hey, you look at your tits; I'll look at mine! (Michael Tolliver, Tales of the City)
Armistead Maupin (Tales of the City (Tales of the City, #1))
Do you think that's a good idea, sir?' 'Yes, sergeant, I do. It was one of mine.
Terry Pratchett (Guards! Guards! (Discworld, #8; City Watch #1))
I don't want a new purpose. I want what's mine. I want my birthright.
Faith Erin Hicks (The Stone Heart (The Nameless City, #2))
You need time, and I respect that. But make no mistake about it, I intend to make you mine again. I’m fully aware this won’t be easy. I gave up on us once; it won’t happen again.
Joy Avery (Smoke in the Citi)
There are things we want, down under what we know, under even what we feel. There are things our souls want, and mine wants you.
Cassandra Clare (City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6))
Mr. Carton," she answered, after an agitated pause, "the secret is yours, not mine, and I promise to respect it.
Charles Dickens (A Tale of Two Cities)
Doing nothing is the hardest torture that a person can put himself through. For he is always brought face to face with his own self, which demands that he gives account for the sun which he uselessly squanders, for the springs of energy in his organism, the gold of wisdom in the mines of his brains. The masses work, slog, forget. They drink the alcohol of their sweat. Work is a flight from responsibility and God. Since the mystic beliefs have been banned from Europe, pillars of glory have been erected to rationality in order to put something in place of the cross: the French Revolution named its goddess reason, the Russians named their Moloch work. But the machine called Europe is running idle: it fills stomachs with fake bread, builds artificial houses with iron paper, the products are bad, the pay meager, and at the end of the six holy work days is the unholy Sunday which one sleeps through out of fear of the great boredom which is infecting Europe. Sunday, the day of idleness, is nowadays a punishment for Christianity, the cities collapse into soulless ruins, nature is just a backdrop for dusty sports. Doing nothing out of principle, my dear, is nowadays the most violent form of revolt.
Iwan Goll
Îndată ce aveam cozonăcelul la îndemână, închis în camera mea, îmi scoteam sticla din fundul vreunui dulap, şi ce chefuri trăgeam de unul singur, în timp ce citeam câteva pagini de roman! Căci a citi în timp ce mănânc a fost totdeauna un nărav al meu, din lipsă de a fi cu cineva. În felul acesta, înlocuiesc compania pe care n-o am. Înghit, rând pe rând, o pagină şi o îmbucătură: e ca şi cum cartea s-ar ospăta împreună cu mine.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Confesiuni II)
Cum să fac să nu o iau în brațe când o văd trecând prin univers? îmi fac o listă: de pus mereu în buzunar un trotuar de rezervă, când o văd că se apropie de mine scot trotuarul și trec pe partea cealaltă mă prefac neatent, întorc capul spre zid mă zidesc în el trec prin zid sau: mă întorc brusc și o iau la fugă înapoi, toată lumea va înțelege, (am uitat ceva esențial, undeva, cu zece douăzeci treizeci de ani în urmă, fug înapoi spre copilărie) sau, și mai bine, când o văd că se apropie de mine îmi ridic brațele, le transform în aripi, descopăr brusc că sunt capabil să zbor, la revedere, Domnișoară nu mai sunt obligat să mor dacă nu vă iau în brațe sau, și mai bine, nu mă mai nasc, nu mai scriu nimic nici măcar acest poem nu mai există nu, nu pot să-i fac asta, ea trăiește cu un poem pe zi mai bine mă prefac în poem se va parfuma cu mine, se va lipi de mine la micul dejun mă va citi poate de mai multe ori…
Matei Vişniec (Negustorul de începuturi de roman)
Evelyne's eyes, dark as wet earth, search mine for a long time. Then she reaches across the table and pulls me fiercely into her arms, which form a wire cage around me, suprisingly strong. "Let them have the city and everything in it," she says into my hair. I can't move, can't speak. She chose me. She chose me.
Veronica Roth (Allegiant (Divergent, #3))
I know that I too could try a story out, rebuild mine, make it live again several minutes before the full of the day, the sun, the city. But I haven't the strength, stupidly. I rise and carry on. One more time.
Danielle Collobert (Murder)
I’ve been in Amsterdam, I’ve been able to enjoy many aspects of cycling here. One thing I have not been able to do yet is bike with my sweetheart. But now that you’re here, I’m so excited to ride around town with you among all the thousands of other cyclists while I hold your wrist or you hold mine.
Pete Jordan (In the City of Bikes: The Story of the Amsterdam Cyclist)
And when you do find this letter, you know what? Something extraordinary will happen. It will be like a reverse solar eclipse - the sun will start shining down in the middle of the night, imagine that! - and when I see this sunlight it will be my signal to go running out into the streets, and I'll shout over and over, "Awake! Awake! The son of mine who once was lost has now been found!" I'll pound on every door in the city, and my cry will ring true: "Awake! Everyone listen, there has been a miracle - my son who once was dead is now alive. Rejoice! All of you! Rejoice! You must! My son is coming home!
Douglas Coupland (Hey Nostradamus!)
I’m going to take this from you, but you shouldn’t be surprised because you know I’m a selfish bastard.” His voice was low, gravely, almost a whisper, his lips just inches from mine. “But I also want to make sure it’s done right. I don’t know this Mark from art history. He could be a rubbish kisser, scarring you for life. It might take me years of kiss-therapy to undo the damage.
Penny Reid (Scenes from the City (Knitting in the City, #4.5))
–you know, I’ve either had a family, a job, something has always been in the way but now I’ve sold my house, I’ve found this place, a large studio, you should see the space and the light. for the first time in my life I’m going to have a place and the time to create.” no baby, if you’re going to create you’re going to create whether you work 16 hours a day in a coal mine or you’re going to create in a small room with 3 children while you’re on welfare, you’re going to create with part of your mind and your body blown away, you’re going to create blind crippled demented, you’re going to create with a cat crawling up your back while the whole city trembles in earthquake, bombardment, flood and fire. baby, air and light and time and space have nothing to do with it and don’t create anything except maybe a longer life to find new excuses for.
Charles Bukowski (The Last Night of the Earth Poems)
How big a war?" "A worse one than the one fifty years ago, I expect," said Cheery. "I don't recall people talking about that one," said Vimes. "Most humans didn't know about it," said Cheery. "It mostly took place underground. Undermining passages and digging invasion tunnels and so on. Perhaps a few houses fell into mysterious holes and people didn't get their coal, but that was about it." "You mean dwarfs just try to collapse mines on other dwarfs?" "Oh, yes." "I thought you were all law-abiding?" "Oh, yes, sir. Very law-abiding. Just not very merciful.
Terry Pratchett (The Fifth Elephant (Discworld, #24; City Watch, #5))
It's like coming home," said Webster and he wasn't talking to the dog. "It's like you've been away for a long, long time and then you come home again. And it's so long you don't recognize the place. Don't know the furniture, don't recognize the floor plan. But you know by the feel of it that it's an old familiar place and you are glad you came." "I like it here," said. Ebenezer and he meant Webster's lap, but the man misunderstood. "Of course, you do," he said. "It's your home as well as mine. More your home, in fact, for you stayed here and took care of it while I forgot about it.
Clifford D. Simak (City)
Suppose we were planning to impose a dictatorial regime upon the American people—the following preparations would be essential: 1. Concentrate the populace in megalopolitan masses so that they can be kept under close surveillance and where, in case of trouble, they can be bombed, burned, gassed or machine-gunned with a minimum of expense and waste. 2. Mechanize agriculture to the highest degree of refinement, thus forcing most of the scattered farm and ranching population into the cities. Such a policy is desirable because farmers, woodsmen, cowboys, Indians, fishermen and other relatively self-sufficient types are difficult to manage unless displaced from their natural environment. 3. Restrict the possession of firearms to the police and the regular military organizations. 4. Encourage or at least fail to discourage population growth. Large masses of people are more easily manipulated and dominated than scattered individuals. 5. Continue military conscription. Nothing excels military training for creating in young men an attitude of prompt, cheerful obedience to officially constituted authority. 6. Divert attention from deep conflicts within the society by engaging in foreign wars; make support of these wars a test of loyalty, thereby exposing and isolating potential opposition to the new order. 7. Overlay the nation with a finely reticulated network of communications, airlines and interstate autobahns. 8. Raze the wilderness. Dam the rivers, flood the canyons, drain the swamps, log the forests, strip-mine the hills, bulldoze the mountains, irrigate the deserts and improve the national parks into national parking lots. Idle speculations, feeble and hopeless protest. It was all foreseen nearly half a century ago by the most cold-eyed and clear-eyed of our national poets, on California’s shore, at the end of the open road. Shine, perishing republic.
Edward Abbey (Desert Solitaire)
Then there was Heru. I had never spoken to him, but we smiled across the table at each other during mealtimes. He was from one of those cities so far from mine that they seemed like a figment of my imagination, where there was snow and where men rode those enormous gray birds and the women could speak with those birds without moving their mouths.
Nnedi Okorafor (Binti (Binti, #1))
When did you know?" I watched him take a breath, and with it all pretense fell away. All his walls, all his cleverness, all his grandstanding and pretending. He looked vulnerable, and it made my chest ache. "When I saw you..." he whispered, leaning forward, his eyes on mine until he became blurry. He slid his nose against my nose, nipped my bottom lip. My mouth parted in response. "I saw you..." he kissed my parted lips, "you bent over to pick up your pen, or some such item..." he kissed me again, this time on the corner of my mouth, and my eyelids fell, my heart swelling, my breath catching, "and I thought to myself..." one more press of his lips on my jaw, "I thought, I am going to tap that ass.
Penny Reid (Scenes from the City (Knitting in the City, #4.5))
Krakow the city of Kings, was no longer mine. I had become a foreigner in the place i had always called home
Pam Jenoff
A blanket could be used for selfish reasons. I would list those reasons, but they’re mine—all of them. Mine, mine, mine, mine, mine.

Jarod Kintz (Brick and Blanket Test in Brick City (Ocala) Florida)
A brick could be used as a paperweight, for people whose writing isn’t as dense or weighty as mine.

Jarod Kintz (Brick and Blanket Test in Brick City (Ocala) Florida)
I had become an arrow of sound aimed at the most terrible creature in the city.
Fran Wilde (Updraft (Bone Universe, #1))
Sulking is petulant, pointless anger. Mine is righteous.
N.K. Jemisin (The City We Became (Great Cities, #1))
He clearly suffers from some past traumas too, so hopefully he'll understand why I was untruthful to him about mine.
Zack Love (Anissa's Redemption (The Syrian Virgin #2))
Thank you for inviting me here today " I said my voice sounding nothing like me. "I'm here to testify about things I've seen and experienced myself. I'm here because the human race has become more powerful than ever. We've gone to the moon. Our crops resist diseases and pests. We can stop and restart a human heart. And we've harvested vast amounts of energy for everything from night-lights to enormous super-jets. We've even created new kinds of people, like me. "But everything mankind" - I frowned - "personkind has accomplished has had a price. One that we're all gonna have to pay." I heard coughing and shifting in the audience. I looked down at my notes and all the little black words blurred together on the page. I just could not get through this. I put the speech down picked up the microphone and came out from behind the podium. "Look " I said. "There's a lot of official stuff I could quote and put up on the screen with PowerPoint. But what you need to know what the world needs to know is that we're really destroying the earth in a bigger and more catastrophic was than anyone has ever imagined. "I mean I've seen a lot of the world the only world we have. There are so many awesome beautiful tings in it. Waterfalls and mountains thermal pools surrounded by sand like white sugar. Field and field of wildflowers. Places where the ocean crashes up against a mountainside like it's done for hundreds of thousands of years. "I've also seen concrete cities with hardly any green. And rivers whose pretty rainbow surfaces came from an oil leak upstream. Animals are becoming extinct right now in my lifetime. Just recently I went through one of the worst hurricanes ever recorded. It was a whole lot worse because of huge worldwide climatic changes caused by... us. We the people." .... "A more perfect union While huge corporations do whatever they want to whoever they want and other people live in subway tunnels Where's the justice of that Kids right here in America go to be hungry every night while other people get four-hundred-dollar haircuts. Promote the general welfare Where's the General welfare in strip-mining toxic pesticides industrial solvents being dumped into rivers killing everything Domestic Tranquility Ever sleep in a forest that's being clear-cut You'd be hearing chain saws in your head for weeks. The blessings of liberty Yes. I'm using one of the blessings of liberty right now my freedom of speech to tell you guys who make the laws that the very ground you stand on the house you live in the children you tuck in at night are all in immediate catastrophic danger.
James Patterson (The Final Warning (Maximum Ride, #4))
I’m telling you right now that I’m not going to give up on you. I want you to be mine, City, and before the summer is over, you will be. I’ve never wanted someone the way I want you.
K.A. Robinson (Breaking Alexandria)
We’re all good when we want to be, otherwise we’re fucking animals. There’s no VIP room in reality, and there is no reality in this city. You can’t Google the answers. People talke about being on the ride of your life—THIS IS YOUR LIFE. Whatever you need to know, you already know. Imagine what it is to be in another country, another landscape—heat, insects, fear. Imagine watching someone right in front of you trip on a wire, step on a mine, blow their body to shreds, in mid-sentences, mid-cigarette. Imagine yourself splattered with human flesh. Imagine talking to that boy for the five minutes when he is profoundly conscious of the fact that he is not goingt to make it home. Imagine the difference between that and being in upstate New York, drinking beer, trying to get laid, and spending the summer as lifeguard at Lake George. Imagine zipping your friends into body bags. Tell me why anyone ever thought this was a good idea. How could anyone not be angry? You’d have to be insane.” --Nic Thompson
A.M. Homes (This Book Will Save Your Life)
Around the corner I have a friend, In this great city that has no end, Yet the days go by and weeks rush on, And before I know it, a year is gone. And I never see my old friends face, For life is a swift and terrible race, He knows I like him just as well, As in the days when I rang his bell. And he rang mine but we were younger then, And now we are busy, tired men. Tired of playing a foolish game, Tired of trying to make a name. "Tomorrow" I say! "I will call on Jim Just to show that I'm thinking of him", But tomorrow comes and tomorrow goes, And distance between us grows and grows. Around the corner, yet miles away, "Here's a telegram sir," "Jim died today." And that's what we get and deserve in the end. Around the corner, a vanished friend.
Charles Hanson Towne
I only laid the cobbles for the streets of Bordertown; it took all of us, an entire community, to bring the city to life. And that’s as it should be. Community, friendship, art: stirred together, they make a powerful magic. Used wisely, it can save your life. I know that it saved mine.
Terri Windling (Welcome to Bordertown (Borderland, #8))
Six month of sitting home, six month of doing absolutely nothing but watching TV, going out, sleeping, getting drunk and sleeping again. Oh no, wait, I was busy with something, I was doing some renovations in my new apartment. Which legally became mine only a month ago. Yep, that's what all my life has been about, spontaneous decisions and living in the moment. Because right now technically I'm a 25-year-old illegal immigrant from Russia, four years in New York, no papers, no work authorization, no work itself. Only a crazy life filled with restaurants, shops, beauty salons, clubs and restaurants again. How is it all possible? Very simple. I used to be a stripper.
Ellie Midwood (The New York Doll)
And it was also the moment I knew that I would burn down the city and stop at nothing to find my wife. Not because she was mine, I never believed that for a second, anyway. Because I was so busy telling Sparrow how much she wanted me, I forgot a small little detail—I wanted her back. More.
L.J. Shen (Sparrow)
It wasn't that dwarfs weren't interested in sex. They saw the vital need for fresh dwarfs to leave their goods to and continue the mining work after they had gone. It was simply that they also saw no point in distinguishing between the sexes anywhere but in private. There was no such thing as a Dwarfish female pronoun or, once the children were on solids, any such thing as women's work.
Terry Pratchett (The Fifth Elephant (Discworld, #24; City Watch, #5))
A black man, Benjamin Banneker, who taught himself mathematics and astronomy, predicted accurately a solar eclipse, and was appointed to plan the new city of Washington, wrote to Thomas Jefferson: I suppose it is a truth too well attested to you, to need a proof here, that we are a race of beings, who have long labored under the abuse and censure of the world; that we have long been looked upon with an eye of contempt; and that we have long been considered rather as brutish than human, and scarcely capable of mental endowments. . . . I apprehend you will embrace every opportunity to eradicate that train of absurd and false ideas and opinions, which so generally prevails with respect to us; and that your sentiments are concurrent with mine, which are, that one universal Father hath given being to us all; and that he hath not only made us all of one flesh, but that he hath also, without partiality, afforded us all the same sensations and endowed us all with the same facilities. . . . Banneker asked Jefferson “to wean yourselves from those narrow prejudices which you have imbibed.
Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present)
They said of him, about the city that night, that it was the peacefullest man's face ever beheld there. Many added that he looked sublime and prophetic. One of the most remarkable sufferers by the same axe---a woman---had asked at the foot of the same scaffold, not long before, to be allowed to write down the thoughts that were inspiring her. If he had given an utterance to his, and they were prophetic, they would have been these: "I see Barsad, and Cly, Defarge, The Vengeance, the Juryman, the Judge, long ranks of the new oppressors who have risen on the destruction of the old, perishing by this retributive instrument, before it shall cease out of its present use. I see a beautiful city and a brilliant people rising from this abyss, and, in their struggles to be truly free, in their triumphs and defeats, through long years to come, I see the evil of this time and of the previous time of which this is the natural birth, gradually making expiation for itself and wearing out. "I see the lives for which I lay down my life, peaceful, useful, prosperous and happy, in that England which I shall see no more. I see Her with a child upon her bosom, who bears my name. I see her father, aged and bent, but otherwise restored, and faithful to all men in his healing office, and at peace. I see the good old man, so long their friend, in ten years' time enriching them with all he has, and passing tranquilly to his reward. "I see that I hold a sanctuary in their hearts, and in the hearts of their descendants, generations hence. I see her, an old woman weeping for me on the anniversary of this day. I see her and her husband, their course done, lying side by side in their last earthly bed, and I know that each was not more honoured and held sacred in the other's soul, than I was in the souls of both. "I see that child who lay upon her bosom and who bore my name, a man winning his way up in that path of life which once was mine. I see him winning it so well, that my name is made illustrious there by the light of his. I see the blots I threw upon it, faded away. I see him, foremost of just judges and honoured men, brining a boy of my name, with a forehead that I know and golden hair, to this place---then fair to look upon, with not a trace of this day's disfigurement---and I hear him tell the child my story, with a tender and faltering voice. "It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.
Charles Dickens (A Tale of Two Cities)
I took [Kate's] hand in mine, and felt her fingers squeeze back. And I thought: home. It took me completely by surprise. But I suppose that once you bid farewell to your first home, you're always looking for another—that place where you can feel happy and strong and at your best. For three years I'd called the Aurora home. But now that I lived in Paris, it was not the city itself that was home. It was Kate.
Kenneth Oppel (Skybreaker (Matt Cruse, #2))
For a long time, my mother's wasn't dead yet. Mine could have been a more tragic story. My father could have given in to the bottle or the needle or a woman and left my brother and me to care for ourselves - or worse, in the care of New York City Children's Services, where, my father said, there was seldom a happy ending. But this didn't happen. I know now that what is tragic isn't the moment. It is the memory.
Jacqueline Woodson (Another Brooklyn)
I yank open the cutlery drawer to be confronted with an anomaly worse than emails from dead people or a man with a gun sitting on my bed. It's a large carving knife with a viciously serrated edge and two broken teeth. It's tarnished with rust. It's not mine. And neither is the china figurine of a kitten with one paw playfully raised, also stained with rust. But it's not rust. It's not rust at all. Perversely, the thought that flashes through my brain is "I can haz murder weapon?" I laugh out loud, a sobbing hiccup.
Lauren Beukes (Zoo City)
I am a citizen of this country,” I declare, “and Mr. Mayor, tonight I will be a citizen of this city when I put my shoes under my bed. The courageous men, women and children who are with me (blocked from crossing the bridge into NYC) are also citizens of this country and will be sleeping near their shoes too. I want them with me tonight, here, in the city of New York. We are all American citizens.” — Mother Jones
Jerry Ash
This is what I'm wearing. This is my favorite thing to wear, and since it's the last time I'll ever get to choose my own outfit, I'm choosing this, because I love it and it's mine. I don't care what I look like.
Amy Ewing (The Jewel (The Lone City, #1))
Realization of his philandering arrived via an empty condom wrapper tucked in the back pocket of his jeans as I, the dutifully dumb girlfriend, decided to do him a favor by throwing some of his laundry in with mine.
Penny Reid (Neanderthal Seeks Human (Knitting in the City, #1))
Speaking of cold... I shiver. "Has the temperature dropped, or is it just me?" "Here." Etienne unwraps the black scarf that had been tied loosely around his neck,and hands it to me. I take it, gently, and wrap it around mine. It makes me dizzy.It smells like freshly scrubbed boy. It smells like him. "Your hair looks nice," he says. "You bleached it again. I touch the stripe self-consciously. "Mom helped me." "That breeze is wicked,I'm going for coffee." Josh snaps his sketchbook closed. I'd forgotten he was here again. "You coming?" Etienne looks at me, waiting to see how I answer. Coffee! I'm dying for a real cup. I smile at Josh. "Sounds perfect." And then I'm heading down the steps of the Pantheon, cool and white and glittering, in the most beautiful city in the world. I'm with two attractive, intelligent,funny boys and I'm grinning ear to ear. If Bridgette could see me now. I mean,who needs Christopher when Etienne St. Clair is in the world? But as soon as I think of Toph, I get that same stomach churching I always do when I think about him now.Shame that I ever thought he might wait. That I wasted so much time on him. Ahead of mine,Etienne laughs at something Josh said. And the sound sends me spiraling into panic as the information hits me again and again and again. What am I going to do? I'm in love with my new best friend.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
Most tourists mistranslated Jardins des Tuileries as relating to the thousands of tulips that bloomed here, but Tuileries was actually a literal reference to something far less romantic. This park had once been an enormous, polluted excavation pit from which Parisian contractors mined clay to manufacture the city’s famous red roofing tiles—or tuiles.
Dan Brown (The Da Vinci Code (Robert Langdon, #2))
I watched the shadow of our plane hastening below us across hedges and fences, rows of poplars and canals … Nowhere, however, was a single human being to be seen. No matter whether one is flying over Newfoundland or the sea of lights that stretches from Boston to Philadelphia after nightfall, over the Arabian deserts which gleam like mother-of-pearl, over the Ruhr or the city of Frankfurt, it is as though there were no people, only the things they have made and in which they are hiding. One sees the places where they live and the roads that link them, one sees the smoke rising from their houses and factories, one sees the vehicles in which they sit, but one sees not the people themselves. And yet they are present everywhere upon the face of the earth, extending their dominion by the hour, moving around the honeycombs of towering buildings and tied into networks of a complexity that goes far beyond the power of any one individual to imagine, from the thousands of hoists and winches that once worked the South African diamond mines to the floors of today's stock and commodity exchanges, through which the global tides of information flow without cease. If we view ourselves from a great height, it is frightening to realize how little we know about our species, our purpose and our end, I thought, as we crossed the coastline and flew out over the jelly-green sea.
W.G. Sebald (The Rings of Saturn)
Vampires used to be the Dracula types, but in the last ten years most of them have become weak, brooding androgynes that only go after teenagers. A friend of mine took the opportunity to rid his whole city of them after the forth Mormon Vamps book hit and the sparkle meme was at its strongest." "So does that make Ms. Mormon Sparkle Vamp a hero?" "Of a sort. Before they started to sparkle, there were a lot of vamps who were tortured antiheroes, thanks to Rice and Whedon." Ree grimaced. "Do you know if she was clued in?" Eastwood shrugged. "She's very secretive, no one in the Underground has been able to say for sure. It's all rumor. My guess is she lost someone to a vampire and decided the greatest revenge she could inflict was to turn them into a laughing stock.
Michael R. Underwood (Geekomancy (Ree Reyes, #1))
What does our neighborhood say about us? What is the value of a neighborhood? Mine is a mirror of my past choices. Pick your path and see where it goes. Pick a subject and see where it leads. Most assuredly you won't be able to predict anything along the way.
Lauren Elkin (Flâneuse: Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice and London)
Letters rarely got written in that mine. Work stopped and the whole clan had sat around in respectful silence as his pen scrittered across the parchment. His aunt had been sent up to Varneshi's to beg his pardon but could he see his way clear to sparing a smidgen of wax. His sister had been sent down to the village to ask Mistress Garlick the witch how you stopped spelling recommendation.
Terry Pratchett (Guards! Guards! (Discworld, #8; City Watch #1))
For folks who have that casual-dude energy coursing through their bloodstream, that's great. But gays should not grow up alienated just for us to alienate each other. It's too predictable, like any other cycle of abuse. Plus, the conformist, competitive notion that by "toning down" we are "growing up" ultimately blunts the radical edge of what it is to be queer; it truncates our colorful journey of identity. Said another way, it's like living in West Hollywood and working a gay job by day and working it in the gay nightlife, wearing delicate shiny shirts picked from up the gay dry cleaners, yet coquettishly left unbuttoned to reveal the pec implants purchased from a gay surgeon and shown off by prancing around the gay-owned-and-operated theater hopped up on gay health clinic steroids and wheat grass purchased from the friendly gay boy who's new to the city, and impressed by the monstrous SUV purchased from a gay car dealership with its rainbow-striped bumper sticker that says "Celebrate Diversity." Then logging on to the local Gay.com listings and describing yourself as "straight-acting." Let me make myself clear. This is not a campaign for everyone to be like me. That'd be a total yawn. Instead, this narrative is about praise for the prancy boys. Granted, there's undecided gender-fucks, dagger dykes, faux-mos, po-mos, FTMs, fisting-top daddies, and lezzie looners who also need props for broadening the sexual spectrum, but they're telling their own stories. The Cliff's Notes of me and mine are this: the only moments I feel alive are when I'm just being myself - not some stiff-necked temp masquerading as normal in the workplace, not some insecure gay boy aspiring to be an overpumped circuit queen, not some comic book version of swank WeHo living. If that's considered a political act in the homogenized world of twenty-first century homosexuals, then so be it. — excerpt of "Praise For The Prancy Boys," by Clint Catalyst appears in first edition (ISBN # 1-932360-56-5)
Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore (That's Revolting!: Queer Strategies for Resisting Assimilation)
The whole underneath of Paris was an ant nest, Metro tunnels, sewer shafts, catacombs, mines, cemeteries. She'd been down in the city of bones where skulls and femurs rose in yellowing walls. Right down there, win the square before them. through a dinky little entrance, were the Roman ruins like honeycomb. The trains went under the river. There were tunnels people had forgotten about. It was a wonder Paris stood up at all. The bit you saw was only half of it. Her skin burned, thinking of it. The Hunchback knew. Up here in the tower of Notre Dame he saw how it was. Now and then, with the bells rattling his bones, he saw it like God saw it -- inside, outside, above and under -- just for a moment. The rest of the time he went back to hurting and waiting like Scully out there crying in the wind.
Tim Winton (The Riders)
In every generation until mine, most of humanity lived with the night sky. As people began moving into cities and using more illumination, the sky gradually disappeared. There must be a corresponding loss of wonder without the stars to remind us where we stand in creation.
Lawrence Wright (God Save Texas: A Journey Into the Soul of the Lone Star State)
Are you – who make your living snooping – sneering at my curiosity about people and my attempts to satisfy it?" "We're different," I said. "I do mine with the object of putting people in jail, and I get paid for it, though not as much as I should." "That's not different," he said. "I do mine with the object of putting people in books, and I get paid for it, though not as much as I should." "Yeah, but what good does that do?" "God knows. What good does putting them in jail do?" "Relieves congestion," I said. "Put enough people in jail, and cities wouldn't have traffic problems.
Dashiell Hammett (The Dain Curse)
The only thing I ask, the only thing you need to promise me, is that we don’t grow apart. I don’t want to have to learn how to live without you. I understand that there might be times when you need to stand on my shoulders, or I need to stand on yours. You don’t seem to realize, I want to carry you. I look forward to making your burdens mine. And when we cross the finish line we might not both be walking, but we’ll still be side-by-side.
Penny Reid (Love Hacked (Knitting in the City, #3))
I thought of women in other places, streets and boulevards in major cities, wind blowing, a woman’s skirt lifting in the breeze, the way the wind tenses the skirt, giving shape to the legs, making the skirt dip between the legs, revealing knees and thighs. Were these my father’s thoughts or mine?
Don DeLillo (Zero K)
I stretched my arms towards the sky like blades of tall grass The sun beat between my shoulders like carnival drums I sat still in hopes that it would help my wings grow So then I could really be fly And then she arrived Like day break inside a railway tunnel Like the new moon, like a diamond in the mines Like high noon to a drunkard, sudden She made my heart beat in a now-now time signature Her skinny canvas for ultraviolet brushstrokes She was the sun's painting She was a deep cognac color Her eyes sparkled like lights along the new city She lips pursed as if her breath was too sweet And full for her mouth to hold I said, "You are the beautiful, the stress of mathematics." I said, "For you, I would peel open the clouds like new fruit And give you lightning and thunder as a dowry I would make the sky shed all of it's stars, light and rain And I would clasp the constellations across your waist And I would make the heavens your cape And they would be pleased to cover you They would be pleased to cover you May I please, cover you, please
Mos Def
Instead of looking over his shoulder at his sweeping wings, I turn my head to see the landscape below. That puts my face almost lip to lip with his. I try to focus on the smoldering city ahead of us, but my head is filled with the warmth of his breath and the electric tingle of his cheek against mine.
Susan Ee (End of Days (Penryn & the End of Days, #3))
Believe and nothing there is you cannot do, even disadvantaged as a woman. For Babylon I built, that was the city of the world, and never was there like it. Its fame is older far than any other, and more, its fame, it will survive far longer than the others too. And this is mine, and while its memory lives, so I live on immortal too.
Steve Moore (Somnium: A Fantastic Romance)
As the lights fade to a distant glow, I look back toward the city and imagine, somewhere in all of those lives, a little girl who is a lot like me. Maybe she rides in a car thinking about someone living far away from these lights and people. Even though our lives are separated by so much I wonder if she imagines the world through eyes like mine.
Noriko Nakada (Through Eyes Like Mine)
No son of mine is going to be a goddamn liberal, Kennedy interjected. Now, now Joe, Luce answered, of course he’s got to run as a liberal. A Democrat has to run left of center to get the vote in the big northern cities, so don’t hold it against him if he’s left of center, because we won’t. We know his problems and what he has to do. So we won’t fight him there. But on foreign affairs, Luce continued, if he shows any sign of weakness toward the anti-Communist cause—or, as Luce decided to put it more positively—if he shows any weakness in defending the cause of the free world, we’ll turn on him. There’s no chance of that, Joe Kennedy had guaranteed; no son of mine is going to be soft on Communism.
David Halberstam (The Best and the Brightest)
I didn't have a choice." "Are you saying...What are you saying?" Is he...could he be talking about me? He runs a hand through his hair. I've never seen him this emotional before. He's always so controlled, so sure of himself. "I'm saying you're what I want, Emma. I'm saying I'm in love with you." He steps forward and lifts his hand to my cheek, blazing a line of fire with his fingertips as they trace down to my mouth. "How do you think it would make me feel to see you with Grom?" he whispers. "Like someone ripped my heart out and put it through Rachel's meat grinder, that's how. Probably worse. It would probably kill me. Emma, please don't cry." I throw my hands in the air. "Don't cry? Are you serious? Why did you come here, Galen? Did you think it would make me feel better to know that you do love me, but that it still won't work out? That I still have to mate with Grom for the greater good? Don't you tell me not to cry, Galen! I...c...c...can't h...h...help-" The waterworks soak me. Galen looks at me, hands by his side, helpless as a trapped crab. I'm bordering on hyperventilation, and pretty soon I'll start hiccupping. This is too much. His expression is so severe, it looks like he's in physical pain. "Emma," he breathes. "Emma, does this mean you feel the same way? Do you care for me at all?" I laugh, but it sounds sharper than I intended, because of a hiccup. "What does it matter how I feel, Galen? I think we pretty much covered why. No need to rehash things, right?" "It matters, Emma." He grabs my hand and pulls me to him again. "Tell me right now. Do you care for me?" "If you can't tell that I'm stupid in love with you, Galen, then you aren't a very good ambassador for the hum-" His mouth covers mine, cutting me off. This kiss isn't gentle like the first one. It's definitely not sweet. It's rough, demanding, searching. And disorienting. There's not a part of me that isn't melting against Galen, not a part that isn't combusting with his fevered touch. I accidentally moan into his lips. He takes it for his cue to lift me off my feet, to pull me up to his height for more leverage. I take his groan for my cue to kiss him harder. He ignores his cell phone ringing in his pocket. I ignore the rest of the universe. Even when headlights approach, I'm willing to overlook their intrusion and keep kissing. But, prince that he is, Galen is a little more refined than me at this moment. He gently pries his lips from mine and sets me down. His smile is both intoxicated and intoxicating. "We still need to talk." "Right," I say, but I'm shaking my head. He laughs. "I didn't come all the way to Atlantic City to make you cry." "I'm not crying." I lean into him again. He doesn't refuse my lips, but he doesn't do them justice either, planting a measly little kiss on them before stepping back.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
For brick and mortar breed filth and crime, With a pulse of evil that throbs and beats; And men are whithered before their prime By the curse paved in with the lanes and streets. And lungs are poisoned and shoulders bowed, In the smothering reek of mill and mine; And death stalks in on the struggling crowd— But he shuns the shadow of the oak and pine
George Washington Sears (Woodcraft and Camping)
Sometimes it’s the place where you grew up that says, You belong to me. No matter how long I’ve been away, when I come back to New York City in a taxi over the Triborough Bridge and the afternoon sun shifts off the steel skyline and blinds me, I feel it. In the heavy July of privet tinged with sea salt on the East End of Long Island, where I spent nearly every summer until I was twenty and many since, I know it. And in an empty theater, with the ghost light on and the darkness, warm and velvet like a dinner jacket my father once wore, it’s mine.
Christina Haag (Come to the Edge)
Dad and I leave town in the early dark. It's the second Sunday of the holidays, and we pack up the old blue car with enough clothes for summer and hit the road. It's so early he's wiping hills of sand piled in the corners of his eyes. I wipe a few tears from mine. Tears don't pile, though. They grip and cling and slide in salty trails that I taste until the edge of the city.
Cath Crowley (A Little Wanting Song)
OTHER lives may find their happiest moments infiltrated with tragedy, and their proudest touched with comedy. This had almost invariably been true of mine. My proudest hour found me, the newly elected president of the United Nations, perched atop three thick New York City telephone books given me in lieu of a cushion that I might see and be seen by the delegates below the podium.
Carlos P. Romulo (I Walked With Heroes)
He lied,” she said. “There is no way for us to seize bitcoins. Well, there is no current way for the federal government to seize bitcoins at will; in order to do that we’d need one of the creators of the currency.” She paused and watched me very closely for a reaction. This was all still gibberish to me. This was something out of a science fiction novel, or a Stephen King movie with Tom Cruise where Tom Cruise has to run someplace from some people—because that’s what Tom Cruise does, he runs while looking concerned and futuristic. Therefore, I decided to look surprised and thoughtful. “Yes.” She nodded; she believed I was following her train of thought. I wasn’t following her train because mine had derailed on thoughts of a running Tom Cruise…weird little man.
Penny Reid (Love Hacked (Knitting in the City, #3))
You make me want to wake up,” I say. I close my eyes as soon as the words touch the cold air, because I didn’t mean to say them out loud. “Then wake the fuck up,” she says back playfully. She inches a little closer, until her chest touches mine. “I don’t know if I can. Time stopped for me a long time ago.” I glance at my watch. “Look around you,” she says quietly. There’s a soft smile on her face, and her eyes don’t look away from my face as I take in the city. It’s just starting to wake. People scurry from place to place, and traffic is moving. “Time didn’t stop. You did.
Tammy Falkner (Finally Finding Faith (The Reed Brothers, #3.5))
We know what the law is, Mister Po-leess-maan. The law is the land. You say, "This is my land", but you did not make the land. You did not make your sheep, you did not make the rabbits on which we live, you did not make the cows, or the horses, but you say, "These things are mine". This cannot be a truth. I make my axe, my pots, and these are mine. What I wear is mine. Some love was mine. Now it has gone. I think you are a good man, Mister Po-leess-maan but we see the turning of the times. Maybe a hundred or two hundred years ago there was in the world what people called "the wilderness", or "no man's land", or "wasteland", and we lived in such places, we are waste people. There was the troll race, the dwarf race, the human race, and I am sorry for the goblin race that we cannot run so fast.
Terry Pratchett (Snuff (Discworld, #39; City Watch #8))
Dă-mi un roman bun sau o carte de memorii, niște ceai și un loc confortabil să mă ghemuiesc și sunt în Paradis. Îmi place să trăiesc în gândurile altei persoane; mă minunez de legătura pe care o simt cu oamenii care prind viață în pagină, indiferent de cât de diferite sunt condițiile lor față de ale mele. Nu doar simt că-i cunosc pe acești oameni, ci mă înțeleg mult mai bine pe mine însămi. Cunoștințe, informații, învățături, inspirație, putere, toate acestea și multe altele sunt oferite de o carte bună. Nu-mi pot imagina unde aș fi sau cine aș fi fără lectură (..) Cărțile sunt pentru mine o modalitate de evadare. Astăzi, consider că a citi o carte bună e un privilegiu sacru, o posibilitate de a fi oriunde îmi doresc. Este modul preferat de a-mi petrece timpul. Știu cu adevărat că cititul lărgește orizontul. Îți dezvăluie și îți oferă acces la orice poate pricepe mintea ta. Cel mai mult îmi place faptul că lectura oferă posibilitatea de a avea aspirații mari. Și de a continua să progresezi.
Oprah Winfrey (What I Know for Sure)
The potency of prayer hath subdued the strength of fire; it had bridled the rage of lions, hushed the anarchy to rest, extinguished wars, appeased the elements, expelled demons, burst the chains of death, expanded the gates of heaven, assuaged diseases, repelled frauds, rescued cities from destruction, stayed the sun in its course, and arrested the progress of the thunderbolt. Prayer is an all-efficient panoply, a treasure undiminished, a mine which is never exhausted, a sky unobscured by clouds, a heaven unruffled by the storm. It is the root, the fountain, the mother of a thousand blessings.—Chrysostom
E.M. Bounds (The Complete Collection of E. M. Bounds on Prayer)
waiting for the other shoe to drop. Did you know it originated in cities like Chicago and New York?” “No. I did not” He tilted his head, his mouth hooking upward to one side as though he were trying not to laugh. “Tell me about it.”He was teasing me again. “Well, it did. So…”He lifted his eyebrows, “That’s all? You’re not going to tell me the specific origin of the idiom waiting for the other shoe to drop’?”I shook my head, “I don’t know it.”He mimicked me and shook his head in response, “You’re lying. You do know.”“Nope. I don’t.”“This is just like the mammals.” He sighed and placed his phone on the table. Before he took a bite from his sandwich he said, “You’re stingy with information.”My frowned deepened, “No, I’m not-”His words were somewhat garbled as he spoke between chewing, “You’re an information tease.”“What?!”“Or maybe you don’t really know the origin and you’re just making things up to impress me-” he took another bite. “I am not! It originates from the late industrial revolution, in the late 19th and early 20th century.Apartments were all built with the same floor plan, in similar design so one tenant’s bedroom was under another’s. Therefore it was normal to hear an upstairs neighbor removing his or her shoes and hearing one shoe hit the floor, then the other, when they undressed at night.”“I wonder what else they heard.” His gaze held mine, seemed to burn with a new intensity.“I suppose anything that was loud enough.
Penny Reid (Neanderthal Seeks Human (Knitting in the City, #1))
I thought vampires could rematerialize in their clothes," said Angua accusingly. "Otto Chriek can!" "Females can't. We don't know why. It's probably part of the whole underwired-nightdress business. That's where you score again, of course. When you're in one hundred and fifty bat bodies, it's quite hard to remember to keep two of them carrying a pair of pants." Sally looked up at the ceiling, and sighed. "Look, I can see where this is going. It's going to be about Captain Carrot, isn't it . . . " "I saw the way you were smiling at him!" "I'm sorry! We can be very personable! It's a vampire thing!" "You were so keen to impress him, eh!" "And you aren't? He's the kind of many anyone would want to impress!" They watched each other warily. "He is mine, you know," said Angua, feeling the nascent claws strain under her fingernails. "You're his, you mean!" said Sally. "You know it works like that. You trail after him." "I'm sorry! It's a werewolf thing!" Anuga yelled. "Hold it!" Sally thrust both hands in front of her in a gesture of peace. "There's something we'd better sort before this goes any further!" "Yeah?" "Yes. We're both wearing nothing, we're standing in what, you may have noticed, is increasingly turning into mud, and we're squaring up to fight. Okay. But there's something missing, yes?" "And that is . . . ?" "A paying audience? We could make a fortune." Sally winked. "Or we could do the job we came here to do.
Terry Pratchett (Thud! (Discworld, #34; City Watch #7))
Since its sudden birth the city had expanded, swallowing up acre upon acre of the surrounding grasslands and drawing thousands into its domain. Hardly built on the most advantageous ground, miles from the open waters, decades from the mines at the mountain summits, it yet remained the only settlement of note on the isle. This sprawling mass of a city, once a compact kingdom, was now the keystone of the Castilian Empire.
R.D. Shanks (A Reverie of Brothers)
He cannot do anything deliberate now. The strain of his whole weight on his outstretched arms hurts too much. The pain fills him up, displaces thought, as much for him as it has for everyone else who has ever been stuck to one of these horrible contrivances, or for anyone else who dies in pain from any of the world’s grim arsenal of possibilities. And yet he goes on taking in. It is not what he does, it is what he is. He is all open door: to sorrow, suffering, guilt, despair, horror, everything that cannot be escaped, and he does not even try to escape it, he turns to meet it, and claims it all as his own. This is mine now, he is saying; and he embraces it with all that is left in him, each dark act, each dripping memory, as if it were something precious, as if it were itself the loved child tottering homeward on the road. But there is so much of it. So many injured children; so many locked rooms; so much lonely anger; so many bombs in public places; so much vicious zeal; so many bored teenagers at roadblocks; so many drunk girls at parties someone thought they could have a little fun with; so many jokes that go too far; so much ruining greed; so much sick ingenuity; so much burned skin. The world he claims, claims him. It burns and stings, it splinters and gouges, it locks him round and drags him down… All day long, the next day, the city is quiet. The air above the city lacks the usual thousand little trails of smoke from cookfires. Hymns rise from the temple. Families are indoors. The soldiers are back in barracks. The Chief Priest grows hoarse with singing. The governor plays chess with his secretary and dictates letters. The free bread the temple distributed to the poor has gone stale by midday, but tastes all right dipped in water or broth. Death has interrupted life only as much as it ever does. We die one at a time and disappear, but the life of the living continues. The earth turns. The sun makes its way towards the western horizon no slower or faster than it usually does. Early Sunday morning, one of the friends comes back with rags and a jug of water and a box of the grave spices that are supposed to cut down on the smell. She’s braced for the task. But when she comes to the grave she finds that the linen’s been thrown into the corner and the body is gone. Evidently anonymous burial isn’t quite anonymous enough, after all. She sits outside in the sun. The insects have woken up, here at the edge of the desert, and a bee is nosing about in a lily like silk thinly tucked over itself, but much more perishable. It won’t last long. She takes no notice of the feet that appear at the edge of her vision. That’s enough now, she thinks. That’s more than enough. Don’t be afraid, says Yeshua. Far more can be mended than you know. She is weeping. The executee helps her to stand up.
Francis Spufford (Unapologetic: Why, Despite Everything, Christianity Can Still Make Surprising Emotional Sense)
It little profits that an idle king, By this still hearth, among these barren crags, Matched with an aged wife, I mete and dole Unequal laws unto a savage race, That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me. I cannot rest from travel; I will drink life to the lees. All times I have enjoyed Greatly, have suffered greatly, both with those that loved me, and alone; on shore, and when Through scudding drifts the rainy Hyades Vexed the dim sea. I am become a name; For always roaming with a hungry heart Much have I seen and known---cities of men And manners, climates, councils, governments, Myself not least, but honored of them all--- And drunk delight of battle with my peers, Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy. I am part of all that I have met; Yet all experience is an arch wherethrough Gleams that untraveled world whose margin fades Forever and forever when I move. How dull it is to pause, to make an end. To rust unburnished, not to shine in use! As though to breathe were life! Life piled on life Were all too little, and of one to me Little remains; but every hour is saved From that eternal silence, something more, A bringer of new things; and vile it were For some three suns to store and hoard myself, And this gray spirit yearning in desire To follow knowledge like a sinking star, Beyond the utmost bound of human thought. This is my son, my own Telemachus, To whom I leave the scepter and the isle--- Well-loved of me, discerning to fulfill This labor, by slow prudence to make mild A rugged people, and through soft degrees Subdue them to the useful and the good. Most blameless is he, centered in the sphere Of common duties, decent not to fail In offices of tenderness, and pay Meet adoration to my household gods, When I am gone. He works his work, I mine. There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail; There gloom the dark, broad seas. My mariners, Souls that have toiled, and wrought, and thought with me--- That ever with a frolic welcome took The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed Free hearts, free foreheads---you and I are old; Old age hath yet his honor and his toil. Death closes all; but something ere the end, Some work of noble note, may yet be done, Not unbecoming men that strove with gods. The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks; The long day wanes; the slow moon climbs; the deep Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends. 'Tis not too late to seek a newer world. Push off, and sitting well in order smite the sounding furrows; for my purpose holds To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths Of all the western stars, until I die. It may be that the gulfs will wash us down; It may be that we shall touch the Happy Isles, And see the great Achilles, whom we knew. Though much is taken, much abides; and though We are not now that strength which in old days Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are--- One equal temper of heroic hearts, Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
Alfred Tennyson
we're looking for a planeet on the strength of a song. it's crazy I know, but its the only chance we have to do something useful." ...Evan Wilson said gravely "I think you're as crazy as Heinrich Schliemann - and you know what happened to him!" "What" ... "you don't know what happened to him?" she asked her blue eyes widening in astonishment."Ever read Homer's Iliad, Captain?" ... "I don't know what translation you read Doctor, but there was no Heinrich Schliemann in mine - or in the Odyssey." "That depends on how you look at it." smiling she settled back into her chair and went on,"Heinrich Schliemann was from Earth, pre-federation days, and he read Homer too. No, not just read him, believed him. So he set out at his own expense-mind you, I doubt he could have found anyone else to fund such a crazy endeavor - to find Troy, a city that most of the educated people of his time considered pure invention on Homer's part." "And?" "And he found it. Next time you're on earth, stop by the Troy Museum. the artifacts are magnificent, and every one of them was found on the strength of a song.
Janet Kagan (Uhura's Song)
There can be circumstances when it’s just as foolish to hit an enemy city with an H-bomb as it would be to spank a baby with an ax. War is not violence and killing, pure and simple; war is controlled violence, for a purpose. The purpose of war is to support your government’s decisions by force. The purpose is never to kill the enemy just to be killing him . . . but to make him do what you want him to do. Not killing . . . but controlled and purposeful violence. But it’s not your business or mine to decide the purpose of the control. It’s never a soldier’s business to decide when or where or how—or why—he fights; that belongs to the statesmen and the generals. The statesmen decide why and how much; the generals take it from there and tell us where and when and how. We supply the violence; other people—‘older and wiser heads,’ as they say—supply the control. Which is as it should be.
Robert A. Heinlein (Starship Troopers)
Their greatest danger was in the disbelief of their teachers. Though every one had a copy of the law, few read it; all were ready, by some excuse, to avoid this duty. Some asserted they knew it, yet never thought on it: some called these the laws of past times; not of the present. Other said the Great King did not regard the actions of his subjects, that he had neither mines nor dungeons, and that all would certainly be taken to the Heavenly City.
Johann David Wyss (The Swiss Family Robinson; or Adventures in a Desert Island)
Individual cities that now do the same thing can reap the benefits. So this isn’t complicated: the most educated people who plug into the most flows and enjoy the best governance and infrastructure win. They will have the most data to mine; they will see the most new ideas first; they will be challenged by them first and able to respond and take advantage of them first. Being in the flow will constitute a significant strategic and economic advantage.
Thomas L. Friedman (Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations)
I suppose you have a perfectly good reason for destroying my sign?” Jericho appeared beside me. “I had to paint the bloody thing myself,” he said pissily. “There’s not a sign-maker left in the city. I have better things to do than paint.” I gaped. Jericho Barrons was standing beside me. Inside my head. I shook it, half expecting him to be knocked off his feet and go rattling around. He remained standing, urbane and implacable as ever. “This isn’t possible,” I told him. “You can’t be here. This is my head.” “You push into mine. I merely projected an image with the push this time, to give you something to look at.” He gave me a faint smile. “Wasn’t easy getting in. You give a whole new meaning to ‘rock head.’” I laughed. I couldn’t help it. He invaded my thoughts and gave me guff even here. “I found you standing in the street, staring at the sign over the bookstore. Tried talking to you but you didn’t respond. Thought I’d better take a look around. What are you doing, Mac?” he said softly—Barrons at his most alert and dangerous. My laughter died and tears sprang to my eyes. He was in my head. I saw little point in hiding anything. He could take a good look around and see the truth for himself. “I didn’t get the spell.” My voice broke. I’d failed him. I hated myself for that. He’d never failed me. “I know.” My gaze flicked to his face, bewildered. “You . . . know?” “I knew it was a lie the moment you said it.” I searched his eyes. “But you looked happy! You smiled. I saw things in your eyes!” “I was happy. I knew why you’d lied.” His dark gaze was ancient, inhuman, and uncharacteristically gentle. Because you love me.
Karen Marie Moning (Shadowfever (Fever, #5))
I’m not sure how the ponies happened, though I have an inkling: “Can I get you anything?” I’ll say, getting up from a dinner table, “Coffee, tea, a pony?” People rarely laugh at this, especially if they’ve heard it before. “This party’s ‘sposed to be fun,” a friend will say. “Really? Will there be pony rides?” It’s a nervous tic and a cheap joke, cheapened further by the frequency with which I use it. For that same reason, it’s hard to weed it out of my speech – most of the time I don’t even realize I’m saying it. There are little elements in a person’s life, minor fibers that become unintentionally tangled with your personality. Sometimes it’s a patent phrase, sometimes it’s a perfume, sometimes it’s a wristwatch. For me, it is the constant referencing of ponies. I don’t even like ponies. If I made one of my throwaway equine requests and someone produced an actual pony, Juan-Valdez-style, I would run very fast in the other direction. During a few summers at camp, I rode a chronically dehydrated pony named Brandy who would jolt down without notice to lick the grass outside the corral and I would careen forward, my helmet tipping to cover my eyes. I do, however, like ponies on the abstract. Who doesn’t? It’s like those movies with the animated insects. Sure, the baby cockroach seems cute with CGI eyelashes, but how would you feel about fifty of her real-life counterparts living in your oven? And that’s precisely the manner in which the ponies clomped their way into my regular speech: abstractly. “I have something for you,” a guy will say on our first date. “Is it a pony?” No. It’s usually a movie ticket or his cell phone number. But on our second date, if I ask again, I’m pretty sure I’m getting a pony. And thus the Pony drawer came to be. It’s uncomfortable to admit, but almost every guy I have ever dated has unwittingly made a contribution to the stable. The retro pony from the ‘50s was from the most thoughtful guy I have ever known. The one with the glitter horseshoes was from a boy who would later turn out to be straight somehow, not gay. The one with the rainbow haunches was from a librarian, whom I broke up with because I felt the chemistry just wasn’t right, and the one with the price tag stuck on the back was given to me by a narcissist who was so impressed with his gift he forgot to remover the sticker. Each one of them marks the beginning of a new relationship. I don’t mean to hint. It’s not a hint, actually, it’s a flat out demand: I. Want. A. Pony. I think what happens is that young relationships are eager to build up a romantic repertoire of private jokes, especially in the city where there’s not always a great “how we met” story behind every great love affair. People meet at bars, through mutual friends, on dating sites, or because they work in the same industry. Just once a coworker of mine, asked me out between two stops on the N train. We were holding the same pole and he said, “I know this sounds completely insane, bean sprout, but would you like to go to a very public place with me and have a drink or something...?” I looked into his seemingly non-psycho-killing, rent-paying, Sunday Times-subscribing eyes and said, “Sure, why the hell not?” He never bought me a pony. But he didn’t have to, if you know what I mean.
Sloane Crosley (I Was Told There'd Be Cake: Essays)
I break out laughing. I frown. I yell and scream. Sometimes, if one jokes and giggles, one causes war. So I hide how tickled I am. Tears well up in my eyes. My body is a large city. Much grieving in one sector. I live in another part. Lakewater. Something on fire over here. I am sour when you are sour, sweet when you are sweet. You are my face and my back. Only through you can I know this back-scratching pleasure. Now people the likes of you and I come clapping, inventing dances, climbing into this high meadow. I am a spoiled parrot who eats only candy. I have no interest in bitter food. Some have been given harsh knowledge. Not I. Some are lame and jerking along. I am smooth and glidingly quick. Their road is full of washed-out places and long inclines. Mine is royally level, effortless. The huge Jerusalem mosque stands inside me, and women full of light. Laughter leaps out. It is the nature of the rose to laugh. It cannot help but laugh.
Rumi (Bridge to the Soul: Journeys Into the Music and Silence of the Heart)
A man opposite me shifted his feet, accidentally brushing his foot against mine. It was a gentle touch, barely noticeable, but the man immediately reached out to touch my knee and then his own chest with the fingertips of his right hand, in the Indian gesture of apology for an unintended offence. In the carriage and the corridor beyond, the other passengers were similarly respectful, sharing, and solicitous with one another. At first, on that first journey out of the city into India, I found such sudden politeness infuriating after the violent scramble to board the train. It seemed hypocritical for them to show such deferential concern over a nudge with a foot when, minutes before, they'd all but pushed one another out of the windows. Now, long years and many journeys after that first ride on a crowded rural train, I know that the scrambled fighting and courteous deference were both expressions of the one philosophy: the doctrine of necessity. The amount of force and violence necessary to board the train, for example, was no less and no more than the amount of politeness and consideration necessary to ensure that the cramped journey was as pleasant as possible afterwards. What is necessary! That was the unspoken but implied and unavoidable question everywhere in India. When I understood that, a great many of the characteristically perplexing aspects of public life became comprehensible: from the acceptance of sprawling slums by city authorities, to the freedom that cows had to roam at random in the midst of traffic; from the toleration of beggars on the streets, to the concatenate complexity of the bureaucracies; and from the gorgeous, unashamed escapism of Bollywood movies, to the accommodation of hundreds of thousands of refugees from Tibet, Iran, Afghanistan, Africa, and Bangladesh, in a country that was already too crowded with sorrows and needs of its own. The real hypocrisy, I came to realise, was in the eyes and minds and criticisms of those who came from lands of plenty, where none had to fight for a seat on a train. Even on that first train ride, I knew in my heart that Didier had been right when he'd compared India and its billion souls to France. I had an intuition, echoing his thought, that if there were a billion Frenchmen or Australians or Americans living in such a small space, the fighting to board the train would be much more, and the courtesy afterwards much less. And in truth, the politeness and consideration shown by the peasant farmers, travelling salesmen, itinerant workers, and returning sons and fathers and husbands did make for an agreeable journey, despite the cramped conditions and relentlessly increasing heat. Every available centimetre of seating space was occupied, even to the sturdy metal luggage racks over our heads. The men in the corridor took turns to sit or squat on a section of floor that had been set aside and cleaned for the purpose. Every man felt the press of at least two other bodies against his own. Yet there wasn't a single display of grouchiness or bad temper
Gregory David Roberts
I have a list in my head and every year I add more names to it. My list isn't special. Other men have longer ones. But most men don't have a list like mine at all because they live a life insulated from living and dying. Their acts of courage consist of getting out of bed in the morning, disagreeing with their boss, or using public transportation in the inner city. Perhaps they tempt the unknown by eating in a Vietnamese restaurant or they travel outside their native country. They have nothing to do with me except to provide contrast.
Mark Twight (Kiss or Kill: Confessions of a Serial Climber)
I look up at her, rolling her mouth and smiling down. I look at the map. It’s not a brain, clearly; it’s a map; can’t she see the rivers and highways and interchanges? But I see how it could look like a brain, like if all roads were twisted neurons, pulling your emotions from one place to another, bringing the city to life. A working brain is probably a lot like a map, where anybody can get from one place to another on the freeways. It’s the nonworking brains that get blocked, that have dead ends, that are under construction like mine.
Ned Vizzini (It's Kind of a Funny Story)
There was no politics in Persia because the great king was the master of slaves, not rulers of citizens. The point is beautifully made by Herodotus, the father of history and our own starting point. The exiled Spartan king, Demaratus, had taken refuge at the court of the great king of Persia, Darius I, in 491 BCE. Darius made him the ruler of Pergamum and some other cities. In 480 Darius's son and successor, Xerxes, took him to see the enormous army he had assembled to avenge his father's humiliation by the Athenians in an earlier attempt to conquer Greece. 'Surely,' he said to Demaratus, "the Greeks will not fight against such odds.' He was displeased when Demaratus assured him that they certainly would. 'How is it possible that a thousand men-- or ten thousand, or fifty thousand should stand up to an army as big as mine, especially if they were not under a single master but all perfectly free to do as they pleased?' He could understand that they might feign courage if they were whipped into battle as his Persian troops would be, but it was absurd to suppose that they would fight against such odds. Not a bit of it, said Demaratus. THey would fight and die to preserve their freedom. He added, 'They are free--yes--but they are not wholly free; for they have a master, and that master is Law, which they fear much more than your subjects fear you. Whatever this master commands they do; and his command never varies: it is never to retreat in battle, however great the odds, but always to remain in formation and to conquer or die.' They were Citizens, not subjects, and free men, not slaves; they were disciplined but self-disciplined. Free men were not whipped into battle.
Alan Ryan (On Politics: A History of Political Thought From Herodotus to the Present)
Dalinar took one step forward, then drove his Blade point-first into the middle of the blackened glyph on the stone. He took a step back. “For the bridgemen,” he said. Sadeas blinked. Muttering voices fell silent, and the people on the field seemed too stunned, even, to breathe. “What?”Sadeas asked. “The Blade,”Dalinar said, firm voice carrying in the air. “In exchange for your bridgemen. All of them. Every one you have in camp. They become mine, to do with as I please, never to be touched by you again. In exchange, you get the sword.” Sadeas looked down at the Blade, incredulous. “This weapon is worth fortunes. Cities, palaces, kingdoms.” “Do we have a deal?”Dalinar asked. “Father, no!”Adolin Kholin said, his own Blade appearing in his hand. “You—” Dalinar raised a hand, silencing the younger man. He kept his eyes on Sadeas. “Do we have a deal?” he asked, each word sharp. Kaladin stared, unable to move, unable to think. Sadeas looked at the Shardblade, eyes full of lust. He glanced at Kaladin, hesitated just briefly, then reached and grabbed the Blade by the hilt. “Take the storming creatures.” Dalinar nodded curtly, turning away from Sadeas. “Let’s go,”he said to his entourage. “They’re worthless, you know,”Sadeas said. “You’re of the ten fools, Dalinar Kholin! Don’t you see how mad you are? This will be remembered as the most ridiculous decision ever made by an Alethi highprince!” Dalinar didn’t look back. He walked up to Kaladin and the other members of Bridge Four. “Go,” Dalinar said to them, voice kindly. “Gather your things and the men you left behind. I will send troops with you to act as guards. Leave the bridges and come swiftly to my camp. You will be safe there. You have my word of honor on it.” He began to walk away. Kaladin shook off his numbness. He scrambled after the highprince, grabbing his armored arm. “Wait. You—That—What just happened?” Dalinar turned to him. Then, the highprince laid a hand on Kaladin’s shoulder, the gauntlet gleaming blue, mismatched with the rest of his slate-grey armor. “I don’t know what has been done to you. I can only guess what your life has been like. But know this. You will not be bridgemen in my camp, nor will you be slaves.” “But…” “What is a man’s life worth?” Dalinar asked softly. “The slavemasters say one is worth about two emerald broams,” Kaladin said, frowning. “And what do you say?” “A life is priceless,” he said immediately, quoting his father. Dalinar smiled, wrinkle lines extending from the corners of his eyes. “Coincidentally, that is the exact value of a Shardblade. So today, you and your men sacrificed to buy me twenty-six hundred priceless lives. And all I had to repay you with was a single priceless sword. I call that a bargain.” “You really think it was a good trade, don’t you?” Kaladin said, amazed. Dalinar smiled in a way that seemed strikingly paternal.
Brandon Sanderson (The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive, #1))
The work I do is not exactly respectable. But I want to explain how it works without any of the negatives associated with my infamous clients. I’ll show how I manipulated the media for a good cause. A friend of mine recently used some of my advice on trading up the chain for the benefit of the charity he runs. This friend needed to raise money to cover the costs of a community art project, and chose to do it through Kickstarter, the crowdsourced fund-raising platform. With just a few days’ work, he turned an obscure cause into a popular Internet meme and raised nearly ten thousand dollars to expand the charity internationally. Following my instructions, he made a YouTube video for the Kickstarter page showing off his charity’s work. Not a video of the charity’s best work, or even its most important work, but the work that exaggerated certain elements aimed at helping the video spread. (In this case, two or three examples in exotic locations that actually had the least amount of community benefit.) Next, he wrote a short article for a small local blog in Brooklyn and embedded the video. This site was chosen because its stories were often used or picked up by the New York section of the Huffington Post. As expected, the Huffington Post did bite, and ultimately featured the story as local news in both New York City and Los Angeles. Following my advice, he sent an e-mail from a fake address with these links to a reporter at CBS in Los Angeles, who then did a television piece on it—using mostly clips from my friend’s heavily edited video. In anticipation of all of this he’d been active on a channel of the social news site Reddit (where users vote on stories and topics they like) during the weeks leading up to his campaign launch in order to build up some connections on the site. When the CBS News piece came out and the video was up, he was ready to post it all on Reddit. It made the front page almost immediately. This score on Reddit (now bolstered by other press as well) put the story on the radar of what I call the major “cool stuff” blogs—sites like BoingBoing, Laughing Squid, FFFFOUND!, and others—since they get post ideas from Reddit. From this final burst of coverage, money began pouring in, as did volunteers, recognition, and new ideas. With no advertising budget, no publicist, and no experience, his little video did nearly a half million views, and funded his project for the next two years. It went from nothing to something. This may have all been for charity, but it still raises a critical question: What exactly happened? How was it so easy for him to manipulate the media, even for a good cause? He turned one exaggerated amateur video into a news story that was written about independently by dozens of outlets in dozens of markets and did millions of media impressions. It even registered nationally. He had created and then manipulated this attention entirely by himself.
Ryan Holiday (Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator)
I see Barsad, and Cly, Defarge, The Vengeance, the Juryman, the Judge, long ranks of the new oppressors who have risen on the destruction of the old, perishing by this retributive instrument, before it shall cease out of its present use. I see a beautiful city and a brilliant people rising from this abyss, and, in their struggles to be truly free, in their triumphs and defeats, through long years to come, I see the evils of this time and of the previous time of which this is the natural birth, gradually making expiation for itself and wearing out. I see the lives for which I lay down my life, peaceful, useful, prosperous and happy, in that England which I shall see no more. I see Her with a child upon her bosom, who bears my name. I see her father, aged and bent, but otherwise restored, and faithful to all men in his healing office, and at peace. I see the good old man, so long their friend, in ten years’ time enriching them with all he has, and passing tranquilly to his reward. I see that I hold sanctuary in their hearts, and in the hearts of their descendants, generations hence. I see her, an old woman, weeping for me on the anniversary of this day. I see her and her husband, their course done, lying side by side in their last earthly bed, and I know that each was not more honoured and held sacred in the other’s soul, than I was in the souls of both. I see that child who lay upon her bosom and who bore my name, a man winning his way up in that path of life which once was mine. I see him winning it so well, that my name is made illustrious there by light of his. I see the blots I threw upon it, faded away. I see him, foremost of just judges and honoured men, bringing a boy of my name, with a forehead that I know and golden hair, to this place – then fair to look upon, with not a trace of this day’s disfigurement – and I hear him tell the child my story, with a tender and faltering voice. It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.
Charles Dickens (A Tale of Two Cities)
My necessities were books. I read a book at school, another to and from school, yet another at the beach, which was the closest escape from my father’s dying. Though when I walked alone it was far. Though I wasn’t allowed to walk alone when younger—so young that my concern wasn’t the danger to myself but to the books I’d bring, because they weren’t mine, they were everyone’s, entrusted to me in return for exemplary behavior, and if I lost even a single book, or let even its corner get nicked by a jitney, the city would come, the city itself, and lock me up in that grim brick jail that, in every feature, resembled the library.
Joshua Cohen (Book of Numbers: A Novel)
Just let me grab my thinking cap,” she told him, heading for her locker. The long floppy hat was required during midterms, designed to restrict Telepaths and preserve the integrity of the tests—not that anything could block Sophie’s enhanced abilities. But after the exams, the hats became present sacks, and everyone filled them with treats and trinkets and treasures. “I’ll need to inspect your presents before you open them,” Sandor warned as he helped Sophie lift her overstuffed hat. “That’s perfect,” Fitz said. “While he does that, you can open mine.” He pulled a small box from the pocket of his waist-length cape and handed it to Sophie. The opalescent wrapping paper had flecks of teal glitter dusted across it, and he’d tied it with a silky teal bow, making her wonder if he’d guessed her favorite color. She really hoped he couldn’t guess why. . . . “Hopefully I did better this year,” Fitz said. “Biana claimed the riddler was a total fail.” The riddle-writing pen he’d given her last time had been a disappointment, but . . . “I’m sure I’ll love it,” Sophie promised. “Besides. My gift is boring.” Sandor had declared an Atlantis shopping trip to be far too risky, so Sophie had spent the previous day baking her friends’ presents. She handed Fitz a round silver tin and he popped the lid off immediately. “Ripplefluffs?” he asked, smiling his first real smile in days. The silver-wrapped treats were what might happen if a brownie and a cupcake had a fudgey, buttery baby, with a candy surprise sunken into the center. Sophie’s adoptive mother, Edaline, had taught her the recipe
Shannon Messenger (Lodestar (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #5))
Reading private correspondence is in poor taste, Lord Ackerly.” “Unless it is terribly interesting,” Eleanor says, “which Jessamin’s letters are not. Mine, however, are lurid tales of my near-death experience and subsequent sequestering against my will in the home of the mysterious and brooding Lord Ackerly. I fear I may have given you a tragic past and a deadly secret or two.” “Are we staying in a decaying Gothic abbey?” I ask. “Naturally. When I’m finished, there won’t be a person in all the city who isn’t writhing with jealousy over the heart-pounding drama of my life.” She pauses, tapping her pen thoughtfully against her chin. “I don’t suppose you have a cousin? I could very much use a romantic foil.” Finn shakes his head. “Sorry to disappoint.” “Alas. As long as I’m not the friend who meets a tragic end that brings you two together forever through shared grief.” Her line meets dead silence, and a sly grin splits her face. “Oh wait, I nearly was.
Kiersten White (Illusions of Fate)
It goes something like this. You'’re walking along minding your own business, or you'’re on the underground or you’'re on a bus or something, but generally you’'re not paying much attention. And suddenly you look around and see all these other people and think, ‘Hey, they can look at me and see me and I can see in my mind what I think they see, and when I’'m gone they’'re going to keep on walking and they’r'e going to go and live their lives, and their thoughts are going to be just like mine, but different, but real and solid and alive and full of feeling and confusion and colour just like life, and, hey, isn’t that cool!’ And it is. And roughly around this time you'’re going to notice that you can feel trains under your feet or pipes bubbling, and you can hear the sound of traffic and voices and stuff; and then you’'ll probably look up at the things around you and think, ‘Those buildings with the lights on look almost alive, like giant trees lit up with their own constellation of stars in every window,’ or maybe not if you'’re underground; and you’'ll realise that you can see the city all around, and it’'s so full of lives and life, and they'’re all buzzing around you, and every single individual is real and alive and passionate and full of mystery, and it'’s not just Joe Bloggs walking by who’'s like this, but that every part of the city is crawling with life. And you'’ll think, ‘Hey, that'’s pretty damn sweet, everywhere I look there'’s life,’ and roughly around that point you'’ll realise you can hear rats and pigeons and thoughts and spells and colours and electricity, and that’'s probably when you started going a bit mad.
Kate Griffin (A Madness of Angels (Matthew Swift, #1))
In my twenties if even a tenth reading of Mallarmé failed to yield up its treasures, the fault was mine, not his. If my eyes swooned shut while I read The Sweet Cheat Gone, Proust’s pacing was never called into question, just my intelligence and dedication and sensitivity. And I still entertain these sacralizing preconceptions about high art. I still admire what is difficult, though I now recognize it as a “period” taste and that my generation was the last to give a damn. Though we were atheists, we were, strangely enough, preparing ourselves for God’s great Quiz Show; we had to know everything because we were convinced we would be tested on it—in our next life.
Edmund White (City Boy: My Life in New York in the 1960s and 70s)
One day, soon after her disappearance, an attack of abominable nausea forced me to pull up on the ghost of an old mountain road that now accompanied, now traversed a brand new highway, with its population of asters bathing in the detached warmth of a pale-blue afternoon in late summer. After coughing myself inside out I rested a while on a boulder and then thinking the sweet air might do me good, walked a little way toward a low stone parapet on the precipice side of the highway. Small grasshoppers spurted out of the withered roadside weeds. A very light cloud was opening its arms and moving toward a slightly more substantial one belonging to another, more sluggish, heavenlogged system. As I approached the friendly abyss, I grew aware of a melodious unity of sounds rising like vapor from a small mining town that lay at my feet, in a fold of the valley. One could make out the geometry of the streets between blocks of red and gray roofs, and green puffs of trees, and a serpentine stream, and the rich, ore-like glitter of the city dump, and beyond the town, roads crisscrossing the crazy quilt of dark and pale fields, and behind it all, great timbered mountains. But even brighter than those quietly rejoicing colors - for there are colors and shades that seem to enjoy themselves in good company - both brighter and dreamier to the ear than they were to the eye, was that vapory vibration of accumulated sounds that never ceased for a moment, as it rose to the lip of granite where I stood wiping my foul mouth. And soon I realized that all these sounds were of one nature, that no other sounds but these came from the streets of the transparent town, with the women at home and the men away. Reader! What I heard was but the melody of children at play, nothing but that, and so limpid was the air that within this vapor of blended voices, majestic and minute, remote and magically near, frank and divinely enigmatic - one could hear now and then, as if released, an almost articulate spurt of vivid laughter, or the crack of a bat, or the clatter of a toy wagon, but it was all really too far for the eye to distinguish any movement in the lightly etched streets. I stood listening to that musical vibration from my lofty slope, to those flashes of separate cries with a kind of demure murmur for background, and then I knew that the hopelessly poignant thing was not Lolita's absence from my side, but the absence of her voice from that concord.
Vladimir Nabokov (Lolita)
Ecologically, bourgeois exploitation and manipulation are undermining the very capacity of the earth to sustain advanced forms of life. The crisis is being heightened by massive increases in air and water pollution; by a mounting accumulation of nondegradable wastes, lead residues, pesticide residues and toxic additives in food; by the expansion of cities into vast urban belts; by increasing stresses due to congestion, noise and mass living; and by the wanton scarring of the earth as a result of mining operations, lumbering, and real estate speculation. As a result, the earth has been despoiled in a few decades on a scale that is unprecedented in the entire history of human habitation of the planet.
Murray Bookchin (Post-Scarcity Anarchism)
I know him, that man walking- toward me up the crowded street of the city, I have lived with him seven years now, I know his fast stride, his windy wheatfield hair, his hands thrust deep in his jacket pockets, hands that have known my body, touched its softest part, caused its quick shudders and slow releasings, I have seen his face above my face, his mouth smiling, moaning his eyes closed and opened, I have studied his eyes, the brown turning gold at the centers, I have silently watched him lying beside me in the early morning, I know his loneliness, like mine, human and sad, but different, too, his private pain and pleasure I can never enter even as he comes closer, past trees and cars, trash and flowers, steam rising from the manhole covers, gutters running with rain, he lifts his head, he sees me, we are strangers again, and a rending music of desire and loss— I don’t know him—courses through me, and we kiss and say, It’s good to see you, as if we haven’t seen each other in years when it was just a few hours ago, and we are shy, then, not knowing what to say next.
Susan Browne
It’s no one’s fault really,” he continued. “A big city cannot afford to have its attention distracted from the important job of being a big city by such a tiny, unimportant item as your happiness or mine.” This came out of him easily, assuredly, and I was suddenly interested. On closer inspection there was something aesthetic and scholarly about him, something faintly professorial. He knew I was with him, listening, and his grey eyes were kind with offered friendliness. He continued: “Those tall buildings there are more than monuments to the industry, thought and effort which have made this a great city; they also occasionally serve as springboards to eternity for misfits who cannot cope with the city and their own loneliness in it.” He paused and said something about one of the ducks which was quite unintelligible to me. “A great city is a battlefield,” he continued. “You need to be a fighter to live in it, not exist, mark you, live. Anybody can exist, dragging his soul around behind him like a worn-out coat; but living is different. It can be hard, but it can also be fun; there’s so much going on all the time that’s new and exciting.” I could not, nor wished to, ignore his pleasant voice, but I was in no mood for his philosophising. “If you were a negro you’d find that even existing would provide more excitement than you’d care for.” He looked at me and suddenly laughed; a laugh abandoned and gay, a laugh rich and young and indescribably infectious. I laughed with him, although I failed to see anything funny in my remark. “I wondered how long it would be before you broke down and talked to me,” he said, when his amusement had quietened down. “Talking helps, you know; if you can talk with someone you’re not lonely any more, don’t you think?” As simple as that. Soon we were chatting away unreservedly, like old friends, and I had told him everything. “Teaching,” he said presently. “That’s the thing. Why not get a job as a teacher?” “That’s rather unlikely,” I replied. “I have had no training as a teacher.” “Oh, that’s not absolutely necessary. Your degrees would be considered in lieu of training, and I feel sure that with your experience and obvious ability you could do well.” “Look here, Sir, if these people would not let me near ordinary inanimate equipment about which I understand quite a bit, is it reasonable to expect them to entrust the education of their children to me?” “Why not? They need teachers desperately.” “It is said that they also need technicians desperately.” “Ah, but that’s different. I don’t suppose educational authorities can be bothered about the colour of people’s skins, and I do believe that in that respect the London County Council is rather outstanding. Anyway, there would be no need to mention it; let it wait until they see you at the interview.” “I’ve tried that method before. It didn’t work.” “Try it again, you’ve nothing to lose. I know for a fact that there are many vacancies for teachers in the East End of London.” “Why especially the East End of London?” “From all accounts it is rather a tough area, and most teachers prefer to seek jobs elsewhere.” “And you think it would be just right for a negro, I suppose.” The vicious bitterness was creeping back; the suspicion was not so easily forgotten. “Now, just a moment, young man.” He was wonderfully patient with me, much more so than I deserved. “Don’t ever underrate the people of the East End; from those very slums and alleyways are emerging many of the new breed of professional and scientific men and quite a few of our politicians. Be careful lest you be a worse snob than the rest of us. Was this the kind of spirit in which you sought the other jobs?
E.R. Braithwaite (To Sir, With Love)
Nothing felt like mine anymore, not after you. All those little things that defined me; small sentimental trinkets, car keys, pin codes, and passwords. They all felt like you. And more than anything else, my number - the one you boldly asked for that night, amidst a sea of people, under a sky of talking satellites and glowing stars. You said no matter how many times you erased me from your phone, you would still recognize that number when it flashed on your screen. The series of sixes and nines, like the dip of my waist to the curves of my hips, your hands pressed into the small of my back. Nines and sixes that were reminiscent of two contented cats, curled together like a pair of speech marks. You said if you could never hold me or kiss me again, you could live with that. But you couldn't bear the thought of us not speaking and asked, at the very least, could I allow you that one thing? I wonder what went through your mind the day you dialed my number to find it had been disconnected. If your imagination had raced with thoughts of what new city I run to and who was sharing my bed. Isn't it strange how much of our lives are interchangeable, how little is truly ours. Someone else's ring tone, someone else's broken heart. These are the things we inherit by choice or by chance. And it wasn't my choice to love you but it was mine to leave. I don't think the moon ever meant to be a satellite, kept in loving orbit, locked in hopeless inertia, destined to repeat the same pattern over and over - to meet in eclipse with the sun - only when the numbers allowed.
Lang Leav (Memories)
Both the community of property and the community of families, as I am saying, tend to make them more truly guardians; they will not tear the city in pieces by differing about 'mine' and 'not mine;' each man dragging any acquisition which he has made into a separate house of his own, where he has a separate wife and children and private pleasures and pains; but all will be affected as far as may be by the same pleasures and pains because they are all of one opinion about what is near and dear to them, and therefore they all tend towards a common end. Certainly, he replied. And as they have nothing but their persons which they can call their own, suits and complaints will have no existence among them; they will be delivered from all those quarrels of which money or children or relations are the occasion. Of course they will. Neither
Plato (The Republic)
ANTHONY: I feel you, Johanna, I feel you Do they think that walls can hide you? Even now I'm at your window I am in the dark beside you, Buried sweetly in your yellow hair, Johanna… SWEENEY TODD: And are you beautiful and pale, With yellow hair, like her I'd want you beautiful and pale, The way I've dreamed you were, Johanna... ANTHONY: Johanna... SWEENEY TODD: And if you're beautiful, what then, With yellow hair, like wheat? I think we shall not meet again — My little dove, my sweet Johanna… ANTHONY: I'll steal you, Johanna… SWEENEY TODD: Goodbye, Johanna. You're gone, and yet you're mine. I'm fine, Johanna, I'm fine! ANTHONY: Johanna… BEGGAR WOMAN: Smoke! Smoke! Sign of the devil! Sign of the devil! City on fire! Witch! Witch! Smell it, sir! An evil smell! Every night at the vespers bell — Smoke that comes from the mouth of hell — City on fire! City on fire! Mischief! Mischief! Mischief... SWEENEY TODD: And if I never hear your voice, My turtledove, my dear, I still have reason to rejoice: The way ahead is clear, Johanna... JOHANNA: I'll marry Anthony Sunday Anthony…Sunday… ANTHONY: I feel you… SWEENEY TODD: And in that darkness when I'm blind With what I can't forget — ANTHONY: Johanna… SWEENEY TODD: It's always morning in my mind, My little lamb, my pet, Johanna… JOHANNA: I knew you'd come for me one day… Come for me…one day… SWEENEY TODD/ANTHONY: You stay, Johanna — Johanna… SWEENEY TODD: The way I've dreamed you are Oh look, Johanna — a star! ANTHONY: Buried sweetly in your yellow hair… SWEENEY TODD: A shooting star! BEGGAR WOMAN: There! There! Somebody, somebody look up there! Didn't I tell you? Smell that air! City on fire! Quick, sir! Run and tell! Warn 'em all of the witch's spell! There it is, there it is, the unholy smell! Tell it to the Beadle and the police as well! Tell 'em! Tell 'em! Help! Fiend! City on fire! City on fire! Mischief! Mischief! Mischief...Fiend . . . Alms…alms...for a miserable woman… SWEENEY TODD: And though I'll think of you, I guess, until the day I die, I think I miss you less and less as every day goes by, Johanna... ANTHONY: Johanna... JOHANNA: With you beside me on Sunday, Married on…Sunday… SWEENEY TODD: And you'd be beautiful and pale, And look too much like her. If only angels could prevail, We'd be the way we were, Johanna... ANTHONY: I feel you...Johanna… JOHANNA'S VOICE: Married on Sunday…married on Sunday ... SWEENEY TODD: Wake up, Johanna! Another bright red day! We learn, Johanna, to say goodbye! ANTHONY: I’ll steal you!
Stephen Sondheim (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street)
You’ve got to listen! She would come back to me after a night all over the city and lie down beside me and she would say, ‘I want to make everyone happy,’ and her mouth was drawn down. ‘I want everyone to be gay, gay. Only you,’ she said, holding me, ‘only you, you mustn’t be gay or happy, not like that, it’s not for you, only for everyone else in the world.’ She knew she was driving me insane with misery and fright; only,” she went on, “she couldn’t do anything because she was a long way off and waiting to begin. It’s for that reason she hates everyone near her. It’s why she falls into everything, like someone in a dream. It’s why she wants to be loved and left alone, all at the same time. She would kill the world to get at herself if the world were in the way, and it is in the way. A shadow was falling on her—mine—and it was driving her out of her wits.
Djuna Barnes (Nightwood)
Whoever has been poor and lonely himself understands other poor and lonely people all the better. At least we should learn to understand our fellow beings, for we are powerless to stop their misery, their ignominy, their suffering, their weakness, and their death. One day Frau Wilke whispered, as she stretched out her hand and arm to me: "Hold my hand. It's like ice." I took her poor, old, thin hand in mine. It was cold as ice. Frau Wilke crept about her home now like a ghost. Nobody visited her. For days she sat alone in her unheated room. To be alone: icy, iron terror, foretaste of the grave, forerunner of unpitying death. Oh, whoever has been himself alone can never find another's loneliness strange. I began to realize that Frau Wilke had nothing to eat. The lady who owned the house, and later took Frau Wilke's rooms, allowing me to stay in mine, brought, of course in pity for her forsaken state, every midday and evening a cup of broth, but not for long, and so Frau Wilke faded away. She lay there, no longer moving: and soon she was taken to the city hospital, where, after three days, she died. One afternoon soon after her death, I entered her empty room, into which the good evening sun was shining, gladdening it with rose-bright, gay and soft colors. There I saw on the bed the things which the poor lady had till recently worn.... The strange sight of them made me unspeakably sad, and my peculiar state of mind made it seem to me almost that I had died myself, and life in all its fullness, which had often appeared so huge and beautiful, was thin and poor to the point of breaking. All things past, all things vanishing away, were more close to me than ever. For a long time I looked at Frau Wilke's possessions, which now had lost their mistress and lost all purpose, and at the golden room, gloried by the smile of the evening sun, while I stood there motionless, not understanding anything anymore.
Robert Walser (Berlin Stories)
The North Korean capital, Pyongyang, is a city consecrated to the worship of a father-son dynasty. (I came to think of them, with their nuclear-family implications, as 'Fat Man and Little Boy.') And a river runs through it. And on this river, the Taedong River, is moored the only American naval vessel in captivity. It was in January 1968 that the U.S.S. Pueblo strayed into North Korean waters, and was boarded and captured. One sailor was killed; the rest were held for nearly a year before being released. I looked over the spy ship, its radio antennae and surveillance equipment still intact, and found photographs of the captain and crew with their hands on their heads in gestures of abject surrender. Copies of their groveling 'confessions,' written in tremulous script, were also on show. So was a humiliating document from the United States government, admitting wrongdoing in the penetration of North Korean waters and petitioning the 'D.P.R.K.' (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) for 'lenience.' Kim Il Sung ('Fat Man') was eventually lenient about the men, but not about the ship. Madeleine Albright didn't ask to see the vessel on her visit last October, during which she described the gruesome, depopulated vistas of Pyongyang as 'beautiful.' As I got back onto the wharf, I noticed a refreshment cart, staffed by two women under a frayed umbrella. It didn't look like much—one of its three wheels was missing and a piece of brick was propping it up—but it was the only such cart I'd see. What toothsome local snacks might the ladies be offering? The choices turned out to be slices of dry bread and cups of warm water. Nor did Madeleine Albright visit the absurdly misnamed 'Demilitarized Zone,' one of the most heavily militarized strips of land on earth. Across the waist of the Korean peninsula lies a wasteland, roughly following the 38th parallel, and packed with a titanic concentration of potential violence. It is four kilometers wide (I have now looked apprehensively at it from both sides) and very near to the capital cities of both North and South. On the day I spent on the northern side, I met a group of aging Chinese veterans, all from Szechuan, touring the old battlefields and reliving a war they helped North Korea nearly win (China sacrificed perhaps a million soldiers in that campaign, including Mao Anying, son of Mao himself). Across the frontier are 37,000 United States soldiers. Their arsenal, which has included undeclared nuclear weapons, is the reason given by Washington for its refusal to sign the land-mines treaty. In August 1976, U.S. officers entered the neutral zone to trim a tree that was obscuring the view of an observation post. A posse of North Koreans came after them, and one, seizing the ax with which the trimming was to be done, hacked two U.S. servicemen to death with it. I visited the ax also; it's proudly displayed in a glass case on the North Korean side.
Christopher Hitchens (Love, Poverty, and War: Journeys and Essays)
and helped her invent two flavor combinations. “How did you know that chocolate and mint is my favorite?” Fitz asked, peeling off the silver wrapper and devouring the whole fluff in one bite. “I didn’t,” Sophie admitted. “If I had, I wouldn’t have given you any of the butter toffee ones.” “Those look amazing too,” he said, then frowned at his present. “Aren’t you going to open it?” “Shouldn’t I wait until we’re with the others?” “Nah. It’ll be better if it’s just the two of us.” Something about the way he said it made her heart switch to flutter mode, even though she knew Fitz didn’t think of her that way. Her mind raced through a dozen theories as she carefully tore the shimmering paper. But she still wasn’t prepared to find . . . “Rings?” “They go on your thumbs,” Fitz explained. “It’s a Cognate thing.” She wasn’t sure what thumb jewelry had to do with their rare telepathic connection. But she noticed Fitz was wearing an identical set. Each ring had initials stamped into the verdigris metal. SEF on the right—Sophie Elizabeth Foster—and FAV on the left. “Fitzroy Avery Vacker.” “Your full name is Fitzroy?” she asked. “Yeah. No idea what my parents were thinking with that one. But watch this. Try opening your thoughts to mine, and then do this.” He held his hands palm-out, waiting for her to do the same. As soon as she did, the rings turned warm against her skin and snapped their hands together like magnets. “They’re made from ruminel,” Fitz said, “which reacts to mental
Shannon Messenger (Lodestar (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #5))
Within the fair’s buildings visitors encountered devices and concepts new to them and to the world. They heard live music played by an orchestra in New York and transmitted to the fair by long-distance telephone. They saw the first moving pictures on Edison’s Kinetoscope, and they watched, stunned, as lightning chattered from Nikola Tesla’s body. They saw even more ungodly things—the first zipper; the first-ever all-electric kitchen, which included an automatic dishwasher; and a box purporting to contain everything a cook would need to make pancakes, under the brand name Aunt Jemima’s. They sampled a new, oddly flavored gum called Juicy Fruit, and caramel-coated popcorn called Cracker Jack. A new cereal, Shredded Wheat, seemed unlikely to succeed—“shredded doormat,” some called it—but a new beer did well, winning the exposition’s top beer award. Forever afterward, its brewer called it Pabst Blue Ribbon. Visitors also encountered the latest and arguably most important organizational invention of the century, the vertical file, created by Melvil Dewey, inventor of the Dewey Decimal System. Sprinkled among these exhibits were novelties of all kinds. A locomotive made of spooled silk. A suspension bridge built out of Kirk’s Soap. A giant map of the United States made of pickles. Prune makers sent along a full-scale knight on horseback sculpted out of prunes, and the Avery Salt Mines of Louisiana displayed a copy of the Statue of Liberty carved from a block of salt. Visitors dubbed it “Lot’s Wife.
Erik Larson (The Devil in the White City)
PROLOGUE   Zoey “Wow, Z, this is a seriously awesome turnout. There are more humans here than fleas on an old dog!” Stevie Rae shielded her eyes with her hand as she looked around at the newly lit-up campus. Dallas was a total jerk, but we all admitted that the twinkling lights he’d wrapped around the trunks and limbs of the old oaks gave the entire campus a magickal, fairy-like glow. “That is one of your more disgusting bumpkin analogies,” Aphrodite said. “Though it’s accurate. Especially since there are a bunch of city politicians here. Total parasites.” “Try to be nice,” I said. “Or at least try to be quiet.” “Does that mean your daddy, the mayor, is here?” Stevie Rae’s already gawking eyes got even wider. “I suppose it does. I caught a glimpse of Cruella De Vil, a.k.a. She Who Bore Me, not long ago.” Aphrodite paused and her brows went up. “We should probably keep an eye on the Street Cats kittens. I saw some cute little black and white ones with especially fluffy fur.” Stevie Rae sucked air. “Ohmygoodness, your mamma wouldn’t really make a kitten fur coat, would she?” “Faster than you can say Bubba’s drinkin’ and drivin’ again,” Aphrodite mimicked Stevie Rae’s Okie twang. “Stevie Rae—she’s kidding. Tell her the truth,” I nudged Aphrodite. “Fine. She doesn’t skin kittens. Or puppies. Just baby seals and democrats.” Stevie Rae’s brow furrowed. “See, everything is fine. Plus, Damien’s at the Street Cats booth, and you know he’d never let one little kitten whisker be hurt—let alone a whole coat,” I assured my BFF, refusing to let Aphrodite mess up our good mood. “Actually, everything is more than fine. Check out what we managed to pull off in a little over a week.” I sighed in relief at the success of our event and let my gaze wander around the packed school grounds. Stevie Rae, Shaylin, Shaunee, Aphrodite, and I were manning the bake sale booth (while Stevie Rae’s mom and a bunch of her PTA friends moved through the crowd with samples of the chocolate chip cookies we were selling, like, zillions of). From our position near Nyx’s statue, we had a great view of the whole campus. I could see a long line at Grandma’s lavender booth. That made me smile. Not far from Grandma, Thanatos had set up a job application area, and there were a bunch of humans filling out paperwork there. In the center of the grounds there were two huge silver and white tents draped with more of Dallas’s twinkling lights. In one tent Stark and Darius and the Sons of Erebus Warriors were demonstrating weaponry. I watched as Stark was showing a young boy how to hold a bow. Stark’s gaze lifted from the kid and met mine. We shared a quick, intimate smile
P.C. Cast (Revealed (House of Night #11))
DEAR MAMA, I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to write. Every time I try to write to you and Papa I realize I’m not saying the things that are in my heart. That would be O.K., if I loved you any less than I do, but you are still my parents and I am still your child. I have friends who think I’m foolish to write this letter. I hope they’re wrong. I hope their doubts are based on parents who loved and trusted them less than mine do. I hope especially that you’ll see this as an act of love on my part, a sign of my continuing need to share my life with you. I wouldn’t have written, I guess, if you hadn’t told me about your involvement in the Save Our Children campaign. That, more than anything, made it clear that my responsibility was to tell you the truth, that your own child is homosexual, and that I never needed saving from anything except the cruel and ignorant piety of people like Anita Bryant. I’m sorry, Mama. Not for what I am, but for how you must feel at this moment. I know what that feeling is, for I felt it for most of my life. Revulsion, shame, disbelief—rejection through fear of something I knew, even as a child, was as basic to my nature as the color of my eyes. No, Mama, I wasn’t “recruited.” No seasoned homosexual ever served as my mentor. But you know what? I wish someone had. I wish someone older than me and wiser than the people in Orlando had taken me aside and said, “You’re all right, kid. You can grow up to be a doctor or a teacher just like anyone else. You’re not crazy or sick or evil. You can succeed and be happy and find peace with friends—all kinds of friends—who don’t give a damn who you go to bed with. Most of all, though, you can love and be loved, without hating yourself for it.” But no one ever said that to me, Mama. I had to find it out on my own, with the help of the city that has become my home. I know this may be hard for you to believe, but San Francisco is full of men and women, both straight and gay, who don’t consider sexuality in measuring the worth of another human being. These aren’t radicals or weirdos, Mama. They are shop clerks and bankers and little old ladies and people who nod and smile to you when you meet them on the bus. Their attitude is neither patronizing nor pitying. And their message is so simple: Yes, you are a person. Yes, I like you. Yes, it’s all right for you to like me too. I know what you must be thinking now. You’re asking yourself: What did we do wrong? How did we let this happen? Which one of us made him that way? I can’t answer that, Mama. In the long run, I guess I really don’t care. All I know is this: If you and Papa are responsible for the way I am, then I thank you with all my heart, for it’s the light and the joy of my life. I know I can’t tell you what it is to be gay. But I can tell you what it’s not. It’s not hiding behind words, Mama. Like family and decency and Christianity. It’s not fearing your body, or the pleasures that God made for it. It’s not judging your neighbor, except when he’s crass or unkind. Being gay has taught me tolerance, compassion and humility. It has shown me the limitless possibilities of living. It has given me people whose passion and kindness and sensitivity have provided a constant source of strength. It has brought me into the family of man, Mama, and I like it here. I like it. There’s not much else I can say, except that I’m the same Michael you’ve always known. You just know me better now. I have never consciously done anything to hurt you. I never will. Please don’t feel you have to answer this right away. It’s enough for me to know that I no longer have to lie to the people who taught me to value the truth. Mary Ann sends her love. Everything is fine at 28 Barbary Lane. Your loving son, MICHAEL
Armistead Maupin (More Tales of the City)
Your king is dead. Your prince lives. . . My name is Aelin Ashryver Galathynius, and I am the Queen of Terrasen. . . Your prince is in mourning. Until he is ready, this city is mine. . . If you loot, if you riot, if you cause one lick of trouble, I will find you, and I will burn you to ash." She lifted a hand, and flames danced at her fingertips. "If you revolt against your new king, if you try to take his castle, then this wall"--she gestured with her burning hand--"will turn to molten glass and flood your streets, your homes, your throats. . . I killed your king. His empire is over. Your slaves are now free people. If I catch you holding on to your slaves, if I hear of any household keeping them captive, you are dead. If I hear of you whipping a slave, or trying to sell one, you are dead. So I suggest that you tell your friends, and families, and neighbors. I suggest that you act like reasonable, intelligent people. And I suggest that you stay on your best behavior until your king is ready to greet you, at which time I swear on my crown that I will yield control of this city to him. If anyone has a problem with it, you can take it up with my court." She motioned behind her. Rowan, Aedion, and Lysandra--bloodied, battered, filthy--grinning like hellions. "Or," Aelin said, the flames winking out on her hand, "you can take it up with me." Not a word. She wondered whether they were breathing. But Aelin didn't care as she strode off the platform, back through the gate she'd made, and all the way up the barren hillside to the stone castle. She was barely inside the oak doors before she collapsed to her knees and wept.
Sarah J. Maas
I work on the wine. It tastes somewhat tart, but that could be because I normally drink white. However, today is a different kind of day. Sitting in the most pleasurable of settings, I may as well drink red and piss white; at least I’ll know that some of this land remained inside me. I look to my right, my eyes unfocused, absorbing the city as a whole. Show me your magic; I am ready. With a cigarette between my lips, I whisper my thoughts, my soul open to the maximum. Then I see it...clearly, without being able to visualize it in my eyes...my soul acting as the receiver—no past, no future, no nightmares, no struggle, a world without isms and schisms, a moment of pure joy, a split second when everything makes sense, a flash of life when one is ready to die. From Antibes emanates an ambience so wonderful that I wish to drink from Lethe and know no more than the present. If only for a brief moment, I desire this one luxury. While I press my lips together, ready to receive the kiss of Thanatos, I wonder if I can afford it. I wait for an answer...waiting, waiting, but it doesn’t arrive. The time is not yet mine; it seems fortune will pass me by today.
Henry Martin (Eluding Reality (Mad Days of Me #3))
Don’t you understand? It’s forbidden, Aladdin! We jinn must abide by many rules, but first among them, most important of all, we must never fall in love with a human!” He catches his breath, swallowing hard. “And do you always follow the rules?” “I—” Casting my gaze skyward, I draw a deep breath, searching for words among the stars. “It’s not about that. Do you know what kind of destruction we would cause? Have you not heard the story of your own people, how their city was destroyed, how thousands died? It was not hate that sparked the war between your people and mine, Aladdin. It was love. I held hands with Roshana the Wise and called her sister, and those words set our world on fire!” There it is. My greatest shame, laid bare. The truth lies between us like broken glass. Surely now he sees what I truly am: a betrayer, a monster, an enemy. Aladdin stares at me, his face softening. “That wasn’t your fault,” he says. “Loving someone is never wrong. And like you said, it’s not a choice. It just happens, and we’re all helpless in its power.” “That doesn’t change the fact that the consequences are disastrous. As the poets say, shake hands with a jinni, and you shake hands with death.
Jessica Khoury (The Forbidden Wish)
They came to Virginia City as soon as the true value of the Comstock was perceived. They constituted, no doubt, a deplorable source of gambling, pleasure and embroilment. They were not soft-spoken women, their desire was not visibly separate from the main chance, and they would have beheld Mr. Harte’s portrayal of them at Poker Flat with ribald mirth. But let them have a moment of respect. They civilized the Comstock. They drove through its streets reclining in lacquered broughams, displaying to male eyes fashions as close to Paris as any then current in New York. They were, in brick houses hung with tapestries, a glamour and a romance, after the superheated caverns of the mines. They enforced a code of behavior: one might be a hard-rock man outside their curtains but in their presence one was punctilious or one was hustled away. They brought Parisian cooking to the sagebrush of Sun Mountain and they taught the West to distinguish between tarantula juice and the bouquet of wines. An elegy for their passing. The West has neglected to mention them in bronze and its genealogies avoid comment on their marriages, conspicuous or obscure, but it owes them a here acknowledged debt for civilization.
Bernard DeVoto (Mark Twain's America)
I reached into my bag and pulled out the macaroons, holding them between us. “Here. These are for you.” He glanced at the white bakery box, his frown even more severe than before. He didn’t take the box. “What’s in there?” The look of suspicion made me smile in spite of myself. “Cookies.” “Where’d you get them?” “I made them.” His expression cleared and he snatched the box from my hands. “You did? What kind?” “Macaroons.” “Coconut!” He’d ripped open the box with impressive speed, his eyes widening with what looked like elation. “Come to me,” he said reverently to the cookies. “I hate coconut,” Derek said conversationally, coming to stand next to me. “She didn’t bring them for you, did she?” Matt said, his head doing an unexpected, sassy bobbing movement. I rolled my lips between my teeth, breathing through my nose while my eyes bounced between the two men. “Maybe she will, next time.” Derek grinned at me. “I like chocolate.” Matt’s eyes cut to mine. “Are you making a mental note? You look like you’re making a mental note. Don’t. Don’t make a mental note. Don’t bring him cookies.” “Gentlemen.” I pasted on my best professional smile. “I will be happy to bring cookies, to you both, but first I need to see what you’ve been working on.” “Fine.
Penny Reid (Dating-ish (Knitting in the City, #6))
Somebody reported my book bag!” he says. “My promposal got fucked.” I take the teddy bear out of his bag and hug it to my chest. I’m so happy I don’t even tell him not to cuss. “I love it.” “You were going to turn the corner, and see the book bag right here by the telescopes. Then you were going to pick up the bear, and squeeze it, and--” “How was I going to know to squeeze it?” I ask. Peter pulls a crumpled piece of paper out of the bag. It says, Squeeze Me. “It fell off when the security guard was manhandling it. See? I thought of everything.” Everything except the ramifications of leaving an unattended bag in a public place in New York City, but still! It’s the thought that counts, and the thought is the sweetest. I squeeze the bear, and again he says, “Will you go to prom with me, Lara Jean?” “Yes, I will, Howard.” Howard is, of course, the name of the bear from Sleepless in Seattle. “Why are you saying yes to him and not to me?” Peter demands. “Because he asked.” I raise my eyebrows at him and wait. Rolling his eyes, Peter mumbles, “Lara Jean, will you go to prom with me? God, you really do ask for a lot.” I hold the bear out to him. “I will, but first kiss Howard.” “Covey. No. Hell, no.” “Please!” I give him a pleading look. “It’s in the movie, Peter.” And grumbling, he does it, in front of everybody, which is how I know he is utterly and completely mine.
Jenny Han (Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #3))
A Party for New Year (for Lily and Maisie, the ladies what lunch.) Dear Lily, I have bought something frilly, to wear on New Year’s Eve. You may think it sounds rather silly, and, what I tell you, you will never believe. I met a woman in Primark, I know, not my normal shop. Just heard so much about it inside I had to pop. Well, the top I purchased, sparkles. The frills upon it abound. This woman I met in the changing room. On me, she said it looked sound. It's very, very silver you know. A little bit like Lametta. Oh Lily, I feel quite aglow. On no one could it look any better. Dear Maisie, Things are looking a bit hazy. A silver top, for New Year. Are you really, really that crazy? My word, you batty old dear. I'm wearing my old faithful. The black dress, with the gold trim. It's not like we’re doing anything special. In fact proceedings sound quite grim. Sitting on your old sofa With a Baileys, if I'm lucky. Watching the same old things on the box. I'm not excited Ducky. I want to be in the city and feel the atmosphere. It really is a pity that you want to stay right here. Dear Lily. Now you are being silly. What about your knees? Standing about, feeling chilly, and moaning you're going to freeze. Much better to stay indoors and watch a music show. We'll get the bongs at midnight. This you very well know. I don't have any Baileys. You drank it Christmas Day. But I found some cooking sherry. I want that out of the way. I even have some nibbles, so come on, what do you say? We'll have us a little party. Bring your nightie and then you can stay. Dear Maisie, Do you remember Daisy? Her with the wart on her ear. She thinks she'd like to join us to celebrate New Year. Do we really want her with us? She's quite a moaning Minnie. She always makes such a fuss. I'd hoped she'd celebrate with Winnie. I think I will come over Lil'. I'll even bring the wine. We really should start taking turns. Next year, you can come to mine. We'll have a great time, you and me. Go out in the cold? No fear. We'll be fine indoors, just you see. Friends together, celebrating New Year.
Ann Perry (Flora, Fauna, Fairies and other Favourite Things)
For no obvious reason, I began to look closely at the women on the stradone. Suddenly it seemed to me that I had lived with a sort of limited gaze: as if my focus had been only on us girls, Ada, Gigliola, Carmela, Marisa, Pinuccia, Lila, me, my schoolmates, and I had never really paid attention to Melina’s body, Giuseppina Pelusi’s, Nunzia Cerullo’s, Maria Carracci’s. The only woman’s body I had studied, with ever-increasing apprehension, was the lame body of my mother, and I had felt pressed, threatened by that image, and still feared that it would suddenly impose itself on mine. That day, instead, I saw clearly the mothers of the old neighborhood. They were nervous, they were acquiescent. They were silent, with tight lips and stooping shoulders, or they yelled terrible insults at the children who harassed them. Extremely thin, with hollow eyes and cheeks, or with broad behinds, swollen ankles, heavy chests, they lugged shopping bags and small children who clung to their skirts and wanted to be picked up. And, good God, they were ten, at most twenty years older than me. Yet they appeared to have lost those feminine qualities that were so important to us girls and that we accentuated with clothes, with makeup. They had been consumed by the bodies of husbands, fathers, brothers, whom they ultimately came to resemble, because of their labors or the arrival of old age, of illness. When did that transformation begin? With housework? With pregnancies? With beatings? Would Lila be misshapen like Nunzia? Would Fernando leap from her delicate face, would her elegant walk become Rino’s, legs wide, arms pushed out by his chest? And would my body, too, one day be ruined by the emergence of not only my mother’s body but my father’s? And would all that I was learning at school dissolve, would the neighborhood prevail again, the cadences, the manners, everything be confounded in a black mire, Anaximander and my father, Folgóre and Don Achille, valences and the ponds, aorists, Hesiod, and the insolent vulgar language of the Solaras, as, over the millenniums, had happened to the chaotic, debased city itself? I
Elena Ferrante (The Story of a New Name (The Neapolitan Novels, #2))
A black man, Benjamin Banneker, who taught himself mathematics and astronomy, predicted accurately a solar eclipse, and was appointed to plan the new city of Washington, wrote to Thomas Jefferson: I suppose it is a truth too well attested to you, to need a proof here, that we are a race of beings, who have long labored under the abuse and censure of the world; that we have long been looked upon with an eye of contempt; and that we have long been considered rather as brutish than human, and scarcely capable of mental endowments I apprehend you will embrace every opportunity to eradicate that train of absurd and false ideas and opinions, which so generally prevails with respect to us; and that your sentiments are concurrent with mine, which are, that one universal Father hath given being to us all; and that he hath not only made us all of one flesh, but that he hath also, without partiality, afforded us all the same sensations and endowed us all with the same facilities. . . . Banneker asked Jefferson “to wean yourselves from those narrow prejudices which you have imbibed.” Jefferson tried his best, as an enlightened, thoughtful individual might. But the structure of American society, the power of the cotton plantation, the slave trade, the politics of unity between northern and southern elites, and the long culture of race prejudice in the colonies, as well as his own weaknesses—that combination of practical need and ideological fixation—kept Jefferson a slaveowner throughout his life.
Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States)
When I go musing all alone Thinking of divers things fore-known. When I build castles in the air, Void of sorrow and void of fear, Pleasing myself with phantasms sweet, Methinks the time runs very fleet. All my joys to this are folly, Naught so sweet as melancholy. When I lie waking all alone, Recounting what I have ill done, My thoughts on me then tyrannise, Fear and sorrow me surprise, Whether I tarry still or go, Methinks the time moves very slow. All my griefs to this are jolly, Naught so mad as melancholy. When to myself I act and smile, With pleasing thoughts the time beguile, By a brook side or wood so green, Unheard, unsought for, or unseen, A thousand pleasures do me bless, And crown my soul with happiness. All my joys besides are folly, None so sweet as melancholy. When I lie, sit, or walk alone, I sigh, I grieve, making great moan, In a dark grove, or irksome den, With discontents and Furies then, A thousand miseries at once Mine heavy heart and soul ensconce, All my griefs to this are jolly, None so sour as melancholy. Methinks I hear, methinks I see, Sweet music, wondrous melody, Towns, palaces, and cities fine; Here now, then there; the world is mine, Rare beauties, gallant ladies shine, Whate'er is lovely or divine. All other joys to this are folly, None so sweet as melancholy. Methinks I hear, methinks I see Ghosts, goblins, fiends; my phantasy Presents a thousand ugly shapes, Headless bears, black men, and apes, Doleful outcries, and fearful sights, My sad and dismal soul affrights. All my griefs to this are jolly, None so damn'd as melancholy. Methinks I court, methinks I kiss, Methinks I now embrace my mistress. O blessed days, O sweet content, In Paradise my time is spent. Such thoughts may still my fancy move, So may I ever be in love. All my joys to this are folly, Naught so sweet as melancholy. When I recount love's many frights, My sighs and tears, my waking nights, My jealous fits; O mine hard fate I now repent, but 'tis too late. No torment is so bad as love, So bitter to my soul can prove. All my griefs to this are jolly, Naught so harsh as melancholy. Friends and companions get you gone, 'Tis my desire to be alone; Ne'er well but when my thoughts and I Do domineer in privacy. No Gem, no treasure like to this, 'Tis my delight, my crown, my bliss. All my joys to this are folly, Naught so sweet as melancholy. 'Tis my sole plague to be alone, I am a beast, a monster grown, I will no light nor company, I find it now my misery. The scene is turn'd, my joys are gone, Fear, discontent, and sorrows come. All my griefs to this are jolly, Naught so fierce as melancholy. I'll not change life with any king, I ravisht am: can the world bring More joy, than still to laugh and smile, In pleasant toys time to beguile? Do not, O do not trouble me, So sweet content I feel and see. All my joys to this are folly, None so divine as melancholy. I'll change my state with any wretch, Thou canst from gaol or dunghill fetch; My pain's past cure, another hell, I may not in this torment dwell! Now desperate I hate my life, Lend me a halter or a knife; All my griefs to this are jolly, Naught so damn'd as melancholy.
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy: What It Is, with All the Kinds, Causes, Symptoms, Prognostics, and Several Cures of It; In Three Partitions; With Their Several Sections, Members, and Subsections, Philosophically, Medicinally, Historically Opened and Cut Up, V)
I woke a few moments ago from a fever and a host of interlocking fever dreams, one after the next. There was one where I was in London, walking through old abandoned formerly beautiful buildings, all of them about to be demolished. Sometimes I'd find myself walking past the enormous line of people waiting to attend the television memorial for a dead author friend of mine, but his memorial was a television spectacular with comedians and big band music. There was the one where I had accidentally connected my bank card to a portable printer and the little printer kept printing cash but on the wrong paper and at the wrong size, so my money had huge, incredibly detailed faces on it, works of art that could not be spent. Then I woke from one dream into another: I was asleep in the passenger seat of the car, and saw that we were driving through a densely populated town, and that the driver was also asleep. I tried hard to wake her up and failed, and knew that no one was in control, no one was at the wheel, and soon someone was going to be killed, and I was shouting and calling without effect; but I whimpered and snuffled enough in the real world that my wife stroked my face and said, "Honey? You're having a nightmare," and, finally, I woke for real. But I woke into a world in which, somewhere, I am still being driven through my life by a sleeping driver, in which money is only good as art, in which we can write the finest books but at the end the crowds will come out and say good-bye for the entertainment, in which the buildings and cities we inhabit will relentlessly be destroyed by progress and time: a world colored by dreams and illuminated by them, too.
Neil Gaiman (The Sandman: Overture (The Sandman: Overture, #1-6))
I have brought the heather-mixture suit, as the climatic conditions are congenial. To-morrow, if not prevented, I will endeavour to add the brown lounge with the faint green twill.' 'It can't go on - this sort of thing - Jeeves.' 'We must hope for the best, sir.' 'Can't you think of anything to do?' 'I have been giving the matter considerable thought, sir, but so far without success. I am placing three silk shirts - the dove-coloured, the light blue, and the mauve - in the first long drawer, sir.' 'You don't mean to say you can't think of anything, Jeeves?' 'For the moment, sir, no. You will find a dozen handkerchiefs and the tan socks in the upper drawer on the left.' He strapped the suit-case and put it on a chair. 'A curious lady, Miss Rockmetteller, sir.' 'You understate it, Jeeves.' He gazed meditatively out of the window. 'In many ways, sir, Miss Rockmetteller reminds me of an aunt of mine who resides in the south-east portion of London. Their temperaments are much alike. My aunt has the same taste for the pleasures of the great city. It is a passion with her to ride in taxi-cabs, sir. Whenever the family take their eyes off her she escapes from the house and spends the day riding about in cabs. On several occasions she has broken into the children's savings bank to secure the means to enable her to gratify this desire.' 'I love to have these little chats with you about your female relatives, Jeeves,' I said coldly, for I felt that the man had let me down, and I was fed up with him. 'But I don't see what all this has got to do with my trouble.' 'I beg your pardon, sir. I am leaving a small assortment of our neckties on the mantelpiece, sir for you to select according to your preference. I should recommend the blue with the red domino pattern, sir.
P.G. Wodehouse
The hours I spent in this anachronistic, bibliophile, Anglophile retreat were in surreal contrast to the shrieking horror show that was being enacted in the rest of the city. I never felt this more acutely than when, having maneuvered the old boy down the spiral staircase for a rare out-of-doors lunch the next day—terrified of letting him slip and tumble—I got him back upstairs again. He invited me back for even more readings the following morning but I had to decline. I pleaded truthfully that I was booked on a plane for Chile. 'I am so sorry,' said this courteous old genius. 'But may I then offer you a gift in return for your company?' I naturally protested with all the energy of an English middle-class upbringing: couldn't hear of such a thing; pleasure and privilege all mine; no question of accepting any present. He stilled my burblings with an upraised finger. 'You will remember,' he said, 'the lines I will now speak. You will always remember them.' And he then recited the following: What man has bent o'er his son's sleep, to brood How that face shall watch his when cold it lies? Or thought, as his own mother kissed his eyes, Of what her kiss was when his father wooed? The title (Sonnet XXIX of Dante Gabriel Rossetti)—'Inclusiveness'—may sound a trifle sickly but the enfolded thought recurred to me more than once after I became a father and Borges was quite right: I have never had to remind myself of the words. I was mumbling my thanks when he said, again with utter composure: 'While you are in Chile do you plan a call on General Pinochet?' I replied with what I hoped was equivalent aplomb that I had no such intention. 'A pity,' came the response. 'He is a true gentleman. He was recently kind enough to award me a literary prize.' It wasn't the ideal note on which to bid Borges farewell, but it was an excellent illustration of something else I was becoming used to noticing—that in contrast or corollary to what Colin MacCabe had said to me in Lisbon, sometimes it was also the right people who took the wrong line.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
Oh god. Screwtape, I hate you.” I cry and laugh in the same breath as I trudge toward them. My clothes are covered in dirt as I trudge toward them. My clothes are covered in dirt and my hair is matted, but I don’t care. I peer through the basket bars at Screwtape, who looks at me as though I’ve betrayed his trust. I rise and meet Silas’s gaze. “Thank you, Silas,” I say, though the words are quieter than I mean. Something buzzes within me, stirs around in my chest enticingly. “Of course,” he murmurs. His eyes are heavy on mine, his gaze pulling me in. He licks his lips nervously and runs a hand through his hair. Screwtape howls out as the rain increases, droplets clinging to Silas’s lashes and running over his lips. Why am I noticing his lips? I brush my hair behind my ears as the heavy rain drowns out the sounds of the city on the other side of the fence. “Rosie,” he says, or maybe he just mouths the word. He takes hold of my fingertips, and this time I move my hand and interlace my fingers with his. Silas inhales, as if he’s going to say something else, like he wants to say something else, but instead he pulls me to him, closing the distance between us until his chest brushes mine with every breath. His body is warm, and the feeling of being against him and feeling heat from his skin makes me light-headed. “I’m sorry,” he mumbled, but doesn’t break away from me. “Why?” “Because there’s something I have to do,” he says, voice velvety soft. Silas unwinds his fingers from mine and reaches up, wiping the raindrops off my face with the palm of his hand as the stirring in my chest spreads through my whole body, pounds in my veins, begs to be released. I put my hands against his chest as if I know what I’m doing, and he finally leans forward and tilts my chin upward gently. His lips meet mine, tentatively at first, then hungrily, and I clutch at his shirt as if holding on to him will keep me from floating away into the thunderhead above. His hands run down my back, and one rests on my hip while the other tugs me closer, until I think I could melt into him because nothing has ever, ever felt so right.
Jackson Pearce (Sisters Red (Fairytale Retellings, #1))
Okay, so I shouldn't have fucked with her on the introduction thing. Writing nothing except, Saturday night. You and me. Driving lessons and hot sex ... in her notebook probably wasn't the smartest move. But I was itching to make Little Miss Perfecta stumble in her introduction of me. And stumbling she is. "Miss Ellis?" I watch in amusement as Perfection herself looks up at Peterson. Oh, she's good. This partner of mine knows how to hide her true emotions, something I recognize because I do it all the time. "Yes?" Brittany says, tilting her head and smiling like a beauty queen. I wonder if that smile has ever gotten her out of a speeding ticket. "It's your turn. Introduce Alex to the class." I lean an elbow on the lab table, waiting for an introduction she has to either make up or fess up she knows less than crap about me. She glances at my comfortable position and I can tell from her deer-in-the-headlights look I've stumped her. "This is Alejandro Fuentes," she starts, her voice hitching the slightest bit. My temper flares at the mention of my given name, but I keep a cool facade as she continues with a made-up introduction. "When he wasn't hanging out on street corners and harassing innocent people this summer, he toured the inside of jails around the city, if you know what I mean. And he has a secret desire nobody would ever guess." The room suddenly becomes quiet. Even Peterson straightens to attention. Hell, even I'm listening like the words coming out of Brittany's lying, pink-frosted lips are gospel. "His secret desire," she continues, "is to go to college and become a chemistry teacher, like you, Mrs. Peterson." Yeah, right. I look over at my friend Isa, who seems amused that a white girl isn't afraid of giving me smack in front of the entire class. Brittany flashes me a triumphant smile, thinking she's won this round. Guess again, gringa. I sit up in my chair while the class remains silent. "This is Brittany Ellis," I say, all eyes now focused on me. "This summer she went to the mall, bought new clothes so she could expand her wardrobe, and spent her daddy's money on plastic surgery to enhance her, ahem, assets." It might not be what she wrote, but it's probably close enough to the truth. Unlike her introduction of me. Chuckles come from mis cuates in the back of the class, and Brittany is as stiff as a board beside me, as if my words hurt her precious ego. Brittany Ellis is used to people fawning all over her and she could use a little wake-up call. I'm actually doing her a favor. Little does she know I'm not finished with her intro. "Her secret desire," I add, getting the same reaction as she did during her introduction, "is to date a Mexicano before she graduates." As expected, my words are met by comments and low whistles from the back of the room. "Way to go, Fuentes," my friend Lucky barks out. "I'll date you, mamacita, " another says. I give a high five to another Latino Blood named Marcus sitting behind me just as I catch Isa shaking her head as if I did something wrong. What? I'm just having a little fun with a rich girl from the north side. Brittany's gaze shifts from Colin to me. I take one look at Colin and with my eyes tell him game on. Colin's face instantly turns bright red, resembling a chile pepper. I have definitely invaded his territory.
Simone Elkeles (Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry, #1))
Old Hubert must have had a premonition of his squalid demise. In October he said to me, ‘Forty-two years I’ve had this place. I’d really like to go back home, but I ain’t got the energy since my old girl died. And I can’t sell it the way it is now. But anyway before I hang my hat up I’d be curious to know what’s in that third cellar of mine.’ The third cellar has been walled up by order of the civil defence authorities after the floods of 1910. A double barrier of cemented bricks prevents the rising waters from invading the upper floors when flooding occurs. In the event of storms or blocked drains, the cellar acts as a regulatory overflow. The weather was fine: no risk of drowning or any sudden emergency. There were five of us: Hubert, Gerard the painter, two regulars and myself. Old Marteau, the local builder, was upstairs with his gear, ready to repair the damage. We made a hole. Our exploration took us sixty metres down a laboriously-faced vaulted corridor (it must have been an old thoroughfare). We were wading through a disgusting sludge. At the far end, an impassable barrier of iron bars. The corridor continued beyond it, plunging downwards. In short, it was a kind of drain-trap. That’s all. Nothing else. Disappointed, we retraced our steps. Old Hubert scanned the walls with his electric torch. Look! An opening. No, an alcove, with some wooden object that looks like a black statuette. I pick the thing up: it’s easily removable. I stick it under my arm. I told Hubert, ‘It’s of no interest. . .’ and kept this treasure for myself. I gazed at it for hours on end, in private. So my deductions, my hunches were not mistaken: the Bièvre-Seine confluence was once the site where sorcerers and satanists must surely have gathered. And this kind of primitive magic, which the blacks of Central Africa practise today, was known here several centuries ago. The statuette had miraculously survived the onslaught of time: the well-known virtues of the waters of the Bièvre, so rich in tannin, had protected the wood from rotting, actually hardened, almost fossilized it. The object answered a purpose that was anything but aesthetic. Crudely carved, probably from heart of oak. The legs were slightly set apart, the arms detached from the body. No indication of gender. Four nails set in a triangle were planted in its chest. Two of them, corroded with rust, broke off at the wood’s surface all on their own. There was a spike sunk in each eye. The skull, like a salt cellar, had twenty-four holes in which little tufts of brown hair had been planted, fixed in place with wax, of which there were still some vestiges. I’ve kept quiet about my find. I’m biding my time.
Jacques Yonnet (Paris Noir: The Secret History of a City)
And now there’s another thing you got to learn,” said the Ape. “I hear some of you are saying I’m an Ape. Well, I’m not. I’m a Man. If I look like an Ape, that’s because I’m so very old: hundreds and hundreds of years old. And it’s because I’m so old that I’m so wise. And it’s because I’m so wise that I’m the only one Aslan is ever going to speak to. He can’t be bothered talking to a lot of stupid animals. He’ll tell me what you’ve got to do, and I’ll tell the rest of you. And take my advice, and see you do it in double quick time, for he doesn’t mean to stand any nonsense.” There was dead silence except for the noise of a very young badger crying and its mother trying to make it keep quiet. “And now here’s another thing,” the Ape went on, fitting a fresh nut into its cheek, “I hear some of the horses are saying, Let’s hurry up and get this job of carting timber over as quickly as we can, and then we’ll be free again. Well, you can get that idea out of your heads at once. And not only the Horses either. Everybody who can work is going to be made to work in future. Aslan has it all settled with the King of Calormen—The Tisroc, as our dark faced friends the Calormenes call him. All you Horses and Bulls and Donkeys are to be sent down into Calormen to work for your living—pulling and carrying the way horses and such-like do in other countries. And all you digging animals like Moles and Rabbits and Dwarfs are going down to work in The Tisroc’s mines. And—” “No, no, no,” howled the Beasts. “It can’t be true. Aslan would never sell us into slavery to the King of Calormen.” “None of that! Hold your noise!” said the Ape with a snarl. “Who said anything about slavery? You won’t be slaves. You’ll be paid—very good wages too. That is to say, your pay will be paid into Aslan’s treasury and he will use it all for everybody’s good.” Then he glanced, and almost winked, at the chief Calormene. The Calormene bowed and replied, in the pompous Calormene way: “Most sapient Mouthpiece of Aslan, The Tisroc (may-he-live-forever) is wholly of one mind with your lordship in this judicious plan.” “There! You see!” said the Ape. “It’s all arranged. And all for your own good. We’ll be able, with the money you earn, to make Narnia a country worth living in. There’ll be oranges and bananas pouring in—and roads and big cities and schools and offices and whips and muzzles and saddles and cages and kennels and prisons—Oh, everything.” “But we don’t want all those things,” said an old Bear. “We want to be free. And we want to hear Aslan speak himself.” “Now don’t you start arguing,” said the Ape, “for it’s a thing I won’t stand. I’m a Man: you’re only a fat, stupid old Bear. What do you know about freedom? You think freedom means doing what you like. Well, you’re wrong. That isn’t true freedom. True freedom means doing what I tell you.” “H-n-n-h,” grunted the Bear and scratched its head; it found this sort of thing hard to understand.
C.S. Lewis (The Last Battle (Chronicles of Narnia, #7))
Nevertheless, it would be prudent to remain concerned. For, like death, IT would come: Armageddon. There would be-without exaggeration-a series of catastrophes. As a consequence of the evil in man...-no mere virus, however virulent, was even a burnt match for our madness, our unconcern, our cruelty-...there would arise a race of champions, predators of humans: namely earthquakes, eruptions, tidal waves, tornados, typhoons, hurricanes, droughts-the magnificent seven. Floods, winds, fires, slides. The classical elements, only angry. Oceans would warm, the sky boil and burn, the ice cap melt, the seas rise. Rogue nations, like kids killing kids at their grammar school, would fire atomic-hydrogen-neutron bombs at one another. Smallpox would revive, or out of the African jungle would slide a virus no one understood. Though reptilian only in spirit, the disease would make us shed our skins like snakes and, naked to the nerves, we'd expire in a froth of red spit. Markets worldwide would crash as reckless cars on a speedway do, striking the wall and rebounding into one another, hurling pieces of themselves at the spectators in the stands. With money worthless-that last faith lost-the multitude would riot, race against race at first, God against God, the gots against the gimmes. Insects hardened by generations of chemicals would consume our food, weeds smother our fields, fire ants, killer bees sting us while we're fleeing into refuge water, where, thrashing we would drown, our pride a sodden wafer. Pestilence. War. Famine. A cataclysm of one kind or another-coming-making millions of migrants. Wearing out the roads. Foraging in the fields. Looting the villages. Raping boys and women. There'd be no tent cities, no Red Cross lunches, hay drops. Deserts would appear as suddenly as patches of crusty skin. Only the sun would feel their itch. Floods would sweep suddenly over all those newly arid lands as if invited by the beach. Forest fires would burn, like those in coal mines, for years, uttering smoke, making soot for speech, blackening every tree leaf ahead of their actual charring. Volcanoes would erupt in series, and mountains melt as though made of rock candy till the cities beneath them were caught inside the lava flow where they would appear to later eyes, if there were any eyes after, like peanuts in brittle. May earthquakes jelly the earth, Professor Skizzen hotly whispered. Let glaciers advance like motorboats, he bellowed, threatening a book with his fist. These convulsions would be a sign the parasites had killed their host, evils having eaten all they could; we'd hear a groan that was the going of the Holy Ghost; we'd see the last of life pissed away like beer from a carouse; we'd feel a shudder move deeply through this universe of dirt, rock, water, ice, and air, because after its long illness the earth would have finally died, its engine out of oil, its sky of light, winds unable to catch a breath, oceans only acid; we'd be witnessing a world that's come to pieces bleeding searing steam from its many wounds; we'd hear it rattling its atoms around like dice in a cup before spilling randomly out through a split in the stratosphere, night and silence its place-well-not of rest-of disappearance. My wish be willed, he thought. Then this will be done, he whispered so no God could hear him. That justice may be served, he said to the four winds that raged in the corners of his attic.
William H. Gass (Middle C)