Minute Seconds Quotes

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For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
What is an "instant" death anyway? How long is an instant? Is it one second? Ten? The pain of those seconds must have been awful as her heart burst and her lungs collapsed and there was no air and no blood to her brain and only raw panic. What the hell is instant? Nothing is instant. Instant rice takes five minutes, instant pudding an hour. I doubt that an instant of blinding pain feels particularly instantaneous.
John Green (Looking for Alaska)
When we meet someone and fall in love, we have a sense that the whole universe is on our side. And yet if something goes wrong, there is nothing left! How is it possible for the beauty that was there only minutes before to vanish so quickly? Life moves very fast. It rushes from heaven to hell in a matter of seconds.
Paulo Coelho (Eleven Minutes)
Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion, it is not the desire to mate every second minute of the day, it is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every cranny of your body. No, don't blush, I am telling you some truths. That is just being "in love", which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.
Shawn Slovo (Captain Corelli's Mandolin)
Everything, in the end, comes down to timing. One second, one minute, one hour could make all the difference.
Sarah Dessen (This Lullaby)
I want a years-worth of seconds and minutes with you. I want a decade's worth of hours, so many that I can't add them up.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Origin (Lux, #4))
Passion makes a person stop eating, sleeping, working, feeling at peace. A lot of people are frightened because, when it appears, it demolishes all the old things it finds in its path. No one wants their life thrown into chaos. That is why a lot of people keep that threat under control, and are somehow capable of sustaining a house or a structure that is already rotten. They are the engineers of the superseded. Other people think exactly the opposite: they surrender themselves without a second thought, hoping to find in passion the solutions to all their problems. They make the other person responsible for their happiness and blame them for their possible unhappiness. They are either euphoric because something marvelous has happened or depressed because something unexpected has just ruined everything. Keeping passion at bay or surrendering blindly to it - which of these two attitudes is the least destructive? I don't know.
Paulo Coelho (Eleven Minutes)
Life is like that - twenty minutes of misery for every two seconds of joy.
V.C. Andrews (If There Be Thorns (Dollanganger, #3))
Our life is made up of time; our days are measured in hours, our pay measured by those hours, our knowledge is measured by years. We grab a few quick minutes in our busy day to have a coffee break. We rush back to our desks, we watch the clock, we live by appointments. And yet your time eventually runs out and you wonder in your heart of hearts if those seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years and decades were being spent the best way they possibly could. In other words, if you could change anything, would you?
Cecelia Ahern (Love, Rosie)
Killing time isn't as difficult as it sounds. I can shoot a hundred numbers through the chest and watch them bleed decimal points in the palm of my hand. I can rip the numbers off a clock and watch the hour hand tick tick tick its final tock just before I fall asleep. I can suffocate seconds just by holding my breath. I've been murdering minutes for hours and no one seems to mind.
Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1))
Occasionally, there are minutes that get extra seconds. Moments so precious the universe stretches to make additional room for them.
Stephanie Garber (Finale (Caraval, #3))
That time always ends a second before you’re ready. That life is the minutes you want minus one.
V.E. Schwab (The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue)
If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you, If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too; If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or being lied about, don't deal in lies, Or being hated, don't give way to hating, And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise If you can dream - and not make dreams your master; If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim; If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same; If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools If you can make one heap of all your winnings And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, And lose, and start again at your beginnings And never breathe a word about your loss; If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew To serve your turn long after they are gone, And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the will which says to them: 'Hold on!' If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch, If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, If all men count with you, but none too much; If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds' worth of distance run, Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it, And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!
Rudyard Kipling (If: A Father's Advice to His Son)
So why did I think about her every second? Why was I so much happier the minute I saw her? I felt like maybe I knew the answer, but how could I be sure? I didn't know, and I didn't have any way to find out. Guys don't talk about stuff like that. We just lie under the pile of bricks.
Kami Garcia (Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles, #1))
If you can walk with the crowd and keep your virtue, or walk with Kings-nor lose the common touch; If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you; If all men count with you, but none too much; If you can fill the unforgiving minute with 60 seconds worth of distance run- Yours is the earth and everything that's in it, And-which is more-you'll be a man my son.
Rudyard Kipling (If: A Father's Advice to His Son)
Did we have sex?" he asked directly. For about two minutes, this might actually be fun. "Eric," I said, "we had sex in every position I could imagine, and some I couldn’t. We had sex in every room in my house, and we had sex outdoors. You told me it was the best you’d ever had." (At the time he couldn’t recall all the sex he’d ever had. But he’d paid me a compliment.) "Too bad you can’t remember it," I concluded with a modest smile. Eric looked like I’d hit him in the forehead with a mallet. For all of thirty seconds his reaction was completely gratifying.
Charlaine Harris (Dead as a Doornail (Sookie Stackhouse, #5))
So I was thinking, there're eighty-six thousand, four hundred seconds in a day, right? There're one thousand, four hundred and forty minutes in a day...There're one hundred and sixty-eight hours in a week. Around eighty-seven hundred and then some hours in a year, and you know what?...I want to spend every second, every minute, every hour with you...I want a year's worth of seconds and minutes with you. I want a decade's worth of hours, so many that I can't add them up.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Origin (Lux, #4))
I've only been gone a week," I reminded him. Well, a week's a long time. It's seven days. Which is one hundred and sixty-eight hours. Which is ten thousand, eighty minutes. Which is six hundred thousand, for hundred seconds.
Meg Cabot
So, tell me,” he whispers. “How fast did you climb those fourteen stories?” Thomas makes a disapproving sound in his throat, but I break into a grin. Storm’s past. Metias loves me again. “Six minutes,” I whisper back to my brother. “And forty-four seconds. How do you like that?” “That must be some sort of record. Not that, you know, you’re supposed to do it.
Marie Lu (Legend (Legend, #1))
I love you,' Buttercup said. 'I know this must come as something of a surprise to you, since all I've ever done is scorn you and degrade you and taunt you, but I have loved you for several hours now, and every second, more. I thought an hour ago that I loved you more than any woman has ever loved a man, but a half hour after that I knew that what I felt before was nothing compared to what I felt then. But ten minutes after that, I understood that my previous love was a puddle compared to the high seas before a storm. Your eyes are like that, did you know? Well they are. How many minutes ago was I? Twenty? Had I brought my feelings up to then? It doesn't matter.' Buttercup still could not look at him. The sun was rising behind her now; she could feel the heat on her back, and it gave her courage. 'I love you so much more now than twenty minutes ago that there cannot be comparison. I love you so much more now then when you opened your hovel door, there cannot be comparison. There is no room in my body for anything but you. My arms love you, my ears adore you, my knees shake with blind affection. My mind begs you to ask it something so it can obey. Do you want me to follow you for the rest of your days? I will do that. Do you want me to crawl? I will crawl. I will be quiet for you or sing for you, or if you are hungry, let me bring you food, or if you have thirst and nothing will quench it but Arabian wine, I will go to Araby, even though it is across the world, and bring a bottle back for your lunch. Anything there is that I can do for you, I will do for you; anything there is that I cannot do, I will learn to do. I know I cannot compete with the Countess in skills or wisdom or appeal, and I saw the way she looked at you. And I saw the way you looked at her. But remember, please, that she is old and has other interests, while I am seventeen and for me there is only you. Dearest Westley--I've never called you that before, have I?--Westley, Westley, Westley, Westley, Westley,--darling Westley, adored Westley, sweet perfect Westley, whisper that I have a chance to win your love.' And with that, she dared the bravest thing she'd ever done; she looked right into his eyes.
William Goldman (The Princess Bride)
When I was alive, I believed — as you do — that time was at least as real and solid as myself, and probably more so. I said 'one o'clock' as though I could see it, and 'Monday' as though I could find it on the map; and I let myself be hurried along from minute to minute, day to day, year to year, as though I were actually moving from one place to another. Like everyone else, I lived in a house bricked up with seconds and minutes, weekends and New Year's Days, and I never went outside until I died, because there was no other door. Now I know that I could have walked through the walls. (...) You can strike your own time, and start the count anywhere. When you understand that — then any time at all will be the right time for you.
Peter S. Beagle (The Last Unicorn (The Last Unicorn, #1))
Life moves very fast. It rushes us from heaven to hell in a matter of seconds.
Paulo Coelho (Eleven Minutes)
How dare you touch my cookies, you bastard!” Jason said in utter disgust before popping the cookie into his mouth and heading back to his house. “Damn those looked good, too,” Brad grumbled. Haley sighed. “Don’t worry I have a second plate on my counter.” The words were barely out of her mouth when Jason abruptly changed course and headed towards her house. “Well, there was,” she said, watching Jason walk into her house like he owned it. A minute later he walked out of her house, carrying both plates and the gallon of milk she had in her fridge. He headed back to his house, but not before he glared at Brad. “You cookie thieving bastard,” they heard him mutter. Brad rolled his eyes, chuckling. “And people wonder how I lost weight rooming with him in college.
R.L. Mathewson (Playing for Keeps (Neighbor from Hell, #1))
Tristan was silent for a few moments, looking at the leaves before them. "Life isn't about the past and the future. It's about today." He paused. "It's about five minutes from now and two seconds ago. It's moments, you know? Not years. Years aren't what define us.
Chelsea Fine (Anew (The Archers of Avalon, #1))
Sometimes, you get no second chance and that its best to accept the gifts the world offers you.
Paulo Coelho (Eleven Minutes)
About life: "It is not complicated unless I make it so. It is not difficult unless I allow it to be. A second is no more than a second, a minute no more than a minute, a day no more than a day. They pass. All things and all time will pass. Don't force or fear, don't control or lose control. Don't fight and don't stop fighting. Embrace and endure. If you embrace, you will endure.
James Frey (A Million Little Pieces)
Success is a function of persistence and doggedness and the willingness to work hard for twenty-two minutes to make sense of something that most people would give up on after thirty seconds.
Malcolm Gladwell (Outliers: The Story of Success)
Where are the cops when you need them? (Nick) Probably eating beignets. As the old saying goes, when seconds count, the police are just minutes away. (Caleb)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Infinity (Chronicles of Nick, #1))
I live in the Managerial Age, in a world of "Admin." The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid "dens of crime" that Dickens loved to paint. It is not done even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried, and minuted) in clean, carpeted, warmed and well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voices. Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern." [From the Preface]
C.S. Lewis (The Screwtape Letters)
Don't pull any shit because you want to show off.” “Wait a second.” She looked down then back up. “Nope, I haven't grown a cock in the last few minutes. I have no need to prove whose is bigger.
Nalini Singh (Branded by Fire (Psy-Changeling, #6))
Man can live about forty days without food, about three days without water, about eight minutes without air...but only for one second without hope.
Hal Lindsey
Grief is a swallow,' he said. 'One day you wake up and you think it's gone, but it's only migrated to some other place, warming its feathers. Sooner or later, it will return and perch in your heart again.
Elif Shafak (10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World)
I mean, I don’t know how the world broke. And I don’t know if there’s a God who can help us fix it. But the fact that the world is broken - I absolutely believe that. Just look around us. Every minute - every single second - there are a million things you could be thinking about. A million things you could be worrying about. Our world - don’t you just feel we’re becoming more fragmented? I used to think that when I got older, the world would make so much more sense. But you know what? The older I get, the more confusing it is to me. The more complicated it is. Harder. You’d think we’d be getting better at it. But there’s just more and more chaos. The pieces - they’re everywhere. And nobody knows what to do about it. I find myself grasping, Nick. You know that feeling? That feeling when you just want the right thing to fall into the right place, not only because it’s right, but because it would mean that such a thing is still possible? I want to believe that.
Rachel Cohn (Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist)
You are told from the moment you enter school that time is constant. It never changes. It is one of those set things in life that you can always rely on... much like death and taxes. There will always be sixty seconds in a minute. There will always be sixty minutes in an hour. And there will always be twenty-four hours in a day. Time was not fluctuating. It moved on at the same, constant pace at every moment in your life. And that was the biggest load of crap that I'd ever been taught in school.
S.C. Stephens (Effortless (Thoughtless, #2))
If I could, I would stop the passage of time. But hour follows on hour, minute on minute, each second robbing me of a morsel of myself for the nothing of tomorrow. I shall never experience this moment again.
Guy de Maupassant
Death and disaster are at our shoulders every second of our lives, trying to get at us. Missing, a lot of the time. A lot of miles on the motorway without a front wheel blow-out. A lot of viruses that slither through our bodies without snagging. A lot of pianos that fall a minute after we've passed. Or a month, it makes no difference. So unless we're going to get down on our knees and give thanks every time disaster misses, it makes no sense to moan when it strikes.
Hugh Laurie (The Gun Seller)
Coffee is a lot more than just a drink; it’s something happening. Not as in hip, but like an event, a place to be, but not like a location, but like somewhere within yourself. It gives you time, but not actual hours or minutes, but a chance to be, like be yourself, and have a second cup
Gertrude Stein (Selected Writings)
Yes, there's one thing I do want. I want to be aware of the minutes and the seconds, and to make each one count.
Jacqueline Susann (Valley of the Dolls)
I don't need my head examined, but where were you when I married my second husband. Sheesh.
Lisa Scottoline (Every Fifteen Minutes)
He was silent for thirty seconds, maybe a minute. I uncrossed my legs under the table and wondered if this was the right moment to leave. It was as if my whole life revolved around trying to judge the right point in a conversation to say goodbye.
Haruki Murakami (Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman: 24 Stories)
You love me?” he asked quietly. I dipped my face close and answered quietly, “On a cold night, a long time ago, you put your hands almost exactly where they are right now and, I might have been six years old, but I fell hard. So, yeah. For over twenty-seven years, every day, every minute, every second, I’ve loved you, Tucker Creed.
Kristen Ashley (Creed (Unfinished Hero, #2))
What I've learnt - to my cost - on several occasions in my life, is that people will put up with all manner of bad behaviour so long as you're giving them what they want. They'll laugh and get into it and enjoy the anecdotes and the craziness and the mayhem as long as you're going your job well, but the minute you're not, you're fucked. They'll wipe their hands of you without a second glance.
Russell Brand (My Booky Wook)
I'm so sorry, Henri," I whisper in his ear. I close my eyes. "I love you. I wouldn't have missed a second of it, either. Not for anything," I whisper. "I'm going to take you back yet. Somehow I am going to get you back to Lorien. We always joked about it but you were my father, the best father I could have ever asked for. I'll never forget you, not for a minute for as long as I live. I love you, Henri. I always did.
Pittacus Lore (I Am Number Four (Lorien Legacies, #1))
At first we had so much to catch up on we were talking a hundred words a second, barely even listening to the ends of one another's sentences before moving onto the next. And there was laughing. Lots of laughing. Then the laughing stopped and there was this silence. What the hell was it? It was like the world stopped turning in that instant. Like everyone around us had disappeared. Like everything at home was forgotten about. It was as if those few minutes on this world were created just for us and all we could do was look at each other. It was like he was seeing my face for the first time. He looked confused but kind of amused. Exactly how I felt. Because I was sitting on the grass with my best friend Alex, and that was my best friend Alex's face and nose and eyes and lips, but they seemed different. So I kissed him. I seized the moment and I kissed him,
Cecelia Ahern (Love, Rosie)
I wanted to lay down my armor, my strength and my pain for just a minute and let someone hold me.
T.A. Webb (Second Chances (Second Chances #1))
In all the medical dramas I’d ever seen, there was always some solution, some last-minute, miraculously undiscovered remedy. Nobody ever just gave up on a patient. But it seemed like in real life, they did.
Morgan Matson (Second Chance Summer)
Everything, in the end, comes down to timing. One second, one minute, one hour, could make all the difference. So much hanging on just these things, tiny increments that together build a life. Like words build a story, and what had Ted said? One word can change the entire world.
Sarah Dessen (This Lullaby)
Dan was thrilled that the second clue had been safely smuggled out of the church in his pants. "So, really, I saved the day," he decided. "Wait a minute," Amy said, "I climbed onto the roof in the middle of a thunderstorm." "Yeah, but the clue was in my pants.
Rick Riordan (The Maze of Bones (The 39 Clues, #1))
Little did she yet understand that the end of childhood comes not when a child’s body changes with puberty, but when her mind is finally able to see her life through the eyes of an outsider.
Elif Shafak (10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World)
For the first half of your life each minute feels like a year, but for the second half, each year feels like a minute.
Melanie Gideon (Wife 22)
It's no accident, I think, that tennis uses the language of life. Advantage, service, fault, break, love, the basic elements of tennis are those of everyday existence, because every match is a life in miniature. Even the structure of tennis, the way the pieces fit inside one another like Russian nesting dolls, mimics the structure of our days. Points become games become sets become tournaments, and it's all so tightly connected that any point can become the turning point. It reminds me of the way seconds become minutes become hours, and any hour can be our finest. Or darkest. It's our choice.
Andre Agassi (Open)
making the most of every second, because seconds became minute sand minutes became precious when life could be taken in less than a breath.
Amy Harmon (Making Faces)
We must do what we can to mend our lives, we owe that to ourselves – but we need to be careful not to break others while achieving that.
Elif Shafak (10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World)
Just because you think it’s safe here, it doesn’t mean this is the right place for you, her heart countered. Sometimes where you feel most safe is where you least belong.
Elif Shafak (10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World)
Our journey is our breath that makes up the seconds, the emotions that are in the minutes, and our purpose that make up the hours. Stay true to yourself in each moment, and remain vigilant to your purpose in every instant. Our journey begins with the first breath and thereby by every breath that follows.
Forrest Curran
He'd always had that fearless optimism that made cynics like me squirm. I wondered if it was enough for both of us. I would never know from here, though. And time was passing. Crucial minutes and seconds, each one capable of changing everything.
Sarah Dessen (This Lullaby)
But there is something about Time. The sun rises and sets. The stars swing slowly across the sky and fade. Clouds fill with rain and snow, empty themselves, and fill again. The moon is born, and dies, and is reborn. Around millions of clocks swing hour hands, and minute hands, and second hands. Around goes the continual circle of the notes of the scale. Around goes the circle of night and day, the circle of weeks forever revolving, and of months, and of years.
Madeleine L'Engle
I miss you every second of every minute, every minute of every hour, every hour of everyday.
Shanece
And then we're kissing. His lips are soft and leave mine tingling. I close my eyes, and in the darkness behind them I see beautiful blooming things, flowers spinning like snowflakes, and hummingbirds beating the same rhythm as my heart. I'm gone, lost, floating away into nothingness like I am in my dream, but this time it's a good feeling - like soaring, like being totally free. His other hand pushes my hair from my face, and I can feel the impression of his fingers everywhere that they touch, and I think of stars streaking through the sky and leaving burning trails behind them, and in that moment - however long it lasts, seconds, minutes, days - while he's saying my name into my mouth and I"m breathing into him, I realize this, right here, is the first and only time I've ever been kissed.
Lauren Oliver (Before I Fall)
I would rather be confused for 10 minutes than bored for 5 seconds.
Russell T. Davies
At the last minute, she bobbed left so that he stabbed the wall she'd hit, trapping the blade in the Sheetrock. As he went to try to get the thing free, she whirled around and nailed him in the gut with her backup blade, springing a hole in his lower intestines. Meeting his shocked stare, she said, "What, like you didn't think I'd have a second knife? Fucking idiot.
J.R. Ward (Lover Mine (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #8))
You have a child, so you know. You are my heart, baby girl. You are everything I did right. And I want you to know I would do it all again, every wonderful terrible second of it. I would do years and years of it again for one minute with you.
Kristin Hannah (The Great Alone)
As the old saying goes, when seconds count the police are just minutes away.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Infinity (Chronicles of Nick, #1))
She was a foreigner and, like all foreigners, she carried with her the shadow of an elsewhere.
Elif Shafak (10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World)
Do you know how long a year takes when it's going away?' Dunbar repeated to Clevinger. 'This long.' He snapped his fingers. 'A second ago you were stepping into college with your lungs full of fresh air. Today you're an old man.' 'Old?' asked Clevinger with surprise. 'What are you talking about?' 'Old.' 'I'm not old.' 'You're inches away from death every time you go on a mission. How much older can you be at your age? A half minute before that you were stepping into high school, and an unhooked brassiere was as close as you ever hoped to get to Paradise. Only a fifth of a second before that you were a small kid with a ten-week summer vacation that lasted a hundred thousand years and still ended too soon. Zip! They go rocketing by so fast. How the hell else are you ever going to slow down?' Dunbar was almost angry when he finished. 'Well, maybe it is true,' Clevinger conceded unwillingly in a subdued tone. 'Maybe a long life does have to be filled with many unpleasant conditions if it's to seem long. But in that event, who wants one?' 'I do,' Dunbar told him. 'Why?' Clevinger asked. 'What else is there?
Joseph Heller (Catch-22)
The second we put a bullet in the head of one of those undead monsters -- the moment one of us drove a hammer into one of their faces -- or cut a head off. We became what we are! And that's just it. THAT's what it comes down to. You people don't know what we are. We're surrounded by the DEAD. We're among them -- and when we finally give up we become them! We're living on borrowed time here. Every minute of our life is a minute we steal from them! You see them out there. You KNOW that when we die -- we become them. You think we hide behind walls to protect us from the walking dead? Don't you get it? We ARE the walking dead! WE are the walking dead.
Robert Kirkman (The Best Defense (The Walking Dead, #5))
They all think any minute I'm going to commit suicide. What a joke. The truth of course is the exact opposite: suicide is the only thing that keeps me alive. Whenever everything else fails, all I have to do is consider suicide and in two seconds I'm as cheerful as a nitwit. But if I could not kill myself -- ah then, I would. I can do without nembutal or murder mysteries but not without suicide.
Walker Percy (The Moviegoer)
What was love if it wasn't nursing someone else's pain as if it were your own?
Elif Shafak (10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World)
Occasionally, there are minutes that get extra seconds. Moments so precious the universe stretches to make additional room for them, and this was one of them. People don’t get pauses like these very often. Some people never receive them at all.
Stephanie Garber (Finale (Caraval, #3))
We've made a beautiful mess of things lately, haven't we?" He flashed that sexy crooked smile at me, which made my heart flutter. "But it's our crazy story," "It's been ours, only ours. There's been a lot of romance, sometimes way too much drama..." "very memorable comedy, a few pulse-racing action scenes..." "We've also had our fair share of suspense and raw terror, and unfortunately gut-wrenching heartache too." "I think we've covered it all, everything except fo being captured by aliens!" "But through it all you've loved me unconditionally, and I know how fortunate I am to have your love. I don't want to live without you, not for one more minute, not for one more second. I want to spend the rest of my days living my story with you...only you." "It is here that I fell in love with you" "And as fate would have it, it is here that I humbly kneel before you and ask you to be my wife.
Tina Reber (Love Unscripted (Love, #1))
How do you go on knowing that you will never again - not ever, ever - see the person you have loved? How do you survive a single hour, a single minute, a single second of that knowledge? How do you hold yourself together?
Howard Jacobson (The Finkler Question)
Nalan thought that one of the endless tragedies of human history was that pessimists were better at surviving than optimists, which mean that, logically speaking, humanity carried the genes of people who did not believe in humanity.
Elif Shafak (10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World)
If you imagine the 4,500-bilion-odd years of Earth's history compressed into a normal earthly day, then life begins very early, about 4 A.M., with the rise of the first simple, single-celled organisms, but then advances no further for the next sixteen hours. Not until almost 8:30 in the evening, with the day five-sixths over, has Earth anything to show the universe but a restless skin of microbes. Then, finally, the first sea plants appear, followed twenty minutes later by the first jellyfish and the enigmatic Ediacaran fauna first seen by Reginald Sprigg in Australia. At 9:04 P.M. trilobites swim onto the scene, followed more or less immediately by the shapely creatures of the Burgess Shale. Just before 10 P.M. plants begin to pop up on the land. Soon after, with less than two hours left in the day, the first land creatures follow. Thanks to ten minutes or so of balmy weather, by 10:24 the Earth is covered in the great carboniferous forests whose residues give us all our coal, and the first winged insects are evident. Dinosaurs plod onto the scene just before 11 P.M. and hold sway for about three-quarters of an hour. At twenty-one minutes to midnight they vanish and the age of mammals begins. Humans emerge one minute and seventeen seconds before midnight. The whole of our recorded history, on this scale, would be no more than a few seconds, a single human lifetime barely an instant. Throughout this greatly speeded-up day continents slide about and bang together at a clip that seems positively reckless. Mountains rise and melt away, ocean basins come and go, ice sheets advance and withdraw. And throughout the whole, about three times every minute, somewhere on the planet there is a flash-bulb pop of light marking the impact of a Manson-sized meteor or one even larger. It's a wonder that anything at all can survive in such a pummeled and unsettled environment. In fact, not many things do for long.
Bill Bryson (A Short History of Nearly Everything)
Van Houten, I’m a good person but a shitty writer. You’re a shitty person but a good writer. We’d make a good team. I don’t want to ask you any favors, but if you have time – and from what I saw, you have plenty – I was wondering if you could write a eulogy for Hazel. I’ve got notes and everything, but if you could just make it into a coherent whole or whatever? Or even just tell me what I should say differently. Here’s the thing about Hazel: Almost everyone is obsessed with leaving a mark upon the world. Bequeathing a legacy. Outlasting death. We all want to be remembered. I do, too. That’s what bothers me most, is being another unremembered casualty in the ancient and inglorious war against disease. I want to leave a mark. But Van Houten: The marks humans leave are too often scars. You build a hideous minimall or start a coup or try to become a rock star and you think, “They’ll remember me now,” but (a) they don’t remember you, and (b) all you leave behind are more scars. Your coup becomes a dictatorship. Your minimall becomes a lesion. (Okay, maybe I’m not such a shitty writer. But I can’t pull my ideas together, Van Houten. My thoughts are stars I can’t fathom into constellations.) We are like a bunch of dogs squirting on fire hydrants. We poison the groundwater with our toxic piss, marking everything MINE in a ridiculous attempt to survive our deaths. I can’t stop pissing on fire hydrants. I know it’s silly and useless – epically useless in my current state – but I am an animal like any other. Hazel is different. She walks lightly, old man. She walks lightly upon the earth. Hazel knows the truth: We’re as likely to hurt the universe as we are to help it, and we’re not likely to do either. People will say it’s sad that she leaves a lesser scar, that fewer remember her, that she was loved deeply but not widely. But it’s not sad, Van Houten. It’s triumphant. It’s heroic. Isn’t that the real heroism? Like the doctors say: First, do no harm. The real heroes anyway aren’t the people doing things; the real heroes are the people NOTICING things, paying attention. The guy who invented the smallpox vaccine didn’t actually invented anything. He just noticed that people with cowpox didn’t get smallpox. After my PET scan lit up, I snuck into the ICU and saw her while she was unconscious. I just walked in behind a nurse with a badge and I got to sit next to her for like ten minutes before I got caught. I really thought she was going to die, too. It was brutal: the incessant mechanized haranguing of intensive care. She had this dark cancer water dripping out of her chest. Eyes closed. Intubated. But her hand was still her hand, still warm and the nails painted this almost black dark blue and I just held her hand and tried to imagine the world without us and for about one second I was a good enough person to hope she died so she would never know that I was going, too. But then I wanted more time so we could fall in love. I got my wish, I suppose. I left my scar. A nurse guy came in and told me I had to leave, that visitors weren’t allowed, and I asked if she was doing okay, and the guy said, “She’s still taking on water.” A desert blessing, an ocean curse. What else? She is so beautiful. You don’t get tired of looking at her. You never worry if she is smarter than you: You know she is. She is funny without ever being mean. I love her. I am so lucky to love her, Van Houten. You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world, old man, but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices. I hope she likes hers.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
I want to sleep for half a second, a second, a minute, a century, but I want everyone to know that I'm still alive...
Federico García Lorca
Our life is made up of time. Our days are measured in hours, our pay measured by those hours, our knowledge is measured by years. [...] And yet time eventually runs out and you wonder in your heart of hearts if those seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years and decades were being spent the best way they possibly could.
Cecelia Ahern
I don't know where we're going, he and I, but I know I want to get there. We are hours and minutes reaching for the same second, holding hands as we spin forward into new days and the promise of something better. But though we'll know forward and we've known backward, we will never know the present. This moment and the next one and even the one that would've been right now are gone, already passed, and all we're left with are these tired bodies, the only proof that we've lived through time and survived it. It'll be worth it, though, in the end. Fighting for a lifetime of this.
Tahereh Mafi (Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3))
And as the years have passed, the time has grown longer. The sad truth is that what I could recall in five seconds all too needed ten, then thirty, then a full minute - like shadows lengthening at dusk. Someday, I suppose, the shadows will be swallowed up in darkness.
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
If you want to know the value of one year, just ask a student who failed a course. If you want to know the value of one month, ask a mother who gave birth to a premature baby. If you want to know the value of one hour, ask the lovers waiting to meet. If you want to know the value of one minute, ask the person who just missed the bus. If you want to know the value of one second, ask the person who just escaped death in a car accident. And if you want to know the value of one-hundredth of a second, ask the athlete who won a silver medal in the Olympics.
Marc Levy (Et si c'était vrai..., Vous revoir, édition complète 2 en 1)
There is a distinct difference between "suspense" and "surprise," and yet many pictures continually confuse the two. I'll explain what I mean. We are now having a very innocent little chat. Let's suppose that there is a bomb underneath this table between us. Nothing happens, and then all of a sudden, "Boom!" There is an explosion. The public is surprised, but prior to this surprise, it has seen an absolutely ordinary scene, of no special consequence. Now, let us take a suspense situation. The bomb is underneath the table and the public knows it, probably because they have seen the anarchist place it there. The public is aware the bomb is going to explode at one o'clock and there is a clock in the decor. The public can see that it is a quarter to one. In these conditions, the same innocuous conversation becomes fascinating because the public is participating in the scene. The audience is longing to warn the characters on the screen: "You shouldn't be talking about such trivial matters. There is a bomb beneath you and it is about to explode!" In the first case we have given the public fifteen seconds of surprise at the moment of the explosion. In the second we have provided them with fifteen minutes of suspense. The conclusion is that whenever possible the public must be informed. Except when the surprise is a twist, that is, when the unexpected ending is, in itself, the highlight of the story.
Alfred Hitchcock
And you?” she asked. “What happens to you in that scenario?” I die a little each day we’re apart. “I…get by. And I miss you, every day.” Every hour, every minute…every second.
S.C. Stephens (Thoughtful (Thoughtless, #4))
You are told from the moment you enter school that time is constant. It never changes. It is one of those set things in life that you can always rely on...much like death and taxes. There will always be sixty seconds in a minute. There will always be sixty minutes in an hour. And there will always be twenty-four hours in a day. Time was not fluctuating. It moved on at the same, constant pace at every moment in your life. And that was the biggest load of crap that I’d ever been taught in school. Truth was, time did fluctuate. It was easy to lose hours or even days in a blink of an eye. Other times, it was a struggle to get through a mere hour. It ebbed and flowed as relentlessly as the tides, and just as powerfully too. The moments that you wanted to last forever were the ones that were washed away all too soon. The moments that you wanted to speed up, were slowed down to a snail’s pace. That was the truth of the matter.
S.C. Stephens (Effortless (Thoughtless, #2))
Everybody's trying to make every minute of the present last forever. Preserve every second.
Chuck Palahniuk (Choke)
Funerals are for the living,
Elif Shafak (10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World)
Give every opportunity five minutes. If that’s all it’s good for, so be it. But I’m not going to miss out on something amazing because I was too scared to take a chance.
G.J. Walker-Smith (Second Hearts (Wishes, #2))
There are 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week, 52 weeks in a year, and X years in a life. Solve for X.
Jenny Offill (Dept. of Speculation)
Voicemail #1: “Hi, Isabel Culpeper. I am lying in my bed, looking at the ceiling. I am mostly naked. I am thinking of … your mother. Call me.” Voicemail #2: The first minute and thirty seconds of “I’ve Gotta Get a Message to You” by the Bee Gees. Voicemail #3: “I’m bored. I need to be entertained. Sam is moping. I may kill him with his own guitar. It would give me something to do and also make him say something. Two birds with one stone! I find all these old expressions unnecessarily violent. Like, ring around the rosy. That’s about the plague, did you know? Of course you did. The plague is, like, your older cousin. Hey, does Sam talk to you? He says jack shit to me. God, I’m bored. Call me.” Voicemail #4: “Hotel California” by the Eagles, in its entirety, with every instance of the word California replaced with Minnesota. Voicemail #5: “Hi, this is Cole St. Clair. Want to know two true things? One, you’re never picking up this phone. Two, I’m never going to stop leaving long messages. It’s like therapy. Gotta talk to someone. Hey, you know what I figured out today? Victor’s dead. I figured it out yesterday, too. Every day I figure it out again. I don’t know what I’m doing here. I feel like there’s no one I can —” Voicemail #6: “So, yeah, I’m sorry. That last message went a little pear-shaped. You like that expression? Sam said it the other day. Hey, try this theory on for size: I think he’s a dead British housewife reincarnated into a Beatle’s body. You know, I used to know this band that put on fake British accents for their shows. Boy, did they suck, aside from being assholes. I can’t remember their name now. I’m either getting senile or I’ve done enough to my brain that stuff’s falling out. Not so fair of me to make this one-sided, is it? I’m always talking about myself in these things. So, how are you, Isabel Rosemary Culpeper? Smile lately? Hot Toddies. That was the name of the band. The Hot Toddies.” Voicemail #20: “I wish you’d answer.
Maggie Stiefvater (Forever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #3))
There are certain mortal moments and minutes that matter. Certain hingepoints in the history of each human. Some seconds are so decisive they shrink the soul, while others are spent, so as to stretch the soul.
Neal A. Maxwell
Halt waited a minute or two but there was no sound except for the jingling of harness and the creaking of leather from their saddles. Finally, the former Ranger could bear it no longer. What?” The question seemed to explode out of him, with a greater degree of violence than he had intended. Taken by surprise, Horace’s bay shied in fright and danced several paces away. Horace turned an aggrieved look on his mentor as he calmed the horse and brought it back under control. What?” he asked Halt, and the smaller man made a gesture of exasperation. That’s what I want to know,” he said irritably. “What?” Horace peered at him. The look was too obviously the sort of look that you give someone who seems to have taken leave of his senses. It did little to improve Halt’s rapidly growing temper. What?” said Horace, now totally puzzled. Don’t keep parroting at me!” Halt fumed. “Stop repeating what I say! I asked you ‘what,’ so don’t ask me ‘what’ back, understand?” Horace considered the question for a second or two, then, in his deliberate way, he replied: “No.” Halt took a deep breath, his eyebrows contracted into a deep V, and beneath them his eyes with anger but before he could speak, Horace forestalled him. What ‘what’ are you asking me?” he said. Then, thinking how to make the question clearer, he added, “Or to put it another way, why are you asking ‘what’?” Controlling himself with enormous restraint, and making no secret of the fact, Halt said, very precisely: “You were about to ask me a question.” Horace frowned. “I was?” Halt nodded. “You were. I saw you take a breath to ask it.” I see,” Horace said. “And what was it about?” For just a second or two, Halt was speechless. He opened his mouth, closed it again, then finally found the strength to speak. That is what I was asking you,” he said. “When I said ‘what,’ I was asking you what you were about to ask me.” I wasn’t about to ask you ‘what,’” Horace replied, and Halt glared at him suspiciously. It occurred to him that Horace could be indulging himself in a gigantic leg pull, that he was secretly laughing at Halt. This, Halt could have told him, was not a good career move. Rangers were not people who took kindly to being laughed at. He studied the boy’s open face and guileless blue eyes and decided that his suspicion was ill-founded. Then what, if I may use that word once more, were you about to ask me?” Horace drew a breath once more, then hesitated. “I forget,” he said. “What were we talking about?
John Flanagan (The Battle for Skandia (Ranger's Apprentice, #4))
Silence. How long it lasted, I couldn't tell. It might have been five seconds, it might have been a minute. Time wasn't fixed. It wavered, stretched, shrank. Or was it me that wavered, stretched, and shrank in the silence? I was warped in the folds of time, like a reflection in a fun house mirror.
Haruki Murakami (Dance Dance Dance (The Rat #4))
...she still cannot resist looking out the window every couple of minutes. The sound of a passing truck causes her to glance away. Even if there is no sound, the weight of a hundred seconds always turns her head.
Mark Z. Danielewski (House of Leaves)
Why did you have to tell me that Hawke was your middle name?” The fire crackled, spitting sparks, and I closed my eyes. Seconds, maybe minutes later, Casteel said, “Because you needed to know that not everything was a lie.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire (Blood and Ash, #2))
I notice that every patient on the ward has a pulse of 60 recorded in their observation chart so I surreptitiously inspect the healthcare assistant’s measurement technique. He feels the patient’s pulse, looks at his watch and meticulously counts the number of seconds per minute.
Adam Kay (This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor)
In the end, the train stood 2 hours motionless in the middle of nowhere. Every minute seemed like an eternity. Time felt crept by slowly, with clear malice towards me. All I could do was grip my teeth and try to hold back my tears... Akari... Please, don't wait for me... If you'd just go home.
Makoto Shinkai (5 Centimeters per Second (5 Centimeters per Second, #1-2))
Perhaps nothing was worth worrying about in a city where everything was constantly shifting and dissolving, and the only thing they could ever rely on was this moment in time, which was already half gone.
Elif Shafak (10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World)
I don’t want any more insults. I’d like to experience three whole minutes in your presence before you lay into me again…and we really should make sure the tools are all locked up. (Acheron) (He pulled the sleeve of his jacket back to look at his watch.) Let me start timing… (Acheron) (She opened her mouth to respond, but he held his hand up.) Wait for it. We got two minutes and fifty-give seconds to go. (Acheron) I’m not that bad. (Tory) Yeah…you’re not standing in my shoes. (Acheron) And judging by the ungodly size of them, I don’t think there are many people who could. (Tory) We almost made it to thirty seconds without an insult. I think we just set a new record. (Acheron)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Acheron (Dark-Hunter, #14))
There’re eighty-six thousand, four hundred seconds in a day, right? There’re one thousand, four hundred and forty minutes in a day.” Her brow knitted. “Okay. I’ll take your word for it.” “I’m right.” I tapped my finger against my head. “A lot of useless knowledge up here. Anyway, are you following me? There’re one hundred and sixty-eight hours in a week. Around eighty-seven hundred and then some hours in a year, and you know what?” She smiled. “What?” “I want to spend every second, every minute, every hour with you.” Part of me couldn’t believe something that cheesy had come out of my mouth, but it was also so beauti fully true. “I want a year’s worth of seconds and minutes with you. I want a decade’s worth of hours, so many that I can’t add them up.” Her chest rose sharply as she stared at me, eyes widening. I took one more step and then went down on one knee in front of her, in a towel. Probably should have put some pants on. “Do you want that?” I asked. Kat’s eyes met mine, and the answer was immediate. “Yes. I want that. You know I want that.” “Good.” My lips curved up. “So let’s get married.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Origin (Lux, #4))
Every morning the maple leaves. Every morning another chapter where the hero shifts from one foot to the other. Every morning the same big and little words all spelling out desire, all spelling out You will be alone always and then you will die. So maybe I wanted to give you something more than a catalog of non-definitive acts, something other than the desperation. Dear So-and-So, I’m sorry I couldn’t come to your party. Dear So-and-So, I’m sorry I came to your party and seduced you and left you bruised and ruined, you poor sad thing. You want a better story. Who wouldn’t? A forest, then. Beautiful trees. And a lady singing. Love on the water, love underwater, love, love and so on. What a sweet lady. Sing lady, sing! Of course, she wakes the dragon. Love always wakes the dragon and suddenly flames everywhere. I can tell already you think I’m the dragon, that would be so like me, but I’m not. I’m not the dragon. I’m not the princess either. Who am I? I’m just a writer. I write things down. I walk through your dreams and invent the future. Sure, I sink the boat of love, but that comes later. And yes, I swallow glass, but that comes later. Let me do it right for once, for the record, let me make a thing of cream and stars that becomes, you know the story, simply heaven. Inside your head you hear a phone ringing and when you open your eyes only a clearing with deer in it. Hello deer. Inside your head the sound of glass, a car crash sound as the trucks roll over and explode in slow motion. Hello darling, sorry about that. Sorry about the bony elbows, sorry we lived here, sorry about the scene at the bottom of the stairwell and how I ruined everything by saying it out loud. Especially that, but I should have known. Inside your head you hear a phone ringing, and when you open your eyes you’re washing up in a stranger’s bathroom, standing by the window in a yellow towel, only twenty minutes away from the dirtiest thing you know. All the rooms of the castle except this one, says someone, and suddenly darkness, suddenly only darkness. In the living room, in the broken yard, in the back of the car as the lights go by. In the airport bathroom’s gurgle and flush, bathed in a pharmacy of unnatural light, my hands looking weird, my face weird, my feet too far away. I arrived in the city and you met me at the station, smiling in a way that made me frightened. Down the alley, around the arcade, up the stairs of the building to the little room with the broken faucets, your drawings, all your things, I looked out the window and said This doesn’t look that much different from home, because it didn’t, but then I noticed the black sky and all those lights. We were inside the train car when I started to cry. You were crying too, smiling and crying in a way that made me even more hysterical. You said I could have anything I wanted, but I just couldn’t say it out loud. Actually, you said Love, for you, is larger than the usual romantic love. It’s like a religion. It’s terrifying. No one will ever want to sleep with you. Okay, if you’re so great, you do it— here’s the pencil, make it work … If the window is on your right, you are in your own bed. If the window is over your heart, and it is painted shut, then we are breathing river water. Dear Forgiveness, you know that recently we have had our difficulties and there are many things I want to ask you. I tried that one time, high school, second lunch, and then again, years later, in the chlorinated pool. I am still talking to you about help. I still do not have these luxuries. I have told you where I’m coming from, so put it together. I want more applesauce. I want more seats reserved for heroes. Dear Forgiveness, I saved a plate for you. Quit milling around the yard and come inside.
Richard Siken
And where does that minute go, that minute that separates life from death? I want those sixty seconds back.
Carmen Rodrigues (34 Pieces of You)
Never be ashamed of your tears. Cry and everyone knows you’re alive.
Elif Shafak (10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World)
How could meditation help you to quieten your mind when you needed to quieten your mind in order to meditate?
Elif Shafak (10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World)
Every second you spend thinking about what you don't want in your life is a second denying focus and energy from getting what you do want. Every minute you worry about what's not working is a minute drawn away from creating what will work. And every hour spent reflecting on the disappointments of the past is an hour stolen from seeing the possibilities that your future holds.
Robin S. Sharma
He is all restless energy, and urgent need, and there isn't enough time, and he knows of course that there will never be. That time always ends a second before you're ready. That life is the minutes you want minus one.
V.E. Schwab (The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue)
The world is no longer the same for the one who has fallen in love, the one who is at its very centre; it can only spin faster from now on.
Elif Shafak (10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World)
His frown was less dark and more confused."What's new for you? Dancing?" And so much more, but all I said was, "Yes." "And you let some strange college boy grind all over you for your first time? That's stupid, Ali." NOT GOING TO BE EMBARRASSED, NOT GOING TO BE EMBARRASSED."First, he wasn't grinding on me, and second, you're no better than him." A solid minute of silence, then "You are terrible for my ego, you know that?" I could say the same to him.
Gena Showalter (Alice in Zombieland (White Rabbit Chronicles, #1))
But I would do it all again, every bit of it, I would lose him again just to have him again for an hour, for a minute, for even a second. I would do it all again just to see his face.
Lee Smith (On Agate Hill)
The possibility of an immediate and wholesale decimation of civilisation was not half as frightening as the simple realisation that our individual passing had no impact on the order of things, and life would go on just the same with or without us.
Elif Shafak (10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World)
I remember walking across Sixty-second Street one twilight that first spring, or the second spring, they were all alike for a while. I was late to meet someone but I stopped at Lexington Avenue and bought a peach and stood on the corner eating it and knew that I had come out out of the West and reached the mirage. I could taste the peach and feel the soft air blowing from a subway grating on my legs and I could smell lilac and garbage and expensive perfume and I knew that it would cost something sooner or later—because I did not belong there, did not come from there—but when you are twenty-two or twenty-three, you figure that later you will have a high emotional balance, and be able to pay whatever it costs. I still believed in possibilities then, still had the sense, so peculiar to New York, that something extraordinary would happen any minute, any day, any month.
Joan Didion (Slouching Towards Bethlehem)
Yet, at the same time, as the Eastern sages also knew, man is a worm and food for worms. This is the paradox: he is out of nature and hopelessly in it; he is dual, up in the stars and yet housed in a heart-pumping, breath-gasping body that once belonged to a fish and still carries the gill-marks to prove it. His body is a material fleshy casing that is alien to him in many ways—the strangest and most repugnant way being that it aches and bleeds and will decay and die. Man is literally split in two: he has an awareness of his own splendid uniqueness in that he sticks out of nature with a towering majesty, and yet he goes back into the ground a few feet in order to blindly and dumbly rot and disappear forever. It is a terrifying dilemma to be in and to have to live with. The lower animals are, of course, spared this painful contradiction, as they lack a symbolic identity and the self-consciousness that goes with it. They merely act and move reflexively as they are driven by their instincts. If they pause at all, it is only a physical pause; inside they are anonymous, and even their faces have no name. They live in a world without time, pulsating, as it were, in a state of dumb being. This is what has made it so simple to shoot down whole herds of buffalo or elephants. The animals don't know that death is happening and continue grazing placidly while others drop alongside them. The knowledge of death is reflective and conceptual, and animals are spared it. They live and they disappear with the same thoughtlessness: a few minutes of fear, a few seconds of anguish, and it is over. But to live a whole lifetime with the fate of death haunting one's dreams and even the most sun-filled days—that's something else.
Ernest Becker (The Denial of Death)
I could not bear the deep freeze settling around my bones at the thought that yet another attempt to get out of my life alive would end in disappointment. Time became palpable and viscous. Every minute, every second, every nanosecond, wrapped around my spine so that my nerves tightened and ached. I faded into abstraction. A self-generated narcosis created a painful blank where my mind used to be.
Elizabeth Wurtzel (Prozac Nation)
Next he grabs a round yellow thing covered in small bumps. It looks like a strange fruit and I half expect him to squeeze it to produce juice. When it reaches shoulder height the small bumps explode, turning into razor-sharp spikes. I duck and roll in BK's direction to avoid getting impaled. "What the hell?" I shout. "You could have warned me! This is the second time in less than five minutes that you've almost killed me.
Pittacus Lore (The Rise of Nine (Lorien Legacies, #3))
Days of slow walking are very long: they make you live longer, because you have allowed every hour, every minute, every second to breathe, to deepen, instead of filling them up by straining the joints…
Frédéric Gros (A Philosophy of Walking)
Please forgive me, Mother. I apologize for saying 'fuck.'" Then he straightened and addressed Doug. "Which, by the way, was repeated sixty-seven times in this particular film. It has a running length of ninety-four minutes. So last night while watching it, she heard fuck, or a derivative thereof, spoken every one and a half minutes, give or take a few seconds. But if my saying fuck offended her, then I'm fucking sorry.
Sandra Brown (Smash Cut (Mitchell & Associates, #1))
Every clock is a bomb, ticking away at the minutes of our lives, counting off the seconds one by one before we die. At birth a heart it given a certain number of beats. The clock is counting them off one by one and will not allow a man any more than his allotted share.
Carolee Dean (Take Me There)
What must it be like? To meet someone, to forge a connection, all in the span of one golden afternoon—only to find out that for her, each passing minute was a year. Each second, an hour. She would be dead before the sun rose the next day. A keen, quiet pain twisted my heart.
Margaret Rogerson (An Enchantment of Ravens)
Tikkun olam.” Exactly. Basically, it says that the world has been broken into pieces. All this chaos, all this discord. And our job - everyone’s job - is to try to put the pieces back together. To make things whole again.” And you believe that?” I guess I do. I mean, I don’t know how the world broke. And I don’t know if there’s a God who can help us fix it. But the fact that the world is broken - I absolutely believe that. Just look around us. Every minute - every single second - there are a million things you could be thinking about. A million things you could be worrying about. Our world - don’t you feel we’re becoming more and more fragmented? I used to think that when I got older, the world would make so much more sense. But you know what? The older I get, the more confusing it is to me. The more complicated it is. Harder. You’d think we’d be getting better at it. But there’s just more and more chaos. The pieces - they’re everywhere. And nobody knows what to do about it. I find myself grasping, Nick. You know that feeling? That feeling when you just want the right thing to fall into the right place, not only because it’s right, but because it will mean that such a thing is still possible? I want to believe in that.” Do you really think it’s getting worse? I mean, aren’t we better off than we were twenty years ago? Or a hundred?” We’re better off. But I don’t know if the world’s better off. I don’t know if the two are the same thing.” You’re right.” Excuse me?” I said, ‘You’re right.’” But nobody ever says, ‘You’re right.’ Just like that.” Really?” Really.” …Then it hits me. Maybe we’re the pieces,” What?” Maybe that’s it. With what you were talking about before. The world being broken. Maybe it isn’t that we’re supposed to find the pieces and put them back together. Maybe we’re the pieces. Maybe, what we’re supposed to do is come together. That’s how we stop the breaking.” Tikkun olam.
David Levithan (Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist)
If there was a God up there, He must be laughing His head off at a human race capable of making atomic bombs and building artificial intelligence, but still uncomfortable with their own mortality and unable to sort out what to do with their dead. How pathetic it was to try to relegate death to the periphery of life when death was at the centre of everything.
Elif Shafak (10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World)
I’m beyond rational thought. Beyond words, beyond comprehensible ideas. Seconds are merging into minutes and hearts are collapsing and hands are grasping and I’ve tripped over a planet and I don’t know anything anymore, I don’t know anything because nothing will ever be able to compare to this. Nothing will ever capture the way I’m feeling right now.
Tahereh Mafi (Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3))
You're dying right now. Right this minute.' He looked at his watch, said, 'Right this second,' then tapped it with his finger. 'See there? That second passed. It's gone. Not gonna come again. And while I'm talking to you, every second I'm talking, a second is passing. Gone. Count them up. Count them down. They're gone. Each one bringing you closer to your dying time.
Billie Letts (Where the Heart Is)
There are some who say that you should forgive everyone, even the people who have disappointed you immeasurably. There are others who say you should not forgive anyone, and should stomp off in a huff no matter how many times they apologize. Of these two philosophies, the second one is of course much more fun, but it can also grow exhausting to stomp off in a huff every time someone has disappointed you, as everyone disappoints everyone eventually, and one can’t stomp off in a huff every minute of the day.
Lemony Snicket (The Penultimate Peril (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #12))
Three in the morning. I realize this second, then this one, then the next: I draw up the balance sheet for each minute. And why all this? Because I was born. It is a special type of sleeplessness that produces the indictment of birth.
Emil M. Cioran (The Trouble with Being Born)
But there is nothing enduring in the world, and therefore even joy in the second minute is already not as acute as in the first; in the third minute it becomes still weaker and finally merges unnoticeably with the usual condition of the soul, as a circle on the water, caused by the fall of a pebble, finally merges with the smooth surface.
Nikolai Gogol
You see, I was looking for answers then. I still wanted to know why. As though somebody was going to answer that for me, as though any answer would be satisfying. Not then, but afterward, I started to think about time, and how it keeps moving and draining and flowing forever forward, seconds into minutes into days into years, all of it leading to the same place, a current running forever in one direction. And we're all going and swimming as fast as we can, helping it along. My point is: maybe you can afford to wait. Maybe for you there's a tomorrow. Maybe for you there's one thousand tomorrows, or three thousand, or ten, so much time you can bathe in it, roll around in it, let it slide like coins through your fingers. So much time you can waste it. But for some of us there's only today. And the truth is, you never really know.
Lauren Oliver
I gave him my Order smile: sweet grin, hard eyes, reached over to my passenger seat, and pulled out my submachine gun. About twenty-seven inches long, the HK was my favorite toy for close-quarters combat. The rider’s eyes went wide. “This is an HK UMP submachine gun. Renowned for its stopping power and reliability. Cyclic rate of fire: eight hundred rounds per minute. That means I can empty this thirty-round clip into you in less than three seconds. At this range, I’ll cut you in half.” It wasn’t strictly true but it sounded good. “You see what it says on the barrel?” On the barrel, pretty white letters spelled out PARTY STARTER.
Ilona Andrews (Gunmetal Magic (World of Kate Daniels, #6 & #6.5; Andrea Nash, #1, Kate Daniels, #5.5))
It struck him that perhaps she thought just as many thoughts in a minute as he did, felt just as many emotions, inhaled and exhaled just as he did. And it was then that he began to fall in love with her for the second time, for the same reason that he had picked up his flute again: because he believed in broken things.
Amy Zhang (Falling into Place)
An emotion like anger that's an automatic response lasts just ninety seconds from the moment it's triggered until it runs its course. One and a half minutes, that's all. When it lasts any longer, which it usually does, it's because we've chosen to rekindle it.
Pema Chödrön
I reach out and take his hand. “Well, he probably used up a lot of resources helping me knock you out,” I say mischievously. “Yeah, about that,” says Peeta, entwining his fingers in mine. “Don’t try something like that again.” “Or what?” I ask. “Or . . . or . . .” He can’t think of anything good. “Just give me a minute.” “What’s the problem?” I say with a grin. “The problem is we’re both still alive. Which only reinforces the idea in your mind that you did the right thing,” says Peeta. “I did do the right thing,” I say. “No! Just don’t, Katniss!” His grip tightens, hurting my hand, and there’s real anger in his voice. “Don’t die for me. You won’t be doing me any favors. All right?” I’m startled by his intensity but recognize an excellent opportunity for getting food, so I try to keep up. “Maybe I did it for myself, Peeta, did you ever think of that? Maybe you aren’t the only one who . . . who worries about . . . what it would be like if. . .” I fumble. I’m not as smooth with words as Peeta. And while I was talking, the idea of actually losing Peeta hit me again and I realized how much I don’t want him to die. And it’s not about the sponsors. And it’s not about what will happen back home. And it’s not just that I don’t want to be alone. It’s him. I do not want to lose the boy with the bread. “If what, Katniss?” he says softly. I wish I could pull the shutters closed, blocking out this moment from the prying eyes of Panem. Even if it means losing food. Whatever I’m feeling, it’s no one’s business but mine. “That’s exactly the kind of topic Haymitch told me to steer clear of,” I say evasively, although Haymitch never said anything of the kind. In fact, he’s probably cursing me out right now for dropping the ball during such an emotionally charged moment. But Peeta somehow catches it. “Then I’ll just have to fill in the blanks myself,” he says, and moves in to me. This is the first kiss that we’re both fully aware of. Neither of us hobbled by sickness or pain or simply unconscious. Our lips neither burning with fever or icy cold. This is the first kiss where I actually feel stirring inside my chest. Warm and curious. This is the first kiss that makes me want another. But I don’t get it. Well, I do get a second kiss, but it’s just a light one on the tip of my nose because Peeta’s been distracted. “I think your wound is bleeding again. Come on, lie down, it’s bedtime anyway,” he says.
Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1))
As we grow up we realize that even the person who was supposed to never let you down probably will. You will probably have your heart broken more than once and it gets harder every time. You'll break hearts too, so remember how it felt when your's was broken. You'll fight with your best friend. You'll blame a new love for things an old one did. You'll cry because time is passing too fast, and you'll eventually lose someone you love, so take many pictures, laugh to much and love like you've never been hurt because every sixty seconds you spend upset is one minute of happiness you'll never get back.
Andy Sixx
I've realised that sometimes you get no second chance and that it's best to accept the gifts the world offers you. Of course it's risky, but is the risk any greater than the chance of the bus that took forty-eight hours to bring me here having an accident? If I must be faithful to someone or something, then I have, first of all, to be faithful to myself. If I'm looking for true love, I first have to get the mediocre loves out of my system. The little experience of life I've had has taught me that no one owns anything, that everything is an illusion - and that applies to material as well as spiritual things. Anyone who has lost something they thought was theirs forever (as has happened often enough tome already) finally comes to realise that nothing really belongs to them. And if nothing belongs to me, then there's no point wasting my time looking after things that aren't mine; it's best to live as if today were the first (or last) day of my life.
Paulo Coelho (Eleven Minutes)
You haven’t missed me for one fucking minute. You have never for one single second in your entire pathetic fucking life missed me. You might have missed fucking with my head, and you might have missed the satisfaction you so clearly got from demolishing me, but those are your emotions you’re missing, not mine. I’m afraid I can’t help you.
David Levithan (Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist)
In the life cycle of an intense emotion, if it isn't acted upon, it eventually peaks and then decreases. But as Dr. Linehan explains, people with BPD have a different physiological experience with this process because of three key biological vulnerabilities (1993a): First, we're highly sensitive to emotional stimuli (meaning we experience social dynamics, the environment, and our own inner states with an acuteness similar to having exposed nerve endings). Second, we respond more intensely and much more quickly, than other people. And third, we don't 'come down' from our emotions for a long time. One the nerves have been touched, the sensations keep peaking. Shock waves of emotion that might pass through others in minutes keep cresting in us for hours, sometimes days.
Kiera Van Gelder
Clockwork could not run counter to its nature. The seconds, minutes, and hours moved only forward. Patient, precise, and unstoppable. Memory was an indulgence, an illusion that broke like a wave upon the juggernaut of time. The past remained the past.
Matthew J. Kirby (The Clockwork Three)
Our life is made up of time; our days are measured in hours, our pay measured by those hours, our knowledge is measured by years. We grab a few quick minutes in our busy day to have a coffee break. We rush back to our desks, we watch the clock, we live by appointments. And yet your time eventually runs out and you wonder in your heart of hearts if those seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years and decades were being spent the best way they possibly could. In other words, if you could change anything, would you?
Cecelia Ahern
Do you ever think of me in a way that is more than a friendship?” When she looked into my eyes, she had to see the answer. I felt her soul staring deep into mine. Her eyes were full of wondering interest and her beauty was softened by an air of mystery. I blinked once. “Every second. Every minute. Every hour. Every day.” She nodded, closing her eyes. “Me too. Every second. Every minute. Every hour. Every day.
Brittainy C. Cherry (The Air He Breathes (Elements, #1))
Despite her apparent freedom, her life consisted of endless hours spent waiting for a miracle, for true love, for an adventure with the same romantic ending she had seen in films and read about in books. A writer once said that it is not time that changes man, nor knowledge; the only thing that can change someone's mind is love. What nonsense! The person who wrote that clearly knew only one side of the coin. Love was undoubtedly one of the things capable of changing a person's whole life, from one moment to the next. But there was the other side of the coin, the second thing that could make a human being take a totally different course from the one he or she had planned; and that was called despair. Yes, perhaps love really could transform someone, but despair did the job more quickly.
Paulo Coelho (Eleven Minutes)
But that's the beauty of life: time if yours to keep and to change. Just a few minutes can be sufficient to carve a new road, a new track. Just a few minutes, and the void is kept at bay. You will live forever with that new road inside of you, stretching away to a place suggested, barely, on the horizon. For the shortest time, shorter than the shortest second's breath, you get to stand up to infinity. But eventually, and always, infinity wins.
Lauren Oliver (Rooms)
He doesn't believe in love at first sight,but he knew the second he saw her she was different.He doesn't know why. Maybe it's what happens when you meet your destiny, or maybe they call it love at first sight merely because the minute you see that person you know your life will never be the same again, and his won't.
J.M. Sevilla (The Missing Link (Marked, #1))
Too bad you didn't just take Max up on his offer, Four. Well, too bad for you, anyway," says Eric quietly as he clicks the bullet into its chamber. My lungs burn; I haven't breathed in almost a minute. I see Tobias's hand twitch in the corner of my eye, but my hand is already on my gun. I press the barrel to Eric's forehead. His eyes widen, and his face goes slack, and for a second he looks like another sleeping Dauntless soldier. My index finger hovers over the trigger. "Get your gun away from his head," I say. "You won't shoot me," Eric replies. "Interesting theory. " I say.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
Her mother had once told her that childhood was a big, blue wave that lifted you up, carried you forth and, just when you thought it would last forever, vanished from sight. You could neither run after it nor bring it back. But the wave, before it disappeared, left a gift behind – a conch shell on the shore. Inside the seashell were stored all the sounds of childhood.
Elif Shafak (10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World)
I haven’t been a good guest in Hugo’s life. I access his memories and discover that he and Austin first became boyfriends at this very celebration, a year ago this weekend. They’d been friends for a little while, but they’d never talked about how they felt. They were each afraid of ruining the friendship, and instead of making it better, their caution made everything awkward. So finally, as a pair of twentysomething men passed by holding hands, Austin said, “Hey, that could be us in ten years.” And Hugo said, “Or ten months.” And Austin said, “Or ten days.” And Hugo said, “Or ten minutes.” And Austin said, “Or ten seconds.” Then they each counted to ten, and held hands for the rest of the day. The start of it. Hugo would have remembered this. But I didn’t.
David Levithan (Every Day (Every Day, #1))
As we grow up we learn that even the person that wasn't supposed to ever let you down probably will. You will have your heart broken probably more than once and it gets harder every time. You'll break hearts too, so remember how it felt when yours was broken. You'll fight with your best friend. You'll blame a new love for things an old one did. You'll cry because time is passing too fast, and you'll eventually lose someone you love, so take many pictures, laugh too much and love like you've never been hurt because every sixty seconds you spend upset is one minute of happiness you'll never get back.
Andy Biersack
There are always a few bored audience members at an opera, especially by the time act four comes along. Those particular eyes would be wandering around the hall, searching for something, anything, interesting to watch. Those eyes would land on the little demon downstage right, unless they were distracted. Right on cue, a large stage lamp broke free of its clamp in the rigging and swung on its cable into the back canvas. [...] On his way though the lobby minutes later, Artemis was highly amuse to overhear several audience members gushing over the unorthodox direction of the opera's final scene. The exploding lamp, muse one buff, was doubtless a metaphor for Norma's own falling star. But no, argued a second. The lamp was obviously a modernistic interpretation of the burning stake that Norma was about to face. Or perhaps, thought Artemis as he pushed through the crowd to find a light Sicilian mist falling on his forehead, the exploding lamp was simply an exploding lamp.
Eoin Colfer (The Lost Colony (Artemis Fowl, #5))
I think we should probably get Vanessa out of the Quiet Box to help us. What do you guys say?' 'Absolutely,' Newel affirmed. 'Best idea I've heard all day.' 'I'll second that,' Doren said gladly. Seth gave the satyrs a doubtful scowl. 'Wait a minute. You guys just think she's pretty.' 'I've been around a long time,' Newel said. 'Vanessa Santoro is not jut pretty.' 'He's right,' Doren agreed. 'She's walking dynamite. My pulse is rising just talking about her.' 'She also might be a traitor,' Seth stressed. 'The lethal temptress,' Newel said with relish. 'Even better.' 'It will definitely spice up the adventure,' Doren encouraged. 'I'm obviously talking to wrong guys,' Seth sighed. 'Believe me,' Newel said cockily. 'you're talking to the right guys. We've been chasing babes since the world was flat.' Seth rolled his eyes.
Brandon Mull (Keys to the Demon Prison (Fablehaven, #5))
Okay, my man, in a minute you are gonna hear a bunch of shit that’s gonna knock your socks off. So, two seconds to prepare, Ivey is my best friend, outside you my only real one, as you know. What you don’t know, she is not my lover. She’s my friend. And I’m gay. You tell anyone, I’ll shoot you and you know I’m not fucking with you about that. Deal with it. We gotta move on, like, now.
Kristen Ashley (Play It Safe)
And what is an "instant" death anyway? How long is an instant? Is itone second? Ten? The pain of those seconds must have been awful as her heart burst adn her lungs collapsed adn there was no air and no blood to her brain and only raw panic. What the hell is instant? Nothing is instant. Instant rice takes five minutes, instant pudding an hour. I doubt that an instant of blinding pain feels particularly instantaneous.
John Green (Looking for Alaska)
The day i met Cameron,the pieces started to flow into place,and the night that Cameron kissed me,the day that he sat next to me and told that he loved me,that was when the last piece of me were snapped into place.Every other second,minute,hour that i spent with Cameron after that moment made the last piece of my puzzle grow stronger,so that it made the damaged,the broken pieces become insignificant-mere background noise.But Cameron had taken the last piece of the puzzle with him,and a black hole was all that was left in its stead.How do you recover from that? How do you survive?You don't, I resolved.There's no coming back from that permanent void left inside of you.You become a shell,going through the motions without emotion,like a robot,while the rest of me was wherever Cameron was...
Julie Hockley (Crow's Row (Crow's Row, #1))
When I look into your eyes, I see everything I want and need. I wake up every day excited because I know I’m going to see you that day and be with you that night. And in between I get to spend time with you and our beautiful daughter. Every second of every minute of every day, month, and year with you has been perfect. I love you. I adore you. And I want to spend the rest of my life making you happy.
Alison G. Bailey (Present Perfect (Perfect, #1))
I do need that time, though, for Naoko's face to appear. And as the years have passed, the time has grown longer. The sad truth is that what I could recall in five seconds all too needed ten, then thirty, then a full minute-like shadows lengthening at dusk. Someday, I suppose, the shadows will be swallowed up in darkness. There is no way around it: my memory is growing ever more distant from the spot where Naoko used to stand-ever more distant from the spot where my old self used to stand. And nothing but scenery, that view of the meadow in October, returns again and again to me like a symbolic scene in a movie. Each time is appears, it delivers a kick to some part of my mind. "Wake up," it says. "I'm still here. Wake up and think about it. Think about why I'm still here." The kicking never hurts me. There's no pain at all. Just a hollow sound that echoes with each kick. And even that is bound to fade one day. At the Hamburg airport, though, the kicks were longer and harder than usual. Which is why I am writing this book. To think. To understand. It just happens to be the way I'm made. I have to write things down to feel I fully comprehend them.
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
The world is like a waiting room in a railway station; it is not your house. You are not going to remain in the waiting room forever. Nothing in the waiting room belongs to you – the furniture, the paintings on the wall .... You use them – you see the painting, you sit on the chair, you rest on the bed – but nothing belongs to you. You are just here for a few ...minutes, or for a few hours at the most, then you will be gone. Yes, what you have brought in with you, into the waiting room, you will take away with you; that’s yours. What have you brought into the world? And the world certainly is a waiting room. The waiting may not be in seconds, minutes, hours, days, it may be in years; but what does it matter whether you wait seven hours, or seventy years? You may forget, in seventy years, that you are just in a waiting room. You may star t thinking perhaps you are the owner, perhaps this is the house you have built. You may start putting your nameplate on the waiting room.
Osho
I'm gone, lost, floating away into nothingness like I am in my dream, but this time it's a good feeling - like soaring, like being totally free, and I can feel the impression of his fingers everywhere that they touch, and I think of stars streaking through the sky and leaving burning trails behind them, and in that moment - however long it lasts, seconds, minutes, days - while he's saying my name into my mouth and I'm breathing into him, I realize this, right here, is the first and only time I've ever been kissed in my life.
Lauren Oliver (Before I Fall)
Just a moment. Just 1 second, just 1 more minute, just give me another hour or maybe the weekend to think it over it’s not so much it’s not so hard it’s all we ever ask for it’s a simple request. But the moments the seconds the minutes the hours the days and years become one big mistake, one extraordinary opportunity slipped right through our fingers because we couldn’t decide, we couldn’t understand, we needed more time, we didn’t know what to do. We don’t even know what we’ve done. We have no idea how we even got here when all we ever wanted was to wake up in the morning and go to sleep at night and maybe stop for ice cream on the way home and that one decision, that one choice, that one accidental opportunity unraveled everything we’ve ever known and ever believed in and what do we do? What do we do from here?
Tahereh Mafi (Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2))
I remember the first year after my second child was born, what I can remember of it at all, as a year of disarray, of overturned glasses of milk, of toys on the floor, of hours from sunrise to sunset that were horribly busy but filled with what, at the end of the day, seemed like absolutely nothing at all. What saved my sanity were books. What saved my sanity was disappearing, if only for fifteen minutes before I inevitably began to nod off in bed...and as it was for me when I was young and surrounded by siblings, as it is today when I am surrounded by children, reading continues to provide an escape from a crowded house into an imaginary room of one's own.
Anna Quindlen (How Reading Changed My Life)
The second suggestion is to think as well as to read. I know people who read and read, and for all the good it does them they might just as well cut bread-and-butter. They take to reading as better men take to drink. They fly through the shires of literature on a motor-car, their sole object being motion. They will tell you how many books they have read in a year. Unless you give at least 45 minutes to careful, fatiguing reflection (it is an awful bore at first) upon what you are reading, your 90 minutes of a night are chiefly wasted.
Arnold Bennett (How to Live on 24 Hours a Day)
I love you, I know this must come as something of a surprise, since all I’ve ever done is scorn you and degrade you and taunt you, but I have loved you for several hours now, and every second, more. I thought an hour ago that I loved you more than any woman has ever loved a man, but a half hour after that I knew that what I felt before was nothing compared to what I felt then. But ten minutes after that, I understood that my previous love was a puddle compared to the high seas before a storm.
William Goldman (The Princess Bride)
Because, what does it mean, to say that things aren't going well? Compared to what? You can say: compared to how things were going a couple of hours ago, or a couple of years ago. But that's not the point. If two cars are speeding towards a brick wall with no brakes, and one car hits the wall moments before the other, you can't spend those moments saying that the second car is much better off than the first. Death and disaster are at our shoulders every second of our lives, trying to get at us. Missing, a lot of the time. A lot of miles on the motorway without a front wheel blow-out. A lot of viruses that slither through our bodies without snagging. A lot of pianos that fall a minute after we've passed. Or a month, it makes no difference. So unless we're going to get down on our knees and give thanks every time disaster misses, it makes no sense to moan when it strikes. Us, or anyone else. Because we're not comparing it with anything.
Hugh Laurie (The Gun Seller)
We are all pretenders in life, finding a patch of humanity that we relate to, and then embrace it. We come straight down the birth canal and our parents start telling us who to be, simply by being themselves. We see their lives, their cars, the way they interact, the rules they set, and the foundations for our own lives are laid. And when our parents aren’t molding us, our situations are. We are all sheep, who get jobs, and have babies, and diet, and try to carve something special out for ourselves using the broken hearts, and bored minds, and scathed souls life delivered to us. And it’s all been done before, every bit of suffering, every joy. And the minute you realize that we are all pretenders is the minute everything stops intimidating you: punishment, and failure, and death. Even people. There is nothing so ingenious about another human who has pretended well. They are, in fact, just another soul, perhaps more clever, better at failing than you are. But not worth a second of intimidation.
Tarryn Fisher (Marrow)
You know, there's a place we all inhabit, but we don't much think about it, we're scarcely conscious of it, and it lasts for less than a minute a day. It's in the morning, for most of us. It's that time, those few seconds when we're coming out of sleep but we're not really awake yet. For those few seconds we're something more primitive than what we are about to become. We have just slept the sleep of our most distant ancestors, and something of them and their world still clings to us. For those few moments we are unformed, uncivilized. We are not the people we know as ourselves, but creatures more in tune with a tree than a keyboard. We are untitled, unnamed, natural, suspended between was and will be, the tadpole before the frog, the worm before the butterfly. We are, for a few brief moments, anything and everything we could be.
Jerry Spinelli (Stargirl (Stargirl, #1))
Something is beginning in order to end: adventure does not let itself be drawn out; it only makes sense when dead. I am drawn, irrevocably, towards this death which is perhaps mine as well. Each instant appears only as part of a sequence. I cling to each instant with all my heart: I know that it is unique, irreplaceable -- and yet I would not raise a finger to stop it from being annihilated. This last moment I am spending -- in Berlin, in London -- in the arms of a woman casually met two days ago -- moment I love passionately, woman I may adore -- all is going to end, I know it. Soon I shall leave for another country. I shall never rediscover either this woman or this night. I grasp at each second, trying to suck it dry: nothing happens which I do not seize, which I do not fix forever in myself, nothing, neither the fugitive tenderness of those lovely eyes, nor the noises of the street, nor the false dawn of early morning: and even so the minute passes and I do not hold it back, I like to see it pass.
Jean-Paul Sartre (Nausea)
Fuck was the best word. The most dangerous word. You couldn't whisper it. Fuck was always too loud, too late to stop it, it burst in the air above you and fell slowly right over your head. There was total silence, nothing but Fuck floating down. For a few seconds you were dead, waiting for Henno to look up and see Fuck landing on top of you. They were thrilling seconds-when he didn't look up. It was a word you couldn't say anywhere. It wouldn't come out unless you pushed it. It made you feel caught and grabbed you the minute you said it. When it escaped it was like an electric laugh, a soundless gasp followed by the kind of laughing only forbidden things could make, an inside tickle that became a brilliant pain, bashing at your mouth to be let out. It was agony. We didn't waste it.
Roddy Doyle (Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha)
Come along,' she said. 'They're waiting.' He had never felt so happy in the whole of his life! Without a word they made it up. They walked down to the lake. He had twenty minutes of perfect happiness. Her voice, her laugh, her dress (something floating, white, crimson), her spirit, her adventurousness; she made them all disembark and explore the island; she startled a hen; she laughed; she sang. And all the time, he knew perfectly well, Dalloway was falling in love with her; she was falling in love with Dalloway; but it didn't seem to matter. Nothing mattered. They sat on the ground and talked-he and Clarissa. They went in and out of each other's minds without any effort. And then in a second it was over. He said to himself as they were getting into the boat, 'She will marry that man,' dully, without any resentment; but it was an obvious thing. Dalloway would marry Clarissa.
Virginia Woolf (Mrs. Dalloway)
A woman in her thirties came to see me. As she greeted me, I could sense the pain behind her polite and superficial smile. She started telling me her story, and within one second her smile changed into a grimace of pain. Then, she began to sob uncontrollably. She said she felt lonely and unfulfilled. There was much anger and sadness. As a child she had been abused by a physically violent father. I saw quickly that her pain was not caused by her present life circumstances but by an extraordinarily heavy pain-body. Her pain-body had become the filter through which she viewed her life situation. She was not yet able to see the link between the emotional pain and her thoughts, being completely identified with both. She could not yet see that she was feeding the pain-body with her thoughts. In other words, she lived with the burden of a deeply unhappy self. At some level, however, she must have realized that her pain originated within herself, that she was a burden to herself. She was ready to awaken, and this is why she had come. I directed the focus of her attention to what she was feeling inside her body and asked her to sense the emotion directly, instead of through the filter of her unhappy thoughts, her unhappy story. She said she had come expecting me to show her the way out of her unhappiness, not into it. Reluctantly, however, she did what I asked her to do. Tears were rolling down her face, her whole body was shaking. “At this moment, this is what you feel.” I said. “There is nothing you can do about the fact that at this moment this is what you feel. Now, instead of wanting this moment to be different from the way it is, which adds more pain to the pain that is already there, is it possible for you to completely accept that this is what you feel right now?” She was quiet for a moment. Suddenly she looked impatient, as if she was about to get up, and said angrily, “No, I don't want to accept this.” “Who is speaking?” I asked her. “You or the unhappiness in you? Can you see that your unhappiness about being unhappy is just another layer of unhappiness?” She became quiet again. “I am not asking you to do anything. All I'm asking is that you find out whether it is possible for you to allow those feelings to be there. In other words, and this may sound strange, if you don't mind being unhappy, what happens to the unhappiness? Don't you want to find out?” She looked puzzled briefly, and after a minute or so of sitting silently, I suddenly noticed a significant shift in her energy field. She said, “This is weird. I 'm still unhappy, but now there is space around it. It seems to matter less.” This was the first time I heard somebody put it like that: There is space around my unhappiness. That space, of course, comes when there is inner acceptance of whatever you are experiencing in the present moment. I didn't say much else, allowing her to be with the experience. Later she came to understand that the moment she stopped identifying with the feeling, the old painful emotion that lived in her, the moment she put her attention on it directly without trying to resist it, it could no longer control her thinking and so become mixed up with a mentally constructed story called “The Unhappy Me.” Another dimension had come into her life that transcended her personal past – the dimension of Presence. Since you cannot be unhappy without an unhappy story, this was the end of her unhappiness. It was also the beginning of the end of her pain-body. Emotion in itself is not unhappiness. Only emotion plus an unhappy story is unhappiness. When our session came to an end, it was fulfilling to know that I had just witnessed the arising of Presence in another human being. The very reason for our existence in human form is to bring that dimension of consciousness into this world. I had also witnessed a diminishment of the pain-body, not through fighting it but through bringing the light of consciousness to it.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
Say the planet is born at midnight and it runs for one day. First there is nothing. Two hours are lost to lava and meteors. Life doesn’t show up until three or four a.m. Even then, it’s just the barest self-copying bits and pieces. From dawn to late morning—a million million years of branching—nothing more exists than lean and simple cells. Then there is everything. Something wild happens, not long after noon. One kind of simple cell enslaves a couple of others. Nuclei get membranes. Cells evolve organelles. What was once a solo campsite grows into a town. The day is two-thirds done when animals and plants part ways. And still life is only single cells. Dusk falls before compound life takes hold. Every large living thing is a latecomer, showing up after dark. Nine p.m. brings jellyfish and worms. Later that hour comes the breakout—backbones, cartilage, an explosion of body forms. From one instant to the next, countless new stems and twigs in the spreading crown burst open and run. Plants make it up on land just before ten. Then insects, who instantly take to the air. Moments later, tetrapods crawl up from the tidal muck, carrying around on their skin and in their guts whole worlds of earlier creatures. By eleven, dinosaurs have shot their bolt, leaving the mammals and birds in charge for an hour. Somewhere in that last sixty minutes, high up in the phylogenetic canopy, life grows aware. Creatures start to speculate. Animals start teaching their children about the past and the future. Animals learn to hold rituals. Anatomically modern man shows up four seconds before midnight. The first cave paintings appear three seconds later. And in a thousandth of a click of the second hand, life solves the mystery of DNA and starts to map the tree of life itself. By midnight, most of the globe is converted to row crops for the care and feeding of one species. And that’s when the tree of life becomes something else again. That’s when the giant trunk starts to teeter.
Richard Powers (The Overstory)
I have never seen a more sublime demonstration of the totalitarian mind, a mind which might be linked unto a system of gears where teeth have been filed off at random. Such snaggle-toothed thought machine, driven by a standard or even by a substandard libido, whirls with the jerky, noisy, gaudy pointlessness of a cuckoo clock in Hell. The boss G-man concluded wrongly that there were no teeth on the gears in the mind of Jones. 'You're completely crazy,' he said. Jones wasn't completely crazy. The dismaying thing about classic totalitarian mind is that any given gear, thought mutilated, will have at its circumference unbroken sequences of teeth that are immaculately maintained, that are exquisitely machined. Hence the cuckoo clock in Hell - keeping perfect time for eight minutes and twenty-three seconds, jumping ahead fourteen minutes, keeping perfect time for six seconds, jumping ahead two seconds, keeping perfect time for two hours and one second, then jumping ahead a year. The missing teeth, of course, are simple, obvious truths, truths available and comprehensible even to ten-year-olds, in most cases. The wilful filling off a gear teeth, the wilful doing without certain obvious pieces of information - That was how a household as contradictory as one composed of Jones, Father Keeley, Vice-Bundesfuehrer Krapptauer, and the Black Fuehrer could exist in relative harmony - That was how my father-in-law could contain in one mind an indifference toward slave women and love fora a blue vase - That was how Rudolf Hess, Commandant of Auschwitz, could alternate over the loudspeakers of Auschwitz great music and calls for corpse-carriers - That was how Nazi Germany sense no important difference between civilization and hydrophobia - That is the closest I can come to explaining the legions, the nations of lunatics I've seen in my time.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Mother Night)
Well.” I’m quiet for a few seconds, weighing whether I’m about to make a giant mistake. Probably, but I plow ahead anyway. “I’d like to try. If you want to. Not because we’re thrown together in this weird situation and I think you’re hot, although I do. But because you’re smart, and funny, and you do the right thing more often than you give yourself credit for. I like your horrible taste in movies and the way you never sugarcoat anything and the fact that you have an actual lizard. I’d be proud to be your girlfriend, even in a nonofficial capacity while we’re, you know, being investigated for murder. Plus, I can’t go more than a few minutes without wanting to kiss you, so—there’s that.
Karen M. McManus (One of Us Is Lying (One of Us is Lying, #1))
What's the big idea?" Sabrina demanded. "I declared war on you, remember?" Puck said. Sabrina rolled her eyes. "Is this another one of your stupid pranks?" Puck sniffed. "You have contaminated me with your puberty virus and you called my villainy into question." "First of all, puberty isn't a virus," Sabrina said as she fought a tug of was with the Pegasus for her now rather damp pillow."Secondly, I'm sorry if I gave you the itty-bitty baby and boo-boo face. Do you wasnt me to give you a hug?" Puck curled his lip in anger. "Oh, now is the baby cranky. Perhaps we should put him down for a nap?" "We'll see who's laughing soon enough," Puck said. "You see these flying horses?" "Duh!" "These horses have a very special diet," Puck said. "For the last two days they have eaten nothing but chili dogs and prune juice." Sabrina heard a rumble coming from Puck's horse. It was so loud it drowned out the sound of its beating wings. Sabrina couldn't tell if the churn of the sound was worse for the Pegasus but it whined a bit and its eyes bulged nervously. Puck continued. "Now, chili dogs and prune juice are a hard combination on a person's belly. It can keep a human being on the toilet for a week. Imagine what would happen if I fed chili dogs and prune juice to an eight-hundred-and-fifty-pound flying horse. Oh, wait a minute! You don't have to imagine it. I did feed chili dogs and prune juice to an eight-hundred-and-fifty-pound flying horse. In fact, I fed them all the same thing!
Michael Buckley (The Everafter War (The Sisters Grimm #7))
She never sent the castle to sleep”, said Granny, “that’s just an old wife’s tale. She just stirred up time a little. It’s not as hard as people think, everyone does it all the time. It’s like rubber, is time, you can stretch it to suit yourself.” Magrat was about to say: That’s not right, time is time, every second lasts a second, that’s its job. The she recalled weeks that had flown past and afternoons that had lasted forever. Some minutes had lasted hours, some hours had gone past so quickly she hadn’t been aware they’d gone past at all. “But that’s just people’s perception, isn’t it?” “Oh yes”, said Granny, “of course it is, it all is, what difference does that make?
Terry Pratchett (Wyrd Sisters (Discworld, #6; Witches, #2))
Profound desire, true desire is the desire to be close to someone. From that point onwards, things change, the man and the woman come into play, but what happens before – the attraction that brought them together – is impossible to explain. It is untouched desire in its purest state. When desire is still in this pure state, the man and the woman fall in love with life, they live each moment reverently, consciously, always ready to celebrate the next blessing. When people feel like this, they are not in a hurry, they do not precipitate events with unthinking actions. They know that the inevitable will happen, that what is real always finds a way of revealing itself. When the moment comes, they do not hesitate, they do not miss an opportunity, they do not let slip a single magic moment, because they respect the importance of each second.
Paulo Coelho (Eleven Minutes)
She had never told her friends this, not in so many words, but they were her safety net. Every time she stumbled or keeled over, they were there for her, supporting her or softening the impact of the fall. On nights when she was mistreated by a client, she would still find the strength to hold herself up, knowing that her friends, with their very presence, would come with ointment for her scrapes and bruises; and on days when she wallowed in self-pity, her chest cracking open, they would gently pull her up and breathe life into her lungs.
Elif Shafak (10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World)
In the spring of 2009, I was the 217th person ever to be diagnosed with anti-NMDA-receptor autoimmune encephalitis. Just a year later, that figure had doubled. Now the number is in the thousands. Yet Dr. Bailey, considered one of the best neurologists in the country, had never heard of it. When we live in a time when the rate of misdiagnoses has shown no improvement since the 1930s, the lesson here is that it’s important to always get a second opinion. While he may be an excellent doctor in many respects, Dr. Bailey is also, in some ways, a perfect example of what is wrong with medicine. I was just a number to him (and if he saw thirty-five patients a day, as he told me, that means I was one of a very large number). He is a by-product of a defective system that forces neurologists to spend five minutes with X number of patients a day to maintain their bottom line. It’s a bad system. Dr. Bailey is not the exception to the rule. He is the rule.
Susannah Cahalan (Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness)
Montag shook his head. He looked at a blank wall. The girl's face was there, really quite beautiful in memory: astonishing, in fact. She had a very thin face like the dial of a small clock seen faintly in a dark room in the middle of a night when you waken to see the time and see the clock telling you the hour and the minute and the second, with a white silence and a glowing, all certainty and knowing what it had to tell of the night passing swiftly on toward further darknesses, but moving also toward a new sun.
Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451)
I hadn't slept for seven nights. My mother told me I must have slept, it was impossible not to sleep in all that time, but if I slept, it was with my eyes wide open, for I had followed the green, luminous course of the second hand and the minute hand and the hour hand of the bedside clock through their circles and semi-circles, every night for seven nights, without missing a second, or a minute, or an hour. The reason I hadn't washed my clothes or my hair was because it seemed so silly. I saw the days of the year stretching ahead like a series of bright, white boxes, and separating one box from another was sleep, like a black shade. Only for me, the long perspective of shades that set off one box from the next had suddenly snapped up, and I could see day after day after day glaring ahead of me like a white, broad, infinitely desolate avenue. It seemed silly to wash one day when I would only have to wash again the next. It made me tired just to think of it. I wanted to do everything once and for all and be through with it.
Sylvia Plath (The Bell Jar)
Woman, if you don’t already know that you’ve been on my mind every day for the last six years, I got no clue how to communicate that to you. Now that I’ve had you, that shit has not changed. It’s just got worse.” My back straightened and I started glaring. “Worse?” “Worse,” he confirmed on a downward jerk of his chin. “Now it’s not every day. It’s every hour. I don’t fight it, every minute. Fuck, every second, I don’t keep it in check. Every second, I’m thinkin’ of you, thinkin’ of gettin’ shit done, but only so I can get back to you.” That was very, very sweet. I was still pissed. And this was because I got nothing from him, not one thing for a month! “You didn’t tell me that, Deacon.” “I fuckin’ did, Cassidy.” “When?” I snapped. He leaned toward me and shot back, “Every moment I was with you.
Kristen Ashley (Deacon (Unfinished Hero, #4))
When desire is still in this pure state, the man and the woman fall in love with life, they live each moment reverently, consciously, always ready to celebrate the next blessing. When people feel like this, they are not in a hurry, they do not precipitate events with unthinking actions. They know that the inevitable will happen, that what is real always finds a way of revealing itself. When the moment comes, they do not hesitate, they do not miss an opportunity, they do not let slip a single magic moment, because they respect the importance of each second.
Paulo Coelho (Eleven Minutes)
I was also sick of my neighbors, as most Parisians are. I now knew every second of the morning routine of the family upstairs. At 7:00 am alarm goes off, boom, Madame gets out of bed, puts on her deep-sea divers’ boots, and stomps across my ceiling to megaphone the kids awake. The kids drop bags of cannonballs onto the floor, then, apparently dragging several sledgehammers each, stampede into the kitchen. They grab their chunks of baguette and go and sit in front of the TV, which is always showing a cartoon about people who do nothing but scream at each other and explode. Every minute, one of the kids cartwheels (while bouncing cannonballs) back into the kitchen for seconds, then returns (bringing with it a family of excitable kangaroos) to the TV. Meanwhile the toilet is flushed, on average, fifty times per drop of urine expelled. Finally, there is a ten-minute period of intensive yelling, and at 8:15 on the dot they all howl and crash their way out of the apartment to school.” (p.137)
Stephen Clarke (A Year in the Merde)
Then he looked up, despite all best prior intentions. In four minutes, it would be another hour; a half hour after that was the ten-minute break. Lane Dean imagined himself running around on the break, waving his arms and shouting gibberish and holding ten cigarettes at once in his mouth, like a panpipe. Year after year, a face the same color as your desk. Lord Jesus. Coffee wasn't allowed because of spills on the files, but on the break he'd have a big cup of coffee in each hand while he pictured himself running around the outside grounds, shouting. He knew what he'd really do on the break was sit facing the wall clock in the lounge and, despite prayers and effort, count the seconds tick off until he had to come back and do this again. And again and again and again.
David Foster Wallace (The Pale King)
Draft-dodging is what chicken-hawks do best. Dick Cheney, Glenn Beck, Karl Rove, Rush Limbaugh (this capon claimed he had a cyst on his fat ass), Newt Gingrich, former Attorney General John Ashcroft—he received seven deferments to teach business education at Southwest Missouri State—pompous Bill O’Reilly, Jeb Bush, hey, throw in John Wayne—they were all draft-dodgers. Not a single one of these mouth-breathing, cowardly, and meretricious buffoons fought for his country. All plumped for deferments. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani? Did not serve. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney? Did not serve in the military. (He served the Mormon Church on a thirty-month mission to France.) Former Senator Fred Thompson? Did not serve. Former President Ronald Reagan? Due to poor eyesight, he served in a noncombat role making movies for the Army in southern California during WWII. He later seems to have confused his role as an actor playing a tail gunner with the real thing. Did Rahm Emanuel serve? Yes, he did during the Gulf War 1991—in the Israeli Army. John Boehner did not serve, not a fucking second. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY? Not a minute! Former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-MS? Avoided the draft. Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl, R-AZ—did not serve. National Republican Senatorial Committee Chair John Cornyn, R-TX—did not serve. Former Senate Republican Policy Committee Chair John Ensign, R-NV? Did not serve. Jack Kemp? Dan Quayle? Never served a day. Not an hour. Not an afternoon. These are the jackasses that cherish memorial services and love to salute and adore hearing “Taps.
Alexander Theroux
I teach my sons that there are really only three rules to being a good man. The first rule is to fish often. And by fish, I mean find the quiet times to fish around in your minds for what is most important. The second rule is to protect everyone smaller than them. This means physically smaller, and in all other ways... protect the more vulnerable. The third rule states that if something is truly important to you, then you should prove it. You say you would lay your life down for someone, but will you give them the busiest five minutes of your day, if they need it?
Spuds Crawford
This is the one thing I hope: that she never stopped. I hope when her body couldn’t run any farther she left it behind like everything else that tried to hold her down, she floored the pedal and she went like wildfire, streamed down night freeways with both hands off the wheel and her head back screaming to the sky like a lynx, white lines and green lights whipping away into the dark, her tires inches off the ground and freedom crashing up her spine. I hope every second she could have had came flooding through that cottage like speed wind: ribbons and sea spray, a wedding ring and Chad’s mother crying, sun-wrinkles and gallops through wild red brush, a baby’s first tooth and its shoulder blades like tiny wings in Amsterdam Toronto Dubai; hawthorn flowers spinning through summer air, Daniel’s hair turning gray under high ceilings and candle flames and the sweet cadences of Abby’s singing. Time works so hard for us, Daniel told me once. I hope those last few minutes worked like hell for her. I hope in that half hour she lived all her million lives.
Tana French (The Likeness (Dublin Murder Squad, #2))
The first sorrow of autumn is the slow good-bye of the garden that stands so long in the evening—a brown poppy head, the stalk of a lily, and still cannot go. The second sorrow is the empty feet of a pheasant who hangs from a hook with his brothers. The woodland of gold is folded in feathers with its head in a bag. And the third sorrow is the slow good-bye of the sun who has gathered the birds and who gathers the minutes of evening, the golden and holy ground of the picture. The fourth sorrow is the pond gone black, ruined, and sunken the city of water—the beetle's palace, the catacombs of the dragonfly. And the fifth sorrow is the slow good-bye of the woodland that quietly breaks up its camp. One day it's gone. It has only left litter—firewood, tent poles. And the sixth sorrow is the fox's sorrow, the joy of the huntsman, the joy of the hounds, the hooves that pound; till earth closes her ear to the fox's prayer. And the seventh sorrow is the slow good-bye of the face with its wrinkles that looks through the window as the year packs up like a tatty fairground that came for the children.
Ted Hughes
I turned my face into Japhrimel's shoulder. "You're going to disappear," I said into his coat, not even caring that I knew what it was made of. "Just stay for a moment, just please just for a minute, a second—" "Dante." His fingers came up, tangled in my already-tangled hair. "I heard you calling me. I tried to answer." "Just for a few seconds." I buried my face in his coat, his other arm closed around me. I inhaled the smell of cinnamon, of amber musk, the deadly smoky nonphysical fragrance of demons. Filled my lungs with the breath of life. "Before I have to burn this whole fucking place down." "Be still," he answered. "I am here, I have never left your side. I told you, you will not leave me to wander the earth alone.
Lilith Saintcrow (Dead Man Rising (Dante Valentine, #2))
Men learn to regard rape as a moment in time; a discreet episode with a beginning, middle, and end. But for women, rape is thousands of moments that we fold into ourselves over a lifetime. Its' the day that you realize you can't walk to a friend's house anymore or the time when your aunt tells you to be nice because the boy was just 'stealing a kiss.' It's the evening you stop going to the corner store because, the night before, a stranger followed you home. It's the late hour that a father or stepfather or brother or uncle climbs into your bed. It's the time it takes you to write an email explaining that you're changing your major, even though you don't really want to, in order to avoid a particular professor. It's when you're racing to catch a bus, hear a person demand a blow job, and turn to see that it's a police officer. It's the second your teacher tells you to cover your shoulders because you'll 'distract the boys, and what will your male teachers do?' It's the minute you decide not to travel to a place you've always dreamed about visiting and are accused of being 'unadventurous.' It's the sting of knowing that exactly as the world starts expanding for most boys, it begins to shrink for you. All of this goes on all day, every day, without anyone really uttering the word rape in a way that grandfathers, fathers, brothers, uncles, teachers, and friends will hear it, let alone seriously reflect on what it means.
Soraya Chemaly (Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women's Anger)
Her face was severe but smiling. "What the hell did you do with my hairbrush, you stupid Saumensch, you little thief?...The tirade went on for perhaps another minute, with Liesel making a desperate suggestion or two about the possible location of the said brush. It ended abruptly, with Rosa pulling Liesel close, just for a few seconds. Her whisper was almost impossible to hear, even at such close proximity. "You told me to yell at you. You said they'd all believe it." She looked left and right, her voice like needle and thread. "He woke up, Liesel. He's awake." From her pocket, she pulled out the toy soldier with the scratched exterior. "He said to give you this. It was his favorite." ...Before Liesel had a chance to answer, she finished it off. "Well? Answer me! Do you have any other idea where you might have left it?
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
Dunbar loved shooting skeet because he hated every minute of it and the time passed so slowly. He had figured out that a single hour on the skeet-shooting range with people like Havermeyer and Appleby could be worth as much as eleven-times-seventeen years. “I think you’re crazy,” was the way Clevinger had responded to Dunbar’s discovery. “Who wants to know?” Dunbar answered. “I mean it,” Clevinger insisted. “Who cares?” Dunbar answered. “I really do. I’ll even go as far as to concede that life seems longer i—“ “—is longer i—“ “—is longer—IS longer? All right, is longer if it’s filled with periods of boredom and discomfort, b—“ “Guess how fast?” Dunbar said suddenly. “Huh?” “They go,” Dunbar explained. “Who?” “Years.” “Years?” “Years,” said Dunbar. “Years, years, years.” “Do you know how long a year takes when it’s going away?” Dunbar asked Clevinger. “This long.” He snapped his fingers. “A second ago you were stepping into college with your lungs full of fresh air. Today you’re an old man.” “Old?” asked Clevinger with surprise. “What are you talking about?” “Old.” “I’m not old.” “You’re inches away from death every time you go on a mission. How much older can you be at your age? A half minute before that you were stepping into high school, and an unhooked brassiere was as close as you ever hoped to get to Paradise. Only a fifth of a second before that you were a small kid with a ten-week summer vacation that lasted a hundred thousand years and still ended too soon. Zip! They go rocketing by so fast. How the hell else are you ever going to slow time down?” Dunbar was almost angry when he finished. “Well, maybe it is true,” Clevinger conceded unwillingly in a subdued tone. Maybe a long life does have to be filled with many unpleasant conditions if it’s to seem long. But in that event, who wants one?” “I do,” Dunbar told him. “Why?” Clevinger asked. “What else is there?
Joseph Heller (Catch-22)
If I were Satan and wanted to destroy a society, I think I would stage a full blown blitz on its women. I would keep them so distraught and distracted that they would never find the calming strength and serenity for which their sex has always been known. He has effectively done that, catching us in the crunch of trying to be superhuman instead of realistically striving to reach our indiviual purpose and unique God-given potential within such diversity. He tauntingly teases us that if we don't have it all- fame, fortune, families, and fun- and have it every minute all the time, we have been short changed; we are second class citizens in the race of life. You'd have to be deaf, dumb and blind not to get these messages in today's world, and as a sex we are struggling, and our society struggles. Drugs, teenage pregnancies, divorce, family violence, and suicide are some of the every-increasing side effecs of our collective life in the express lane.
Patricia T. Holland (A Quiet Heart)
I always wondered what your type was, but I never imagined it would be a hard-core rocker!” Here we go. I had been hoping he'd be too sleepy for this conversation. “He's not my type. If I had a type it would be...nice. Not some hotheaded, egocentric male slut.” “Did you just call him a male slut?” Jay laughed. “Dang, that's, like, the worst language I've ever heard you use.” I glowered at him, feeling ashamed, and he laughed even harder. “Oh, hey, I've got a joke for you. What do you call someone who hangs out with musicians?” He raised his eyebrows and I shrugged. “I don't know. What?” “A drummer!” I shook my head while he cracked up at his joke for another minute before hounding me again about Kaidan. “All right, so you talked about my CDs, you had some cultural confusion with some of his lingo, then you talked about hot dogs? That can't be everything. You looked seriously intense.” “That's because he was intense, even though we weren't really talking about anything. He made me nervous.” “You thought he was hot, didn't you?” I stared out my window at the passing trees and houses. We were almost to school. “I knew it!” He smacked the steering wheel, loving every second of my discomfort. “This is so weird. Anna Whitt has a crush.” “Fine, yes. He was hot. But it doesn't matter, because there's something about him I don't like. I can't explain it. He's...scary.” “He's not the boy next door, if that's what you mean. Just don't get the good-girl syndrome.” “What's that?” “You know. When a good girl falls for a bad boy and hopes the boy will fall in love and magically want to change his ways. But the only one who ends up changing is the girl.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Evil (Sweet, #1))
I left Abnegation because I wasn't selfless enough,no matter how hard I tried to be." "That's not entirely true." He smiles at me. "That girl who let someone throw knives at her to spare a friend,who hit my dad with a belt to protect me-that selfless girl,that's not you?" He's figured out more about me than I have. And even though it seems impossible that he could feel something for me,given all that I'm not...maybe it isn't.I frown at him. "You've been paying close attention,haven't you?" "I like to observe people." "Maybe you were cut out for Candor, Four, because you're a terrible liar." He puts his hand on the rock next to him, his fingers lining up with mine. I look down at our hands. He has long, narrow fingers. Hands made for mine, deft movements.Not Dauntless hands, which should be thick and tough and ready to break things. "Fine." He leans his face closer to mine, his eyes focusing on my chin, and my lips,and my nose. "I watched you because I like you." He says it plainly, boldly, and his eyes flick up to mine. "And don't call me 'Four," okay? It's nice to hear my name again." Just like that,he has finally declared himself, and I don't know how to respond. My cheeks warm,and all I can think to say is, "But you're older than I am...Tobias." He smiles at me. "Yes,that whopping two-year gap really is insurmountable, isn't it?" "I'm not trying to be self-deprecating," I say, "I just don't get it. I'm younger. I'm not pretty.I-" He laughs,a deep laugh that sounds like it came from deep inside him, and touches his lips to my temple. "Don't pretend," I say breathily. "You know I'm not. I'm not ugly,but I am certainly not pretty." "Fine.You're not pretty.So?" He kisses my cheek. "I like how you look. You're deadly smart.You're brave. And even though you found out about Marcus..." His voice softens. "You aren't giving me that look.Like I'm a kicked puppy or something." "Well," I say. "You're not." For a second his dark eyes are on mine, and he's quiet. Then he touches my face and leans in close, brushing my lips with his.The river roars and I feel its spray on my ankles.He grins and presses his mouth to mine. I tense up at first,unsure of myself, so when he pulls away,I'm sure I did something wrong,or badly.But he takes my face in his hands,his figners strong against my skin,and kisses me again, firmer this time, more certain. I wrap an arm around him,sliding my hand up his nack and into his short hair. For a few minutes we kiss,deep in the chasm,with the roar of water all around us. And when we rise,hand in hand, I realize that if we had both chosen differently,we might have ended up doing the same thing, in a safer place, in gray clothes instead of black ones.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
You see," he continued, beginning to feel better, "once there was no time at all, and people found it very inconvenient. They never knew wether they were eating lunch or dinner, and they were always missing trains. So time was invented to help them keep track of the day and get to places where they should. When they began to count all the time that was available, what with 60 seconds in a minute and 60 minutes in an hour and 24 hours in a day and 365 days in a year, it seemed as if there was much more than could ever be used. 'If there's so much of it, it couldn't be very valuable,' was the general opinion, and it soon fell into dispute. People wasted it and even gave it away. Then we were giving the job of seeing that no one wasted time again," he said, sitting up proudly. "It's hard work but a noble calling. For you see"- and now he was standing on the seat, one foot on the windshield, shouting with his ams outstretched- "it is our most valuable possession, more precious than diamonds. It marches on, it and tide wait for no man, and-" At that point in the speech the car hit a bump in the road and the watchdog collapsed in a heap on the front seat with his alarm ringing furiously.
Norton Juster (The Phantom Tollbooth)
[Adapted and condensed Valedictorian speech:] I'm going to ask that you seriously consider modeling your life, not in the manner of the Dalai Lama or Jesus - though I'm sure they're helpful - but something a bit more hands-on, Carassius auratus auratus, commonly known as the domestic goldfish. People make fun of the goldfish. People don't think twice about swallowing it. Jonas Ornata III, Princeton class of '42, appears in the Guinness Book of World Records for swallowing the greatest number of goldfish in a fifteen-minute interval, a cruel total of thirty-nine. In his defense, though, I don't think Jonas understood the glory of the goldfish, that they have magnificent lessons to teach us. If you live like a goldfish, you can survive the harshest, most thwarting of circumstances. You can live through hardships that make your cohorts - the guppy, the neon tetra - go belly-up at the first sign of trouble. There was an infamous incident described in a journal published by the Goldfish Society of America - a sadistic five-year-old girl threw hers to the carpet, stepped on it, not once but twice - luckily she'd done it on a shag carpet and thus her heel didn't quite come down fully on the fish. After thirty harrowing seconds she tossed it back into its tank. It went on to live another forty-seven years. They can live in ice-covered ponds in the dead of winter. Bowls that haven't seen soap in a year. And they don't die from neglect, not immediately. They hold on for three, sometimes four months if they're abandoned. If you live like a goldfish, you adapt, not across hundreds of thousands of years like most species, having to go through the red tape of natural selection, but within mere months, weeks even. You give them a little tank? They give you a little body. Big tank? Big body. Indoor. Outdoor. Fish tanks, bowls. Cloudy water, clear water. Social or alone. The most incredible thing about goldfish, however, is their memory. Everyone pities them for only remembering their last three seconds, but in fact, to be so forcibly tied to the present - it's a gift. They are free. No moping over missteps, slip-ups, faux pas or disturbing childhoods. No inner demons. Their closets are light filled and skeleton free. And what could be more exhilarating than seeing the world for the very first time, in all of its beauty, almost thirty thousand times a day? How glorious to know that your Golden Age wasn't forty years ago when you still had all you hair, but only three seconds ago, and thus, very possibly it's still going on, this very moment." I counted three Mississippis in my head, though I might have rushed it, being nervous. "And this moment, too." Another three seconds. "And this moment, too." Another. "And this moment, too.
Marisha Pessl
I was in Washington State, at a small-town YMCA, when a boy wandered into the lap lane and popped his head, seal-like, out of the water. I would later learn that he was nine, but at the time he was just this kid, slightly pudgy, with a stern haircut. It's like he went to a barbershop with a picture of Hitler, that's how severe it was. We got to talking, and when I told him I wasn't a very good swimmer, he challenged me to a race. I think he assumed that, like most adults, I'd slow down and intentionally let him win, but he didn't know who he was dealing with. I need all the confidence I can get, and one victory is just as good as any other. Thus I swam for my very life and beat the pants off him. I thought this was it - he'd accept his defeat and move on with his life - but five minutes later he stopped me again and asked me if I believed in God. "No," I told him. "Why?" I thought for a second. Because I have hair on my back, and a lot of other people, people who kill and rob and make life miserable, don't. A real God wouldn't let that happen.
David Sedaris
They laid me down again while somebody fetched a stretcher. As soon as I knew that the bullet had gone clean through my neck I took it for granted that I was done for. I had never heard of a man or an animal getting a bullet through the middle of the neck and surviving it. The blood was dribbling out of the comer of my mouth. ‘The artery's gone,’ I thought. I wondered how long you last when your carotid artery is cut; not many minutes, presumably. Everything was very blurry. There must have been about two minutes during which I assumed that I was killed. And that too was interesting—I mean it is interesting to know what your thoughts would be at such a time. My first thought, conventionally enough, was for my wife. My second was a violent resentment at having to leave this world which, when all is said and done, suits me so well. I had time to feel this very vividly. The stupid mischance infuriated me. The meaninglessness of it! To be bumped off, not even in battle, but in this stale comer of the trenches, thanks to a moment's carelessness! I thought, too, of the man who had shot me—wondered what he was like, whether he was a Spaniard or a foreigner, whether he knew he had got me, and so forth. I could not feel any resentment against him. I reflected that as he was a Fascist I would have killed him if I could, but that if he had been taken prisoner and brought before me at this moment I would merely have congratulated him on his good shooting. It may be, though, that if you were really dying your thoughts would be quite different.
George Orwell (Homage to Catalonia)
Hey, dickhead!" one of the other drivers yelled. "Get off the road!" "This here is a Falcon Seven," the rider told him. "I can put a bolt through your windshield and pin you to your seat like a bug." A direct threat, huh? Okay. I pulled down my sunglasses a bit so the rider would see my eyes. "That's a nice crossbow." He glanced in my direction. He saw a friendly blond girl with a big smile and a light Texas accent and didn't get alarmed. "You've got what, a seventy-five-pound draw on it? Takes you about four seconds to reload?" "Three," he said. I gave him my Order smile: sweet grin, hard eyes, reached over to my passenger seat, and pulled out my submachine gun. About twenty-seven inches long, the HK was my favorite toy for close-quarters combat. The rider's eyes went wide. "This is an HK UMP submachine gun. Renowned for its stopping power and reliability. Cyclic rate of fire: eight hundred rounds per minute. That means I can empty this thirty-round clip into you in less than three seconds. At this range, I'll cut you in half." It wasn't strictly true but it sounded good. "You see what it says on the barrel?" On the barrel, pretty white letters spelled out PARTY STARTER. "You open your mouth again, and I'll get the party started." The rider clamped his jaws shut.
Ilona Andrews (Gunmetal Magic (World of Kate Daniels, #6 & #6.5; Andrea Nash, #1, Kate Daniels, #5.5))
With a deliberate shrug, he stepped free of the hold on his shoulder. “Tell me something, boys,” he drawled. “Do you wear that leather to turn each other on? I mean, is it a dick thing with you all?” Butch got slammed so hard against the door that his back teeth rattled. The model shoved his perfect face into Butch’s. “I’d watch your mouth, if I were you.” “Why bother, when you’re keeping an eye on it for me? You gonna kiss me now?” A growl like none Butch had ever heard came out of the guy. “Okay, okay.” The one who seemed the most normal came forward. “Back off, Rhage. Hey, come on. Let’s relax.” It took a minute before the model let go. “That’s right. We’re cool,” Mr. Normal muttered, clapping his buddy on the back before looking at Butch. “Do yourself a favor and shut the hell up.” Butch shrugged. “Blondie’s dying to get his hands on me. I can’t help it.” The guy launched back at Butch, and Mr. Normal rolled his eyes, letting his friend go this time. The fist that came sailing at jaw level snapped Butch’s head to one side. As the pain hit, Butch let his own rage fly. The fear for Beth, the pent-up hatred of these lowlifes, the frustration about his job, all of it came out of him. He tackled the bigger man, taking him down onto the floor. The guy was momentarily surprised, as if he hadn’t expected Butch’s speed or strength, and Butch took advantage of the hesitation. He clocked Blondie in the mouth as payback and then grabbed the guy’s throat. One second later, Butch was flat on his back with the man sitting on his chest like a parked car. The guy took Butch’s face into his hand and squeezed, crunching the features together. It was nearly impossible to breathe, and Butch panted shallowly. “Maybe I’ll find your wife,” the guy said, “and do her a couple of times. How’s that sound?" “Don’t have one.” “Then I’m coming after your girlfriend.” Butch dragged in some air. “Got no woman.” “So if the chicks won’t do you, what makes you think I’d want to?” “Was hoping to piss you off.” “Now why’d you want to do that?” Blondie asked. “If I attacked first”—Butch hauled more breath into his lungs—“your boys wouldn’t have let us fight. Would’ve killed me first. Before I had a chance at you.” Blondie loosened his grip a little and laughed as he stripped Butch of his wallet, keys, and cell phone. “You know, I kind of like this big dummy,” the guy drawled. Someone cleared a throat. Rather officiously. Blondie leaped to his feet, and Butch rolled over, gasping. When he looked up, he was convinced he was hallucinating. Standing in the hall was a little old man dressed in livery. Holding a silver tray. “Pardon me, gentlemen. Dinner will be served in about fifteen minutes.” “Hey, are those the spinach crepes I like so much?” Blondie said, going for the tray. “Yes, Sire.” “Hot damn.” The other men clustered around the butler, taking what he offered. Along with cocktail napkins. Like they didn’t want to drop anything on the floor. What the hell was this? “Might I ask a favor?” the butler said. Mr. Normal nodded with vigor. “Bring out another tray of these and we’ll kill anything you want for you.” Yeah, guess the guy wasn’t really normal. Just relatively so. The butler smiled as if touched. “If you’re going to bloody the human, would you be good enough to do it in the backyard?” “No problem.” Mr. Normal popped another crepe in his mouth. “Damn, Rhage, you’re right. These are awesome.
J.R. Ward (Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #1))
When Seymour and I were five and three, Les and Bessie played on the same bill for a couple of weeks with Joe Jackson -- the redoubtable Joe Jackson of the nickel-plated trick bicycle that shone like something better than platinum to the very last row of the theater. A good many years later, not long after the outbreak of the Second World War, when Seymour and I had just recently moved into a small New York apartment of our own, our father -- Les, as he'll be called hereafter -- dropped in on us one evening on his way home from a pinochle game. He quite apparently had held very bad cards all afternoon. He came in, at any rate, rigidly predisposed to keep his overcoat on. He sat. He scowled at the furnishings. He turned my hand over to check for cigarette-tar stains on my fingers, then asked Seymour how many cigarettes he smoked a day. He thought he found a fly in his highball. At length, when the conversation -- in my view, at least -- was going straight to hell, he got up abruptly and went over to look at a photograph of himself and Bessie that had been newly tacked up on the wall. He glowered at it for a full minute, or more, then turned around, with a brusqueness no one in the family would have found unusual, and asked Seymour if he remembered the time Joe Jackson had given him, Seymour, a ride on the handle bars of his bicycle, all over the stage, around and around. Seymour, sitting in an old corduroy armchair across the room, a cigarette going, wearing a blue shirt, gray slacks, moccasins with the counters broken down, a shaving cut on the side of his face that I could see, replied gravely and at once, and in the special way he always answered questions from Les -- as if they were the questions, above all others, he preferred to be asked in his life. He said he wasn't sure he had ever got off Joe Jackson's beautiful bicycle.
J.D. Salinger (Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters & Seymour: An Introduction)
there was a sort of embarrassment about storytelling that struck home powerfully about one hundred years ago, at the beginning of modernism. We see a similar reaction in painting and in music. It's a preoccupation suddenly with the surface rather than the depth. So you get, for example, Picasso and Braque making all kinds of experiments with the actual surface of the painting. That becomes the interesting thing, much more interesting than the thing depicted, which is just an old newspaper, a glass of wine, something like that. In music, the Second Viennese School becomes very interested in what happens when the surface, the diatonic structure of the keys breaks down, and we look at the notes themselves in a sort of tone row, instead of concentrating on things like tunes, which are sort of further in, if you like. That happened, of course, in literature, too, with such great works as James Joyce's Ulysses, which is all about, really, how it's told. Not so much about what happens, which is a pretty banal event in a banal man's life. It's about how it's told. The surface suddenly became passionately interesting to artists in every field about a hundred years ago. In the field of literature, story retreated. The books we talked about just now, Middlemarch, Bleak House, Vanity Fair -- their authors were the great storytellers as well as the great artists. After modernism, things changed. Indeed, modernism sometimes seems to me like an equivalent of the Fall. Remember, the first thing Adam and Eve did when they ate the fruit was to discover that they had no clothes on. They were embarrassed. Embarrassment was the first consequence of the Fall. And embarrassment was the first literary consequence of this modernist discovery of the surface. "Am I telling a story? Oh my God, this is terrible. I must stop telling a story and focus on the minute gradations of consciousness as they filter through somebody's..." So there was a great split that took place. Story retreated, as it were, into genre fiction-into crime fiction, into science fiction, into romantic fiction-whereas the high-art literary people went another way. Children's books held onto the story, because children are rarely interested in surfaces in that sort of way. They're interested in what-happened and what-happened next. I found it a great discipline, when I was writing The Golden Compass and other books, to think that there were some children in the audience. I put it like that because I don't say I write for children. I find it hard to understand how some writers can say with great confidence, "Oh, I write for fourth grade children" or "I write for boys of 12 or 13." How do they know? I don't know. I would rather consider myself in the rather romantic position of the old storyteller in the marketplace: you sit down on your little bit of carpet with your hat upturned in front of you, and you start to tell a story. Your interest really is not in excluding people and saying to some of them, "No, you can't come, because it's just for so-and-so." My interest as a storyteller is to have as big an audience as possible. That will include children, I hope, and it will include adults, I hope. If dogs and horses want to stop and listen, they're welcome as well.
Philip Pullman
We have time for everything: to sleep, to run from one place to another, to regret having mistaken and to mistake again, to judge the others and to forgive ourselves we have time for reading and writing, for making corrections to our texts, to regret ever having written we have time to make plans and time not to respect them, we have time for ambitions and sicknesses, time to blame the destiny and the details, we have time to watch the clouds, advertisements or some ordinary accident, we have time to chase our wonders away and to postpone the answers, we have time to break a dream to pieces and then to reinvent it, we have time to make friends, to lose friends, we have time to receive lessons and forget them afterwards, we have time to receive gifts and not to understand them. We have time for them all. There is no time for just a bit of tenderness. When we are aware about to do this we die. I’ve learned that you cannot make someone love you; All you can do is to be a loved person. the rest … depends on the others. I’ve learned that as much as I care others might not care. I’ve learned that it takes years to earn trust and just a few seconds to lose it. I’ve learned that it does not matter WHAT you have in your life but WHO you have. I’ve learned that your charm is useful for about 15 minutes Afterwards, you should better know something. I’ve learned that no matter how you cut it, everything has two sides! I’ve learned that you should separate from your loved ones with warm words It might be the last time you see them! I’ve learned that you can still continue for a long time after saying you cannot continue anymore I’ve learned that heroes are those who do what they have to do, when they have to do it, regardless the consequences I’ve learned that there are people who love But do not know how to show it ! I’ve learned that when I am upset I have the RIGHT to be upset But not the right to be bad! I’ve learned that real friendship continues to exist despite the distance And this is true also for REAL LOVE !!! I’ve learned that if someone does not love you like you want them to It does not mean that they do not love you with all their heart. I’ve learned that no matter how good of a friend someone is for you that person will hurt you every now and then and that you have to forgive him. I’ve learned that it is not enough to be forgiven by others Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself. I’ve learned that no matter how much you suffer, The world will not stop for your pain. I’ve learned that the past and the circumstances might have an influence on your personality But that YOU are responsible for what you become !!! I’ve learned that if two people have an argument it does not mean that they do not love each other I’ve learned that sometimes you have to put on the first place the person, not the facts I’ve learned that two people can look at the same thing and can see something totally different I’ve learned that regardless the consequences those WHO ARE HONEST with themselves go further in life. I’ve learned that life can be changed in a few hours by people who do not even know you. I’ve learned that even when you think there is nothing more you can give when a friend calls you, you will find the strength to help him. I’ve learned that writing just like talking can ease the pains of the soul ! I’ve learned that those whom you love the most are taken away from you too soon … I’ve learned that it is too difficult to realise where to draw the line between being friendly, not hurting people and supporting your oppinions. I’ve learned to love to be loved.
Octavian Paler
There is a theory that when a planet, like our earth for example, has manifested every form of life, when it has fulfilled itself to the point of exhaustion, it crumbles to bits and is dispersed like star dust throughout the universe. It does not roll on like a dead moon, but explodes, and in the space of a few minutes, there is not a trace of it visible in the heavens. In marine life we have a similar effect. it is called implosion. When an amphibian accustomed to the black depths rises above a certain level, when the pressure to which it adapts itself is lifted, the body bursts inwardly. Are we not familiar with this spectacle in the human being also? The norsemen who went berserk, the malay who runs amuck—are these not examples of implosion and explosion? When the cup is full it runs over. but when the cup and that which it contains are one substance, what then? There are moments when the elixir of life rises to such overbrimming splendor that the soul spills over. In the seraphic smile of the madonnas the soul is seen to flood the psyche. The moon of the face becomes full; the equation is perfect. A minute, a half minute, a second later, the miracle has passed. something intangible, something inexplicable, was given out—and received. In the life of a human being it may happen that the moon never comes to the full. In the life of some human beings it would seem, indeed, that the only mysterious phenomenon observable is that of perpetual eclipse. In the case of those afflicted with genius, whatever the form it may take, we are almost frightened to observe that there is nothing but a continuous waxing and waning of the moon. Rarer still are the anomalous ones who, having come to the full, are so terrified by the wonder of it that they spend the rest of their lives endeavoring to stifle that which gave them birth and being. The war of the mind is the story of the soul-split. When the moon was at full there were those who could not accept the dim death of diminution; they tried to hang full-blown in the zenith of their own heaven. They tried to arrest the action of the law which was manifesting itself through them, through their own birth and death, in fulfillment and transfiguration. Caught between the tides they were sundered; the soul departed the body, leaving the simulacrum of a divided self to fight it out in the mind. Blasted by their own radiance they live forever the futile quest of beauty, truth and harmony. Depossessed of their own effulgence they seek to possess the soul and spirit of those to whom they are attracted. They catch every beam of light; they reflect with every facet of their hungry being. instantly illumined, When the light is directed towards them, they are also speedily extinguished. The more intense the light which is cast upon them the more dazzling—and blinding—they appear. Especially dangerous are they to the radiant ones; it is always towards these bright and inexhaustible luminaries that they are most passionately drawn…
Henry Miller (Sexus (The Rosy Crucifixion, #1))
Some things you carry around inside you as though they were part of your blood and bones, and when that happens, there’s nothing you can do to forget …But I had never been much of a believer. If anything, I believed that things got worse before they got better. I believed good people suffered... people who have faith were so lucky; you didn’t want to ruin it for them. You didn’t want to plant doubt where there was none. You had to treat suck individuals tenderly and hope that some of whatever they were feeling rubs off on you Those who love you will love you forever, without questions or boundaries or the constraints of time. Daily life is real, unchanging as a well-built house. But houses burn; they catch fire in the middle of the night. The night is like any other night of disaster, with every fact filtered through a veil of disbelief. The rational world has spun so completely out of its orbit, there is no way to chart or expect what might happen next At that point, they were both convinced that love was a figment of other people’s imaginations, an illusion fashioned out of smoke and air that really didn’t exist Fear, like heat, rises; it drifts up to the ceiling and when it falls down it pours out in a hot and horrible rain True love, after all, could bind a man where he didn’t belong. It could wrap him in cords that were all but impossible to break Fear is contagious. It doubles within minutes; it grows in places where there’s never been any doubt before The past stays with a man, sticking to his heels like glue, invisible and heartbreaking and unavoidable, threaded to the future, just as surely as day is sewn to night He looked at girls and saw only sweet little fuckboxes, there for him to use, no hearts involved, no souls, and, most assuredly no responsibilities. Welcome to the real world. Herein is the place where no one can tell you whether or not you’ve done the right thing. I could tell people anything I wanted to, and whatever I told them, that would be the truth as far as they were concerned. Whoever I said I was, well then, that’s who id be The truths by which she has lived her life have evaporated, leaving her empty of everything except the faint blue static of her own skepticism. She has never been a person to question herself; now she questions everything Something’s, are true no matter how hard you might try to bloc them out, and a lie is always a lie, no matter how prettily told You were nothing more than a speck of dust, good-looking dust, but dust all the same Some people needed saving She doesn’t want to waste precious time with something as prosaic as sleep. Every second is a second that belongs to her; one she understands could well be her last Why wait for anything when the world is so cockeyed and dangerous? Why sit and stare into the mirror, too fearful of what may come to pass to make a move? At last she knows how it feels to take a chance when everything in the world is at stake, breathless and heedless and desperate for more She’ll be imagining everything that’s out in front of them, road and cloud and sky, all the elements of a future, the sort you have to put together by hand, slowly and carefully until the world is yours once more
Alice Hoffman (Blue Diary)
Do you even feel anything, Chad? Will you for once stop walking around, all in control and f'ing calm? Do you have any idea what you all have done. I lost everything, Chad. Everything, when Kyle died. I lost myself. I had finally begun to build a new life with new friends. With people I thought cared about me. I have started to be just a little bit happy again. Was it too much to ask? Did I ask for too much by just wanting to have a little bit of a life again? Now, it’s all screwed up again and you walk around here like you don’t feel anything about what’s happened.” Chad spun around, and for only the second time since she’d known him, she saw the flash of anger so fierce her breath caught in her throat and she took an involuntary step back, away from him. Jennie knew Chad would never hurt her on purpose, but the anger rolling off of him was palpable. It seemed to force her backwards as if it had a life of its own, a power of its own. “Not feel anything, Jennie? Are you f'ing kidding me? I walk around here every day and I ache every f'ing minute I’m with you. I’m so twisted up with loving you and hating you, I can’t breathe. I can’t keep my hands off you, but I can’t let myself kiss you because I might lose myself in you. I can’t make love to you because I’m afraid you’ll pretend I’m him. I know you want his arms around you, not mine. I know you want it to be his baby inside you, not mine. And I know you can’t love me back, no matter what I do, because you’re still so in love with your husband, you can’t even begin to see me.” Chad didn’t stop and Jennie didn’t try to stop him. “And every day, I have to sit here and wonder how I’ll be a part of my baby’s life. I wonder if you’ll let me be in the delivery room, if you’ll let me help you name the baby. I wonder how much money I’d have to offer the people who live across the street from you to get them to sell me their house, just so I can see my child grow up. If you’ll let me...” Chad stopped as if he’d run out of steam. They stood in uneasy silence for a long time before Chad spoke again. He sounded worn out and bitter and angry, mirroring Jennie’s chaos of emotions. “Am I feeling anything? Yeah. I’m feeling some f'ing sh**, Jen.
Lori Ryan (Negotiation Tactics (Sutton Capital #3))
The real problem here is that we’re all dying. All of us. Every day the cells weaken and the fibres stretch and the heart gets closer to its last beat. The real cost of living is dying, and we’re spending days like millionaires: a week here, a month there, casually spunked until all you have left are the two pennies on your eyes. Personally, I like the fact we’re going to die. There’s nothing more exhilarating than waking up every morning and going ‘WOW! THIS IS IT! THIS IS REALLY IT!’ It focuses the mind wonderfully. It makes you love vividly, work intensely, and realise that, in the scheme of things, you really don’t have time to sit on the sofa in your pants watching Homes Under the Hammer. Death is not a release, but an incentive. The more focused you are on your death, the more righteously you live your life. My traditional closing-time rant – after the one where I cry that they closed that amazing chippy on Tollington Road; the one that did the pickled eggs – is that humans still believe in an afterlife. I genuinely think it’s the biggest philosophical problem the earth faces. Even avowedly non-religious people think they’ll be meeting up with nana and their dead dog, Crackers, when they finally keel over. Everyone thinks they’re getting a harp. But believing in an afterlife totally negates your current existence. It’s like an insidious and destabilising mental illness. Underneath every day – every action, every word – you think it doesn’t really matter if you screw up this time around because you can just sort it all out in paradise. You make it up with your parents, and become a better person and lose that final stone in heaven. And learn how to speak French. You’ll have time, after all! It’s eternity! And you’ll have wings, and it’ll be sunny! So, really, who cares what you do now? This is really just some lacklustre waiting room you’re only going to be in for 20 minutes, during which you will have no wings at all, and are forced to walk around, on your feet, like pigs do. If we wonder why people are so apathetic and casual about every eminently avoidable horror in the world – famine, war, disease, the seas gradually turning piss-yellow and filling with ringpulls and shattered fax machines – it’s right there. Heaven. The biggest waste of our time we ever invented, outside of jigsaws. Only when the majority of the people on this planet believe – absolutely – that they are dying, minute by minute, will we actually start behaving like fully sentient, rational and compassionate beings. For whilst the appeal of ‘being good’ is strong, the terror of hurtling, unstoppably, into unending nullity is a lot more effective. I’m really holding out for us all to get The Fear. The Fear is my Second Coming. When everyone in the world admits they’re going to die, we’ll really start getting some stuff done.
Caitlin Moran
Things I Used to Get Hit For: Talking back. Being smart. Acting stupid. Not listening. Not answering the first time. Not doing what I’m told. Not doing it the second time I’m told. Running, jumping, yelling, laughing, falling down, skipping stairs, lying in the snow, rolling in the grass, playing in the dirt, walking in mud, not wiping my feet, not taking my shoes off. Sliding down the banister, acting like a wild Indian in the hallway. Making a mess and leaving it. Pissing my pants, just a little. Peeing the bed, hardly at all. Sleeping with a butter knife under my pillow. Shitting the bed because I was sick and it just ran out of me, but still my fault because I’m old enough to know better. Saying shit instead of crap or poop or number two. Not knowing better. Knowing something and doing it wrong anyway. Lying. Not confessing the truth even when I don’t know it. Telling white lies, even little ones, because fibbing isn’t fooling and not the least bit funny. Laughing at anything that’s not funny, especially cripples and retards. Covering up my white lies with more lies, black lies. Not coming the exact second I’m called. Getting out of bed too early, sometimes before the birds, and turning on the TV, which is one reason the picture tube died. Wearing out the cheap plastic hole on the channel selector by turning it so fast it sounds like a machine gun. Playing flip-and-catch with the TV’s volume button then losing it down the hole next to the radiator pipe. Vomiting. Gagging like I’m going to vomit. Saying puke instead of vomit. Throwing up anyplace but in the toilet or in a designated throw-up bucket. Using scissors on my hair. Cutting Kelly’s doll’s hair really short. Pinching Kelly. Punching Kelly even though she kicked me first. Tickling her too hard. Taking food without asking. Eating sugar from the sugar bowl. Not sharing. Not remembering to say please and thank you. Mumbling like an idiot. Using the emergency flashlight to read a comic book in bed because batteries don’t grow on trees. Splashing in puddles, even the puddles I don’t see until it’s too late. Giving my mother’s good rhinestone earrings to the teacher for Valentine’s Day. Splashing in the bathtub and getting the floor wet. Using the good towels. Leaving the good towels on the floor, though sometimes they fall all by themselves. Eating crackers in bed. Staining my shirt, tearing the knee in my pants, ruining my good clothes. Not changing into old clothes that don’t fit the minute I get home. Wasting food. Not eating everything on my plate. Hiding lumpy mashed potatoes and butternut squash and rubbery string beans or any food I don’t like under the vinyl seat cushions Mom bought for the wooden kitchen chairs. Leaving the butter dish out in summer and ruining the tablecloth. Making bubbles in my milk. Using a straw like a pee shooter. Throwing tooth picks at my sister. Wasting toothpicks and glue making junky little things that no one wants. School papers. Notes from the teacher. Report cards. Whispering in church. Sleeping in church. Notes from the assistant principal. Being late for anything. Walking out of Woolworth’s eating a candy bar I didn’t pay for. Riding my bike in the street. Leaving my bike out in the rain. Getting my bike stolen while visiting Grandpa Rudy at the hospital because I didn’t put a lock on it. Not washing my feet. Spitting. Getting a nosebleed in church. Embarrassing my mother in any way, anywhere, anytime, especially in public. Being a jerk. Acting shy. Being impolite. Forgetting what good manners are for. Being alive in all the wrong places with all the wrong people at all the wrong times.
Bob Thurber (Paperboy: A Dysfunctional Novel)