Parties Are Like Quotes

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I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1))
And I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
I've never been lonely. I've been in a room -- I've felt suicidal. I've been depressed. I've felt awful -- awful beyond all -- but I never felt that one other person could enter that room and cure what was bothering me...or that any number of people could enter that room. In other words, loneliness is something I've never been bothered with because I've always had this terrible itch for solitude. It's being at a party, or at a stadium full of people cheering for something, that I might feel loneliness. I'll quote Ibsen, "The strongest men are the most alone." I've never thought, "Well, some beautiful blonde will come in here and give me a fuck-job, rub my balls, and I'll feel good." No, that won't help. You know the typical crowd, "Wow, it's Friday night, what are you going to do? Just sit there?" Well, yeah. Because there's nothing out there. It's stupidity. Stupid people mingling with stupid people. Let them stupidify themselves. I've never been bothered with the need to rush out into the night. I hid in bars, because I didn't want to hide in factories. That's all. Sorry for all the millions, but I've never been lonely. I like myself. I'm the best form of entertainment I have. Let's drink more wine!
Charles Bukowski
It struck me as pretty ridiculous to be called Mr. Darcy and to stand on your own looking snooty at a party. It's like being called Heathcliff and insisting on spending the entire evening in the garden, shouting "Cathy" and banging your head against a tree.
Helen Fielding (Bridget Jones's Diary (Bridget Jones, #1))
Telling an introvert to go to a party is like telling a saint to go to Hell.
Criss Jami (Killosophy)
In my next life I want to live my life backwards. You start out dead and get that out of the way. Then you wake up in an old people's home feeling better every day. You get kicked out for being too healthy, go collect your pension, and then when you start work, you get a gold watch and a party on your first day. You work for 40 years until you're young enough to enjoy your retirement. You party, drink alcohol, and are generally promiscuous, then you are ready for high school. You then go to primary school, you become a kid, you play. You have no responsibilities, you become a baby until you are born. And then you spend your last 9 months floating in luxurious spa-like conditions with central heating and room service on tap, larger quarters every day and then Voila! You finish off as an orgasm!
Woody Allen
Gansey's partying with his mother," Ronan said. He smelled like beer. "And Noah's fucking dead. But Parrish is here.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1))
Dude! said a party pony as he unloaded his gear. Did you see that bear guy? He was all like: 'Whoa, I have an arrow in my mouth!
Rick Riordan (The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #2))
I'm the girl who is lost in space, the girl who is disappearing always, forever fading away and receding farther and farther into the background. Just like the Cheshire cat, someday I will suddenly leave, but the artificial warmth of my smile, that phony, clownish curve, the kind you see on miserably sad people and villains in Disney movies, will remain behind as an ironic remnant. I am the girl you see in the photograph from some party someplace or some picnic in the park, the one who is in fact soon to be gone. When you look at the picture again, I want to assure you, I will no longer be there. I will be erased from history, like a traitor in the Soviet Union. Because with every day that goes by, I feel myself becoming more and more invisible...
Elizabeth Wurtzel (Prozac Nation)
Hey, pretty thing," he said. "What's in the bag?" "Holy water," said Jace, reappearing beside her as if he'd been conjured up like a genie. A sarcastic blond genie with a bad attitude. "Oooh, a Shadowhunter," said the vampire. "Scary." With a wink he melted back into the crowd. "Vampires are such prima donnas," Magnus sighed from the doorway. "Honestly, I don't know why I have these parties." "Because of your cat," Clary reminded him. Magnus perked up. "That's true. Chairman Meow deserves my every effort.
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
But before he went loopy he was the life and soul of the party," said Fred. "He used to down an entire bottle of firewhiskey, then run onto the dance floor, hoist up his robes, and start pulling bunches of flowers out of his--" Yes, he sounds like a real charmer," said Hermione, while Harry roared with laughter. Never married, for some reason," said Ron.
J.K. Rowling
Now I will tell you the answer to my question. It is this. The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from the oligarchies of the past in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just around the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now you begin to understand me.
George Orwell (1984)
Do you know what it's like to run spellcheck for six hours? It's like a party in purgatory. A party in purgatory where all they have to drink is sugar-free Kool-aid, and the only game to play is Monopoly, and none of your friends show up.
Patrick Rothfuss
Perhaps all romance is like that; not a contract between equal parties but an explosion of dreams and desires that can find no outlet in everyday life. Only a drama will do and while the fireworks last the sky is a different colour.
Jeanette Winterson (The Passion)
You like the party?" "Is it in honor of anything?" "My cat's birthday." "Oh." She glanced around. "Where's your cat?" "I dont know. He ran away." -Magnus & Clary, pg.221-
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
Nico strode forward. The enemy army fell back before him like he radiated death, which of course he did. Through the face guard of his skull-shaped helmet, he smiled. "Got your message. Is it too late to join the party?" "Son of Hades." Kronos spit on the ground. "Do you love death so much you wish to experience it?" "Your death," Nico said, "would be great for me." "I'm immortal, you fool! I have escaped Tartarus. You have no business here, and no chance to live." Nico drew his sword-three feet of wicked sharp Stygian iron, black as a nightmare. "I don't agree.
Rick Riordan (The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #5))
The grace of God means something like: Here is your life. You might never have been, but you are because the party wouldn't have been complete without you.
Frederick Buechner
Blue was a fanciful, but sensible thing. Like a platypus, or one of those sandwiches that had been cut into circles for a fancy tea party.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1))
Ronan's bedroom door burst open. Hanging on the door frame, Ronan leaned out to peer past Gansey. He was doing that thing where he looked like both the dangerous Ronan he was now and the cheerier Ronan he had been when Gansey first met him. "Hold on," Gansey told Adam. Then, to Ronan: "Why would he be?" "No reason. Just no reason." Ronan slammed his door. Gansey asked Adam, "Sorry. You still have that suit for the party?" Adam's response was buried in the sound of the second-story door falling open. Noah slouched in. In a wounded tone, he said, "He threw me out the window!" Ronan's voice sang out from behind his closed door: "You're already dead!
Maggie Stiefvater (The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2))
Aura of doom?" Keefe asked, a smirk curling his lips. "Sounds like my kind of party.
Shannon Messenger (Everblaze (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #3))
THE WORLD IS increasingly designed to depress us. Happiness isn’t very good for the economy. If we were happy with what we had, why would we need more? How do you sell an anti-ageing moisturiser? You make someone worry about ageing. How do you get people to vote for a political party? You make them worry about immigration. How do you get them to buy insurance? By making them worry about everything. How do you get them to have plastic surgery? By highlighting their physical flaws. How do you get them to watch a TV show? By making them worry about missing out. How do you get them to buy a new smartphone? By making them feel like they are being left behind. To be calm becomes a kind of revolutionary act. To be happy with your own non-upgraded existence. To be comfortable with our messy, human selves, would not be good for business.
Matt Haig (Reasons to Stay Alive)
i give myself five days to forget you. on the first day i rust. on the second i wilt. on the third day i sit with friends but i think about your tongue. i clean my room on the fourth day. i clean my body on the fourth day. i try to replace your scent on the fourth day. the fifth day, i adorn myself like the mouth of an inmate. a wedding singer dressed in borrowed gold. the midas of cheap metal. tinsel in the middle of summer. crevice glitter, two days after the party. i glow the way unwanted things do, a neon sign that reads; come, i still taste like someone else’s mouth.
Warsan Shire
Authors also create lovable, friendly characters, then proceed to do terrible things to them, like throw them in unsightly librarian-controlled dungeons. This makes readers feel hurt and worried for the characters. The simple truth is that authors like making people squirm. If this weren't the case, all novels would be filled completely with cute bunnies having birthday parties.
Brandon Sanderson (Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians (Alcatraz, #1))
Imagine a city where graffiti wasn't illegal, a city where everybody could draw whatever they liked. Where every street was awash with a million colours and little phrases. Where standing at a bus stop was never boring. A city that felt like a party where everyone was invited, not just the estate agents and barons of big business. Imagine a city like that and stop leaning against the wall - it's wet.
Banksy (Wall and Piece)
No matter how convoluted my life got, one thing remained consistent- my hair looked like a baby opossum had taken refuge in it, invited some friends over, and thrown a party.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Apollyon (Covenant, #4))
However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.
George Washington
No one likes an ugly crier. It's uncomfortable for all parties involved.
Tara Sivec (Seduction and Snacks (Chocolate Lovers, #1))
I must tell you that I should really like to think there's something wrong with me- Because, if there isn't, then there's something wrong with the world itself-and that's much more frightening! That would be terrible. So I'd rather believe there is something wrong with me, that could be put right.
T.S. Eliot (The Cocktail Party)
We looked at the sky. So many stars, it seemed like a celebration, a grand, illicit party the galaxy was holding after the humans had been put to bed.
E. Lockhart (We Were Liars)
I didn't like parties.I didn't know how to dance and people frightened me, especially people at parties. They attempted to be sexy and gay and witty and although they hoped they were good at it, they weren 't. They were bad at it. Their trying so hard only made it worse.
Charles Bukowski (Hollywood)
Life passes by now like the scenery outside a car window. I breathe and eat and sleep as I always did, but there seems to be no great purpose in my life that requires active participation on my part...I do not know where I am going or when I will get there.
Nicholas Sparks (Message in a Bottle)
The way to beat Luke," he said. "If I'm right, it's the only way you'll stand a chance." I took a deep breath. "Okay. I'm listening." Nico glanced inside my room. His eyebrows furrowed. "Is that...is that blue birthday cake?" He sounded hungry, maybe a little wistful. I wondered if the poor kid had ever had a birthday party, or if he'd ever even been invited to one. :Come inside for cake and ice cream," I said. "It sounds like we've got a lot to talk about.
Rick Riordan (The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #4))
Personally, I like to think my brother is having a college experience like they do in the movies. I don't mean the big fraternity party kind of movie. More like the movie where the guy meets a smart girl who wears a lot of sweaters and drinks cocoa. They talk about books and issues and kiss in the rain. I think something like that would be very good for him, especially if the girl were unconventionally beautiful. They are the best kind of girls, I think. I personally find 'super models' strange. I don't know why this is.
Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower)
I have heard all of the stories about girls like me, and I am unafraid to make more of them.
Carmen Maria Machado (Her Body and Other Parties)
This felt like the way you get nervous right before something exciting happens-the moment when you're balanced on the top of the roller coaster, the hush before the surprise party, the second after the diving board but before the water, when you can close your eyes and imagine, for just a second, that you're flying. The feeling that good things were coming, almost here, any moment now.
Morgan Matson (Since You've Been Gone)
But this girl, she lived in a bubble, and seeing her out at a frat party was like spotting a unicorn.
Ilsa Madden-Mills (Dirty English (English, #1))
I'm the type who'd be happy not going anywhere as long as I was sure I knew exactly what was happening at the places I wasn't going to. I'm the type who'd like to sit home and watch every party that I'm invited to on a monitor in my bedroom.
Andy Warhol
There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands' necks. Anything can happen. You can even get a full glass of beer at a cocktail lounge.
Raymond Chandler (Red Wind: A Collection of Short Stories)
And it isn't that I'm so unhappy I don't want to live anymore. That's not what it feels like. It feels more like I'm tired and bored and the party's gone on too long and I want to go home. I feel flat and there doesn't seem to be anything to look forward to, so I'd rather call it a day.
Nick Hornby (A Long Way Down)
You like the party? Is it in honour of anything? My cat's birthday. Where's your cat? I don't know, he ran away.
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
The ones who are not soul-mated – the ones who have settled – are even more dismissive of my singleness: It’s not that hard to find someone to marry, they say. No relationship is perfect, they say – they, who make do with dutiful sex and gassy bedtime rituals, who settle for TV as conversation, who believe that husbandly capitulation – yes, honey, okay, honey – is the same as concord. He’s doing what you tell him to do because he doesn’t care enough to argue, I think. Your petty demands simply make him feel superior, or resentful, and someday he will fuck his pretty, young coworker who asks nothing of him, and you will actually be shocked. Give me a man with a little fight in him, a man who calls me on my bullshit. (But who also kind of likes my bullshit.) And yet: Don’t land me in one of those relationships where we’re always pecking at each other, disguising insults as jokes, rolling our eyes and ‘playfully’ scrapping in front of our friends, hoping to lure them to our side of an argument they could not care less about. Those awful if only relationships: This marriage would be great if only… and you sense the if only list is a lot longer than either of them realizes. So I know I am right not to settle, but it doesn’t make me feel better as my friends pair off and I stay home on Friday night with a bottle of wine and make myself an extravagant meal and tell myself, This is perfect, as if I’m the one dating me. As I go to endless rounds of parties and bar nights, perfumed and sprayed and hopeful, rotating myself around the room like some dubious dessert. I go on dates with men who are nice and good-looking and smart – perfect-on-paper men who make me feel like I’m in a foreign land, trying to explain myself, trying to make myself known. Because isn’t that the point of every relationship: to be known by someone else, to be understood? He gets me. She gets me. Isn’t that the simple magic phrase? So you suffer through the night with the perfect-on-paper man – the stutter of jokes misunderstood, the witty remarks lobbed and missed. Or maybe he understands that you’ve made a witty remark but, unsure of what to do with it, he holds it in his hand like some bit of conversational phlegm he will wipe away later. You spend another hour trying to find each other, to recognise each other, and you drink a little too much and try a little too hard. And you go home to a cold bed and think, That was fine. And your life is a long line of fine.
Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl)
Because ‘boys will be boys’ is a self-fulfilling prophecy,” said Lundy. “They’re too loud, on the whole, to be easily misplaced or overlooked; when they disappear from the home, parents send search parties to dredge them out of swamps and drag them away from frog ponds. It’s not innate. It’s learned. But it protects them from the doors, keeps them safe at home. Call it irony, if you like, but we spend so much time waiting for our boys to stray that they never have the opportunity. We notice the silence of men. We depend upon the silence of women.
Seanan McGuire (Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children, #1))
Your party kicked so much ass!Even though you suck so much! It's like, instead of blood, your heart pumps liquid suck! But thanks for the beer!
John Green (Paper Towns)
The thing with your heart's desire is that your heart doesn't even know what it desires until it turns up. Like a tie at a tag sale, some perfect thing in a crate of nothing, you were just there, uninvited, and now suddenly the party was over and you were all I wanted. I hadn't even been looking, not for you, and now you were my heart's desire.
Daniel Handler (Why We Broke Up)
I like to know what I'm celebrating before I put on a party hat.
Margaret Peterson Haddix (Into the Gauntlet (The 39 Clues, #10))
We do not require company. In varying degrees, it bores us, drains us, makes our eyes glaze over. Overcomes us like a steamroller. Of course, the rest of the world doesn't understand.
Anneli Rufus (Party of One: The Loners' Manifesto)
So this was the rest of his life. It felt like a party to which he'd been invited, but at an address he couldn't actually locate. Someone must be having fun at it, this life of his; only, right at the moment, it wasn't him.
Margaret Atwood (Oryx and Crake (MaddAddam, #1))
It doesn't taste anything like the drink I had at the party with Tucker. And now, almost two years later, I realize why. Tucker never put any rum in my rum and Coke. That little stink. That overly protective, impossible, infuriating, and utterly sweet little stink. In that moment I miss him so much my stomach hurts.
Cynthia Hand (Boundless (Unearthly, #3))
Sounds like someone's hit the terrible twos." "Threes actually," Quil corrected. "You missed the party. Princess theme. She made me wear a crown, and then Emily suggested they all try out her new play makeup on me." "Wow, I'm REALLY sorry I wasn't around to see that." Don't worry, Emily has pictures. Actually, I look pretty hot.
Stephenie Meyer (Breaking Dawn (The Twilight Saga, #4))
I like the sound of that, crashing Monica's party," he glanced at Michael, then quickly away. "What about you? That break some kind of vampire rules or something?" "Blow me Shane." "Boys," Eve said primly. "Language. Minor at the table." "Well," Shane said, "I wasn't actually planning to do it." Claire rolled her eyes. "Not like it's the first time I've heard it. Or said it." "You shouldnt say it," Michael said, all seriousness. "No, I mean it. Girls should say 'eat me' not 'blow me'. Wouldn't recommend 'bite me' though. Not around here.
Rachel Caine (Midnight Alley (The Morganville Vampires, #3))
I was no better at reading people than I had been ten seconds ago, but in that moment, I suddenly gained a flash of understanding into the mystery that was Adrian Ivashkov. People didn't believe in him very often. They had low expectations of him, so he did as well. Even Eddie had sort of written him off: 'He's Adrian'. As though there was nothing to be done for it. I also suddenly realized that, as unlikely as it seemed, Adrian and I had a lot in common. Both of us were constantly boxed in by others' expectations. It didn't matter that people expected everything of me and nothing of him. We were still the same, both of us constantly trying to break out of the lines that others had defined for us and be our own person. Adrian Ivashkov — flippant, vampire party boy — was more like me than anyone else knew.
Richelle Mead (Bloodlines (Bloodlines, #1))
That's what being shy feels like. Like my skin is too thin, the light too bright. Like the best place I could possibly be is in a tunnel far under the cool, dark earth. Someone asks me a question and I stare at them, empty-faced, my brain jammed up with how hard I'm trying to find something interesting to say. And in the end, all I can do is nod or shrug, because the light of their eyes looking at me, waiting for me, is just too much to take. And then it's over and there's one more person in the world who thinks I'm a complete and total waste of space. The worst thing is the stupid hopefulness. Every new party, every new bunch of people, and I start thinking that maybe this is my chance. That I'm going to be normal this time. A new leaf. A fresh start. But then I find myself at the party, thinking, Oh, yeah. This again. So I stand on the edge of things, crossing my fingers, praying nobody will try to look me in the eye. And the good thing is, they usually don't.
Carol Rifka Brunt (Tell the Wolves I'm Home)
Here's why I will be a good person. Because I listen. I cannot talk, so I listen very well. I never deflect the course of the conversation with a comment of my own. People, if you pay attention to them, change the direction of one another's conversations constantly. It's like being a passenger in your car who suddenly grabs the steering wheel and turns you down a side street. For instance, if we met at a party and I wanted to tell you a story about the time I needed to get a soccer ball in my neighbor's yard but his dog chased me and I had to jump into a swimming pool to escape, and I began telling the story, you, hearing the words "soccer" and "neighbor" in the same sentence, might interrupt and mention that your childhood neighbor was Pele, the famous soccer player, and I might be courteous and say, Didn't he play for the Cosmos of New York? Did you grow up in New York? And you might reply that, no, you grew up in Brazil on the streets of Tres Coracoes with Pele, and I might say, I thought you were from Tennessee, and you might say not originally, and then go on to outline your genealogy at length. So my initial conversational gambit - that I had a funny story about being chased by my neighbor's dog - would be totally lost, and only because you had to tell me all about Pele. Learn to listen! I beg of you. Pretend you are a dog like me and listen to other people rather than steal their stories.
Garth Stein (The Art of Racing in the Rain)
And I want to play hide-and-seek and give you my clothes and tell you I like your shoes and sit on the steps while you take a bath and massage your neck and kiss your feet and hold your hand and go for a meal and not mind when you eat my food and meet you at Rudy's and talk about the day and type up your letters and carry your boxes and laugh at your paranoia and give you tapes you don't listen to and watch great films and watch terrible films and complain about the radio and take pictures of you when you're sleeping and get up to fetch you coffee and bagels and Danish and go to Florent and drink coffee at midnight and have you steal my cigarettes and never be able to find a match and tell you about the tv programme I saw the night before and take you to the eye hospital and not laugh at your jokes and want you in the morning but let you sleep for a while and kiss your back and stroke your skin and tell you how much I love your hair your eyes your lips your neck your breasts your arse your and sit on the steps smoking till your neighbour comes home and sit on the steps smoking till you come home and worry when you're late and be amazed when you're early and give you sunflowers and go to your party and dance till I'm black and be sorry when I'm wrong and happy when you forgive me and look at your photos and wish I'd known you forever and hear your voice in my ear and feel your skin on my skin and get scared when you're angry and your eye has gone red and the other eye blue and your hair to the left and your face oriental and tell you you're gorgeous and hug you when you're anxious and hold you when you hurt and want you when I smell you and offend you when I touch you and whimper when I'm next to you and whimper when I'm not and dribble on your breast and smother you in the night and get cold when you take the blanket and hot when you don't and melt when you smile and dissolve when you laugh and not understand why you think I'm rejecting you when I'm not rejecting you and wonder how you could think I'd ever reject you and wonder who you are but accept you anyway and tell you about the tree angel enchanted forest boy who flew across the ocean because he loved you and write poems for you and wonder why you don't believe me and have a feeling so deep I can't find words for it and want to buy you a kitten I'd get jealous of because it would get more attention than me and keep you in bed when you have to go and cry like a baby when you finally do and get rid of the roaches and buy you presents you don't want and take them away again and ask you to marry me and you say no again but keep on asking because though you think I don't mean it I do always have from the first time I asked you and wander the city thinking it's empty without you and want what you want and think I'm losing myself but know I'm safe with you and tell you the worst of me and try to give you the best of me because you don't deserve any less and answer your questions when I'd rather not and tell you the truth when I really don't want to and try to be honest because I know you prefer it and think it's all over but hang on in for just ten more minutes before you throw me out of your life and forget who I am and try to get closer to you because it's beautiful learning to know you and well worth the effort and speak German to you badly and Hebrew to you worse and make love with you at three in the morning and somehow somehow somehow communicate some of the overwhelming undying overpowering unconditional all-encompassing heart-enriching mind-expanding on-going never-ending love I have for you.
Sarah Kane (Crave)
Then out spake brave Horatius, The Captain of the gate: ‘To every man upon this earth Death cometh soon or late. And how can man die better Than facing fearful odds, For the ashes of his fathers, And the temples of his Gods, ‘And for the tender mother Who dandled him to rest, And for the wife who nurses His baby at her breast, And for the holy maidens Who feed the eternal flame, To save them from false Sextus That wrought the deed of shame? ‘Hew down the bridge, Sir Consul, With all the speed ye may; I, with two more to help me, Will hold the foe in play. In yon strait path a thousand May well be stopped by three. Now who will stand on either hand, And keep the bridge with me? Then out spake Spurius Lartius; A Ramnian proud was he: ‘Lo, I will stand at thy right hand, And keep the bridge with thee.’ And out spake strong Herminius; Of Titian blood was he: ‘I will abide on thy left side, And keep the bridge with thee.’ ‘Horatius,’ quoth the Consul, ‘As thou sayest, so let it be.’ And straight against that great array Forth went the dauntless Three. For Romans in Rome’s quarrel Spared neither land nor gold, Nor son nor wife, nor limb nor life, In the brave days of old. Then none was for a party; Then all were for the state; Then the great man helped the poor, And the poor man loved the great: Then lands were fairly portioned; Then spoils were fairly sold: The Romans were like brothers In the brave days of old. Now Roman is to Roman More hateful than a foe, And the Tribunes beard the high, And the Fathers grind the low. As we wax hot in faction, In battle we wax cold: Wherefore men fight not as they fought In the brave days of old.
Thomas Babington Macaulay (Horatius)
I know this goes without saying, but Stonehenge really was the most incredible accomplishment. It took five hundred men just to pull each sarsen, plus a hundred more to dash around positioning the rollers. Just think about it for a minute. Can you imagine trying to talk six hundred people into helping you drag a fifty-ton stone eighteen miles across the countryside and muscle it into an upright position, and then saying, 'Right, lads! Another twenty like that, plus some lintels and maybe a couple of dozen nice bluestones from Wales, and we can party!' Whoever was the person behind Stonehenge was one dickens of a motivator, I'll tell you that.
Bill Bryson (Notes from a Small Island)
Why is it that everyone else can look like they’re part of a zombie hunting party, but I still have to worry about fashion?” He won’t stop snickering. “You look like a leopard-spotted Shar-Pei.” I think those are the little pug-like dogs drowning in massive folds of skin. “You’re scarring me, you know. It could haunt me for the rest of my life to be called a wrinkly little dog at the tender age of seventeen.” “Yup. A sensitive girl. That just defines you, Penryn.
Susan Ee (World After (Penryn & the End of Days, #2))
I had recently come into the possession of a Thesaurus. You would not believe how many words there are! When I opened that book, I was like, whoa! Word party!
The Harvard Lampoon (Nightlight: A Parody)
What do you know about women?" They smell nice, they don't like to be told they can't do something, and, when they're naked, they hold some sort of mystical power that overrides our brains and makes us do and say things that would normally be inconceivable.
Katie MacAlister
There was a kindliness about intoxication - there was that indescribable gloss and glamour it gave, like the memories of ephemeral and faded evenings.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Beautiful and Damned)
Simon watched a kelpie skip past, carrying a glass of blue fluid, and raised an eyebrow. “It’s not like Magnus’s party,” Isabelle reassured him. “Everything here ought to be safe to drink.” “Ought to be?” Aline look worried.
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
I’m a modern man, a man for the millennium. Digital and smoke free. A diversified multi-cultural, post-modern deconstruction that is anatomically and ecologically incorrect. I’ve been up linked and downloaded, I’ve been inputted and outsourced, I know the upside of downsizing, I know the downside of upgrading. I’m a high-tech low-life. A cutting edge, state-of-the-art bi-coastal multi-tasker and I can give you a gigabyte in a nanosecond! I’m new wave, but I’m old school and my inner child is outward bound. I’m a hot-wired, heat seeking, warm-hearted cool customer, voice activated and bio-degradable. I interface with my database, my database is in cyberspace, so I’m interactive, I’m hyperactive and from time to time I’m radioactive. Behind the eight ball, ahead of the curve, ridin the wave, dodgin the bullet and pushin the envelope. I’m on-point, on-task, on-message and off drugs. I’ve got no need for coke and speed. I've got no urge to binge and purge. I’m in-the-moment, on-the-edge, over-the-top and under-the-radar. A high-concept, low-profile, medium-range ballistic missionary. A street-wise smart bomb. A top-gun bottom feeder. I wear power ties, I tell power lies, I take power naps and run victory laps. I’m a totally ongoing big-foot, slam-dunk, rainmaker with a pro-active outreach. A raging workaholic. A working rageaholic. Out of rehab and in denial! I’ve got a personal trainer, a personal shopper, a personal assistant and a personal agenda. You can’t shut me up. You can’t dumb me down because I’m tireless and I’m wireless, I’m an alpha male on beta-blockers. I’m a non-believer and an over-achiever, laid-back but fashion-forward. Up-front, down-home, low-rent, high-maintenance. Super-sized, long-lasting, high-definition, fast-acting, oven-ready and built-to-last! I’m a hands-on, foot-loose, knee-jerk head case pretty maturely post-traumatic and I’ve got a love-child that sends me hate mail. But, I’m feeling, I’m caring, I’m healing, I’m sharing-- a supportive, bonding, nurturing primary care-giver. My output is down, but my income is up. I took a short position on the long bond and my revenue stream has its own cash-flow. I read junk mail, I eat junk food, I buy junk bonds and I watch trash sports! I’m gender specific, capital intensive, user-friendly and lactose intolerant. I like rough sex. I like tough love. I use the “F” word in my emails and the software on my hard-drive is hardcore--no soft porn. I bought a microwave at a mini-mall; I bought a mini-van at a mega-store. I eat fast-food in the slow lane. I’m toll-free, bite-sized, ready-to-wear and I come in all sizes. A fully-equipped, factory-authorized, hospital-tested, clinically-proven, scientifically- formulated medical miracle. I’ve been pre-wash, pre-cooked, pre-heated, pre-screened, pre-approved, pre-packaged, post-dated, freeze-dried, double-wrapped, vacuum-packed and, I have an unlimited broadband capacity. I’m a rude dude, but I’m the real deal. Lean and mean! Cocked, locked and ready-to-rock. Rough, tough and hard to bluff. I take it slow, I go with the flow, I ride with the tide. I’ve got glide in my stride. Drivin and movin, sailin and spinin, jiving and groovin, wailin and winnin. I don’t snooze, so I don’t lose. I keep the pedal to the metal and the rubber on the road. I party hearty and lunch time is crunch time. I’m hangin in, there ain’t no doubt and I’m hangin tough, over and out!
George Carlin
Introverts crave meaning, so party chitchat feels like sandpaper to our psyche.
Diane Cameron
You know what it was like? It was like thinking I was heading to a surprise party and instead it was a surprise pap smear.
Jen Lancaster (Such a Pretty Fat: One Narcissist's Quest to Discover If Her Life Makes Her Ass Look Big, or Why Pie Is Not the Answer)
The first part of the party of the first part shall be known in this contract as the first part of the party of the first part shall be known in this contract-- Look, why should we quarrel about a thing like this? We'll take it right out, eh?
Groucho Marx
The room is warm and smells like dust, and just the presence of so many books makes it easier to breathe. It’s remarkable how being around books, even those you’ve never read, can have a calming effect, like walking into a crowded party and finding it full of people you know.
Mackenzi Lee (The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy (Montague Siblings, #2))
The grace of God means something like: Here is your life. You might never have been, but you are because the party wouldn't have been complete without you. Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid. I am with you. Nothing can ever separate us. It's for you I created the universe. I love you. There's only one catch. Like any other gift, the gift of grace can be yours only if you'll reach out and take it. Maybe being able to reach out and take it is a gift too.
Frederick Buechner
Neither you nor I can know your destiny. You may never know it! Destiny isn't always like a party at the end of the evening. Sometimes it's nothing more than struggling through life from day to day.
Arthur Golden (Memoirs of a Geisha)
Stories can sense happiness and snuff it out like a candle.
Carmen Maria Machado (Her Body and Other Parties: Stories)
mr youse needn't be so spry concernin questions arty each has his tastes but as for i i likes a certain party gimme the he-man's solid bliss for youse ideas i'll match youse a pretty girl who naked is is worth a million statues
E.E. Cummings
And every book, you find, has its own social group--friends of its own it wants to introduce you to, like a party in the library that need never, ever end.
Caitlin Moran (How to Be a Woman)
You're nothing like your sister," he tells me. "She meant a lot to me, okay? It's true. But the things I like about you have nothing to do with her. You - you are so strong and stubborn it drives me crazy. You're the one going through all this and you still put Laney first every time, instead of throwing yourself the pity party we both know you deserve. You call me out on my shit, and I like that, because sometimes I need someone to call me out on my shit. And you get Johnny Cash, and you take these incredible photos, and everything about you makes me hurt, in a good way, and it blows my mind that someone can be so amazing and not even see it.
Hannah Harrington (Saving June)
New Rule: Stop asking Miss USA contestants if they believe in evolution. It’s not their field. It’s like asking Stephen Hawking if he believes in hair scrunchies. Here’s what they know about: spray tans, fake boobs and baton twirling. Here’s what they don’t know about: everything else. If I cared about the uninformed opinions of some ditsy beauty queen, I’d join the Tea Party.
Bill Maher
The older you get, the fewer slumber parties there are, and I hate that. I liked slumber parties. What happened to them?
Drew Barrymore
If I was gay, I wouldn't need an asterisk beside my name. I could stop worrying if the girl I like will bounce when she finds out I also like dick. I could have a coming-out party without people thinking I just want attention. I wouldn't have to explain that I fall in love with minds, not genders or body parts. People wouldn't say I'm 'just a slut' or 'faking it' or 'undecided' or 'confused.' I'm not confused. I don't categorize people by who I'm allowed to like and who I'm allowed to love. Love doesn't fit into boxes like that. It's blurry, slippery, quantum. It's only limited by our perceptions and before we slap a label on it and cram it into some category, everything is possible.
Leah Raeder (Black Iris)
And elsewhere in the woods, there is another party, one taking place inside a hollow hill, full of night-blooming flowers. There, a pale boy plays a fiddle with newly mended fingers while his sister dances with his best friend. There, a monster whirls about, branches waving in time with the music, There, a prince of the Folk takes up the mantle of king, embracing a changeling like a bother, and, with a human boy at his side, names a girl his champion.
Holly Black (The Darkest Part of the Forest)
Is he having a party?" "Dorian is a sociable king. He likes keeping people around him, mostly so he can mock them.
Richelle Mead (Storm Born (Dark Swan, #1))
It was too perfect to last,' so I am tempted to say of our marriage. But it can be meant in two ways. It may be grimly pessimistic - as if God no sooner saw two of His creatures happy than He stopped it ('None of that here!'). As if He were like the Hostess at the sherry-party who separates two guests the moment they show signs of having got into a real conversation. But it could also mean 'This had reached its proper perfection. This had become what it had in it to be. Therefore of course it would not be prolonged.' As if God said, 'Good; you have mastered that exercise. I am very pleased with it. And now you are ready to go on to the next.
C.S. Lewis (A Grief Observed)
Hamas is regularly described as 'Iranian-backed Hamas, which is dedicated to the destruction of Israel.' One will be hard put to find something like 'democratically elected Hamas, which has long been calling for a two-state settlement in accord with the international consensus'—blocked for over 30 years by the US and Israel. All true, but not a useful contribution to the Party Line, hence dispensable.
Noam Chomsky (Gaza in Crisis: Reflections on Israel's War Against the Palestinians)
The worst thing we know about other people is that we’re dependent upon them. That their actions affect our lives. Not just the people we choose, the people we like, but all the rest of them: the idiots. You who stand in front of us in every line, who can’t drive properly, who like bad television shows and talk too loud in restaurants and whose kids infect our kids with the winter vomiting bug at preschool. You who park badly and steal our jobs and vote for the wrong party. You also influence our lives, every second.
Fredrik Backman (Us Against You (Beartown, #2))
Never miss a party...good for the nerves--like celery.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (Gatsby Girls)
I would have done anything for him. But these days, I don't want to do anything. I don't want to get drunk or go to a wild party or make out with random boys-not that I've ever wanted to. I don't want to watch chick flicks or eat ice cream or get a haircut or buy out half of the mall. I don't want cold, cruel revenge. I don't want to see him suffer when karma catches up with him and kick his ass. I don't even want to talk to him right now, simply because it would be awkward and pathetic and I wouldn't know what to say to him. Yes, there is self-control, preventing me from being stupid and acting like a desperate doofus in the manner most heartbroken people do. But there is also a weary numbness threatening to consume every inch of me: Isn't there a way for me to skip straight to the part where I'm fine again?
Marla Miniano (Every Girl's Guide to Heartache)
Tell me something, old friend: why are you fighting?" What other reason could there be?" Colonel Gerineldo Marquez answered. "For the great Liberal party." You're lucky because you know why," he answered. "As far as I'm concerned, I've come to realize only just now that I'm fighting because of pride." That's bad," Colonel Gerineldo Marquez said. Colonel Aureliano Buendia was amused at his alarm. "Naturally," he said. "But in any case, it's better than not knowing why you're fighting." He looked him in the eyes and added with a smile: Or fighting, like you, for something that doesn't have any meaning for anyone.
Gabriel García Márquez (One Hundred Years of Solitude)
Party lights hang over the street, yellow and red and green. Sadie stumbles over someone’s chair, but I’m ready for this and I catch her easily by the arm. “Sorry, clumsy,” she says. “You always were, Sadie. One of your more endearing traits.” Before she can ask about that I slip my arm around her waist. She slips hers around mine, still looking up at me. The lights skate across her cheeks and shine in her eyes. We clasp hands, fingers folding together naturally, and for me the years fall away like a coat that’s too heavy and too tight. In that moment, I hope on thing above all others: that she was not too busy to find at least one good man … She speaks in a voice almost too low to be heard over the music. But I hear her – I always did. “Who are you, George?” “Someone you knew in another life, honey.
Stephen King (11/22/63)
When you ask "Do you wanna dance, my barefoot Cinderella? Don't need no slippers or a party dress,the way you're lookin' right now is what I like the best", and then you... Say "do you wanna take a chance? Stay with me forever, no one will ever be more beautiful my barefoot, my barefoot Cinderella.
Miley Cyrus (Hannah Montana [With CD (Audio)])
A party is like a sausage machine, it grinds up all sorts of heads together into the same baloney ...
Henrik Ibsen (An Enemy of the People)
It was like any relationship, he felt—it took constant pruning, and dedication, and vigilance, and if neither party wanted to make the effort, why wouldn’t it wither?
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
My dear Rosie, Unbeknownst to you I took this chance before, many, many years ago. You never received that letter and I'm glad because my feelings since then have changed dramatically. They have intensified with every passing day. I'll get straight to the point because if I don't say what I have to say now, I fear it will never be said. And I need to say it. Today I love you more than ever; I want you more than ever. I'm a man of fifty years of age coming to you, feeling like a teenager in love, asking you to give me a chance and love me back. Rosie Dunne, I love you with all my heart. I have always loved you, even when I was seven years old and I lied about falling asleep on Santa watch, when I was ten years old and didn't invite you to my birthday party, when I was eighteen and had to move away, even on my wedding days, on your wedding day, on christenings, birthdays and when we fought. I loved you through it all. Make me the happiest man on this earth by being with me. Please reply to me. All my love, Alex
Cecelia Ahern (Love, Rosie)
It never takes longer than a few minutes, when they get together, for everyone to revert to the state of nature, like a party marooned by a shipwreck. That's what a family is. Also the storm at sea, the ship, and the unknown shore. And the hats and the whiskey stills that you make out of bamboo and coconuts. And the fire that you light to keep away the beasts.
Michael Chabon (The Yiddish Policemen's Union)
There is no formula to relationships. They have to be negotiated in loving ways, with room for both parties, what they want and what they need, what they can do and what their life is like.
Mitch Albom (Tuesdays with Morrie)
 It’s like you had a coming-out party,” Andrea said. “You’ve been presented to polite society, except now everybody wants to kill you.” “Spare me.” “Kate Daniels, a debutante.” Andrea grinned. “It’s not funny.” “It’s hilarious.” The smile slid off Andrea’s face and she vomited on the snow. “Karma,” I told her.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Breaks (Kate Daniels, #7))
When Hel and I were Fivers, a Barbarian raiding party took us prisoner. I was trussed like a festival-day goat, but they tied Helene's hands in front of her with twine and propped her on the back of a pony, assuming she was harmless. That night, she used the twine to garrote three of our jailers and broke the necks of the other three with her bare hands. “They always underestimate me,” she said afterward, sounding puzzled.
Sabaa Tahir (An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes, #1))
I can’t tell you what to do. No one can. But as the mother of two children, I can tell you what most moms will: that mothering is absurdly hard and profoundly sweet. Like the best thing you ever did. Like if you think you want to have a baby, you probably should. I say this in spite of the fact that children are giant endless suck machines. They don’t give a whit if you need to sleep or eat or pee or get your work done or go out to a party naked and oiled up in a homemade Alice B. Toklas mask. They take everything. They will bring you the furthest edge of your personality and abso-fucking-lutely to your knees. They will also give you everything back. Not just all they take, but many of the things you lost before they came along as well.
Cheryl Strayed (Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar)
It was like a Russian party, Arkady thought. People got drunk, recklessly confessed their love, spilled their festering dislike, had hysterics, marched out, were dragged back in and revived with brandy. It wasn't a French salon.
Martin Cruz Smith
My son the general!" King Tiberias booms, his proud voice cutting through the din of the party. For a second, when he pulls Cal close, putting an arm around his son, I forget he's a king. I almost understand Cal's need to please him. What would I give to see my mother look at me like that, back when I was nothing but a thief? What would I give now? This world is Silver, but it is also gray. There is no black-and-white.
Victoria Aveyard (Red Queen (Red Queen, #1))
She didn't want to have anything to do with the party. She was tired of feeling like she didn't fit in, but she didn't want to go home, either, because she was a tired of being lonely and she was a little drunk.
Candace Bushnell
There is no formula to relationships. They have to be negotiated in loving ways, with room for both parties, what they want and what they need, what they can do and what their life is like. In business, people negotiate to win. They negotiate to get what they want. Maybe you’re too used to that. Love is different. Love is when you are as concerned about someone else’s situation as you are about your own.
Morrie Schwartz
Tally sighed, tipping her feet again to follow. "Maybe that's because they have better stuff to do than kid tricks. Maybe partying in town is better than hanging out in a bunch of old ruins." Shay's eyes flashed. "Or maybe when they do the operation-when they grind and stretch your bones to the right shape, peel off your face and rub all your skin away, and stick in plastic cheekbones so you look like everyone else-maybe after going through all that you just aren't very interesting anymore.
Scott Westerfeld (Uglies (Uglies, #1))
Well, I care what you think of me. I care enough that I stayed at this disgusting party for you. And I care enough that I'd attend a thousand more like it so I can spend a few hours with you when you aren't looking at me like I'm not worth the dirt beneath your shoes.
Sarah J. Maas (The Assassin and the Underworld (Throne of Glass, #0.4))
I took a step toward her. "It is my right to reside in my own mind. It is my right," I said. "It is my right to be unsociable and it is my right to be unpleasant to be around. Do you ever listen to yourself? This is crazy, that is crazy, everything is crazy to you. By whose measure? Well, it is my right to be crazy, as you love to say so much. I have no shame. I have felt many things in my life, but shame is not among them." The volume of my voice caused me to stand on my tiptoes. I could not remember yelling like this, ever. "You may think that I have an obligation to you but I assure you that us being thrown together in this arbitrary arrangement does not cohesion make. I have never had less of an obligation to anyone in my life, you aggressively ordinary woman.
Carmen Maria Machado (Her Body and Other Parties: Stories)
You want to know about voting. I'm here to tell you about voting. Imagine you're locked in a huge underground night-club filled with sinners, whores, freaks and unnameable things that rape pitbulls for fun. And you ain't allowed out until you all vote on what you're going to do tonight. You like to put your feet up and watch "Republican Party Reservation". They like to have sex with normal people using knives, guns, and brand new sexual organs you did not even know existed. So you vote for television, and everyone else, as far as your eye can see, votes to fuck you with switchblades. That's voting. You're welcome.
Warren Ellis (Transmetropolitan, Vol. 3: Year of the Bastard)
The clear awareness of having been born into a losing struggle need not lead one into despair. I do not especially like the idea that one day I shall be tapped on the shoulder and informed, not that the party is over but that it is most assuredly going on—only henceforth in my absence. (It's the second of those thoughts: the edition of the newspaper that will come out on the day after I have gone, that is the more distressing.) Much more horrible, though, would be the announcement that the party was continuing forever, and that I was forbidden to leave. Whether it was a hellishly bad party or a party that was perfectly heavenly in every respect, the moment that it became eternal and compulsory would be the precise moment that it began to pall.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
From day one it was like society was this violent, complicated dance and everybody had taken lessons but me. Knocked to the floor again, climbing to my feet each time, bloody and humiliated. Always met with disapproving faces, waiting for me to leave so I'd stop fucking up the party. The wanted to push me outside, where the freaks huddled in the cold. Out there with the misfits, the broken, the glazed-eye types who can only watch as the normals enjoy their shiny new cars and careers and marriages and vacations with the kids. The freaks spend their lives shambling around, wondering how they got left out, mumbling about conspiracy theories and bigfoot sightings. Their encounters with the world are marked by awkward conversations and stifled laughter, hidden smirks and rolled eyes. And worst of all, pity.
David Wong (John Dies at the End (John Dies at the End, #1))
Friends can be a pain. They can be demanding and hard work. But maybe that's because they're the wrong friends. I read a quote once, can't remember who by, but they said that your friends aren't necessarily the people you like best, they're just the people who got there first.
Lisa Jewell (Ralph's Party)
I'm going to take a shower. You're going to be good, try not to be sexy or freak me out or anything like that. I've got to concentrate, preparing for a formal party is serious business. I don't need distractions." His eyes went half-mast and his half-grin appeared. "You're doing it!"I accused. His eyebrows went up. I shook my head. "Never mind". Then I stomped to the shower.
Kristen Ashley (Rock Chick Redemption (Rock Chick, #3))
STAY HOME FROM SCHOOL FAUX VOMIT: 1 cup of cooked oatmeal 1.2 cup of sour cream (or buttermilk ranch dressing or anything that smells like rancid, sour milk) 2 chopped cheese sticks (for chunkiness) 1 uncooked egg (for authentic slimy texture) 1 can of split pea soup (for putrid green color) 1/4 cup of raisins (to increase gross-osity) Mix ingredients and simmer over low heat for 2 minutes Let mixture cool to warm vomit temperature Use liberally as needed Makes 4 to 5 cups
Rachel Renée Russell (Tales from a Not-So-Popular Party Girl (Dork Diaries, #2))
She shook off his grip. "I am what I am, and I don't particularly care what you think of me.” "Well, I care what you think of me. I care enough that I stayed at this disgusting party for you. And I care enough that I'd attend a thousand more like it so I can spend a few hours with you when you aren't looking at me like I'M not worth the dirt beneath your shoes.
Sarah J. Maas (The Assassin and the Empire (Throne of Glass, #0.5))
I can’t even help it. There’s just this thread of anticipation that I can’t seem to quell. So when the school day ends and nothing extraordinary has happened, it’s a tiny heartbreak. It’s like eleven o’clock on the night of your birthday, when you realize no one’s throwing you a surprise party after all.
Becky Albertalli (Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda)
Briefly, the nymphaeum glowed with a softer light, like a full moon. Piper smelled exotic spices and blooming roses. She heard distant music and happy voices talking and laughing. She guessed she was hearing hundreds of years of parties and celebrations that had been held at this shrine in ancient times, as if the memories had been freed along with the spirits. 'What is that?' Jason asked nervously. Piper slipped her hand into his. 'The ghosts are dancing.
Rick Riordan (The Mark of Athena (The Heroes of Olympus, #3))
Bright Idea #91: When the weather's bad and your lights go out, have a pajama party. Eat till you feel sick, hula-hoop, paint your faces. Catch fireflies, and dance naked in the rain. If you do, then your bare butt will light up like a firefly after it's been let out of a jar.
Sandra Kring (The Book Of Bright Ideas)
To the most inconsiderate asshole of a friend, I’m writing you this letter because I know that if I say what I have to say to your face I will probably punch you. I don’t know you anymore. I don’t see you anymore. All I get is a quick text or a rushed e-mail from you every few days. I know you are busy and I know you have Bethany, but hello? I’m supposed to be your best friend. You have no idea what this summer has been like. Ever since we were kids we pushed away every single person that could possibly have been our friend. We blocked people until there was only me and you. You probably haven’t noticed, because you have never been in the position I am in now. You have always had someone. You always had me. I always had you. Now you have Bethany and I have no one. Now I feel like those other people that used to try to become our friend, that tried to push their way into our circle but were met by turned backs. I know you’re probably not doing it deliberately just as we never did it deliberately. It’s not that we didn’t want anyone else, it’s just that we didn’t need them. Sadly now it looks like you don’t need me anymore. Anyway I’m not moaning on about how much I hate her, I’m just trying to tell you that I miss you. And that well . . . I’m lonely. Whenever you cancel nights out I end up staying home with Mum and Dad watching TV. It’s so depressing. This was supposed to be our summer of fun. What happened? Can’t you be friends with two people at once? I know you have found someone who is extra special, and I know you both have a special “bond,” or whatever, that you and I will never have. But we have another bond, we’re best friends. Or does the best friend bond disappear as soon as you meet somebody else? Maybe it does, maybe I just don’t understand that because I haven’t met that “somebody special.” I’m not in any hurry to, either. I liked things the way they were. So maybe Bethany is now your best friend and I have been relegated to just being your “friend.” At least be that to me, Alex. In a few years time if my name ever comes up you will probably say, “Rosie, now there’s a name I haven’t heard in years. We used to be best friends. I wonder what she’s doingnow; I haven’t seen or thought of her in years!” You will sound like my mum and dad when they have dinner parties with friends and talk about old times. They always mention people I’ve never even heard of when they’re talking about some of the most important days of their lives. Yet where are those people now? How could someone who was your bridesmaid 20 years ago not even be someone who you are on talking terms with now? Or in Dad’s case, how could he not know where his own best friend from college lives? He studied with the man for five years! Anyway, my point is (I know, I know, there is one), I don’t want to be one of those easily forgotten people, so important at the time, so special, so influential, and so treasured, yet years later just a vague face and a distant memory. I want us to be best friends forever, Alex. I’m happy you’re happy, really I am, but I feel like I’ve been left behind. Maybe our time has come and gone. Maybe your time is now meant to be spent with Bethany. And if that’s the case I won’t bother sending you this letter. And if I’m not sending this letter then what am I doing still writing it? OK I’m going now and I’m ripping these muddled thoughts up. Your friend, Rosie
Cecelia Ahern (Love, Rosie)
Half of them kept repeating my name, trying to get it right, while the other half laughed. But they were harmless. Fun drunks make a nice addition to any party: Not looking to fight. Not looking to score. Just looking to get drunk and laugh. I remember those guys. Like the mascots of the party. "Clay! Whatcha doon here? Bah-ha-ha-ha!
Jay Asher (Thirteen Reasons Why)
I know loving me isn’t easy – the all-night helicopter parties, the glow-in-the-dark haircuts, but when I look at you it’s like praying with my eyes. I know it’s stupid to not own a gun yet have so many triggers, but in some other world gigantic seashells hold humans to their ears and listen to the echo of machines.
Jeffrey McDaniel
It's not the loving that hurts this girl; it's the understanding of it for what it is, that it will never be returned in the same way, that threatens to destroy her. But to unload the words - "I love you" - on an innocent party who didn't ask for it, to reach across the dark space and touch him - it's like the world she knows could end if she dared speak these words, dared make such a move.
Rachel Cohn (You Know Where to Find Me)
I hear in the big city, girls dress up like sexy witches and sexy vampires and sexy Easter bunnies, and go to parties where they do all sorts of scandalous things," Kami said. "Luckily you and me, we got to walk around our town looking at our neighbours' gardens and remarking 'My, that's a good-looking scarecrow' to each other. I guess this is why our natures are so beautiful and unspoilt.
Sarah Rees Brennan (Untold (The Lynburn Legacy, #2))
Moreover, I have boundary issues with men. Or maybe that’s not fair to say. To have issues with boundaries, one must have boundaries in the first place, right? But I disappear into the person I love. I am the permeable membrane. If I love you, you can have everything. You can have my time, my devotion, my ass, my money, my family, my dog, my dog’s money, my dog’s time—everything. If I love you, I will carry for you all your pain, I will assume for you all your debts (in every definition of the word), I will protect you from your own insecurity, I will project upon you all sorts of good qualities that you have never actually cultivated in yourself and I will buy Christmas presents for your entire family. I will give you the sun and the rain, and if they are not available, I will give you a sun check and a rain check. I will give you all this and more, until I get so exhausted and depleted that the only way I can recover my energy is by becoming infatuated with someone else. I do not relay these facts about myself with pride, but this is how it’s always been. Some time after I’d left my husband, I was at a party and a guy I barely knew said to me, “You know, you seem like a completely different person, now that you’re with this new boyfriend. You used to look like your husband, but now you look like David. You even dress like him and talk like him. You know how some people look like their dogs? I think maybe you always look like your men.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
We teach our girls how not to get raped with a sense of doom, a sense that we are fighting a losing battle. When I was writing this novel, friend after friend came to me telling me of something that had happened to them. A hand up their skirt, a boy who wouldn’t take no for an answer, a night where they were too drunk to give consent but they think it was taken from them anyway. We shared these stories with one another and it was as if we were discussing some essential part of being a woman, like period cramps or contraceptives. Every woman or girl who told me these stories had one thing in common: shame. ‘I was drunk . . . I brought him back to my house . . . I fell asleep at that party . . . I froze and I didn’t tell him to stop . . .’ My fault. My fault. My fault. When I asked these women if they had reported what had happened to the police, only one out of twenty women said yes. The others looked at me and said, ‘No. How could I have proved it? Who would have believed me?’ And I didn’t have any answer for that.
Louise O'Neill (Asking For It)
I’ve just never met someone like you," as if I were a stranger from another town or an eccentric guest accompanying a mutual friend to a dinner party. It was a strange thought to hear from the mouth of the woman who had birthed and raised me, with whom I shared a home for eighteen years, someone who was half me. My mother had struggled to understand me just as I struggled to understand her. Thrown as we were on opposite sides of a fault line—generational, cultural, linguistic—we wandered lost without a reference point, each of us unintelligible to the other’s expectations, until these past few years when we had just begun to unlock the mystery, carve the psychic space to accommodate each other, appreciate the differences between us, linger in our refracted commonalities. Then, what would have been the most fruitful years of understanding were cut violently short, and I was left alone to decipher the secrets of inheritance without its key.
Michelle Zauner (Crying in H Mart)
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
We're constantly getting these messages to mind our own business and look the other way if we want to be well liked, to not tell the truth or speak our mind or say anything too intense. Well, I'm telling you here that this approach not only makes you party to other people's crimes against themselves but is a prescription for mediocrity and delusion
Kelly Cutrone (If You Have to Cry, Go Outside: And Other Things Your Mother Never Told You)
It's a secret code," said Calvin. "Girls are not not like boys. If a boy wants to kill you, he says 'I'm going to kill you.' If a girl wants to kill you, she says, 'We need to talk.' That's the code." I gasped. "Has a girl ever wanted to talk to you?" I asked. "Yup," said Calvin. "How come you're still alive?" I asked. "I vomited," said Calvin.
Lenore Look (Allergic to Birthday Parties, Science Projects, and Other Man-made Catastrophes (Alvin Ho, #3))
He looked up as the party emerged and nickered a soft hello to his master, who was dressed in an unfamiliar green cloak and had dirt plastered on his face. Halt glanced at him, brow furrowed, and silently mouthed the words 'shut up'. Abelardshook his mane, which was as close as a horse could come to shruging, and turned away. 'My horse recognized me,' Halt said accusingly out of the side of his mouth to Horace. Horace glanced at the small shagging horse, standing beside his own massive battlehorse. 'Mine didn't,' he replied. 'So that's a fifty-fifty result.' 'I think I'd like odds better than that,' Halt replied. Horace suppressed a grin. 'Don't worry. He can probably smell you.' 'I can smell myself,' Halt replied acerbically. 'I smell of tea and soot.' Horace thought it was wiser not to reply to that.
John Flanagan (The Kings of Clonmel (Ranger's Apprentice, #8))
What did she say?” asked Matthias. Nina coughed and took his arm, leading him away. “She said you’re a very nice fellow, and a credit to the Fjerdan race. Ooh, look, blini! I haven’t had proper blini in forever.” “That word she used: babink,” he said. “You’ve called me that before. What does it mean?” Nina directed her attention to a stack of paper-thin buttered pancakes. “It means sweetie pie.” “Nina—” “Barbarian.” “I was just asking, there’s no need to name-call.” “No, babink means barbarian.” Matthias’ gaze snapped back to the old woman, his glower returning to full force. Nina grabbed his arm. It was like trying to hold on to a boulder. “She wasn’t insulting you! I swear!” “Barbarian isn’t an insult?” he asked, voice rising. “No. Well, yes. But not in this context. She wanted to know if you’d like to play Princess and Barbarian.” “It’s a game?” “Not exactly.” “Then what is it?” Nina couldn’t believe she was actually going to attempt to explain this. As they continued up the street, she said, “In Ravka, there’s a popular series of stories about, um, a brave Fjerdan warrior—” “Really?” Matthias asked. “He’s the hero?” “In a manner of speaking. He kidnaps a Ravkan princess—” “That would never happen.” “In the story it does, and”—she cleared her throat—“they spend a long time getting to know each other. In his cave.” “He lives in a cave?” “It’s a very nice cave. Furs. Jeweled cups. Mead.” “Ah,” he said approvingly. “A treasure hoard like Ansgar the Mighty. They become allies, then?” Nina picked up a pair of embroidered gloves from another stand. “Do you like these? Maybe we could get Kaz to wear something with flowers. Liven up his look.” “How does the story end? Do they fight battles?” Nina tossed the gloves back on the pile in defeat. “They get to know each other intimately.” Matthias’ jaw dropped. “In the cave?” “You see, he’s very brooding, very manly,” Nina hurried on. “But he falls in love with the Ravkan princess and that allows her to civilize him—” “To civilize him?” “Yes, but that’s not until the third book.” “There are three?” “Matthias, do you need to sit down?” “This culture is disgusting. The idea that a Ravkan could civilize a Fjerdan—” “Calm down, Matthias.” “Perhaps I’ll write a story about insatiable Ravkans who like to get drunk and take their clothes off and make unseemly advances toward hapless Fjerdans.” “Now that sounds like a party.” Matthias shook his head, but she could see a smile tugging at his lips. She decided to push the advantage. “We could play,” she murmured, quietly enough so that no one around them could hear. “We most certainly could not.” “At one point he bathes her.” Matthias’ steps faltered. “Why would he—” “She’s tied up, so he has to.” “Be silent.” “Already giving orders. That’s very barbarian of you. Or we could mix it up. I’ll be the barbarian and you can be the princess. But you’ll have to do a lot more sighing and trembling and biting your lip.” “How about I bite your lip?” “Now you’re getting the hang of it, Helvar.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
You're trying to be cool now, Leif? Seriously?" "I am the shit, home slice, straight up," he replied. "No. I mean, don't get me wrong, this is a great effort, but you still need to use more contractions. And your tone is so formal, it's like you're complimenting the pudding at a duke's dinner party." "Fucking H!" the vampire shouted, shaking his free left fist. He enunciated the g very clearly and projected his voice from his diaphragm, like a trained opera singer. "It's fuckin' A, not H, but yeah Leif, go ahead, let's throw down.
Kevin Hearne (Hexed (The Iron Druid Chronicles, #2))
I cannot stand small talk, because I feel like there’s an elephant standing in the room shitting all over everything and nobody is saying anything. I’m just dying to say, 'Hey, do you ever feel like jumping off a bridge?' or 'Do you feel an emptiness inside your chest at night that is going to swallow you?' But you can’t say that at a cocktail party.
Paul Gilmartin
We don’t think you fight fire with fire best ; we think you fight fire with water best. We’re going to fight racism not with racism, but we’re going to fight with solidarity. We say we’re not going to fight capitalism with black capitalism, but we’re going to fight it with socialism. We’re stood up and said we’re not going to fight reactionary pigs and reactionary state’s attorneys like this and reactionary state’s attorneys like Hanrahan with any other reactions on our part. We’re going to fight their reactions with all of us people getting together and having an international proletarian revolution.
Fred Hampton
fuck she pulled her dress off over her head and I saw the panties indented somewhat into the crotch. it's only human. now we've got to do it. I've got to do it after all that bluff. it's like a party-- two trapped idiots. under the sheets after I have snapped off the light her panties are still on. she expects an opening performance. I can't blame her. but wonder why she's here with me? where are the other guys? how can you be lucky? having someone the others have abandoned? we didn't have to do it yet we had to do it. it was something like establishing new credibility with the income tax man. I get the panties off. I decide not to tongue her. even then I'm thinking about after it's over. we'll sleep together tonight trying to fit ourselves inside the wallpaper. I try, fail, notice the hair on her head mostly notice the hair on her head and a glimpse of nostrils piglike I try it again.
Charles Bukowski (Love Is a Dog from Hell)
It seeems like so long ago but I'm sorry I yelled at you after the party" "I doubt it'll be the last time" he chuckles. "Phillip" "Well, at least I hope it won't be the last time because it would mean you weren't with me I roll my eyes at him. I don't get mad at him often. Just when he disagrees with me. "I'll always love my princess" He smiles."Even when she's mad at me.
Jillian Dodd (That Boy (That Boy, #1))
Hello, spawn!” I coo at Kayla’s baby brother as he waddles into her room. He burps at me. “It looks like you guys speak the same language,” Kayla quips. “Where was that sass when Jack was making you cry at Avery’s party?” “Uh, hello? He’s my crush? I’m not going to sass him.” “Flash ‘em the sass before you flash ‘em the ass.” “What kind of saying is that?” She laughs. “Grandma-saying. She’s the head of the motorcycle gang at her nursing home.
Sara Wolf (Lovely Vicious (Lovely Vicious, #1))
Last year I kissed this freshman girl at a pool party and she wouldn’t get off my nuts for six months. Which is why my policy is now no psychotics, and no freshmen. The freshmen thing is obviously easy to avoid, while the psychotics pose a bit more of a problem. It’s not like girls walk around with “I’m crazy” stamped on their chests.
Lauren Barnholdt (Two-Way Street)
When they say Don't I know you? say no. When they invite you to the party remember what parties are like before answering. Someone telling you in a loud voice they once wrote a poem. Greasy sausage balls on a paper plate. Then reply. If they say we should get together. say why? It's not that you don't love them any more. You're trying to remember something too important to forget. Trees. The monastery bell at twilight. Tell them you have a new project. It will never be finished. When someone recognizes you in a grocery store nod briefly and become a cabbage. When someone you haven't seen in ten years appears at the door, don't start singing him all your new songs. You will never catch up. Walk around feeling like a leaf. Know you could tumble any second. Then decide what to do with your time.
Naomi Shihab Nye
It's my belief that history is a wheel. 'Inconstancy is my very essence,' says the wheel. Rise up on my spokes if you like but don't complain when you're cast back down into the depths. Good time pass away, but then so do the bad. Mutability is our tragedy, but it's also our hope. The worst of time, like the best, are always passing away.
Tony Wilson (24 Hour Party People)
She wanted to be liked. Perhaps this explained the parties, the crystalline laughter, the well-coiffed hair, the rehearsed smile. She thought that men such as her father could be stern and men could be cold like Virgil, but women needed to be liked or they’d be in trouble. A woman who is not liked is a bitch, and a bitch can hardly do anything: all avenues are closed to her.
Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Mexican Gothic)
But he place a gentle palm under her chin and turned her face back to him. “I'm privileged to see you like this,” he said, his eyes fierce. “Wear you social mask at your balls and parties and when you visit your friends out there, but when we are alone, just the two of us in here, promise me this: that you'll show me only your real face, no matter how ugly you might think it. That's our true intimacy, not sex, but the ability to be ourselves when we are together. (Winter Makepeace)
Elizabeth Hoyt (Thief of Shadows (Maiden Lane, #4))
High society here turns me off and I feel a bit of rage against all these rich guys here, since I have seen thousands of people in the most terrible misery without anything to eat and with no place to sleep, that is what has most impressed me here, it is terrifying to see the rich having parties day and night while thousands and thousands of people are dying of hunger... Although I am very interested in all the industrial and mechanical development of the United States, I find that Americans completely lack sensibility and good taste. They live as if in an enormous chicken coop that is dirty and uncomfortable. The houses look like bread ovens and all the comfort that they talk about is a myth.
Frida Kahlo
It feels like shit to be alone. To be in a place full of people and feel like they don't want you there. To feel like you're at a party you weren't invited to. No one even knows your name. No one wants to. No one cares. Are they laughing at you? Talking about you? Are they sneering at you like their perfect world would be so much better if you weren't there, messing up their view? Are they just wishing you'd get the hint already and leave? I feel like that a lot. I know it's pathetic to want a place among other people, and I know you'll say it's better to stand in a crowd and be wrong, but... I still feel that need all the time. Do you ever feel it? I wonder if the cheerleader feels it. When the music stops and everyone goes home? When the day is gone and she doesn't have anyone to entertain herself with? When she removes her makeup, taking off her brave face for the day, do the demons she keeps buried start playing with her when there's no one else to play with? I guess not. Narcissists don't have insecurities, right? Must be nice.
Penelope Douglas (Punk 57)
How often since then has she wondered what might have happened if she'd tried to remain with him; if she’d returned Richard's kiss on the corner of Bleeker and McDougal, gone off somewhere (where?) with him, never bought the packet of incense or the alpaca coat with rose-shaped buttons. Couldn’t they have discovered something larger and stranger than what they've got. It is impossible not to imagine that other future, that rejected future, as taking place in Italy or France, among big sunny rooms and gardens; as being full of infidelities and great battles; as a vast and enduring romance laid over friendship so searing and profound it would accompany them to the grave and possibly even beyond. She could, she thinks, have entered another world. She could have had a life as potent and dangerous as literature itself. Or then again maybe not, Clarissa tells herself. That's who I was. This is who I am--a decent woman with a good apartment, with a stable and affectionate marriage, giving a party. Venture too far for love, she tells herself, and you renounce citizenship in the country you've made for yourself. You end up just sailing from port to port. Still, there is this sense of missed opportunity. Maybe there is nothing, ever, that can equal the recollection of having been young together. Maybe it's as simple as that. Richard was the person Clarissa loved at her most optimistic moment. Richard had stood beside her at the pond's edge at dusk, wearing cut-off jeans and rubber sandals. Richard had called her Mrs. Dalloway, and they had kissed. His mouth had opened to hers; (exciting and utterly familiar, she'd never forget it) had worked its way shyly inside until she met its own. They'd kissed and walked around the pond together. It had seemed like the beginning of happiness, and Clarissa is still sometimes shocked, more than thirty years later to realize that it was happiness; that the entire experience lay in a kiss and a walk. The anticipation of dinner and a book. The dinner is by now forgotten; Lessing has been long overshadowed by other writers. What lives undimmed in Clarissa's mind more than three decades later is a kiss at dusk on a patch of dead grass, and a walk around a pond as mosquitoes droned in the darkening air. There is still that singular perfection, and it's perfect in part because it seemed, at the time, so clearly to promise more. Now she knows: That was the moment, right then. There has been no other.
Michael Cunningham (The Hours)
The media are desperately afraid of being accused of bias. And that's partly because there's a whole machine out there, an organized attempt to accuse them of bias whenever they say anything that the Right doesn't like. So rather than really try to report things objectively, they settle for being even-handed, which is not the same thing. One of my lines in a column—in which a number of people thought I was insulting them personally—was that if Bush said the Earth was flat, the mainstream media would have stories with the headline: 'Shape of Earth—Views Differ.' Then they'd quote some Democrats saying that it was round.
Paul Krugman
One might fancy that day, the London day, was just beginning. Like a woman who had slipped off her print dress and white apron to array herself in blue and pearls, the day changed, put off stuff, took gauze, changed to evening, and with the same sigh of exhilaration that a woman breathes, tumbling petticoats on the floor, it too shed dust, heat, colour; the traffic thinned; motor cars, tinkling, darting, succeeded the lumber of vans; and here and there among the thick foliage of the squares an intense light hung. I resign, the evening seemed to say, as it paled and faded above the battlements and prominences, moulded, pointed, of hotel, flat, and block of shops, I fade, she was beginning. I disappear, but London would have none of it, and rushed her bayonets into the sky, pinioned her, constrained her to partnership in her revelry.
Virginia Woolf (Mrs. Dalloway)
Why can’t I do it?” [Isabel] asked…. “Do what?” “Just forget about everything. Just go somewhere and get smashed and pretend like there are no problems or consequences. I know why. Because there are still problems and consequences. And going and--and--partying doesn’t make them go away. I feel like I’m the only sane person in the world. I don’t get why this whole world runs on stupidity.
Maggie Stiefvater (Sinner (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #3.5))
Shepley walked out of his bedroom pulling a T-shirt over his head. His eyebrows pushed together. “Did they just leave?” “Yeah,” I said absently, rinsing my cereal bowl and dumping Abby’s leftover oatmeal in the sink. She’d barely touched it. “Well, what the hell? Mare didn’t even say goodbye.” “You knew she was going to class. Quit being a cry baby.” Shepley pointed to his chest. “I’m the cry baby? Do you remember last night?” “Shut up.” “That’s what I thought.” He sat on the couch and slipped on his sneakers. “Did you ask Abby about her birthday?” “She didn’t say much, except that she’s not into birthdays.” “So what are we doing?” “Throwing her a party.” Shepley nodded, waiting for me to explain. “I thought we’d surprise her. Invite some of our friends over and have America take her out for a while.” Shepley put on his white ball cap, pulling it down so low over his brows I couldn’t see his eyes. “She can manage that. Anything else?” “How do you feel about a puppy?” Shepley laughed once. “It’s not my birthday, bro.” I walked around the breakfast bar and leaned my hip against the stool. “I know, but she lives in the dorms. She can’t have a puppy.” “Keep it here? Seriously? What are we going to do with a dog?” “I found a Cairn Terrier online. It’s perfect.” “A what?” “Pidge is from Kansas. It’s the same kind of dog Dorothy had in the Wizard of Oz.” Shepley’s face was blank. “The Wizard of Oz.” “What? I liked the scarecrow when I was a little kid, shut the fuck up.” “It’s going to crap every where, Travis. It’ll bark and whine and … I don’t know.” “So does America … minus the crapping.” Shepley wasn’t amused. “I’ll take it out and clean up after it. I’ll keep it in my room. You won’t even know it’s here.” “You can’t keep it from barking.” “Think about it. You gotta admit it’ll win her over.” Shepley smiled. “Is that what this is all about? You’re trying to win over Abby?” My brows pulled together. “Quit it.” His smile widened. “You can get the damn dog…” I grinned with victory. “…if you admit you have feelings for Abby.” I frowned in defeat. “C’mon, man!” “Admit it,” Shepley said, crossing his arms. What a tool. He was actually going to make me say it. I looked to the floor, and everywhere else except Shepley’s smug ass smile. I fought it for a while, but the puppy was fucking brilliant. Abby would flip out (in a good way for once), and I could keep it at the apartment. She’d want to be there every day. “I like her,” I said through my teeth. Shepley held his hand to his ear. “What? I couldn’t quite hear you.” “You’re an asshole! Did you hear that?” Shepley crossed his arms. “Say it.” “I like her, okay?” “Not good enough.” “I have feelings for her. I care about her. A lot. I can’t stand it when she’s not around. Happy?” “For now,” he said, grabbing his backpack off the floor.
Jamie McGuire (Walking Disaster (Beautiful, #2))
In my experience, writers tend to be really good at the inside of their own heads and imaginary people, and a lot less good at the stuff going on outside, which means that quite often if you flirt with us we will completely fail to notice, leaving everybody involved slightly uncomfortable and more than slightly unlaid. So I would suggest that any attempted seduction of a writer would probably go a great deal easier for all parties if you sent them a cheerful note saying "YOU ARE INVITED TO A SEDUCTION: Please come to dinner on Friday Night, Wear the kind of clothes you would like to be seduced in." And alcohol may help, too. Or kissing. Many writers figure out that they're being seduced or flirted with if someone is actually kissing them.
Neil Gaiman
One of the most effective forms of industrial or military sabotage limits itself to damage that can never be thoroughly proven - or even proven at all - to be anything deliberate. It is like an invisible political movement; perhaps it isn't there at all. If a bomb is wired to a car's ignition, then obviously there is an enemy; if public building or a political headquarters is blown up, then there is a political enemy. But if an accident, or a series of accidents, occurs, if equipment merely fails to function, if it appears faulty, especially in a slow fashion, over a period of natural time, with numerous small failures and misfiring- then the victim, whether a person or a party or a country, can never marshal itself to defend itself.
Philip K. Dick (A Scanner Darkly)
But—let me tell you my cat joke. It's very short and simple. A hostess is giving a dinner party and she's got a lovely five-pound T-bone steak sitting on the sideboard in the kitchen waiting to be cooked while she chats with the guests in the living room—has a few drinks and whatnot. But then she excuses herself to go into the kitchen to cook the steak—and it's gone. And there's the family cat, in the corner, sedately washing it's face." "The cat got the steak," Barney said. "Did it? The guests are called in; they argue about it. The steak is gone, all five pounds of it; there sits the cat, looking well-fed and cheerful. "Weigh the cat," someone says. They've had a few drinks; it looks like a good idea. So they go into the bathroom and weigh the cat on the scales. It reads exactly five pounds. They all perceive this reading and a guest says, "okay, that's it. There's the steak." They're satisfied that they know what happened, now; they've got empirical proof. Then a qualm comes to one of them and he says, puzzled, "But where's the cat?
Philip K. Dick (The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch)
I feel like I'm playing some giant video game, or trying to solve a really complicated math equation. 'One girl is trying to avoid forty raiding parties of between fifteen to twenty people each, spread out across a radius of seven miles. If she has to make it 2.7 miles through the center, what is the probablitiy she will wake up tomorrow morning in a jail cell? Please feel free to round pi to 3.14'.
Lauren Oliver (Delirium (Delirium, #1))
Sam tapped her hand on the steering wheel. Patrick held his hand outside the car and made air waves. I just sat between them. After the song finished, I said something. 'I feel infinite.' And Sam and Patrick looked at me like I said the greatest thing they ever heard. Because the song was that great and because we all really paid attention to it. Five minutes of a lifetime were truly spent, and we felt young in a good way. I have since bought the record, and I would tell you what it was, but truthfully, it's not the same unless you're driving to your first real party, and you're sitting in the middle seat of a pickup with two nice people when it starts to rain.
Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower)
Every time you rolled your eyes and every little smart remark you made about how silly it was for girls to care about their looks. You refused to let me--or anyone!--like books and silks. Outdoors and cosmetics. You stopped taking me seriously when I stopped being the kind of woman you thought I had to be to be considered intelligent and strong. All those things you say make men take women less seriously--I don't think it's men; it's you. You're not better than any other woman because you like philosophy better than parties and don't give a fig about the company of gentlemen, or because you wear boots instead of heels and don't set your hair in curls.
Mackenzi Lee (The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy (Montague Siblings, #2))
It’s not your fault,” Alec was saying. He sounded weary, as if he’d been through this sort of thing with his sister before. Clary wondered how many boyfriends she’d turned into rats by accident. “But it ought to teach you not to go to so many Downworld parties,” he added. “They’re always more trouble than they’re worth.” Isabelle sniffed loudly. “If anything had happened to him, I—I don’t know what I would have done.” “Probably whatever it is you did before,” said Alec in a bored voice. “It’s not like you knew him all that well.” “That doesn’t mean that I don’t—” “What? Love him?” Alec scoffed, raising his voice. “You need to know someone to love them.” “But that’s not all it is.” Isabelle sounded almost sad. “Didn’t you have any fun at the party, Alec?” “No.” “I thought you might like Magnus. He’s nice, isn’t he?” “Nice?” Alec looked at her as if she were insane. “Kittens are nice. Warlocks are—” He hesitated. “Not,” he finished, lamely. “I thought you might hit it off.” Isabelle’s eye makeup glittered as bright as tears as she glanced over at her brother. “Get to be friends.” “I have friends,” Alec said, and looked over his shoulder, almost as if he couldn’t help it, at Jace. But Jace, his golden head down, lost in thought, didn’t notice.
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
The Republican party is the party of nostalgia. It seeks to return America to a simpler, more innocent and moral past that never actually existed. The Democrats are utopians. They seek to create an America so fair and non-judgmental that life becomes an unbearable series of apologies. Together, the two parties function like giant down comforters, allowing a candidate to disappear into the enveloping softness, protecting them from exposure to the harsh weather of independent thought.
Jon Stewart (America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction)
That's when it happens. The moment of death is full of heat and sound and pain bigger than anything, a funnel of burning heat splitting me in two, something searing and scorching and tearing, and if screaming were a feeling it would be this. Then nothing. I know some of you are thinking maybe I deserved it. Maybe I shouldn't have sent that rose to Juliet or dumped my drink on her at the party. Maybe I shouldn't have copied off of Lauren Lornet's quiz. Maybe I shouldn't have said those things to Kent. There are probably some of you who think I deserved it because I was going to let Rob go all the way--because I wasn't going to save myself. But before you start pointing fingers, is what I did really so bad? So bad I deserved to die? So bad I deserved to die like THAT? Is what I did really so much worse than what anybody else does? Is it really so much worse than what YOU do? Think about it.
Lauren Oliver (Before I Fall)
How does one man assert his power over another, Winston?“ Winston thought. “By making him suffer”, he said. “Exactly. By making him suffer. Obedience is not enough. Unless he is suffering, how can you be sure that he is obeying your will and not his own? Power is in inflicting pain and humiliation. Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing. Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating? It is the exact opposite of the stupid hedonistic Utopias that the old reformers imagined. A world of fear and treachery is torment, a world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world which will grow not less but MORE merciless as it refines itself. Progress in our world will be progress towards more pain. The old civilizations claimed that they were founded on love or justice. Ours is founded upon hatred. In our world there will be no emotions except fear, rage, triumph, and self-abasement. Everything else we shall destroy – everything. Already we are breaking down the habits of thought which have survived from before the Revolution. We have cut the links between child and parent, and between man and man, and between man and woman. No one dares trust a wife or a child or a friend any longer. But in the future there will be no wives and no friends. Children will be taken from their mothers at birth, as one takes eggs from a hen. The sex instinct will be eradicated. Procreation will be an annual formality like the renewal of a ration card. We shall abolish the orgasm. Our neurologists are at work upon it now. There will be no loyalty, except loyalty towards the Party. There will be no love, except the love of Big Brother. There will be no laughter, except the laugh of triumph over a defeated enemy. There will be no art, no literature, no science. When we are omnipotent we shall have no more need of science. There will be no distinction between beauty and ugliness. There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed.
George Orwell (1984)
My particular dread--the vivid possibility that left me staring at tree shadows on the bedroom ceiling night after night--was having to lie in a small tent, alone in an inky wilderness, listening to a foraging bear outside and wondering what its intentions were. I was especially riveted by an amateur photograph in Herrero's book, taken late at night by a camper with a flash at a campground out West. The photograph caught four black bears as they puzzled over a suspended food bag. The bears were clearly startled but not remotely alarmed by the flash. It was not the size or demeanor of the bears that troubled me--they looked almost comically nonaggressive, like four guys who had gotten a Frisbee caught up a tree--but their numbers. Up to that moment it had not occurred to me that bears might prowl in parties. What on earth would I do if four bears came into my camp? Why, I would die, of course. Literally shit myself lifeless. I would blow my sphincter out my backside like one of those unrolling paper streamers you get at children's parties--I daresay it would even give a merry toot--and bleed to a messy death in my sleeping bag.
Bill Bryson (A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail)
You don’t know anyone at the party, so you don’t want to go. You don’t like cottage cheese, so you haven’t eaten it in years. This is your choice, of course, but don’t kid yourself: it’s also the flinch. Your personality is not set in stone. You may think a morning coffee is the most enjoyable thing in the world, but it’s really just a habit. Thirty days without it, and you would be fine. You think you have a soul mate, but in fact you could have had any number of spouses. You would have evolved differently, but been just as happy. You can change what you want about yourself at any time. You see yourself as someone who can’t write or play an instrument, who gives in to temptation or makes bad decisions, but that’s really not you. It’s not ingrained. It’s not your personality. Your personality is something else, something deeper than just preferences, and these details on the surface, you can change anytime you like. If it is useful to do so, you must abandon your identity and start again. Sometimes, it’s the only way. Set fire to your old self. It’s not needed here. It’s too busy shopping, gossiping about others, and watching days go by and asking why you haven’t gotten as far as you’d like. This old self will die and be forgotten by all but family, and replaced by someone who makes a difference. Your new self is not like that. Your new self is the Great Chicago Fire—overwhelming, overpowering, and destroying everything that isn’t necessary.
Julien Smith (The Flinch)
A huge smile spread across Jen's face."Ahh that was a good one." She turned back to the crowed and yelled again."Rewind. We're going to party like it's 2009, New Year’s Eve. If you're curious as to how awesome a party that was, please see me, Jacque or Sally. Sally's version will be much more accurate, and also free of any important inappropriate details." Before she could say anything else, a large hand wrapped around the microphone and pulled it from Jen's grasp. Decebel handed it to Jacque as he growled at his mate and pulled her away.All the while Jen was telling him exactly how much she didn't appreciate him getting all up in her kool aide. She finished by telling him that, once again, she was going to shove her foot where an ‘Exit Only’ sign should be.
Quinn Loftis (Beyond the Veil (The Grey Wolves, #5))
Religion... has certain ideas at the heart of it which we call sacred or holy or whatever... If someone votes for a party that you don't agree with, you're free to argue about it as much as you like; everybody will have an argument but nobody feels aggrieved by it. If somebody thinks taxes should go up or down you are free to have an argument about it. But on the other hand if somebody says 'I must [not] move a light switch on a Saturday', you say, 'I respect that'... Yet when you look at it rationally there is no reason why those ideas shouldn't be as open to debate as any other, except that we have agreed somehow between us that they shouldn't be.
Douglas Adams
For me, the last few years of the postmodern era have seemed a bit like the way you feel when you're in high school and your parents go on a trip, and you throw a party. You get all your friends over and throw this wild disgusting fabulous party. For a while it's great, free and freeing, parental authority gone and overthrown, a cat's-away-let's-play Dionysian revel. But then time passes and the party gets louder and louder, and you run out of drugs, and nobody's got any money for more drugs, and things get broken and spilled, and there's cigarette burn on the couch, and you're the host and it's your house too, and you gradually start wishing your parents would come back and restore some fucking order in your house. It's not a perfect analogy, but the sense I get of my generation of writers and intellectuals or whatever is that it's 3:00 A.M. and the couch has several burn-holes and somebody's thrown up in the umbrella stand and we're wishing the revel would end. The postmodern founders' patricidal work was great, but patricide produces orphans, and no amount of revelry can make up for the fact that writers my age have been literary orphans throughout our formative years. We're kind of wishing some parents would come back. And of course we're uneasy about the fact that we wish they'd come back--I mean, what's wrong with us? Are we total pussies? Is there something about authority and limits we actually need? And then the uneasiest feeling of all, as we start gradually to realize that parents in fact aren't ever coming back--which means we're going to have to be the parents.
David Foster Wallace
When my dad died, it was like everything felt really shaky, you know? And trying to be the best I could be, it gave me something to focus on. If I could just do everything right, then I was safe.' I couldn't believe I was saying this, not ere, at a party packed with classates and strangers. In fact, I couldn't imagine saying it anywhere, really, except in my own head where it somehow made sense. 'That sucks, though,' Wes said finally, his voice low. 'You're jsut setting yourself up to fail, because you'll never get everything perfect.' 'Says who?' He just looked at me. 'The world,' he said, gsturing all around us, as if the party, the deck encompassed it all. 'The universe. There's just no way.
Sarah Dessen (The Truth About Forever)
No, this, she felt, was real life and if she wasn’t as curious or passionate as she had once been, that was only to be expected. It would be inappropriate, undignified, at thirty-eight, to conduct friendships or love affairs with the ardour and intensity of a twenty-two-year-old. Falling in love like that? Writing poetry, crying at pop songs? Dragging people into photo-booths, taking a whole day to make a compilation tape, asking people if they wanted to share your bed, just for company? If you quoted Bob Dylan or T.S. Eliot or, God forbid, Brecht at someone these days they would smile politely and step quietly backwards, and who would blame them? Ridiculous, at thirty-eight, to expect a song or book or film to change your life. No, everything had evened out and settled down and life was lived against a general background hum of comfort, satisfaction and familiarity. There would be no more of these nerve-jangling highs and lows. The friends they had now would be the friends they had in five, ten, twenty years’ time. They expected to get neither dramatically richer or poorer; they expected to stay healthy for a little while yet. Caught in the middle; middle class, middle-aged; happy in that they were not overly happy. Finally, she loved someone and felt fairly confident that she was loved in return. If someone asked Emma, as they sometimes did at parties, how she and her husband had met, she told them: ‘We grew up together.
David Nicholls (One Day)
Positive. In other news, Marcie's throwing a Halloween party here at the farmhouse." Patch smiled. "Grey - Millar family drama?" "The theme is famous couples from history. Could she be any less original? Worse, she's roped my mom into this. They went shopping for decorations today. For three whole hours. It's like they're suddenly best friends." I picked up another apple slice and made a face at it. "Marcie is ruining everything. I wanted Scott to go with Vee, but Marcie already convinced him to go with her." Patch's smile widened. I aimed my best sulky look at him. "This isn't funny. Marcie is destroying my life. Whose side are you on anyway?" Patch raised his hands in surrender. "I'm staying out of this.
Becca Fitzpatrick (Finale (Hush, Hush, #4))
Depression gave me more then just a brooding introspection. It gave me humor, it gave me a certain what-a-fuck-up-I-am shtick to play with when the worst was over..the side effects, the by products of depression, seems to keep me going. I had developed a persona that could be extremely melodramatic and entertaining. It had, at times, all the selling points of madness, all the aspects of performance art. I was always able to reduce whatever craziness I’d experienced into the perfect antidote, the ideal cocktail party monologue...I thought this ability, to tell away my personal life as if it didn’t belong to me, to be queerly chatty and energetic at moments that most people found inappropriate, was what my friends liked about me.
Elizabeth Wurtzel (Prozac Nation)
It all comes back. Perhaps it is difficult to see the value in having one's self back in that kind of mood, but I do see it; I think we are well advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not. Otherwise they turn up unannounced and surprise us, come hammering on the mind's door at 4 a.m. of a bad night and demand to know who deserted them, who betrayed them, who is going to make amends. We forget all too soon the things we thought we could never forget. We forget the loves and the betrayals alike, forget what we whispered and what we screamed, forget who we were. I have already lost touch with a couple of people I used to be; one of them, a seventeen-year-old, presents little threat, although it would be of some interest to me to know again what it feels like to sit on a river levee drinking vodka-and-orange-juice and listening to Les Paul and Mary Ford and their echoes sing "How High the Moon" on the car radio. (You see I still have the scenes, but I no longer perceive myself among those present, no longer could ever improvise the dialogue.) The other one, a twenty-three-year-old, bothers me more. She was always a good deal of trouble, and I suspect she will reappear when I least want to see her, skirts too long, shy to the point of aggravation, always the injured party, full of recriminations and little hurts and stories I do not want to hear again, at once saddening me and angering me with her vulnerability and ignorance, an apparition all the more insistent for being so long banished. It is a good idea, then, to keep in touch, and I suppose that keeping in touch is what notebooks are all about. And we are all on our own when it comes to keeping those lines open to ourselves: your notebook will never help me, nor mine you.
Joan Didion (Slouching Towards Bethlehem)
As I got older, I got craftier and less obvious, but I’ve always put a lot of energy and effort into people liking me. That’s why I’ve never understood the compliment “effortless.” People love to say: “She just walked into the party, charming people with her effortless beauty.” I don’t understand that at all. What’s so wrong with effort, anyway? It means you care. What about the girl who “walked into the party, her determination to please apparent on her eager face”? Sure, she might seem a little crazy, and, yes, maybe everything she says sounds like conversation starters she found on a website, but at least she’s trying. Let’s give her a shot!
Mindy Kaling (Why Not Me?)
I do not write this in a spirit of sourness or personal disappointment of any kind, nor do I have any romantic attachment to suffering as a source of insight or virtue. On the contrary, I would like to see more smiles, more laughter, more hugs, more happiness and, better yet, joy. In my own vision of utopia, there is not only more comfort, and security for everyone — better jobs, health care, and so forth — there are also more parties, festivities, and opportunities for dancing in the streets. Once our basic material needs are met — in my utopia, anyway — life becomes a perpetual celebration in which everyone has a talent to contribute. But we cannot levitate ourselves into that blessed condition by wishing it. We need to brace ourselves for a struggle against terrifying obstacles, both of our own making and imposed by the natural world. And the first step is to recover from the mass delusion that is positive thinking.
Barbara Ehrenreich (Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America)
Literature, like magic, has always been about the handling of secrets, about the pain, the destruction, and the marvelous liberation that can result when they are revealed. Telling the truth when the truth matters most is almost always a frightening prospect. If a writer doesn't give away secrets, his own or those of the people he loves; if she doesn't court disapproval, reproach, and general wrath, whether of friends, family, or party apparatchiks; if the writer submits his work to an internal censor long before anyone else can get their hands on it, the result is pallid, inanimate, a lump of earth.
Michael Chabon (Maps and Legends: Reading and Writing Along the Borderlands)
Neoliberalism makes citizens into consumers. The freedom of the citizen yields to the passivity of the consumer. As consumers, today’s voters have no real interest in politics –in actively shaping the community. They possess neither the will nor the ability to participate in communal, political action. They react only passively to politics: grumbling and complaining, as consumers do about a commodity or service they do not like. Politicians and parties follow this logic of consumption too. They have to ‘deliver’. In the process, they become nothing more than suppliers; their task is to satisfy voters who are consumers or customers.
Byung-Chul Han (Psychopolitics: Neoliberalism and New Technologies of Power (Verso Futures))
Look, you're small-town. I've had over 50 jobs, maybe a hundred. I've never stayed anywhere long. What I am trying to say is, there is a certain game played in offices all over America. The people are bored, they don't know what to do, so they play the office-romance game. Most of the time it means nothing but the passing of time. Sometimes they do manage to work off a screw or two on the side. But even then, it is just an offhand pasttime, like bowling or t.v. or a New Year's Eve party. You've got to understand that it doesn't mean anything and then you won't get hurt. Do you understand what I mean?" I think that Mr. Partisan is sincere." You're going to get stuck with that pin, babe, don't forget what I told you. Watch those slicks. They are as phony as a lead dime.
Charles Bukowski (Post Office)
This is an ode to all of those that have never asked for one. A thank you in words to all of those that do not do what they do so well for the thanking. This is to the mothers. This is to the ones who match our first scream with their loudest scream; who harmonize in our shared pain and joy and terrified wonder when life begins. This is to the mothers. To the ones who stay up late and wake up early and always know the distance between their soft humming song and our tired ears. To the lips that find their way to our foreheads and know, somehow always know, if too much heat is living in our skin. To the hands that spread the jam on the bread and the mesmerizing patient removal of the crust we just cannot stomach. This is to the mothers. To the ones who shout the loudest and fight the hardest and sacrifice the most to keep the smiles glued to our faces and the magic spinning through our days. To the pride they have for us that cannot fit inside after all they have endured. To the leaking of it out their eyes and onto the backs of their hands, to the trails of makeup left behind as they smile through those tears and somehow always manage a laugh. This is to the patience and perseverance and unyielding promise that at any moment they would give up their lives to protect ours. This is to the mothers. To the single mom’s working four jobs to put the cheese in the mac and the apple back into the juice so their children, like birds in a nest, can find food in their mouths and pillows under their heads. To the dreams put on hold and the complete and total rearrangement of all priority. This is to the stay-at-home moms and those that find the energy to go to work every day; to the widows and the happily married. To the young mothers and those that deal with the unexpected announcement of a new arrival far later than they ever anticipated. This is to the mothers. This is to the sack lunches and sleepover parties, to the soccer games and oranges slices at halftime. This is to the hot chocolate after snowy walks and the arguing with the umpire at the little league game. To the frosting ofbirthday cakes and the candles that are always lit on time; to the Easter egg hunts, the slip-n-slides and the iced tea on summer days. This is to the ones that show us the way to finding our own way. To the cutting of the cord, quite literally the first time and even more painfully and metaphorically the second time around. To the mothers who become grandmothers and great-grandmothers and if time is gentle enough, live to see the children of their children have children of their own. To the love. My goodness to the love that never stops and comes from somewhere only mothers have seen and know the secret location of. To the love that grows stronger as their hands grow weaker and the spread of jam becomes slower and the Easter eggs get easier to find and sack lunches no longer need making. This is to the way the tears look falling from the smile lines around their eyes and the mascara that just might always be smeared with the remains of their pride for all they have created. This is to the mothers.
Tyler Knott Gregson
Nor had he, as far as he knew, ever believed in anything. It had been embarrassing, because he quite wanted to believe in something, since he recognized that belief was the lifebelt that got most people through the choppy waters of Life. He'd have liked to believe in a supreme God, although he'd have preferred a half-hour's chat with Him before committing himself, to clear up one or two points. He'd sat in all sorts of churches, waiting for that single flash of blue light, and it hadn't come. And then he'd tried to become an official Atheist and hadn't got the rock-hard, self-satisfied strength of belief even for that. And every single political party had seemed to him equally dishonest. And he'd give up on ecology...Then he'd tried believe in the Universe, which seemed sound enough until he'd innocently started reading books with words like Chaos and Time and Quantum in the titles. He'd found that even the people whose job of work was, so to speak, the Universe, didn't really believe in it and were actually quite proud of not knowing what or even if it could theoretically exist.
Terry Pratchett (Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch)
It’s like, it’s like I have a different heart. The other girls have one kind of heart, and I have a different kind.” My mom was understandably confused. “Are you saying they’re mean?” “No . . . I don’t know.” Saying other kids were mean felt like I was saying I was more kind, which definitely wasn’t it—more anxious maybe, more sensitive. I guess all I was feeling was that I was different. Sometimes I’ll be at work or a party and get that same feeling. I am not like these people. I don’t know what I’m doing here. And it comforts me to know that I felt that way as a child, too. Maybe that should make me feel worse, but it makes me calm and resolved. I’ve been prepared to be an outsider most of my life.
Anna Kendrick (Scrappy Little Nobody)
The suffering or the bad memories are as important as the good memories, and the good experiences. If you sort of, can imagine life as being 99% of the time quite linear, and most of the time you're in a state of neither happiness nor sadness. And then that 1% of the time you experience moments of very crystalised happiness, or crystalised sadness, or loneliness or depression. And I believe all of those moments are very pertinant. It's like I said to you, that for me it's mostly those crystalised moments of melancholy which are more inspirational to me. And in a strange way they become quite beautiful in their own way. Music that is sad, melancholic, depressing, is in a kind of perverse way more uplifting. I find happy music extremely depressing, mostly - mostly quite depressing. It's particularly this happy music that has no spirituality behind it - if it's just sort of mindless party music, it'd be quite depressing. But largely speaking, I was the kind of person that responds more to melancholia, and it makes me feel good. And I think the reason for this is, I think if you respond strongly to that kind of art, it's because in a way it makes you feel like you're not alone. So when we hear a very sad song, it makes us realise that we do share this kind of common human experience, and we're all kind of bonded in sadness and melancholia and depression.
Steven John Wilson
During a party, Luis Buñuel, seduced by Carrington’s beauty and emboldened by the notion that she had transcended all bourgeois morality, proposed (with his characteristic bluntness) that she become his mistress. Without even waiting for her answer, he gave her the key to the secret studio that he used as a love nest and told her to meet him at three o’clock the next afternoon. Early the next morning, Leonora went to visit the place alone. She found it tasteless: It looked exactly like a motel room. Taking advantage of the fact that she was in her menstrual period, she covered her hands with blood and used them to make bloody handprints all over the walls in order to provide a bit of decoration for that anonymous, impersonal room. Buñuel never spoke to her again.
Alejandro Jodorowsky (The Spiritual Journey of Alejandro Jodorowsky: The Creator of El Topo)
Did you know sometimes it frightens me-- when you say my name and I can't see you? will you ever learn to materialize before you speak? impetuous boy, if that's what you really are. how many centuries since you've climbed a balcony or do you do this every night with someone else? you tell me that you'll never leave and I am almost afraid to believe it. why is it me you've chosen to follow? did you like the way I look when I am sleeping? was my hair more fun to tangle? are my dreams more entertaining? do you laugh when I'm complaining that I'm all alone? where were you when I searched the sea for a friend to talk to me? in a year where will you be? is it enough for you to steal into my mind filling up my page with music written in my hand you know I'll take the credit for I must have made you come to me somehow. but please try to close the curtains when you leave at night, or I'll have to find someone to stay and warm me. will you always attend my midnight tea parties-- as long as I set it at your place? if one day your sugar sits untouched will you have gone forever? would you miss me in a thousand years-- when you will dry another's tears? but you say you'll never leave me and I wonder if you'll have the decency to pass through my wall to the next room while I dress for dinner but when I'm stuck in conversation with stuffed shirts whose adoration hurts my ears, where are you then? can't you cut in when I dance with other men? it's too late not to interfere with my life you've already made me a most unsuitable wife for any man who wants to be the first his bride has slept with and you can't just fly into people's bedrooms then expect them to calmly wave goodbye you've changed the course of history and didn't even try where are you now-- standing behind me, taking my hand? come and remind me who you are have you traveled far are you made of stardust too are the angels after you tell me what I am to do but until then I'll save your side of the bed just come and sing me to sleep
Emilie Autumn
At first it's bliss. It's drunken, heady, intoxicating. It swallows the people we were - not particuarly wonderful people, but people who did our best, more or less - and spits out the monsters we are becoming. Our friends despise us. We are an epic. Everything is grand, crashing, brilliant, blinding. It's the Golden Age of Hollywood, and we are a legend in our own minds, and no one outside can fail to see that we are headed for hell, and we won't listen, we say they don't understand, we pour more wine, go to the parties, we sparkle, fly all over the country, we're on an adventure, unstoppable, we've found each other and we race through our days like Mr. Toad in his yellow motorcar, with no idea where the brakes are and to hell with it anyway, we are on fire, drunk with something we call love.
Marya Hornbacher (Madness: A Bipolar Life)
September let go a long-held breath. She stared into the roiling black-violet soup, thinking furiously. The trouble was, September didn’t know what sort of story she was in. Was it a merry one or a serious one? How ought she to act? If it were merry, she might dash after a Spoon, and it would all be a marvelous adventure, with funny rhymes and somersaults and a grand party with red lanterns at the end. But if it were a serious tale, she might have to do something important, something involving, with snow and arrows and enemies. Of course, we would like to tell her which. But no one may know the shape of the tale in which they move. And, perhaps, we do not truly know which sort of beast it is, either. Stories have a way of changing faces. They are unruly things, undisciplined, given to delinquency and the throwing of erasers. This is why we must close them up into thick, solid books, so they cannot get out and cause trouble.
Catherynne M. Valente (The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Fairyland, #1))
Remember that, Iz. Be a kid of honesty. Wave it like a banner for all to see. Also, while I'm thinking about it - be a kid who loves surprises. Squeal with delight over puppies and cupcakes and birthday parties. Be curious, but content. Be loyal, but independent. Be kind. To everyone. Treat every day like you're making waffles. Don't settle for the first guy (or girl) unless he's the right guy (or girl). Live your effing life. Do so with gusto, because my God, there's nothing sorrier than a gusto-less existence. Know yourself. Love yourself. Be a good friend. Be a kid of hope and substance. Be a kid of appetite, Iz. You know what I mean, don't you? (Of course you do. You're a Malone.) Okay, that's all for now. Catch you on the flip side. Blimey, get ready. Signing off, Mary Iris Malone, Your Big Sister
David Arnold (Mosquitoland)
I want to suggest to you that citizens of free societies, democracies, do not preserve their freedom by pussyfooting around their fellow-citizen's opinions, even their most cherished beliefs. In free societies, you must have the free play of ideas. There must be argument, and it must be impassioned and untrammeled. A free society is not calm and eventless place - that is the kind of static, dead society dictators try to create. Free societies are dynamic, noisy, turbulent, and full of radical disagreements. Skepticism and freedom are indissolubly linked; and it is the skepticism of journalists, their show-me, prove-it unwillingness to be impressed, that is perhaps their most important contribution to the freedom of the free world. It is the disrespect of journalists-for power, for orthodoxies, for party lines, for ideologies, for vanity, for arrogance, for folly, for pretension, for corruption, for stupidity, maybe even for editors-that I would like to celebrate...and that I urge you all, in freedom's name, to preserve.
Salman Rushdie (Step Across This Line: Collected Nonfiction 1992-2002)
The war, therefore if we judge it by the standards of previous wars, is merely an imposture. It is like the battles between certain ruminant animals whose horns are incapable of hurting one another. But though it is unreal it is not meaningless. It eats up the surplus of consumable goods, and it helps to preserve the special mental atmosphere that the hierarchical society needs. War, it will be seen, is now a purely internal affair. In the past, the ruling groups of all countries, although they might recognize their common interest and therefore limit the destructiveness of war, did fight against one another, and the victor always plundered the vanquished. In our own day they are not fighting against one another at all. The war is waged by each ruling group against its own subjects, and the object of the war is not to make or prevent conquests of territory, but to keep the structure of society intact. The very word "war," therefore, has become misleading. It would probably be accurate to say that by becoming continuous war has ceased to exist. The peculiar pressure that is exerted on human beings between the Neolithic Age and the early twentieth century has disappeared and has been replaced by something quite different. The effect would be much the same if the three superstates, instead of fighting one another, should agree to live in perpetual peace, each inviolate within its own boundaries. For in that case each would still be a self-contained universe, freed forever from the sobering influence of external danger. A peace that was truly permanent would be the same as a permanent war. This--although the vast majority of Party members understand it only in a shallower sense--is the inner meaning of the Party slogan: WAR IS PEACE.
George Orwell (1984)
Man ordinarily lives in loneliness. To avoid loneliness, he creates all kinds of relationships, friendships, organizations, political parties, religions and what not. But the basic thing is that he is very much afraid of being lonely. Loneliness is a black hole, a darkness, a frightening negative state almost like death … as if you are being swallowed by death itself. To avoid it, you run out and fall into anybody, just to hold somebody’s hand, to feel that you are not lonely… Nothing hurts more than loneliness. But the trouble is, any relationship that arises out of the fear of being lonely is not going to be a blissful experience, because the other is also joining you out of fear. You both call it love. You are both deceiving yourself and the other. It is simply fear, and fear can never be the source of love. Only those who love are absolutely fearless; only those who love are able to be alone, joyously, whose need for the other has disappeared, who are sufficient unto themselves… The day you decide that all these efforts are failures, that your loneliness has remained untouched by all your efforts, that is a great moment of understanding. Then only one thing remains: to see whether loneliness is such a thing that you should be afraid of, or if it is just your nature. Then rather than running out and away, you close your eyes and go in. Suddenly the night is over, and a new dawn … The loneliness transforms into aloneness. Aloneness is your nature. You were born alone, you will die alone. And you are living alone without understanding it, without being fully aware of it. You misunderstand aloneness as loneliness; it is simply a misunderstanding. You are sufficient unto yourself.
Osho
The hero of a David Lodge novel says that you don’t know, when you make love for the last time, that you are making love for the last time. Voting is like that. Some of the Germans who voted for the Nazi Party in 1932 no doubt understood that this might be the last meaningfully free election for some time, but most did not. Some of the Czechs and Slovaks who voted for the Czechoslovak Communist Party in 1946 probably realized that they were voting for the end of democracy, but most assumed they would have another chance. No doubt the Russians who voted in 1990 did not think that this would be the last free and fair election in their country’s history, which (thus far) it has been. Any election can be the last, or at least the last in the lifetime of the person casting the vote.
Timothy Snyder (On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century)
In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible. Things like the continuance of British rule in India, the Russian purges and deportations, the dropping of atom bombs on Japan, can indeed be defended, but only by arguments which are too brutal for most people to face, and which do not square with the professed aims of political parties. Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness. Defenseless villages are bombarded from the air, the inhabitants driven out into the countryside, the cattle machine-gunned, the huts set on fire with incendiary bullets: this is called pacification. Millions of peasants are robbed of their farms and sent trudging along the roads with no more than they can carry: this is called transfer of population or rectification of frontiers. People are imprisoned for years without trial, or shot in the back of the neck or sent to die of scurvy in Arctic lumber camps: this is called elimination of unreliable elements.
George Orwell (A Collection of Essays)
That dead-eyed anhedonia is but a remora on the ventral flank of the true predator, the Great White Shark of pain. Authorities term this condition clinical depression or involutional depression or unipolar dysphoria. Instead of just an incapacity for feeling, a deadening of soul, the predator-grade depression Kate Gompert always feels as she Withdraws from secret marijuana is itself a feeling. It goes by many names — anguish, despair, torment, or q.v. Burton's melancholia or Yevtuschenko's more authoritative psychotic depression — but Kate Gompert, down in the trenches with the thing itself, knows it simply as It. It is a level of psychic pain wholly incompatible with human life as we know it. It is a sense of radical and thoroughgoing evil not just as a feature but as the essence of conscious existence. It is a sense of poisoning that pervades the self at the self's most elementary levels. It is a nausea of the cells and soul. It is an unnumb intuition in which the world is fully rich and animate and un-map-like and also thoroughly painful and malignant and antagonistic to the self, which depressed self It billows on and coagulates around and wraps in Its black folds and absorbs into Itself, so that an almost mystical unity is achieved with a world every constituent of which means painful harm to the self. Its emotional character, the feeling Gompert describes It as, is probably mostly indescribable except as a sort of double bind in which any/all of the alternatives we associate with human agency — sitting or standing, doing or resting, speaking or keeping silent, living or dying — are not just unpleasant but literally horrible. It is also lonely on a level that cannot be conveyed. There is no way Kate Gompert could ever even begin to make someone else understand what clinical depression feels like, not even another person who is herself clinically depressed, because a person in such a state is incapable of empathy with any other living thing. This anhedonic Inability To Identify is also an integral part of It. If a person in physical pain has a hard time attending to anything except that pain, a clinically depressed person cannot even perceive any other person or thing as independent of the universal pain that is digesting her cell by cell. Everything is part of the problem, and there is no solution. It is a hell for one. The authoritative term psychotic depression makes Kate Gompert feel especially lonely. Specifically the psychotic part. Think of it this way. Two people are screaming in pain. One of them is being tortured with electric current. The other is not. The screamer who's being tortured with electric current is not psychotic: her screams are circumstantially appropriate. The screaming person who's not being tortured, however, is psychotic, since the outside parties making the diagnoses can see no electrodes or measurable amperage. One of the least pleasant things about being psychotically depressed on a ward full of psychotically depressed patients is coming to see that none of them is really psychotic, that their screams are entirely appropriate to certain circumstances part of whose special charm is that they are undetectable by any outside party. Thus the loneliness: it's a closed circuit: the current is both applied and received from within.
David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest)
Colin's chuckles grew more heartfelt. "You really ought to have more faith in your favorite brother, dear sis." "He’s your favorite brother?" Simon asked, one dark brow raised in disbelief. "Only because Gregory put a toad in my bed last night," Daphne bit off, "and Benedict's standing has never recovered from the time he beheaded my favorite doll." "Makes me wonder what Anthony's done to deny him even an honorable mention," Colin murmured. "Don't you have somewhere else to be?" Daphne asked pointedly. Colin shrugged. "Not really." "Didn't," she asked through clenched teeth, "you just tell me you promised a dance to Prudence Featherington?" "Gads, no. You must have misheard." "Perhaps Mother is looking for you, then. In fact, I'm certain I hear her calling your name." Colin grinned at her discomfort. "You're not supposed to be so obvious," he said in a stage whisper, purposely loud enough for Simon to hear. "He'll figure out that you like him." Simon's entire body jerked with barely contained mirth. "It's not his company I'm trying to secure," Daphne said acidly. "It's yours I'm trying to avoid." Colin clapped a hand over his heart. "You wound me, Daff." He turned to Simon. "Oh, how she wounds me." "You missed your calling, Bridgerton," Simon said genially. "You should have been on the stage." "An interesting idea," Colin replied, "but one that would surely give my mother the vapors." His eyes lit up. "Now that's an idea. And just when the party was growing tedious. Good eve to you both." He executed a smart bow and walked off.
Julia Quinn (The Duke and I (Bridgertons, #1))
I'm never really comfortable at parties. Maybe I'm just not the partying type. ...I think it's because I'm never sure what to do with myself. I mean, there're drinks, but I don't like being drunk.... There's music, but I never really learned to dance to anything that involved an electric guitar. There are people to talk to...but once you put all the stupid things I do aside, I'm really not that interesting. I like reading, staying home, going on walks with my dog.... Who wants to hear about that? Especially when I would have to scream it over music to which no one dances. So I'm there but not drinking, listening to music but not dancing, and trying to have conversations with near-strangers about anything other than my own stupid life.... Leads to a lot of awkward pauses. And then I start wondering why I showed up in the first place." -- Cold Days (The Dresden Files Book 14), pg. 33
Jim Butcher
Once I thought I saw you in a crowded hazy bar, Dancing on the light from star to star. Far across the moonbeam I know that's who you are, I saw your brown eyes turning once to fire. You are like a hurricane There's calm in your eye. And I'm gettin' blown away To somewhere safer where the feeling stays. I want to love you but I'm getting blown away. I am just a dreamer, but you are just a dream, You could have been anyone to me. Before that moment you touched my lips That perfect feeling when time just slips Away between us on our foggy trip. You are like a hurricane There's calm in your eye. And I'm gettin' blown away To somewhere safer where the feeling stays. I want to love you but I'm getting blown away. You are just a dreamer, and I am just a dream. You could have been anyone to me. Before that moment you touched my lips That perfect feeling when time just slips Away between us on our foggy trip. You are like a hurricane There's calm in your eye. And I'm gettin' blown away To somewhere safer where the feeling stays. I want to love you but I'm getting blown away. The song was written in July 1975 after Young had just undergone an operation on his vocal chords after a cocaine-fueled night with friend. "We were all really high, fucked up. Been out partying. Wrote it sitting up at Vista Point on Skyline. Supposed to be the highest point in San Mateo County, which was appropriate. I wrote it when I couldn't sing. I was on voice rest. It was nuts - I was whistling it. I wrote a lot of songs when I couldn't talk.
Neil Young
Mania was a mental state every bit as dangerous as depression. At first, however, it felt like a rush of euphoria. You were completely captivating, completely charming; everybody loved you. You took ridiculous physical risks, jumping out of a third-floor dorm room into a snowbank, for instance. It made you spend your year's fellowship money in five days. It was like having a wild party in your head, a party at which you were the drunken host who refused to let anyone leave, who grabbed people by the collar and said, "Come on. One more!" When those people inevitably did vanish, you went out and found others, anyone and anything to keep the party going. You couldn't stop talking. Everything you said was brilliant. You just had the best idea. Let's drive down to New York! Tonight! Let's climb on top of List and watch the sunrise! Leonard got people to do these things. He led them on incredible escapades. But at some point things began to turn. His mind felt as if it was fizzing over. Words became other words inside his head, like patterns in a kaleidoscope. He kept making puns. No one understood what he was talking about. He became angry, irritable. Now, when he looked at people, who'd been laughing at his jokes an hour earlier, he saw that they were worried, concerned for him. And so he ran off into the night, or day, or night, and found other people to be with, so that the mad party might continue...
Jeffrey Eugenides (The Marriage Plot)
If a man is only as good as his word, then I want to marry a man with a vocabulary like yours. The way you say dicey and delectable and octogenarian in the same sentence — that really turns me on. The way you describe the oranges in your backyard using anarchistic and intimate in the same breath. I would follow the legato and staccato of your tongue wrapping around your diction until listening become more like dreaming and dreaming became more like kissing you. I want to jump off the cliff of your voice into the suicide of your stream of consciousness. I want to visit the place in your heart where the wrong words die. I want to map it out with a dictionary and points of brilliant light until it looks more like a star chart than a strategy for communication. I want to see where your words are born. I want to find a pattern in the astrology. I want to memorize the scripts of your seductions. I want to live in the long-winded epics of your disappointments, in the haiku of your epiphanies. I want to know all the names you’ve given your desires. I want to find my name among them, ‘cause there is nothing more wrecking sexy than the right word. I want to thank whoever told you there was no such thing as a synonym. I want to throw a party for the heartbreak that turned you into a poet. And if it is true that a man is only as good as his word then, sweet jesus, let me be there the first time you are speechless, and all your explosive wisdom becomes a burning ball of sun in your throat, and all you can bring yourself to utter is, oh god, oh god.
Mindy Nettifee
Cruel World" Share my body and my mind with you, That's all over now. Did what I had to do, 'Cause it's so far past me now. Share my body and my life with you, That's way over now. There's not more I can do, You're so famous now. Got your bible, got your gun, And you like to party and have fun. And I like my candy and your women, I'm finally happy now that you're gone. Put my little red party dress on, Everybody knows that I'm the best, I'm crazy. Get a little bit of bourbon in ya, Get a little bit suburban and go crazy. Because you're young, you're wild, you're free, You're dancin' circles around me, You're fuckin' crazy. Oh, oh, you're crazy for me. I shared my body and my mind with you, That's all over now. I did what I had to do, I found another anyhow. Share my body and my mind with you, That's all over now. I did what I had to do, I could see you leaving now. I got your bible and your gun, And you love to party and have fun. And I love your women and all of your heroin, And I'm so happy now that you're gone. Put my little red party dress on, Everybody knows that I'm a mess, I'm crazy, yeah-yeah. Get a little bit of bourbon in ya, Go a little bit suburban and go crazy, yeah-yeah. Because you're young, you're wild, you're free, You're dancin' circles around me, You're fuckin' crazy. Oh, oh, you're crazy for me. Got your bible and your gun, You like your women and you like fun. I like my candy and your heroin, And I'm so happy, so happy now you're gone. Put my little red party dress on, Everybody knows that I'm a mess, I'm crazy, yeah-yeah. Get a little bit of bourbon in ya, Get a little bit suburban and go crazy, yeah-yeah. 'Cause you're young, you're wild, you're free, You're dancin' circles around me, You're fuckin' crazy. Oh, oh, you're crazy for me. Oh, oh, you're crazy for me.
Lana Del Rey
Who are we to say getting incested or abused or violated or any of those things can’t have their positive aspects in the long run? … You have to be careful of taking a knee-jerk attitude. Having a knee-jerk attitude to anything is a mistake, especially in the case of women, where it adds up to this very limited and condescending thing of saying they’re fragile, breakable things that can be destroyed easily. Everybody gets hurt and violated and broken sometimes. Why are women so special? Not that anybody ought to be raped or abused, nobody’s saying that, but that’s what is going on. What about afterwards? All I’m saying is there are certain cases where it can enlarge you or make you more of a complete human being, like Viktor Frankl. Think about the Holocaust. Was the Holocaust a good thing? No way. Does anybody think it was good that it happened? No, of course not. But did you read Viktor Frankl? Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning? It’s a great, great book, but it comes out of his experience. It’s about his experience in the human dark side. Now think about it, if there was no Holocaust, there’d be no Man’s Search for Meaning… . Think about it. Think about being degraded and brought within an inch of your life, for example. No one’s gonna say the sick bastards who did it shouldn’t be put in jail, but let’s put two things into perspective here. One is, afterwards she knows something about herself that she never knew before. What she knows is that the most totally terrible terrifying thing that she could ever have imagined happening to her has now happened, and she survived. She’s still here, and now she knows something. I mean she really, really knows. Look, totally terrible things happen… . Existence in life breaks people in all kinds of awful fucking ways all the time, trust me I know. I’ve been there. And this is the big difference, you and me here, cause this isn’t about politics or feminism or whatever, for you this is just ideas, you’ve never been there. I’m not saying nothing bad has ever happened to you, you’re not bad looking, I’m sure there’s been some sort of degradation or whatever come your way in life, but I’m talking Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning type violation and terror and suffering here. The real dark side. I can tell from just looking at you, you never. You wouldn’t even wear what you’re wearing, trust me. What if I told you it was my own sister that was raped? What if I told you a little story about a sixteen-year-old girl who went to the wrong party with the wrong guy and four of his buddies that ended up doing to her just about everything four guys could do to you in terms of violation? But if you could ask her if she could go into her head and forget it or like erase the tape of it happening in her memory, what do you think she’d say? Are you so sure what she’d say? What if she said that even after that totally negative as what happened was, at least now she understood it was possible. People can. Can see you as a thing. That people can see you as a thing, do you know what that means? Because if you really can see someone as a thing you can do anything to him. What would it be like to be able to be like that? You see, you think you can imagine it but you can’t. But she can. And now she knows something. I mean she really, really knows. This is what you wanted to hear, you wanted to hear about four drunk guys who knee-jerk you in the balls and make you bend over that you didn’t even know, that you never saw before, that you never did anything to, that don’t even know your name, they don’t even know your name to find out you have to choose to have a fucking name, you have no fucking idea, and what if I said that happened to ME? Would that make a difference?
David Foster Wallace (Brief Interviews with Hideous Men)
The decline of geography in academia is easy to understand: we live in an age of ever-increasing specialization, and geography is a generalist's discipline. Imagine the poor geographer trying to explain to someone at a campus cocktail party (or even to an unsympathetic adminitrator) exactly what it is he or she studies. "Geography is Greek for 'writing about the earth.' We study the Earth." "Right, like geologists." "Well, yes, but we're interested in the whole world, not just the rocky bits. Geographers also study oceans, lakes, the water cycle..." "So, it's like oceanography or hydrology." "And the atmosphere." "Meteorology, climatology..." "It's broader than just physical geography. We're also interested in how humans relate to their planet." "How is that different from ecology or environmental science?" "Well, it encompasses them. Aspects of them. But we also study the social and economic and cultural and geopolitical sides of--" "Sociology, economics, cultural studies, poli sci." "Some geographers specialize in different world regions." "Ah, right, we have Asian and African and Latin American studies programs here. But I didn't know they were part of the geography department." "They're not." (Long pause.) "So, uh, what is it that do study then?
Ken Jennings
So it hadn’t been wrong or dishonest of her to say no this morning, when he asked if she hated him, any more than it had been wrong or dishonest to serve him the elaborate breakfast and to show the elaborate interest in his work, and to kiss him goodbye. The kiss, for that matter, had been exactly right—a perfectly fair, friendly kiss, a kiss for a boy you’d just met at a party, a boy who’d danced with you and made you laugh and walked you home afterwards, talking about himself all the way. The only real mistake, the only wrong and dishonest thing, was ever to have seen him as anything more than that. Oh, for a month or two, just for fun, it might be all right to play a game like that with a boy; but all these years! And all because, in a sentimentally lonely time long ago, she had found it easy and agreeable to believe whatever this one particular boy felt like saying, and to repay him for that pleasure by telling easy, agreeable lies of her own, until each was saying what the other most wanted to hear—until he was saying “I love you” and she was saying “Really, I mean it; you’re the most interesting person I’ve ever met.” What a subtle, treacherous thing it was to let yourself go that way! Because once you’d started it was terribly difficult to stop; soon you were saying “I’m sorry, of course you’re right,” and “Whatever you think is best,” and “You’re the most wonderful and valuable thing in the world,” and the next thing you knew all honesty, all truth, was as far away and glimmering, as hopelessly unattainable as the world of the golden people. Then you discovered you were working at life the way the Laurel Players worked at The Petrified Forest, or the way Steve Kovick worked at his drums—earnest and sloppy and full of pretension and all wrong; you found you were saying yes when you meant no, and “We’ve got to be together on this thing” when you meant the very opposite; then you were breathing gasoline as if it were flowers and abandoning yourself to a delirium of love under the weight of a clumsy, grunting, red-faced man you didn’t even like—Shep Campbell!—and then you were face to face, in total darkness, with the knowledge that you didn’t know who you were. (p.416-7)
Richard Yates (Revolutionary Road)
On May 26th, 2003, Aaron Ralston was hiking, a boulder fell on his right hand, he waited four days, he then amputated his own arm with a pocketknife. On New Year’s Eve, a woman was bungee jumping, the cord broke, she fell into a river and had to swim back to land in crocodile-infested waters with a broken collarbone. Claire Champlin was smashed in the face by a five-pound watermelon being propelled by a slingshot. Mathew Brobst was hit by a javelin. David Striegl was actually punched in the mouth by a kangaroo. The most amazing part of these stories is when asked about the experience they all smiled, shrugged and said “I guess things could’ve been worse.” So go ahead, tell me you’re having a bad day. Tell me about the traffic. Tell me about your boss. Tell me about the job you’ve been trying to quit for the past four years. Tell me the morning is just a townhouse burning to the ground and the snooze button is a fire extinguisher. Tell me the alarm clock stole the keys to your smile, drove it into 7 am and the crash totaled your happiness. Tell me. Tell me how blessed are we to have tragedy so small it can fit on the tips of our tongues. When Evan lost his legs he was speechless. When my cousin was assaulted she didn’t speak for 48 hours. When my uncle was murdered, we had to send out a search party to find my father’s voice. Most people have no idea that tragedy and silence often have the exact same address. When your day is a museum of disappointments, hanging from events that were outside of your control, when you feel like your guardian angel put in his two weeks notice two months ago and just decided not to tell you, when it seems like God is just a babysitter that’s always on the phone, when you get punched in the esophagus by a fistful of life. Remember, every year two million people die of dehydration. So it doesn’t matter if the glass is half full or half empty. There’s water in the cup. Drink it and stop complaining. Muscle is created by lifting things that are designed to weigh us down. When your shoulders are heavy stand up straight and call it exercise. Life is a gym membership with a really complicated cancellation policy. Remember, you will survive, things could be worse, and we are never given anything we can’t handle. When the whole world crumbles, you have to build a new one out of all the pieces that are still here. Remember, you are still here. The human heart beats approximately 4,000 times per hour and each pulse, each throb, each palpitation is a trophy, engraved with the words “You are still alive.” You are still alive. So act like it.
Rudy Francisco (Helium)
Had I catalogued the downsides of parenthood, "son might turn out to be a killer" would never have turned up on the list. Rather, it might have looked something like this: 1. Hassle. 2. Less time just the two of us. (Try no time just the two of us.) 3. Other people. (PTA meetings. Ballet teachers. The kid's insufferable friends and their insufferable parents.) 4. Turning into a cow. (I was slight, and preferred to stay that way. My sister-in-law had developed bulging varicose veins in her legs during pregnancy that never retreated, and the prospect of calves branched in blue tree roots mortified me more than I could say. So I didn't say. I am vain, or once was, and one of my vanities was to feign that I was not.) 5. Unnatural altruism: being forced to make decisions in accordance with what was best for someone else. (I'm a pig.) 6. Curtailment of my traveling. (Note curtailment. Not conclusion.) 7. Dementing boredom. (I found small children brutally dull. I did, even at the outset, admit this to myself.) 8. Worthless social life. (I had never had a decent conversation with a friend's five-year-old in the room.) 9. Social demotion. (I was a respected entrepreneur. Once I had a toddler in tow, every man I knew--every woman, too, which is depressing--would take me less seriously.) 10. Paying the piper. (Parenthood repays a debt. But who wants to pay a debt she can escape? Apparently, the childless get away with something sneaky. Besides, what good is repaying a debt to the wrong party? Only the most warped mother would feel rewarded for her trouble by the fact that at last her daughter's life is hideous, too.)
Lionel Shriver (We Need to Talk About Kevin)
You have a picture of life within you, a faith, a challenge, and you were ready for deeds and sufferings and sacrifices, and then you became aware by degrees that the world asked no deeds and no sacrifices of you whatever, and that life is no poem of heroism with heroic parts to play and so on, but a comfortable room where people are quite content with eating and drinking, coffee and knitting, cards and wireless. And whoever wants more and has got it in him--the heroic and the beautiful, and the reverence for the great poets or for the saints--is a fool and a Don Quixote. Good. And it has been just the same for me, my friend. I was a gifted girl. I was meant to live up to a high standard, to expect much of myself and do great things. I could have played a great part. I could have been the wife of a king, the beloved of a revolutionary, the sister of a genius, the mother of a martyr. And life has allowed me just this, to be a courtesan of fairly good taste, and even that has been hard enough. That is how things have gone with me. For a while I was inconsolable and for a long time I put the blame on myself. Life, thought I, must in the end be in the right, and if life scorned my beautiful dreams, so I argued, it was my dreams that were stupid and wrong headed. But that did not help me at all. And as I had good eyes and ears and was a little inquisitive too, I took a good look at this so-called life and at my neighbors and acquaintances, fifty or so of them and their destinies, and then I saw you. And I knew that my dreams had been right a thousand times over, just as yours had been. It was life and reality that were wrong. It was as little right that a woman like me should have no other choice than to grow old in poverty and in a senseless way at a typewriter in the pay of a money-maker, or to marry such a man for his money's sake, or to become some kind of drudge, as for a man like you to be forced in his loneliness and despair to have recourse to a razor. Perhaps the trouble with me was more material and moral and with you more spiritual--but it was the same road. Do you think I can't understand your horror of the fox trot, your dislike of bars and dancing floors, your loathing of jazz and the rest of it? I understand it only too well, and your dislike of politics as well, your despondence over the chatter and irresponsible antics of the parties and the press, your despair over the war, the one that has been and the one that is to be, over all that people nowadays think, read and build, over the music they play, the celebrations they hold, the education they carry on. You are right, Steppenwolf, right a thousand times over, and yet you must go to the wall. You are much too exacting and hungry for this simple, easygoing and easily contented world of today. You have a dimension too many. Whoever wants to live and enjoy his life today must not be like you and me. Whoever wants music instead of noise, joy instead of pleasure, soul instead of gold, creative work instead of business, passion instead of foolery, finds no home in this trivial world of ours--
Hermann Hesse (Steppenwolf)
I wish someone had told me this simple but confusing truth: Even when everything’s going your way you can still be sad. Or anxious. Or uncomfortably numb. Because you can’t always control your brain or your emotions even when things are perfect. The really scary thing is that sometimes that makes it worse. You’re supposed to be sad when things are shitty, but if you’re sad when you have everything you’re ever supposed to want? That’s utterly terrifying. Why am I curled in a ball in my hotel room bed, too self-conscious to enjoy life? Feeling like a failure and a fraud while a party in my honor rages on? How can I feel so awful and sick and guilty and sweaty with panic when things are so perfect? If everything is perfect and I’m miserable, then is this as good as it gets? And the answer is no. It gets better. You get better. You learn to appreciate the fact that what drives you is very different from what you’re told should make you happy. You learn that it’s okay to prefer your personal idea of heaven (live-tweeting zombie movies from under a blanket of kittens) rather than someone else’s idea that fame/fortune/parties are the pinnacle we should all reach for. And there’s something surprisingly freeing about that. *   *   * It is an amazing gift to be able to recognize that the things that make you the happiest are so much easier to grasp than you thought. There is such freedom in being able to celebrate and appreciate the unique moments that recharge you and give you peace and joy. Sure, some people want red carpets and paparazzi. Turns out I just want banana Popsicles dipped in Malibu rum. It doesn’t mean I’m a failure at appreciating the good things in life. It means I’m successful in recognizing what the good things in life are for me.
Jenny Lawson (Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things)
Very often the test of one's allegiance to a cause or to a people is precisely the willingness to stay the course when things are boring, to run the risk of repeating an old argument just one more time, or of going one more round with a hostile or (much worse) indifferent audience. I first became involved with the Czech opposition in 1968 when it was an intoxicating and celebrated cause. Then, during the depressing 1970s and 1980s I was a member of a routine committee that tried with limited success to help the reduced forces of Czech dissent to stay nourished (and published). The most pregnant moment of that commitment was one that I managed to miss at the time: I passed an afternoon with Zdenek Mlynar, exiled former secretary of the Czech Communist Party, who in the bleak early 1950s in Moscow had formed a friendship with a young Russian militant with an evident sense of irony named Mikhail Sergeyevitch Gorbachev. In 1988 I was arrested in Prague for attending a meeting of one of Vaclav Havel's 'Charter 77' committees. That outwardly exciting experience was interesting precisely because of its almost Zen-like tedium. I had gone to Prague determined to be the first visiting writer not to make use of the name Franz Kafka, but the numbing bureaucracy got the better of me. When I asked why I was being detained, I was told that I had no need to know the reason! Totalitarianism is itself a cliché (as well as a tundra of pulverizing boredom) and it forced the cliché upon me in turn. I did have to mention Kafka in my eventual story. The regime fell not very much later, as I had slightly foreseen in that same piece that it would. (I had happened to notice that the young Czechs arrested with us were not at all frightened by the police, as their older mentors had been and still were, and also that the police themselves were almost fatigued by their job. This was totalitarianism practically yawning itself to death.) A couple of years after that I was overcome to be invited to an official reception in Prague, to thank those who had been consistent friends through the stultifying years of what 'The Party' had so perfectly termed 'normalization.' As with my tiny moment with Nelson Mandela, a whole historic stretch of nothingness and depression, combined with the long and deep insult of having to be pushed around by boring and mediocre people, could be at least partially canceled and annealed by one flash of humor and charm and generosity.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
POCKET-SIZED FEMINISM The only other girl at the party is ranting about feminism. The audience: a sea of rape jokes and snapbacks and styrofoam cups and me. They gawk at her mouth like it is a drain clogged with too many opinions. I shoot her an empathetic glance and say nothing. This house is for wallpaper women. What good is wallpaper that speaks? I want to stand up, but if I do, whose coffee table silence will these boys rest their feet on? I want to stand up, but if I do, what if someone takes my spot? I want to stand up, but if I do, what if everyone notices I’ve been sitting this whole time? I am guilty of keeping my feminism in my pocket until it is convenient not to, like at poetry slams or my women’s studies class. There are days I want people to like me more than I want to change the world. There are days I forget we had to invent nail polish to change color in drugged drinks and apps to virtually walk us home at night and mace disguised as lipstick. Once, I told a boy I was powerful and he told me to mind my own business. Once, a boy accused me of practicing misandry. You think you can take over the world? And I said No, I just want to see it. I just need to know it is there for someone. Once, my dad informed me sexism is dead and reminded me to always carry pepper spray in the same breath. We accept this state of constant fear as just another part of being a girl. We text each other when we get home safe and it does not occur to us that our guy friends do not have to do the same. You could saw a woman in half and it would be called a magic trick. That’s why you invited us here, isn’t it? Because there is no show without a beautiful assistant? We are surrounded by boys who hang up our naked posters and fantasize about choking us and watch movies we get murdered in. We are the daughters of men who warned us about the news and the missing girls on the milk carton and the sharp edge of the world. They begged us to be careful. To be safe. Then told our brothers to go out and play.
Blythe Baird
Anytime I talk about my work informally, I inevitably encounter someone who wants to know why addicts become addicts. They use words like “will” and “choice,” and they end by saying, “Don’t you think there’s more to it than the brain?” They are skeptical of the rhetoric of addiction as disease, something akin to high blood pressure or diabetes, and I get that. What they’re really saying is that they may have partied in high school and college but look at them now. Look how strong-willed they are, how many good choices they’ve made. They want reassurances. They want to believe that they have been loved enough and have raised their children well enough that the things that I research will never, ever touch their own lives. I understand this impulse. I, too, have spent years creating my little moat of good deeds in an attempt to protect the castle of myself. I don’t want to be dismissed the way that Nana was once dismissed. I know that it’s easier to say Their kind does seem to have a taste for drugs, easier to write all addicts off as bad and weak-willed people, than it is to look closely at the nature of their suffering. I do it too, sometimes. I judge. I walk around with my chest puffed out, making sure hat everyone knows about my Harvard and Stanford degrees, as if those things encapsulate me, and when I do so, I give in to the same facile, lazy thinking that characterizes those who think of addicts as horrible people. It’s just that I’m standing on the other side of the moat. What I can say for certain is that there is no case study in the world that could capture the whole animal of my brother, that could show how smart and kind and generous he was, how much he wanted to get better, how much he wanted to live. Forget for a moment what he looked like on paper, and instead see him as he was in all of his glory, in all of his beauty. It’s true that for years before he died, I would look at his face and think, What a pity, what a waste. But the waste was my own, the waste was what I missed out on whenever I looked at him and saw just his addiction.
Yaa Gyasi (Transcendent Kingdom)
Ridin'" [Lana Del Rey] I want to be your object, of your affection Give me all your time, touch, money, and attention [Lana Del Rey] I want to be your object, of your affection Give me all your time, touch, money, and attention Pick me up after school, you can be my baby Maybe we could go somewhere, get a little crazy He’s rich and I’m wishin’, um, he could be my Mister Yum Delicious to the maximum, chew him up like bubble gum Mama’s pretty party favor, he says I’m his favorite flavor [Hook] Uh, uh, catch me ridin’ like a bitch Got the six forty-five, catch me ridin’ with my bitch Uh, long hair, Lana, that’s my bitch Uh, You can tell by the swagger and the lips, uh Uh, uh, catch me ridin’ like a bitch Got the six forty-five, catch me ridin’ with my bitch Uh, long hair, Lana, that’s my bitch Uh, You can tell by the swagger and the lips, uh [Lana Del Rey] You say that I am flawless, true perfection So give me all your drugs, props, money, and connections Pick me up after school, actin’ kinda shady You’re the coolest kid in town, I’m your little lady Your sick and I’m kissin’ him, magical musician, how I’m Drivin’ at the cinema, lovin’ him and lickin’ him He’s my love, the life saver Don’t step on my bad behavior Uh, uh, catch me ridin’ like a bitch Got the six forty-five, catch me ridin’ with my bitch Uh, long hair, Lana, that’s my bitch Uh, You can tell by the swagger and the lips, uh Uh, uh, catch me ridin’ like a bitch Got the six forty-five, catch me ridin’ with my bitch Uh, long hair, Lana, that’s my bitch Uh, You can tell by the swagger and the lips, uh [A$AP Rocky] Swervin’, swervin’, gettin’ all them dimes Tell her I be doin’, I be swaggin’ to my prime This ain’t all the time, it happens all the time That’s a big contradiction, get your money on your mind What, what, tell her I be on a chase Chasin’ for that paper and you see me on that race What, what, tell her I be goin’ first I be gon’ first and they put me in a herse, oh One big room, full of bad bitches, no One big room and it’s full of mad bitches Lana, Lana, tell them what it is Tell ‘em that you doin’ it, you mean to do it big I said, one big room, full of bad bitches, no it’s One big room and it’s full of mad bitches, I said Lana, Lana, tell them what it is Tell ‘em when you do it that you only do it big Uh, uh, catch me ridin’ like a bitch Got the six forty-five, catch me ridin’ with my bitch Uh, long hair, Lana, that’s my bitch Uh, You can tell by the swagger and the lips, uh Uh, uh, catch me ridin’ like a bitch Got the six forty-five, catch me ridin’ with my bitch Uh, long hair, Lana, that’s my bitch Uh, You can tell by the swagger and the lips, uh
Lana Del Rey
Little girls are the nicest things that can happen to people. They are born with a bit of angel-shine about them, and though it wears thin sometimes, there is always enough left to lasso your heart—even when they are sitting in the mud, or crying temperamental tears, or parading up the street in Mother’s best clothes. A little girl can be sweeter (and badder) oftener than anyone else in the world. She can jitter around, and stomp, and make funny noises that frazzle your nerves, yet just when you open your mouth, she stands there demure with that special look in her eyes. A girl is Innocence playing in the mud, Beauty standing on its head, and Motherhood dragging a doll by the foot. God borrows from many creatures to make a little girl. He uses the song of a bird, the squeal of a pig, the stubbornness of a mule, the antics of a monkey, the spryness of a grasshopper, the curiosity of a cat, the speed of a gazelle, the slyness of a fox, the softness of a kitten, and to top it all off He adds the mysterious mind of a woman. A little girl likes new shoes, party dresses, small animals, first grade, noisemakers, the girl next door, dolls, make-believe, dancing lessons, ice cream, kitchens, coloring books, make-up, cans of water, going visiting, tea parties, and one boy. She doesn’t care so much for visitors, boys in general, large dogs, hand-me-downs, straight chairs, vegetables, snowsuits, or staying in the front yard. She is loudest when you are thinking, the prettiest when she has provoked you, the busiest at bedtime, the quietest when you want to show her off, and the most flirtatious when she absolutely must not get the best of you again. Who else can cause you more grief, joy, irritation, satisfaction, embarrassment, and genuine delight than this combination of Eve, Salome, and Florence Nightingale. She can muss up your home, your hair, and your dignity—spend your money, your time, and your patience—and just when your temper is ready to crack, her sunshine peeks through and you’ve lost again. Yes, she is a nerve-wracking nuisance, just a noisy bundle of mischief. But when your dreams tumble down and the world is a mess—when it seems you are pretty much of a fool after all—she can make you a king when she climbs on your knee and whispers, "I love you best of all!
Alan Beck
Hitherto, the Palestinians had been relatively immune to this Allahu Akhbar style. I thought this was a hugely retrograde development. I said as much to Edward. To reprint Nazi propaganda and to make a theocratic claim to Spanish soil was to be a protofascist and a supporter of 'Caliphate' imperialism: it had nothing at all to do with the mistreatment of the Palestinians. Once again, he did not exactly disagree. But he was anxious to emphasize that the Israelis had often encouraged Hamas as a foil against Fatah and the PLO. This I had known since seeing the burning out of leftist Palestinians by Muslim mobs in Gaza as early as 1981. Yet once again, it seemed Edward could only condemn Islamism if it could somehow be blamed on either Israel or the United States or the West, and not as a thing in itself. He sometimes employed the same sort of knight's move when discussing other Arabist movements, excoriating Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party, for example, mainly because it had once enjoyed the support of the CIA. But when Saddam was really being attacked, as in the case of his use of chemical weapons on noncombatants at Halabja, Edward gave second-hand currency to the falsified story that it had 'really' been the Iranians who had done it. If that didn't work, well, hadn't the United States sold Saddam the weaponry in the first place? Finally, and always—and this question wasn't automatically discredited by being a change of subject—what about Israel's unwanted and ugly rule over more and more millions of non-Jews? I evolved a test for this mentality, which I applied to more people than Edward. What would, or did, the relevant person say when the United States intervened to stop the massacres and dispossessions in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo? Here were two majority-Muslim territories and populations being vilely mistreated by Orthodox and Catholic Christians. There was no oil in the region. The state interests of Israel were not involved (indeed, Ariel Sharon publicly opposed the return of the Kosovar refugees to their homes on the grounds that it set an alarming—I want to say 'unsettling'—precedent). The usual national-security 'hawks,' like Henry Kissinger, were also strongly opposed to the mission. One evening at Edward's apartment, with the other guest being the mercurial, courageous Azmi Bishara, then one of the more distinguished Arab members of the Israeli parliament, I was finally able to leave the arguing to someone else. Bishara [...] was quite shocked that Edward would not lend public support to Clinton for finally doing the right thing in the Balkans. Why was he being so stubborn? I had begun by then—belatedly you may say—to guess. Rather like our then-friend Noam Chomsky, Edward in the final instance believed that if the United States was doing something, then that thing could not by definition be a moral or ethical action.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)