Pavement Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Pavement. Here they are! All 100 of them:

I begin to long for some little language such as lovers use, broken words, inarticulate words, like the shuffling of feet on pavement.
Virginia Woolf (The Waves)
Every time I go back to Rome, I go back to that one spot. It is still alive for me, still resounds with something totally present, as though a heart stolen from a tale by Poe still throbbed under the ancient slate pavement to remind me that, here, I had finally encountered the life that was right for me but had failed to have.
André Aciman (Call Me by Your Name (Call Me by Your Name, #1))
Misunderstanding is my cornerstone. It's everyone's, come to think of it. Illusions mistaken for truth are the pavement under our feet.
Barbara Kingsolver (The Poisonwood Bible)
He's out of his depth on a wet pavement.
Terry Pratchett
Black man cleans the streets but mustn't walk freely on the pavement; Black man must build houses for the white man but cannot live in them; Black man cooks the white man's food but eats what is left over. Don't listen to anyone bluff you and say Black and white are brothers.
Es’kia Mphahlele
What do you mean fainted? Took a dive, kissed the pavement. Swooned like a southern belle after her first kiss. Had a dreadful case of the vapors.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Slays (Kate Daniels, #5))
I love being a pavement artist; seriously, I do. It's like when guys who would normally hate being freakishly tall discover basketball, or when girls with abnormally long fingers sit down at a piano. Blending in, going unseen, being a shadow in the sun is what I'm good at. Seeing the shadows, it turns out, is not my natural gift.
Ally Carter (Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy (Gallagher Girls, #2))
Have you noticed how nobody ever looks up? Nobody looks at chimneys, or trees against the sky, or the tops of buildings. Everybody just looks down at the pavement or their shoes. The whole world could pass them by and most people wouldn't notice.
Julie Andrews Edwards (The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles)
The autumn leaves blew over the moonlit pavement in such a way as to make the girl who was moving there seem fixed to a sliding walk, letting the motion of the wind and the leaves carry her forward. [...] The trees overhead made a great sound of letting down their dry rain.
Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451)
You're assuming they would listen to me," I said. Cole lifted his hands off the roof of the Volkswagen; cloudy fingerprints evaporated seconds ater he did. "We all listen to you, Sam." He jumped to the pavement. "You just don't always talk to us.
Maggie Stiefvater (Forever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #3))
Your God person puts an apple tree in the middle of a garden and says, do what you like, guys, oh, but don't eat the apple. Surprise surprise, they eat it and he leaps out from behind a bush shouting "Gotcha". It wouldn't have made any difference if they hadn't eaten it.' 'Why not?' 'Because if you're dealing with somebody who has the sort of mentality which likes leaving hats on the pavement with bricks under them you know perfectly well they won't give up. They'll get you in the end.
Douglas Adams (The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #2))
Richard wrote a diary entry in his head. Dear Diary, he began. On Friday I had a job, a fiancée, a home, and a life that made sense. (Well, as much as any life makes sense). Then I found an injured girl bleeding on the pavement, and I tried to be a Good Samaritan. Now I've got no fiancée, no home, no job, and I'm walking around a couple of hundred feet under the streets of London with the projected life expectancy of a suicidal fruitfly.
Neil Gaiman (Neverwhere (London Below, #1))
The Lake Isle of Innisfree I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree, And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made; Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee, And live alone in the bee-loud glade. And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow, Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings; There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow, And evening full of the linnet’s wings. I will arise and go now, for always night and day I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore; While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey, I hear it in the deep heart’s core.
W.B. Yeats (The Collected Poems of W.B. Yeats)
I will cut adrift—I will sit on pavements and drink coffee—I will dream; I will take my mind out of its iron cage and let it swim—this fine October.
Virginia Woolf
As I walked out one evening, Walking down Bristol Street, The crowds upon the pavement Were fields of harvest wheat. And down by the brimming river I heard a lover sing Under an arch of the railway: 'Love has no ending. 'I'll love you, dear, I'll love you Till China and Africa meet, And the river jumps over the mountain And the salmon sing in the street, 'I'll love you till the ocean Is folded and hung up to dry And the seven stars go squawking Like geese about the sky.
W.H. Auden (As I Walked Out One Evening: Songs, Ballads, Lullabies, Limericks & Other Light Verse)
Illusions mistaken for truth are the pavement under our feet. They are what we call civilization.
Barbara Kingsolver (The Poisonwood Bible)
Your father is only your father until one of you forgets. Like how the spine won't remember its wings no matter how many times our knees kiss the pavement. Ocean, are you listening? The most beautiful part of your body is wherever your mother's shadow falls.
Ocean Vuong (Night Sky with Exit Wounds)
There is evil! It's actual, like cement. I can't believe it. I can't stand it. Evil is not a view ... it's an ingredient in us. In the world. Poured over us, filtering into our bodies, minds, hearts, into the pavement itself.
Philip K. Dick (The Man in the High Castle)
The soil under the grass is dreaming of a young forest, and under the pavement the soil is dreaming of grass.
Wendell Berry (Given)
And there it is: Even though we’re standing in the same patch of sun-drenched pavement, we might as well be a hundred thousand miles apart.
Lauren Oliver (Delirium (Delirium, #1))
We are only lightly covered with buttoned cloth; and beneath these pavements are shells, bones and silence.
Virginia Woolf (The Waves)
For me, it feels like driving from truth into a lie, from adulthood to childhoold. I watch the land of pavement and glass and metal turn into an empty field. The snow is falling softly now, and I can faintly see the city's skyline up ahead, the buildings just a shade darker than the clouds.
Veronica Roth (Allegiant (Divergent, #3))
Sitting here with one's knitting, one just sees the facts. -"The Blood-Stained Pavement
Agatha Christie (The Thirteen Problems (Miss Marple, #1))
When I was very young and the urge to be someplace else was on me, I was assured by mature people that maturity would cure this itch. When years described me as mature, the remedy prescribed was middle age.In middle age I was assured greater age would calm my fever and now that I am fifty-eight perhaps senility will do the job. Nothing has worked. Four hoarse blasts of a ships's whistle still raise the hair on my neck and set my feet to tapping. The sound of a jet, an engine warming up, even the clopping of shod hooves on pavement brings on the ancient shudder, the dry mouth and vacant eye, the hot palms and the churn of stomach high up under the rib cage. In other words, once a bum always a bum. I fear this disease incurable. I set this matter down not to instruct others but to inform myself....A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggle that we not take a trip; a trip takes us.
John Steinbeck (Travels with Charley: In Search of America)
Suppose I lay down on the pavement and you run over me a few times with my own car...just for old times.
Janet Evanovich (One for the Money (Stephanie Plum, #1))
When along the pavement, Palpitating flames of life, People flicker around me, I forget my bereavement, The gap in the great constellation, The place where a star used to be
D.H. Lawrence
people who matter in our lives stay with us, haunting our most ordinary moments. They’re with us in the grocery store, as we turn a corner, chat with a friend. They rise up through the pavement; we absorb them through our soles.
Christina Baker Kline (Orphan Train)
The street outside is empty, lit only by a half moon; yet factory engines beat in the background and the working day is about to begin. Maggie steps out of the tenement and suddenly the street begins to fill with women, some running, some pulling their jackets around them, some lighting pipes, some, like Maggie herself, taking a pinch of snuff. From other tenements come other women, and soon all merge into one, like a herd of cattle off to market, clopping over the stone pavements and the cobbles, lowing with last night’s news.
Michael Tobert (Karna's Wheel)
Aw, boss.” The redcap who was spit on smiled at me and licked his fangs. “Can’t we chew on the princess, just a little?” One-Eyed Jack slapped the offending faery upside the head without looking at him. “Idiot,” he snapped. “I have no desire to pick your frozen guts off the pavement. Now move, you stupid lot. Before I lose my temper.
Julie Kagawa (The Iron Queen (The Iron Fey, #3))
Curran, please don’t bite his head off.” “Why?” “Because it’s illegal. Technically you assaulted him first when you threw him across the lawn.” “I didn’t throw him very far." I rolled my eyes. “I could’ve thrown him straight up and let him land on the pavement.” “That would also be illegal.” “You keep bringing this ‘illegal’ thing up as if it means something to me.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Shifts (Kate Daniels, #8))
Grief was a hole. A portal to nothing. Grief was a walk so long Hazel forgot her own legs. It was a shock of blinding sun. A burst of remembering: sandals on pavement, a sleepy back seat, nails painted on the bathroom floor. Greif was a loneliness that felt like a planet.
Danya Kukafka (Notes on an Execution)
Cannery Row in Monterey in California is a poem, a stink, a grating noise, a quality of light, a tone, a habit, a nostalgia, a dream. Cannery Row is the gathered and scattered, tin and iron and rust and splintered wood, chipped pavement and weedy lots and junk heaps, sardine canneries of corrugated iron, honky tonks, restaurants and whore houses, and little crowded groceries, and laboratories and flophouses. Its inhabitant are, as the man once said, "whores, pimps, gambler and sons of bitches," by which he meant Everybody. Had the man looked through another peephole he might have said, "Saints and angels and martyrs and holymen" and he would have meant the same thing.
John Steinbeck (Cannery Row (Cannery Row, #1))
A silent road stretched before me, damp with rain and littered with cars. As I watched, pale figures began to slip through the trees or claw their way out of the earth. Rabids edged onto the pavement, filling the road, their hisses and snarls rising into the air. Their empty white eyes blazed with madness and Hunger, and they began to sprint forward . Reaching back, I drew my bladem feeling it rasp free, gleaming as it came into the light. Looking up at the approaching rabids, I smiled.
Julie Kagawa (The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden, #1))
My theme is memory, that winged host that soared about me one grey morning of war-time. These memories, which are my life—for we possess nothing certainly except the past—were always with me. Like the pigeons of St. Mark’s, they were everywhere, under my feet, singly, in pairs, in little honey-voiced congregations, nodding, strutting, winking, rolling the tender feathers of their necks, perching sometimes, if I stood still, on my shoulder or pecking a broken biscuit from between my lips; until, suddenly, the noon gun boomed and in a moment, with a flutter and sweep of wings, the pavement was bare and the whole sky above dark with a tumult of fowl. Thus it was that morning.
Evelyn Waugh (Brideshead Revisited)
And in me too the wave rises. It swells; it arches its back. I am aware once more of a new desire, something rising beneath me like the proud horse whose rider first spurs and then pulls him back. What enemy do we now perceive advancing against us, you whom I ride now, as we stand pawing this stretch of pavement? It is death. Death is the enemy. It is death against whom I ride with my spear couched and my hair flying back like a young man's, like Percival's, when he galloped in India. I strike spurs into my horse. Against you I will fling myself, unvanquished and unyielding, O Death!
Virginia Woolf (The Waves)
The roar of the traffic, the passage of undifferentiated faces, this way and that way, drugs me into dreams; rubs the features from faces. People might walk through me. And what is this moment of time, this particular day in which I have found myself caught? The growl of traffic might be any uproar - forest trees or the roar of wild beasts. Time has whizzed back an inch or two on its reel; our short progress has been cancelled. I think also that our bodies are in truth naked. We are only lightly covered with buttoned cloth; and beneath these pavements are shells, bones and silence.
Virginia Woolf (The Waves)
The thought does cross my mind that I could slip and end up cracking my head on the pavement just short of the pool, but if you're always going to worry about minor drawbacks, then you'll never accomplish anything.
Tim Tharp (The Spectacular Now)
Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! The world is holy! The soul is holy! The skin is holy! The nose is holy! The tongue and cock and hand and asshole holy! Everything is holy! everybody's holy! everywhere is holy! everyday is in eternity! Everyman's an angel! The bum's as holy as the seraphim! the madman is holy as you my soul are holy! The typewriter is holy the poem is holy the voice is holy the hearers are holy the ecstasy is holy! Holy Peter holy Allen holy Solomon holy Lucien holy Kerouac holy Huncke holy Burroughs holy Cas- sady holy the unknown buggered and suffering beggars holy the hideous human angels! Holy my mother in the insane asylum! Holy the cocks of the grandfathers of Kansas! Holy the groaning saxophone! Holy the bop apocalypse! Holy the jazzbands marijuana hipsters peace & junk & drums! Holy the solitudes of skyscrapers and pavements! Holy the cafeterias filled with the millions! Holy the mysterious rivers of tears under the streets! Holy the lone juggernaut! Holy the vast lamb of the middle class! Holy the crazy shepherds of rebell- ion! Who digs Los Angeles IS Los Angeles! Holy New York Holy San Francisco Holy Peoria & Seattle Holy Paris Holy Tangiers Holy Moscow Holy Istanbul! Holy time in eternity holy eternity in time holy the clocks in space holy the fourth dimension holy the fifth International holy the Angel in Moloch! Holy the sea holy the desert holy the railroad holy the locomotive holy the visions holy the hallucina- tions holy the miracles holy the eyeball holy the abyss! Holy forgiveness! mercy! charity! faith! Holy! Ours! bodies! suffering! magnanimity! Holy the supernatural extra brilliant intelligent kindness of the soul!
Allen Ginsberg (Howl and Other Poems)
For his thirtieth birthday he had filled a whole night-club off Regent Street; people had been queuing on the pavement to get in. The SIM card of his mobile phone in his pocket was overflowing with telephone numbers of all the hundreds of people he had met in the last ten years, and yet the only person he had ever wanted to talk to in all that time was standing now in the very next room.
David Nicholls (One Day)
I was lingering out on the pavement. There was a missing person inside of myself and I needed to find him . . . I felt done for, an empty burned-out wreck . . . Wherever I am, I'm a '60s troubadour, a folk-rock relic, a wordsmith from bygone days, a fictitious head of state from a place nobody knows.
Bob Dylan (Chronicles, Volume One)
Long strands of drool stretched from between his fangs and dripped on the pavement, sending a heady scent of jasmine to swirl through the air. Perfumed monster spit. What was the world coming to?
Ilona Andrews (Magic Strikes (Kate Daniels, #3))
And so taking the long way home through the market I slow my pace down. It doesn't come naturally. My legs are programmed to trot briskly and my arms to pump up and down like pistons, but I force myself to stroll past the stalls and pavement cafes. To enjoy just being somewhere, rather than rushing from somewhere, to somewhere. Inhaling deep lungfuls of air, instead of my usual shallow breaths. I take a moment to just stop and look around me. And smile to myself. For the first time in a long time, I can, quite literally, smell the coffee.
Alexandra Potter (The Two Lives of Miss Charlotte Merryweather)
Do you believe in spirits? Or ghosts?...Yes, I do. I believe in ghosts....They're the ones who haunt us. The ones who have left us behind." "Vivian has come back to the idea that the people who matter in our lives stay with us, haunting our ordinary moments. They're with us in the grocery store, as we turn the corner, chat with a friend. They rise up through the pavement; we absorb them through our soles." "The things that matter stay with you, seep into your skin.
Christina Baker Kline (Orphan Train)
You’re like that single wild flower that grows from the crack in the pavement: miraculous growth with no water source or fertile soil. A person walking by would step around that flower to avoid crushing it. It’s not like the field of wild flowers you tromp through carelessly, crushing them under your feet, knowing that the next day will bring a hundred more.
J.B. Salsbury (Fighting for Flight (Fighting, #1))
Johnny's in the basement Mixing up the medicine I'm on the pavement Thinking 'bout the government.
Bob Dylan
When insolvent, pack minimally, with a valise tough enough to be thrown onto a London pavement from a first- or second-floor window. Insist on hotel rooms no higher.
David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas)
When I am an old woman I shall wear purple with a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me. And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves and satin sandles, and say we've no money for butter. I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells And run my stick along the public railings And make up for the sobriety of my youth. I shall go out in my slippers in the rain and pick flowers in other people's gardens And learn to spit. You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat And eat three pounds of sausages at a go Or only bread and pickle for a week And hoard pens and pencils and beer mats and things in boxes. But now we must have clothes that keep us dry And pay our rent and not swear in the street And set a good example for the children.
Jenny Joseph (Warning: When I Am an Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple)
...."the sound of a barrel organ rising from the deepest golden vein of the day; two or three bars of a chorus, played on a distant piano over and over again, melting in the sun on the white pavement, lost in the fire of high noon.
Bruno Schulz (The Street of Crocodiles)
Leaves covered pavement like soggy cereal.
Patricia Cornwell (The Body Farm (Kay Scarpetta, #5))
I will arise and go now, for always night and day I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore; While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey, I hear it in the deep heart's core.
W.B. Yeats (The Collected Poems of W.B. Yeats)
There's this feeling August has had everywhere she's ever lived, like she's not really there. Like it's all happening in a dream. She walks down the street, and it's like she's floating a few inches off the pavement, never rooted down. She touches things, a canister of sugar at a coffee shop, or the post of a street sign warm from the afternoon sun, and it feels like she hasn't touched anything at all, like it's all a place she lives in concept. She's just out here, shoes untied, hair a mess, no idea where she's going, scraping her knees and not bleeding.
Casey McQuiston (One Last Stop)
It was rainy, trees leafing out, spring deepening into summer; and the forlorn cry of horns on the street, the dank smell of the wet pavement had an electricity about it, a sense of crowds and static, lonely secretaries and fat guys with bags of carry-out, everywhere the ungainly sadness of creatures pushing and struggling to live.
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
I study her expression, trying to memorize what love looks like, just in case things don’t work out. Apparently, it looks vulnerable, like a dog that’s been hit by a car. Just lying there on the pavement, waiting for you to run into the street and scoop it up in your arms.
Paula Stokes (Liars, Inc.)
Life for both sexes — and I looked at them, shouldering their way along the pavement — is arduous, difficult, a perpetual struggle. It calls for gigantic courage and strength. More than anything, perhaps, creatures of illusion as we are, it calls for confidence in oneself. Without self-confidence we are as babes in the cradle.
Virginia Woolf (A Room of One’s Own)
Samuel Vimes dreamed about Clues. He had a jaundiced view of Clues. He instinctively distrusted them. They got in the way. And he distrusted the kind of person who’d take one look at another man and say in a lordly voice to his companion, “Ah, my dear sir, I can tell you nothing except that he is a left-handed stonemason who has spent some years in the merchant navy and has recently fallen on hard times,” and then unroll a lot of supercilious commentary about calluses and stance and the state of a man’s boots, when exactly the same comments could apply to a man who was wearing his old clothes because he’d been doing a spot of home bricklaying for a new barbecue pit, and had been tattooed once when he was drunk and seventeen* and in fact got seasick on a wet pavement. What arrogance! What an insult to the rich and chaotic variety of the human experience!
Terry Pratchett (Feet of Clay (Discworld, #19; City Watch, #3))
Emily suffers no more from pain or weakness now. She will never suffer more in this world. She is gone after a hard, short conflict...Yes there is no Emily in time or on earth now. Yesterday we put her poor, wasted, mortal frame quietly under the chancel pavement. We are very calm at present. Why shoud we be otherwise? The anguish of seeing her suffer is over; the spectacle of the pains of death is gone by; the funeral day is past. We feel she is at peace. No need now to trouble for the hard frost and the keen wind. Emily does not feel them.
Charlotte Brontë
Strange now to think of you, gone without corsets & eyes, while I walk on the sunny pavement of Greenwich Village. downtown Manhattan, clear winter noon, and I've been up all night, talking, talking, reading the Kaddish aloud, listening to Ray Charles blues shout blind on the phonograph
Allen Ginsberg (Kaddish and Other Poems)
Jehovah's Witness are welcomed into my home...You gotta respect anybody who gets all dressed up in Sunday clothes and goes door-to-door on days so hot their high heels sink a half-inch into the pavement. The trick is to do all the talking yourself. Pretty soon, they'll look at their watches and say, 'Speaking of end times, wouldja look at what time it is now!
Celia Rivenbark (Bless Your Heart, Tramp: And Other Southern Endearments)
From p. 40 of Signet Edition of Thomas Wolfe's _You Can't Go Home Again_ (1940): Some things will never change. Some things will always be the same. Lean down your ear upon the earth and listen. The voice of forest water in the night, a woman's laughter in the dark, the clean, hard rattle of raked gravel, the cricketing stitch of midday in hot meadows, the delicate web of children's voices in bright air--these things will never change. The glitter of sunlight on roughened water, the glory of the stars, the innocence of morning, the smell of the sea in harbors, the feathery blur and smoky buddings of young boughs, and something there that comes and goes and never can be captured, the thorn of spring, the sharp and tongueless cry--these things will always be the same. All things belonging to the earth will never change--the leaf, the blade, the flower, the wind that cries and sleeps and wakes again, the trees whose stiff arms clash and tremble in the dark, and the dust of lovers long since buried in the earth--all things proceeding from the earth to seasons, all things that lapse and change and come again upon the earth--these things will always be the same, for they come up from the earth that never changes, they go back into the earth that lasts forever. Only the earth endures, but it endures forever. The tarantula, the adder, and the asp will also never change. Pain and death will always be the same. But under the pavements trembling like a pulse, under the buildings trembling like a cry, under the waste of time, under the hoof of the beast above the broken bones of cities, there will be something growing like a flower, something bursting from the earth again, forever deathless, faithful, coming into life again like April.
Thomas Wolfe (You Can't Go Home Again)
Look, I admit you seem like a decent person. For all I know you stop and move turtles out of the road whenever you see one to keep someone from running it over. But this turtle is tired of having its guts spattered on the pavement while other people drive right over him. I just want to scrape myself up and hide in the woods, okay? (Aiden)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Upon the Midnight Clear (Dark-Hunter, #12; Dream-Hunter, #2))
I’m…pretty sure I’m in love with Travis,” My eyes still focused on the pavement, I handed Travis his phone, and then reluctantly peered up at his expression. A combination of confusion, shock, and adoration scrolled across his face. He scanned my face with careful hope in his eyes. “You love me?” “It’s the tattoos,” I shrugged. A wide smile stretched across his face, making his dimple sink into his cheek. “Come home with me,” he said, enveloping me in his arms. My eyebrows shot up. “You said all that to get me in bed? I must have made quite an impression.” “The only thing I’m thinking about right now is holding you in my arms all night.” “Let’s go,” I smiled.
Jamie McGuire (Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1))
She didn’t know that my heart was a sandstorm waiting to open her skin in a desert of cuts. She didn’t know the animal that waited in my stomach, silently shredding the walls. For her, my heart wore small white shoes and carried a purse, went to bed early. I wanted to shoot myself into her arms so she understood the need to crash cars with me, to tear up pavement because we were beautiful.
Michelle Tea (Valencia)
And now she hates me and I can’t even leave Dauntless to join the factionless, like I was going to, because Eric’s eye is on her like it was on Amar last year, right before he turned up dead on the pavement near the railroad tracks. All the Divergent end up dead except me, because of my fluke aptitude test result, and if Eric is watching her, she’s probably one, too. My thoughts skip back to the night before, how touching her sent warmth into my hand and through the rest of me, though I was frozen with fear. I press my hands to my head, press the memory away. I can’t leave now. I like her too much. There, I said it. But I won’t say it again.
Veronica Roth (Free Four: Tobias Tells the Divergent Knife-Throwing Scene (Divergent, #1.5))
Gray. The overcast skies had the colour of deadened stones, and seemed closer than usually, as though they were phlegmatically observing my every movement with their apathetic emptily blue-less eyes; each tiny drop of hazy rain drifting around resembled transparent molten steel, the pavement looked like it was about to burst into disconsolate tears, even the air itself was gray, so ultimate and ubiquitous that colour was everywhere around me. Gray...
Simona Panova (Nightmarish Sacrifice (Cardew))
He shrugged, and for a second they stood there, sizing each other up, the moment stretching, the gaze growing uncomfortable until his gray eyes finally broke free, escaping to the ground. Kate smiled, victorious. She gestured to the patch of pavement, the border of grass. “What brings you to my office?” He looked around, confused, as if he’d actually intruded. Then he looked up and said, “The view.” Kate flashed a crooked grin. “Oh really?” His face went red. “I didn’t mean you,” he said quickly. “I was talking about the trees.” “Wow,” she said dryly. “Thanks. How am I supposed to compete with pine and oak?” “I don’t know,” said Freddie, cocking his head. Stray dog again. “They’re pretty great.
V.E. Schwab (This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity, #1))
I know the world will survive us—and in some ways it will be more alive. More birdsong. More creatures roaming around. More plants cracking through our pavement, rewilding the planet we terraformed. I imagine coyotes sleeping in the ruins of the homes we built. I imagine our plastic still washing up on beaches hundreds of years after the last of us is gone. I imagine moths, having no artificial lights toward which to fly, turning back to the moon.
John Green (The Anthropocene Reviewed)
I stood looking down out of the window. The street seemed miles down. Suddenly I felt as if I'd flung myself out of the window. I could see myself lying on the pavement. Then I seemed to be standing by the body on the pavement. I was two people. Blood and brains were scattered everywhere. I knelt down and began licking up the blood and brains
Doris Lessing (The Golden Notebook)
LONDON. Michaelmas Term lately over, and the Lord Chancellor sitting in Lincoln’s Inn Hall. Implacable November weather. As much mud in the streets as if the waters had but newly retired from the face of the earth, and it would not be wonderful to meet a Megalosaurus, forty feet long or so, waddling like an elephantine lizard up Holborn Hill. Smoke lowering down from chimney-pots, making a soft black drizzle, with flakes of soot in it as big as full-grown snow-flakes — gone into mourning, one might imagine, for the death of the sun. Dogs, undistinguishable in mire. Horses, scarcely better; splashed to their very blinkers. Foot passengers, jostling one another’s umbrellas in a general infection of ill-temper, and losing their foot-hold at street-corners, where tens of thousands of other foot passengers have been slipping and sliding since the day broke (if the day ever broke), adding new deposits to the crust upon crust of mud, sticking at those points tenaciously to the pavement, and accumulating at compound interest. Fog everywhere. Fog up the river, where it flows among green aits and meadows; fog down the river, where it rolls defiled among the tiers of shipping and the waterside pollutions of a great (and dirty) city. Fog on the Essex marshes, fog on the Kentish heights. Fog creeping into the cabooses of collier-brigs; fog lying out on the yards, and hovering in the rigging of great ships; fog drooping on the gunwales of barges and small boats. Fog in the eyes and throats of ancient Greenwich pensioners, wheezing by the firesides of their wards; fog in the stem and bowl of the afternoon pipe of the wrathful skipper, down in his close cabin; fog cruelly pinching the toes and fingers of his shivering little ’prentice boy on deck. Chance people on the bridges peeping over the parapets into a nether sky of fog, with fog all round them, as if they were up in a balloon, and hanging in the misty clouds. Gas looming through the fog in divers places in the streets, much as the sun may, from the spongey fields, be seen to loom by husbandman and ploughboy. Most of the shops lighted two hours before their time — as the gas seems to know, for it has a haggard and unwilling look. The raw afternoon is rawest, and the dense fog is densest, and the muddy streets are muddiest near that leaden-headed old obstruction, appropriate ornament for the threshold of a leaden-headed old corporation, Temple Bar. And hard by Temple Bar, in Lincoln’s Inn Hall, at the very heart of the fog, sits the Lord High Chancellor in his High Court of Chancery.
Charles Dickens (Bleak House)
There's something about the flower that grows through the rocks, the pavement; through logs and stone or brick walls... all roses are beautiful; but the rose that emerges unexpectedly through the asphalt has a beauty of soul. The flower that reaches through the brokenness of the wall has a beauty of spirit. You stop to look and not only to look but to cherish! Somewhere along its journey, it decided that it would reach for what was unseen, keep going in the direction of something that wasn't felt, it decided that it would be. That it would become. And it did. And there is something irreplaceable about that.
C. JoyBell C.
I'd decided the campus was just a place to hide. There were some campus freaks who stayed on forever. The whole college scene was soft. They never told you what to expect out there in the real world. They just crammed you with theory and never told you how hard the pavements were. A college education could destroy an individual for life. Books could make you soft. When you put them down, and really went out there, then you needed to know what they never told you.
Charles Bukowski (Ham on Rye)
Whenever Richard Cory went down town, We people on the pavement looked at him: He was a gentleman from sole to crown, Clean favored, imperially slim. And he was always quietly arrayed, And he was always human when he talked; But still he fluttered pulses when he said, 'Good-morning,' and he glittered when he walked. And he was rich--yes, richer than a king-- And admirably schooled in every grace: In fine, we thought that he was everything To make us wish that we were in his place. So on we worked, and waited for the light, And went without the meat, and cursed the bread; And Richard Cory, one calm summer night, Went home and put a bullet through his head.
Edwin Arlington Robinson
The demon kept pulling him unconscious, and in those short bursts of blackness, the dreamer snatched at light, and when he swam back to consciousness, he thrust the dream into reality. He shaped them into flapping creatures and earthbound stars and flaming crowns and golden notes that sang by themselves and mint leaves scattered across the blood-streaked pavement and scraps of paper with jagged handwriting on them: Unguibus et rostro. But he was dying.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, #4))
She went out in the city with its lights like a radioactive phosphorescence, wandered through galleries where the high-priced art on the walls was the same as the graffiti scrawled outside by taggers who were arrested or killed for it, went to parties in hotel rooms where white-skinned, lingerie-clad rock stars had been staying the night their husbands shot themselves in the head, listened to music in nightclubs where stunning boyish actors had OD'd on the pavement.
Francesca Lia Block (The Rose and the Beast: Fairy Tales Retold)
November again. It’s more winter than autumn. That’s not mist. It’s fog. The sycamore seeds hit the glass in the wind like – no, not like anything else, like sycamore seeds hitting window glass. There’ve been a couple of windy nights. The leaves are stuck to the ground with the wet. The ones on the paving are yellow and rotting, wanwood, leafmeal. One is so stuck that when it eventually peels away, its leafshape left behind, shadow of a leaf, will last on the pavement till next spring. The furniture in the garden is rusting. They’ve forgotten to put it away for the winter. The trees are revealing their structures. There’s the catch of fire in the air. All the souls are out marauding. But there are roses, there are still roses. In the damp and the cold, on a bush that looks done, there’s a wide-open rose, still. Look at the colour of it.
Ali Smith (Autumn (Seasonal, #1))
As I walked out one evening, Walking down Bristol Street, The crowds upon the pavement Were fields of harvest wheat. And down by the brimming river I heard a lover sing Under an arch of the railway: "Love has no ending. "I'll love you, dear, I'll love you Till China and Africa meet, And the river jumps over the mountain And the salmon sing in the street, "I'll love till the ocean Is folded and hung up to dry And the seven stars go squawking Like geese about the sky. "The years shall run like rabbits, For in my arms I hold The Flower of the Ages, And the first love of the world." But all the clocks in the city Began to whirr and chime: "O let not Time deceive you, You cannot conquer Time. "In the burrows of the Nightmare Where Justice naked is, Time watches from the shadow And coughs when you would kiss. "In headaches and in worry Vaguely life leaks away, And Time will have his fancy Tomorrow or today. "Into many a green valley Drifts the appalling snow; Time breaks the threaded dances And the diver's brilliant bow. "O plunge your hands in water, Plunge them in up to the wrist; Stare, stare in the basin And wonder what you've missed. "The glacier knocks in the cupboard, The desert sighs in the bed, And the crack in the teacup opens A lane to the land of the dead. "Where the beggars raffle the banknotes And the Giant is enchanting to Jack, And the Lily-white Boy is a Roarer, And Jill goes down on her back. "O look, look in the mirror, O look in your distress; Life remains a blessing Although you cannot bless. "O stand, stand at the window As the tears scald and start; You shall love your crooked neighbor With all your crooked heart." It was late, late in the evening, The lovers they were gone; The clocks had ceased their chiming, And the deep river ran on.
W.H. Auden
Perhaps the most chaotic of Divisions Ke Hui Feng 第一 Ψ visited was Recycling. First, it was mammoth, so big most of her tour was spent aboard a drone. Thousands of Dazhong used the 401 thoroughfares from both east and west, the 427 from the south and the 400 from the north to bring their loads of recyclables from the MASS to the enormous MEG Recycling Centre. The roadways might be in ruins outside the MEG boundaries, jagged fragments of pavement between cavernous potholes and trails made by traders, but within the MEG the wide lanes had been cleared and covered with recycled rubber. They were smooth and divided, one lane in—one lane out, between hundred-metre high foamstone walls on either side. No one from the MASS would ever get into the MEG illegally; at least, that was how it seemed. Only those with proper credentials could enter the massive gates: MASS traders, or trading companies, who specialized as middlemen between the gatherers and the Recycling Centre. Not far outside the gates the MASS traders had rebuilt ancient warehouses in which they received goods, stored, and sorted them, then brought them, usually by land freighters, down the ingress roads to meet MEG approved Di sān overseers and, of course, decontaminated Dazhong who further sorted the goods.
Brian Van Norman (Against the Machine: Evolution)
Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people. This is, I repeat, the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking. This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.... Is there no other way the world may live?
Dwight D. Eisenhower
You can feel people staring: it's like heat that rise from the pavement during summer, like a poker in the small of your back. You don’t have to hear a whisper, either, to know that it’s about you. I use to stand in front of the mirror in the bathroom to see what they are staring at. I wanted to know what made their heads turn, what it was about me that was so incredibly different. At first I couldn’t tell. I mean, I was just me. Then one day. When I looked in the mirror, I understood. I looked into my own eyes and I hated myself, maybe as much as all of them did. That was the day I started to believe they might be right. jodi picoult
Jodi Picoult (Nineteen Minutes)
The place didn't look the same but it felt the same; sensations clutched and transformed me. I stood outside some concrete and plate-glass tower-block, picked a handful of eucalyptus leaves from a branch, crushed them in my hand, smelt, and tears came to my eyes. Sixty-seven-year-old Claudia, on a pavement awash with packaged American matrons, crying not in grief but in wonder that nothing is ever lost, that everything can be retrieved, that a lifetime is not linear but instant. That, inside the head, everything happens at once.
Penelope Lively (Moon Tiger)
He must have stood there for a long time, making a list of all the terrible things he had done—almost killing me was one of those things—and another list of all the good, heroic, brave things he had not done, and then decided that he was tired. Tired, not just of living, but of existing. Tired of being Al. I open my eyes, and stare at the pieces of chair I can faintly see on the pavement below. For the first time I feel like I understand Al. I am tired of being Tris. I have done bad things. I can’t take them back, and they are part of who I am. Most of the time, they seem like the only thing I am.
Veronica Roth (Insurgent (Divergent, #2))
Where is Galen?" She had many questions to ask the king, and it surprised her a little that this should be the first one to pop out of her mouth. Still, it was just as urgent as any of the others. "What have you done to him?" "Nothing." The king spread his weirdly elongated hands in an innocent gesture. "The gardener's boy is in perfect health. For the present." "And then he'll fall off a horse, or slip on the wet pavement? So that you don't need to get your hands dirty?" Rose sneered at him. He smiled his cold smile. "Keeping one's hands clean – maintaining one's innocence. Is that not the human way?
Jessica Day George (Princess of the Midnight Ball (The Princesses of Westfalin Trilogy, #1))
Maria, lonely prostitute on a street of pain, You, at least, hail me and speak to me While a thousand others ignore my face. You offer me an hour of love, And your fees are not as costly as most. You are the madonna of the lonely, The first-born daughter in a world of pain. You do not turn fat men aside, Or trample on the stuttering, shy ones, You are the meadow where desperate men Can find a moment's comfort. Men have paid more to their wives To know a bit of peace And could not walk away without the guilt That masquerades as love. You do not bind them, lovely Maria, you comfort them And bid them return. Your body is more Christian than the Bishop's Whose gloved hand cannot feel the dropping of my blood. Your passion is as genuine as most, Your caring as real! But you, Maria, sacred whore on the endless pavement of pain, You, whose virginity each man may make his own Without paying ought but your fee, You who know nothing of virgin births and immaculate conceptions, You who touch man's flesh and caress a stranger, Who warm his bed to bring his aching skin alive, You make more sense than stock markets and football games Where sad men beg for virility. You offer yourself for a fee--and who offers himself for less? At times you are cruel and demanding--harsh and insensitive, At times you are shrewd and deceptive--grasping and hollow. The wonder is that at times you are gentle and concerned, Warm and loving. You deserve more respect than nuns who hide their sex for eternal love; Your fees are not so high, nor your prejudice so virtuous. You deserve more laurels than the self-pitying mother of many children, And your fee is not as costly as most. Man comes to you when his bed is filled with brass and emptiness, When liquor has dulled his sense enough To know his need of you. He will come in fantasy and despair, Maria, And leave without apologies. He will come in loneliness--and perhaps Leave in loneliness as well. But you give him more than soldiers who win medals and pensions, More than priests who offer absolution And sweet-smelling ritual, More than friends who anticipate his death Or challenge his life, And your fee is not as costly as most. You admit that your love is for a fee, Few women can be as honest. There are monuments to statesmen who gave nothing to anyone Except their hungry ego, Monuments to mothers who turned their children Into starving, anxious bodies, Monuments to Lady Liberty who makes poor men prisoners. I would erect a monument for you-- who give more than most-- And for a meager fee. Among the lonely, you are perhaps the loneliest of all, You come so close to love But it eludes you While proper women march to church and fantasize In the silence of their rooms, While lonely women take their husbands' arms To hold them on life's surface, While chattering women fill their closets with clothes and Their lips with lies, You offer love for a fee--which is not as costly as most-- And remain a lonely prostitute on a street of pain. You are not immoral, little Maria, only tired and afraid, But you are not as hollow as the police who pursue you, The politicians who jail you, the pharisees who scorn you. You give what you promise--take your paltry fee--and Wander on the endless, aching pavements of pain. You know more of universal love than the nations who thrive on war, More than the churches whose dogmas are private vendettas made sacred, More than the tall buildings and sprawling factories Where men wear chains. You are a lonely prostitute who speaks to me as I pass, And I smile at you because I am a lonely man.
James Kavanaugh (There Are Men Too Gentle to Live Among Wolves)
What could be more absurd? Yet it is nature's folly, not ours. When she set about her chief masterpiece, the making of man, she should have thought of one thing only. Instead, turning her head, looking over her shoulder, into each one of us she let creep instincts and desires which are utterly at variance with his main being, so that we are streaked, variegated, all of a mixture; the colours have run. Is the true self this which stands on the pavement in January, or that which bends over the balcony in June? Am I here, or am I there? Or is the true self neither this nor that, neither here nor there, but something so varied and wandering that it is only when we give the rein to its wishes and let it take its way unimpeded that we are indeed ourselves?
Virginia Woolf (Street Haunting)
Look, I get it. I’m a white, heterosexual man. It’s really easy for me to say, ‘Oh, wow, wasn’t the nineteenth century terrific?’ But try this. Imagine the scene: It’s pouring rain against a thick window. Outside, on Baker Street, the light from the gas lamps is so weak that it barely reaches the pavement. A fog swirls in the air, and the gas gives it a pale yellow glow. Mystery brews in every darkened corner, in every darkened room. And a man steps out into that dim, foggy world, and he can tell you the story of your life by the cut of your shirtsleeves. He can shine a light into the dimness, with only his intellect and his tobacco smoke to help him. Now. Tell me that’s not awfully romantic?
Graham Moore (The Sherlockian)
All these years, whenever I thought of him, I'd think either of B. or of our last days in Rome, the whole thing leading up to two scenes: the balcony with its attendant agonies and via Santa Maria dell' Anima, where he'd pushed me against the old wall and kissed me and in the end let me put one leg around his. Every time I go back to Rome, I go back to that one spot. It is still alive for me, still resounds with something totally present, as though a heart stolen from a tale by Poe still throbbed under the ancient slate pavement to remind me that, here, I had finally encountered the life that was right for me but had failed to have.
André Aciman (Call Me by Your Name)
Although Bertha Young was thirty she still had moments like this when she wanted to run instead of walk, to take dancing steps on and off the pavement, to bowl a hoop, to throw something up in the air and catch it again, or to stand still and laugh at - nothing - at nothing, simply. What can you do if you are thirty and, turning the corner of your own street, you are overcome, suddenly by a feeling of bliss - absolute bliss! - as though you'd suddenly swallowed a bright piece of that late afternoon sun and it burned in your bosom, sending out a little shower of sparks into every particle, into every finger and toe?
Katherine Mansfield
Annabeth didn’t mean to, but she surged forward. Percy rushed toward her at the same time. The crowd tensed. Some reached for swords that weren’t there. Percy threw his arms around her. They kissed, and for a moment nothing else mattered. An asteroid could have hit the planet and wiped out all life, and Annabeth wouldn’t have cared. Percy smelled of ocean air. His lips were salty. Seaweed Brain, she thought giddily. Percy pulled away and studied her face. “Gods, I never thought—” Annabeth grabbed his wrist and flipped him over her shoulder. He slammed into the stone pavement. Romans cried out. Some surged forward, but Reyna shouted, “Hold! Stand down!” Annabeth put her knee on Percy’s chest. She pushed her forearm against his throat. She didn’t care what the Romans thought. A white-hot lump of anger expanded in her chest—a tumor of worry and bitterness that she’d been carrying around since last autumn. “If you ever leave me again,” she said, her eyes stinging, “I swear to all the gods—” Percy had the nerve to laugh. Suddenly the lump of heated emotions melted inside Annabeth. “Consider me warned,” Percy said.
Rick Riordan (The Mark of Athena (The Heroes of Olympus, #3))
There is no glory in being a featherbed soldier, a man bedecked with gorgeous medals, but never beautified by a scar, or ennobled by a wound. All that you ever hear of such a soldier is that his spurs jingle on the pavement as he walks. There is no history for this carpet knight. He is just a dandy. He never smelled gunpowder in battle in his life. If he did, he fetched out his cologne to kill the offensive odor. Oh, if we could be wise enough to choose, even were as wise as the Lord Himself, we would choose the troubles which He has appointed to us, and we would not spare ourselves a single pang.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Life for both sexes--and I looked at them, shouldering their way along the pavement--is arduous, difficult, a perpetual struggle. It calls for gigantic courage and strength. More than anything, perhaps, creatures of illusion as we are, it calls for confidence in oneself. Without self-confidence we are as babes in the cradle. And how can we generate this imponderable quality, which is yet so invaluable, most quickly? By thinking that other people are inferior to oneself. By feeling that one has some innate superiority-- it may be wealth, or rank, a straight nose, or the portrait of a grandfather by Romney-- for there is no end to the pathetic devices of the human imagination-- over other people.
Virginia Woolf (A Room of One’s Own)
Possibly when the professor insisted a little too emphatically upon the inferiority of women, he was concerned not with their inferiority, but with his own superiority. That was what he was protecting rather hot-headedly and with too much emphasis, because it was a jewel to him of the rarest price. Life for both sexes—and I looked at them, shouldering their way along the pavement—is arduous, difficult, a perpetual struggle. It calls for gigantic courage and strength. More than anything, perhaps, creatures of illusion as we are, it rails for confidence in oneself. Without self-confidence we are as babes in the cradle. And how can we generate this imponderable quality, which is yet so invaluable, most quickly? By thinking that other people are inferior to oneself. By feeling that one has some innate superiority—it may be wealth, or rank, a straight nose, or the portrait of a grandfather by Romney—for there is no end to the pathetic devices of the human imagination—over other people.
Virginia Woolf (A Room Of One's Own (annotated): The Virginia Woolf Library Annotated Edition)
Whenever Richard Cory went down town, we people on the pavement looked at him: He was a gentleman from sole to crown, clean favored, and imperially slim. And he was always quietly arrayed, and he was always human when he talked; but still he fluttered pulses when he said, "Good morning," and he glittered when he walked. And he was rich - yes, richer than a king - And admirably schooled in every grace: In fine, we thought that he was everything to make us wish that we were in his place. So on we worked, and waited for the light, and went without the meat, and cursed the bread; And Richard Cory, one calm summer night, went home and put a bullet through his head.
Edwin Arlington Robinson
The pleasures of my life here are simple – simple, inexpensive and democratic. A warm hill of Marmande tomatoes on a roadside vendor’s stall. A cold beer on a pavement table of the Café de France – Marie Thérèse inside making me a sandwich au camembert. Munching the knob of a fresh baguette as I wander back from Sainte-Sabine. The farinaceous smell of the white dust raised by a breeze from the driveway. A cuckoo sounding the perfectly silent woods beyond the meadow. A huge grey, cerise, pink, orange and washed-out blue of a sunset seen from my rear terrace. The drilling of the cicadas at noon – the soft dialing-tone of the crickets at dusk slowly gathers. A good book, a hammock and a cold, beaded bottle of blanc sec. A rough red wine and steak frites. The cool, dark, shuttered silence of my bedroom – and, as I go to sleep, the prospect that all this will be available to me again, unchanged, tomorrow.
William Boyd (Any Human Heart)
A nurse’s aid threw the contents of a patient’s water glass out a window, the mass of water hitting the ground dislodging a pebble which rolled across the angled pavement and fell with a click on a stone culvert in the ditch below, startling a squirrel having at some sort of nut right there on the concrete pipe, causing the squirrel to run up the nearest tree, in doing which it disturbed a slender brittle branch and surprised a few nervous morning birds, of of which, preparatory to flight released a black-and-white glob of droppings, which glob fell neatly on the windshield of the tiny car of one Lenore Beadsman, just as she pulled into a parking space. Lenore got out of the car while birds flew away, making sounds.
David Foster Wallace (The Broom of the System)
8 April 1891 The obscenity of nostrils and mouths; the ignominious cupidity of smiles and women encountered in the street; the shifty baseness on every side, as of hyenas and wild beasts ready to bite: tradesmen in their shops and strollers on their pavements. How long must I suffer this? I have suffered it before, as a child, when, descending by chance to the servant's quarters, I overheard in astonishment their vile gossip, tearing up my own kind with their lovely teeth. This hostility to the entire race, this muted detestation of lynxes in human form, I must have rediscovered it later while at school. I had a repugnance and horror for all base instincts, but am I not myself instinctively violent and lewd, murderous and sensual? Am I any different, in essence, from the members of the riotous and murderous mob of a hundred years ago, who hurled the town sergeants into the Seine and cried, 'String up the aristos!' just as they shout 'Down with the army!' or 'Death to the Jews!
Jean Lorrain (Monsieur De Phocas)
The wild. I have drunk it, deep and raw, and heard it's primal, unforgettable roar. We know it in our dreams, when our mind is off the leash, running wild. 'Outwardly, the equivalent of the unconscious is the wilderness: both of these terms meet, one step even further on, as one,' wrote Gary Snyder. 'It is in vain to dream of a wildness distinct from ourselves. There is none such,' wrote Thoreau. 'It is the bog in our brains and bowls, the primitive vigor of Nature in us, that inspires the dream.' And as dreams are essential to the psyche, wildness is to life. We are animal in our blood and in our skin. We were not born for pavements and escalators but for thunder and mud. More. We are animal not only in body but in spirit. Our minds are the minds of wild animals. Artists, who remember their wildness better than most, are animal artists, lifting their heads to sniff a quick wild scent in the air, and they know it unmistakably, they know the tug of wildness to be followed through your life is buckled by that strange and absolute obedience. ('You must have chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star,' wrote Nietzsche.) Children know it as magic and timeless play. Shamans of all sorts and inveterate misbehavers know it; those who cannot trammel themselves into a sensible job and life in the suburbs know it. What is wild cannot be bought or sold, borrowed or copied. It is. Unmistakeable, unforgettable, unshamable, elemental as earth and ice, water, fire and air, a quitessence, pure spirit, resolving into no contituents. Don't waste your wildness: it is precious and necessary.
Jay Griffiths (Wild: An Elemental Journey)
So you have chosen aloneness. You have chosen the security and the relative freedom of solitude, because there is no risk involved. You can stay up every night and watch your TV shows and eat ice cream out of the box and scroll through your Tumblr and never let your brain sit still, not even for a moment. You can fill your days up with books and coffees and trips to the store where you forget what you wanted the second you walk in the automatic sliding door. You can do so many little, pointless things throughout the day that all you can think of is how badly you want to sleep, how heavy your whole body is, how much your feet hurt. You can wear yourself out again and again on the pavement, and you do, and it feels good. No one will ever bridge that gap and point to your stomach or your hair or your eyes in the mirror and magically make you see the wonderful things about getting to be next to you. And maybe that’s it, after all, this fear that no one will ever truly feel about you the way you want to be felt about. Maybe what you want is someone to make you love yourself, to put sense into all that positive rhetoric, to make it so the aloneness of TV and blasting music in your ears at all times isn’t the most happy place you can think of. Maybe you want someone who makes you so sure of how wonderful things are that you cannot help but to tell them your feelings first, even at the risk of being humiliated. Because you will know that, when you’re telling them you love them, what you’re really saying is “I love who I become when I am with you.
Chelsea Fagan
My theme is memory, that winged host that soared about me one grey morning of war-time. These memories, which are my life--for we possess nothing certainly except the past--were always with me. Like the pigeons of St. Mark's, theywere everywhere, under my feet, singly, in pairs, in little honey-voiced congregations, nodding, strutting, winking, rolling the tender feathers of their necks, perching sometimes, if I stood still, on my shoulder or pecking a broken biscuit from between my lips; until, suddenly, the noon gun boomed and in a moment, with a flutter and sweep of wings, the pavement was bare and the whole sky above dark with a tumult of fowl. Thus it was that morning. These memories are the memorials and pledges of the vital hours of a lifetime. These hours of afflatus in the human spirit, the springs of art, are, in their mystery, akin to the epochs of history, when a race which for centuries has lived content, unknown, behind its own frontiers, digging, eating, sleeping, begetting, doing what was requisite for survival and nothing else, will, for a generation or two, stupefy the world; commit all manner of crimes, perhaps; follow the wildest chimeras, go down in the end in agony, but leave behind a record of new heights scaled and new rewards won for all mankind; the vision fades, the soul sickens, and the routine of survival starts again. The human soul enjoys these rare, classic periods, but, apart from them, we are seldom single or unique; we keep company in this world with a hoard of abstractions and reflections and counterfeits of ourselves -- the sensual man, the economic man, the man of reason, the beast, the machine and the sleep-walker, and heaven knows what besides, all in our own image, indistinguishable from ourselves to the outward eye. We get borne along, out of sight in the press, unresisting, till we get the chance to drop behind unnoticed, or to dodge down a side street, pause, breathe freely and take our bearings, or to push ahead, out-distance our shadows, lead them a dance, so that when at length they catch up with us, they look at one another askance, knowing we have a secret we shall never share.
Evelyn Waugh (Brideshead Revisited)
A real panic took hold of me. I didn't know where I was going. I ran along the docks, turned into the deserted streets in the Beauvoisis district; the houses watched my flight with their mournful eyes. I repeated with anguish: Where shall I go? where shall I go? Anything can happen. Sometimes, my heart pounding, I made a sudden right about turn: what was happening behind my back? Maybe it would start behind me and when I would turn around, suddenly, it would be too late. As long as I could stare at things nothing would happen: I looked at them as much as I could, pavements, houses, gaslights; my eyes went rapidly from one to the other, to catch them unawares, stop them in the midst of their metamorphosis. They didn't look too natural, but I told myself forcibly: this is a gaslight, this is a drinking fountain, and I tried to reduce them to their everyday aspect by the power of my gaze. Several times I came across barriers in my path: the Cafe des Bretons, the Bar de la Marine. I stopped, hesitated in front of their pink net curtains: perhaps these snug places had been spared, perhaps they still held a bit of yesterday's world, isolated, forgotten. But I would have to push the door open and enter. I didn't dare; I went on. Doors of houses frightened me especially. I was afraid they would open of themselves. I ended by walking in the middle of the street. I suddenly came out on the Quai des Bassins du Nord. Fishing smacks and small yachts. I put my foot on a ring set in the stone. Here, far from houses, far from doors, I would have a moment of respite. A cork was floating on the calm, black speckled water. "And under the water? You haven't thought what could be under the water." A monster? A giant carapace? sunk in the mud? A dozen pairs of claws or fins labouring slowly in the slime. The monster rises. At the bottom of the water. I went nearer, watching every eddy and undulation. The cork stayed immobile among the black spots.
Jean-Paul Sartre (Nausea)
Once I am sure there's nothing going on I step inside, letting the door thud shut. Another church: matting, seats, and stone, And little books; sprawlings of flowers, cut For Sunday, brownish now; some brass and stuff Up at the holy end; the small neat organ; And a tense, musty, unignorable silence, Brewed God knows how long. Hatless, I take off My cycle-clips in awkward reverence. Move forward, run my hand around the font. From where I stand, the roof looks almost new - Cleaned, or restored? Someone would know: I don't. Mounting the lectern, I peruse a few Hectoring large-scale verses, and pronounce 'Here endeth' much more loudly than I'd meant. The echoes snigger briefly. Back at the door I sign the book, donate an Irish sixpence, Reflect the place was not worth stopping for. Yet stop I did: in fact I often do, And always end much at a loss like this, Wondering what to look for; wondering, too, When churches will fall completely out of use What we shall turn them into, if we shall keep A few cathedrals chronically on show, Their parchment, plate and pyx in locked cases, And let the rest rent-free to rain and sheep. Shall we avoid them as unlucky places? Or, after dark, will dubious women come To make their children touch a particular stone; Pick simples for a cancer; or on some Advised night see walking a dead one? Power of some sort will go on In games, in riddles, seemingly at random; But superstition, like belief, must die, And what remains when disbelief has gone? Grass, weedy pavement, brambles, buttress, sky, A shape less recognisable each week, A purpose more obscure. I wonder who Will be the last, the very last, to seek This place for what it was; one of the crew That tap and jot and know what rood-lofts were? Some ruin-bibber, randy for antique, Or Christmas-addict, counting on a whiff Of gown-and-bands and organ-pipes and myrrh? Or will he be my representative, Bored, uninformed, knowing the ghostly silt Dispersed, yet tending to this cross of ground Through suburb scrub because it held unspilt So long and equably what since is found Only in separation - marriage, and birth, And death, and thoughts of these - for which was built This special shell? For, though I've no idea What this accoutred frowsty barn is worth, It pleases me to stand in silence here; A serious house on serious earth it is, In whose blent air all our compulsions meet, Are recognized, and robed as destinies. And that much never can be obsolete, Since someone will forever be surprising A hunger in himself to be more serious, And gravitating with it to this ground, Which, he once heard, was proper to grow wise in, If only that so many dead lie round.
Philip Larkin
Then someone else appeared from the crowd, and Annabeth's vision tunneled. Percy smiled at her-that sarcastic, troublemaker's smile that had annoyed her for years but eventually had become endearing. His sea-green eyes were as gorgeous as she remembered. His dark hair was swept to one side, like he'd just come from a walk on the beach. He looked even better than he had six months ago-tanner and taller, leaner and more muscular. Annabeth was to stunned to move. She felt that if she got any closer to him, all the molecules in her body might combust. She'd secretly had a crush on him sonar they were twelve years old. Last summer, she'd fallen for him hard. They'd been a happy couple together for four months-and then he'd disappeared. During their separation, something had happened to Annabeth's feelings. They'd grown painfully intense-like she'd been forced to withdraw from a life-saving medication. Now she wasn't sure which was more excruciating-living with that horrible absence, or being with him again... Annabeth didn't mean to, but she surged forward. Percy rushed toward her at the same time. The crowds tensed. Some reach d for swords that weren't there. Percy threw his arms around her. They kissed, and for a moment nothing else mattered. An asteroid could have hit the planet and wiped out all life, Annabeth wouldn't have cared. Percy smelled of ocean air. His lips were salty. Seaweed Brain, she thought giddily. Percy pulled away and studied her face. "Gods, I never thought-" Annabeth grabbed his wrist and flipped him over her shoulder. He slammed into the stone pavement. Romans cried out. Some surged forward, but Reyna shouted, "Hold! Stand down!" Annabeth put her knee on Percy's chest. She pushed her forearm against his throat. She didn't care what the Romans thought. A white-hot lump of anger expanded in her chest-a tumor of worry and bitterness that she'd been carrying around since last autumn. "Of you ever leave me again," she said, her eyes stinging, "I swear to all the gods-" Percy had the nerve to laugh. Suddenly the lump of heated emotions melted inside Annabeth. "Consider me warned," Percy said. "I missed you, too." Annabeth rose and helped him to his feet. She wanted to kiss him again SO badly, but she managed to restrain herself. Jason cleared his throat. "So, yeah…It's good to be back…" "And this is Annabeth," Jason said. "Uh, normally she doesn't judo-flip people.
Rick Riordan (The Mark of Athena (The Heroes of Olympus, #3))