That's always seemed so ridiculous to me, that people want to be around someone because they're pretty. It's like picking your breakfeast cereals based on color instead of taste.
John Green (Paper Towns)
I didn’t need you, you idiot. I picked you. And then you picked me back.
John Green (Paper Towns)
The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.
Pick the day. Enjoy it - to the hilt. The day as it comes. People as they come... The past, I think, has helped me appreciate the present, and I don't want to spoil any of it by fretting about the future.
What I said yesterday didn't mean anything! I love everyone in the flock! Plus, it was the Valium talking!"
"Uh-huh. You just keep telling yourself that. You looove me."
Max: (tries to punch him)
"Pick a tree. I'll go carve our initials in it."
Max: (screams and runs into bathroom)
James Patterson (Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports (Maximum Ride, #3))
And I felt like my heart had been so thoroughly and irreparably broken that there could be no real joy again, that at best there might eventually be a little contentment. Everyone wanted me to get help and rejoin life, pick up the pieces and move on, and I tried to, I wanted to, but I just had to lie in the mud with my arms wrapped around myself, eyes closed, grieving, until I didn’t have to anymore.
Anne Lamott (Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year)
What does that mean?" he demanded.
She smiled sadly. "You'll figure it out. And when you do..." She shook her head, knowing she shouldn't say it, but doing it anyway. "When you do, I want you to remember that it wouldn't have made any difference to me. It's never made any difference to me when it came to you. I’d still pick you. I’ll always pick you.
Sarah J. Maas (Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2))
Someone picked up the sun and pinned it to the sky again, but every day it hangs a little lower than the day before. It's like a negligent parent who only knows one half of who you are. It never sees how its absence changes people. How different we are in the dark.
Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1))
What have you done to my cat?" Magnus demanded... "You drank his blood, didn't you? You said you weren't hungry!"
Simon was indignant. "I did not drink his blood. He's fine!" He poked the Chairman in the stomach. The cat yawned. "Second, you asked me if I was hungry when you were ordering pizza, so I said no, because I can't eat pizza. I was being polite."
"That doesn't get you the right to eat my cat."
"Your cat is fine!" Simon reached to pick up the tabby, who jumped indignantly to his feet and stalked off the table. "See?"
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
Of course." He picked up the brown bag of candy on the table. "What's your . . ." He trailed off as he weighed the bag in his hands. "Didn't I give you three pounds of candy?"
She smiled impishly.
"You ate half the bag!"
"Was I supposed to save it?"
"I would have liked some!"
"You never told me that."
"Because I didn't expect you to consume all of it before breakfast!"
She snatched the bag from him and put it on the table. "Well, that just shows poor judgement on your part, doesn't it?
Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1))
My own opinion is enough for me, and I claim the right to have it defended against any consensus, any majority, anywhere, any place, any time. And anyone who disagrees with this can pick a number, get in line, and kiss my ass.
So long as you don't bleed in the shape of wing joints, you should pass for human. Oh, and don't let anyone pick you up. They'll know you're not right as soon as they feel how light you are."
"I'll be sure not to let anyone but you carry me in her arms.
Susan Ee (Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, #1))
I do not pick the wrong guys. They pick me.
Candace Bushnell (Sex and the City)
Please believe me when I tell you that I picked up each soul that day as if it were newly born. I even kissed a few weary, poisoned cheeks. I listened to their last, gasping cries. Their vanishing words. I watched their love visions and freed them from their fear.
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
One of the greatest pieces of advice I’ve ever gotten in my life was from my mom. When I was a little kid there was a kid who was bugging me at school and she said “Okay, I’m gonna tell you what to do. If the kid’s bugging you and puts his hands on you; you pick up the nearest rock...
What have you gotten me into?" I hissed at him.
"Me? What have you gotten yourself into? Couldn't I have just picked you up at the police station for underage drinking, like most fathers?
Richelle Mead (Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy, #5))
Nobody loves me, nobody cares,
Nobody picks me peaches and pears.
Nobody offers me candy and Cokes,
Nobody listens and laughs at me jokes.
Nobody helps when I get into a fight,
Nobody does all my homework at night.
Nobody misses me,
Nobody thinks I'm a wonderful guy.
So, if you ask me who's my best friend, in a whiz,
I'll stand up and tell you NOBODY is!
But yesterday night I got quite a scare
I woke up and Nobody just WASN'T there!
I called out and reached for Nobody's hand,
In the darkness where Nobody usually stands,
Then I poked through the house, in each cranny and nook,
But I found SOMEBODY each place that I looked.
I seached till I'm tired, and now with the dawn,
There's no doubt about it-
He tells me to pick the music. I’m not sure if he knows that handing me his iPod is like handing me the window to his soul.
Becky Albertalli (Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (Simonverse, #1))
You should never read just for "enjoyment." Read to make yourself smarter! Less judgmental. More apt to understand your friends' insane behavior, or better yet, your own. Pick "hard books." Ones you have to concentrate on while reading. And for god's sake, don't let me ever hear you say, "I can't read fiction. I only have time for the truth." Fiction is the truth, fool! Ever hear of "literature"? That means fiction, too, stupid.
John Waters (Role Models)
I'm a quirky, intelligent, dark haired chick! Me, me, me, pick me! And who the hell keeps whining and ruining my perfect moment? I will cut a bitch.
Tara Sivec (Seduction and Snacks (Chocolate Lovers, #1))
A fine glass vase goes from treasure to trash, the moment it is broken. Fortunately, something else happens to you and me. Pick up your pieces. Then, help me gather mine.
Vera Nazarian (The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration)
This is a love story. Twisted and messy. Flawed and screwed up. But it's ours. It's us. I don't know how our story will end. but I know it will start. I pick up my pen and begin to write:
My name is not Mara Dyer, but my lawyer told me I had to choose something.
Michelle Hodkin (The Retribution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #3))
Barrel of the gun, rounds one two three
She says I have to pick: choose you, or choose me
Metal to the temple, the explosion is deafening
Lick the blood that covers me
She’s the last one standing
Collateral Damage, Track 11
Gayle Forman (Where She Went (If I Stay, #2))
The phone rang. I picked it up.
“Are you sitting down?” Curran's voice asked.
I listened to the disconnect signal. If he wanted me to sit, then I'd stand. I got up. The chair got up with me and I ended up bent over my desk, with the chair stuck to my butt. I grabbed the edge of the chair and tried to pull it off.
It remained stuck.
I would murder him. Slowly. And I'd enjoy every second of it.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Bleeds (Kate Daniels, #4))
She was not becoming anything different from what she always was and always had the capacity to be. You just finally saw everything. And once you saw that other part of her… You cannot pick and choose what parts of her to love. Just as you cannot pick which parts of me you accept.
Sarah J. Maas (Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3))
You deserve better. I can’t promise you I’ll stay around, not because I don’t want to. It’s hard to explain. I’m a fuckup. I’m broken, and no one can fix it. I’ve tried. I’m still trying. I can’t love anyone because it’s not fair to anyone who loves me back. I’ll never hurt you, not like I want to hurt Roamer. But I can’t promise I won’t pick you apart, piece by piece, until you’re in a thousand pieces, just like me. You should know what you’re getting into before getting involved.
Jennifer Niven (All the Bright Places)
If flowers were boogers, I'd pick a few big ones and flick them on your grave.
Jarod Kintz (It Occurred to Me)
You can help me pick out a tiara when we’re done saving the world.
Marissa Meyer (Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3))
I love you," he repeated, shaking her again. "I have for years. And he hurt you and made me watch because he's always know how I felt, too. But if I asked you to pick, you'd choose Arobynn, and I. Can't. Take. It.
Sarah J. Maas (The Assassin and the Underworld (Throne of Glass, #0.4))
By the way, I haven't heard an 'I'm sorry' from you yet." My sense of grievance had overwhelmed my sense of self-preservation.
I am sorry that the maenad picked on you."
I glared at him. "Not enough," I said. I was trying hard to hang on to this conversation.
Angelic Sookie, vision of love and beauty, I am prostrate that the wicked evil maenad violated your smooth and voluptuous body, in an attempt to deliver a message to me."
That's more like it.
Charlaine Harris (Living Dead in Dallas (Sookie Stackhouse, #2))
You can have your pick of pretty women. Why me?
You're like the ocean, Pattyn. Pretty enough on the surface, but dive down into your depths, you'll find beauty most people never see. Lucky me. I fell in, headfirst.
All I can think about is how fucked up it would be for your life to end here, now. I mean I know that your life if fucked up no matter what now, forever. And I'm not dumb enough to think that I can undo that, that anyone can. But I can't wrap my mind around the notion of you not getting old, having kids, going to Juilliard, getting to play that cello in front of a huge audience, so that they can get the chills the way I do every time I see you pick up your bow, every time I see you smile at me.
Gayle Forman (If I Stay (If I Stay, #1))
I picked up one of the books and flipped through it. Don't get me wrong, I like reading. But some books should come with warning labels: Caution: contains characters and plots guaranteed to induce sleepiness. Do not attempt to operate heavy machinery after ingesting more than one chapter. Has been known to cause blindness, seizures and a terminal loathing of literature. Should only be taken under the supervision of a highly trained English teacher. Preferably one who grades on the curve.
Laurie Halse Anderson (Twisted)
Just promise me something. If this is a Search and you don't pick me, don't pick this path, for whatever reason, promise me you won't Erase me.
Kasie West (Pivot Point (Pivot Point, #1))
God,' he said, 'I have to have you.'
'Take me. Own me. Use me. Pick a verb. Just please.'
'Fuck you. I'm going to fuck you. That's my verb.
C.D. Reiss (Resist (Songs of Submission, #6))
Grace is what picks me up and lifts my wings high above and I fly! Grace always conquers! Be graceful in everything; in anger, in sadness, in joy, in kindness, in unkindness, retain grace with you!
C. JoyBell C.
You have the skills,” Chaol said, “but some of your moves are still undisciplined.”
“That’s never stopped me from killing before,” she spat.
Chaol chuckled at her agitation and pointed his sword at the rack, allowing her to get to her feet.
“Pick another—something different. Make it interesting, too. Something that will make me sweat, please.”
“You’ll be sweating when I skin you alive and squish your eyeballs beneath my feet,” she muttered, picking up the rapier.
“That’s the spirit.”
She practically threw the rapier into place, and drew the hunting knives without hesitation.
My dear old friends.
A wicked smile spread across her face.
Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1))
Possess. Have. Hold. Enjoy. Control. Dominate. Pick your verb, Ms. Fairchild. I intend to explore so very many of them.
J. Kenner (Release Me (Stark Trilogy, #1))
Once, over dinner, Henry was quite startled to learn from me than men had walked on the moon. “No,” he said, putting down his fork.
“It’s true,” chorused the rest, who had somehow managed to pick this up along the way.
“I don’t believe it.”
“I saw it,” said Bunny. “It was on television.”
“How did they get there? When did this happen?"
Donna Tartt (The Secret History)
He didn't look like the same person who picked me up this morning. Noah--sarcastic, distant, untouchable Noah--cared. And that made him real.
Michelle Hodkin (The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #1))
When I'm with him, I can feel myself getting better. It's like he's picking up broken pieces of me and putting me back together, and I don't even know he's doing it. We never talk about it. We don't go to therapy. He just loves me and that's enough.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Bleeds (Kate Daniels, #4))
No, it's not that. It's not what you're thinking. I was serious when I said 'all of it'. I can remember every moment we were together, and in eachof them there was something wonderful. I can't really pick any one time that meant more than any other. The entire summer was perfect, the kind of summer everyone should have. How could I pick one moment over another? Poets often describe love as an emotion that we can't control, one that overwhelms logic and common sense. That's what it was like for me. I didn't plan on falling in love with you, and I doubt if you planned on falling in love with me. But once we met, it was clear that neither of us could control what was happening to us. We fell in love, despite our differences, and once we did, something rare and beautiful was created. For me, love like that has happened only once, and that's why every minute we spent together has been seared in my memory. I'll never forget a single moment of it.
Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook (The Notebook, #1))
God! Oh God!”
I smile as I pick up the pace, “God’s not the one fucking you, baby.”
Sure, I’m in love, but this is still me here.
Emma Chase (Tangled (Tangled, #1))
Charlie whistled "Amazing Grace" as he drove. It was all I could do not to whip my head around and snap, Are you kidding me? Couldn't he pick something more appropriate, like "Shout at the Devil" or "Don't fear the Reaper"? Some people had no sense of the proper music for a kidnapping.
Jeaniene Frost (Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress, #1))
A tiny dark object came sailing out of the window and landed at the giant's feet. Polybotes yelled, "Grenade!"
He covered his face. His troops hit the ground.
When the thing did not explode, Polybotes bent down cautiously and picked it up.
He roared in outrage. "A Ding Dong? You dare insult me with a Ding Dong?" He threw the cake back at the shop, and it vaporized in the light.
Rick Riordan (The Son of Neptune (The Heroes of Olympus, #2))
Ezra: And then I said it.
Interviewer; What did he say?
Kady Grant: He said, ‘You picked a hell of a day to dump me, Kades.
Amie Kaufman (Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1))
It always seemed ridiculous to me that people would want to be around someone because they're pretty. It's like picking your breakfast cereals based on color instead of taste.
John Green (Paper Towns)
His Majesty needs a can-I girl anyway. And I'm not it."
"A can-I girl?" Andrea frowned.
I leaned back. "'Can I fetch your food, Your Majesty? Can I tell you how strong and mighty you are, Your Majesty? Can I pick your fleas, Your Majesty? Can I kiss your ass, Your Majesty? Can I..."
It dawned on me that Raphael was sitting very still. Frozen, like a statue, his gaze fixed on the point above my head. "He's standing behind me, isn't he?"
Andrea nodded slowly.
"Technically it should be 'may I'," Curran said, his voice deeper than I remembered. "Since you're asking for permission."
"To answer your question, yes, you may kiss my ass. Normally I prefer maintain my personal space, but you're a Friend of the Pack and your services have proven useful once or twice. I strive to accommodate the wishes of persons friendly to my people. My only question is, would kissing my ass be obeisance, grooming, or foreplay?
Ilona Andrews (Magic Strikes (Kate Daniels, #3))
When you do, I want you to remember that it wouldn’t have made any difference to me. It’s never made any difference to me when it came to you. I’d still pick you. I’ll always pick you.
Sarah J. Maas (Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2))
I'll call you," he repeated.
"If you call me, I won't pick up the phone."
"You will wait by the phone for my call, and when it rings, you will pick it up and you will speak to me in a civil manner. If you don't know how, ask someone.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Bleeds (Kate Daniels, #4))
Curran shrugged and pulled me back to him. 'You don't pick the family you're born into. You pick the one you make. I already chose my mate and glued her ass to the chair to make sure she knew it.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Bleeds (Kate Daniels, #4))
Saiman picked up a coffee mug, stared at it, and hurled it against the wall. It shattered into a dozen pieces. We looked at him.
“Your date appears to be hysterical,” Rene told me.
“You think I should slap some man into him?"
Saiman stared at me, speechless. I had to give it to Rene—she didn't laugh. But she really wanted to.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Strikes (Kate Daniels, #3))
Zeus needed someone to blame, so of course he’d picked the handsomest, most talented, most popular god in the pantheon: me.
Rick Riordan (The Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo, #1))
I had a stupid crush on a guy who barely tolerated me most of the time. Was that the kind of girl I was? Pick the jerk over the nice guy?
Kelley Armstrong (The Reckoning (Darkest Powers, #3))
Would you like to borrow a pair of my panties to wave around at the next Council meeting to get the point across?”
His eyes flashed. “Got any to spare?”
I could’ve picked somebody rational. But no, I had to fall in love with this arrogant idiot. Come to the Keep with me, be my princess. Mourn me when your crazy dad kills me. Yeah, right.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Bleeds (Kate Daniels, #4))
Yes, I'm adopted.
My folks were not blessed
With me in the usual way.
But they picked me,
They chose me
From all the rest,
Which is lots more than most kids can say.
Shel Silverstein (Every Thing on It)
It's not fair. It's not fair that he lets his rage take over, that he lets it rule him. I don't know why he has to let it rule him. I don't know why he has to be two people.
I don't know why he gets to be two people, and I only get to be me, the one who is here to take what he has to give, and who is here to pick pu the pieces afterward.
Amanda Grace (But I Love Him)
Riza: Without his Alchemy he's just...
Jean: A little brat who swears a lot
Maes: An arrogant pipsqueak
Roy: Useless. Just useless
Alphonse: Sorry big brother, I don't know how to add to that...
Ed *starts to cry*: YOU'RE ALL PICKING ON ME!!!
Hiromu Arakawa (Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 2 (Fullmetal Alchemist, #2))
Isn't your mom the goddess of inventors?" I asked.
Annabeth glared at me. "Yes, but this is different. I'm good with ideas. Not Mechanics."
If I was going to pick one person in the world to reattach my head," I said "I'd pick you."
I just blurted it out - to give her confidence, I guess - but immediately I realized it sounded pretty stupid.
Awww..." Silena sniffled and wiped her eyes. "Percy that is so sweet!
Rick Riordan (The Demigod Files (Percy Jackson and the Olympians))
who knows if the moon's
a balloon,coming out of a keen city
in the sky--filled with pretty people?
( and if you and I should
get into it,if they
should take me and take you into their balloon,
we'd go up higher with all the pretty people
than houses and steeples and clouds:
away and away sailing into a keen
city which nobody's ever visited,where
in love and flowers pick themselves
E.E. Cummings (Collected Poems)
I can't wait until this show gets on the road," he said. "You and me are going to have so much fun, Rose. Picking out curtains, doing each other's hair, telling ghost stories..."
The reference to "ghost stories" hit a little closer to home than I was comfortable with. Not that choosing curtains or brushing Christian's hair was much more appealing.
Richelle Mead (Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy, #3))
i will never say never i will fight i will fight till forever make it right whenever you knock me down i will not stay on the ground pick it up and never say never
No problem," Gale replies. "I wake up ten times a night anyway."
"To make sure Katniss is still here?" asks Peeta.
"Something like that,"...
"That was funny, what Tigris said. About no one knowing what to do with her."
"Well, WE never have,"...
"She loves you, you know," says Peeta. "She as good as told me after they whipped you."
"Don't believe it,"Gale answers. "The way she kissed you in the Quarter Quell...well she never kissed me like that."
"It was just part of the show," Peeta tells him, although there's an edge of doubt in his voice.
"No, you won her over. Gave up everything for her. Maybe that's the only way to convince her you love her." There's a long pause. "I should have volunteered to take your place in the first Games. Protected her then."
"You couldn't," says Peeta. "She'd never have forgiven you. You had to take care of her family. They matter more to her than her life."
"I wonder how she'll make up her mind."
"Oh, that I do know." I can just catch Gale's last words through the layer of fur. "Katniss will pick whoever she thinks she can't survive without
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
The phone rang. I picked it up. "Kate Daniels"
"It's me," Curran said. "I—"
I hung up.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Bleeds (Kate Daniels, #4))
What if everyone hates me and no one talks to me? What if someone throws something at me?” Aiden snorted, setting the shirt he’d been holding aside and picking up the next one on the pile. “What are they going to throw? Bookmarks?
Mariana Zapata (The Wall of Winnipeg and Me)
You don't have to pick me up," I said in a rush.
"Considering you have no idea where we're going and I have no intention of telling you, I'm quite sure that I do."
"I can meet you somewhere centrally located."
Noah sounded amused. "I promise to press my trousers before meeting your family. I'll even bring flowers for the occasion."
"Oh, God. Please don't." I said. Maybe honesty is the best policy. "My family is going to screw with my life if you come over." I knew them far too well.
"Congratulations-- you just made the prospect all the more enticing. What is your address?
Michelle Hodkin (The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #1))
Abe held my gaze a bit longer and then broke into an easy smile. ʺOf course, of course. This is a family gathering. A celebration. And look: hereʹs our newest member.ʺ
Dimitri had joined us and wore black and white like my mother and me. He stood beside me, conspicuously not touching. ʺMr. Mazur,ʺ he said formally, nodding a greeting to both of them. ʺGuardian Hathaway.ʺ
Dimitri was seven years older than me, but right then, facing my parents, he looked like he was sixteen and about to pick me up for a date.
ʺAh, Belikov,ʺ said Abe, shaking Dimitriʹs hand. ʺIʹd been hoping weʹd run into each other. Iʹd really like to get to know you better. Maybe we can set aside some time to talk, learn more about life, love, et cetera. Do you like to hunt? You seem like a hunting man. Thatʹs what we should do sometime. I know a great spot in the woods. Far, far away. We could make a day of it. Iʹve certainly got a lot of questions Iʹd like to ask you. A lot of things Iʹd like to tell you too.ʺ
I shot a panicked look at my mother, silently begging her to stop this. Abe had spent a good deal of time talking to Adrian when we dated, explaining in vivid and gruesome detail exactly how Abe expected his daughter to be treated. I did not want Abe taking Dimitri off alone into the wilderness, especially if firearms were involved.
ʺActually,ʺ said my mom casually. ʺIʹd like to come along. I also have a number of questions—especially about when you two were back at St. Vladimirʹs.ʺ
ʺDonʹt you guys have somewhere to be?ʺ I asked hastily. ʺWeʹre about to start.ʺ
That, at least, was true. Nearly everyone was in formation, and the crowd was quieting. ʺOf course,ʺ said Abe. To my astonishment, he brushed a kiss over my forehead before stepping away. ʺIʹm glad youʹre back.ʺ Then, with a wink, he said to Dimitri:
ʺLooking forward to our chat.ʺ
ʺRun,ʺ I said when they were gone. ʺIf you slip out now, maybe they wonʹt notice. Go back to Siberia."
"Actually," said Dimitri, "I'm pretty sure Abe would notice. Don't worry, Roza. I'm not afraid. I'll take whatever heat they give me over being with you. It's worth it.
Richelle Mead (Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy, #6))
Trust me, baby. Everyone wants someone they can hold and love. Someone who will be there to help pick up the pieces when everything falls apart. Sin is no different from anyone else. If you have any care for Sin at all, don’t leave him in the darkness. It’s not fair to show someone the sun and then banish him from it. Even the devil may cry when looks around hell and realizes that he’s there alone. (Acheron)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Devil May Cry (Dark-Hunter, #11))
What was that you were saying just before the food arrived? Something about me...no competition...best thing that ever happened to you..."
"I don't remember that last part," I say, hoping it's too dim in here for the cameras to pick up my blush.
"Oh, that's right. That what I was thinking," he says.
Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1))
Like opening the wound
I'm picking me apart again
You all assume
I'm safe here in my room
Unless I try to start again.
Everytime, he breaks your heart. And everytime, he expects me to pick up the pieces.
Rainbow Rowell (Eleanor & Park)
Valkyrie dialed Skulduggery's number and he picked up. 'Hey,' she said, 'It's me.'
Skulduggery paused. 'No it's not. If it were me, then I'd be talking to myself, and I don't do that any more. I certainly don't RING myself. That's one of the first signs of madness, and if it's not, it should be.'
She sighed. 'Are you finished talking nonsense?'
'I haven't talked nonsense all morning. I miss it.
Derek Landy (Death Bringer (Skulduggery Pleasant, #6))
Hark,” he said, his tone very dry. “What stone through yonder window breaks?”
Kami yelled up at him, “It is the east, and Juliet is a jerk!”
Jared abandoned Shakespeare and demanded, “What do you think you’re doing?”
“Throwing a pebble,” said Kami defensively. “Uh… and I’ll pay for the window.”
Jared vanished and Kami was ready to start shouting again, when he reemerged with the pebble clenched in his fist. “This isn’t a pebble! This is a rock.”
“It’s possible that your behaviour has inspired some negative feelings that caused me to pick a slightly overlarge pebble,” Kami admitted.
Sarah Rees Brennan (Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy, #1))
What’s not so great is that all this technology is destroying our social skills. Not only have we given up on writing letters to each other, we barely even talk to each other. People have become so accustomed to texting that they’re actually startled when the phone rings. It’s like we suddenly all have Batphones. If it rings, there must be danger.
Now we answer, “What happened? Is someone tied up in the old sawmill?”
“No, it’s Becky. I just called to say hi.”
“Well you scared me half to death. You can’t just pick up the phone and try to talk to me like that. Don’t the tips of your fingers work?
Ellen DeGeneres (Seriously... I'm Kidding)
You know that because you asked me out, you’re the one who has to pick the place, right?”
All of the dryness in my throat.
“Whatever you suggest.” He grins. “I’ll say yes. You’ll definitely get a yes. If that helps.
Stephanie Perkins (Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss, #3))
What a beautiful word
What a delicate creature.
Delicate like the cruel words that flow right out of your mouths and the food that flies right out of your hands…
Does it make you feel better?
Does it make you feel good ?
Does picking on a girl make you more of a man?
Well, I’m standing up for myself
Like I should have done before
I’m not putting up with your Butterfly anymore."
(Kiersten slides the sack off her wrist and opens it, pulling out a handful of hand-made butterflies. She takes the microphone out of the stand and begins walking down the stairs as she continues speaking.)
“I’d like to extend to others what others have extended to me.”
(She walks up to Mrs. Brill first and holds out a butterfly)
“Butterfly you, Mrs. Brill.”
(Mrs. Brill smiles at her and takes the butterfly out of her hands. Lake laughs out loud and I have to nudge her to get her to be quiet. Kiersten walks around the room, passing out butterflies to several of the students, including the three from the lunchroom.)
“Butterfly you, Mark.
Butterfly you, Brendan.
Butterfly you, Colby.”
(When she finishes passing out the butterflies, she walks back onto the stage and places the microphone back into the stand.)
“I have one thing to say to you
And I’m not referring to the bullies
Or the ones they pursue.
I’m referring to those of you that just stand by
The ones who don’t take up for those of us that cry
Those of you who just…turn a blind eye.
After all it’s not you it’s happening to
You aren’t the one being bullied
And you aren’t the one being rude
It isn’t your hand that’s throwing the food
But…it is your mouth not speaking up
It is your feet not taking a stand
It is your arm not lending a hand
It is your heart
Not giving a damn.
So take up for yourself
Take up for your friends
I challenge you to be someone
Who doesn’t give in.
Don’t give in.
Don’t let them win.
Colleen Hoover (Point of Retreat (Slammed, #2))
What are you?" she asked.
"A monster," said Kell hoarsely. "You'd better let me go."
The girl gave a small, mocking laugh. "Monsters don't faint in the presence of ladies."
"Ladies don't dress like men and pick pockets," retorted Kell.
Her smile only sharpened. "What are you really?"
"Tied to your bed," said Kell matter-of-factly.
His brow furrowed. "And in trouble.
Victoria Schwab (A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic, #1))
Agreed," I say. "It's going to be a long hour."
"Maybe not that long," says Peeta." what was that you were saying just before the food arrived? Something about me ... no competition ... best thing that ever happened to you ... "
" I don't remember that last part," I say, hoping it's too dim in here for the cameras to pick up my blush.
" Oh, that's right. That's what I was thinking," he says " Scoot over, I'm freezing.
Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1))
Read! When your baby is finally down for the night, pick up a juicy book like Eat, Pray, Love or Pride and Prejudice or my personal favorite, Understanding Sleep Disorders: Narcolepsy and Apnea; A Clinical Study. Taking some time to read each night really taught me how to feign narcolepsy when my husband asked me what my “plan” was for taking down the Christmas tree.
Tina Fey (Bossypants)
Ponyboy, listen, don't get tough. You're not like the rest of us and don't try to be..."
What was the matter with Two-Bit? I knew as well as he did that if you got tough you didn't get hurt. Get smart and nothing can touch you...
"What in the world are you doing?" Two-Bit's voice broke into my thoughts.
I looked up at him. "Picking up the glass."
He stared at me for a second, then grinned. "You little sonofagun," he said in a relieved voice. I didn't know what he was talking about, so I just went on picking up the glass from the bottle end and put it in a trash can. I didn't want anyone to get a flat tire.
S.E. Hinton (The Outsiders)
We are all so broken. Pick up a person, shake them around and you'll hear the rattling of their broken pieces. Pieces our fathers broke, or our mothers, or our friends, strangers, or our loves.
Tarryn Fisher (Thief (Love Me with Lies, #3))
I don’t want people to be worried about me. There’s nothing to worry about. I don’t want people to try and understand why I’m the way I am, because I should be the first person to understand that. And I don’t understand yet. I don’t want people to interfere. I don’t want people in my head, picking out this and that, permanently picking up the broken pieces of me.
Alice Oseman (Solitaire)
Zoe ordered the Hunters to start loading. She picked up her camping pack, and Apollo said, "Here, sweetheart. Let me get that."
Zoe recoiled. Her eyes flashed murderously.
"Brother," Artemis chided. "You do not help my Hunters. You do not look at, talk to, or flirt with my Hunters. And you do not call them sweetheart.
Rick Riordan (The Titan's Curse (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #3))
Mrs. Spence picks up a roll of toilet paper from the counter and scrunches her nose.
“Ask Caymen about that,” Xander says.
Great, now I have to explain to his mother about my vandalism? “Your son called me with a toilet paper emergency. I rushed right over.”
She looks confused so Xander says, “She’s kidding, Mom.
Kasie West (The Distance Between Us (Old Town Shops, #1))
Do not get distracted. Do not linger. You are a warrior, and warriors know when to pick their fights.'
I nodded, our breath mingling.
Rhys growled. 'They took what is ours. And we do not allow those crimes to go unpunished.'
His power rippled and swirled around me.
'You do not fear,' Rhys breathed. 'You do not falter. You do not yield. You go in, you get her, and you come out again.'
I nodded again, holding his stare.
'Remember that you are a wolf. And you cannot be caged.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3))
It is the iron." Grimalkin picked his way over a puddle, then leaped atop a fallen tree, shaking out his paws."This close to the false king's realm, his influence is stronger that ever. It will be worse once you are actually within its borders."
Puck snorted."Doesn't seem like it's affecting you much, Cat."
That is because I am smarter than you and prepare for these things."
"Really? How would you prepare for me tossing you into a lake?
Julie Kagawa (The Iron Queen (The Iron Fey, #3))
I love Guns N’ Roses. Reminds me of the last time I tried to pick flowers from my neighbor’s garden.
Jarod Kintz (This Book is Not for Sale)
I've apparently been the victim of growing up, which apparently happens to all of us at one point or another. It's been going on for quite some time now, without me knowing it. I've found that growing up can mean a lot of things. For me, it doesn't mean I should become somebody completely new and stop loving the things I used to love. It means I've just added more things to my list. Like for example, I'm still beyond obsessed with the winter season and I still start putting up strings of lights in September. I still love sparkles and grocery shopping and really old cats that are only nice to you half the time. I still love writing in my journal and wearing dresses all the time and staring at chandeliers. But some new things I've fallen in love with -- mismatched everything. Mismatched chairs, mismatched colors, mismatched personalities. I love spraying perfumes I used to wear when I was in high school. It brings me back to the days of trying to get a close parking spot at school, trying to get noticed by soccer players, and trying to figure out how to avoid doing or saying anything uncool, and wishing every minute of every day that one day maybe I'd get a chance to win a Grammy. Or something crazy and out of reach like that. ;) I love old buildings with the paint chipping off the walls and my dad's stories about college. I love the freedom of living alone, but I also love things that make me feel seven again. Back then naivety was the norm and skepticism was a foreign language, and I just think every once in a while you need fries and a chocolate milkshake and your mom. I love picking up a cookbook and closing my eyes and opening it to a random page, then attempting to make that recipe. I've loved my fans from the very first day, but they've said things and done things recently that make me feel like they're my friends -- more now than ever before. I'll never go a day without thinking about our memories together.
Taylor Swift (Taylor Swift)
Red Sox looked around Jane at the patient, “Your mind reading coming back?”
“With her? Sometimes?”
“Huh. You getting anything from anyone else?”
Red Sox repositioned his hat. “Well, ah…let me know if you pick up shit from me, k? There are some things that I’d prefer to keep private, feel me?”
“Roger that. Although I can’t help it sometimes.”
“Which is why I’m going to take up thinking about baseball when you’re around.”
“Thank fuck you’re not a Yankees fan.”
“Don’t use the Y-word. We’re in mixed company.
J.R. Ward (Lover Unbound (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #5))
Come thaw my frozen heart, my little arctic kitten.”
Unable to resist, Aria jumped in and picked up the next line. “No chance, my yeti man, I’d rather be frostbitten.”
“Let me be your snowman. Come live in my igloo.”
“I’d rather freeze to death than hibernate with you.
Veronica Rossi (Through the Ever Night (Under the Never Sky, #2))
Embroidery?" I sucked at embroidery. Aunt Hyacinth had tried to teach me, but we'd both given it up as a lost cause.Lucy, strangely, had picked it up really quickly and embroidered a tapestry of Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow for my last birthday.
Alyxandra Harvey (My Love Lies Bleeding (Drake Chronicles, #1))
I’ve come to the conclusion that there are no set rules in life. You do what you have to do to survive. If that means running away from the love of your life to preserve your sanity, you do it. If it means breaking someone’s heart so yours doesn’t break; do it. Life is complicated — too much so for there to be absolutes. We are all so broken. Pick up a person, shake them around and you’ll hear the rattling of their broken pieces. Pieces our fathers broke, or our mothers, or our friends, strangers, or our loves. Olivia has stopped rattling quite as much as she used to. Love is a God-given tool, she tells me. It screws things back in place that were loose, and it cleans out all the broken pieces that you don’t need anymore. I believe her. Our love has been fixing each other. I hope to only hear a tiny jingle when I shake her in a few years
Tarryn Fisher (Thief (Love Me with Lies, #3))
Last semester was intense,” I said to Dad.
“Intense?” he echoed, picking up my file. “Let’s see. On your first day at Hecate, you were attacked by a werewolf. You insulted a teacher, which resulted in semester-long cellar duty with one Archer Cross. According to the notes, the two of you became ‘close.’ Apparently close enough for you to see the mark of L’Occhio di Dio on his chest.
I flushed at that, and felt Mom’s arm tighten around me. Over the past six months, I’d filled her in on a lot of the story with Archer, but not all of it.
Specifically, the whole me-making-out-in-the-cellar-with-a-murderous-warlock-working-with-the-Eye-part.
Rachel Hawkins (Demonglass (Hex Hall, #2))
Jeez, how old are you?” I total y knew how old he was, but I wanted to pick.
Aiden cracked his neck. “I turn twenty-one in October.”
“Huh.” I shook the bottle. “So have you always been so…
His brows furrowed. “Mature?”
“Yeah, you sound like a dad.” I deepened my voice and tried to look stern. “‘Don’t look at me that way’ or else.”
Aiden blinked slowly. “I don’t sound like that and I didn’t say ‘or else.’”
“But if you had, what would the ‘or else’ be?” I hid my grin with the bottle.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Half-Blood (Covenant, #1))
I pity the woman who will love you
when I am done. She will show up
to your first date with a dustpan
and broom, ready to pick up all the pieces
I left you in. She will hear my name so often
it will begin to dig holes in her. That
is where doubt will grow. She will look
at your neck, your thin hips, your mouth,
wondering at the way I touched you.
She will make you all the promises I did
and some I never could. She will hear only
the terrible stories. How I drank. How I lied.
She will wonder (as I have) how someone
as wonderful as you could love a monster
like the woman who came before her. Still,
she will compete with my ghost.
She will understand why you do not look
in the back of closets. Why you are afraid
of what’s under the bed. She will know
every corner of you is haunted
Clementine von Radics
I can get my head turned by a good-looking guy as much as the next girl. But sexy doesn't impress me. Smart impresses me, strength of character impresses me. But most of all, I am impressed by kindness. Kindness, I think, comes from learning hard lessons well, from falling and picking yourself up. It comes from surviving failure and loss. It implies an understanding of the human condition, forgives its many flaws and quirks. When I see that in someone, it fills me with admiration.
Lisa Unger (Beautiful Lies (Ridley Jones, #1))
Because I know I will never love anyone like I love you. That’s what will overcome the past every time it tries to rear its ugly head.” He stepped closer. “So it’s either you and me or me and me, Luce. And I don’t really like myself, so I hope you’ll pick the you and me option.
Nicole Williams (Crash (Crash, #1))
No more tubs for me." I jumped off the bed and pulled on a pair of Pack sweats. "They make me lose all sense."
Curran sprawled on the bed with a big self-satisfied smile. "Want to know a secret?"
"It's not the bathtub, baby."
Well, aren't we smug. I picked up the corner of the lowest mattress and made a show of looking under it.
"What are you looking for?"
"A pea Your Majesty."
"You heard me."
I jumped back as he lunged and his fingers missed me by an inch.
"Getting slow in your old age."
"I thought you liked it slow."
A flashback to last night mugged me and my mind executed a full stop.
He laughed. "Ran out of snappy comebacks?"
"Hush. I'm trying to think of one.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Bleeds (Kate Daniels, #4))
But she was the one person I could be myself around and never feel judged. The one person that I knew would always pick up the phone, or call me back. She was the one person who made me feel brave because no matter what happened, no matter how bad or embarrassing or shitty it was, I knew that I had her in my corner. That if it all went to Hel, I could talk to her and it would be fine.
Sarah J. Maas (House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City, #1))
You! You tricked me! I never want to see you or that bottle of liquid arsenic again!”
I chucked the empty moonshine jug at him. Or tried to. It missed him by a dozen feet.
He picked it up in astonishment. “You drank the whole bloody thing? You were only supposed to have a few sips!”
“Did you say that? Did you?” He reached me just as I felt the ground tip. “Didn’t say anything. I’ve got those names, so that’s all that matters, but you men…you’re all alike. Alive, dead, undead—all perverts! I had a drunken pervert in my pants! Do you know how unsanitary that is?”
Bones held me upright. I would have protested, but I couldn’t remember how to. “What are you saying?”
“Winston poltergeisted my panties, that’s what!” I announced with a loud hiccup.
“Why, you scurvy, lecherous spook!” Bones yelled in the direction of the cemetery. “If my pipes still worked, I’d go right back there and piss on your grave!
Jeaniene Frost (Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress, #1))
Grace: "I wanted to tell you how I felt. Why I was always so mean to you, Shane."
- "Because you feel broken?"
- "Completely shattered," I whispered
Bringing his hands to my face, he leaned over me, lightly stroking my cheeks with his fingertips. - "Then let me in, because I promise you, I will pick up every little broken piece of you, every single fucking piece, Grace, and for the
rest of my fucking life I will put you back together...
I'll make you whole again.
Christine Zolendz (Saving Grace (Mad World, #2))
I’m not going to pick her up and carry her screaming to the basement,” Trent said. “It’s a workday. Besides, she has a crutch.”
“Crutch or no, she’s hurt!” Ceri protested.
“I mean,” Trent said intently, “she can hit me with it if I do something she doesn’t like.
Kim Harrison (A Perfect Blood (The Hollows, #10))
This book is a treasure; I did not suspect it would be so good when I picked it up, but now I can feel the printed words seeping through my skin and into my veins, rushing to my heart and marking it forever.
I want to savor this wonder, this happening of loving a book and reading it for the first time, because the first time is always the best, and I will never read this book for the first time ever again.
Laura Nowlin (If He Had Been with Me)
I might have been a fuckup and a failure and a disappointment, but I wasn’t a liar.
I did lie to Belly, though. Just that one time in that crappy motel. I did it to protect her. That’s what I kept telling myself. Still, if there was one moment in my life I could redo, one moment out of all the shitty moments, that was the one I’d pick. When I thought back to the look on her face—the way it just crumpled, how she’d sucked in her lips and wrinkled her nose to keep the hurt from showing—it killed me. God, if I could, I’d go back to that moment and say all the right things, I’d tell her I loved her, I’d make it so that she never look that way again.
Jenny Han (We'll Always Have Summer (Summer, #3))
Having a Coke with You
is even more fun than going to San Sebastian, Irún, Hendaye, Biarritz, Bayonne
or being sick to my stomach on the Travesera de Gracia in Barcelona
partly because in your orange shirt you look like a better happier St. Sebastian
partly because of my love for you, partly because of your love for yoghurt
partly because of the fluorescent orange tulips around the birches
partly because of the secrecy our smiles take on before people and statuary
it is hard to believe when I’m with you that there can be anything as still
as solemn as unpleasantly definitive as statuary when right in front of it
in the warm New York 4 o’clock light we are drifting back and forth
between each other like a tree breathing through its spectacles
and the portrait show seems to have no faces in it at all, just paint
you suddenly wonder why in the world anyone ever did them
at you and I would rather look at you than all the portraits in the world
except possibly for the Polish Rider occasionally and anyway it’s in the Frick
which thank heavens you haven’t gone to yet so we can go together the first time
and the fact that you move so beautifully more or less takes care of Futurism
just as at home I never think of the Nude Descending a Staircase or
at a rehearsal a single drawing of Leonardo or Michelangelo that used to wow me
and what good does all the research of the Impressionists do them
when they never got the right person to stand near the tree when the sun sank
or for that matter Marino Marini when he didn’t pick the rider as carefully
as the horse
it seems they were all cheated of some marvelous experience
which is not going to go wasted on me which is why I am telling you about it
His jaw clenched. "Okay, so I guess trying to let you down easy was a bad idea--"
"This is your idea of letting me down easy? Breaking up with me so you can screw other girls? Without feeling guilty? Are you serious?"
"As a heart attack."
The last thing I thought before I picked up my econ textbook and hurled it at him: How can he use such a piece-of-shit cliche in a moment like this?
Tammara Webber (Easy (Contours of the Heart, #1))
I pictured Cupid sitting in a crappy little bar, drunk and depressed, while he moaned to the bartender, "That Jasmine Parks, gods, she pisses me off! Did you see what she just did? Totally blew off this immortal stud to play kiss-the-boo-boo with a fickle little rent-a-cop. Why? 'Cause she's the biggest chickenshit on the planet! I'm ready to toss my bow and pick up a bazooka!
Jennifer Rardin (Once Bitten, Twice Shy (Jaz Parks, #1))
People wonder why so many writers come to live in Paris. I’ve been living ten years in Paris and the answer seems simple to me: because it’s the best place to pick ideas. Just like Italy, Spain.. or Iran are the best places to pick saffron. If you want to pick opium poppies you go to Burma or South-East Asia. And if you want to pick novel ideas, you go to Paris.
Roman Payne (Crepuscule)
When order in study was finally reestablished, Wrath looked downright nasty. "Next one of you mouthy assholes makes me pound my desk again, I'm throwing you the fuck out." On that note, he reached down, picked up the cowering ninety-pounds retriever, and settled George in his lap. "You're freaking out my dog and it's pissing me off.
J.R. Ward (Lover Reborn (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #10))
Chronicler picked up his pen, but before he could dip it, Kvothe held up a hand. "Let me say one thing before I start. I've told stories in the past, painted pictures with words, told hard lies and harder truths. Once, I sang colors to a blind man. Seven hours I played, but at the end he said he saw them, green and red and gold. That, I think, was easier than this. Trying to make you understand her with nothing more than words. You have never seen her, never heard her voice. You cannot know.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1))
I can tell you that “Just cheer up” is almost universally looked at as the most unhelpful depression cure ever. It’s pretty much the equivalent of telling someone who just had their legs amputated to “just walk it off.” Some people don’t understand that for a lot of us, mental illness is a severe chemical imbalance rather just having “a case of the Mondays.” Those same well-meaning people will tell me that I’m keeping myself from recovering because I really “just need to cheer up and smile.” That’s when I consider chopping off their arms and then blaming them for not picking up their severed arms so they can take them to the hospital to get reattached.
Jenny Lawson (Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things)
Every life has a soundtrack.
There is a tune that makes me think of the summer I spent rubbing baby oil on my stomach in pursuit of the perfect tan. There's another that reminds me of tagging along with my father on Sunday morning to pick up the New York Times. There's the song that reminds me of using fake ID to get into a nightclub; and the one that brings back my cousin Isobel's sweet sixteen, where I played Seven Minutes in Heaven with a boy whose breath smelled like tomato soup.
If you ask me, music is the language of memory.
Jodi Picoult (Sing You Home)
The car picked up speed, and the sound seemed to lull me.I could relax, I thought as I felt the tingling of circulation in my limbs. I was in Trent’s car, wrapped in a blanket, and held in his arms. He wouldn’t let anything hurt me.
He wasn’t singing, though,I mused.Shouldn’t he be singing?
Kim Harrison (Every Which Way But Dead (The Hollows, #3))
Please don't go."
He let out an uneven breath. "You'll be fine without me. You always have been."
Maybe once, but not now. "How can I convince you to stay?"
She threw down the torch. "Do you want me to beg, is that it?"
"Then tell me-"
"What more can I say?" he exploded, his whisper rough and harsh "I’ve already told you everything—I’ve already told you that if I stay here, if I have to live with Arobynn, I'll snap his damned neck.”
“But why? Why can’t you let it go?”
He grabbed her shoulders and shook her. “Because I love you!”
Her mouth fell open.
“I love you,” he repeated, shaking her again. “I have for years. And he hurt you and made me watch because he’s always known how I felt, too. But if I asked you to pick, you’d choose Arobynn, and I. Can’t. Take. It.”
The only sounds were their breathing, an uneven beat against the rushing of the sewer river.
“You’re a damned idiot,” she breathed, grabbing the front of his tunic. “You’re a moron and an ass and a damned idiot.” He looked like she had hit him. But she went on, and grasped both sides of his face, "Because I'd pick you."
And then she kissed him.
Sarah J. Maas (The Assassin and the Underworld (Throne of Glass, #0.4))
What if you could pick one day of your life, and everything would stop changing, every day would be similar and comparable to that one day, you'd always have the same people with you? If you could do that, would you do it? Would you pick that day and make that choice? We crave for things to stop changing, we wish that things would never change. But if we got what we wanted, there are so many things that are better, that we would never, ever know about. Sure, things would stay the same as that one wonderful day, but then there would be nothing else out there, ever. So can you remember the very first day when everything really did begin to change? Is there a thing that can remind you? Mine is a blue rose, and that's when everything began to change because that's the day I began to believe in things I never believed in before; the day I found three blue roses. Think about your first day of change, can you remember all the new heights you've soared since that day? All the new people? All the better things and times? Would you throw all of that time away? I wouldn't. Instead, I want to finally accept all the things that I couldn't change, which led to me being right here, right now. Maybe we all carry around inside us one day we wish we could keep forever, something we wished never did change. It's time to let go of that day, and soar.
C. JoyBell C.
His Majesty needs a can-I girl anyway. And I’m not it.”
“A can-I girl?” Andrea frowned.
I leaned back. “ ‘ Can I fetch you your food, Your Majesty? Can I tell you how strong and mighty you are, Your Majesty? Can I pick out your fleas, Your Majesty? Can I kiss your ass, Your Majesty? Can I...”
It dawned on me that Raphael was sitting very still. Frozen, like a statue, his gaze fixed on the point above my head.
“He’s standing behind me, isn’t he?”
Andrea nodded slowly.
“Technically it should be ‘may I,’” Curran said, his voice deeper than I remembered. “Since you’re asking permission.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Strikes (Kate Daniels, #3))
It seems to me that if you place music (and books, probably, and films, and plays, and anything that makes you feel) at the center of your being, then you can’t afford to sort out your love life, start to think of it as the finished product. You’ve got to pick at it, keep it alive and in turmoil, you’ve got to pick at it and unravel it until it all comes apart and you’re compelled to start all over again. Maybe we all live life at too high a pitch, those of us who absorb emotional things all day, and as a consequence we can never feel merely content: we have to be unhappy, or ecstatically, head-over-heels happy, and those states are difficult to achieve within a stable, solid relationship.
I can pick up the city feeds on my antenna. It said they were going to change you all. Turn you into something less dangerous. Are you still...?"
She gazed at him. "What do you think, David?"
He peered into her eyes for a long moment, then sighed and shook his head. "You just look like Tally to me."
She looked down, her vision blurring.
What's the matter?"
Nothing, David." She shook her head. "You just took on five million years of evolution again."
I what? Did I say something wrong?"
No." She smiled. "You said something right.
Scott Westerfeld (Specials (Uglies, #3))
First,” he said, coming behind me and placing his hands on the counter, just outside of mine, “choose your tomato.” He dipped his head so his mouth was at my ear. His breath was warm, tickling my skin. “Good. Now pick up the knife.”
“Does the chef always stand this close?” I asked, not sure if I liked or feared the flutter his closeness caused inside me.
“When he’s revealing culinary secrets, yes.
Becca Fitzpatrick (Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush, #1))
Get me some Midol, all right?"
Benjamin all but choked. Leon studies the ceiling with a great deal of interest, a smile twitching at the corners of his thin mouth. While Benjamin looked ready to sink into the floor, Leon looked highly amused.
I decided I liked him.
"I think you should pick your own Midol." Graves even said it with a straight face, but there was a ghost of a grin quirking his lips......"Cause, you know, there's different types.
Lili St. Crow (Jealousy (Strange Angels, #3))
I didn't feel like reading that night, so I went downstairs and watched a half-hour long commercial that advertised an exercise machine. They kept flashing a 1-800 number, so I called it. The woman who picked up the other end of the phone was named Michelle. And I told Michelle that I was a kid and did not need an exercise machine, but I hoped she was having a good night.
That's when Michelle hung up on me. And I didn't mind a bit.
Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower)
It was with some surprise that I saw that the person waiting for me at the airport's exit was Adrian. A grin spread over my face, and I picked up the pace. I threw my arms around him, astonishing both of us.
"I have never been happier to see you in my life," I said.
He squeezed me tightly and then let me go, regarding me admiringly. "The dreams never do justice to real life, little dhampir. You look amazing."
"And you look . . ." I studied him. He was dressed as nicely as always. His dark brown hair had that crafted messiness he liked, but his face—ah, well. As I'd noted before, Simon had gotten a few good punches on him. One of Adrian's eyes was swollen and ringed with bruises.
Nonetheless, thinking about him and everything he'd done . . . Well, none of the flaws mattered.
" . . . Gorgeous."
"Liar," he said.
"Couldn't Lissa have healed that black eye away?"
"It's a badge of honor. Makes me seem manly.
Richelle Mead (Blood Promise (Vampire Academy, #4))
It was a shocking thing to say and I knew it was a shocking thing to say. But no one has the right to live without being shocked. No one has the right to spend their life without being offended. Nobody has to read this book. Nobody has to pick it up. Nobody has to open it. And if you open it and read it, you don't have to like it. And if you read it and you dislike it, you don't have to remain silent about it. You can write to me, you can complain about it, you can write to the publisher, you can write to the papers, you can write your own book. You can do all those things, but there your rights stop. No one has the right to stop me writing this book. No one has the right to stop it being published, or sold, or bought, or read.
Remember?" he asks. "This is where you kissed me."
So the heavy dose of morphling administered after the whipping wasn't enough to erase that from his consciousness. "I didn't think you'd remember that," I say.
"Have to be dead to forget. Maybe even not then," he tells me. "Maybe I'll be like that man in 'The Hanging Tree'. Still waiting for an answer." Gale, who I have never seen cry, has tears in his eyes. To keep them from spilling over, I reach forward and press my lips against his. We taste of heat, ashes, and misery. It's a surprising flavour for such a gentle kiss. He pulls away first and gives me a wry smile. "I knew you'd kiss me."
"How?" I say. Because I didn't know myself.
"Because I'm in pain," he says. "That's the only way I get your attention." He picks up the box. "Don't worry, Katniss. It'll pass." He leaves me before I can answer.
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
If he didn't walk away when I voiced what I wanted: him.
Not the High Lord, not the most powerful male in Pyrthian's history. Just....him. The person who had sent music into that cell; who had picked up that knife in Amarantha's throne room to fight for me when no one else dared, and who had kept fighting for me every day since, refusing to let me crumble and disappear into nothing.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2))
Screw up my life?" He stared at me for a second and then said, deadpan, "I'm a five-foot-three, thirty-seven-year-old, single, Jewish medical examiner who needs to pick up his lederhosen from the dry cleaners so that he can play in a one-man polka band at Oktoberfest tomorrow." He pushed up his glasses with his forefinger, folded his arms, and said, "Do your worst.
Jim Butcher (Dead Beat (The Dresden Files, #7))
all those nights with the phone warming the side of my face like the sun. you made jokes and sure, i may have even laughed a little but mostly you were not funny. mostly you were beautiful. mostly you were unremarkable, even your mediocrity was unremarkable. when friends would ask ‘what do you like about him?” i would think of you holding a bouquet against the denim of your shirt. i mean, you had my face as your screensaver for gods sake, do you know what that does for the self-esteem of girl with an apparition for a father?
hey, do you remember the quiet between us in all those restaurants? all the other couples engrossed in deep conversation and us, as quiet as a closed mouth.
that one afternoon when i asked ‘why do you love me?’ and you replied as quick as a toin coss ‘because you’re mad, because you’re crazy’ and i said ‘why else?’ and you said ‘that mouth, i love that mouth’ and i collapsed into myself like a sheet right out of the dryer.
you clean, beautiful, unremarkable boy, raised by a pleasant mother, was i just a riot you loved to watch up close? there were times i picked arguments just so that we could have something to talk about.
last week, i walked through the part of the city i loved when i still loved you, our old haunts. you know, even the ghosts have moved on.
Flipping to the front, I caught Aiden's gaze and offered a sympathetic smile.
I dumped some into his open palm, then picked out the green ones. Aiden grinned at me.
"You know I don't like the green ones?"
Shrugging, I popped them in my mouth.
"The few times I've seen you eat them, you leave the green ones behind."
Deacon popped his head between our seats.
"That's true love right there."
"That it is."
Aiden's gaze flicked to the road. I flushed like a little schoolgirl and focused on the remaining pieces of candy until Deacon drifted back into his seat. I handed all the red ones to Aiden.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Apollyon (Covenant, #4))
I rolled over and picked up Us Weekly magazine off the floor. The cover had a picture of Angelina, Brad, and their little Eskimo son, Maddox. I saw staring at the photo, wondering why this little boy looks so pissed off in every picture.
At first I thought he was just pissed about his Mohawk, but then I realized he’s probably furious. Maddox must have thought he hit the jackpot when some A-list celebrity rescued him from third-world Cambodia, only to discover that she was going to shuffle him back and for the to EVERY other third-world country in the universe. He’s probably like, 'When the fuck are we gonna get to Malibu, bitch?
Chelsea Handler (Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea)
This way,” he murmurs and abruptly is inside me once more, but he doesn’t start his usual punishing rhythm straight away. He leans over, releases my hands, and pulls me upright so I am practically sitting on him. His hands move up to my breasts, and he palms them both, tugging gently on my nipples. I groan, tossing my head back against his shoulder. He nuzzles my neck, biting down, as he flexes his hips, deliciously slowly, filling me again and again.
“Do you know how much you mean to me?” he breathes against my ear.
“No,” I gasp.
He smiles against my neck, and his fingers curl around my jaw and throat, holding me fast for a moment. “Yes, you do. I’m not going to let you go.” I groan as he picks up speed. “You are mine, Anastasia.” “Yes, yours,” I pant. “I take care of what’s mine,” he hisses and bites my ear.
E.L. James (Fifty Shades Darker (Fifty Shades, #2))
I have done it again.
One year in every ten
I manage it--
A sort of walking miracle, my skin
Bright as a Nazi lampshade,
My right foot
My face a featureless, fine
Peel off the napkin
O my enemy.
Do I terrify?--
The nose, the eye pits, the full set of teeth?
The sour breath
Will vanish in a day.
Soon, soon the flesh
The grave cave ate will be
At home on me
And I a smiling woman.
I am only thirty.
And like the cat I have nine times to die.
This is Number Three.
What a trash
To annihilate each decade.
What a million filaments.
The peanut-crunching crowd
Shoves in to see
Them unwrap me hand and foot--
The big strip tease.
These are my hands
I may be skin and bone,
Nevertheless, I am the same, identical woman.
The first time it happened I was ten.
It was an accident.
The second time I meant
To last it out and not come back at all.
I rocked shut
As a seashell.
They had to call and call
And pick the worms off me like sticky pearls.
Is an art, like everything else.
I do it exceptionally well.
I do it so it feels like hell.
I do it so it feels real.
I guess you could say I've a call.
It's easy enough to do it in a cell.
It's easy enough to do it and stay put.
It's the theatrical
Comeback in broad day
To the same place, the same face, the same brute
That knocks me out.
There is a charge
For the eyeing of my scars, there is a charge
For the hearing of my heart--
It really goes.
And there is a charge, a very large charge
For a word or a touch
Or a bit of blood
Or a piece of my hair or my clothes.
So, so, Herr Doktor.
So, Herr Enemy.
I am your opus,
I am your valuable,
The pure gold baby
That melts to a shriek.
I turn and burn.
Do not think I underestimate your great concern.
You poke and stir.
Flesh, bone, there is nothing there--
A cake of soap,
A wedding ring,
A gold filling.
Herr God, Herr Lucifer
Out of the ash
I rise with my red hair
And I eat men like air.
-- written 23-29 October 1962
Sylvia Plath (Ariel)
Plastic ware," he said slowly, "like knives and forks and spoons?"
I brushed a bit of dirt off the back of my car—was that a scratch?—and said casually,
"Yeah, I guess.Just the basics, you know."
"Did you need plastic ware?" he asked.
"Because," he went on, and I fought the urge to squirm, "it's so funny, because I need
plastic ware. Badly."
"Can we go inside, please?" I asked, slamming the trunk shut. "It's hot out here."
He looked at the bag again, then at me. And then, slowly, the smile I knew and
dreaded crept across his
face. "You bought me plastic ware," he said. "Didn't you?'
"No," I growled, picking at my license plate.
"You did!" he hooted, laughing out loud. "You bought me some forks. And knives.
"No," I said loudly.
"—you love me!" He grinned, as if he'd solved the puzzler for all time, as I felt a flush
creep across my
face. Stupid Lissa. I could have killed her.
"It was on sale," I told him again, as if this was some kind of an excuse.
"You love me," he said simply, taking the bag and adding it to the others.
"Only seven bucks," I added, but he was already walking away, so sure of himself. "It
was on clearance,
for God's sake."
"Love me," he called out over his shoulder, in a singsong voice. "You. Love. Me.
Sarah Dessen (This Lullaby)
In this here place, we flesh; flesh that weeps, laughs; flesh that dances on bare feet in grass. Love it. Love it hard. Yonder they do not love your flesh. They despise it. They don't love your eyes; they'd just as soon pick em out. No more do they love the skin on your back. Yonder they flay it. And O my people they do not love your hands. Those they only use, tie, bind, chop off and leave empty. Love your hands! Love them. Raise them up and kiss them. Touch others with them, pat them together, stroke them on your face 'cause they don't love that either. You got to love it, you! And no, they ain't in love with your mouth. Yonder, out there, they will see it broken and break it again. What you say out of it they will not heed. What you scream from it they do not hear. What you put into it to nourish your body they will snatch away and give you leavins instead. No, they don't love your mouth. You got to love it. This is flesh I'm talking about here. Flesh that needs to be loved. Feet that need to rest and to dance; backs that need support; shoulders that need arms, strong arms I'm telling you. And O my people, out yonder, hear me, they do not love your neck unnoosed and straight. So love your neck; put a hand on it, grace it, stroke it and hold it up. and all your inside parts that they'd just as soon slop for hogs, you got to love them. The dark, dark liver--love it, love it and the beat and beating heart, love that too. More than eyes or feet. More than lungs that have yet to draw free air. More than your life-holding womb and your life-giving private parts, hear me now, love your heart. For this is the prize.
Toni Morrison (Beloved (Beloved Trilogy, #1))
you must wear it like she wears disappointment on her face
you must hide the surprise of tasting other men on your lips
your mother is a woman and women like her cannot be contained.
you find the black tube inside her beauty case, where she keeps
your fathers old prison letters,
you desperately want to look like her
film star beauty, you hold your hand against your throat
your mother was most beautiful when sprawled out on the floor
half naked and bleeding.
you go to the bathroom to apply the lipstick,
somewhere no one can find you
your teeth look brittle against the deep red slickness
you smile like an infant, your mouth is a wound
you look nothing like your mother
you look everything like your mother.
you call your ex boyfriend, sit on the toilet seat and listen to
the phone ring, when he picks up you say his name slow
he says i thought i told you to stop calling me
you lick your lips, you taste like years of being alone.
We were just talking about you," Jessamine said as Tessa found a seat. She pushed a sliver toast rack across the table towards Tessa. "Toast?"
Tessa, picking up her fork, looked around the table anxiously. "What about me?"
"What to do with you, of course Downworlders can't live in the Institute forever," said Will. "I say we sell her to the Gypsies on Hampstead Heath," He added, turning to Charlotte. "I hear they purchase spare women as well as horses."
"Will, stop it." Charlotte glanced up from her breakfast. "That's ridiculous."
Will leaned back in his chair. "You're right. They'd never buy her. Too scrawny.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1))
I never believed in Santa Claus. None of us kids did. Mom and Dad refused to let us. They couldn't afford expensive presents and they didn't want us to think we weren't as good as other kids who, on Christmas morning, found all sorts of fancy toys under the tree that were supposedly left by Santa Claus.
Dad had lost his job at the gypsum, and when Christmas came that year, we had no money at all. On Christmas Eve, Dad took each one of us kids out into the desert night one by one.
"Pick out your favorite star", Dad said.
"I like that one!" I said.
Dad grinned, "that's Venus", he said. He explained to me that planets glowed because reflected light was constant and stars twinkled because their light pulsed.
"I like it anyway" I said.
"What the hell," Dad said. "It's Christmas. You can have a planet if you want."
And he gave me Venus.
Venus didn't have any moons or satellites or even a magnetic field, but it did have an atmosphere sort of similar to Earth's, except it was super hot-about 500 degrees or more. "So," Dad said, "when the sun starts to burn out and Earth turns cold, everyone might want to move to Venus to get warm. And they'll have to get permission from your descendants first.
We laughed about all the kids who believed in the Santa myth and got nothing for Christmas but a bunch of cheap plastic toys. "Years from now, when all the junk they got is broken and long forgotten," Dad said, "you'll still have your stars.
Jeannette Walls (The Glass Castle)
I picked up Pandora's jar. The spirit of Hope fluttered inside, trying to warm the cold container.
"Hestia," I said, "I give this to you as an offering."
The goddess tilted her head. "I am the least of the gods. Why would
you trust me with this?"
"You're the last Olympian," I said. "And the most important."
"And why is that, Percy Jackson?"
"Because Hope survives best at the hearth," I said. "Guard it for me,
and I won't be tempted to give up again.
Rick Riordan (The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #5))
I told him the story of the day I'd been mending pottery with one of the maids in the kitchen at Keramzin, waiting for him to return from one of the hunting trips that had taken him from home more and more frequently. I'd been fifteen, standing at the counter, vainly trying to glue together the jagged pieces of a blue cup. When I saw him crossing the fields, I ran to the doorway and waved. He caught sight of me and broke into a jog.
I had crossed the yard to him slowly, watching him draw closer, baffled by the way my heart was skittering around in my chest. Then he'd picked me up and swung me in a circle, and I'd clung to him, breathing in his sweet, familiar smell, shocked by how much I'd missed him. Dimly, I'd been aware that I still had a shard of that blue cup in my hand, that it was digging into my palm, but I didn't want to let go.
When he finally set me down and ambled off into the kitchen to find his lunch, I had stood there, my palm dripping in blood, my head still spinning, knowing that everything had changed.
Ana Kuya had scolded me for getting blood on the clean kitchen floor. She'd bandaged my hand and told me it would heal. But I knew it would just go on hurting.
Leigh Bardugo (Shadow and Bone (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #1))
He grinned. "You're jealous."
I considered it. "No. But when you stared at that woman like she was made of diamonds, it didn't feel very good."
"I stared at her because she smelled strange."
"She smelled like rock dust. Very strong dry smell." Curran put his arms around me. "I love it when you get all fussy and possessive."
"I never get fussy and possessive."
He grinned, showing his teeth. His face was practically glowing. "So you're cool if I go over and chat her up?"
"Sure. Are you cool if I go and chat up that sexy werewolf on the third floor?"
He went from casual and funny to deadly serious in half a blink. "What sexy werewolf?"
Curran's eyes focused. He was concentrating on something.
"You're taking a mental inventory of all people working on the third floor, aren't you?"
His expression went blank. I'd hit the nail on the head.
I slid off him and put my head on his biceps. The shaggy carpet was nice and comfortable under my back.
"Is it Jordan?"
"I just picked a random floor," I told him. "You're nuts, you know that?"
He put his arm around me. "Look who is talking.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Gifts (Kate Daniels, #5.5))
You'll have to pardon me," the magus said. "But with your country at war I can't see how any of it really matters."
Standing up, Eugenides pulled the papers from the magus's hands. "It matters, because I can't do anything, anymore, for this country, and it matters," he yelled as he threw the papers back to his desk, "because I only have one hand and it isn't even the right one!" Turning, he picked an inkpot off the desk and threw it to shatter on the door of his wardrobe, spraying black ink across the pale wood and onto the wall. Black drops like rain stained the sheets of his bed.
Eddis sighed. "Will you sit down and stop shouting?" she asked.
"I'll stop shouting. I won't sit down. I might need to throw more inkpots.
Megan Whalen Turner (The Queen of Attolia (The Queen's Thief, #2))
While wandering a deserted beach at dawn, stagnant in my work, I saw a man in the distance bending and throwing as he walked the endless stretch toward me. As he came near, I could see that he was throwing starfish, abandoned on the sand by the tide, back into the sea. When he was close enough I asked him why he was working so hard at this strange task. He said that the sun would dry the starfish and they would die. I said to him that I thought he was foolish. There were thousands of starfish on miles and miles of beach. One man alone could never make a difference. He smiled as he picked up the next starfish. Hurling it far into the sea he said, "It makes a difference for this one." I abandoned my writing and spent the morning throwing starfish.
crawling up into daddy's lap
when dad was still
nodding my head against his chest soaking in the comfort of his heart
to the thump...thump
somewhere beneath muscle
and breastbone I remember his arms
and the shawdow of his voice
"I love you, little girl.
Put away your bad dreams.
I put them away, Until Daddy became my nightmare that one that came
from work everyday and instead
of picking me up, chased me far
Ellen Hopkins (Identical)
He looks up and the loss in his Noise is so great it feels like I'm standing on the edge of an abyss, that I'm about to fall down into him, into blackness so empty and lonely there'd never be a way out.
"Todd," I say again, a catch in my voice. "On the ledge, under the waterfall, do you remember what you said to me? Do you remember what you said to save me?"
He's shaking his head slowly. "I've done terrible things, Viola. Terrible things-"
"We all fall, you said." I'm gripping his hand now. "We all fall but that's not what matters. What matters is picking yourself up again.
Patrick Ness (The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking, #2))
Okay, I’ve never done this. This is the guy’s department. What do I do? We need to get Lee’s size and we need industrial strength. Show me which ones to buy.”
Eddie looked at the display and looked at me. “You’re askin’ me to help you buy condoms for Lee?”
“Industrial strength condoms,” I reminded him.
“Let me get this straight,” he said and I could tell he was laughing, “you dragged Eddie to Walgreen’s to help pick out condoms for me?”
“Well, I didn’t know!”…
“Did you tell Eddie the part about long-lasting reliability?”
“Forget it,” I said.
“Indy?” he called.
“What?” I snapped, kinda pissy.
“I love you.” He still had laughter in his voice and there was something very cool about him laughing and saying I love you at the same time.
Kristen Ashley (Rock Chick (Rock Chick, #1))
Looks like we have quite the predicament here, boys.” I smile at both of them, then eye the coffee in Breckin’s hands. “I see the Mormon brought the queen her offering of coffee. Very impressive.”
I look at Holder and cock my eyebrow. “Do you wish to reveal your offering, hopeless boy, so that I may decide who shall accompany me at the classroom throne today?”
Breckin looks at me like I’ve lost my mind. Holder laughs and picks his backpack up off the desk. “Looks like someone’s in need of an ego-shattering text today.
Colleen Hoover (Hopeless (Hopeless, #1))
Nothing is written," said the Phoenix. "You humans always think you're destinied for greatness. Destiny is a myth. Destiny is the only myth. The gods choose nothing. You chose. You chose to take the exam. You chose to come to Sinegard. You chose to pledge Lore, you chose to study the paths of the gods, and you chose to follow your commander's demands over your master's warnings. At every critical juncture you were given an option; you were given a way out. Yet you picked precisely the roads that led you here. You are at this temple, kneeling before me, only because you wanted to be.
R.F. Kuang (The Poppy War (The Poppy War, #1))
At lunch I turned my phone on to check my messages. Georgia always sent me a few inane texts during the day, and sure enough there were two messages from her: one complaining about her physics teacher and a second, also obviously sent from her phone: I love you, baby. V.
I wrote her back: I thought I told you to buzz off last night, you creep-o French stalker guy.
Her response came back immediately: As if! Your beet-red cheeks this morning suggest otherwise ... liar! You're so into him.
I groaned and was about to turn my phone off when I saw that there was a third text from UNKNOWN. Clicking on it, I read: Can I pick you up from school? Same place, same time?
I texted back: How'd you get my number?
Called myself from your phone while you were in the restaurant's bathroom last night. Warned you we were stalkers!
Amy Plum (Die for Me (Revenants, #1))
Anyway, here.” He handed me a bag. “Thought you might be hungry. Since you’re our guests, it would be impolite if we didn’t share our food with you. That’s your rations for the week. Try to make it last.” At my surprised look, he rolled his eyes. “Not all of us live on oil and electricity, you know.”
“What about Ash and Puck?”
“Well, I’m pretty sure eating our food won’t melt their insides to gooey paste. But you never know.” (Glitch)
Puck sat and gazed mournfully into the bowl I handed him. “Not an apple slice to be found,” he sighed, picking through the gooey mess with his fingers. “How can mortals even pass this off as fruit? It’s like a peach farmer threw up in a bowl.”
Ash picked up the spoon, gazing at it like it was an alien life form.
Julie Kagawa (The Iron Queen (The Iron Fey, #3))
I began to like New York, the racy, adventurous feel of it at night and the satisfaction that the constant flicker of men and women and machines gives to the restless eye. I like to walk up Fifth Avenue and pick out romantic women from the crowd and imagine that in a few minutes I was going to enter their lives, and no one would ever know or disapprove. Sometimes, in my mind, I followed them to their apartments on the corners of hidden streets, and they turned and smiled back at me before they faded through a door into warm darkness. At the enchanted metropolitan twilight I felt a haunting loneliness sometimes, and felt it in others—poor young clerks who loitered in front of windows waiting until it was time for a solitary restaurant dinner—young clerks in the dusk, wasting the most poignant moments of night and life.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
It may be a cat, a bird, a ferret, or a guinea pig, but the chances are high that when someone close to you dies, a pet will be there to pick up the slack. Pets devour the loneliness. They give us purpose, responsibility, a reason for getting up in the morning, and a reason to look to the future. They ground us, help us escape the grief, make us laugh, and take full advantage of our weakness by exploiting our furniture, our beds, and our refrigerator. We wouldn't have it any other way. Pets are our seat belts on the emotional roller coaster of life--they can be trusted, they keep us safe, and they sure do smooth out the ride.
Nick Trout (Tell Me Where It Hurts: A Day of Humor, Healing and Hope in My Life As an Animal Surgeon)
Did you read the part that says, 'Your hair is like a flock of goats'? How romantic is that? Or that other line, 'Your neck is like the tower of David.' Oh, now, that sounds real attractive! If some guy tried those lines on me, I'm sure I'd fall instantly in love with him.
Robin Jones Gunn (As You Wish (Christy and Todd: College Years #2))
What is family? They were the people who claimed you. In good, in bad, in parts or in whole, they were the ones who showed up, who stayed in there, regardless. It wasn't just about blood relations or shared chromosomes, but something wider, bigger. Cora was right- we had many families over time. Our family of origin, the family we created, as well as the groups you moved through while all of this was happening: friends, lovers, sometimes even strangers. None of them were perfect, and we couldn't expect them to be. You couldn't make any one person your world. The trick was to take what each could give you and build a world from it.
So my true family was not just my mom, lost or found; my dad, gone from the start; and Cora, the only one who had really been there all along. It was Jamie, who took me in without question and gave me a future I once couldn't even imagine; Oliva, who did question, but also gave me answers; Harriet, who, like me, believed she needed no one and discovered otherwise. And then there was Nate.
Nate, who was a friend to me before I even knew what a friend was. Who picked me up, literally, over and over again, and never asked for anything in return except for my word and my understanding. I'd given him one but not the other, because at the time I thought I couldn't, and then proved myself right by doing exactly as my mother had, hurting to prevent from being hurt myself. Needing was so easy: it came naturally, like breathing. Being needed by someone else, though, that was the hard part. But as with giving help and accepting it, we had to do both to be made complete- like links overlapping to form a chain, or a lock finding the right key.
~Ruby (pgs 400-401)
Sarah Dessen (Lock and Key)
Voicemail #1: “Hi, Isabel Culpeper. I am lying in my bed, looking at the ceiling. I am mostly naked. I am thinking of … your mother. Call me.”
Voicemail #2: The first minute and thirty seconds of “I’ve Gotta Get a Message to You” by the Bee Gees.
Voicemail #3: “I’m bored. I need to be entertained. Sam is moping. I may kill him with his own guitar. It would give me something to do and also make him say something. Two birds with one stone! I find all these old expressions unnecessarily violent. Like, ring around the rosy. That’s about the plague, did you know? Of course you did. The plague is, like, your older cousin. Hey, does Sam talk to you? He says jack shit to me. God, I’m bored. Call me.”
Voicemail #4: “Hotel California” by the Eagles, in its entirety, with every instance of the word California replaced with Minnesota.
Voicemail #5: “Hi, this is Cole St. Clair. Want to know two true things? One, you’re never picking up this phone. Two, I’m never going to stop leaving long messages. It’s like therapy. Gotta talk to someone. Hey, you know what I figured out today? Victor’s dead. I figured it out yesterday, too. Every day I figure it out again. I don’t know what I’m doing here. I feel like there’s no one I can —”
Voicemail #6: “So, yeah, I’m sorry. That last message went a little pear-shaped. You like that expression? Sam said it the other day. Hey, try this theory on for size: I think he’s a dead British housewife reincarnated into a Beatle’s body. You know, I used to know this band that put on fake British accents for their shows. Boy, did they suck, aside from being assholes. I can’t remember their name now. I’m either getting senile or I’ve done enough to my brain that stuff’s falling out. Not so fair of me to make this one-sided, is it? I’m always talking about myself in these things. So, how are you, Isabel Rosemary Culpeper? Smile lately? Hot Toddies. That was the name of the band. The Hot Toddies.”
Voicemail #20: “I wish you’d answer.
Maggie Stiefvater (Forever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #3))
Suicide is just a moment, Lexy told me. This is how she described it to me. For just a moment, it doesn't matter that you've got people who love you and the sun is shining and there's a movie coming out this weekend that you've been dying to see. It hits you all of a sudden that nothing is ever going to be okay, ever, and you kind of dare yourself. You pick up a knife and press it gently to your skin, you look out a nineteenth-story window and you think, I could just do it. I could just do it. And most of the time, you look at the height and you get scared, or you think about the poor people on the sidewalk below - what if there are kids coming home from school and they have to spend the rest of their lives trying to forget this terrible thing you're going to make them see? And the moment's over. You think about how sad it would've been if you never got to see that movie, and you look at your dog and wonder who would've taken care of her if you had gone. And you go back to normal. But you keep it there in your mind. Even if you never take yourself up on it, it gives you a kind of comfort to know that the day is yours to choose. You tuck it away in your brain like sour candy tucked in your cheek, and the puckering memory it leaves behind, the rough pleasure of running your tongue over its strange terrain, is exactly the same.... The day was hers to choose, and perhaps in that treetop moment when she looked down and saw the yard, the world, her life, spread out below her, perhaps she chose to plunge toward it headlong. Perhaps she saw before her a lifetime of walking on the ruined earth and chose instead a single moment in the air
Carolyn Parkhurst (The Dogs of Babel)
Regardless, you ask why I
did not greet you. Well, let us assume that I had acted as you suggest I
should. Upon your approach, you would have had me gush over you?”
“You would have me point out how stunning you appear in that gown?”
“I wouldn’t complain.”
“Mention how your dazzling eyes glisten in the fireworks like burning
“That would be nice.”
“Expound on how your lips are so perfectly red that they could leave any
man breathless with wonder, yet drive him compose the most brilliant of
poetry each time he recalled the moment?”
“I’d be flattered for certain.”
“And you claim you want these reactions from me?”
“Well blast it, woman,” Lightsong said, picking up his cup. “If I’m
stunned, dazzled, and breathless, then how the hell am I supposed to greet
you? By definition, won’t I be struck dumb?”
She laughed. “Well, then, you’ve obviously found your tongue now.”
“Surprisingly, it was in my mouth,” he said. “I always forget to check
Brandon Sanderson (Warbreaker (Warbreaker, #1))
Close your eyes, Maxon."
"Close your eyes.
Somewhere in this palace, there is a woman who will be your wife. This girl? Imagine that she depends on you. She needs you to cherish her and make her feel like the Selection didn't even happen. Like if you were dropped in your own out in the middle of the country to wander around door to door, she's still the one you would have found. She was always the one you would have picked. She needs you to provide for her and protect her. And if it came to a point where there was absolutely nothing to eat, and you couldn't even fall asleep at night because the sound of her stomach growling kept you awake—"
"Is that really what it's like? Out there... does that happen? Are people hungry like that a lot?"
"Tell me the truth."
"Yes. That happens. I know of families where people give up their share for their children or siblings. I know of a boy who was whipped in the town square for stealing food. Sometimes you do crazy things when you are desperate."
"A boy? How old?"
"Have you ever been like that? Starving?...How bad?"
"Maxon, it will only upset you more."
"Probably, but I'm only starting to realize how much I don't know about my own country. Please."
"We've been pretty bad. Most time if it gets to where we have to choose, we keep the food and lose electricity. The worst was when it happened near Christmas one year. May didn't understand why we couldn't exchange gifts. As a general rule, there are never any leftovers at my house. Someone always wants more. I know the checks we've gotten over the last few weeks have really helped, and my family is really smart about money. I'm sure they have already tucked it away so it will stretch out for a long time. You've done so much for us, Maxon."
"Good God. When you said that you were only here for the food, you weren't kidding, were you?"
"Really, Maxon, we've been doing pretty well lately. I—"
"I'll see you at dinner.
Kiera Cass (The Selection (The Selection, #1))
He raped me, Agent Calhoun, he hit me but he didn’t kill me. As long as I’m breathing,
I’ve got fight in me and luckily I’m breathing.”
It was at that he whispered, “You aren’t like a lot of women.”
“Yes I am,” I whispered back. “I’m like all women. You see this but inside there’s
something else that I won’t let you see or him see but it’s the mess he left me. But that’s
mine. No one gets to it. Everything you get and he gets is a show. One thing you learn really
quickly and really well when that kind of thing happens to you is to be a fucking great
actress. You don’t have a choice in that because a man like that does something like that to
you, you lose having choices. The only choice you have is what role you intend to play. I
picked my role and that… that Agent Calhoun is what you see.
Kristen Ashley (Wild Man (Dream Man, #2))
Finally, I sat up. "So, I suppose you should do something, wolfie. Hunt maybe?"
A grunt, the tone saying no.
"Run? Get some exercise?"
Another grunt, less decisive, more like a maybe.
He pushed to his feet, wobbly, still adjusting to his new center of gravity. He gingerly moved one fore paw, then the next, one rear paw, then the other. He picked up the pace, but still slow as he circled the clearing. A snort, like he'd figured it out, and broke into a lope, stumbled and plowed muzzle first into the undergrowth.
I stifled a laugh, but not very well, and he glowered at me.
"Forget running, a nice, leisurely stroll might be more your speed."
He snorted and turned fast. When I fell back, he gave a growling chuckle.
"Still cant resist throwing your weight around, can you?
Marry me." I said.
She lowered her teacup, shaking slightly, to the saucer. "Aren't you going to get down on one knee?"
I got down on one knee and took her hand.
"Will you marry me, Kate?"
You can't propose properly without a ring." She said.
I reached into my pocket and took out James Sanderson's ring, which I'd picked up off the floor of the Starclimber when we'd crash landed.
"That's a nice looking ring." said Kate with a grin.
"Cost a fortune." I said. "And now, for the third time. Kate de Vries, will you marry me?"
She leaned forward and took my face in her hands and kissed me.
"Yes," "Yes, and yes and yes. But it will probably be terrible."
"Probably," I agreed.
"Honestly," she sighed, "I don't know what kind of life we'll have together, with me always flying off in one direction and you in the other."
I smiled. "It's a good thing the world's round," I said.
Kenneth Oppel (Starclimber (Matt Cruse, #3))
Save your explanations, I got some questions for you first and you'd better answer them!' [slurred Hellian.]
'With what?' [Banaschar] sneered. 'Explanations?'
'No. Answers. There's a difference-'
'Really? How? What difference?'
'Explanations are what people use when they need to lie. Y'can always tell those,'cause those don't explain nothing and then they look at you like they just cleared things up when really they did the opposite and they know it and you know it and they know you know and you know they know that you know and they know you and you know them and maybe you go out for a pitcher later but who picks up the tab? That's what I want to know.'
'Right, and answers?'
'Answers is what I get when I ask questions. Answers is when you got no choice. I ask, you tell. I ask again, you tell some more. Then I break your fingers, 'cause I don't like what you're telling me, because those answers don't explain nothing!
Steven Erikson (The Bonehunters (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #6))
See? See what you can do? Never mind you can’t tell one letter from another, never mind you born a slave, never mind you lose your name, never mind your daddy dead, never mind nothing. Here, this here, is what a man can do if he puts his mind to it and his back in it. Stop sniveling,’ [the land] said. ‘Stop picking around the edges of the world. Take advantage, and if you can’t take advantage, take disadvantage. We live here. On this planet, in this nation, in this county right here. Nowhere else! We got a home in this rock, don’t you see! Nobody starving in my home; nobody crying in my home, and if I got a home you got one too! Grab it. Grab this land! Take it, hold it, my brothers, make it, my brothers, shake it, squeeze it, turn it, twist it, beat it, kick it, kiss it, whip it, stomp it, dig it, plow it, seed it, reap it, rent it, buy it, sell it, own it, build it, multiply it, and pass it on – can you hear me? Pass it on!
Toni Morrison (Song of Solomon)
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.”
“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?”
“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.”
“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))
But I'm different now than I was then. Just like I was different at the end of the trip than I'd been in the beginning. And I'll be different tomorrow than i am today. And what that means is that i can never replicate that trip. Even if I went to the same places and met the same people, it would'nt be the same. My experience would'nt be the same. To me, that's what traveling should be about. Meeting people, learning to not only appreciate a different culture, but really enjoy it like a local, following whatever impulse strikes you. So how could I recommend a trip to someone else, if I don't even know what to expect? My advice would be to make a list of places on some index cards, shuffle them, and pick any fice at random. Then just . . . go and see what happens. If you have the right mind-set, it does'nt matter where you end up or how much money you brought. It'll be something you'll remember forever.
Nicholas Sparks (The Guardian)
I do like him. I'm sick of just liking people. I wish to God I could meet somebody I could respect....
.... Listen, don't hate me because I can't remember some person immediately. Especially when they look like everybody else, and talk and dress and act like everybody else." Franny made her voice stop. It sounded to her caviling and bitchy, and she felt a wave of self-hatred that, quite literally, made her forehead begin to perspire again. But her voice picked up again, in spite of herself. "I don't mean there's anything horrible about him or anything like that. It's just that for four solid years I've kept seeing Wally Campbells wherever I go. I know when they're going to be charming, I know when they're going to start telling you some really nasty gossip about some girl that lives in your dorm, I know when they're going to ask me what I did over the summer, I know when they're going to pull up a chair and straddle it backward and start bragging in a terribly, terribly quiet voice--or name-dropping in a terribly quiet, casual voice. There's an unwritten law that people in a certain social or financial bracket can name-drop as much as they like just as long as they say something terribly disparaging about the person as soon as they've dropped his name—that he's a bastard or a nymphomaniac or takes dope all the time, or something horrible." She broke off again. She was quiet for a moment, turning the ashtray in her fingers.
Franny quickly tipped her cigarette ash, then brought the ashtray an inch closer to her side of the table. "I'm sorry. I'm awful," she said. "I've just felt so destructive all week. It's awful, I'm horrible.
J.D. Salinger (Franny and Zooey)
She stepped forward as if to pick up the fur she'd tossed over a chair. Smoothly, she turned to hand it to him. And with perfect timing, flung herself into his arms.
The sable fell as he took her shoulders to shove her back.
Eve stepped to the doorway to see Magdelana with her arms locked around Roarke's neck, his hands on her bare shoulders--one of the ivory straps sliding to her elbow.
"Son of a bitch," she said.
On cue, Magdelana spun around, her face full of passion and shock. "Oh, God. Oh...it's not what it looks like."
"Bet." Eve strode in.
Actually, Roarke thought, it was more of a swagger. He had a moment to admire it, before Eve rammed her fist in his face.
"Fuck me." His head snapped back, and he tasted blood.
Magdelana cried out, but even the deaf would have caught the suppressed laughter in the sound. "Roarke! Oh, my God, you're bleeding. Please, let me just--"
"Don't look now," Eve said cheerfully. "But he's not the only one." She decked Magdelana with a straight-armed jab. "Bitch," Eve added as Magdelana's eyes rolled back and she fell, unconscious, to the floor.
Roarke looked down. "Well, now, fuck us all.
J.D. Robb (Innocent in Death (In Death, #24))
When I consider that the nobler animal have been exterminated here - the cougar, the panther, lynx, wolverine, wolf, bear, moose, dear, the beaver, the turkey and so forth and so forth, I cannot but feel as if I lived in a tamed and, as it were, emasculated country... Is it not a maimed and imperfect nature I am conversing with? As if I were to study a tribe of Indians that had lost all it's warriors...I take infinite pains to know all the phenomena of the spring, for instance, thinking that I have here the entire poem, and then, to my chagrin, I hear that it is but an imperfect copy that I possess and have read, that my ancestors have torn out many of the first leaves and grandest passages, and mutilated it in many places. I should not like to think that some demigod had come before me and picked out some of the best of the stars. I wish to know an entire heaven and an entire earth.
Henry David Thoreau (The Journal, 1837-1861)
People are afraid to merge on freeways in Los Angeles. This is the first thing I hear when I come back to the city. Blair picks me up from LAX and mutters this under her breath as she drives up the onramp. She says, "People are afraid to merge on freeways in Los Angeles." Though that sentence shouldn't bother me, it stays in my mind for an uncomfortably long time. Nothing else seems to matter. Not the fact that I'm eighteen and it's December and the ride on the plane had been rough and the couple from Santa Barbara, who were sitting across from me in first class, had gotten pretty drunk. Not the mud that had splattered on the legs of my jeans, which felt kind of cold and loose, earlier that day at an airport in New Hampshire. Not the stain on the arm of the wrinkled, damp shirt I wear, a shirt which looked fresh and clean this morning. Not the tear on the neck of my gray argyle vest, which seems vaguely more eastern than before, especially next to Blair's clean tight jeans and her pale-blue shirt. All of this seems irrelevant next to that one sentence. It seems easier to hear that people are afraid to merge than "I'm pretty sure Muriel is anorexic" or the singer on the radio crying out about magnetic waves. Nothing else seems to matter to me but those ten words. Not the warm winds, which seem to propel the car down the empty asphalt freeway, or the faded smell of marijuana which still faintly permeates Blaire's car. All it comes down to is the fact that I'm a boy coming home for a month and meeting someone whom I haven't seen for four months and people are afraid to merge.
Bret Easton Ellis (Less Than Zero)
I want to say one last thing, and it’s important. Though I am a generally happy person who feels comfortable in my skin, I do beat myself up because I am influenced by a societal pressure to be thin. All the time. I feel it the same way anybody who picks up a magazine and sees Keira Knightley’s elegantly bony shoulder blades poking out of a backless dress does. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen my shoulder blades once. Honestly, I’m dubious that any part of my body could be so sharp and firm as to be described as a “blade.” I feel it when I wake up in the morning and try on every single pair of my jeans and everything looks bad and I just want to go back to sleep. But my secret is: even though I wish I could be thin, and that I could have the ease of lifestyle that I associate with being thin, I don’t wish for it with all of my heart. Because my heart is reserved for way more important things.
Mindy Kaling (Why Not Me?)
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)
We walk for about an hour before Raffe whispers, “Does moping actually help humans feel better?”
“I’m not moping,” I whisper back.
“Of course you’re not. A girl like you, spending time with a warrior demigod like me. What’s to mope about? Leaving a wheelchair behind couldn’t possibly show up on the radar compared to that.”
I nearly stumble over a fallen branch. “You have got to be kidding me.”
“I never kid about my warrior demigod status.”
“Oh. My. God.” I lower my voice, having forgotten to whisper. “You are nothing but a bird with an attitude. Okay, so you have a few muscles, I’ll grant you that. But you know, a bird is nothing but a barely evolved lizard. That’s what you are.”
He chuckles. “Evolution.” He leans over as if telling me a secret. “I’ll have you know that I’ve been this perfect since the beginning of time.” He is so close that his breath caresses my ear.
“Oh, please. Your giant head is getting too big for this forest. Pretty soon, you’re going to get stuck trying to walk between two trees. And then, I’ll have to rescue you.” I give him a weary look. “Again.”
I pick up my pace, trying to discourage the smart comeback that I’m sure will come.
But it doesn’t. Could he be letting me have the last say?
When I look back, Raffe has a smug grin on his face. That’s when I realize I’ve been manipulated into feeling better. I stubbornly try to resist but it’s already too late.
Susan Ee (Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, #1))
When I was sixteen, I had just two things on my mind - girls and cars. I wasn't very good with girls. So I thought about cars. I thought about girls, too, but I had more luck with cars.
Let's say that when I turned sixteen, a genie had appeared to me. And that genie said, 'Warren, I'm going to give you the car of your choice. It'll be here tomorrow morning with a big bow tied on it. Brand-new. And it's all yours.'
Having heard all the genie stories, I would say, 'What's the catch?' And the genie would answer, 'There's only one catch. This is the last car you're ever going to ge tin your life. So it's got to last a lifetime.'
If that had happened, I would have picked out that car. But, can you imagine, knowing it had to last a lifetime, what I would do with it?
I would read the manual about five times. I would always keep it garaged. If there was the least little dent or scratch, I'd have it fixed right away because I wouldn't want it rusting. I would baby that car, because it would have to last a lifetime.
That's exactly the position you are in concerning your mind and body. You only get one mind and one body. And it's got to last a lifetime. Now, it's very easy to let them ride for many years. But if you don't take care of that mind and that body, they'll be a wreck forty years later, just life the car would be.
It's what you do right now, today, that determines how your mind and body will operate ten, twenty, and thirty years from now.
The first language humans had was gestures. There was nothing primitive about this language that flowed from people’s hands, nothing we say now that could not be said in the endless array of movements possible with the fine bones of the fingers and wrists. The gestures were complex and subtle, involving a delicacy of motion that has since been lost completely.
During the Age of Silence, people communicated more, not less. Basic survival demanded that the hands were almost never still, and so it was only during sleep (and sometimes not even then) that people were not saying something or other. No distinction was made between the gestures of language and the gestures of life. The labor of building a house, say, or preparing a meal was no less an expression than making the sign for I love you or I feel serious. When a hand was used to shield one’s face when frightened by a loud noise something was being said, and when fingers were used to pick up what someone else had dropped something was being said; and even when the hands were at rest, that, too, was saying something. Naturally, there were misunderstandings. There were times when a finger might have been lifted to scratch a nose, and if casual eye contact was made with one’s lover just then, the lover might accidentally take it to be the gesture, not at all dissimilar, for Now I realize I was wrong to love you. These mistakes were heartbreaking. And yet, because people knew how easily they could happen, because they didn’t go round with the illusion that they understood perfectly the things other people said, they were used to interrupting each other to ask if they’d understood correctly. Sometimes these misunderstandings were even desirable, since they gave people a reason to say, Forgive me, I was only scratching my nose. Of course I know I’ve always been right to love you. Because of the frequency of these mistakes, over time the gesture for asking forgiveness evolved into the simplest form. Just to open your palm was to say: Forgive me."
"If at large gatherings or parties, or around people with whom you feel distant, your hands sometimes hang awkwardly at the ends of your arms – if you find yourself at a loss for what to do with them, overcome with sadness that comes when you recognize the foreignness of your own body – it’s because your hands remember a time when the division between mind and body, brain and heart, what’s inside and what’s outside, was so much less. It’s not that we’ve forgotten the language of gestures entirely. The habit of moving our hands while we speak is left over from it. Clapping, pointing, giving the thumbs-up, for example, is a way to remember how it feels to say nothing together. And at night, when it’s too dark to see, we find it necessary to gesture on each other’s bodies to make ourselves understood.
Nicole Krauss (The History of Love)
Can I borrow your phone?" she asked.
I frowned, unsure what she would do. "Sure." I pulled my phone from my pocket, handing it to her.
She fingered the buttons for a moment, and then dialed, closing her eyes as she waited.
"I'm sorry for calling you so early," she stammered, "but this couldn't wait. I . . . can't go to dinner with you on Wednesday."
She had called Parker. My hands trembled with apprehension, wondering if she was going to ask him to pick her up - to save her - or something else.
She continue, "I can't see you at all, actually. I'm . . . pretty sure I'm in love with Travis."
My whole world stopped. I tried to replay her words over. Had I heard them correctly? Did she really just say what I thought she had, or was it just wishful thinking?
Abby handed the phone back to me, and then reluctantly peered up into my eyes.
"He hung up," she said with a frown.
"You love me?"
"It's the tattoos," she said, flippant and shrugging, as if she hadn't just said the one thing I'd ever wanted to hear.
Pigeon loved me.
Jamie McGuire (Walking Disaster (Beautiful, #2))
Cracking his knuckles, Cary dramatically prepared to open his fortune cookie. “Let’s see. Will I be rich? Famous? About to
meet Mr. or Ms. Tall, Dark, and Tasty? Traveling to distant lands? What’d you guys get?”
“Mine’s lame,” I said. “In the end all things will be known. Duh. I didn’t need a fortune to figure that out.”
Gideon opened his and read, “Prosperity will knock on your door soon.”
Cary shot me a look. “I know, right? You snatched someone else’s cookie, Cross.”
“He better not be anywhere near someone else’s cookie,” I said dryly.
Reaching over, Gideon plucked half of mine out of my fingers. “Don’t worry, angel. Your cookie is the only one I want.”
He popped it in his mouth with a wink.
“Gag,” Cary muttered. “Get a room.” He cracked his fortune with a flourish, and then scowled. “What the fuck?”
I leaned forward. “What’s it say?”
“Confucius say,” Gideon ad-libbed, “man with hand in pocket feel cocky all day.”
Cary threw half his cookie at Gideon, who caught it deftly and grinned.
“Give me that.” I snatched the fortune out from between Cary’s fingers and read it. Then laughed.
“Fuck you, Eva.”
“Well?” Gideon prodded.
“Pick another cookie.”
Gideon smiled. “Pwned by a fortune.”
Cary threw the other half of his cookie.
Sylvia Day (Bared to You (Crossfire, #1))
My sweet little whorish Nora I did as you told me, you dirty little girl, and pulled myself off twice when I read your letter. I am delighted to see that you do like being fucked arseways. Yes, now I can remember that night when I fucked you for so long backwards. It was the dirtiest fucking I ever gave you, darling. My prick was stuck in you for hours, fucking in and out under your upturned rump. I felt your fat sweaty buttocks under my belly and saw your flushed face and mad eyes. At every fuck I gave you your shameless tongue came bursting out through your lips and if a gave you a bigger stronger fuck than usual, fat dirty farts came spluttering out of your backside. You had an arse full of farts that night, darling, and I fucked them out of you, big fat fellows, long windy ones, quick little merry cracks and a lot of tiny little naughty farties ending in a long gush from your hole. It is wonderful to fuck a farting woman when every fuck drives one out of her. I think I would know Nora’s fart anywhere. I think I could pick hers out in a roomful of farting women. It is a rather girlish noise not like the wet windy fart which I imagine fat wives have. It is sudden and dry and dirty like what a bold girl would let off in fun in a school dormitory at night. I hope Nora will let off no end of her farts in my face so that I may know their smell also.
You say when I go back you will suck me off and you want me to lick your cunt, you little depraved blackguard. I hope you will surprise me some time when I am asleep dressed, steal over to me with a whore’s glow in your slumberous eyes, gently undo button after button in the fly of my trousers and gently take out your lover’s fat mickey, lap it up in your moist mouth and suck away at it till it gets fatter and stiffer and comes off in your mouth. Sometimes too I shall surprise you asleep, lift up your skirts and open your drawers gently, then lie down gently by you and begin to lick lazily round your bush. You will begin to stir uneasily then I will lick the lips of my darling’s cunt. You will begin to groan and grunt and sigh and fart with lust in your sleep. Then I will lick up faster and faster like a ravenous dog until your cunt is a mass of slime and your body wriggling wildly.
Goodnight, my little farting Nora, my dirty little fuckbird! There is one lovely word, darling, you have underlined to make me pull myself off better. Write me more about that and yourself, sweetly, dirtier, dirtier.
James Joyce (Selected Letters of James Joyce)
There was once an invisible man, the monster continued, though Conor kept his eyes firmly on Harry, who had grown tired of being unseen.
Conor set himself into a walk.
A walk after Harry.
It was not that he was actually invisible, the monster said, following Conor, the room volume dropping as they passed. It was that the people had become used to not seeing him.
"Hey!" Conor called. Harry didn't turn around. Neither did Sully nor Anton, though thet were still sniggering as Conor picked up his pace.
And if no one sees you, the monster said, picking up its pace, too, are you really there at all?
"HEY!" Conor called loudly.
The dining hall had fallen silent now, as Conor and the monster moved faster after Harry.
Harry who had still not turned around.
Conor reached him and grabbed him by the shoulder, twisting him round. Harry pretended to question what had happened, looking hard at Sully, acting like he was the one who'd done it. "Quit messing about," Harry said and turned away again.
Turned away from Conor.
And then one day the invisible man decided, the monster said, its voice ringing in Conor's ears, I will make them see me.
"How?" Conor asked, breathing heavily again, not turning back to see the monster standing there, not looking at the reaction of the room to the huge monster now in the midst, though he was aware of nervous murmurs and a strange anticipation in the air. "How did the man do it?"
Conor could feel the monster close behind him, knew that it was kneeling, knew that it was putting its face up to his ear to whisper into in, to tell him the rest of the story.
He called, it said for a monster.
Patrick Ness (A Monster Calls)
Your job then, should you choose to accept it, is to keep searching for the metaphors, rituals and teachers that will help you move ever closer to divinity. The Yogic scriptures say that God responds to the sacred prayers and efforts of human beings in any way whatsoever that mortals choose to worship—just so long as those prayers are sincere.
I think you have every right to cherry-pick when it comes to moving your spirit and finding peace in God. I think you are free to search for any metaphor whatsoever which will take you across the worldly divide whenever you need to be transported or comforted. It's nothing to be embarrassed about. It's the history of mankind's search for holiness. If humanity never evolved in its exploration of the divine, a lot of us would still be worshipping golden Egyptian statues of cats. And this evolution of religious thinking does involve a fair bit of cherry-picking. You take whatever works from wherever you can find it, and you keep moving toward the light.
The Hopi Indians thought that the world's religions each contained one spiritual thread, and that these threads are always seeking each other, wanting to join. When all the threads are finally woven together they will form a rope that will pull us out of this dark cycle of history and into the next realm. More contemporarily, the Dalai Lama has repeated the same idea, assuring his Western students repeatedly that they needn't become Tibetan Buddhists in order to be his pupils. He welcomes them to take whatever ideas they like out of Tibetan Buddhism and integrate these ideas into their own religious practices. Even in the most unlikely and conservative of places, you can find sometimes this glimmering idea that God might be bigger than our limited religious doctrines have taught us. In 1954, Pope Pius XI, of all people, sent some Vatican delegates on a trip to Libya with these written instructions: "Do NOT think that you are going among Infidels. Muslims attain salvation, too. The ways of Providence are infinite."
But doesn't that make sense? That the infinite would be, indeed ... infinite? That even the most holy amongst us would only be able to see scattered pieces of the eternal picture at any given time? And that maybe if we could collect those pieces and compare them, a story about God would begin to emerge that resembles and includes everyone? And isn't our individual longing for transcendence all just part of this larger human search for divinity? Don't we each have the right to not stop seeking until we get as close to the source of wonder as possible? Even if it means coming to India and kissing trees in the moonlight for a while?
That's me in the corner, in other words. That's me in the spotlight. Choosing my religion.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
Why do you want a letter from me? Why don't you take the trouble to find out for yourselves what Christianity is? You take time to learn technical terms about electricity. Why don't you do as much for theology? Why do you never read the great writings on the subject, but take your information from the secular 'experts' who have picked it up as inaccurately as you? Why don't you learn the facts in this field as honestly as your own field? Why do you accept mildewed old heresies as the language of the church, when any handbook on church history will tell you where they came from?
Why do you balk at the doctrine of the Trinity - God the three in One - yet meekly acquiesce when Einstein tells you E=mc2? What makes you suppose that the expression "God ordains" is narrow and bigoted, while your own expression, "Science demands" is taken as an objective statement of fact?
You would be ashamed to know as little about internal combustion as you know about Christian beliefs.
I admit, you can practice Christianity without knowing much theology, just as you can drive a car without knowing much about internal combustion. But when something breaks down in the car, you go humbly to the man who understands the works; whereas if something goes wrong with religion, you merely throw the works away and tell the theologian he is a liar.
Why do you want a letter from me telling you about God? You will never bother to check on it or find out whether I'm giving you personal opinions or Christian doctrines. Don't bother. Go away and do some work and let me get on with mine.
Dorothy L. Sayers
Wolf took Scarlet’s hands into his, as tenderly as he would pick up an injured butterfly, and slid the band onto her finger. His voice was rough and wavering as he recited—“I, Ze’ev Kesley, do hereby claim you, Scarlet Benoit, as my wife and my Alpha. Forevermore, you will be my mate, my star, my beginning of everything.” He smiled down at her, his eyes swimming with emotion. Scarlet returned the look, and though Wolf’s expression teetered between proud and bashful, Scarlet’s face contained nothing but joy. “You are the one. You have always been, and you will always be, the only one.
Scarlet took the second ring—a significantly larger version of the same unadorned band—and pressed it onto Wolf’s finger. “I, Scarlet Benoit, do hereby claim you, Ze’ev Kesley, as my husband and my Alpha. Forevermore, you will be my mate, my star, my beginning of everything. You are the one. You have always been, and you will always be, the only one.”
Wolf folded his hands around hers. From where she sat, Cinder could see that he was shaking.
Kai grinned. “By the power given to me by the people of Earth, under the laws of the Earthen Union and as witnessed by those gathered here today, I do now pronounce you husband and wife.” He spread his hands in invitation. “You may kiss your—”
Wolf wrapped his arms around Scarlet’s waist, lifting her off the floor, and kissed her before Kai could finish. Or maybe she kissed him. It seemed mutual, as her hands wound through his disheveled hair.
The room exploded with cheers, everyone launching to their feet to congratulate the still-kissing couple. Scarlet had lost one of her red shoes.
“I’ll get the champagne,” said Thorne, heading toward the kitchen. “Those two are going to be thirsty when they finally come up for air.
Marissa Meyer (Stars Above (The Lunar Chronicles, #4.5))
I was told
The average girl begins to plan her wedding at the age of 7
She picks the colors and the cake first
By the age of 10
She knows time,
She’s already chosen a gown
And a maid of honor
She’s waiting for a man
Who wont break out in hives when he hears the word “commitment”
Someone who doesn’t smell like a Band-Aid drenched in lonely
Someone who isn’t a temporary solution to the empty side of the bed
Who’ll hold her hand like it’s the only one they’ve ever seen
To be honest
I don’t know what kind of tux I’ll be wearing
I have no clue what want my wedding will look like
But I imagine
The women who pins my last to hers
Will butterfly down the aisle
Like a 5 foot promise
Will be so large that you’ll see it on google maps
And know exactly where our wedding is being held
The woman that I plan to marry
Will have champagne in her walk
And I will get drunk on her footsteps
When the pastor asks
If I take this woman to be my wife
I will say yes before he finishes the sentence
I’ll apologize later for being impolite
But I will also explain him
That our first kiss happened 6 years ago
And I’ve been practicing my “Yes”
For past 2, 165 days
When people ask me about my wedding
I never really know what to say
But when they ask me about my future wife
I always tell them
Her eyes are the only Christmas lights that deserve to be seen all year long
She thinks too much
Misses her father
Loves to laugh
And she’s terrible at lying
Because her face never figured out how to do it correctl
I tell them
If my alarm clock sounded like her voice
My snooze button would collect dust
I tell them
If she came in a bottle
I would drink her until my vision is blurry and my friends take away my keys
If she was a book
I would memorize her table of contents
I would read her cover-to-cover
Hoping to find typos
Just so we can both have a few things to work on
Because aren’t we all unfinished?
Don’t we all need a little editing?
Aren’t we all waiting to be proofread by someone?
Aren’t we all praying they will tell us that we make sense
She don’t always make sense
But her imperfections are the things I love about her the most
I don’t know when I will be married
I don’t know where I will be married
But I do know this
Whenever I’m asked about my future wife
I always say
…She’s a lot like you
I'd been making desicions for days.
I picked out the dress Bailey would wear forever-
a black slinky one- innapropriate- that she loved.
I chose a sweater to go over it, earrings, bracelet, necklace,
her most beloved strappy sandals.
I collected her makeup to give to the funeral director with a recent photo-
I thought it would be me that would dress her;
I didn't think a strange man should see her naked
touch her body
shave her legs
apply her lipstick
but that's what happened all the same.
I helped Gram pick out the casket,
the plot at the cemetery.
I changed a few lines
in the obituary that Big composed.
I wrote on a piece of paper what I thought
should go on the headstone.
I did all this without uttering a word.
Not one word, for days,
until I saw Bailey before the funeral
and lost my mind.
I hadn't realized that when people say so-and-so
that's what actually happens-
I started shaking her-
I thought I could wake her up
and get her the hell out of that box.
When she didn't wake,
I screamed: Talk to me.
Big swooped me up in his arms,
carried me out of the room, the church,
into the slamming rain,
and down to the creek
where we sobbed together
under the black coat he held over our heads
to protect us from the weather.
Jandy Nelson (The Sky Is Everywhere)
He glances over his shoulder, no doubt hearing my insanely loud shoes stop in their tracks. Then he looks again. It’s a double take for the record books.
“I’m out stalking,” I call. It doesn’t come out the way I’d intended. It’s not lighthearted or funny. It comes out like a warning. I’m one scary bitch right now. I hold my hands up to show I’m not armed. My heart is racing.
“Me too,” he replies. Another cab cruises past like a shark.
“Where are you actually going?” My voice rings down the empty street.
“I just told you. I’m going out stalking.”
“What, on foot?” I come closer by another six paces. “You were going to walk?”
“I was going to run down the middle of the street like the Terminator.”
The laugh blasts out of me like bah.I’m breaking one of my rules by grinning at him, but I can’t seem to stop.
“You’re on foot, after all. Stilts.” He gestures at my sky-high shoes.
“It gives me a few extra inches of height to look through your garbage.”
“Find anything of interest?” He strolls closer and stops until we have maybe ten paces between us. I can almost pick up the scent of his skin.
“Pretty much what I was expecting. Vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, adult diapers.
Sally Thorne (The Hating Game)
His lyrical whistle beckoned me to adventure and forgetting. But I didn't want to forget. Hugging my grudge, ugly and prickly, a sad sea urchin, I trudged off on my own, in the opposite direction toward the forbidding prison. As from a star I saw, coldly and soberly, the separateness of everything. I felt the wall of my skin; I am I. That stone is a stone. My beautiful fusion with the things of this world was over.
The Tide ebbed, sucked back into itself. There I was, a reject, with the dried black seaweed whose hard beads I liked to pop, hollowed orange and grapefruit halves and a garbage of shells. All at once, old and lonely, I eyed these-- razor clams, fairy boats, weedy mussels, the oyster's pocked gray lace (there was never a pearl) and tiny white "ice cream cones." You could always tell where the best shells were-- at the rim of the last wave, marked by a mascara of tar. I picked up, frigidly, a stiff pink starfish. It lay at the heart of my palm, a joke dummy of my own hand. Sometimes I nursed starfish alive in jam jars of seawater and watched them grow back lost arms. On this day, this awful birthday of otherness, my rival, somebody else, I flung the starfish against a stone. Let it perish.
Sylvia Plath (Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams: Short Stories, Prose and Diary Excerpts)
I tell you this not as aimless revelation but because I want you to know, as you read me, precisely who I am and where I am and what is on my mind. I want you to understand exactly what you are getting: you are getting a woman who for some time now has felt radically separated from most of the ideas that seem to interest people. You are getting a woman who somewhere along the line misplaced whatever slight faith she ever had in the social contract, in the meliorative principle, in the whole grand pattern of human endeavor. Quite often during the past several years I have felt myself a sleepwalker, moving through the world unconscious of the moment’s high issues, oblivious to its data, alert only to the stuff of bad dreams, the children burning in the locked car in the supermarket parking lot, the bike boys stripping down stolen cars on the captive cripple’s ranch, the freeway sniper who feels “real bad” about picking off the family of five, the hustlers, the insane, the cunning Okie faces that turn up in military investigations, the sullen lurkers in doorways, the lost children, all the ignorant armies jostling in the night. Acquaintances read The New York Times, and try to tell me the news of the world. I listen to call-in shows.
Joan Didion (The White Album)
A Great Rabbi stands, teaching in the marketplace. It happens that a husband finds proof that morning of his wife's adultery, and a mob carries her to the marketplace to stone her to death.
There is a familiar version of this story, but a friend of mine - a Speaker for the Dead - has told me of two other Rabbis that faced the same situation. Those are the ones I'm going to tell you.
The Rabbi walks forward and stands beside the woman. Out of respect for him the mob forbears and waits with the stones heavy in their hands. 'Is there any man here,' he says to them, 'who has not desired another man's wife, another woman's husband?'
They murmur and say, 'We all know the desire, but Rabbi none of us has acted on it.'
The Rabbi says, 'Then kneel down and give thanks that God has made you strong.' He takes the woman by the hand and leads her out of the market. Just before he lets her go, he whispers to her, 'Tell the Lord Magistrate who saved his mistress, then he'll know I am his loyal servant.'
So the woman lives because the community is too corrupt to protect itself from disorder.
Another Rabbi. Another city. He goes to her and stops the mob as in the other story and says, 'Which of you is without sin? Let him cast the first stone.'
The people are abashed, and they forget their unity of purpose in the memory of their own individual sins. ‘Someday,’ they think, ‘I may be like this woman. And I’ll hope for forgiveness and another chance. I should treat her as I wish to be treated.’
As they opened their hands and let their stones fall to the ground, the Rabbi picks up one of the fallen stones, lifts it high over the woman’s head and throws it straight down with all his might it crushes her skull and dashes her brain among the cobblestones. ‘Nor am I without sins,’ he says to the people, ‘but if we allow only perfect people to enforce the law, the law will soon be dead – and our city with it.’
So the woman died because her community was too rigid to endure her deviance.
The famous version of this story is noteworthy because it is so startlingly rare in our experience. Most communities lurch between decay and rigor mortis and when they veer too far they die. Only one Rabbi dared to expect of us such a perfect balance that we could preserve the law and still forgive the deviation.
So of course, we killed him.
Letters to an Incipient Heretic
Orson Scott Card (Speaker for the Dead (Ender's Saga, #2))
Sir, people never wanted me to make it to squire. They won't like it any better if I become a knight. I doubt I'll ever get to command a force larger than, well, just me.'
Raoul shook his head. 'You're wrong.' As she started to protest, he raised a hand. 'Hear me out. I have some idea of what you've had to bear to get this far, and it won't get easier. But there are larger issues than your fitness for knighthood, issues that involve lives and livelihoods. Attend,' he said, so much like Yayin, one of her Mithran teachers, that Kel had to smile.
'At our level, there are four kids of warrior,' he told Kel. He raised a fist and held up one large finger. 'Heroes, like Alanna the Lioness. Warriors who find dark places and fight in them alone. This is wonderful, but we live in the real world. There aren't many places without any hope or light.'
He raised a second finger. 'We have knights- plain, everyday knights, like your brothers. They patrol their borders and protect their tenants, or they go into troubled areas at the king's command and sort them out. They fight in battles, usually against other knights. A hero will work like an everyday knight for a time- it's expected. And most knights must be clever enough to manage alone.'
'We have soldiers,' Raoul continued, raising a third finger. 'Those warriors, including knights, who can manage so long as they're told what to do. These are more common, thank Mithros, and you'll find them in charge of companies in the army, under the eye of a general. Without people who can take orders, we'd be in real trouble.
'Commanders.' He raised his little finger. 'Good ones, people with a knack for it, like, say, the queen, or Buri, or young Dom, they're as rare as heroes. Commanders have an eye not just for what they do, but for what those around them do. Commanders size up people's strengths and weaknesses. They know where someone will shine and where they will collapse. Other warriors will obey a true commander because they can tell that the commander knows what he- or she- is doing.' Raoul picked up a quill and toyed with it. 'You've shown flashes of being a commander. I've seen it. So has Qasim, your friend Neal, even Wyldon, though it would be like pulling teeth to get him to admit it. My job is to see if you will do more than flash, with the right training. The realm needs commanders. Tortall is big. We have too many still-untamed pockets, too curse many hideyholes for rogues, and plenty of hungry enemies to nibble at our borders and our seafaring trade. If you have what it takes, the Crown will use you. We're too desperate for good commanders to let one slip away, even a female one. Now, finish that'- he pointed to the slate- 'and you can stop for tonight.
Tamora Pierce (Squire (Protector of the Small, #3))
It’s loneliness. Even though I’m surrounded by loved ones who care about me and want only the best, it’s possible they try to help only because they feel the same thing—loneliness—and why, in a gesture of solidarity, you’ll find the phrase “I am useful, even if alone” carved in stone. Though the brain says all is well, the soul is lost, confused, doesn’t know why life is being unfair to it. But we still wake up in the morning and take care of our children, our husband, our lover, our boss, our employees, our students, those dozens of people who make an ordinary day come to life. And we often have a smile on our face and a word of encouragement, because no one can explain their loneliness to others, especially when we are always in good company. But this loneliness exists and eats away at the best parts of us because we must use all our energy to appear happy, even though we will never be able to deceive ourselves. But we insist, every morning, on showing only the rose that blooms, and keep the thorny stem that hurts us and makes us bleed hidden within. Even knowing that everyone, at some point, has felt completely and utterly alone, it is humiliating to say, “I’m lonely, I need company. I need to kill this monster that everyone thinks is as imaginary as a fairy-tale dragon, but isn’t.” But it isn’t. I wait for a pure and virtuous knight, in all his glory, to come defeat it and push it into the abyss for good, but that knight never comes. Yet we cannot lose hope. We start doing things we don’t usually do, daring to go beyond what is fair and necessary. The thorns inside us will grow larger and more overwhelming, yet we cannot give up halfway. Everyone is looking to see the final outcome, as though life were a huge game of chess. We pretend it doesn’t matter whether we win or lose, the important thing is to compete. We root for our true feelings to stay opaque and hidden, but then … … instead of looking for companionship, we isolate ourselves even more in order to lick our wounds in silence. Or we go out for dinner or lunch with people who have nothing to do with our lives and spend the whole time talking about things that are of no importance. We even manage to distract ourselves for a while with drink and celebration, but the dragon lives on until the people who are close to us see that something is wrong and begin to blame themselves for not making us happy. They ask what the problem is. We say that everything is fine, but it’s not … Everything is awful. Please, leave me alone, because I have no more tears to cry or heart left to suffer. All I have is insomnia, emptiness, and apathy, and, if you just ask yourselves, you’re feeling the same thing. But they insist that this is just a rough patch or depression because they are afraid to use the real and damning word: loneliness. Meanwhile, we continue to relentlessly pursue the only thing that would make us happy: the knight in shining armor who will slay the dragon, pick the rose, and clip the thorns. Many claim that life is unfair. Others are happy because they believe that this is exactly what we deserve: loneliness, unhappiness. Because we have everything and they don’t. But one day those who are blind begin to see. Those who are sad are comforted. Those who suffer are saved. The knight arrives to rescue us, and life is vindicated once again. Still, you have to lie and cheat, because this time the circumstances are different. Who hasn’t felt the urge to drop everything and go in search of their dream? A dream is always risky, for there is a price to pay. That price is death by stoning in some countries, and in others it could be social ostracism or indifference. But there is always a price to pay. You keep lying and people pretend they still believe, but secretly they are jealous, make comments behind your back, say you’re the very worst, most threatening thing there is. You are not an adulterous man, tolerated and often even admired, but an adulterous woman, one who is ...
Paulo Coelho (Adultery)
The morning you were made to leave
she sat on the front steps,
dress tucked between her thighs,
a packet of Marlboro Lights
near her bare feet, painting her nails
until the polish curdled.
Her mother phoned–
What do you mean he hit you?
Your father hit me all the time
but I never left him.
He pays the bills
and he comes home at night,
what more do you want?
Later that night she picked the polish off
with her front teeth until the bed you shared
for seven years seemed speckled with glitter
On the drive to the hotel, you remember
“the funeral you went to as a little boy,
double burial for a couple who
burned to death in their bedroom.
The wife had been visited
by her husband’s lover,
a young and beautiful woman who paraded
her naked body in the couple’s kitchen,
lifting her dress to expose breasts
mottled with small fleshy marks,
a back sucked and bruised, then dressed herself
and walked out of the front door.
The wife, waiting for her husband to come home,
doused herself in lighter fluid. On his arrival
she jumped on him, wrapping her legs around
his torso. The husband, surprised at her sudden urge,
carried his wife to the bedroom, where
she straddled him on their bed, held his face
against her chest and lit a match.
A young man greets you in the elevator.
He smiles like he has pennies hidden in his cheeks.
You’re looking at his shoes when he says
the rooms in this hotel are sweltering.
Last night in bed I swear I thought
my body was on fire.
Warsan Shire (Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth)
Do you know about the spoons? Because you should. The Spoon Theory was created by a friend of mine, Christine Miserandino, to explain the limits you have when you live with chronic illness. Most healthy people have a seemingly infinite number of spoons at their disposal, each one representing the energy needed to do a task. You get up in the morning. That’s a spoon. You take a shower. That’s a spoon. You work, and play, and clean, and love, and hate, and that’s lots of damn spoons … but if you are young and healthy you still have spoons left over as you fall asleep and wait for the new supply of spoons to be delivered in the morning. But if you are sick or in pain, your exhaustion changes you and the number of spoons you have. Autoimmune disease or chronic pain like I have with my arthritis cuts down on your spoons. Depression or anxiety takes away even more. Maybe you only have six spoons to use that day. Sometimes you have even fewer. And you look at the things you need to do and realize that you don’t have enough spoons to do them all. If you clean the house you won’t have any spoons left to exercise. You can visit a friend but you won’t have enough spoons to drive yourself back home. You can accomplish everything a normal person does for hours but then you hit a wall and fall into bed thinking, “I wish I could stop breathing for an hour because it’s exhausting, all this inhaling and exhaling.” And then your husband sees you lying on the bed and raises his eyebrow seductively and you say, “No. I can’t have sex with you today because there aren’t enough spoons,” and he looks at you strangely because that sounds kinky, and not in a good way. And you know you should explain the Spoon Theory so he won’t get mad but you don’t have the energy to explain properly because you used your last spoon of the morning picking up his dry cleaning so instead you just defensively yell: “I SPENT ALL MY SPOONS ON YOUR LAUNDRY,” and he says, “What the … You can’t pay for dry cleaning with spoons. What is wrong with you?” Now you’re mad because this is his fault too but you’re too tired to fight out loud and so you have the argument in your mind, but it doesn’t go well because you’re too tired to defend yourself even in your head, and the critical internal voices take over and you’re too tired not to believe them. Then you get more depressed and the next day you wake up with even fewer spoons and so you try to make spoons out of caffeine and willpower but that never really works. The only thing that does work is realizing that your lack of spoons is not your fault, and to remind yourself of that fact over and over as you compare your fucked-up life to everyone else’s just-as-fucked-up-but-not-as-noticeably-to-outsiders lives. Really, the only people you should be comparing yourself to would be people who make you feel better by comparison. For instance, people who are in comas, because those people have no spoons at all and you don’t see anyone judging them. Personally, I always compare myself to Galileo because everyone knows he’s fantastic, but he has no spoons at all because he’s dead. So technically I’m better than Galileo because all I’ve done is take a shower and already I’ve accomplished more than him today. If we were having a competition I’d have beaten him in daily accomplishments every damn day of my life. But I’m not gloating because Galileo can’t control his current spoon supply any more than I can, and if Galileo couldn’t figure out how to keep his dwindling spoon supply I think it’s pretty unfair of me to judge myself for mine. I’ve learned to use my spoons wisely. To say no. To push myself, but not too hard. To try to enjoy the amazingness of life while teetering at the edge of terror and fatigue.
Jenny Lawson (Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things)
I’m sorry I had to leave so quickly, but when the Alchemists tell me to jump … well, I jump. I’ve hitched a ride back to that farm town we stayed in so that I can pick up the Red Hurricane, and then I’m off to Saint Petersburg. Apparently, now that you’ve been delivered to Baia, they don’t need me to stick around anymore.
I wish I could tell you more about Abe and what he wants from you. Even if I was allowed to, there isn’t much to say. In some ways, he’s as much a mystery to me as he is to you. Like I said, a lot of the business he deals in is illegal—both among humans and Moroi. The only time he gets directly involved with people is when something relates to that business—or if it’s a very, very special case. I think you’re one of those cases, and even if he doesn’t intend you harm, he might want to use you for his own purposes. It could be as simple as him wanting to contract you as a bodyguard, seeing as you’re rogue. Maybe he wants to use you to get to others. Maybe this is all part of someone else’s plan, someone who’s even more mysterious than him. Maybe he’s doing someone a favor. Zmey can be dangerous or kind, all depending on what he needs to accomplish.
I never thought I’d care enough to say this to a dhampir, but be careful. I don’t know what your plans are now, but I have a feeling trouble follows you around. Call me if there’s anything I can help with, but if you go back to the big cities to hunt Strigoi, don’t leave any more bodies unattended!
All the best,
P.S. “The Red Hurricane” is what I named the car.
P.P.S. Just because I like you, it doesn’t mean I still don’t think you’re an evil creature of the night. You are.
Richelle Mead (Blood Promise (Vampire Academy, #4))
I read the first chapter of A Brief History of Time when Dad was still alive, and I got incredibly heavy boots about how relatively insignificant life is, and how compared to the universe and compared to time, it didn't even matter if I existed at all. When Dad was tucking me in that night and we were talking about the book, I asked if he could think of a solution to that problem. "Which problem?" "The problem of how relatively insignificant we are." He said, "Well, what would happen if a plane dropped you in the middle of the Sahara Desert and you picked up a single grain of sand with tweezers and moved it one millimeter?" I said, "I'd probably die of dehydration." He said, "I just mean right then, when you moved that single grain of sand. What would that mean?" I said, "I dunno, what?" He said, "Think about it." I thought about it. "I guess I would have moved one grain of sand." "Which would mean?" "Which would mean I moved a grain of sand?" "Which would mean you changed the Sahara." "So?" "So? So the Sahara is a vast desert. And it has existed for millions of years. And you changed it!" "That's true!" I said, sitting up. "I changed the Sahara!" "Which means?" he said. "What? Tell me."
"Well I'm not talking about painting the Mona Lisa or curing cancer. I'm just talking about moving that one grain of sand one millimeter." "Yeah? If you hadn't done it, human history would have been one way..." "Uh-huh?" "But you did do it, so...?" I stood on the bed, pointing one of my fingers at the fake stars, and screamed: "I changed the course of human history!" "That's right." "I changed the universe!" "You did." "I'm God!" "You're an atheist." "I don't exist!" I fell back onto the bed, into his arms, and we cracked up together.
Jonathan Safran Foer
-You know how to call me
although such a noise now
would only confuse the air
Neither of us can forget
the steps we danced
the words you stretched
to call me out of dust
Yes I long for you
not just as a leaf for weather
or vase for hands
but with a narrow human longing
that makes a man refuse
any fields but his own
I wait for you at an
unexpected place in your journey
like the rusted key
or the feather you do not pick up.-
-I WILL NEVER FIND THE FACES
FOR ALL GOODBYES I'VE MADE.-
For Anyone Dressed in Marble
The miracle we all are waiting for
is waiting till the Parthenon falls down
and House of Birthdays is a house no more
and fathers are unpoisoned by renown.
The medals and the records of abuse
can't help us on our pilgrimage to lust,
but like whips certain perverts never use,
compel our flesh in paralysing trust.
I see an orphan, lawless and serene,
standing in a corner of the sky,
body something like bodies that have been,
but not the scar of naming in his eye.
Bred close to the ovens, he's burnt inside.
Light, wind, cold, dark -- they use him like a bride.
I Had It for a Moment
I had it for a moment
I knew why I must thank you
I saw powerful governing men in black suits
I saw them undressed
in the arms of young mistresses
the men more naked than the naked women
the men crying quietly
No that is not it
I'm losing why I must thank you
which means I'm left with pure longing
How old are you
Do you like your thighs
I had it for a moment
I had a reason for letting the picture
of your mouth destroy my conversation
Something on the radio
the end of a Mexican song
I saw the musicians getting paid
they are not even surprised
they knew it was only a job
Now I've lost it completely
A lot of people think you are beautiful
How do I feel about that
I have no feeling about that
I had a wonderful reason for not merely
It was tied up with the newspapers
I saw secret arrangements in high offices
I saw men who loved their worldliness
even though they had looked through
big electric telescopes
they still thought their worldliness was serious
not just a hobby a taste a harmless affectation
they thought the cosmos listened
I was suddenly fearful
one of their obscure regulations
could separate us
I was ready to beg for mercy
Now I'm getting into humiliation
I've lost why I began this
I wanted to talk about your eyes
I know nothing about your eyes
and you've noticed how little I know
I want you somewhere safe
far from high offices
I'll study you later
So many people want to cry quietly beside you
Leonard Cohen (Flowers for Hitler)
I would call you by name, but I’m waiting for your mother to decide. I only hope she is joking when she calls you Albert Dalbert.
For weeks now I have watched your mother zealously gather her tokens for this box. She’s so afraid of you not knowing anything about her, and it bothers me greatly that you’ll never know her strength firsthand. I’m sure by the time you read this, you’ll know everything I do about her.
But you’ll never know her for yourself and that pains me most of all. I wish you could see the look on her face whenever she talks to you. The sadness she tries so hard to hide. Every time I see it, it cuts through me.
She love you so much. You’re all she talks about. I have so many orders from her for you. I’m not allowed to make you crazy the way I do your Uncle Chris. I’m not allowed to call the doctors every time you sneeze and you are to be allowed to tussle with your friends without me having a conniption that someone might bruise you.
Nor am I to bully you about getting married or having kids. Ever.
Most of all, you are allowed to pick your own car at sixteen. I’m not supposed to put you in a tank. We’ll see about that one. I refuse to promise her this last item until I know more about you. Not to mention, I’ve seen how other people drive on the roads. So if you have a tank, sorry. There’s only so much changing man my age can do.
I don’t know what our futures will hold. I only hope that when all is said and done, you are more like your mother than you are like me. She’s a good woman. A kind woman. Full of love and compassion even though her life has been hard and full of grief. She bears her scars with a grace, dignity, and humor that I lack.
Most of all, she has courage the likes of which I haven’t witnessed in centuries. I hope with every part of me that you inherit all her best traits and none of my bad ones.
I don’t really know what more to say. I just thought you should have something of me in here too.
Your father (Wulf)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Kiss of the Night (Dark-Hunter, #4))
How To Tell If Somebody Loves You:
Somebody loves you if they pick an eyelash off of your face or wet a napkin and apply it to your dirty skin. You didn’t ask for these things, but this person went ahead and did it anyway. They don’t want to see you looking like a fool with eyelashes and crumbs on your face. They notice these things. They really look at you and are the first to notice if something is amiss with your beautiful visage!
Somebody loves you if they assume the role of caretaker when you’re sick. Unsure if someone really gives a shit about you? Fake a case of food poisoning and text them being like, “Oh, my God, so sick. Need water.” Depending on their response, you’ll know whether or not they REALLY love you. “That’s terrible. Feel better!” earns you a stay in friendship jail; “Do you need anything? I can come over and bring you get well remedies!” gets you a cozy friendship suite. It’s easy to care about someone when they don’t need you. It’s easy to love them when they’re healthy and don’t ask you for anything beyond change for the parking meter. Being sick is different. Being sick means asking someone to hold your hair back when you vomit. Either love me with vomit in my hair or don’t love me at all.
Somebody loves you if they call you out on your bullshit. They’re not passive, they don’t just let you get away with murder. They know you well enough and care about you enough to ask you to chill out, to bust your balls, to tell you to stop. They aren’t passive observers in your life, they are in the trenches. They have an opinion about your decisions and the things you say and do. They want to be a part of it; they want to be a part of you.
Somebody loves you if they don’t mind the quiet. They don’t mind running errands with you or cleaning your apartment while blasting some annoying music. There’s no pressure, no need to fill the silences. You know how with some of your friends there needs to be some sort of activity for you to hang out? You don’t feel comfortable just shooting the shit and watching bad reality TV with them. You need something that will keep the both of you busy to ensure there won’t be a void. That’s not love. That’s “Hey, babe! I like you okay. Do you wanna grab lunch? I think we have enough to talk about to fill two hours!" It’s a damn dream when you find someone you can do nothing with. Whether you’re skydiving together or sitting at home and doing different things, it’s always comfortable. That is fucking love.
Somebody loves you if they want you to be happy, even if that involves something that doesn’t benefit them. They realize the things you need to do in order to be content and come to terms with the fact that it might not include them. Never underestimate the gift of understanding. When there are so many people who are selfish and equate relationships as something that only must make them happy, having someone around who can take their needs out of any given situation if they need to.
Somebody loves you if they can order you food without having to be told what you want. Somebody loves you if they rub your back at any given moment. Somebody loves you if they give you oral sex without expecting anything back. Somebody loves you if they don’t care about your job or how much money you make. It’s a relationship where no one is selling something to the other. No one is the prostitute. Somebody loves you if they’ll watch a movie starring Kate Hudson because you really really want to see it. Somebody loves you if they’re able to create their own separate world with you, away from the internet and your job and family and friends. Just you and them.
Somebody will always love you. If you don’t think this is true, then you’re not paying close enough attention.
Buckley followed the three of them into the kitchen and asked, as he had at least once a day, “Where’s Susie?”
They were silent. Samuel looked at Lindsey.
“Buckley,” my father called from the adjoining room, “come play Monopoly with me.”
My brother had never been invited to play Monopoly. Everyone said he was too young, but this was the magic of Christmas. He rushed into the family room, and my father picked him up and sat him on his lap.
“See this shoe?” my father said.
Buckley nodded his head.
“I want you to listen to everything I say about it, okay?”
“Susie?” my brother asked, somehow connecting the two.
“Yes, I’m going to tell you where Susie is.”
I began to cry up in heaven. What else was there for me to do?
“This shoe was the piece Susie played Monopoly with,” he said. “I play with the car or sometimes the wheelbarrow. Lindsey plays with the iron, and when you mother plays, she likes the cannon.”
“Is that a dog?”
“Yes, that’s a Scottie.”
“Okay,” my father said. He was patient. He had found a way to explain it. He held his son in his lap, and as he spoke, he felt Buckley’s small body on his knee-the very human, very warm, very alive weight of it. It comforted him. “The Scottie will be your piece from now on. Which piece is Susie’s again?”
“The shoe?” Buckley asked.
“Right, and I’m the car, your sister’s the iron, and your mother is the cannon.”
My brother concentrated very hard.
“Now let’s put all the pieces on the board, okay? You go ahead and do it for me.”
Buckley grabbed a fist of pieces and then another, until all the pieces lay between the Chance and Community Chest cards.
“Let’s say the other pieces are our friends?”
“Right, we’ll make your friend Nate the hat. And the board is the world. Now if I were to tell you that when I rolled the dice, one of the pieces would be taken away, what would that mean?”
“They can’t play anymore?”
“Why?” Buckley asked.
He looked up at my father; my father flinched.
“Why?” my brother asked again.
My father did not want to say “because life is unfair” or “because that’s how it is”. He wanted something neat, something that could explain death to a four-year-old He placed his hand on the small of Buckley’s back.
“Susie is dead,” he said now, unable to make it fit in the rules of any game. “Do you know what that means?”
Buckley reached over with his hand and covered the shoe. He looked up to see if his answer was right.
My father nodded. "You won’t see Susie anymore, honey. None of us will.” My father cried. Buckley looked up into the eyes of our father and did not really understand.
Buckley kept the shoe on his dresser, until one day it wasn't there anymore and no amount of looking for it could turn up.
Alice Sebold (The Lovely Bones)
Not long ago, I advertised for perverse rules of grammar, along the lines of "Remember to never split an infinitive" and "The passive voice should never be used." The notion of making a mistake while laying down rules ("Thimk," "We Never Make Misteaks") is highly unoriginal, and it turns out that English teachers have been circulating lists of fumblerules for years. As owner of the world's largest collection, and with thanks to scores of readers, let me pass along a bunch of these never-say-neverisms:
* Avoid run-on sentences they are hard to read.
* Don't use no double negatives.
* Use the semicolon properly, always use it where it is appropriate; and never where it isn't.
* Reserve the apostrophe for it's proper use and omit it when its not needed.
* Do not put statements in the negative form.
* Verbs has to agree with their subjects.
* No sentence fragments.
* Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.
* Avoid commas, that are not necessary.
* If you reread your work, you will find on rereading that a great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.
* A writer must not shift your point of view.
* Eschew dialect, irregardless.
* And don't start a sentence with a conjunction.
* Don't overuse exclamation marks!!!
* Place pronouns as close as possible, especially in long sentences, as of 10 or more words, to their antecedents.
* Writers should always hyphenate between syllables and avoid un-necessary hyph-ens.
* Write all adverbial forms correct.
* Don't use contractions in formal writing.
* Writing carefully, dangling participles must be avoided.
* It is incumbent on us to avoid archaisms.
* If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
* Steer clear of incorrect forms of verbs that have snuck in the language.
* Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixed metaphors.
* Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
* Never, ever use repetitive redundancies.
* Everyone should be careful to use a singular pronoun with singular nouns in their writing.
* If I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times, resist hyperbole.
* Also, avoid awkward or affected alliteration.
* Don't string too many prepositional phrases together unless you are walking through the valley of the shadow of death.
* Always pick on the correct idiom.
* "Avoid overuse of 'quotation "marks."'"
* The adverb always follows the verb.
* Last but not least, avoid cliches like the plague; seek viable alternatives."
(New York Times, November 4, 1979; later also published in book form)
William Safire (Fumblerules: A Lighthearted Guide to Grammar and Good Usage)
I saw a meme the other day with a picture of Marilyn Manson and Robin Williams. It said about the former, this isn’t the face of depression, and about the latter, this is. This really struck a chord and it’s been on my mind since then. As someone who has continuously dipped in and out of chronic depression and anxiety for close to three decades now, and I’ve never previously spoken about the subject, I finally thought it was time I did.
These days it’s trendy for people to think they’re cool and understanding about mental illness, posting memes and such to indicate so. But the reality is far different to that. It seems most people think if they publicly display such understanding then perhaps a friend will come to them, open up, and calmly discuss their problems. This will not happen. For someone in that seemingly hopeless void of depression and anxiety the last thing they are likely to do is acknowledge it, let alone talk about it. Even if broached by a friend they will probably deny there is a problem and feel even more distanced from the rest of the world.
So nobody can do anything to help, right? No. If right now you suspect one of your friends is suffering like this then you’re probably right. If right now you think that none of your friends are suffering like this then you’re probably wrong. By all means make your public affirmations of understanding, but at least take on board that an attempt to connect on this subject by someone you care about could well be cryptic and indirect.
When we hear of celebrities who suffered and finally took their own lives the message tends to be that so many close friends had no idea. This is woeful, but it’s also great, right? Because by not knowing there was a problem there is no burden of responsibility on anyone else. This is another huge misconception, that by acknowledging an indirect attempt to connect on such a complex issue that somehow you are accepting responsibility to fix it. This is not the case. You don’t have to find a solution. Maybe just listen. Many times over the years I’ve seen people recoil when they suspect that perhaps that is the direct a conversation is about to turn, and they desperately scramble for anything that can immediately change the subject. By acknowledging you’ve heard and understood doesn’t mean you are picking up their burden and carrying it for them.
Anyway, I’ve said my piece. And please don’t think this is me reaching out for help. If this was my current mindset the last thing I’d ever do is write something like this, let alone share it.
Live or die, but don't poison everything...
Well, death's been here
for a long time --
it has a hell of a lot
to do with hell
and suspicion of the eye
and the religious objects
and how I mourned them
when they were made obscene
by my dwarf-heart's doodle.
The chief ingredient
And mud, day after day,
mud like a ritual,
and the baby on the platter,
cooked but still human,
cooked also with little maggots,
sewn onto it maybe by somebody's mother,
the damn bitch!
I kept right on going on,
a sort of human statement,
lugging myself as if
I were a sawed-off body
in the trunk, the steamer trunk.
This became perjury of the soul.
It became an outright lie
and even though I dressed the body
it was still naked, still killed.
It was caught
in the first place at birth,
like a fish.
But I play it, dressed it up,
dressed it up like somebody's doll.
Is life something you play?
And all the time wanting to get rid of it?
And further, everyone yelling at you
to shut up. And no wonder!
People don't like to be told
that you're sick
and then be forced
down with the hammer.
Today life opened inside me like an egg
and there inside
after considerable digging
I found the answer.
What a bargain!
There was the sun,
her yolk moving feverishly,
tumbling her prize --
and you realize she does this daily!
I'd known she was a purifier
but I hadn't thought
she was solid,
hadn't known she was an answer.
God! It's a dream,
lovers sprouting in the yard
like celery stalks
a husband straight as a redwood,
two daughters, two sea urchings,
picking roses off my hackles.
If I'm on fire they dance around it
and cook marshmallows.
And if I'm ice
they simply skate on me
in little ballet costumes.
thinking I was a killer,
anointing myself daily
with my little poisons.
I'm an empress.
I wear an apron.
My typewriter writes.
It didn't break the way it warned.
Even crazy, I'm as nice
as a chocolate bar.
Even with the witches' gymnastics
they trust my incalculable city,
my corruptible bed.
O dearest three,
I make a soft reply.
The witch comes on
and you paint her pink.
I come with kisses in my hood
and the sun, the smart one,
rolling in my arms.
So I say Live
and turn my shadow three times round
to feed our puppies as they come,
the eight Dalmatians we didn't drown,
despite the warnings: The abort! The destroy!
Despite the pails of water that waited,
to drown them, to pull them down like stones,
they came, each one headfirst, blowing bubbles the color of cataract-blue
and fumbling for the tiny tits.
Just last week, eight Dalmatians,
3/4 of a lb., lined up like cord wood
I promise to love more if they come,
because in spite of cruelty
and the stuffed railroad cars for the ovens,
I am not what I expected. Not an Eichmann.
The poison just didn't take.
So I won't hang around in my hospital shift,
repeating The Black Mass and all of it.
I say Live, Live because of the sun,
the dream, the excitable gift.
Anne Sexton (The Complete Poems)
Walt Whitman (1819–1892). Leaves of Grass. 1900.
WHOEVER you are, I fear you are walking the walks of dreams,
I fear these supposed realities are to melt from under your feet and hands;
Even now, your features, joys, speech, house, trade, manners, troubles, follies, costume, crimes, dissipate away from you,
Your true Soul and Body appear before me,
They stand forth out of affairs—out of commerce, shops, law, science, work, forms, clothes, the house, medicine, print, buying, selling, eating, drinking, suffering, dying.
Whoever you are, now I place my hand upon you, that you be my poem;
I whisper with my lips close to your ear,
I have loved many women and men, but I love none better than you.
O I have been dilatory and dumb;
I should have made my way straight to you long ago;
I should have blabb’d nothing but you, I should have chanted nothing but you.
I will leave all, and come and make the hymns of you;
None have understood you, but I understand you;
None have done justice to you—you have not done justice to yourself;
None but have found you imperfect—I only find no imperfection in you;
None but would subordinate you—I only am he who will never consent to subordinate you;
I only am he who places over you no master, owner, better, God, beyond what waits intrinsically in yourself.
Painters have painted their swarming groups, and the centre figure of all;
From the head of the centre figure spreading a nimbus of gold-color’d light;
But I paint myriads of heads, but paint no head without its nimbus of gold-color’d light;
From my hand, from the brain of every man and woman it streams, effulgently flowing forever.
O I could sing such grandeurs and glories about you!
You have not known what you are—you have slumber’d upon yourself all your life;
Your eye-lids have been the same as closed most of the time;
What you have done returns already in mockeries;
(Your thrift, knowledge, prayers, if they do not return in mockeries, what is their return?)
The mockeries are not you;
Underneath them, and within them, I see you lurk;
I pursue you where none else has pursued you;
Silence, the desk, the flippant expression, the night, the accustom’d routine, if these conceal you from others, or from yourself, they do not conceal you from me;
The shaved face, the unsteady eye, the impure complexion, if these balk others, they do not balk me,
The pert apparel, the deform’d attitude, drunkenness, greed, premature death, all these I part aside.
There is no endowment in man or woman that is not tallied in you;
There is no virtue, no beauty, in man or woman, but as good is in you;
No pluck, no endurance in others, but as good is in you;
No pleasure waiting for others, but an equal pleasure waits for you.
As for me, I give nothing to any one, except I give the like carefully to you;
I sing the songs of the glory of none, not God, sooner than I sing the songs of the glory of you.
Whoever you are! claim your own at any hazard!
These shows of the east and west are tame, compared to you;
These immense meadows—these interminable rivers—you are immense and interminable as they;
These furies, elements, storms, motions of Nature, throes of apparent dissolution—you are he or she who is master or mistress over them,
Master or mistress in your own right over Nature, elements, pain, passion, dissolution.
The hopples fall from your ankles—you find an unfailing sufficiency;
Old or young, male or female, rude, low, rejected by the rest, whatever you are promulges itself;
Through birth, life, death, burial, the means are provided, nothing is scanted;
Through angers, losses, ambition, ignorance, ennui, what you are picks its way.
It doesn't matter what the manifest problem was in our childhood family. In a home where a child is emotionally deprived for one reason or another that child will take some personal emotional confusion into his or her adult life. We may spin our spiritual wheels in trying to make up for childhood's personal losses, looking for compensation in the wrong places and despairing that we can find it. But the significance of spiritual rebirth through Jesus Christ is that we can mature spiritually under His parenting and receive healing compensation for these childhood deprivations. Three emotions that often grow all out of proportion in the emotionally deprived child are fear, guilt, and anger. The fear grows out of the child's awareness of the uncontrollable nature of her fearful environment, of overwhelming negative forces around her. Her guilt, her profound feelings of inadequacy, intensify when she is unable to put right what is wrong, either in the environment or in another person, no matter how hard she tries to be good. If only she could try harder or be better, she could correct what is wrong, she thinks. She may carry this guilt all her life, not knowing where it comes from, but just always feeling guilty. She often feels too sorry for something she has done that was really not all that serious. Her anger comes from her frustration, perceived deprivation, and the resultant self-pity. She has picked up an anger habit and doesn't know how much trouble it is causing her. A fourth problem often follows in the wake of the big three: the need to control others and manipulate events in order to feel secure in her own world, to hold her world together- to make happen what she wants to happen. She thinks she has to run everything. She may enter adulthood with an illusion of power and a sense of authority to put other people right, though she has had little success with it. She thinks that all she has to do is try harder, be worthier, and then she can change, perfect, and save other people. But she is in the dark about what really needs changing."I thought I would drown in guilt and wanted to fix all the people that I had affected so negatively. But I learned that I had to focus on getting well and leave off trying to cure anyone around me." Many of those around - might indeed get better too, since we seldom see how much we are a key part of a negative relationship pattern. I have learned it is a true principle that I need to fix myself before I can begin to be truly helpful to anyone else. I used to think that if I were worthy enough and worked hard enough, and exercised enough anxiety (which is not the same thing as faith), I could change anything. My power and my control are illusions. To survive emotionally, I have to turn my life over to the care of that tender Heavenly Father who was really in charge. It is my own spiritual superficiality that makes me sick, and that only profound repentance, that real change of heart, would ultimately heal me. My Savior is much closer than I imagine and is willing to take over the direction of my life: "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me, ye can do nothing." (John 15:5). As old foundations crumble, we feel terribly vulnerable. Humility, prayer and flexibility are the keys to passing through this corridor of healthy change while we experiment with truer ways of dealing with life. Godly knowledge, lovingly imparted, begins deep healing, gives tools to live by and new ways to understand the gospel.
M. Catherine Thomas