Powder Room Sayings And Quotes

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When they bombed Hiroshima, the explosion formed a mini-supernova, so every living animal, human or plant that received direct contact with the rays from that sun was instantly turned to ash. And what was left of the city soon followed. The long-lasting damage of nuclear radiation caused an entire city and its population to turn into powder. When I was born, my mom says I looked around the whole hospital room with a stare that said, "This? I've done this before." She says I have old eyes. When my Grandpa Genji died, I was only five years old, but I took my mom by the hand and told her, "Don't worry, he'll come back as a baby." And yet, for someone who's apparently done this already, I still haven't figured anything out yet. My knees still buckle every time I get on a stage. My self-confidence can be measured out in teaspoons mixed into my poetry, and it still always tastes funny in my mouth. But in Hiroshima, some people were wiped clean away, leaving only a wristwatch or a diary page. So no matter that I have inhibitions to fill all my pockets, I keep trying, hoping that one day I'll write a poem I can be proud to let sit in a museum exhibit as the only proof I existed. My parents named me Sarah, which is a biblical name. In the original story God told Sarah she could do something impossible and she laughed, because the first Sarah, she didn't know what to do with impossible. And me? Well, neither do I, but I see the impossible every day. Impossible is trying to connect in this world, trying to hold onto others while things are blowing up around you, knowing that while you're speaking, they aren't just waiting for their turn to talk -- they hear you. They feel exactly what you feel at the same time that you feel it. It's what I strive for every time I open my mouth -- that impossible connection. There's this piece of wall in Hiroshima that was completely burnt black by the radiation. But on the front step, a person who was sitting there blocked the rays from hitting the stone. The only thing left now is a permanent shadow of positive light. After the A bomb, specialists said it would take 75 years for the radiation damaged soil of Hiroshima City to ever grow anything again. But that spring, there were new buds popping up from the earth. When I meet you, in that moment, I'm no longer a part of your future. I start quickly becoming part of your past. But in that instant, I get to share your present. And you, you get to share mine. And that is the greatest present of all. So if you tell me I can do the impossible, I'll probably laugh at you. I don't know if I can change the world yet, because I don't know that much about it -- and I don't know that much about reincarnation either, but if you make me laugh hard enough, sometimes I forget what century I'm in. This isn't my first time here. This isn't my last time here. These aren't the last words I'll share. But just in case, I'm trying my hardest to get it right this time around.
Sarah Kay
It's too early for there to be any coffee. I stare dully at the empty pot in the common room, while Sam picks up a jar of instant grounds. "Don't," I warn him. He scoops up a heaping spoonful and, heedlessly, shovels it into his mouth. It crunches horribly. Then his eyes go wide. "Dry," he croaks. "Tongue...shriveling." I shake my head, picking up the jar. "It's dehydrated. You're supposed to add water. Good thing you're mostly made of water." He tries to say something. Brown powder dusts his shirt. "Also," I tell him, "that's decaf.
Holly Black (Black Heart (Curse Workers, #3))
This was my evening out:bopping back and forth, away from whichever convo made me the most uncomfortable. I walked back to the booth and stood next to Nick.He was leaning forward, listening to what Davis and Gavin were saying. I waited for them to finish. I stood naked beside him-wearing BOY TOY jeans,a long-sleeved shirt,and a short-sleeved PowderRoom.net T-shirt over that, but feeling naked nevertheless-for several long seconds. When he finally noticed me,he looked up quickly like he'd been waiting on edge for my return. He set down his pizza, crumpled his napkin in his hands, and even slid his half-filled plate toward the center of the table like I was the main course now and he was making room for me. "So,Hoyden." I noticed the Christmas lights glinting in his dark hair again, reflecting in his dark eyes. It took me a moment to remember I had something to tell him. Nick had that effect on me. I bent down and cupped my hand around his ear-such an intimate gesture on its own.The coarse strands of his hair brushed my fingers as I whispered, "Chloe and Liz think we need to make out." I jumped away at his sudden movement. He leaped up from the table and grabbed my hand. "I'll get my coat.
Jennifer Echols (The Ex Games)
He is stark mad, whoever says, That he hath been in love an hour, Yet not that love so soon decays, But that it can ten in less space devour ; Who will believe me, if I swear That I have had the plague a year? Who would not laugh at me, if I should say I saw a flash of powder burn a day? Ah, what a trifle is a heart, If once into love's hands it come ! All other griefs allow a part To other griefs, and ask themselves but some ; They come to us, but us love draws ; He swallows us and never chaws ; By him, as by chain'd shot, whole ranks do die ; He is the tyrant pike, our hearts the fry. If 'twere not so, what did become Of my heart when I first saw thee? I brought a heart into the room, But from the room I carried none with me. If it had gone to thee, I know Mine would have taught thine heart to show More pity unto me ; but Love, alas ! At one first blow did shiver it as glass. Yet nothing can to nothing fall, Nor any place be empty quite ; Therefore I think my breast hath all Those pieces still, though they be not unite ; And now, as broken glasses show A hundred lesser faces, so My rags of heart can like, wish, and adore, But after one such love, can love no more.
John Donne (The Complete Poetry and Selected Prose)
if they label you soft, feather weight and white-livered, if the locker room tosses back its sweaty head, and laughs at how quiet your hands stay, if they come to trample the dandelions roaring in your throat, you tell them that you were forged inside of a woman who had to survive fifteen different species of disaster to bring you here, and you didn’t come to piss on trees. you ain’t nobody’s thick-necked pitbull boy, don’t need to prove yourself worthy of this inheritance of street-corner logic, this blood legend, this index of catcalls, “three hundred ways to turn a woman into a three course meal”, this legacy of shame, and man, and pillage, and man, and rape, and man. you boy. you won’t be some girl’s slit wrists dazzling the bathtub, won’t be some girl’s, “i didn’t ask for it but he gave it to me anyway”, the torn skirt panting behind the bedroom door, some father’s excuse to polish his gun. if they say, “take what you want”, you tell them you already have everything you need; you come from scabbed knuckles and women who never stopped swinging, you come men who drank away their life savings, and men who raised daughters alone. you come from love you gotta put your back into, elbow-grease loving like slow-dancing on dirty linoleum, you come from that house of worship. boy, i dare you to hold something like that. love whatever feels most like your grandmother’s cooking. love whatever music looks best on your feet. whatever woman beckons your blood to the boiling point, you treat her like she is the god of your pulse, you treat her like you would want your father to treat me: i dare you to be that much man one day. that you would give up your seat on the train to the invisible women, juggling babies and groceries. that you would hold doors, and say thank-you, and understand that women know they are beautiful without you having to yell it at them from across the street. the day i hear you call a woman a “bitch” is the day i dig my own grave. see how you feel writing that eulogy. and if you are ever left with your love’s skin trembling under your nails, if there is ever a powder-blue heart left for dead on your doorstep, and too many places in this city that remind you of her tears, be gentle when you drape the remains of your lives in burial cloth. don’t think yourself mighty enough to turn her into a poem, or a song, or some other sweetness to soften the blow, boy, i dare you to break like that. you look too much like your mother not t
Eboni Hogan
But Winifred had insisted on these outfits. She said I'd need to dress the part, no matter what my deficiencies, which should never be admitted by me. "Say you have a headache," she told me. "It's always an acceptable excuse." She told me many other things as well. "It's all right to show boredom," she said. "Just never show fear. They'll smell it on you, like sharks, and come in for the kill. You can look at the edge of the table - it lowers your eyelids - but never look at the floor, it makes your neck look weak. Don't stand up straight, you're not a soldier. Never cringe. If someone makes a remark that's insulting to you, say Excuse me? as if you haven't heard; nine times out of ten they won't have the face to repeat it. Never raise your voice to a waiter, its vulgar. Make them bend down, it's what they're for. Don't fidget with your gloves or your hair. Always look as if you have something better to do, but never show impatience. When in doubt, go to the powder room, but go slowly. Grace comes from indifference." Such were her sermons. I have to admit, despite my loathing of her, that they have proved to be of considerable value in my life.
Margaret Atwood (The Blind Assassin)
Normally, Bentner would have beamed approvingly at the pretty portrait the girls made, but this morning, as he put out butter and jam, he had grim news to impart and a confession to make. As he swept the cover off the scones he gave his news and made his confession. “We had a guest last night,” he told Elizabeth. “I slammed the door on him.” “Who was it?” “A Mr. Ian Thornton.” Elizabeth stifled a horrified chuckle at the image that called to mind, but before she could comment Bentner said fiercely, “I regretted my actions afterward! I should have invited him inside, offered him refreshment, and slipped some of that purgative powder into his drink. He’d have had a bellyache that lasted a month!” “Bentner,” Alex sputtered, “you are a treasure!” “Do not encourage him in these fantasies,” Elizabeth warned wryly. “Bentner is so addicted to mystery novels that he occasionally forgets that what one does in a novel cannot always be done in real life. He actually did a similar thing to my uncle last year.” “Yes, and he didn’t return for six months,” Bentner told Alex proudly. “And when he does come,” Elizabeth reminded him with a frown to sound severe, “he refuses to eat or drink anything.” “Which is why he never stays long,” Bentner countered, undaunted. As was his habit whenever his mistress’s future was being discussed, as it was now, Bentner hung about to make suggestions as they occurred to him. Since Elizabeth had always seemed to appreciate his advice and assistance, he found nothing odd about a butler sitting down at the table and contributing to the conversation when the only guest was someone he’d known since she was a girl. “It’s that odious Belhaven we have to rid you of first,” Alexandra said, returning to their earlier conversation. “He hung about last night, glowering at anyone who might have approached you.” She shuddered. “And the way he ogles you. It’s revolting. It’s worse than that; he’s almost frightening.” Bentner heard that, and his elderly eyes grew thoughtful as he recalled something he’d read about in one of his novels. “As a solution it is a trifle extreme,” he said, “but as a last resort it could work.” Two pairs of eyes turned to him with interest, and he continued, “I read it in The Nefarious Gentleman. We would have Aaron abduct this Belhaven in our carriage and bring him straightaway to the docks, where we’ll sell him to the press gangs.” Shaking her head in amused affection, Elizabeth said, “I daresay he wouldn’t just meekly go along with Aaron.” “And I don’t think,” Alex added, her smiling gaze meeting Elizabeth’s, “a press gang would take him. They’re not that desperate.” “There’s always black magic,” Bentner continued. “In Deathly Endeavors there was a perpetrator of ancient rites who cast an evil spell. We would require some rats’ tails, as I recall, and tongues of-“ “No,” Elizabeth said with finality. “-lizards,” Bentner finished determinedly. “Absolutely not,” his mistress returned. “And fresh toad old, but procuring that might be tricky. The novel didn’t say how to tell fresh from-“ “Bentner!” Elizabeth exclaimed, laughing. “You’ll cast us all into a swoon if you don’t desist at once.” When Bentner had padded away to seek privacy for further contemplation of solutions, Elizabeth looked at Alex. “Rats’ tails and lizards’ tongues,” she said, chuckling. “No wonder Bentner insists on having a lighted candle in his room all night.” “He must be afraid to close his eyes after reading such things,” Alex agreed.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
I still have no choice but to bring out Minerva instead.” “But Minerva doesn’t care about men,” young Charlotte said helpfully. “She prefers dirt and rocks.” “It’s called geology,” Minerva said. “It’s a science.” “It’s certain spinsterhood, is what it is! Unnatural girl. Do sit straight in your chair, at least.” Mrs. Highwood sighed and fanned harder. To Susanna, she said, “I despair of her, truly. This is why Diana must get well, you see. Can you imagine Minerva in Society?” Susanna bit back a smile, all too easily imagining the scene. It would probably resemble her own debut. Like Minerva, she had been absorbed in unladylike pursuits, and the object of her female relations’ oft-voiced despair. At balls, she’d been that freckled Amazon in the corner, who would have been all too happy to blend into the wallpaper, if only her hair color would have allowed it. As for the gentlemen she’d met…not a one of them had managed to sweep her off her feet. To be fair, none of them had tried very hard. She shrugged off the awkward memories. That time was behind her now. Mrs. Highwood’s gaze fell on a book at the corner of the table. “I am gratified to see you keep Mrs. Worthington close at hand.” “Oh yes,” Susanna replied, reaching for the blue, leatherbound tome. “You’ll find copies of Mrs. Worthington’s Wisdom scattered everywhere throughout the village. We find it a very useful book.” “Hear that, Minerva? You would do well to learn it by heart.” When Minerva rolled her eyes, Mrs. Highwood said, “Charlotte, open it now. Read aloud the beginning of Chapter Twelve.” Charlotte reached for the book and opened it, then cleared her throat and read aloud in a dramatic voice. “’Chapter Twelve. The perils of excessive education. A young lady’s intellect should be in all ways like her undergarments. Present, pristine, and imperceptible to the casual observer.’” Mrs. Highwood harrumphed. “Yes. Just so. Hear and believe it, Minerva. Hear and believe every word. As Miss Finch says, you will find that book very useful.” Susanna took a leisurely sip of tea, swallowing with it a bitter lump of indignation. She wasn’t an angry or resentful person, as a matter of course. But once provoked, her passions required formidable effort to conceal. That book provoked her, no end. Mrs. Worthington’s Wisdom for Young Ladies was the bane of sensible girls the world over, crammed with insipid, damaging advice on every page. Susanna could have gleefully crushed its pages to powder with a mortar and pestle, labeled the vial with a skull and crossbones, and placed it on the highest shelf in her stillroom, right beside the dried foxglove leaves and deadly nightshade berries. Instead, she’d made it her mission to remove as many copies as possible from circulation. A sort of quarantine. Former residents of the Queen’s Ruby sent the books from all corners of England. One couldn’t enter a room in Spindle Cove without finding a copy or three of Mrs. Worthington’s Wisdom. And just as Susanna had told Mrs. Highwood, they found the book very useful indeed. It was the perfect size for propping a window open. It also made an excellent doorstop or paperweight. Susanna used her personal copies for pressing herbs. Or occasionally, for target practice. She motioned to Charlotte. “May I?” Taking the volume from the girl’s grip, she raised the book high. Then, with a brisk thwack, she used it to crush a bothersome gnat. With a calm smile, she placed the book on a side table. “Very useful indeed.
Tessa Dare (A Night to Surrender (Spindle Cove, #1))
You will need to increase the number of eggs and liquid when using coconut flour. The general ratio rule I follow is 1/2 cup (60 g) coconut flour plus 5 eggs plus 1/2 cup (120 ml) coconut milk (or other liquid). This ratio will vary depending on the other ingredients in the recipe; for example, if the recipe calls for mashed bananas, the bananas will add extra moisture to the batter, so you’ll need to reduce another liquid, say coconut milk, by 1/4 cup (60 ml). And if I’m adding cacao powder to a recipe, I usually adjust the flour down a little or increase the liquid slightly because cacao powder also absorbs moisture. Break Up Lumps. Coconut flour tends to be clumpy, so sifting the flour before mixing it into a recipe will help you avoid finding clumps in your baked goods. I tend to place my batters in a food processor, which helps break down the clumps without having to sift the flour. Store It Dry. Coconut flour is best if stored at room temperature in your pantry.
Heather Connell (Paleo Sweets and Treats: Seasonally Inspired Desserts that Let You Have Your Cake and Your Paleo Lifestyle, Too)
injured her ankle during the first week of physical training so that had been the end of her WAAF career. Now Susan extricated her arm from the blanket and glanced at her wristwatch. ‘The NAAFI should be open any time now for some cocoa and supper,’ she commented as Livvy rose to throw some more wood onto the stove that stood in the middle of the room. It was a temperamental thing, often throwing out more smoke than heat. ‘Ouch!’ Livvy cried as she opened the door and it spat at her. ‘I swear this ruddy thing waits for me to do that!’ She hastily threw the log she was holding in and slammed the door shut, causing smoke to billow into the hut and make them all cough. Amanda quickly took out her compact and applied lipstick and powder to her nose, then fluffing her hair up she asked, ‘So who’s coming then?’ As they had all discovered, Amanda hated being seen without her make-up, whereas the rest of them were usually bundled up in layers of clothing just intent on keeping as warm as they could with no thought to how they looked. They all rose and when Nell opened the door a gust of snow blew in at them. ‘Ugh! Bloody weather,’ Susan grumbled as they stepped out into the raging blizzard. ‘Perhaps we should have put the kettle on the stove and made our own drinks tonight!’ ‘Ah, but some of those handsome RAF chaps could be in,’ Amanda pointed out. The RAF base was not far from theirs and when the pilots weren’t flying they often used the NAAFI for a meal. Susan and Livvy exchanged an amused glance, then, heads bent, they picked their way through the deepening snow and just for a moment Livvy thought of the warm, cosy little kitchen back at the lodge. In the very kitchen that Livvy was thinking of, Sunday was just opening the door to John, who had popped in to check that all was well. Their relationship had undergone a subtle change since he had made the unexpected proposal. For a time, they had lost their easy relationship and she had felt slightly embarrassed when in his company and had stopped visiting Treetops as frequently as she had previously. But since the departure of Giles and Livvy they were becoming closer again, finding comfort in each other’s company. ‘How are you all?’ he asked as Sunday quickly closed the door behind him and he stamped the snow from his boots. Already his coat was beginning to steam in the warm atmosphere, and she smiled as she ushered him to the fireside chair and hurried off to set the kettle on the range. ‘We’re fine. Kathy is upstairs getting the twins to sleep.’ Without asking she spooned tea leaves into the pot from the caddy and lifted down two cups
Rosie Goodwin (Time to Say Goodbye)
Did you do it?” “Did I... did I do what?” The fury in his eyes drained the blood from her face.  His jaw ticked. “Were you or were you not involved in the theft of the powder from the magazine?” Her lungs started a desperate quest for air. What could she say? The ugly truth must be exposed, but didn’t he already know? Nathaniel stepped closer. “Deny it. I must hear you deny it.” Thomas neared, his own tone heavy. “What is he speaking of, Kitty?” Eliza came to stand behind Kitty and held her shoulders. “Nathaniel, come now, you know she would never do any such thing.” Kitty reached out to grip the chair beside her as the room wavered. Dear Lord, give me strength! Nathaniel stepped closer, looming only inches from her, his hazel eyes now darker than night. “Say it!” “’Tis not what you think Nathaniel, if you’ll only let me explain!” Nathaniel’s face contorted and he stepped back as if she were riddled with pox. The anger in his soft tone ripped the strength from her legs and she clutched the chair to stay erect. “You knew full well our desperation to keep the powder out of enemy hands and now I discover you were complicit!” “Nay!”  “You are the enemy, Kitty.” “Nay!” She lunged forward, choking on her tears. “Nathaniel please, I didn’t have a choice! If you will listen—” “Enough!” A crack of thunder shook the house as he stormed to the door.  Kitty stumbled forward. “Wait!” She gripped his arm, her limbs unstable under the weight of his deadly glare. “Nathaniel, listen to me. This note was bound for Plymouth. James gave it to Henry, but he dropped it and I—” “I refuse to listen to your lies.
Amber Lynn Perry (So True a Love (Daughters of His Kingdom #2))
A locker in the first-class writing room containing, among other things, spare jackets for the stewards and waiters, was a perfect site for an incendiary bomb. The locker was immediately below the false ceiling to which the line-throwing Lyle gun and twenty-five pounds of dangerous explosives had been moved. Rogers himself had watched the seamen dump gun and powder barrel into the space between the false ceiling and the deck. The gunpowder would make a perfect trailer. Another trailer was even closer at hand. Near the radio room were two gasoline tanks, used to run the transmitting equipment. It would be a simple matter to uncouple the feed line, allowing the gas to trickle down the deck. Night watchman Arthur Pender, who passed only a few feet from the tanks, smelled a strong odor of gasoline, which he did not report to the bridge, thinking the smell must be the result of late cleaning on the eve of the ship’s arrival in port. If Pender had reported it, even a cursory investigation might have revealed the preparations for sabotage. But he did not. In his investigations Captain George Seeth—who knew well both the Morro Castle and Rogers—suggested how Rogers probably placed his bomb: “Nobody would be surprised to see a radio officer in the writing room. Rogers or one of his staff frequently took messages to passengers, and walking through the writing room was a short cut from their shack. “Again, nobody would have been surprised if Rogers had gone to the locker itself. He would have had a ready excuse to say he was looking for a piece of paper to scribble down a message a passenger had just given him for transmission.
Gordon Thomas (Shipwreck: The Strange Fate of the Morro Castle)
The seamen who dumped gun and powder barrel into the hiding place Hackney had found carried the apparatus past the wireless room. When Chief Radio Officer George Rogers stopped them to ask what they were doing, they told him the purpose of their mission. He expressed interest, saying he never knew the space existed.
Gordon Thomas (Shipwreck: The Strange Fate of the Morro Castle)
Listen. The Sinspire is nearly sixty yards high, one thick Elderglass cylinder. You know those, you tried to jump off one about two months ago. Goes down another hundred feet or so into a glass hill. It’s got one door at street level, and exactly one door into the vault beneath the tower. One. No secrets, no side entrances. The ground is pristine Elderglass; no tunneling through it, not in a thousand years.” “Mmmm-hmmmm.” “Requin’s got at least four dozen attendants on each floor at any given time, plus dozens of table minders, card dealers, and waiters. There’s a lounge on the third floor where he keeps more out of sight. So figure, at minimum, fifty or sixty loyal workers on duty with another twenty to thirty he can call out. Lots of nasty brutes, too. He likes to recruit from ex-soldiers, mercenaries, city thieves, and such. He gives cushy positions to his Right People for jobs well done, and he pays them like he was their doting mother. Plus, there are stories of dealers getting a year’s wages in tips from lucky blue bloods in just a night or two. Bribery won’t be likely to work on anyone.” “Mmmm-hmmmm.” “He’s got three layers of vault doors, all of them ironshod witchwood, three or four inches thick. Last set of doors is supposedly backed with blackened steel, so even if you had a week to chop through the other two, you’d never get past the third. All of them have clockwork mechanisms, the best and most expensive Verrari stuff, private designs from masters of the Artificers’ Guild. The standing orders are, not one set of doors opens unless he’s there himself to see it; he watches every deposit and every withdrawal. Opens the door a couple times per day at most. Behind the first set of doors are four to eight guards, in rooms with cots, food, and water. They can hold out there for a week under siege.” “Mmmm-hmmmm.” “The inner sets of doors don’t open except for a key he keeps around his neck. The outer doors won’t open except for a key he always gives to his majordomo. So you’d need both to get anywhere.” “Mmmm-hmmmm.” “And the traps…they’re demented, or at least the rumors are. Pressure plates, counterweights, crossbows in the walls and ceilings. Contact poisons, sprays of acid, chambers full of venomous serpents or spiders…One fellow even said that there’s a chamber before the last door that fills up with a cloud of powdered strangler’s orchid petals, and while you’re choking to death on that, a bit of twistmatch falls out and lights the whole mess on fire, so then you burn to a crisp. Insult to injury.” “Mmmm-hmmmm.” “Worst of all, the inner vault is guarded by a live dragon attended by fifty naked women armed with poison spears, each of them sworn to die in Requin’s service. All redheads.” “You’re making that up, Jean.” “I wanted to see if you were listening. But what I’m saying is, I don’t care if he’s got a million solari in there, packed in bags for easy hauling. I’m inclined to the idea that this vault might not be breakable, not unless you’ve got three hundred soldiers, six or seven wagons, and a team of master clockwork artificers you’re not telling me about.” “Right.” “Do you have three hundred soldiers, six or seven wagons, and a team of master clockwork artificers you’re not telling me about?” “No, I’ve got you, me, the contents of our coin purses, this carriage, and a deck of cards.
Scott Lynch (Red Seas Under Red Skies (Gentleman Bastard, #2))
In the usual iconography of the temple or the local Wok you would never see him doing such a thing, tossing the dry snow over the mountain of his bare, round shoulder, his hair tied in a knot, a model of concentration. Sitting is more his speed, if that is the word for what he does, or does not do. Even the season is wrong for him. In all his manifestations, is it not warm and slightly humid? Is this not implied by his serene expression, that smile so wide it wraps itself around the waist of the universe? But here we are, working our way down the driveway. one shovelful at a time. We toss the light powder into the clean air. We feel the cold most on our faces. And with every heave we disappear and become lost to each other in these sudden clouds of our own making, these fountain-bursts of snow. This is so much better than a sermon in church, I say out loud, bud Buddha keeps on shoveling. This is the true religion, the religion of snow, and sunlight and winter geese barking in the sky, I say, but he is too busy to hear me He has thrown himself into shoveling snow as if it were the purpose of existence, as if the sign of a perfect life were a clear driveway you could back the car down easily and drive off into the vanities of the world with a broken heater fan and a song on the radio. All morning long we work side by side, me with my commentary and he is inside the generous pocket of his silence, until the house is nearly noon and the snow is piled high all around us; then, I hear him speak. After this, he asks, can we go inside and play cards? Certainly, I reply, and I will heat some milk and bring cups of hot chlorate to the table while you shuffle the deck, and our boots stand dripping by the door. Aaah, says the Buddha, lifting his eyes and leaning for a moment on his shovel before he drives the fun blade again deep into the glittering white snow.
Billy Collins (Sailing Alone Around the Room: New and Selected Poems)
The Mike Douglas Show wasn’t the only place to find colored people on television. Each week, Jet magazine pointed out all the shows with colored people. My sisters and I became expert colored counters. We had it down to a science. Not only did we count how many colored people were on TV, we also counted the number of words the actors were given to say. For instance, it was easy to count the number of words the Negro engineer on Mission Impossible spoke as well as the black POW on Hogan’s Heroes. Sometimes the black POW didn’t have any words to say, so we scored him a “1” for being there. We counted how many times Lieutenant Uhuru hailed the frequency on Star Trek. We’d even take turns being her, although Big Ma would have never let us wear a minidress or space boots. But then there was I Spy. All three of us together couldn’t count every word Bill Cosby said. And then there was a new show, Julia, coming in September, starring Diahann Carroll. We agreed to shout out “Black Infinity!” when Julia came on because each episode would be all about her character. We didn’t just count the shows. We counted the commercials as well. We’d run into the TV room in time to catch the commercials with colored people using deodorant, shaving cream, and wash powder. There was a little colored girl on our favorite commercial who looked just like Fern. In fact, I said that little girl could have been Fern, which made Vonetta jealous. In the commercial, the little girl took a bite of buttered bread and said, “Gee, Ma. This is the best butter I ever ate.” Then we’d say it the way she did, in her dead, expressionless voice; and we’d outdo ourselves trying to say it with the right amount of deadness. We figured that that was how the commercial people told her to say it. Not too colored. Then we’d get silly and say it every kind of colored way we knew how.
Rita Williams-Garcia (One Crazy Summer (Gaither Sisters, #1))