Six The Musical Quotes

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Music is never about music. If it was, we'd be writing songs about guitars. But we don't. We write songs about women. Women will crush you, you know? I suppose everybody hurts everybody, but women always seem to get back up, you ever notice that? Women are always still standing.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (Daisy Jones & The Six)
It is what I have always loved about music. Not the sounds or the crowds or the good times as much as the words -- the emotions, the stories, the truth -- that you can let flow right out of your mouth. Music can dig, you know? It can take a shovel to your chest and just start digging until you hit something.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (Daisy Jones & The Six)
What do you like?" "Music. Numbers. Equations. They're not like words. They ... they don't get mixed up." "If only you could talk to girls in equations." There was a long silence, and then, eyes trained on the notch they'd created in the link, Wylan said, "Just girls?" Jesper restrained a grin. "No. Not just girls." It really was a shame they were all probably going to die tonight.
Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1))
What do you like?' 'Music. Numbers. Equations. They're not like words. They...they don't get mixed up.' 'If only you could talk to girls in equations.' There was a long silence, and then, eyes trained on the notch they'd created in the link, Wylan said, 'Just girls?' Jesper restrained a grin. 'No, not just girls.
Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1))
Why do anything-- why wash my hair, why read Moby Dick, why fall in love, why sit through six hours of Nicholas Nickleby, why care about American intervention in Central America, why spend time trying to get into the right schools, why dance to the music when all of us are just slouching toward the same inevitable conclusion? The shortness of life, I keep saying, makes everything seem pointless when I think about the longness of death.
Elizabeth Wurtzel (Prozac Nation)
Strange memories on this nervous night in Las Vegas. Five years later? Six? It seems like a lifetime, or at least a Main Era—the kind of peak that never comes again. San Francisco in the middle sixties was a very special time and place to be a part of. Maybe it meant something. Maybe not, in the long run . . . but no explanation, no mix of words or music or memories can touch that sense of knowing that you were there and alive in that corner of time and the world. Whatever it meant. . . . History is hard to know, because of all the hired bullshit, but even without being sure of “history” it seems entirely reasonable to think that every now and then the energy of a whole generation comes to a head in a long fine flash, for reasons that nobody really understands at the time—and which never explain, in retrospect, what actually happened. My central memory of that time seems to hang on one or five or maybe forty nights—or very early mornings—when I left the Fillmore half-crazy and, instead of going home, aimed the big 650 Lightning across the Bay Bridge at a hundred miles an hour wearing L. L. Bean shorts and a Butte sheepherder's jacket . . . booming through the Treasure Island tunnel at the lights of Oakland and Berkeley and Richmond, not quite sure which turn-off to take when I got to the other end (always stalling at the toll-gate, too twisted to find neutral while I fumbled for change) . . . but being absolutely certain that no matter which way I went I would come to a place where people were just as high and wild as I was: No doubt at all about that. . . . There was madness in any direction, at any hour. If not across the Bay, then up the Golden Gate or down 101 to Los Altos or La Honda. . . . You could strike sparks anywhere. There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, that we were winning. . . . And that, I think, was the handle—that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn’t need that. Our energy would simply prevail. There was no point in fighting—on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave. . . . So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark—that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.
Hunter S. Thompson (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas)
I am part of a light, and it is the music. The Light fills my six senses: I see it, hear, feel, smell, touch and think. Thinking of it means my sixth sense. Particles of Light are written note. O bolt of lightning can be an entire sonata. A thousand balls of lightening is a concert.. For this concert I have created a Ball Lightning, which can be heard on the icy peaks of the Himalayas.
Nikola Tesla
When my son, James, was doing homework for school, he would have five or six windows open on his computer, Instant Messenger was flashing continuously, his cell phone was constantly ringing, and he was downloading music and watching the TV over his shoulder. I don’t know if he was doing any homework, but he was running an empire as far as I could see, so I didn’t really care.
Ken Robinson (The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything)
Sometimes, the Angel [of Music] leans over the cradle... and that is how there are little prodigies who play the fiddle at six better than men of fifty, which, you must admit is very wonderful. Sometimes, the Angel comes much later, because the children are naughty and won't learn their lessons or practice their scales. And sometimes, he does not come at all, because the children have a wicked heart or a bad conscience.
Gaston Leroux (The Phantom of the Opera)
Breakfast is the only meal of the day that I tend to view with the same kind of traditionalized reverence that most people associate with Lunch and Dinner. I like to eat breakfast alone, and almost never before noon; anybody with a terminally jangled lifestyle needs at least one psychic anchor every twenty-four hours, and mine is breakfast. In Hong Kong, Dallas or at home — and regardless of whether or not I have been to bed — breakfast is a personal ritual that can only be properly observed alone, and in a spirit of genuine excess. The food factor should always be massive: four Bloody Marys, two grapefruits, a pot of coffee, Rangoon crepes, a half-pound of either sausage, bacon, or corned beef hash with diced chiles, a Spanish omelette or eggs Benedict, a quart of milk, a chopped lemon for random seasoning, and something like a slice of Key lime pie, two margaritas, and six lines of the best cocaine for dessert… Right, and there should also be two or three newspapers, all mail and messages, a telephone, a notebook for planning the next twenty-four hours and at least one source of good music… All of which should be dealt with outside, in the warmth of a hot sun, and preferably stone naked.
Hunter S. Thompson
I have a good ear for music, just like Van Gogh had a good ear for art.
Jarod Kintz (How to construct a coffin with six karate chops)
It is what I have always loved about music. Not the sounds or the crowds or the good times as much as the words- the emotions, and the stories, the truth- that you can let flow right out of your mouth.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (Daisy Jones & The Six)
I don't like the idea of killing people, either. I don't even like chemistry." "What do you like?" "Music. Numbers. Equations. They're not like words. They ... they don't get mixed up." "If only you could talk to girls in equations." There was a long silence, and then, eyes trained on the notch they'd created in the link, Wylan said, "Just girls?" Jesper restrained a grin. "No. Not just girls." It really was a shame they were all probably going to die tonight.
Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1))
Art doesn't owe anything to anyone.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (Daisy Jones & The Six)
The sky isn’t more beautiful if you have perfect skin. Music doesn’t sound more interesting if you have a six-pack. Dogs aren’t better company if you’re famous. P izza tastes good regardless of your job title. The best of life exists beyond the things we are encouraged to crave.
Matt Haig (The Comfort Book)
Music can dig, you know? It can take a shovel to your chest and just start digging until it hits something.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (Daisy Jones & The Six)
It is what I have always loved about music. Not the sounds of the crowds or the good times as much as the words - the emotions, and the stories, the truth- that you can let flow right out of your mouth. Music can dig, you know? It can take a shovel to your chest and just start digging until it hits something.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (Daisy Jones & The Six)
Music, numbers, equations... they're not like words. They don't get messed up.
Leigh Bardugo
Once there was a boy,” said Jace. Clary interrupted immediately. “A Shadowhunter boy?” “Of course.” For a moment a bleak amusement colored his voice. Then it was gone. “When the boy was six years old, his father gave him a falcon to train. Falcons are raptors – killing birds, his father told him, the Shadowhunters of the sky. “The falcon didn’t like the boy, and the boy didn’t like it, either. Its sharp beak made him nervous, and its bright eyes always seemed to be watching him. It would slash at him with beak and talons when he came near: For weeks his wrists and hands were always bleeding. He didn’t know it, but his father had selected a falcon that had lived in the wild for over a year, and thus was nearly impossible to tame. But the boy tried, because his father told him to make the falcon obedient, and he wanted to please his father. “He stayed with the falcon constantly, keeping it awake by talking to it and even playing music to it, because a tired bird was meant to be easier to tame. He learned the equipment: the jesses, the hood, the brail, the leash that bound the bird to his wrist. He was meant to keep the falcon blind, but he couldn’t bring himself to do it – instead he tried to sit where the bird could see him as he touched and stroked its wings, willing it to trust him. Hee fed it from his hand, and at first it would not eat. Later it ate so savagely that its beak cut the skin of his palm. But the boy was glad, because it was progress, and because he wanted the bird to know him, even if the bird had to consume his blood to make that happen. “He began to see that the falcon was beautiful, that its slim wings were built for the speed of flight, that it was strong and swift, fierce and gentle. When it dived to the ground, it moved like likght. When it learned to circle and come to his wrist, he neary shouted with delight Sometimes the bird would hope to his shoulder and put its beak in his hair. He knew his falcon loved him, and when he was certain it was not just tamed but perfectly tamed, he went to his father and showed him what he had done, expecting him to be proud. “Instead his father took the bird, now tame and trusting, in his hands and broke its neck. ‘I told you to make it obedient,’ his father said, and dropped the falcon’s lifeless body to the ground. ‘Instead, you taught it to love you. Falcons are not meant to be loving pets: They are fierce and wild, savage and cruel. This bird was not tamed; it was broken.’ “Later, when his father left him, the boy cried over his pet, until eventually his father sent a servant to take the body of the bird away and bury it. The boy never cried again, and he never forgot what he’d learned: that to love is to destroy, and that to be loved is to be the one destroyed.
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
What an unfortunate instrument the guitar is! An instrument of such great nobility, a genuine monarch of music-- reduced to a pitiful lump of wood with six strings, constantly abused by people with no ear and no voice.
Sergei Lukyanenko (Day Watch (Watch, #2))
Ron told Pippa that during the six years he had spent on the book, Valerie Chernow had developed a powerful identification with Hamilton’s wife. “She used to say, ‘Eliza is like me: She’s good, she’s true, she’s loyal, she’s not ambitious.’ There was a purity and a goodness about the character, and that was like Valerie,” he says. In 2006, after 27 years of marriage, Valerie passed away. For her gravestone, Ron chose a line from the letter that Hamilton wrote to Eliza on the night before the duel: “Best of wives and best of women.
Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton: The Revolution)
He was a six and a half foot scowl. (on Rachmaninov)
Igor Stravinsky
It is amazing to me," said Bingley, "How young ladies can have patience to be so very accomplished as they all are." "All young ladies accomplished? My dear Charles, what do you mean?" "Yes, all of them, I think. They all paint tables, cover screens and net purses. I scarcely know any one who cannot do all this, and I am sure I never heard a young lady spoken of for the first time without being informed that she was very accomplished." "Your list of the common extent of accomplishments," said Darcy, "has too much truth. The word is applied to many a woman who deserves it no otherwise than by netting a purse or covering a screen. But I am very far from agreeing with you in your estimation of ladies in general. I cannot boast of knowing more than half a dozen, in the whole range of my acquaintance, that are really accomplished." "Nor I, I am sure." said Miss Bingley. "Then," observed Elizabeth, "you must comprehend a great deal in your idea of an accomplished woman." "Yes, I do comprehend a great deal in it." "Oh! certainly," cried his faithful assistant, "no one can really be esteemed accomplished who does not greatly surpass knowledge of music, singing, drawing, dancing, and the modern languages, to deserve the word; and besides all this, she must possess a certain something in her air and manner of walking, the tone of her voice, her address and expressions, or the word will be but half deserved." "All this she must possess," added Darcy, "and to all this she must yet add something more substantial, in the improvement of her mind by extensive reading." "I am no longer surprised at your knowing only six accomplished women. I rather wonder at your knowing any.
Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice)
My name is Monica, and I am not submissive. I stand six feet tall in heels. I am descended from one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century. I can sing like an angel, and growl like a lion. I am not owned. I am music.
C.D. Reiss (Submit (Songs of Submission, #3))
I always say I don’t care if you’re a man, woman, white, black, gay, straight, or anything in between—if you play well, you play well. Music is a great equalizer in that way.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (Daisy Jones & The Six)
....one of those long, romantic novels, six hundred and fifty pages of small print, translated from French or German or Hungarian or something -- because few of the English ones have the exact feeling I mean. And you read one page of it or even one phrase of it, and then you gobble up all the rest and go about in a dream for weeks afterwards, for months afterwards -- perhaps all your life, who knows? -- surrounded by those six hundred and fifty pages, the houses, the streets, the snow, the river, the roses, the girls, the sun, the ladies' dresses and the gentlemen's voices, the old, wicked, hard-hearted women and the old, sad women, the waltz music -- everything. What is not there you put in afterwards, for it is alive, this book, and it grows in your head. 'The house I was living in when I read that book,' you think, or 'This colour reminds me of that book.
Jean Rhys (Tigers are Better-Looking: With a selection from The Left Bank (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics))
. . . Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what's inside you, to make your soul grow. Seriously! I mean starting right now, do art and do it for the rest of your lives. Draw a funny or nice picture of Ms. Lockwood, and give it to her. Dance home after school, and sing in the shower and on and on. Make a face in your mashed potatoes. Pretend you're Count Dracula. Here's an assignment for tonight, and I hope Ms. Lockwood will flunk you if you don't do it: Write a six line poem, about anything, but rhymed. No fair tennis without a net. Make it as good as you possibly can. But don't tell anybody what you're doing. Don't show it or recite it to anybody, not even your girlfriend or parents or whatever, or Ms. Lockwood. OK? Tear it up into teeny-weeny pieces, and discard them into widely separated trash recepticals [sic]. You will find that you have already been gloriously rewarded for your poem. You have experienced becoming, learned a lot more about what's inside you, and you have made your soul grow.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
There are blondes and blondes and it is almost a joke word nowadays. All blondes have their points, except perhaps the metallic ones who are as blond as a Zulu under the bleach and as to disposition as soft as a sidewalk. There is the small cute blonde who cheeps and twitters, and the big statuesque blonde who straight-arms you with an ice-blue glare. There is the blonde who gives you the up-from-under look and smells lovely and shimmers and hangs on your arm and is always very tired when you take her home. She makes that helpless gesture and has that goddamned headache and you would like to slug her except that you are glad you found out about the headache before you invested too much time and money and hope in her. Because the headache will always be there, a weapon that never wears out and is as deadly as the bravo’s rapier or Lucrezia’s poison vial. There is the soft and willing and alcoholic blonde who doesn’t care what she wears as long as it is mink or where she goes as long as it is the Starlight Roof and there is plenty of dry champagne. There is the small perky blonde who is a little pal and wants to pay her own way and is full of sunshine and common sense and knows judo from the ground up and can toss a truck driver over her shoulder without missing more than one sentence out of the editorial in the Saturday Review. There is the pale, pale blonde with anemia of some non-fatal but incurable type. She is very languid and very shadowy and she speaks softly out of nowhere and you can’t lay a finger on her because in the first place you don’t want to and in the second place she is reading The Waste Land or Dante in the original, or Kafka or Kierkegaard or studying Provençal. She adores music and when the New York Philharmonic is playing Hindemith she can tell you which one of the six bass viols came in a quarter of a beat too late. I hear Toscanini can also. That makes two of them. And lastly there is the gorgeous show piece who will outlast three kingpin racketeers and then marry a couple of millionaires at a million a head and end up with a pale rose villa at Cap Antibes, an Alfa-Romeo town car complete with pilot and co-pilot, and a stable of shopworn aristocrats, all of whom she will treat with the affectionate absent-mindedness of an elderly duke saying goodnight to his butler.
Raymond Chandler (The Long Goodbye (Philip Marlowe, #6))
I have never seen a more sublime demonstration of the totalitarian mind, a mind which might be linked unto a system of gears where teeth have been filed off at random. Such snaggle-toothed thought machine, driven by a standard or even by a substandard libido, whirls with the jerky, noisy, gaudy pointlessness of a cuckoo clock in Hell. The boss G-man concluded wrongly that there were no teeth on the gears in the mind of Jones. 'You're completely crazy,' he said. Jones wasn't completely crazy. The dismaying thing about classic totalitarian mind is that any given gear, thought mutilated, will have at its circumference unbroken sequences of teeth that are immaculately maintained, that are exquisitely machined. Hence the cuckoo clock in Hell - keeping perfect time for eight minutes and twenty-three seconds, jumping ahead fourteen minutes, keeping perfect time for six seconds, jumping ahead two seconds, keeping perfect time for two hours and one second, then jumping ahead a year. The missing teeth, of course, are simple, obvious truths, truths available and comprehensible even to ten-year-olds, in most cases. The wilful filling off a gear teeth, the wilful doing without certain obvious pieces of information - That was how a household as contradictory as one composed of Jones, Father Keeley, Vice-Bundesfuehrer Krapptauer, and the Black Fuehrer could exist in relative harmony - That was how my father-in-law could contain in one mind an indifference toward slave women and love fora a blue vase - That was how Rudolf Hess, Commandant of Auschwitz, could alternate over the loudspeakers of Auschwitz great music and calls for corpse-carriers - That was how Nazi Germany sense no important difference between civilization and hydrophobia - That is the closest I can come to explaining the legions, the nations of lunatics I've seen in my time.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Mother Night)
Sea horses have complicated routines for courtship, and tend to mate under full moons, making musical sounds while doing so. They live in long-term monogamous partnerships. What is perhaps most unusual, though, is that it is the male sea horse that carries the young for up to six weeks. Males become properly "pregnant," not only carrying, but fertilizing and nourishing the developing eggs with fluid secretions. The image of males giving birth is perpetually mind-blowing: a turbid liquid bursts forth from the brood pouch, and like magic, minuscule but fully formed sea horses appear out of the cloud.
Jonathan Safran Foer (Eating Animals)
We wanted more. We knocked the butt ends of our forks against the table, tapped our spoons against our empty bowls; we were hungry. We wanted more volume, more riots. We turned up the knob on the TV until our ears ached with the shouts of angry men. We wanted more music on the radio; we wanted beats; we wanted rock. We wanted muscles on our skinny arms. We had bird bones, hollow and light, and we wanted more density, more weight. We were six snatching hands, six stomping feet; we were brothers, boys, three little kings locked in a feud for more.
Justin Torres (We the Animals)
When you put your life in your music, you can't be clearheaded about your music.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (Daisy Jones & The Six)
He said, "This song isn't meant to be pretty. Don't sing it like it is".
Taylor Jenkins Reid (Daisy Jones & The Six)
I’ve shared more breakfasts with you than any woman I’ve dated in the last year and a half,” Mitch returned. “I know what you look like in the morning. I know what you act like when you come home tired after work. I know that you pick the least expensive thing on the menu either to be nice or to be annoying in order to put me off. But I think it’s to be nice because you are nice and also both times you thought you’d be spending time with just me, you dressed in a way that would not, in any way, put me off. I know you cuddle when you’re sleeping. I know you take only milk in your coffee and you make coffee strong. I know you’re really good with kids. And I know that you use music and scents to regulate your mood. So I’m thinking this is not a first date. This is more like us hittin’ the six month mark. And the six month mark is when you stop talkin’ about shit that really doesn’t matter and start talkin’ about shit that means everything.
Kristen Ashley
Don't worry about it, my child. Tell yourself that you are experiencing a true love story. But of course. Have you ever seen anyone write a poem about the woman he married and who yells at him four times a day? Do you think that if Romeo and Juliet had had six children together, there would have been a book about them? You're suffering! That's why you're playing so well now!
Marjane Satrapi (Chicken with Plums)
What - what - what are you doing?" he demanded. "I am almost six hundred years old," Magnus claimed, and Ragnor snorted, since Magnus changed his age to suit himself every few weeks. Magnus swept on. "It does seem about time to learn a musical instrument." He flourished his new prize, a little stringed instrument that looked like a cousin of the lute that the lute was embarrassed to be related to. "It's called a charango. I am planning to become a charanguista!" "I wouldn't call that an instrument of music," Ragnor observed sourly. "An instrument of torture, perhaps." Magnus cradled the charango in his arms as if it were an easily offended baby. "It's a beautiful and very unique instrument! The sound box is made from an armadillo. Well, a dried armadillo shell." "That explains the sound you're making," said Ragnor. "Like a lost, hungry armadillo." "You are just jealous," Magnus remarked calmly. "Because you do not have the soul of a true artiste like myself." "Oh, I am positively green with envy," Ragnor snapped. "Come now, Ragnor. That's not fair," said Magnus. "You know I love it when you make jokes about your complexion." Magnus refused to be affected by Ragnor's cruel judgments. He regarded his fellow warlock with a lofty stare of superb indifference, raised his charango, and began to play again his defiant, beautiful tune. They both heard the staccato thump of frantically running feet from within the house, the swish of skirts, and then Catarina came rushing out into the courtyard. Her white hair was falling loose about her shoulders, and her face was the picture of alarm. "Magnus, Ragnor, I heard a cat making a most unearthly noise," she exclaimed. "From the sound of it, the poor creature must be direly sick. You have to help me find it!" Ragnor immediately collapsed with hysterical laughter on his windowsill. Magnus stared at Catarina for a moment, until he saw her lips twitch. "You are conspiring against me and my art," he declared. "You are a pack of conspirators." He began to play again. Catarina stopped him by putting a hand on his arm. "No, but seriously, Magnus," she said. "That noise is appalling." Magnus sighed. "Every warlock's a critic." "Why are you doing this?" "I have already explained myself to Ragnor. I wish to become proficient with a musical instrument. I have decided to devote myself to the art of the charanguista, and I wish to hear no more petty objections." "If we are all making lists of things we wish to hear no more . . . ," Ragnor murmured. Catarina, however, was smiling. "I see," she said. "Madam, you do not see." "I do. I see it all most clearly," Catarina assured him. "What is her name?" "I resent your implication," Magnus said. "There is no woman in the case. I am married to my music!" "Oh, all right," Catarina said. "What's his name, then?" His name was Imasu Morales, and he was gorgeous.
Cassandra Clare (The Bane Chronicles)
I was used, fucked, broken, toyed with and violated from the age of six.
James Rhodes (Instrumental: A Memoir of Madness, Medication, and Music)
No one alive today has a single ancestor in his or her past who died in infancy. We are the champions, my friend!
Daniel J. Levitin (The World in Six Songs: How the Musical Brain Created Human Nature)
I gave her permission to sound bad. Think of how you sing when you're singing to the radio at full volume. When you can't hear yourself, you're not afraid to really belt it out because you won't have to cringe when your voice breaks or you veer off-key. Daisy needed that kind of freedom. That takes a crapload of confidence. And Daisy didn't actually have confidence. She was always good. Confidence is being okay being bad, not being okay being good.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (Daisy Jones & The Six)
What are you running from?" That put a damper on the fluttering lashes. "Columbia House Music Club," I said, recovering my snarkiness quickly. "Oh, sure, they say they'll sell you six CDs for a penny, but they'll hunt you down like the hounds of hell if you miss the payments.
Molly Harper (How to Run with a Naked Werewolf (Naked Werewolf, #3))
He shrugged, working to make her understand. “There’s whole YouTube montages playing still shots of my butt to music. I don’t take credit for it. My mom’s been paying a trainer for years. Oh, and my six-pack won a Fan’s Choice Award called the SixPackAttack. Three years running.
Anne Eliot (Unmaking Hunter Kennedy)
The night following the reading, Gansey woke up to a completely unfamiliar sound and fumbled for his glasses. It sounded a little like one of his roommates was being killed by a possum, or possibly the final moments of a fatal cat fight. He wasn’t certain of the specifics, but he was sure death was involved. Noah stood in the doorway to his room, his face pathetic and long-suffering. “Make it stop,” he said. Ronan’s room was sacred, and yet here Gansey was, twice in the same weak, pushing the door open. He found the lamp on and Ronan hunched on the bed, wearing only boxers. Six months before, Ronan had gotten the intricate black tattoo that covered most of his back and snaked up his neck, and now the monochromatic lines of it were stark in the claustrophobic lamplight, more real than anything else in the room. It was a peculiar tattoo, both vicious and lovely, and every time Gansey saw it, he saw something different in the pattern. Tonight, nestled in an inked glen of wicked, beautiful flowers, was a beak where before he’d seen a scythe. The ragged sound cut through the apartment again. “What fresh hell is this?” Gansey asked pleasantly. Ronan was wearing headphones as usual, so Gansey stretched forward far enough to tug them down around his neck. Music wailed faintly into the air. Ronan lifted his head. As he did, the wicked flowers on his back shifted and hid behind his sharp shoulder blades. In his lap was the half-formed raven, its head tilted back, beak agape. “I thought we were clear on what a closed door meant,” Ronan said. He held a pair of tweezers in one hand. “I thought we were clear that night was for sleeping.” Ronan shrugged. “Perhaps for you.” “Not tonight. Your pterodactyl woke me. Why is it making that sound?” In response, Ronan dipped the tweezers into a plastic baggy on the blanket in front of him. Gansey wasn’t certain he wanted to know what the gray substance was in the tweezers’ grasp. As soon as the raven heard the rustle of the bag, it made the ghastly sound again—a rasping squeal that became a gurgle as it slurped down the offering. At once, it inspired both Gansey’s compassion and his gag reflex. “Well, this is not going to do,” he said. “You’re going to have to make it stop.” “She has to be fed,” Ronan replied. The ravel gargled down another bite. This time it sounded a lot like vacuuming potato salad. “It’s only every two hours for the first six weeks.” “Can’t you keep her downstairs?” In reply, Ronan half-lifted the little bird toward him. “You tell me.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1))
There was a cinema called The Orient outside the community centre where we rehearsed in Six Ways, and whenever it showed a horror film the queue would go all the way down the street and around the corner. ‘Isn’t it strange how people will pay money to frighten themselves?’ I remember Tony [Iommi] saying one day. ‘Maybe we should stop doing blues and write scary music instead.’
Ozzy Osbourne (I Am Ozzy)
These modern analysts! They charge so much. In my day, for five marks Freud himself would treat you. For ten marks, he would treat you and press your pants. For fifteen marks, Freud would let you treat him, and that included a choice of any two vegetables. Thirty dollars an hour! Fifty dollars an hour! The Kaiser only got twelve and a quarter for being Kaiser! And he had to walk to work! And the length of treatment! Two years! Five years! If one of us couldn’t cure a patient in six months we would refund his money, take him to any musical revue and he would receive either a mahogany fruit bowl or a set of stainless steel carving knives. I remember you could always tell the patients Jung failed with, as he would give them large stuffed pandas.
Woody Allen (Getting Even)
Music. Numbers. Equations. They’re not like words. They … they don’t get mixed up.
Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1))
Did you know six minutes of reading can help reduce stress levels by up to sixty percent?" ... "That's sixty-eight percent better than listening to music, one hundred percent better than drinking tea, and three hundred percent better than going for a walk.
Emma Gannon (Olive)
YANNI “JOHNNY” BACOLAS: I would always tell him, “Layne [Staley], why don’t you take off, go to some deserted island, hire the best counselors, and just kick this shit? Go for six months if you have to.” And his rebuttal was, “Johnny, I have celebrity status and I have a lot of money. I could fly planes out to deliver me the dope if I wanted to — and that’s what I would do. I can’t escape.
Greg Prato (Grunge Is Dead: The Oral History of Seattle Rock Music)
What if we take away the cool music and the cushioned chairs? What if the screens are gone and the stage is no longer decorated? What if the air conditioning is off and the comforts are removed? Would his Word still be enough for his people to come together? At Brook Hills we decided to try to answer this question. We actually stripped away the entertainment value and invited people to come together simply to study God’s Word for hours at a time. We called it Secret Church. We set a date—one Friday night—when we would gather from six o’clock in the evening until midnight, and for six hours we would do nothing but study the Word and pray. We would interrupt the six-hour Bible study periodically to pray for our brothers and sisters around the world who are forced to gather secretly. We would also pray for ourselves, that we would learn to love the Word as they do.
David Platt (Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream)
With scarcely a moment’s respite, they began to play a very different sort of song. No one sang the words, but Catelyn knew “The Rains of Castamere” when she heard it. Edwyn was hurrying toward a door. She hurried faster, driven by the music. Six quick strides and she caught him. And who are you, the proud lord said, that I must bow so low?
George R.R. Martin (A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, #3))
Those who have not lived in New Orleans have missed an incredible, glorious, vital city--a place with an energy unlike anywhere else in the world, a majority-African American city where resistance to white supremacy has cultivated and supported a generous, subversive, and unique culture of vivid beauty. From jazz, blues, and and hip-hop to secondlines, Mardi Gras Indians, jazz funerals, and the citywide tradition of red beans and rice on Monday nights, New Orleans is a place of art and music and food and traditions and sexuality and liberation.
Jordan Flaherty (Floodlines: Community and Resistance from Katrina to the Jena Six)
it's been a long time since i've thought about that night, that wonderful raucous night. I can still see the president s surprise and amusement while opening gifts. I can still hear the music, the guests singing along and the president having such a wonderful time surrounded by his closest family and friends. What a privilege it was to have been there, to witness the joy and laughter. But Always, when I remember that special birthday celebration on the Sequoia, I can't help but think it should not have been his last. At forty six it shouldn't have been his last
Clint Hill (Mrs. Kennedy and Me: An Intimate Memoir)
One of the reasons I wanted to write this column, I think, is because I assumed that the cultural highlight of my month would arrive in book form, and that’s true, for probably eleven months of the year. Books are, let’s face it, better than everything else…. Even if you love movies and music as much as you do books, it’s still, in any given four week period, way, way more likely you’ll find a great book that you haven’t read than a great movie you haven’t seen, or a great album you haven’t heard: the assiduous consumer will eventually exhaust movies and music… the feeling everyone has with literature: that we can’t get through the good novels published in the last six months, let alone those published since publishing began.
Nick Hornby (The Polysyllabic Spree)
Martin Sloan, age thirty-six, vice-president in charge of media. Successful in most things but not in the one effort that all men try at some time in their lives - trying to go home again. And also like all men perhaps there'll be an occasion, maybe a summer night sometime, when he'll look up from what he's doing and listen to the distant music of a calliope, and hear the voices and the laughter of the people and the places of his past. And perhaps across his mind there'll flit a little errant wish, that a man might not have to become old, never outgrow the parks and the merry-go-rounds of his youth. And he'll smile then too because he'll know it is just an errant wish, some wisp of memory not too important really, some laughing ghosts that cross a man's mind, that are a part of the Twilight Zone.
Rod Serling
I have no use for a theoretic freedom. Let me have something finite, definite — matter that can lend itself to my operation only insofar as it is commensurate with my possibilities. And such matter presents itself to me together with limitations. I must in turn impose mine upon it. So here we are, whether we like it or not, in the realm of necessity. And yet which of us has ever heard talk of art as other than a realm of freedom? This sort of heresy is uniformly widespread because it is imagined that art is outside the bounds of ordinary activity. Well, in art as in everything else, one can build only upon a resisting foundation: whatever constantly gives way to pressure, constantly renders movement impossible. My freedom thus consists in my moving about within the narrow frame that I have assigned myself for each one of my undertakings. I shall go even further: my freedom will be so much the greater and more meaningful the more narrowly I limit my field of action and the more I surround myself with obstacles. Whatever diminishes constraint, diminishes strength. The more constraints one imposes, the more one frees one’s self of the chains that shackle the spirit.
Igor Stravinsky (Poetics of Music in the Form of Six Lessons (The Charles Eliot Norton Lectures))
Friendship is a difficult thing to define. Oscar here is my oldest friend. How would you define friendship, Oscar?" Oscar grunts slightly, as though the answer is obvious. "Friendship is about choice and chemistry. It cannot be defined." "But surely there's something more to it than that." "It is a willingness to overlook faults and to accept them. I would let a friend hurt me without striking back," he says, smiling. "But only once." De Souza laughs. "Bravo, Oscar, I can always rely on you to distill an argument down to its purest form. What do you think, Dayel?" The Indian rocks his head from side to side, proud that he has been asked to speak next. "Friendship is different for each person and it changes throughout our lives. At age six it is about holding hands with your best friend. At sixteen it is about the adventure ahead. At sixty it is about reminiscing." He holds up a finger. "You cannot define it with any one word, although honesty is perhaps the closest word-" "No, not honesty," Farhad interrupts. "On the contrary, we often have to protect our friends from what we truly think. It is like an unspoken agreement. We ignore each other's faults and keep our confidences. Friendship isn't about being honest. The truth is too sharp a weapon to wield around someone we trust and respect. Friendship is about self-awareness. We see ourselves through the eyes of our friends. They are like a mirror that allows us to judge how we are traveling." De Souza clears his throat now. I wonder if he is aware of the awe that he inspires in others. I suspect he is too intelligent and too human to do otherwise. "Friendship cannot be defined," he says sternly. "The moment we begin to give reasons for being friends with someone we begin to undermine the magic of the relationship. Nobody wants to know that they are loved for their money or their generosity or their beauty or their wit. Choose one motive and it allows a person to say, 'is that the only reason?'" The others laugh. De Souza joins in with them. This is a performance. He continues: "Trying to explain why we form particular friendships is like trying to tell someone why we like a certain kind of music or a particular food. We just do.
Michael Robotham (The Night Ferry)
Numbers it is. All music when you come to think. Two multiplied by two divided by half is twice one. Vibrations: chords those are. One plus two plus six is seven. Do anything you like with figures juggling. Always find out this equal to that, symmetry under a cemetery wall. He doesn't see my mourning. Callous: all for his own gut. Musemathematics. And you think you're listening to the etherial. But suppose you said it like: Martha, seven times nine minus x is thirtyfive thousand. Fall quite flat. It's on account of the sounds it is.
James Joyce
My music teacher offered twittering madrigals and something about how, in Italy, in Italy, the oranges hang on the tree. He treated me - the humiliation of it - as a soprano. These, by contrast, are the six elements of a Sacred Harp alto: rage, darkness, motherhood, earth, malice, and sex. Once you feel it, you can always do it. You know where to go for it, though it will cost you.
Mary Rose O'Reilley (The Barn at the End of the World: The Apprenticeship of a Quaker, Buddhist Shepherd)
Graham: Rod told me I needed to cut out half of my solos. Said they were interesting for people that loved technical guitar work but boring for everyone else. I said, "Why would I play to people who don't care about good guitar?" He said, "If you want to be huge, you gotta be for everybody.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (Daisy Jones & The Six)
When your mom noticed me watching a Buffy rerun on the little TV on the doorman desk one slow night on the job, she admitted that watching Buffy was her shared solace with you after your dad left. She told me how you cry and cry for Buffy. You cry when Angel shows up to be Buffy's prom date even though they'd already recognized the futility of their true love and broken up. You cry when Buffy's mom is taken away by natural instead of supernatural causes. You cry when seasons six and seven really don't reflect the quality of seasons one through five except for the musical episode.
Rachel Cohn
THERE are so many things which are impossible to explain! Why should certain chords in music make me think of the brown and golden tints of autumn foliage? Why should the Mass of Sainte-Cécile send my thoughts wandering among caverns whose walls blaze with ragged masses of virgin silver? What was it in the roar and turmoil of Broadway at six o'clock that flashed before my eyes the picture of a still Breton forest where sunlight filtered through spring foliage, and Sylvia bent, half curiously, half tenderly, over a small, green lizard, murmuring, "To think that this also is a little ward of God?
Robert W. Chambers (The King in Yellow)
My little brother's greatest fear was that the one person who meant so much to him would go away. He loved Lindsey and Grandma Lynn and Samuel and Hal, but my father kept him stepping lightly, son gingerly monitoring father every morning and every evening as if, without such vigilance, he would lose him. We stood- the dead child and the living- on either side of my father, both wanting the same thing. To have him to ourselves forver. To please us both was an impossibility. ... 'Please don't let Daddy die, Susie,' he whispered. 'I need him.' When I left my brother, I walked out past the gazebo and under the lights hanging down like berries, and I saw the brick paths branching out as I advanced. I walked until the bricks turned to flat stones and then to small, sharp rocks and then to nothing but churned earth for miles adn miles around me. I stood there. I had been in heaven long enough to know that something would be revealed. And as the light began to fade and the sky to turn a dark, sweet blue as it had on the night of my death, I saw something walking into view, so far away I could not at first make out if it was man or woman, child or adult. But as moonlight reached this figure I could make out a man and, frightened now, my breathing shallow, I raced just far enough to see. Was it my father? Was it what I had wanted all this time so deperately? 'Susie,' the man said as I approached and then stopped a few feet from where he stood. He raised his arms up toward me. 'Remember?' he said. I found myself small again, age six and in a living room in Illinois. Now, as I had done then, I placed my feet on top of his feet. 'Granddaddy,' I said. And because we were all alone and both in heaven, I was light enough to move as I had moved when I was six and in a living room in Illinois. Now, as I had done then, I placed my feet on top of his feet. 'Granddaddy,' I said. And because we were all alone and both in heaven, I was light enough to move as I had moved when I was six and he was fifty-six and my father had taken us to visit. We danced so slowly to a song that on Earth had always made my grandfather cry. 'Do you remember?' he asked. 'Barber!' 'Adagio for Strings,' he said. But as we danced and spun- none of the herky-jerky awkwardness of Earth- what I remembered was how I'd found him crying to this music and asked him why. 'Sometimes you cry,' Susie, even when someone you love has been gone a long time.' He had held me against him then, just briefly, and then I had run outside to play again with Lindsey in what seemed like my grandfather's huge backyard. We didn't speak any more that night, but we danced for hours in that timeless blue light. I knew as we danced that something was happening on Earth and in heaven. A shifting. The sort of slow-to-sudden movement that we'd read about in science class one year. Seismic, impossible, a rending and tearing of time and space. I pressed myself into my grandfather's chest and smelled the old-man smell of him, the mothball version of my own father, the blood on Earth, the sky in heaven. The kumquat, skunk, grade-A tobacco. When the music stopped, it cold have been forever since we'd begun. My grandfateher took a step back, and the light grew yellow at his back. 'I'm going,' he said. 'Where?' I asked. 'Don't worry, sweetheart. You're so close.' He turned and walked away, disappearing rapidly into spots and dust. Infinity.
Alice Sebold
Strange memories on this nervous night in Las Vegas. Five years later? Six? It seems like a lifetime, or at least a Main Era—the kind of peak that never comes again. San Francisco in the middle sixties was a very special time and place to be a part of. Maybe it meant something. Maybe not, in the long run … but no explanation, no mix of words or music or memories can touch that sense of knowing that you were there and alive in that corner of time and the world. Whatever it meant.…
Hunter S. Thompson (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas)
The girl with the greyhound was an assistant lighting director for a musical comedy about American history, and she kept her poor greyhound, who was named Lancer, in a one-room apartment fourteen feet wide and twenty-six feet long, and six flights of stairs above the street level. His entire life was devoted to unloading his excrement at the proper time and place. There were two proper places to put it: in the gutter outside the door seventy-two steps below, with the traffic whizzing by, or in a roasting pan, his mistress kept in front of the Westinghouse refrigerator. Lancer had a very small brain, but he must have suspected from time to time, just as Wayne Hoobler did, that some kind of terrible mistake had been made.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Breakfast of Champions)
At some time all cities have this feel: in London it's at five or six on a winer evening. Paris has it too, late, when the cafes are closing up. In New York it can happen anytime: early in the morning as the light climbs over the canyon streets and the avenues stretch so far into the distance that it seems the whole world is city; or now, as the chimes of midnight hang in the rain and all the city's longings acquire the clarity and certainty of sudden understanding. The day coming to an end and people unable to evade any longer the nagging sense of futility that has been growing stronger through the day, knowing that they will feel better when they wake up and it is daylight again but knowing also that each day leads to this sense of quiet isolation. Whether the plates have been stacked neatly away or the sink is cluttered with unwashed dishes makes no difference because all these details--the clothes hanging in the closet, the sheets on the bed--tell the same story--a story in which they walk to the window and look out at the rain-lit streets, wondering how many other people are looking out like this, people who look forward to Monday because the weekdays have a purpose which vanishes at the weekend when there is only the laundry and the papers. And knowing also that these thoughts do not represent any kind of revelation because by now they have themselves become part of the same routine of bearable despair, a summing up that is all the time dissolving into everyday. A time in the day when it is possible to regret everything and nothing in the same breath, when the only wish of all bachelors is that there was someone who loved them, who was thinking of them even if she was on the other side of the world. When a woman, feeling the city falling damp around her, hearing music from a radio somewhere, looks up and imagines the lives being led behind the yellow-lighted windows: a man at his sink, a family crowded together around a television, lovers drawing curtains, someone at his desk, hearing the same tune on the radio, writing these words.
Geoff Dyer (But Beautiful: A Book About Jazz)
The belief that they were special, that they had the stones to endure what others couldn't, was the most quintessentially Texas thing about them. It was an arrogance born of genuine fortitude and a streak of hardheadness six generations deep, a Homeric shield against the petty jealousies and lethal injustices that so occupied white folks' free time, their oppressive and intrusive gaze into every aspect of black life - from what you eat to who you marry to the clothes you wear to the music you play to the way you wear your hair to how you address them on the street. The Mathews family recognized it for what it was: a fevered obsession that didn't really have anything to do with them, a preoccupation that weakened a man looking anywhere but at himself.
Attica Locke (Bluebird, Bluebird (Highway 59, #1))
In every field, even the most eminent creators typically produce a large quantity of work that’s technically sound but considered unremarkable by experts and audiences. When the London Philharmonic Orchestra chose the 50 greatest pieces of classical music, the list included six pieces by Mozart, five by Beethoven, and three by Bach.14 To generate a handful of masterworks, Mozart composed more than 600 pieces before his death at thirty-five, Beethoven produced 650 in his lifetime, and Bach wrote over a thousand.
Adam M. Grant (Originals: How Non-conformists Change the World)
Helen of Troy Does Counter Dancing The world is full of women who'd tell me I should be ashamed of myself if they had the chance. Quit dancing. Get some self-respect and a day job. Right. And minimum wage, and varicose veins, just standing in one place for eight hours behind a glass counter bundled up to the neck, instead of naked as a meat sandwich. Selling gloves, or something. Instead of what I do sell. You have to have talent to peddle a thing so nebulous and without material form. Exploited, they'd say. Yes, any way you cut it, but I've a choice of how, and I'll take the money. I do give value. Like preachers, I sell vision, like perfume ads, desire or its facsimile. Like jokes or war, it's all in the timing. I sell men back their worst suspicions: that everything's for sale, and piecemeal. They gaze at me and see a chain-saw murder just before it happens, when thigh, ass, inkblot, crevice, tit, and nipple are still connected. Such hatred leaps in them, my beery worshipers! That, or a bleary hopeless love. Seeing the rows of heads and upturned eyes, imploring but ready to snap at my ankles, I understand floods and earthquakes, and the urge to step on ants. I keep the beat, and dance for them because they can't. The music smells like foxes, crisp as heated metal searing the nostrils or humid as August, hazy and languorous as a looted city the day after, when all the rape's been done already, and the killing, and the survivors wander around looking for garbage to eat, and there's only a bleak exhaustion. Speaking of which, it's the smiling tires me out the most. This, and the pretense that I can't hear them. And I can't, because I'm after all a foreigner to them. The speech here is all warty gutturals, obvious as a slam of ham, but I come from the province of the gods where meaning are lilting and oblique. I don't let on to everyone, but lean close, and I'll whisper: My mothers was raped by a holy swan. You believe that? You can take me out to dinner. That's what we tell all the husbands. There sure are a lot of dangerous birds around. Not that anyone here but you would understand. The rest of them would like to watch me and feel nothing. Reduce me to components as in a clock factory or abattoir. Crush out the mystery. Wall me up alive in my own body. They'd like to see through me, but nothing is more opaque than absolute transparency. Look - my feet don't hit the marble! Like breath or a balloon, I'm rising, I hover six inches in the air in my blazing swan-egg of light. You think I'm not a goddess? Try me. This is a torch song. Touch me and you'll burn.
Margaret Atwood (Morning In The Burned House: Poems)
An associate of mine named William Congreve once wrote a very sad play that begins with the line 'Music has charms to sooth a savage beast,' a sentence which here means that if you are nervous or upset, you might listen to some music to calm you down or cheer you up. For instance, as I crouch here behind the alter of the Cathedral of the Alleged Virgin, a friend of mine is playing a sonata on the pipe organ, to calm me down and so that the sounds of my typewriter will not be heard by the worshipers sitting in the pews. The mournful melody of the sonata reminds me of a tune my father used to sing when he did the dishes, and as I listen to it I can temporarily forget six or seven of my troubles.
Lemony Snicket (The Hostile Hospital (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #8))
But the available light in Twisted River was dim and growing dimmer. The dance-hall door blew (or was slammed) closed, cutting off Teresa Brewer as suddenly as if Six-Pack had taken the singer’s slender throat in her hands. When the dance-hall door blew (or was kicked) open again, Tony Bennett was crooning “Rags to Riches.” Dominic didn’t for a moment doubt that the town’s eternal violence was partly spawned by irredeemable music.
John Irving (Last Night in Twisted River)
The reasons why anthropologists haven’t been able to come up with a simple, compelling story for the origins of money is because there’s no reason to believe there could be one. Money was no more ever “invented” than music or mathematics or jewelry. What we call “money” isn’t a “thing” at all; it’s a way of comparing things mathematically, as proportions: of saying one of X is equivalent to six of Y. As such it is probably as old as human thought.
David Graeber (Debt: The First 5,000 Years)
You never had sex in a car.” “Yes, I have. You get ideas at least half the time whenever we’re in the back of one of your limos.” “Not the same at all. That’s a grown-up venue, a limo is. It’s sophisticated sex. And here we are, crammed together in the front seat of a police issue, and the lieutenant is both aroused and mildly embarrassed.” “I am not. Either.” But her pulse jumped, and her breath hitched when his thumbs brushed over the thin cotton covering her breasts. “This is ridiculous. We’re adults, we’re married. The steering wheel is jammed into the base of my spine.” “The first two are irrelevant, the last is part of the buzz. Music on, program five. Skyroof open.” She narrowed her eyes at him. “It’s not going to work. It’s uncomfortable and it’s stupid. And I have to work in this vehicle.” “I can make you come in ten seconds.” She actually smirked at him. “Ten,” she said, “nine, eight, seven, six, five . . . oh shit.” She’d underestimated his quick hands, his skilled fingers. He had her trousers unhooked, had her wet and throbbing. And over.
J.D. Robb (Salvation in Death (In Death, #27))
On Max Yasgur’s six hundred acres, everyone dropped their defenses and became a huge extended family. Joining together, getting into the music and each other, being part of so many people when calamity struck — the traffic jams, the rainstorms — was a life-changing experience. None of the problems damaged our spirit. In fact, they drew us closer. We recognized one another for what we were at the core, as brothers and sisters, and we embraced one another in that knowledge.
Uwe Michael Lang (The Road to Woodstock)
In Paris, I found myself surrounded by Germans; they were all over the place. They played music, and people would go and listen to them! All along rue de Rivoli, as far as you could see from place de la Concorde, there were enormous swastika banners five or six floors high. I just thought, This is impossible. Imagine that someone comes into your home—someone you don’t like—he settles down, gives orders: “Here we are, we’re at home now; you must obey.” To me that was unbearable.
Pearl Witherington Cornioley (Code Name Pauline: Memoirs of a World War II Special Agent (5) (Women of Action))
You’re sure you want to do this,” Galen says, eyeing me like I’ve grown a tiara of snakes on my head. “Absolutely.” I unstrap the four-hundred-dollar silver heels and spike them into the sand. When he starts unraveling his tie, I throw out my hand. “No! Leave it. Leave everything on.” Galen frowns. “Rachel would kill us both. In our sleep. She would torture us first.” “This is our prom night. Rachel would want us to enjoy ourselves.” I pull the thousand-or-so bobby pins from my hair and toss them in the sand. Really, both of us are right. She would want us to be happy. But she would also want us to stay in our designer clothes. Leaning over, I shake my head like a wet dog, dispelling the magic of hairspray. Tossing my hair back, I look at Galen. His crooked smile almost melts me where I stand. I’m just glad to see a smile on his face at all. The last six months have been rough. “Your mother will want pictures,” he tells me. “And what will she do with pictures? There aren’t exactly picture frames in the Royal Caverns.” Mom’s decision to mate with Grom and live as his queen didn’t surprise me. After all, I am eighteen years old, an adult, and can take care of myself. Besides, she’s just a swim away. “She keeps picture frames at her house though. She could still enjoy them while she and Grom come to shore to-“ “Okay, ew. Don’t say it. That’s where I draw the line.” Galen laughs and takes off his shoes. I forget all about Mom and Grom. Galen, barefoot in the sand, wearing an Armani tux. What more could a girl ask for? “Don’t look at me like that, angelfish,” he says, his voice husky. “Disappointing your grandfather is the last thing I want to do.” My stomach cartwheels. Swallowing doesn’t help. “I can’t admire you, even from afar?” I can’t quite squeeze enough innocence in there to make it believable, to make it sound like I wasn’t thinking the same thing he was. Clearing his throat, he nods. “Let’s get on with this.” He closes the distance between us, making foot-size potholes with his stride. Grabbing my hand, he pulls me to the water. At the edge of the wet sand, just out of reach of the most ambitious wave, we stop. “You’re sure?” he says again. “More than sure,” I tell him, giddiness swimming through my veins like a sneaking eel. Images of the conference center downtown spring up in my mind. Red and white balloons, streamers, a loud, cheesy DJ yelling over the starting chorus of the next song. Kids grinding against one another on the dance floor to lure the chaperones’ attention away from a punch bowl just waiting to be spiked. Dresses spilling over with skin, matching corsages, awkward gaits due to six-inch heels. The prom Chloe and I dreamed of. But the memories I wanted to make at that prom died with Chloe. There could never be any joy in that prom without her. I couldn’t walk through those doors and not feel that something was missing. A big something. No, this is where I belong now. No balloons, no loud music, no loaded punch bowl. Just the quiet and the beach and Galen. This is my new prom. And for some reason, I think Chloe would approve.
Anna Banks (Of Triton (The Syrena Legacy, #2))
Trumpets, fifes, hautboys, drums, and cannon made music such as Hell itself had never heard. The cannons first of all laid flat about six thousand men on each side; the muskets swept away from this best of worlds nine or ten thousand ruffians who infested its surface. The bayonet was also a sufficient reason for the death of several thousands. The whole might amount to thirty thousand souls. Candide, who trembled like a philosopher, hid himself as well as he could during this heroic butchery.
Voltaire (Candide)
is her favorite color, even after I told her purple-orange isn’t a thing. She ties her left shoe the loop, swoop, and pull way, and the right with bunny ears. Pen opens her bananas from the end, and she eats her eggs with boysenberry syrup. The girl who wakes up and appears in her window every morning at six-thirty sharp, with insane bedhead, only uses cola-scented lip balm and loves grunge music. She has her mom cut the crusts off her sandwiches, sides first and then the top and bottom. Pen uses the same pink plastic thermos every day at school, even though the cup is cracked. She doesn’t blink an eye as fruit punch drips from the bottom, always staining her shirt.
Mary Elizabeth (True Love Way: A Friends to Lovers Romance)
An essential difference between British and American punk bands can be found in their respective views of rock & roll history. The British bands took a deliberately anti-intellectual stance, refuting any awareness of, or influence from, previous exponents of the form. The New York and Cleveland bands saw themselves as self-consciously drawing on and extending an existing tradition in American rock & roll. (...) A second difference between the British and American punk scenes was their relative gestation periods. The British weekly music press was reviewing Sex Pistols shows less than three months after their cacophonous debut. Within a year of the Pistols' first performance they had a record deal, with the 'major' label EMI. Within six months of their first gigs the Damned and the Clash also secured contracts, the latter with CBS. The CBGBs scene went largely ignored by the American music industry until 1976 -- two years after the debuts of Television, the Ramones and Blondie. Even then only Television signed to an established label.
Clinton Heylin (From the Velvets to the Voidoids: A Pre-Punk History for a Post-Punk World)
I'd chased this life with all of my heart. I wanted so badly to express myself and be heard and bring solace to other people with my own words. But it became a hell I'd created, a cage I'd built and locked myself in. I came to hate that I'd put my heart and my pain into my music because it meant that I couldn't ever leave it behind. And I had to keep singing it to him, night after night after night, and I could no longer hide how I felt or what being next to him was doing to me. It made for a great show. But it was my life.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (Daisy Jones & The Six)
The imagination circuit is taught to respond to the most minimal of cues. A book is an arrangement of twenty-six phonetic symbols, ten numerals, and about eight punctuation marks, and people can cast their eyes over these and envision the eruption of Mount Vesuvius or the Battle of Waterloo. But it's no longer necessary for teachers and parents to build these circuits. Now there are professionally produced shows with great actors, very convincing sets, sound, music. Now there's the information highway. We don't need the circuits any more than we need to know how to ride horses. Those of us who had imagination circuits built can look in someone's face and see stories there; to everyone else, a face will just be a face.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
I felt bad because Little Big Tom came in while we were making the tape and was like over the moon because he thought we were interested in his music. We had to humor him and listen to him deliver around six hundred speeches about fusion and the Art Ensemble of Chicago and Chicano and Latino influences on pretentious jazzy pseudorock. I think it was probably the happiest I'd ever seen him. And I also felt bad about the fact that after he left we kind of made fun of the funny way he said Latino, like he was the Frito Bandito or something. I felt bad, but I did it anyway, because I'm only human. I was ashamed of myself and depressed afterward, though, which is human, too, I guess. Being human is an excuse for just about everything, but it also kind of sucks in a way.
Frank Portman (King Dork (King Dork, #1))
I want to wash your hair with a shampoo that smells like fruit - mango, or strawberries. I want to walk on a beach with you, dragging a big stick behind us, making a message in the sand that we try to believe an airplane will really see. I want to kiss saltwater from your lips. I want us to listen to music with our eyes closed; I want to read musty books while lying next to you - books about fascinating things like mummies and eccentric artists and old shipwrecks in the Pacific. I want to have picnics on our bed and crawl into cotton sheets that smell like summer because we left the windows open when we were gone. I want to wake in the night with you and marvel at the stars and try to find the moon through the trees. I want all the sweet things in life. But only by your side.
Deb Caletti (The Six Rules of Maybe)
There was never anything so gallant, so spruce, so brilliant, and so well disposed as the two armies. Trumpets, fifes, hautboys, drums, and cannon made music such as Hell itself had never heard. The cannons first of all laid flat about six thousand men on each side; the muskets swept away from this best of worlds nine or ten thousand ruffians who infested its surface. The bayonet was also a sufficient reason for the death of several thousands. The whole might amount to thirty thousand souls. Candide, who trembled like a philosopher, hid himself as well as he could during this heroic butchery.
Voltaire (Candide)
At the end of a workday I still had plenty of energy left to compete against Yank for the neighborhood girls. My secret weapon against Yank was my dancing. Most big men are clumsy and heavy-footed, but not me. I had a good sense of rhythm and I could move every part of my body. I had very fast hands, too, and good coordination. Swing music was sweeping the country and social dancing was all the rage. I went dancing six nights a week (never on a Sunday) to a different hall every night. That’s how you learned the dances. You learned by going dancing. They all had certain steps, unlike today where you just make it up as you go along. After the war, one of the jobs I had was a ballroom dance instructor. In
Charles Brandt ("I Heard You Paint Houses", Updated Edition: Frank "The Irishman" Sheeran & Closing the Case on Jimmy Hoffa)
Bradley Headstone, in his decent black coat and waistcoat, and decent white shirt, and decent formal black tie, and decent pantaloons of pepper and salt, with his decent silver watch in his pocket and its decent hair-guard round his neck, looked a thoroughly decent young man of six-and-twenty. He was never seen in any other dress, and yet there was a certain stiffness in his manner of wearing this, as if there were a want of adaptation between him and it, recalling some mechanics in their holiday clothes. He had acquired mechanically a great store of teacher's knowledge. He could do mental arithmetic mechanically, sing at sight mechanically, blow various wind instruments mechanically, even play the great church organ mechanically. From his early childhood up, his mind had been a place of mechanical stowage. The arrangement of his wholesale warehouse, so that it might be always ready to meet the demands of retail dealers history here, geography there, astronomy to the right, political economy to the left—natural history, the physical sciences, figures, music, the lower mathematics, and what not, all in their several places—this care had imparted to his countenance a look of care; while the habit of questioning and being questioned had given him a suspicious manner, or a manner that would be better described as one of lying in wait. There was a kind of settled trouble in the face. It was the face belonging to a naturally slow or inattentive intellect that had toiled hard to get what it had won, and that had to hold it now that it was gotten. He always seemed to be uneasy lest anything should be missing from his mental warehouse, and taking stock to assure himself.
Charles Dickens (Our Mutual Friend)
MR. BONES KNEW THAT WILLY WASN'T LONG FOR THIS WORLD. The cough had been inside him for over six months, and by now there wasn't a chance in hell that he would ever get rid of it. Slowly and inexorably, without once taking a turn for the better, the thing had assumed a life of its own, advancing from a faint, phlegm-filled rattle in the lungs on February third to the wheezy sputum-jigs and gobby convulsions of high summer. All that was bad enough, but in the past two weeks a new tonality had crept into the bronchial music - something tight and flinty and percussive - and the attacks came now so often as to be almost constant. Every time one of them started, Mr. Bones half expected Willy's body to explode from the rockets of pressure bursting agaisnt his rib cage. He figured that blood would be the next step and when that fatal moment finally occurred on Saturday afternoon, it was as if all the angels in heaven had opened their mouths and started to sing. Mr. Bones saw it happen with his own eyes, standing by the edge of the road between Washington and Baltimore as Willy hawked up a few miserable clots of red matter into his handkerchief, and right then and there he knew that every ounce of hope was gone. The smell of death had settled upon Willy G. Christmas, and as surely as the sun was a lamp in the clouds that went off and on everyday, the end was drawing near. What was a poor dog to do? Mr. Bones had been with Willy since his earliest days as a pup, and by now it was next to impossible to imagine a world that did not have his master in it. Every thought, every memory, every particle of the earth and air was saturated with Willy's presence. Habits die hard, and no doubt there's some truth to the adage about old dogs and new tricks, but it was more than just love or devotion that caused Mr. Bones to dread what was coming. It was pure ontological terror. Substract Willy from the world, and the odds were that the world itself would cease to exist.
Paul Auster (Timbuktu)
Strange memories on this nervous night in Las Vegas. Five years later? Six? It seems like a lifetime, or at least a Main Era—the kind of peak that never comes again. San Francisco in the middle sixties was a very special time and place to be a part of. Maybe it meant something. Maybe not, in the long run… but no explanation, no mix of words or music or memories can touch that sense of knowing that you were there and alive in that corner of time and the world. Whatever it meant.… History is hard to know, because of all the hired bullshit, but even without being sure of "history" it seems entirely reasonable to think that every now and then the energy of a whole generation comes to a head in a long fine flash, for reasons that nobody really understands at the time—and which never explain, in retrospect, what actually happened. My central memory of that time seems to hang on one or five or maybe forty nights—or very early mornings—when I left the Fillmore half-crazy and, instead of going home, aimed the big 650 Lightning across the Bay Bridge at a hundred miles an hour wearing L. L. Bean shorts and a Butte sheepherder's jacket… booming through the Treasure Island tunnel at the lights of Oakland and Berkeley and Richmond, not quite sure which turn-off to take when I got to the other end (always stalling at the toll-gate, too twisted to find neutral while I fumbled for change)... but being absolutely certain that no matter which way I went I would come to a place where people were just as high and wild as I was: No doubt at all about that… There was madness in any direction, at any hour. If not across the Bay, then up the Golden Gate or down 101 to Los Altos or La Honda.… You could strike sparks anywhere. There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, that we were winning.… And that, I think, was the handle—that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn't need that. Our energy would simply prevail. There was no point in fighting—on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave.… So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark—that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.
Hunter S. Thompson (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas)
The Government set the stage economically by informing everyone that we were in a depression period, with very pointed allusions to the 1930s. The period just prior to our last 'good' war. ... Boiled down, our objective was to make killing and military life seem like adventurous fun, so for our inspiration we went back to the Thirties as well. It was pure serendipity. Inside one of the Scripter offices there was an old copy of Doc Smith's first LENSMAN space opera. It turned out that audiences in the 1970s were more receptive to the sort of things they scoffed at as juvenilia in the 1930s. Our drugs conditioned them to repeat viewings, simultaneously serving the ends of profit and positive reinforcement. The movie we came up with stroked all the correct psychological triggers. The fact that it grossed more money than any film in history at the time proved how on target our approach was.' 'Oh my God... said Jonathan, his mouth stalling the open position. 'Six months afterward we ripped ourselves off and got secondary reinforcement onto television. We pulled a 40 share. The year after that we phased in the video games, experimenting with non-narcotic hypnosis, using electrical pulses, body capacitance, and keying the pleasure centers of the brain with low voltage shocks. Jesus, Jonathan, can you *see* what we've accomplished? In something under half a decade we've programmed an entire generation of warm bodies to go to war for us and love it. They buy what we tell them to buy. Music, movies, whole lifestyles. And they hate who we tell them to. ... It's simple to make our audiences slaver for blood; that past hasn't changed since the days of the Colosseum. We've conditioned a whole population to live on the rim of Apocalypse and love it. They want to kill the enemy, tear his heart out, go to war so their gas bills will go down! They're all primed for just that sort of denouemment, ti satisfy their need for linear storytelling in the fictions that have become their lives! The system perpetuates itself. Our own guinea pigs pay us money to keep the mechanisms grinding away. If you don't believe that, just check out last year's big hit movies... then try to tell me the target demographic audience isn't waiting for marching orders. ("Incident On A Rainy Night In Beverly Hills")
David J. Schow (Seeing Red)
Run. Eat. Drink. Eat more. Don't throw up. Instead, take a piss. Then take a crap. Wipe your butt. Make a phone call. Open a door. Rid your bik. Ride in a car. Ride in a subway. Talk. Talk to people. Read. Read maps. Make maps. Make art. Talk about your art. Sell your art. Take a test. Get into a school. Celebrate. HAve a party. Write a thank-you note to someone. Hug your mom. Kiss your dad. Kiss your little sister. Make out with Noelle. Make out with her more. Touch her. HOld her hand. Take her out somewhere. Meet her friends. Run down a street with her. Take her on a picnic. Eat with her. See a movie with her. See a move with Aaron. Heck, see a movie with Nia, once you're cool with her. Get cool with more people.. Drink coffee in little coffee-drinking places. Tell people your story. Volunteer. Go back to Six North. Walk in as a volunteer and say hi to everyone who waited on you as a patient. Help people. Help people like Bobby. Get people books and music that they want when they're in there. Help people like Muqtada. Show them how to draw. Draw more. Try drawing a landscape. Try drawing a person. Try drawing a naked person. Try drawing Noelle naked. Travel. Fly. Swim. Meet. Love. Dance. Win. Smile. Laugh. Hold. Walk. Skip. Okay, it's gay, whatever, skip. Ski. Sled. Play basketball. Jog. Run. Run. Run. Run home. Run home and enjoy. Enjoy. Take these verbs and enjoy them. They're yours, Craig. You deserved them because you chose them. You could have left the all behind but you chose to stay here. So now live for real, Craig. Live. Live. Live. Live. Live.
Ned Vizzini (It's Kind of a Funny Story)
Doris loves Superman as well.unfortunately, she got knocked down by a van last year, and it was a big, long recovery for her, really. It took about six months, didn't it, before she was fully back to normal. She never gone back to normal. She's got a bionic leg now, which made her twice as fast and twice as stupid. You know, but she's just such good fun. But anyway,like she had a bit of a low point, you know, when she got really fed up, you know, with those stupid lampshade collars, you know, that they have on their head. Ugh, bumping into everything, she was walking about sighing. Ugh, like that, you know, and if you've ever been known or been with the terriers, but that ball of energy,you know, and she wasn't allowed to be for a walk or anything. It was awful. So to cheer her up, I bought her a little Superman outfit for dogs. When you get home, you look online. They are absolutely brilliant. You can get Wonder Woman and Darth Vader, all sorts. They're the funniest thing I have ever seen in my. The front paws, the front legs go in Super man's legs, you know, and it like covers up the paw with these little, red boot things on the bottom. And it comes up and ties around the neck, and there's tube stuff down from the front. So from the front, it's like a tiny, little Superman with a dog's head. And then, on the back there's this cape. So when she trots around, it looks like she's flying! Ah, it's brilliant! And she loves it. I couldn't get it off for about a week. It's honestly, they're absolutely brilliant, you must check it out. So anyway, tonight this is for Doris.
Kate Rusby
He closed his eyes. This bed was a wedding gift from friends he had not seen in years. He tried to remember their names, but they were gone. In it, or on it, his marriage had begun and, six years later, ended. He recognized a musical creak when he moved his legs, he smelled Julie on the sheets and banked-up pillows, her perfume and the close, soapy essence that characterized her newly washed linen. Here he had taken part in the longest, most revealing, and, later, most desolate conversations of his life. He had had the best sex ever here, and the worst wakeful nights. He had done more reading here than in any other single place - he remembered Anna Karenina and Daniel Deronda in one week of illness. He had never lost his temper so thoroughly anywhere else, nor had been so tender, protective, comforting, nor, since early childhood, been so cared for himself. Here his daughter had been conceived and born. On this side of the bed. Deep in the mattress were the traces of pee from her early-morning visits. She used to climb between then, sleep a little, then wake them with her chatter, her insistence on the day beginning. As they clung to their last fragments of dreams, she demanded the impossible: stories, poems, songs, invented catechisms, physical combat, tickling. Nearly all evidence of her existence, apart from photographs, they had destroyed or given away. All the worst and the best things that had ever happened to him had happened here. This was where he belonged. Beyond all immediate considerations, like the fact that his marriage was more or less finished, there was his right to lie here now in the marriage bed.
Ian McEwan (The Child in Time)
Jobs spent part of every day for six months helping to refine the display. “It was the most complex fun I’ve ever had,” he recalled. “It was like being the one evolving the variations on ‘Sgt. Pepper.’ ” A lot of features that seem simple now were the result of creative brainstorms. For example, the team worried about how to prevent the device from playing music or making a call accidentally when it was jangling in your pocket. Jobs was congenitally averse to having on-off switches, which he deemed “inelegant.” The solution was “Swipe to Open,” the simple and fun on-screen slider that activated the device when it had gone dormant. Another breakthrough was the sensor that figured out when you put the phone to your ear, so that your lobes didn’t accidentally activate some function. And of course the icons came in his favorite shape, the primitive he made Bill Atkinson design into the software of the first Macintosh: rounded rectangles. In session after session, with Jobs immersed in every detail, the team members figured out ways to simplify what other phones made complicated. They added a big bar to guide you in putting calls on hold or making conference calls, found easy ways to navigate through email, and created icons you could scroll through horizontally to get to different apps—all of which were easier because they could be used visually on the screen rather than by using a keyboard built into the hardware.
Walter Isaacson (Steve Jobs)
New Rule: Conservatives have to stop rolling their eyes every time they hear the word "France." Like just calling something French is the ultimate argument winner. As if to say, "What can you say about a country that was too stupid to get on board with our wonderfully conceived and brilliantly executed war in Iraq?" And yet an American politician could not survive if he uttered the simple, true statement: "France has a better health-care system than we do, and we should steal it." Because here, simply dismissing an idea as French passes for an argument. John Kerry? Couldn't vote for him--he looked French. Yeah, as a opposed to the other guy, who just looked stupid. Last week, France had an election, and people over there approach an election differently. They vote. Eighty-five percent turned out. You couldn't get eighty-five percent of Americans to get off the couch if there was an election between tits and bigger tits and they were giving out free samples. Maybe the high turnout has something to do with the fact that the French candidates are never asked where they stand on evolution, prayer in school, abortion, stem cell research, or gay marriage. And if the candidate knows about a character in a book other than Jesus, it's not a drawback. The electorate doesn't vote for the guy they want to have a croissant with. Nor do they care about private lives. In the current race, Madame Royal has four kids, but she never got married. And she's a socialist. In America, if a Democrat even thinks you're calling him "liberal," he grabs an orange vest and a rifle and heads into the woods to kill something. Royal's opponent is married, but they live apart and lead separate lives. And the people are okay with that, for the same reason they're okay with nude beaches: because they're not a nation of six-year-olds who scream and giggle if they see pee-pee parts. They have weird ideas about privacy. They think it should be private. In France, even mistresses have mistresses. To not have a lady on the side says to the voters, "I'm no good at multitasking." Like any country, France has its faults, like all that ridiculous accordion music--but their health care is the best in the industrialized world, as is their poverty rate. And they're completely independent of Mid-East oil. And they're the greenest country. And they're not fat. They have public intellectuals in France. We have Dr. Phil. They invented sex during the day, lingerie, and the tongue. Can't we admit we could learn something from them?
Bill Maher (The New New Rules: A Funny Look At How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass)
Sam: There's no collisions out there, Hally. Nobody trips or stumbles or bumps into anybody else. That's what that moment is all about. To be one of those finalists on that dance floor is like... like being in a dream about a world in which accidents don't happen. Hally: [Genuinely moved by Sam's image.] Jesus, Sam! That's beautiful! Willie: [Can endure waiting no longer.] I'm starting! [Willie dances while Sam talks.] Sam: Of course it is. That's what I've been trying to say to you all afternoon. And it's beautiful because that is what we want life to be like. But instead, like you said, Hally, we're bumping into each other all the time. Look at the three of us this afternoon. I've bumped into Willie, the two of us have bumped into you, you've bumped into your mother, she bumping into your Dad... None of us knows the steps and there's no music playing. And it doesn't stop with us. The whole world is doing it all the time. Open a newspaper and what do you read? America has bumped into Russia, England is bumping into India, rich man bumps into poor man. Those are big collisions, Hally. They make for a lot of bruises. People get hurt in all that bumping, and we're sick and tired of it now. It's been going on for too long. Are we never going to get it right? ... Learn to dance life like champions instead of always being just a bunch of beginners at it? Hally: [Deep and sincere admiration of the man.] You've got a vision, Sam! Sam: Not just me. What I'm saying to you is that everybody's got it. That's why there's only standing room left for the Centenery Hall in two weeks' time. For as long as the music lasts, we are going to see six couples get it right, the way we want life to be. Hally: But is that the best we can do, Sam... watch six finalists dreaming about the way it should be? Sam: I don't know. But it starts with that. Without the dream we won't know what we're going for. And anyway I reckon there are a few people who have got past just dreaming about it and are trying for something real.
Athol Fugard (Master Harold...and the boys)
We almost began a perfect conversation, F. said as he turned on the six o'clock news. He turned the radio very loud and began to shout wildly against the voice of the commentator, who was reciting a list of disasters. Sail on, sail on, O Ship of State, auto accidents, births, Berlin, cures for cancer! Listen, my friend, listen to the present, the right now, it's all around us, painted like a target, red, white, and blue. Sail into the target like a dart, a fluke bull's eye in a dirty pub. Empty your memory and listen to the fire around you. Don't forget your memory, let it exist somewhere precious in all the colors that it needs but somewhere else, hoist your memory on the Ship of State like a pirate's sail, and aim yourself at the tinkly present. Do you know how to do this? Do you know how to see the akropolis like the Indians did who never even had one? Fuck a saint, that's how, find a little saint and fuck her over and over in some pleasant part of heaven, get right into her plastic altar, dwell in her silver medal, fuck her until she tinkles like a souvenir music box, until the memorial lights go on for free, find a little saintly faker like Teresa or Catherine Tekakwitha or Lesbia, whom prick never knew but who lay around all day in a chocolate poem, find one of these quaint impossible cunts and fuck her for your life, coming all over the sky, fuck her on the moon with a steel hourglass up your hole, get tangled in her airy robes, suck her nothing juices, lap, lap, lap, a dog in the ether, then climb down to this fat earth and slouch around the fat earth in your stone shoes, get clobbered by a runaway target, take the senseless blows again and again, a right to the mind, piledriver on the heart, kick in the scrotum, help! help! it's my time, my second, my splinter of the shit glory tree, police, fire men! look at the traffic of happiness and crime, it's burning in crayon like the akropolis rose! And so on.
Leonard Cohen (Beautiful Losers)
There was a note on the table.” “Bring it here,” Van Eck barked. The boy strode down the aisle, and Van Eck snatched the note from his hand. “What does it … what does it say?” asked Bajan. His voice was tremulous. Maybe Inej had been right about Alys and the music teacher. Van Eck backhanded him. “If I find out you knew anything about this—” “I didn’t!” Bajan cried. “I knew nothing. I followed your orders to the letter!” Van Eck crumpled the note in his fist, but not before Inej made out the words in Kaz’s jagged, unmistakable hand: Noon tomorrow. Goedmedbridge. With her knives. “The note was weighted down with this.” The boy reached into his pocket and drew out a tie pin—a fat ruby surrounded by golden laurel leaves. Kaz had stolen it from Van Eck back when they’d first been hired for the Ice Court job. Inej hadn’t had the chance to fence it before they left Ketterdam. Somehow Kaz must have gotten hold of it again. “Brekker,” Van Eck snarled, his voice taut with rage. Inej couldn’t help it. She started to laugh. Van Eck slapped her hard. He grabbed her tunic and shook her so that her bones rattled. “Brekker thinks we’re still playing a game, does he? She is my wife. She carries my heir.” Inej laughed even harder, all the horrors of the past week rising from her chest in giddy peals. She wasn’t sure she could have stopped if she wanted to. “And you were foolish enough to tell Kaz all of that on Vellgeluk.” “Shall I have Franke fetch the mallet and show you just how serious I am?” “Mister Van Eck,” Bajan pleaded. But Inej was done being frightened of this man. Before Van Eck could take another breath, she slammed her forehead upward, shattering his nose. He screamed and released her as blood gushed over his fine mercher suit. Instantly, his guards were on her, pulling her back. “You little wretch,” Van Eck said, holding a monogrammed handkerchief to his face. “You little whore. I’ll take a hammer to both your legs myself—” “Go on, Van Eck, threaten me. Tell me all the little things I am. You lay a finger on me and Kaz Brekker will cut the baby from your pretty wife’s stomach and hang its body from a balcony at the Exchange.” Ugly words, speech that pricked her conscience, but Van Eck deserved the images she’d planted in his mind. Though she didn’t believe Kaz would do such a thing, she felt grateful for each nasty, vicious thing Dirtyhands had done to earn his reputation—a reputation that would haunt Van Eck every second until his wife was returned. “Be silent,” he shouted, spittle flying from his mouth. “You think he won’t?” Inej taunted. She could feel the heat in her cheek from where his hand had struck her, could see the mallet still resting in the guard’s hand. Van Eck had given her fear and she was happy to return it to him. “Vile, ruthless, amoral. Isn’t that why you hired Kaz in the first place? Because he does the things that no one else dares? Go on, Van Eck. Break my legs and see what happens. Dare him.” Had she really believed a merch could outthink Kaz Brekker? Kaz would get her free and then they’d show this man exactly what whores and canal rats could do. “Console yourself,” she said as Van Eck clutched the ragged corner of the table for support. “Even better men can be bested.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
No one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy would have supposed her born to be an heroine. Her situation in life, the character of her father and mother, her own person and disposition, were all equally against her. Her father was a clergyman, without being neglected, or poor, and a very respectable man, though his name was Richard — and he had never been handsome. He had a considerable independence besides two good livings — and he was not in the least addicted to locking up his daughters. Her mother was a woman of useful plain sense, with a good temper, and, what is more remarkable, with a good constitution. She had three sons before Catherine was born; and instead of dying in bringing the latter into the world, as anybody might expect, she still lived on — lived to have six children more — to see them growing up around her, and to enjoy excellent health herself. A family of ten children will be always called a fine family, where there are heads and arms and legs enough for the number; but the Morlands had little other right to the word, for they were in general very plain, and Catherine, for many years of her life, as plain as any. She had a thin awkward figure, a sallow skin without colour, dark lank hair, and strong features — so much for her person; and not less unpropitious for heroism seemed her mind. She was fond of all boy's plays, and greatly preferred cricket not merely to dolls, but to the more heroic enjoyments of infancy, nursing a dormouse, feeding a canary-bird, or watering a rose-bush. Indeed she had no taste for a garden; and if she gathered flowers at all, it was chiefly for the pleasure of mischief — at least so it was conjectured from her always preferring those which she was forbidden to take. Such were her propensities — her abilities were quite as extraordinary. She never could learn or understand anything before she was taught; and sometimes not even then, for she was often inattentive, and occasionally stupid. Her mother was three months in teaching her only to repeat the "Beggar's Petition"; and after all, her next sister, Sally, could say it better than she did. Not that Catherine was always stupid — by no means; she learnt the fable of "The Hare and Many Friends" as quickly as any girl in England. Her mother wished her to learn music; and Catherine was sure she should like it, for she was very fond of tinkling the keys of the old forlorn spinner; so, at eight years old she began. She learnt a year, and could not bear it; and Mrs. Morland, who did not insist on her daughters being accomplished in spite of incapacity or distaste, allowed her to leave off. The day which dismissed the music-master was one of the happiest of Catherine's life. Her taste for drawing was not superior; though whenever she could obtain the outside of a letter from her mother or seize upon any other odd piece of paper, she did what she could in that way, by drawing houses and trees, hens and chickens, all very much like one another. Writing and accounts she was taught by her father; French by her mother: her proficiency in either was not remarkable, and she shirked her lessons in both whenever she could. What a strange, unaccountable character! — for with all these symptoms of profligacy at ten years old, she had neither a bad heart nor a bad temper, was seldom stubborn, scarcely ever quarrelsome, and very kind to the little ones, with few interruptions of tyranny; she was moreover noisy and wild, hated confinement and cleanliness, and loved nothing so well in the world as rolling down the green slope at the back of the house.
Jane Austen (Northanger Abbey)
Arin said, “If I win, I will ask a question, and you will answer.” She felt a nervous flutter. “I could lie. People lie.” “I’m willing to risk it.” “If those are your stakes, then I assume my prize would be the same.” “If you win.” She still could not quite agree. “Questions and answers are highly irregular stakes in Bite and Sting,” she said irritably. “Whereas matches make the perfect ante, and are so exciting to win and lose.” “Fine.” Kestrel tossed the box to the carpet, where it landed with a muffled sound. Arin didn’t look satisfied or amused or anything at all. He simply drew his hand. She did the same. They played in intent concentration, and Kestrel was determined to win. She didn’t. “I want to know,” Arin said, “why you are not already a soldier.” Kestrel couldn’t have said what she had thought he would ask, but this was not it, and the question recalled years of arguments she would rather forget. She was curt. “I’m seventeen. I’m not yet required by law to enlist or marry.” He settled back in his chair, toying with one of his winning pieces. He tapped a thin side against the table, spun the tile in his fingers, and tapped another side. “That’s not a full answer.” “I don’t think we specified how short or long these answers should be. Let’s play again.” “If you win, will you be satisfied with the kind of answer you have given me?” Slowly, she said, “The military is my father’s life. Not mine. I’m not even a skilled fighter.” “Really?” His surprise seemed genuine. “Oh, I pass muster. I can defend myself as well as most Valorians, but I’m not good at combat. I know what it’s like to be good at something.” Arin glanced again at the piano. “There is also my music,” Kestrel acknowledged. “A piano is not very portable. I could hardly take it with me if I were sent into battle.” “Playing music is for slaves,” Arin said. “Like cooking or cleaning.” Kestrel heard anger in his words, buried like bedrock under the careless ripple of his voice. “It wasn’t always like that.” Arin was silent, and even though Kestrel had initially tried to answer his question in the briefest of ways, she felt compelled to explain the final reason behind her resistance to the general. “Also…I don’t want to kill.” Arin frowned at this, so Kestrel laughed to make light of the conversation. “I drive my father mad. Yet don’t all daughters? So we’ve made a truce. I have agreed that, in the spring, I will either enlist or marry.” He stopped spinning the tile in his fingers. “You’ll marry, then.” “Yes. But at least I will have six months of peace first.” Arin dropped the tile to the table. “Let’s play again.” This time Kestrel won, and wasn’t prepared for how her blood buzzed with triumph.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
We almost began a perfect conversation, F. said as he turned on the six o'clock news. He turned the radio very loud and began to shout wildly against the voice of the commentator, who was reciting a list of disasters. Sail on, sail on, O Ship of State, auto accidents, births, Berlin, cures for cancer! Listen, my friend, listen to the present, the right now, it's all around us, painted like a target, red, white, and blue. Sail into the target like a dart, a fluke bull's eye in a dirty pub. Empty your memory and listen to the fire around you. Don't forget your memory, let it exist somewhere precious in all the colors that it needs but somewhere else, hoist your memory on the Ship of State like a pirate's sail, and aim yourself at the tinkly present. Do you know how to do this? Do you know how to see the akropolis like the Indians did who never even had one? Fuck a saint, that's how, find a little saint and fuck her over and over in some pleasant part of heaven, get right into her plastic altar, dwell in her silver medal, fuck her until she tinkles like a souvenir music box, until the memorial lights go on for free, find a little saintly faker like Teresa or Catherine Tekakwitha or Lesbia, whom prick never knew but who lay around all day in a chocolate poem, find one of these quaint impossible cunts and fuck her for your life, coming all over the sky, fuck her on the moon with a steel hourglass up your hole, get tangled in her airy robes, suck her nothing juices, lap, lap, lap, a dog in the ether, then climb down to this fat earth and slouch around the fat earth in your stone shoes, get clobbered by a runaway target, take the senseless blows again and again, a right to the mind, piledriver on the heart, kick in the scrotum, help! help! it's my time, my second, my splinter of the shit glory tree, police, fire men! look at the traffic of happiness and crime, it's burning in crayon like the akropolis rose! And so on.
Leonard Cohen (Beautiful Losers)
Are you chuckling yet? Because then along came you. A big, broad meat eater with brash blond hair and ruddy skin that burns at the beach. A bundle of appetites. A full, boisterous guffaw; a man who tells knock know jokes. Hot dogs - not even East 86th Street bratwurst but mealy, greasy big guts that terrifying pink. Baseball. Gimme caps. Puns and blockbuster movies, raw tap water and six-packs. A fearless, trusting consumer who only reads labels to make sure there are plenty of additives. A fan of the open road with a passion for his pickup who thinks bicycles are for nerds. Fucks hard and talks dirty; a private though unapologetic taste for porn. Mysteries, thrillers, and science fiction; a subscription to National Geographic. Barbecues on the Fourth of July and intentions, in the fullness of time, to take up golf. Delights in crappy snack foods of ever description: Burgles. Curlies. Cheesies. Squigglies - you're laughing - but I don't eat them - anything that looks less like food than packing material and at least six degrees of separation from the farm. Bruce Springsteen, the early albums, cranked up high with the truck window down and your hair flying. Sings along, off-key - how is it possible that I should be endeared by such a tin ear?Beach Boys. Elvis - never lose your roots, did you, loved plain old rock and roll. Bombast. Though not impossibly stodgy; I remember, you took a shine to Pearl Jam, which was exactly when Kevin went off them...(sorry). It just had to be noisy; you hadn't any time for my Elgar, my Leo Kottke, though you made an exception for Aaron Copeland. You wiped your eyes brusquely at Tanglewood, as if to clear gnats, hoping I didn't notice that "Quiet City" made you cry. And ordinary, obvious pleasure: the Bronx Zoo and the botanical gardens, the Coney Island roller coaster, the Staten Island ferry, the Empire State Building. You were the only New Yorker I'd ever met who'd actually taken the ferry to the Statue of Liberty. You dragged me along once, and we were the only tourists on the boat who spoke English. Representational art - Edward Hopper. And my lord, Franklin, a Republican. A belief in a strong defense but otherwise small government and low taxes. Physically, too, you were such a surprise - yourself a strong defense. There were times you were worried that I thought you too heavy, I made so much of your size, though you weighed in a t a pretty standard 165, 170, always battling those five pounds' worth of cheddar widgets that would settle over your belt. But to me you were enormous. So sturdy and solid, so wide, so thick, none of that delicate wristy business of my imaginings. Built like an oak tree, against which I could pitch my pillow and read; mornings, I could curl into the crook of your branches. How luck we are, when we've spared what we think we want! How weary I might have grown of all those silly pots and fussy diets, and how I detest the whine of sitar music!
Lionel Shriver (We Need to Talk About Kevin)
He’d mentioned it a month before. A month. Not a good month, admittedly, but still—a month. That was enough time for him to have written something, at least. There was still something of him, or by him at least, floating around out there. I needed it. “I’m gonna go to his house,” I told Isaac. I hurried out to the minivan and hauled the oxygen cart up and into the passenger seat. I started the car. A hip-hop beat blared from the stereo, and as I reached to change the radio station, someone started rapping. In Swedish. I swiveled around and screamed when I saw Peter Van Houten sitting in the backseat. “I apologize for alarming you,” Peter Van Houten said over the rapping. He was still wearing the funeral suit, almost a week later. He smelled like he was sweating alcohol. “You’re welcome to keep the CD,” he said. “It’s Snook, one of the major Swedish—” “Ah ah ah ah GET OUT OF MY CAR.” I turned off the stereo. “It’s your mother’s car, as I understand it,” he said. “Also, it wasn’t locked.” “Oh, my God! Get out of the car or I’ll call nine-one-one. Dude, what is your problem?” “If only there were just one,” he mused. “I am here simply to apologize. You were correct in noting earlier that I am a pathetic little man, dependent upon alcohol. I had one acquaintance who only spent time with me because I paid her to do so—worse, still, she has since quit, leaving me the rare soul who cannot acquire companionship even through bribery. It is all true, Hazel. All that and more.” “Okay,” I said. It would have been a more moving speech had he not slurred his words. “You remind me of Anna.” “I remind a lot of people of a lot of people,” I answered. “I really have to go.” “So drive,” he said. “Get out.” “No. You remind me of Anna,” he said again. After a second, I put the car in reverse and backed out. I couldn’t make him leave, and I didn’t have to. I’d drive to Gus’s house, and Gus’s parents would make him leave. “You are, of course, familiar,” Van Houten said, “with Antonietta Meo.” “Yeah, no,” I said. I turned on the stereo, and the Swedish hip-hop blared, but Van Houten yelled over it. “She may soon be the youngest nonmartyr saint ever beatified by the Catholic Church. She had the same cancer that Mr. Waters had, osteosarcoma. They removed her right leg. The pain was excruciating. As Antonietta Meo lay dying at the ripened age of six from this agonizing cancer, she told her father, ‘Pain is like fabric: The stronger it is, the more it’s worth.’ Is that true, Hazel?” I wasn’t looking at him directly but at his reflection in the mirror. “No,” I shouted over the music. “That’s bullshit.” “But don’t you wish it were true!” he cried back. I cut the music. “I’m sorry I ruined your trip. You were too young. You were—” He broke down. As if he had a right to cry over Gus. Van Houten was just another of the endless mourners who did not know him, another too-late lamentation on his wall. “You didn’t ruin our trip, you self-important bastard. We had an awesome trip.” “I am trying,” he said. “I am trying, I swear.” It was around then that I realized Peter Van Houten had a dead person in his family. I considered the honesty with which he had written about cancer kids; the fact that he couldn’t speak to me in Amsterdam except to ask if I’d dressed like her on purpose; his shittiness around me and Augustus; his aching question about the relationship between pain’s extremity and its value. He sat back there drinking, an old man who’d been drunk for years.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)