Strangers Quotes

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

Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.
Robert A. Heinlein (Stranger in a Strange Land)
If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be; and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the universe would turn to a mighty stranger.
Emily Brontë (Wuthering Heights)
Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't.
Mark Twain (Following the Equator: A Journey Around the World)
You see I usually find myself among strangers because I drift here and there trying to forget the sad things that happened to me.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
I don't go out with strangers," I said. "Good thing I do. I'll pick you up at five.
Becca Fitzpatrick (Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush, #1))
We sometimes encounter people, even perfect strangers, who begin to interest us at first sight, somehow suddenly, all at once, before a word has been spoken.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Crime and Punishment)
A short story is a different thing altogether – a short story is like a quick kiss in the dark from a stranger.
Stephen King (Skeleton Crew)
In the world I am Always a stranger I do not understand its language It does not understand my silence
Bei Dao
Are you, are you coming to the tree? Wear a necklace of rope, side by side with me. Strange things did happen here. No stranger would let it be if we met up At midnight in the hanging tree.
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
I think it is all a matter of love; the more you love a memory the stronger and stranger it becomes
Vladimir Nabokov
I may not have been sure about what really did interest me, but I was absolutely sure about what didn't.
Albert Camus (The Stranger)
two people who were once very close can without blame or grand betrayal become strangers. perhaps this is the saddest thing in the world.
Warsan Shire
People who are strangers to liquor are incapable of talking about literature.
Mo Yan
A friend may be waiting behind a stranger's face.
Maya Angelou (Letter to My Daughter)
An unhappy alternative is before you, Elizabeth. From this day you must be a stranger to one of your parents. Your mother will never see you again if you do not marry Mr. Collins, and I will never see you again if you do.
Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice)
If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love. Don't be surly at home, then go out in the street and start grinning 'Good morning' at total strangers.
Maya Angelou
You should date a girl who reads. Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes, who has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve. Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag. She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she has found the book she wants. You see that weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a secondhand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow and worn. She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book. Buy her another cup of coffee. Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice. It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas, for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry and in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does. She has to give it a shot somehow. Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world. Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who read understand that all things must come to end, but that you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two. Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series. If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are. You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype. You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots. Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads. Or better yet, date a girl who writes.
Rosemarie Urquico
All great literature is one of two stories; a man goes on a journey or a stranger comes to town.
Leo Tolstoy
Do you want to know why men name their penis? So the most important decisions in their life aren't made by a stranger.
Linda Howard (After the Night)
What is family? They were the people who claimed you. In good, in bad, in parts or in whole, they were the ones who showed up, who stayed in there, regardless. It wasn't just about blood relations or shared chromosomes, but something wider, bigger. We had many families over time. Our family of origin, the family we created, and the groups you moved through while all of this was happening: friends, lovers, sometimes even strangers. None of them perfect, and we couldn't expect them to be. You can't make any one person your world. The trick was to take what each could give you and build your world from it.
Sarah Dessen (Lock and Key)
The more you love someone, he came to think, the harder it is to tell them. It surprised him that strangers didn't stop each other on the street to say I love you.
Jonathan Safran Foer (Everything is Illuminated)
We die to each other daily. What we know of other people is only our memory of the moments during which we knew them. And they have changed since then. To pretend that they and we are the same is a useful and convenient social convention which must sometimes be broken. We must also remember that at every meeting we are meeting a stranger.
T.S. Eliot (The Cocktail Party)
Make your choice, adventurous Stranger, Strike the bell and bide the danger, Or wonder, till it drives you mad, What would have followed if you had.
C.S. Lewis (The Magician's Nephew (Chronicles of Narnia, #1))
She was a stranger now, but she'd been a friend once, and that was enough for him.
Nicholas Sparks (The Last Song)
No single event can awaken within us a stranger whose existence we had never suspected. To live is to be slowly born.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (Flight To Arras)
Since we're all going to die, it's obvious that when and how don't matter.
Albert Camus (The Stranger)
For the ones who dream of stranger worlds.
V.E. Schwab (A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic, #1))
And on that evening when we grow older still we'll speak about these two young men as though they were two strangers we met on the train and whom we admire and want to help along. And we'll want to call it envy, because to call it regret would break our hearts.
André Aciman (Call Me by Your Name)
. . .sometimes one feels freer speaking to a stranger than to people one knows. Why is that?" “Probably because a stranger sees us the way we are, not as he wishes to think we are.
Carlos Ruiz Zafón (The Shadow of the Wind (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #1))
I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.
Tennessee Williams (A Streetcar Named Desire)
I looked up at the mass of signs and stars in the night sky and laid myself open for the first time to the benign indifference of the world.
Albert Camus (The Stranger)
I know always that I am an outsider; a stranger in this century and among those who are still men.
H.P. Lovecraft (The Outsider)
Strangers are just family you have yet to come to know.
Mitch Albom
If something is going to happen to me, I want to be there.
Albert Camus (The Stranger)
Sometimes, the biggest secrets you can only tell a stranger.
Michelle Hodkin (The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #2))
I bet you think things through, right? Accept candy from strangers and get into vans with a sign that reads free Kittens?
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Obsidian (Lux, #1))
Do you fall in love often?" Yes often. With a view, with a book, with a dog, a cat, with numbers, with friends, with complete strangers, with nothing at all.
Jeanette Winterson (Gut Symmetries)
You think the only people who are people, are the people who look and think like you. But if you walk the footsteps of a stranger, you'll learn things you never knew you never knew." - Pocahontas
Walt Disney Company
A good story should make you laugh, and a moment later break your heart.
Chuck Palahniuk (Stranger than Fiction)
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.
Albert Einstein
You've got the look of a girl who's no stranger to the page. I can tell. You've got words in your soul.
Jay Kristoff (Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle, #1))
Men always say that as the defining compliment, don’t they? She’s a cool girl. Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot. Hot and understanding. Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, shit on me, I don’t mind, I’m the Cool Girl. Men actually think this girl exists. Maybe they’re fooled because so many women are willing to pretend to be this girl. For a long time Cool Girl offended me. I used to see men – friends, coworkers, strangers – giddy over these awful pretender women, and I’d want to sit these men down and calmly say: You are not dating a woman, you are dating a woman who has watched too many movies written by socially awkward men who’d like to believe that this kind of woman exists and might kiss them. I’d want to grab the poor guy by his lapels or messenger bag and say: The bitch doesn’t really love chili dogs that much – no one loves chili dogs that much! And the Cool Girls are even more pathetic: They’re not even pretending to be the woman they want to be, they’re pretending to be the woman a man wants them to be. Oh, and if you’re not a Cool Girl, I beg you not to believe that your man doesn’t want the Cool Girl. It may be a slightly different version – maybe he’s a vegetarian, so Cool Girl loves seitan and is great with dogs; or maybe he’s a hipster artist, so Cool Girl is a tattooed, bespectacled nerd who loves comics. There are variations to the window dressing, but believe me, he wants Cool Girl, who is basically the girl who likes every fucking thing he likes and doesn’t ever complain. (How do you know you’re not Cool Girl? Because he says things like: “I like strong women.” If he says that to you, he will at some point fuck someone else. Because “I like strong women” is code for “I hate strong women.”)
Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl)
Are you proud of yourself tonight that you have insulted a total stranger whose circumstances you know nothing about?
Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird)
Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent.
Arthur Conan Doyle (A Case of Identity - a Sherlock Holmes Short Story (The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes #3))
Enter, stranger, but take heed Of what awaits the sin of greed, For those who take, but do not earn, Must pay most dearly in their turn, So if you seek beneath our floors A treasure that was never yours, Thief, you have been warned, beware Of finding more than treasure there.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1))
Everybody starts out as strangers.
J.A. Redmerski (The Edge of Never (The Edge of Never, #1))
Not only is the Universe stranger than we think, it is stranger than we can think.
Werner Heisenberg (Across the Frontiers)
Arguing with anonymous strangers on the Internet is a sucker's game because they almost always turn out to be—or to be indistinguishable from—self-righteous sixteen-year-olds possessing infinite amounts of free time.
Neal Stephenson (Cryptonomicon (Crypto, #1))
Now they were as strangers; worse than strangers, for they could never become acquainted.
Jane Austen (Persuasion)
i have a friend request from some stranger on facebook and i delete it without looking at the profile because that doesn't seem natural. 'cause friendship should not be as easy as that. it's like people believe all you need to do is like the same bands in order to be soulmates. or books. omg... U like the outsiders 2... it's like we're the same person! no we're not. it's like we have the same english teacher. there's a difference.
David Levithan (Will Grayson, Will Grayson)
That's why I write, because life never works except in retrospect. You can't control life, at least you can control your version.
Chuck Palahniuk (Stranger than Fiction)
Asscrown," I muttered under my breath as I headed to my next class. I wasn't proud of swearing at a complete stranger, no. but he started it. Noah matched my pace. "Don't you mean 'assclown'?" He looked amused. "No," I said, louder this time. "I mean asscrown. The crown on top of the asshat that covers the asshole of the assclown. The very zenith in the hierarchy of asses," I said, as though I was reading from a dictionary of modern profanity. "I guess you nailed me then.
Michelle Hodkin (The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #1))
Jealousy is a disease, love is a healthy condition. The immature mind often mistakes one for the other, or assumes that the greater the love, the greater the jealousy - in fact, they are almost incompatible; one emotion hardly leaves room for the other.
Robert A. Heinlein (Stranger in a Strange Land)
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.
Melody Beattie
You can love somebody without it being like that. You keep them a stranger, a stranger who's a friend.
Truman Capote (Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Three Stories)
Strangers see you the way you want them to see you. You can't fool friends…that's what makes them friends... Pretty Little Liars
Sara Shepard
It happens like this. "One day you meet someone and for some inexplicable reason, you feel more connected to this stranger than anyone else--closer to them than your closest family. Perhaps this person carries within them an angel--one sent to you for some higher purpose; to teach you an important lesson or to keep you safe during a perilous time. What you must do is trust in them--even if they come hand in hand with pain or suffering--the reason for their presence will become clear in due time." Though here is a word of warning--you may grow to love this person but remember they are not yours to keep. Their purpose isn't to save you but to show you how to save yourself. And once this is fulfilled; the halo lifts and the angel leaves their body as the person exits your life. They will be a stranger to you once more. ------------------------------------------------- It's so dark right now, I can't see any light around me. That's because the light is coming from you. You can't see it but everyone else can.
Lang Leav (Love & Misadventure)
I cannot express it; but surely you and everybody have a notion that there is or should be an existence of yours beyond you. What were the use of my creation, if I were entirely contained here? My great miseries in this world have been Heathcliff's miseries, and I watched and felt each from the beginning: my great thought in living is himself. If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be; and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the universe would turn to a mighty stranger: I should not seem a part of it. My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods: time will change it, I'm well aware, as winter changes the trees. My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath: a source of little visible delight, but necessary. Nelly, I am Heathcliff! He's always, always in my mind: not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleasure to myself, but as my own being.
Emily Brontë (Wuthering Heights)
Have you no hope at all? And do you really live with the thought that when you die, you die, and nothing remains?" "Yes," I said.
Albert Camus (The Stranger)
We are all strangers in a strange land, longing for home, but not quite knowing what or where home is. We glimpse it sometimes in our dreams, or as we turn a corner, and suddenly there is a strange, sweet familiarity that vanishes almost as soon as it comes.
Madeleine L'Engle
Mother died today. Or maybe yesterday; I can't be sure.
Albert Camus (The Stranger)
And perhaps there is a limit to the grieving that the human heart can do. As when one adds salt to a tumbler of water, there comes a point where simply no more will be absorbed.
Sarah Waters (The Little Stranger)
I respect you," he murmured. "and your views. I think of you as an equal. I respect your brains, and all those big words you like to use. But I also want to rip your clothes off and have sex with you until you scream and cry and see God." -Jack Travis (Smooth Talking Stranger)
Lisa Kleypas (Smooth Talking Stranger (Travises, #3))
My kids are starting to notice I'm a little different from the other dads. "Why don't you have a straight job like everyone else?" they asked me the other day. I told them this story: In the forest, there was a crooked tree and a straight tree. Every day, the straight tree would say to the crooked tree, "Look at me...I'm tall, and I'm straight, and I'm handsome. Look at you...you're all crooked and bent over. No one wants to look at you." And they grew up in that forest together. And then one day the loggers came, and they saw the crooked tree and the straight tree, and they said, "Just cut the straight trees and leave the rest." So the loggers turned all the straight trees into lumber and toothpicks and paper. And the crooked tree is still there, growing stronger and stranger every day.
Tom Waits
I woke up as the sun was reddening; and that was the one distinct time in my life, the strangest moment of all, when I didn't know who I was - I was far away from home, haunted and tired with travel, in a cheap hotel room I'd never seen, hearing the hiss of steam outside, and the creak of the old wood of the hotel, and footsteps upstairs, and all the sad sounds, and I looked at the cracked high ceiling and really didn't know who I was for about fifteen strange seconds. I wasn't scared; I was just somebody else, some stranger, and my whole life was a haunted life, the life of a ghost.
Jack Kerouac (On the Road (The Viking Critical Library))
After awhile you could get used to anything.
Albert Camus (The Stranger)
Anoshe was a word for strangers in the street, and lovers between meetings, for parents and children, friends and family. It softened the blow of leaving. Eased the strain of parting. A careful nod to the certainty of today, the mystery of tomorrow. When a friend left, with little chance of seeing home, they said anoshe. When a loved one was dying, they said anoshe. When corpses were burned, bodies given back to the earth and souls to the stream, those left grieving said anoshe. Anoshe brought solace. And hope. And the strength to let go.
V.E. Schwab (A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic, #3))
I've found out why people laugh. They laugh because it hurts so much . . . because it's the only thing that'll make it stop hurting.
Robert A. Heinlein (Stranger in a Strange Land)
I believe in the magic of books. I believe that during certain periods in our lives we are drawn to particular books--whether it's strolling down the aisles of a bookshop with no idea whatsoever of what it is that we want to read and suddenly finding the most perfect, most wonderfully suitable book staring us right in the face. Unblinking. Or a chance meeting with a stranger or friend who recommends a book we would never ordinarily reach for. Books have the ability to find their own way into our lives.
Cecelia Ahern
Admit it. You aren’t like them. You’re not even close. You may occasionally dress yourself up as one of them, watch the same mindless television shows as they do, maybe even eat the same fast food sometimes. But it seems that the more you try to fit in, the more you feel like an outsider, watching the “normal people” as they go about their automatic existences. For every time you say club passwords like “Have a nice day” and “Weather’s awful today, eh?”, you yearn inside to say forbidden things like “Tell me something that makes you cry” or “What do you think deja vu is for?”. Face it, you even want to talk to that girl in the elevator. But what if that girl in the elevator (and the balding man who walks past your cubicle at work) are thinking the same thing? Who knows what you might learn from taking a chance on conversation with a stranger? Everyone carries a piece of the puzzle. Nobody comes into your life by mere coincidence. Trust your instincts. Do the unexpected. Find the others…
Timothy Leary
Dear parents, Jasmine was in a relationship with a dirty homeless boy named Aladdin. Snow White lived alone with 7 men. Pinnochio was a liar. Robin Hood was a thief. Tarzan walked around without clothes on. A stranger kissed sleeping beauty and she married him. Cinderella lied and snuck out at night to attend a party. You can't blame us. We were taught to rebel since a young age.
Walt Disney Company
Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent. We would not dare to conceive the things which are really mere commonplaces of existence. If we could fly out of that window hand in hand, hover over this great city, gently remove the roofs, and and peep in at the queer things which are going on, the strange coincidences, the plannings, the cross-purposes, the wonderful chains of events, working through generations, and leading to the most outre results, it would make all fiction with its conventionalities and foreseen conclusions most stale and unprofitable.
Arthur Conan Doyle (The Complete Adventures of Sherlock Holmes)
Sometimes I reread my favorite books from back to front. I start with the last chapter and read backward until I get to the beginning. When you read this way, characters go from hope to despair, from self-knowledge to doubt. In love stories, couples start out as lovers and end as strangers. Coming-of-age books become stories of losing your way. Your favorite characters come back to life.
Nicola Yoon (Everything, Everything)
I had been right, I was still right, I was always right. I had lived my life one way and I could just as well have lived it another. I had done this and I hadn't done that. I hadn't done this thing but I had done another. And so?
Albert Camus (The Stranger)
I realized then that a man who had lived only one day could easily live for a hundred years in prison. He would have enough memories to keep him from being bored
Albert Camus (The Stranger)
the year of letting go, of understanding loss. grace. of the word ‘no’ and also being able to say ‘you are not kind’. the year of humanity/humility. when the whole world couldn’t get out of bed. everyone i’ve met this year, says the same thing ‘you are so easy to be around, how do you do that?’. the year i broke open and dug out all the rot with own hands. the year i learnt small talk. and how to smile at strangers. the year i understood that i am my best when i reach out and ask ‘do you want to be my friend?’. the year of sugar, everywhere. softness. sweetness. honey honey. the year of being alone, and learning how much i like it. the year of hugging people i don’t know, because i want to know them. the year i made peace and love, right here.
Warsan Shire
We're all strangers connected by what we reveal, what we share, what we take away--our stories. I guess that's what I love about books--they are thin strands of humanity that tether us to one another for a small bit of time, that make us feel less alone or even more comfortable with our aloneness, if need be.
Libba Bray
Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things: air, sleep, dreams, sea, the sky - all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.
Cesare Pavese
You, have this whole tall, dark stranger thing going on. Not to mention the tortured artist bit. And you, have that whole blonde cool and collected perfect smart thing going on. You're the boy all the girls want to rebel with. You, are the unattainable girl in homeroom who never gives a guy the time of day.
Sarah Dessen (The Truth About Forever)
When a reader falls in love with a book, it leaves its essence inside him, like radioactive fallout in an arable field, and after that there are certain crops that will no longer grow in him, while other, stranger, more fantastic growths may occasionally be produced." [Books vs. Goons, L.A. Times, April 24, 2005]
Salman Rushdie
It is better to burn than to disappear.
Albert Camus (The Stranger)
A stranger is shot in the street, you hardly move to help. But if, half an hour before, you spent just ten minutes with the fellow and knew a little about him and his family, you might just jump in front of his killer and try to stop it. Really knowing is good. Not knowing, or refusing to know is bad, or amoral, at least. You can’t act if you don’t know.
Ray Bradbury (Something Wicked This Way Comes)
Love After Love The time will come when, with elation you will greet yourself arriving at your own door, in your own mirror and each will smile at the other's welcome, and say, sit here. Eat. You will love again the stranger who was your self. Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart to itself, to the stranger who has loved you all your life, whom you ignored for another, who knows you by heart. Take down the love letters from the bookshelf, the photographs, the desperate notes, peel your own image from the mirror. Sit. Feast on your life.
Derek Walcott (Collected Poems, 1948-1984)
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom the emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand wrapped in awe, is as good as dead —his eyes are closed. The insight into the mystery of life, coupled though it be with fear, has also given rise to religion. To know what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms—this knowledge, this feeling is at the center of true religiousness.
Albert Einstein (Living Philosophies)
She knew I could tell with one glance, one look, one simple instant. It was her eyes. Despite the thick makeup, they were still dark-rimmed., haunted, and sad. Most of all though, they were familiar. The fact that we were in front of hundreds of strangers changed nothing at all. I'd spent a summer with those same eyes-scared, lost, confused-staring back at me. I would have known them anywhere.
Sarah Dessen (Just Listen)
Mother used to say that however miserable one is, there’s always something to be thankful for. And each morning, when the sky brightened and light began to flood my cell, I agreed with her.
Albert Camus (The Stranger)
A joker is a little fool who is different from everyone else. He's not a club, diamond, heart, or spade. He's not an eight or a nine, a king or a jack. He is an outsider. He is placed in the same pack as the other cards, but he doesn't belong there. Therefore, he can be removed without anybody missing him.
Jostein Gaarder (The Solitaire Mystery)
It was as if that great rush of anger had washed me clean, emptied me of hope, and, gazing up at the dark sky spangled with its signs and stars, for the first time, the first, I laid my heart open to the benign indifference of the universe. To feel it so like myself, indeed, so brotherly, made me realize that I'd been happy, and that I was happy still. For all to be accomplished, for me to feel less lonely, all that remained to hope was that on the day of my execution there should be a huge crowd of spectators and that they should greet me with howls of execration.
Albert Camus (The Stranger)
And I'll dance with you in Vienna, I'll be wearing a river's disguise. The hyacinth wild on my shoulder my mouth on the dew of your thighs. And I'll bury my soul in a scrapbook, with the photographs there and the moss. And I'll yield to the flood of your beauty, my cheap violin and my cross.
Leonard Cohen (Stranger Music: Selected Poems and Songs)
When I was a girl, my life was music that was always getting louder. Everything moved me. A dog following a stranger. That made me feel so much. A calendar that showed the wrong month. I could have cried over it. I did. Where the smoke from a chimney ended. How an overturned bottle rested at the edge of a table. I spent my life learning to feel less. Every day I felt less. Is that growing old? Or is it something worse? You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness.
Jonathan Safran Foer (Everything Is Illuminated)
Chiron had said once that nations were the most foolish of mortal inventions. “No man is worth more than another, wherever he is from.” “But what if he is your friend?” Achilles had asked him, feet kicked up on the wall of the rose-quartz cave. “Or your brother? Should you treat him the same as a stranger?” “You ask a question that philosophers argue over,” Chiron had said. “He is worth more to you, perhaps. But the stranger is someone else’s friend and brother. So which life is more important?” We had been silent. We were fourteen, and these things were too hard for us. Now that we are twenty-seven, they still feel too hard. He is half of my soul, as the poets say. He will be dead soon, and his honor is all that will remain. It is his child, his dearest self. Should I reproach him for it? I have saved Briseis. I cannot save them all. I know, now, how I would answer Chiron. I would say: there is no answer. Whichever you choose, you are wrong.
Madeline Miller (The Song of Achilles)
This story ["The Depressed Person"] was the most painful thing I ever wrote. It's about narcissism, which is a part of depression. The character has traits of myself. I really lost friends while writing on that story, I became ugly and unhappy and just yelled at people. The cruel thing with depression is that it's such a self-centered illness - Dostoevsky shows that pretty good in his "Notes from Underground". The depression is painful, you're sapped/consumed by yourself; the worse the depression, the more you just think about yourself and the stranger and repellent you appear to others.
David Foster Wallace
Take wrong turns. Talk to strangers. Open unmarked doors. And if you see a group of people in a field, go find out what they are doing. Do things without always knowing how they'll turn out. You're curious and smart and bored, and all you see is the choice between working hard and slacking off. There are so many adventures that you miss because you're waiting to think of a plan. To find them, look for tiny interesting choices. And remember that you are always making up the future as you go.
Randall Munroe (xkcd: volume 0)
She was wearing a pair of my pajamas with the sleeves rolled up. When she laughed I wanted her again. A minute later she asked me if I loved her. I told her it didn't mean anything but that I didn't think so. She looked sad. But as we were fixing lunch, and for no apparent reason, she laughed in such a way that I kissed her.
Albert Camus (The Stranger)
There are different wells within your heart. Some fill with each good rain, Others are far too deep for that. In one well You have just a few precious cups of water, That "love" is literally something of yourself, It can grow as slow as a diamond If it is lost. Your love Should never be offered to the mouth of a Stranger, Only to someone Who has the valor and daring To cut pieces of their soul off with a knife Then weave them into a blanket To protect you. There are different wells within us. Some fill with each good rain, Others are far, far too deep For that.
The Divan
Do not love half lovers Do not entertain half friends Do not indulge in works of the half talented Do not live half a life and do not die a half death If you choose silence, then be silent When you speak, do so until you are finished Do not silence yourself to say something And do not speak to be silent If you accept, then express it bluntly Do not mask it If you refuse then be clear about it for an ambiguous refusal is but a weak acceptance Do not accept half a solution Do not believe half truths Do not dream half a dream Do not fantasize about half hopes Half a drink will not quench your thirst Half a meal will not satiate your hunger Half the way will get you no where Half an idea will bear you no results Your other half is not the one you love It is you in another time yet in the same space It is you when you are not Half a life is a life you didn't live, A word you have not said A smile you postponed A love you have not had A friendship you did not know To reach and not arrive Work and not work Attend only to be absent What makes you a stranger to them closest to you and they strangers to you The half is a mere moment of inability but you are able for you are not half a being You are a whole that exists to live a life not half a life
Kahlil Gibran
I got tired, I told him. Not worn out, but worn through. Like one of those wives who wakes up one morning and says I can't bake any more bread. You never bake bread, he wrote, and we were still joking. Then it's like I woke up and baked bread, I said, and we were joking even then. I wondered will there come a time when we won't be joking? And what would it look like? And how would that feel? When I was a girl, my life was music that was always getting louder. Everything moved me. A dog following a stranger. That made me feel so much. A calender that showed the wrong month. I could have cried over it. I did. Where the smoke from the chimney ended. How an overturned bottle rested at the edge of a table. I spent my life learning to feel less. Every day I felt less. Is that growing old? Or is it something worse? You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness.
Jonathan Safran Foer
And let’s face it people, no one is ever honest with you about child birth. Not even your mother.       “It’s a pain you forget all about once you have that sweet little baby in your arms.”     Bullshit.   I CALL BULLSHIT.   Any friend, cousin, or nosey-ass stranger in the grocery store that tells you it’s not that bad is a lying sack of shit.   Your vagina is roughly the size of the girth of a penis.   It has to stretch and open andturn into a giant bat cave so the life-sucking human you’ve been growing for nine months can angrily claw its way out.   Who in their right mind would do that willingly?   You’re just walking along one day and think to yourself, “You know, I think it’s time I turn my vagina into an Arby’s Beef and Cheddar (minus the cheddar) and saddle myself down for a minimum of eighteen years to someone who will suck the soul and the will to live right out of my body so I’m a shell of the person I used to be and can’t get laid even if I pay for it.
Tara Sivec (Seduction and Snacks (Chocolate Lovers, #1))
Do not confuse "duty" with what other people expect of you; they are utterly different. Duty is a debt you owe to yourself to fulfill obligations you have assumed voluntarily. Paying that debt can entail anything from years of patient work to instant willingness to die. Difficult it may be, but the reward is self-respect. But there is no reward at all for doing what other people expect of you, and to do so is not merely difficult, but impossible. It is easier to deal with a footpad than it is with the leech who wants "just a few minutes of your time, please—this won't take long." Time is your total capital, and the minutes of your life are painfully few. If you allow yourself to fall into the vice of agreeing to such requests, they quickly snowball to the point where these parasites will use up 100 percent of your time—and squawk for more! So learn to say No—and to be rude about it when necessary. Otherwise you will not have time to carry out your duty, or to do your own work, and certainly no time for love and happiness. The termites will nibble away your life and leave none of it for you. (This rule does not mean that you must not do a favor for a friend, or even a stranger. But let the choice be yours. Don't do it because it is "expected" of you.)
Robert A. Heinlein (Time Enough for Love)
Every morning the maple leaves. Every morning another chapter where the hero shifts from one foot to the other. Every morning the same big and little words all spelling out desire, all spelling out You will be alone always and then you will die. So maybe I wanted to give you something more than a catalog of non-definitive acts, something other than the desperation. Dear So-and-So, I’m sorry I couldn’t come to your party. Dear So-and-So, I’m sorry I came to your party and seduced you and left you bruised and ruined, you poor sad thing. You want a better story. Who wouldn’t? A forest, then. Beautiful trees. And a lady singing. Love on the water, love underwater, love, love and so on. What a sweet lady. Sing lady, sing! Of course, she wakes the dragon. Love always wakes the dragon and suddenly flames everywhere. I can tell already you think I’m the dragon, that would be so like me, but I’m not. I’m not the dragon. I’m not the princess either. Who am I? I’m just a writer. I write things down. I walk through your dreams and invent the future. Sure, I sink the boat of love, but that comes later. And yes, I swallow glass, but that comes later. Let me do it right for once, for the record, let me make a thing of cream and stars that becomes, you know the story, simply heaven. Inside your head you hear a phone ringing and when you open your eyes only a clearing with deer in it. Hello deer. Inside your head the sound of glass, a car crash sound as the trucks roll over and explode in slow motion. Hello darling, sorry about that. Sorry about the bony elbows, sorry we lived here, sorry about the scene at the bottom of the stairwell and how I ruined everything by saying it out loud. Especially that, but I should have known. Inside your head you hear a phone ringing, and when you open your eyes you’re washing up in a stranger’s bathroom, standing by the window in a yellow towel, only twenty minutes away from the dirtiest thing you know. All the rooms of the castle except this one, says someone, and suddenly darkness, suddenly only darkness. In the living room, in the broken yard, in the back of the car as the lights go by. In the airport bathroom’s gurgle and flush, bathed in a pharmacy of unnatural light, my hands looking weird, my face weird, my feet too far away. I arrived in the city and you met me at the station, smiling in a way that made me frightened. Down the alley, around the arcade, up the stairs of the building to the little room with the broken faucets, your drawings, all your things, I looked out the window and said This doesn’t look that much different from home, because it didn’t, but then I noticed the black sky and all those lights. We were inside the train car when I started to cry. You were crying too, smiling and crying in a way that made me even more hysterical. You said I could have anything I wanted, but I just couldn’t say it out loud. Actually, you said Love, for you, is larger than the usual romantic love. It’s like a religion. It’s terrifying. No one will ever want to sleep with you. Okay, if you’re so great, you do it— here’s the pencil, make it work … If the window is on your right, you are in your own bed. If the window is over your heart, and it is painted shut, then we are breathing river water. Dear Forgiveness, you know that recently we have had our difficulties and there are many things I want to ask you. I tried that one time, high school, second lunch, and then again, years later, in the chlorinated pool. I am still talking to you about help. I still do not have these luxuries. I have told you where I’m coming from, so put it together. I want more applesauce. I want more seats reserved for heroes. Dear Forgiveness, I saved a plate for you. Quit milling around the yard and come inside.
Richard Siken