Tea Stains Quotes

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By contrast Hobie lived and wafted like some great sea mammal in his own mild atmosphere, the dark brown of tea stains and tobacco, where every clock in the house said something different and time didn’t actually correspond to the standard measure but instead meandered along at its own sedate tick-tock, obeying the pace of his antique-crowded backwater, far from the factory-built, epoxy-glued version of the world.
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
The trouble with rumors was that they had the tendency to stick. To coat over your logic like tea stains on teeth. What was even more troublesome was that there had been times in the past when they turned out to be accurate.
Tanaz Bhathena (A Girl Like That)
My books are likely to contain food stains and rings from my tea cups. A book is to be lived with and used.
Kristin Cashore
The hands were ivory-coloured, the skin finely wrinkled everywhere, like the crust on a pool of wax, and under it appreared livid bruises, arthritic nodes, irregular tea-brown stains. ...The flesh under the horny nails was candlvwax-coloured, and bloodless.
A.S. Byatt (Angels and Insects)
Am I witch? I don't know. That's what they call me. They say it's because I follow the rhythms of the earth, honor the seasons, dance under the moon and seek the ancient herbal wisdom of our ancestors. "Folk Lore, poppycock, myths," they say as they sneer at the rosemary in my cup, the comfrey brewing on the stove and turmeric stains on my hands. "Western medicine and science have replaced all that nonsense," they say. They make witches out to be evil and then call me a witch because I am seeking the knowledge & ancient wisdom that the world seems hell bent on forgetting. Well, they can call me what they like, but I know I am not evil. This is what I know: I am an intuitive woman who instinctively knows that this sacred earth holds healing that western medicine will never be able to replace. I will be here holding space. I will be their witch. So, here I am- A kitchen witch sipping her Rosemary tea, mixing up her herbal potion, dancing under the moon, and fighting for the knowledge & wisdom of our grandmothers to not be forgotten.
Brooke Hampton
Some curses fade and leave nothing but the faintest mark, a tea stain on watered silk. There are those that are so malevolent that, upon defeat, explode in a fiery burst of sulfurous flames, burning everything they touch as they die. Others dissolve like morning mist in the brightness of the midday sun. Some cannot be defeated at all, but feed upon the energy spent trying to vanquish it, growing more and more potent with each failed attempt. And then there are those ancient curses with deceptively simple antidotes that shatter like jagged shards of a vast mirror. These curses may be broken, but never completely destroyed, sharp slivers of light distorted.
Ava Zavora (Belle Noir: Tales of Love and Magic)
Kira closed her eyes, thought, and said them aloud. "Madder for red. Bedstraw for red too, just the roots. Tops of tansy for yellow, and greenwood for yellow too. And yarrow: yellow and gold. Dark hollyhocks, just the petals, for mauve...." "Broom sedge," she added, still remembering. "Goldy yellows and browns. And Saint Johnswort for browns too, but it'll stain my hands. "And bronze fennel--leaves and flowers; use them fresh--and you can eat it too. Chamomile for tea and for green hues.
Lois Lowry (Gathering Blue (The Giver, #2))
By contrast Hobie lived and wafted like some great sea mammal in his own mild atmosphere, the dark brown of tea stains and tobacco, where every clock in the house said something different and time didn’t actually correspond to the standard measure but instead meandered along at its own sedate tick-tock, obeying the pace of his antique-crowded backwater, far from the factory-built, epoxy-glued version of the world. Though he enjoyed going out to the movies, there was no television; he read old novels with marbled end papers; he didn’t own a cell phone; his computer, a prehistoric IBM, was the size of a suitcase and useless.
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
She quickly realized she had an affinity for the older books and their muted scents of past dinners and foreign countries, the tea and chocolate stains coloring the phrases. You could never be certain what you would find in a book that has spent time with someone else. As she has rifled through the pages looking for defects, she had discovered an entrance ticket to Giverny, a receipt for thirteen bottles of champagne, a to-do list that included, along with groceries and dry cleaning, the simple reminder, 'buy a gun.' Bits of life tucked like stowaways in between the chapters. Sometimes she couldn't decide which story she was most drawn to.
Erica Bauermeister (Joy for Beginners)
Can you tell me how a meltdown feels?” She tilted her head to stare at the ceiling. “Itchy. And bad. You get so mad at yourself, because you know the thing that set you off isn’t worth the reaction you’re having, but you can’t control it. It’s like . . . knocking over a cup of tea. It goes everywhere, staining as it spreads, but you can’t take it back. You just have to get over yourself and mop up the mess.
Julia Day
He just stopped under one particularly laden tree and earnestly began spreading out a ragged blanket for our picnic, while I stood staring down at him, trying to decide if he was litally insane, and whether I liked him enough to pretend he wasn't. I had already liked him enough to drink the horrible tea-stained hot water he'd brought me, so the answer to that was almost certainly yes, but I wasn't sure I liked him enough to picnic in the gym with him.
Naomi Novik (The Last Graduate (The Scholomance, #2))
The sky clenched, a mountain of mud convulsed, earth and sky bellowed at each other, there was a horrible pinkness, a sudden greenness, a lingering orangeness that stained the clouds, and then the light sank and the night at last was deeply, hideously dark. There was no further sound other than the soft tinkle of water. But
Douglas Adams (Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency Box Set: Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency and The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul)
By contrast Hobie lived and wafted like some great sea mammal in his own mild atmosphere, the dark brown of tea stains and tobacco, where every clock in the house said something different and time didn't actually correspond to the standard measure but instead meandered along at its own sedate tick-tock obeying the pace of his antique-crowded backwater, far from the factory-built, epoxy-glued version of the world.
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
In the car inching its way down Fifth Avenue, toward Bergdorf Goodman and this glamorous party, I looked back on my past with a new understanding. This sickness, the “endo-whatever,” had stained so much—my sense of self, my womanhood, my marriage, my ability to be present. I had effectively missed one week of each month every year of my life since I was thirteen, because of the chronic pain and hormonal fluctuations I suffered during my period. I had lain in bed, with heating pads and hot-water bottles, using acupuncture, drinking teas, taking various pain medications and suffering the collateral effects of them. I thought of all the many tests I missed in various classes throughout my education, the school dances, the jobs I knew I couldn’t take as a model, because of the bleeding and bloating as well as the pain (especially the bathing suit and lingerie shoots, which paid the most). How many family occasions was I absent from? How many second or third dates did I not go on? How many times had I not been able to be there for others or for myself? How many of my reactions to stress or emotional strife had been colored through the lens of chronic pain? My sense of self was defined by this handicap. The impediment of expected pain would shackle my days and any plans I made. I did not see my own womanhood as something positive or to be celebrated, but as a curse that I had to constantly make room for and muddle through. Like the scar on my arm, my reproductive system was a liability. The disease, developing part and parcel with my womanhood starting at puberty with my menses, affected my own self-esteem and the way I felt about my body. No one likes to get her period, but when your femininity carries with it such pain and consistent physical and emotional strife, it’s hard not to feel that your body is betraying you. The very relationship you have with yourself and your person is tainted by these ever-present problems. I now finally knew my struggles were due to this condition. I wasn’t high-strung or fickle and I wasn’t overreacting.
Padma Lakshmi (Love, Loss, and What We Ate: A Memoir)
The policemen had clearly been there all morning: four big white tea mugs from the canteen were drained and drip-stained, red-and-gold wrappers from caramel log biscuits were folded into interesting shapes on one side of the table, rolled up into tight little balls on the other.
Denise Mina (Field of Blood (Paddy Meehan, #1))
I was going to suggest we start looking for you, but then you turned up. How did you find us?” “A saint led me,” said Marra. “The one from the goblin market.” All three of them stared at her. “Huh,” said the dust-wife. “How fascinating!” said Agnes. “A few months ago, I would have thought you were mad or lying,” said Fenris. “Now I’m just surprised she didn’t stay for tea.” “But how did you get away?” asked Marra. “The thief-wheel fell on you. I saw it.” The dust-wife sniffed haughtily. “It was nothing.” “It squashed you!” “Fine, it was something.” She looked annoyed. Marra noticed that her coat was rumpled and there were a few stains where the contents of the pockets had broken. The brown hen was missing a couple of tail feathers. “They were very disobedient dead.” “Bad dead. No treat,” said Fenris, not quite under his breath. Marra choked and spluttered and began helplessly, to laugh. So did Agnes. The dust-wife folded her arms and the hen went errrk indignantly, which only made Marra laugh harder.
T. Kingfisher (Nettle & Bone)
What would you like for your own life, Kate, if you could choose?” “Anything?” “Of course anything.” “That’s really easy, Aunty Ivy.” “Go on then.” “A straw hat...with a bright scarlet ribbon tied around the top and a bow at the back. A tea-dress like girls used to wear, with big red poppies all over the fabric. A pair of flat, white pumps, comfortable but really pretty. A bicycle with a basket on the front. In the basket is a loaf of fresh bread, cheese, fruit oh...and a bottle of sparkly wine, you know, like posh people drink. “I’m cycling down a lane. There are no lorries or cars or bicycles. No people – just me. The sun is shining through the trees, making patterns on the ground. At the end of the lane is a gate, sort of hidden between the bushes and trees. I stop at the gate, get off the bike and wheel it into the garden. “In the garden there are flowers of all kinds, especially roses. They’re my favourite. I walk down the little path to a cottage. It’s not big, just big enough. The front door needs painting and has a little stained glass window at the top. I take the food out of the basket and go through the door. “Inside, everything is clean, pretty and bright. There are vases of flowers on every surface and it smells sweet, like lemon cake. At the end of the room are French windows. They need painting too, but it doesn’t matter. I go through the French windows into a beautiful garden. Even more flowers there...and a veranda. On the veranda is an old rocking chair with patchwork cushions and next to it a little table that has an oriental tablecloth with gold tassels. I put the food on the table and pour the wine into a glass. I’d sit in the rocking chair and close my eyes and think to myself... this is my place.” From A DISH OF STONES
Valentina Hepburn (A Dish of Stones)
It was all very different from the crowded, complicated, and overly formal atmosphere of the Barbours’, where everything was rehearsed and scheduled like a Broadway production, an airless perfection from which Andy had been in constant retreat, scuttling to his bedroom like a frightened squid. By contrast Hobie lived and wafted like some great sea mammal in his own mild atmosphere, the dark brown of tea stains and tobacco, where every clock in the house said something different and time didn’t actually correspond to the standard measure but instead meandered along at its own sedate tick-tock, obeying the pace of his antique-crowded backwater, far from the factory-built, epoxy-glued version of the world.
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
They were striking the set of a play, humble, one-handed domestic drama, without permission from the cast. They started in what she called her sewing room—his old room. She was never coming back, she no longer knew what knitting was, but wrapping up her scores of needles, her thousand patterns, a baby’s half-finished yellow shawl, to give them all away to strangers was to banish her from the living. They worked quickly, almost in a frenzy. She’s not dead, Henry kept telling himself. But her life, all lives, seemed tenuous when he saw how quickly, with what ease, all the trappings, all the fine details of a lifetime could be packed and scattered, or junked. Objects became junk as soon as they were separated from their owner and their pasts—without her, her old tea cosy was repellent, with its faded farmhouse motif and pale brown stains on cheap fabric, and stuffing that was pathetically thin. As the shelves and drawers emptied, and the boxes and bags filled, he saw that no one owned anything really. It’s all rented, or borrowed. Our possessions will outlast us, we’ll desert them in the end. They worked all day, and put out twenty-three bags for the dustmen.
Ian McEwan (Saturday)
Woman lost (skin deep) like a damn fine thread in the fire Woman of the world caught up in your black machinations I was a woman who cried alone at night, who gave it all away when she saw the good heart of the man inside Woman caught standing up; her open parts are broken - Someone's armour broke right through, it was you, you For some reason I've been thinking about you, your light Today, you poured out all the tension, the ego underground Hibernating inside my heart. I was so close to it, to the flicker Of love in a lonely street and I turned my head and walked Away from the flame in your arms. As I put away the fun in A house of fight I came across you and a mechanism in My brain shifted chemically, walls caved in like the cadence In your words and I was lost in the darkness. Even now in Middle age I remember when desire was a popular drug And everyone was selling it but I don't live to explore to be Able to illuminate the proof of my existence, live to burn Vicariously though the diamond mouth of sleeping stars. From so much love, pictures of death arrived in black and White photographs and you're perfect, you always were - Illusions have no flaws; they're dangerous beings, smoke. Could I take the moon back and still live with my great Expectations of nostalgia, laughter, tears and suffering - But they are all a part of me not the people of the stars, Long dead videotape, the past has stained the symphony Of my soul (like the wind through the trees) throughout Me finding myself, my two left feet as a female poet The warning was there of the noise of eternity, signs That said, don't anger the sea, you have an ally in her. When men grow cold listen to their stories and bask in The glory of their genuine deaths, their winters, put Them away so you can read them like the newspaper. Once in a while you can go back to where you stood In youth with your afternoon tea, the sun of God in our Eyes - I am that kind of woman who lives in the past
Abigail George (Feeding The Beasts)
In 1917 I went to Russia. I was sent to prevent the Bolshevik Revolution and to keep Russia in the war. The reader will know that my efforts did not meet with success. I went to Petrograd from Vladivostok, .One day, on the way through Siberia, the train stopped at some station and the passengers as usual got out, some to fetch water to make tea, some to buy food and others to stretch their legs. A blind soldier was sitting on a bench. Other soldiers sat beside him and more stood behind. There were from twenty to thirty.Their uniforms were torn and stained. The blind soldier, a big vigorous fellow, was quite young. On his cheeks was the soft, pale down of a beard that has never been shaved. I daresay he wasn't eighteen. He had a broad face, with flat, wide features, and on his forehead was a great scar of the wound that had lost him his sight. His closed eyes gave him a strangely vacant look. He began to sing. His voice was strong and sweet. He accompanied himself on an accordion. The train waited and he sang song after song. I could not understand his words, but through his singing, wild and melancholy, I seemed to hear the cry of the oppressed: I felt the lonely steppes and the interminable forests, the flow of the broad Russian rivers and all the toil of the countryside, the ploughing of the land and the reaping of the wild corn, the sighing of the wind in the birch trees, the long months of dark winter; and then the dancing of the women in the villages and the youths bathing in shallow streams on summer evenings; I felt the horror of war, the bitter nights in the trenches, the long marches on muddy roads, the battlefield with its terror and anguish and death. It was horrible and deeply moving. A cap lay at the singer's feet and the passengers filled it full of money; the same emotion had seized them all, of boundless compassion and of vague horror, for there was something in that blind, scarred face that was terrifying; you felt that this was a being apart, sundered from the joy of this enchanting world. He did not seem quite human. The soldiers stood silent and hostile. Their attitude seemed to claim as a right the alms of the travelling herd. There was a disdainful anger on their side and unmeasurable pity on ours; but no glimmering of a sense that there was but one way to compensate that helpless man for all his pain.
W. Somerset Maugham
We dine in Gion---the geisha district, Kyoto's heart and spiritual center. There are rickety teahouses, master sword makers, and women dressed in kimonos. The restaurant is by invitation only and seats seven, but the chef prefers to keep the guest count under five. His name is Komura, and like the bamboo farmer Shirasu and his son, his two daughters assist him. The sisters light candles in bronze holders and place them around the room. The restaurant is a converted home, the walls a deep ebony stained from years of smoke from the open hearth----it's called kurobikari, black luster. It's a hidden gem nestled between a pachinko parlor and an antiques shop. The table we kneel at is made of thick wood, its surface weathered, worn, and polished, honed by years of hands and plates and cups of tea.
Emiko Jean (Tokyo Ever After (Tokyo Ever After, #1))
I have never understood “gardeners” who refuse to garden because it is unseemly for a lady or gentleman to dirty their hands. Perhaps they don’t know the thrill of plunging a trowel into spring-softened soil to toss up the sweet, earthy scent of leaves and twigs and all manner of matter. By refusing to stain their aprons, they miss the sensation of damp, fresh dirt crumbling between their fingers or breathing the fresh air deeply. They don’t know the satisfaction of knocking the dust off one’s clothes when retreating into the house for a well-earned cup of tea.
Julia Kelly (The Last Garden in England)
To mend the big wounds, sometimes you must mend the small ones, she thought as she poured tea into a copper mug. And sometimes, the small ones are so small you can’t even see them. A wise man had once said that. Well, a wise woman, anyway. Well, she had said it. Thought it, really. Just now, even. But it certainly sounded wise to her.
Sam Sykes (The City Stained Red (Bring Down Heaven, #1))
Christstollen. I can shake away thoughts of favorite gifts and trips to Oma's house and building snowmen with Santa hats every Christmas Eve, as long as enough snow covered the ground. But my mother's stollen won't fall off as easily. She made it for my father; he ate the first piece with cream cheese at breakfast while I had bacon and chocolate chip pancakes and my mother drank her special amaretto tea. The recipe is there, tucked in her recipe box, the index card translucent in places from butter stains. I hold it in my hand, considering, reading the ingredients and pawing through the cupboards and pantry. We have raisins and a bag of dried cranberries from last year's Christmas baking. There's a wrinkled orange in the fruit bin, a couple plastic packets of lemon juice that came with one of my father's fish and chips take-out orders. No marzipan, almonds, candied fruit, or mace. I'll be up all night. It's too much effort. But the card won't seem to leave my hand. So I start, soaking the fruit and preparing the sponge.
Christa Parrish (Stones for Bread)
They call it haunted; you call it sacred.” Grandmother chuckled, placing a cup of tea on a saucer beside me. “When your father took you to the Great Cathedral, how did you feel? Frightened, or full of holy awe?” I thought of the gargoyles, the soaring stained glass and colored light . . . the vast space and dim heights . . . the joyous and fiendish and suffering faces, carved in high places and in low, in brightness and shadow. “Both,” I answered. “There you are, then. Haunted and sacred. Maybe they want to mean the same thing, but neither word is big enough.” I
Frederic S. Durbin (A Green and Ancient Light)
Yousra continued, “To me, it felt like the biggest betrayal and deceit by those I loved the most. But, I still remember the pain much better. Few minutes after I was let off by the women sitting on me, I got up and walked out sobbing. My dress — stained with blood — made me feel sick. In the yard, I sat on a plastic chair, swatting away my mother’s efforts to placate me with a sweet cup of tea and a home made piece of bread, as if that would help. Again, I asked my mother, ‘Why did you do this to me?’” Chapter two: Women Oppress Other Women.
Sana Afouaiz (Invisible Women of The Middle East: True Stories)
Grace studied her hands as they moved across the meat. They looked much like any others the same age - veined, lined, the backs stained with tea-coloured spots. But they'd felt their way through the past seventy years in unique ways. Much of their work had been to the benefit of others, some not. She'd known them as still, listening hands, but also as hands that moved with urgency and madness. For a while they'd been careful nurse's hands. Then hands that cradled three babies and clapped, tickled and taught in turn. She'd bruised, burnt and cut them; some scars suggested badly. They'd dismissed, beckoned, pleaded over the years, and not always successfully. Their goodbyes were too many to recall.
Sally Piper (Grace's Table)
Not every change is so subtle. There are chefs in Rome taking the same types of risks other young cooks around the world are using to bend the boundaries of the dining world. At Metamorfosi, among the gilded streets of Parioli, the Columbian-born chef Roy Caceres and his crew turn ink-stained bodies into ravioli skins and sous-vide egg and cheese foam into new-age carbonara and apply the tools of the modernist kitchen to create a broad and abstract interpretation of Italian cuisine. Alba Esteve Ruiz trained at El Celler de Can Roca in Spain, one of the world's most inventive restaurants, before, in 2013, opening Marzapane Roma, where frisky diners line up for a taste of prawn tartare with smoked eggplant cream and linguine cooked in chamomile tea spotted with microdrops of lemon gelée.
Matt Goulding (Pasta, Pane, Vino: Deep Travels Through Italy's Food Culture)
I am concerned with gloomier matters: the condition of being flesh, susceptible to pain, infected with consciousness and the consciousness of consciousness, doomed to death and the awareness of death. My life stains the air around me. I am a tea bag left too long in the cup, and my steepings grow darker and bitterer.
Wallace Stegner
Hagi pots are very prized and collected all around the world. There are delicate cups, with a translucent white glaze and there are heavy, lumpish teacups of rough, gritty clay. These have a creamy thick glaze, slightly pink, that has been likened in haiku to a woman’s blushing skin. My father makes the second kind, but secretly I prefer the others, and my vision is always of powdered green tea spinning and spiralling in one of the fine cups. Because the clay is slightly porous, tea stains and recolours the pots as they are used, entering into the crazes and crackles, making the white slowly turn pink.
Gail Jones (A Guide to Berlin)
about a boiled egg?’ He pulled a face. ‘Gross. What happened to that box of Frosties?’ I washed the green weed stains from my hands with my back to my eleven-year-old son. ‘I threw them out. There was a thing in the paper about sugary cereals and kids’ teeth. Do you know how many—?’ Ollie cut me off with a trademark groan of disgust. His teeth weren’t really my primary concern. Since moving here last year, while I had shed twelve or thirteen pounds thanks to the stress of it all, Ollie had piled on the weight. Megan always made sure he ate healthily, kept snacks out of reach, told him to eat an apple if he was hungry. I had been lax. I wanted to keep him happy, literally sweetening the ordeal of having to leave all his friends behind by giving in to his demands for Coco Pops, pains au chocolat and Haribo. I had ignored his evening raids on the larder. There was no delicate way of putting this – my son was getting fat. And worse, he was unhappy. ‘Let me scramble you some eggs,’ I said. ‘Or how about some fruit? I could pop to the little Tesco.’ ‘I’ll leave it,’ he muttered, and skulked off to his bedroom. I sighed and made myself a cup of tea. I briefly thought about calling Megan, but then dismissed the idea. This was something I should deal with on my own. I wasn’t going to give her any ammunition, any reason to say I wasn’t looking after our son properly, not that she had shown any signs of wanting custody. Sure, she had protested half-heartedly when I told her I was taking him. But we both knew that an eleven-year-old boy would cramp her style. Make everything less convenient for her and . . . A flash of what I’d seen that terrible day – white flesh against our blue sofa, her legs wrapped around him, the lip-biting pleasure on her face – invaded my head for the thousandth time. At the exact same moment, next door’s German shepherd, Pixie, started barking, and I dropped my mug on the worktop. It wobbled on the edge, rocking from side to side, and I thought it was going to be okay, a little spilt tea, that was all. But as if prodded by a poltergeist, the mug tipped before I could snatch at it, fell to the floor and smashed into a hundred pieces, spraying me with hot liquid. And Pixie continued to bark. The neighbours themselves, Ross and Shelley, were silent, probably still in bed. They’d woken me at around 2 a.m., singing along to an Ed Sheeran track. Then, when they finally shut up, I hadn’t been able to get back to sleep because my nocturnal visitors, the anxiety brigade, had come knocking: Ollie, Mum, Megan, my bank manager. They crowded into
Mark Edwards (The Lucky Ones)
Have you met him, then? Don Ernesto of Rome? Rumor has it he can be quite a handful.” “As well as a mouthful, no doubt.” The fat woman threw her head back and cackled. “Bit of an odd one, though. He likes his women cold.” “I could be cold,” Hortensa said. She looked around the group, as if daring anyone to challenge this assertion. “So your husband tells us.” Donna Domacetti cackled again. “But I don’t mean cold as in cruel, Hortensa. I mean physically cold. Apparently he makes his favorite courtesan bathe in ice water before he lies with her.” “How unusual,” the dark-haired woman murmured. Cass had already forgotten her name. Isabella? No, Isabetta. “Does he not have to worry about the cold affecting his…size?” Isabetta asked. Cass almost choked on her tea. Her face turned bright red. This wasn’t what she imagined socializing with Donna Domacetti’s circle would be like. What if Agnese had come with her? Surely they wouldn’t have spoken so crassly in front of her aunt. Donna Domacetti chuckled. “Careful, ladies. An innocent sits among us.” Cass forced her lips into a small, closed-mouth smile. She wondered what these women would think of her if they knew of her trysts with Falco. Cass thought of the moment they had shared only last night. What might have happened if the world were only her and Falco, if he could have laid her back on one of her aunt’s marble benches and kissed her until sunrise? “It’s hard to imagine the niece of Agnese Querini being too innocent,” Isabetta said. She sipped her tea and then set the pale pink cup back on its saucer, a smear of blood-red lip stain marring the golden rim. Cass raised an eyebrow at the dark-haired woman. “What does that mean?” Donna Domacetti rubbed her chins with the back of her hand. “Nothing, my dear. Simply that your aunt is very wise in the ways of the world.
Fiona Paul (Venom (Secrets of the Eternal Rose, #1))
Hastily, she put down the teacup. ‘What do I do? What do I do?’ she’d muttered as she resumed fast-pacing round the kitchen, dabbing a tea-towel absently at the stain, then clutching it to her breast like a lifesaver. ‘Call the cops? No I can’t do that ... Go and help him?’ She envisioned the grizzly scene. ‘No, I don’t really want to do that.
Teresa Schulz (Barbed Wire and Daisies)
When Someone Says I Love You" the whole room fills up with iced tea, something gives: the sun peels from your window, a sugared lemon, whole, flaming, hanging there. You tell them they must: puncture your chest with a straw to suck all the empty out, but because they say love they think they can't hurt you, even to save your life, which is why you float up up up, knocking your curled toes and bedeviled breath hard against the tea- stained ceiling, why you swim sentry over the oxheart that flooded your bed, hollowed you out. See it there: big and bobbing wax fruit, sweating with the effort of its own improbable being, each burst of wetness a cry to which you are further beholden, a sweetness trained against your own best alchemy. Witch, you can only watch this bloodletting from above, can only amend the deed to your body: see it say it back, see it like a little rabbit with a twist on its neck and wish you could be that, being had, being held, but instead you grow wooden and spin on your back. Propeller? No, there is no getting away from this, and so: ceiling fan, drowning their hushed joy, going schwa schwa schwa in the bed's sheath of late afternoon light.
Karyna McGlynn (Hothouse)
In a letter written to the play's director, Peter Wood, on 30th March 1958, just before the start of rehearsals, Pinter rightly refused to add extra lines explaining or justifying Stanley's motives in withdrawing from the world into a dingy seaside boarding-house: 'Stanley cannot perceive his only valid justification - which is he is what he is - therefore he certainly can never be articulate about it.' But Pinter came much closer than he usually does to offering an explanation of the finished work: We've agreed: the hierarchy, the Establishment, the arbiters, the socio- religious monsters arrive to affect censure and alteration upon a member of the club who has discarded responsibility (that word again) towards himself and others. (What is your opinion, by the way, of the act of suicide?) He does possess, however, for my money, a certain fibre - he fights for his life. It doesn't last long, this fight. His core being a quagmire of delusion, his mind a tenuous fuse box, he collapses under the weight of their accusation - an accusation compounded of the shit- stained strictures of centuries of 'tradition'. This gets us right to the heart of the matter. It is not simply a play about a pathetic victim brainwashed into social conformity. It is a play about the need to resist, with the utmost vigour, dead ideas and the inherited weight of the past. And if you examine the text, you notice how Pinter has toughened up the original image of the man in the Eastbourne digs with 'nowhere to go'. Pinter's Stanley Webber - a palpably Jewish name, incidentally - is a man who shores up his precarious sense of self through fantasy, bluff, violence and his own manipulative form of power-play. His treatment of Meg initially is rough, playful, teasing: he's an ersatz, scarpegrace Oedipus to her boardinghouse Jocasta. But once she makes the fateful, mood-changing revelation - 'I've got to get things in for the two gentlemen' - he's as dangerous as a cornered animal. He affects a wanton grandeur with his talk of a European concert tour. He projects his own fear on to Meg by terrorising her with stories of nameless men coming to abduct her in a van. In his first solo encounter with McCann, he tries to win him over by appealing to a shared past (Maidenhead, Fuller's tea shop, Boots library) and a borrowed patriotism ('I know Ireland very well. I've many friends there. I love that country and I admire and trust its people... I think their policemen are wonderful'). At the start of the interrogation he resists Goldberg's injunction to sit down and at the end of it he knees him in the stomach. And in the panic of the party, he attempts to strangle Meg and rape Lulu. These are hardly the actions of a supine victim. Even though Stanley is finally carried off shaven, besuited, white-collared and ostensibly tamed, the spirit of resistance is never finally quelled. When asked how he regards the prospect of being able to 'make or break' in the integrated outer world, he does not stay limply silent, but produces the most terrifying noises.
Michael Billington (Harold Pinter)