Tell Me Something Good Quotes

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I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant. You alone have brought me to Bath. For you alone, I think and plan. Have you not seen this? Can you fail to have understood my wishes? I had not waited even these ten days, could I have read your feelings, as I think you must have penetrated mine. I can hardly write. I am every instant hearing something which overpowers me. You sink your voice, but I can distinguish the tones of that voice when they would be lost on others. Too good, too excellent creature! You do us justice, indeed. You do believe that there is true attachment and constancy among men. Believe it to be most fervent, most undeviating, in F. W. I must go, uncertain of my fate; but I shall return hither, or follow your party, as soon as possible. A word, a look, will be enough to decide whether I enter your father's house this evening or never.
Jane Austen (Persuasion)
Hey Clark', he said.'Tell me something good'. I stared out of the window at the bright-blue Swiss sky and I told him a story of two people. Two people who shouldn't have met, and who didn't like each other much when they did, but who found they were the only two people in the world who could possibly have understood each other. And I told him of the adventures they had, the places they had gone, and the things I had seen that I had never expected to. I conjured for him electric skies and iridescent seas and evenings full of laughter and silly jokes. I drew a world for him, a world far from a Swiss industrial estate, a world in which he was still somehow the person he had wanted to be. I drew the world he had created for me, full of wonder and possibility.
Jojo Moyes (Me Before You (Me Before You, #1))
Let me tell you something straight off. This is a love story, but not like any you've ever heard. The boy and the girl are far from innocent. Dear lives are lost. And good doesn't win.
Jodi Lynn Anderson (Tiger Lily)
Marsh: Our best efforts were never even a mild annoyance to the Lord Ruler." Kelsier: Ah, but being an annoyance is something that I am very good at. In fact, I'm far more than just a 'mild' annoyance--people tell me I can be downright frustrating. Might as well use this talent for the cause of good, eh?
Brandon Sanderson (The Final Empire (Mistborn, #1))
If I should have a daughter…“Instead of “Mom”, she’s gonna call me “Point B.” Because that way, she knows that no matter what happens, at least she can always find her way to me. And I’m going to paint the solar system on the back of her hands so that she has to learn the entire universe before she can say “Oh, I know that like the back of my hand.” She’s gonna learn that this life will hit you, hard, in the face, wait for you to get back up so it can kick you in the stomach. But getting the wind knocked out of you is the only way to remind your lungs how much they like the taste of air. There is hurt, here, that cannot be fixed by band-aids or poetry, so the first time she realizes that Wonder-woman isn’t coming, I’ll make sure she knows she doesn’t have to wear the cape all by herself. Because no matter how wide you stretch your fingers, your hands will always be too small to catch all the pain you want to heal. Believe me, I’ve tried. And “Baby,” I’ll tell her “don’t keep your nose up in the air like that, I know that trick, you’re just smelling for smoke so you can follow the trail back to a burning house so you can find the boy who lost everything in the fire to see if you can save him. Or else, find the boy who lit the fire in the first place to see if you can change him.” But I know that she will anyway, so instead I’ll always keep an extra supply of chocolate and rain boats nearby, ‘cause there is no heartbreak that chocolate can’t fix. Okay, there’s a few heartbreaks chocolate can’t fix. But that’s what the rain boots are for, because rain will wash away everything if you let it. I want her to see the world through the underside of a glass bottom boat, to look through a magnifying glass at the galaxies that exist on the pin point of a human mind. Because that’s how my mom taught me. That there’ll be days like this, “There’ll be days like this my momma said” when you open your hands to catch and wind up with only blisters and bruises. When you step out of the phone booth and try to fly and the very people you wanna save are the ones standing on your cape. When your boots will fill with rain and you’ll be up to your knees in disappointment and those are the very days you have all the more reason to say “thank you,” ‘cause there is nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline no matter how many times it’s sent away. You will put the “wind” in win some lose some, you will put the “star” in starting over and over, and no matter how many land mines erupt in a minute be sure your mind lands on the beauty of this funny place called life. And yes, on a scale from one to over-trusting I am pretty damn naive but I want her to know that this world is made out of sugar. It can crumble so easily but don’t be afraid to stick your tongue out and taste it. “Baby,” I’ll tell her “remember your mama is a worrier but your papa is a warrior and you are the girl with small hands and big eyes who never stops asking for more.” Remember that good things come in threes and so do bad things and always apologize when you’ve done something wrong but don’t you ever apologize for the way your eyes refuse to stop shining. Your voice is small but don’t ever stop singing and when they finally hand you heartbreak, slip hatred and war under your doorstep and hand you hand-outs on street corners of cynicism and defeat, you tell them that they really ought to meet your mother.
Sarah Kay
It's a funny thing about the modern world. You hear girls in the toilets of clubs saying, "Yeah, he fucked off and left me. He didn't love me. He just couldn't deal with love. He was too fucked up to know how to love me." Now, how did that happen? What was it about this unlovable century that convinced us we were, despite everything, eminently lovable as a people, as a species? What made us think that anyone who fails to love us is damaged, lacking, malfunctioning in some way? And particularly if they replace us with a god, or a weeping madonna, or the face of Christ in a ciabatta roll---then we call them crazy. Deluded. Regressive. We are so convinced of the goodness of ourselves, and the goodness of our love, we cannot bear to believe that there might be something more worthy of love than us, more worthy of worship. Greeting cards routinely tell us everybody deserves love. No. Everybody deserves clean water. Not everybody deserves love all the time.
Zadie Smith (White Teeth)
We stood there, looking at each other, saying nothing. But it was the kind of nothing that meant everything. In his eyes, there was no trace of what had happened between us earlier and I could feel something inside me break. So that was that. We were finally, finally over. I looked at him, and I felt so sad, because this thought occurred to me: 'I will never look at you the same way again. I'll never be that girl again. The girl who comes running back every time you push her away, the girl who loves you anyway.' I couldn’t even be mad at him, because this was who he was. This was who he’d always been. He’d never lied about that. He gave and then he took away. I felt it in the pit of my stomach, the familiar ache, that lost, regretful feeling only he could give me. I never wanted to feel it again. Never, ever. Maybe this was why I came, so I could really know. So I could say good-bye. I looked at him, and I thought, 'If I was very brave or very honest, I would tell him.' I would say it, so he would know it and I would know it, and I could never take it back. But I wasn’t that brave or honest, so all I did was look at him. And I think he knew anyway. 'I release you. I evict you from my heart. Because if I don't do it now, I never will.' I was the one to look away first.
Jenny Han (It's Not Summer Without You (Summer, #2))
Let me tell you what I do know: I am more than one thing, and not all of those things are good. The truth is complicated. It’s two-toned, multi-vocal, bittersweet. I used to think that if I dug deep enough to discover something sad and ugly, I’d know it was something true. Now I’m trying to dig deeper. I didn’t want to write these pages until there were no hard feelings, no sharp ones. I do not have that luxury. I am sad and angry and I want everyone to be alive again. I want more landmarks, less landmines. I want to be grateful but I’m having a hard time with it.
Richard Siken
Let me tell you about love, that silly word you believe is about whether you like somebody or whether somebody likes you or whether you can put up with somebody in order to get something or someplace you want or you believe it has to do with how your body responds to another body like robins or bison or maybe you believe love is how forces or nature or luck is benign to you in particular not maiming or killing you but if so doing it for your own good. Love is none of that. There is nothing in nature like it. Not in robins or bison or in the banging tails of your hunting dogs and not in blossoms or suckling foal. Love is divine only and difficult always. If you think it is easy you are a fool. If you think it is natural you are blind. It is a learned application without reason or motive except that it is God. You do not deserve love regardless of the suffering you have endured. You do not deserve love because somebody did you wrong. You do not deserve love just because you want it. You can only earn - by practice and careful contemplations - the right to express it and you have to learn how to accept it. Which is to say you have to earn God. You have to practice God. You have to think God-carefully. And if you are a good and diligent student you may secure the right to show love. Love is not a gift. It is a diploma. A diploma conferring certain privileges: the privilege of expressing love and the privilege of receiving it. How do you know you have graduated? You don't. What you do know is that you are human and therefore educable, and therefore capable of learning how to learn, and therefore interesting to God, who is interested only in Himself which is to say He is interested only in love. Do you understand me? God is not interested in you. He is interested in love and the bliss it brings to those who understand and share the interest. Couples that enter the sacrament of marriage and are not prepared to go the distance or are not willing to get right with the real love of God cannot thrive. They may cleave together like robins or gulls or anything else that mates for life. But if they eschew this mighty course, at the moment when all are judged for the disposition of their eternal lives, their cleaving won't mean a thing. God bless the pure and holy. Amen.
Toni Morrison (Paradise (Beloved Trilogy, #3))
You know, I do believe in magic. I was born and raised in a magic time, in a magic town, among magicians. Oh, most everybody else didn’t realize we lived in that web of magic, connected by silver filaments of chance and circumstance. But I knew it all along. When I was twelve years old, the world was my magic lantern, and by its green spirit glow I saw the past, the present and into the future. You probably did too; you just don’t recall it. See, this is my opinion: we all start out knowing magic. We are born with whirlwinds, forest fires, and comets inside us. We are born able to sing to birds and read the clouds and see our destiny in grains of sand. But then we get the magic educated right out of our souls. We get it churched out, spanked out, washed out, and combed out. We get put on the straight and narrow and told to be responsible. Told to act our age. Told to grow up, for God’s sake. And you know why we were told that? Because the people doing the telling were afraid of our wildness and youth, and because the magic we knew made them ashamed and sad of what they’d allowed to wither in themselves. After you go so far away from it, though, you can’t really get it back. You can have seconds of it. Just seconds of knowing and remembering. When people get weepy at movies, it’s because in that dark theater the golden pool of magic is touched, just briefly. Then they come out into the hard sun of logic and reason again and it dries up, and they’re left feeling a little heartsad and not knowing why. When a song stirs a memory, when motes of dust turning in a shaft of light takes your attention from the world, when you listen to a train passing on a track at night in the distance and wonder where it might be going, you step beyond who you are and where you are. For the briefest of instants, you have stepped into the magic realm. That’s what I believe. The truth of life is that every year we get farther away from the essence that is born within us. We get shouldered with burdens, some of them good, some of them not so good. Things happen to us. Loved ones die. People get in wrecks and get crippled. People lose their way, for one reason or another. It’s not hard to do, in this world of crazy mazes. Life itself does its best to take that memory of magic away from us. You don’t know it’s happening until one day you feel you’ve lost something but you’re not sure what it is. It’s like smiling at a pretty girl and she calls you “sir.” It just happens. These memories of who I was and where I lived are important to me. They make up a large part of who I’m going to be when my journey winds down. I need the memory of magic if I am ever going to conjure magic again. I need to know and remember, and I want to tell you.
Robert McCammon (Boy's Life)
It's not that students don't "get" Kafka's humor but that we've taught them to see humor as something you get -- the same way we've taught them that a self is something you just have. No wonder they cannot appreciate the really central Kafka joke -- that the horrific struggle to establish a human self results in a self whose humanity is inseparable from that horrific struggle. That our endless and impossible journey toward home is in fact our home. It's hard to put into words up at the blackboard, believe me. You can tell them that maybe it's good they don't "get" Kafka. You can ask them to imagine his art as a kind of door. To envision us readers coming up and pounding on this door, pounding and pounding, not just wanting admission but needing it, we don't know what it is but we can feel it, this total desperation to enter, pounding and pushing and kicking, etc. That, finally, the door opens...and it opens outward: we've been inside what we wanted all along. Das ist komisch.
David Foster Wallace (Consider the Lobster and Other Essays)
[The Old Astronomer to His Pupil] Reach me down my Tycho Brahe, I would know him when we meet, When I share my later science, sitting humbly at his feet; He may know the law of all things, yet be ignorant of how We are working to completion, working on from then to now. Pray remember that I leave you all my theory complete, Lacking only certain data for your adding, as is meet, And remember men will scorn it, 'tis original and true, And the obloquy of newness may fall bitterly on you. But, my pupil, as my pupil you have learned the worth of scorn, You have laughed with me at pity, we have joyed to be forlorn, What for us are all distractions of men's fellowship and smiles; What for us the Goddess Pleasure with her meretricious smiles. You may tell that German College that their honor comes too late, But they must not waste repentance on the grizzly savant's fate. Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light; I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night. What, my boy, you are not weeping? You should save your eyes for sight; You will need them, mine observer, yet for many another night. I leave none but you, my pupil, unto whom my plans are known. You 'have none but me,' you murmur, and I 'leave you quite alone'? Well then, kiss me, -- since my mother left her blessing on my brow, There has been a something wanting in my nature until now; I can dimly comprehend it, -- that I might have been more kind, Might have cherished you more wisely, as the one I leave behind. I 'have never failed in kindness'? No, we lived too high for strife,-- Calmest coldness was the error which has crept into our life; But your spirit is untainted, I can dedicate you still To the service of our science: you will further it? you will! There are certain calculations I should like to make with you, To be sure that your deductions will be logical and true; And remember, 'Patience, Patience,' is the watchword of a sage, Not to-day nor yet to-morrow can complete a perfect age. I have sown, like Tycho Brahe, that a greater man may reap; But if none should do my reaping, 'twill disturb me in my sleep So be careful and be faithful, though, like me, you leave no name; See, my boy, that nothing turn you to the mere pursuit of fame. I must say Good-bye, my pupil, for I cannot longer speak; Draw the curtain back for Venus, ere my vision grows too weak: It is strange the pearly planet should look red as fiery Mars,-- God will mercifully guide me on my way amongst the stars.
Sarah Williams (Twilight Hours: A Legacy of Verse)
incessant, adj. The doubts. You had to save me from my constant doubts. That deep-seeded feeling that I wasn't good enough for anything I was a fake at my job I wasn't your equal my friends would forget me if I moved away for a month. It wasn't as easy as hearing voices nobody was telling me this. It was just something I knew. Everyone else was playing along but I was sure that one day they would all stop.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
We already know each other’s worst. We’ve battled right through it and come out the other side unbreakable. There will inevitably be arguments, concessions, and peace treaties drawn up in spilled blood, sweat, and tears. We’re going to have to choose each other, over and over, and be each other’s champion, never letting ourselves forget the good whenever we’re stuck in a patch of bad. It’s going to be work. But let me tell you something about Nicholas Benjamin Rosefield: He’s worth it.
Sarah Hogle (You Deserve Each Other)
What are you doing following me around the back streets of London, you little idiot?” Will demanded, giving her arm a light shake. Cecily’s eyes narrowed. “This morning it was cariad (note: Welsh endearment, like ‘darling’ or ‘love’), now it’s idiot.” “Oh, you’re using a Glamour rune. There’s one thing to declare, you are not afraid of anything when you live in the country. But this is London.” “I’m not afraid of London,” Cecily said defiantly. Will leaned closer, almost hissing in her ear *and said something very complicated in Welsh* She laughed. “No, it wouldn’t do you any good to tell me to go home. You are my brother, and I want to go with you.” Will blinked at her words. You are my brother, and I want to go with you. It was the sort of thing he was used to hearing Jem say. Although Cecily was unlike Jem in every other conceivable possible way, she did share one quality with him. Stubbornness. When Cecily said she wanted something, it did not express an idle desire, but an iron determination. “Do you even care where I’m going?” he said. “What if I were going to hell?” “I’ve always wanted to see hell,” Cecily said. “Doesn’t everyone?” “Most of us spend our time trying to stay out of it, Cecily. I’m going to an ifrit den, if you must know, to purchase drugs from vile, dissolute criminals. They may clap eyes on you, and decide to sell you.” “Wouldn’t you stop them?” “I suppose it would depend on whether they cut me a part of the profit.” She shook her head. “Jem is your parabatai,” she said. “He is your brother, given to you by the Clave, but I am your sister by blood. Why would you do anything for him, but you only want me to go home?” “How do you know the drugs are for Jem?” Will said. “I’m not an idiot, Will.” “No, more’s the pity. Jem- Jem is like the better part of me. I would not expect you to understand. I owe him. I owe him this.” “So what am I?” Cecily said. Will exhaled, too desperate to check himself. “You are my weakness.” “And Tessa is your heart,” she said, not angrily, but thoughtfully. “I am not fooled. As I told you, I’m not an idiot. And more’s the pity for you, although I suppose we all want things we can’t have.” “Oh,” said Will, “and what do you want?” “I want you to come home.” A strand of black hair was stuck to her cheek by the dampness, and Will fought the urge to pull her cloak closer about her, to make her safe as he had when she was a child. “The Institute is my home,” Will sighed, and leaned his head against the stone wall. “I can’t stand out her arguing with you all evening, Cecily. If you’re determined to follow me into hell, I can’t stop you.” “Finally,” she said provingly. “You’ve seen sense. I knew you would, you’re related to me.” Will fought the urge to shake her. “Are you ready?” She nodded, and he raised his hand to knock on the door.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
I tell myself that I want to live a happy life, and that the circumstances for happiness just haven't arisen. But what if that's not true? What if I'm the one who can't let myself be happy? Because I'm scared, or I prefer to wallow in self-pity, or I don't believe I deserve good things, or some other reason. Whenever something good happens to me I always find myself thinking: I wonder how long it will be until this turns out badly. And I almost want the worst to happen sooner, sooner rather than later, and if possibile straight away, so at least I don't have to feel anxious about it anymore.
Sally Rooney (Beautiful World, Where Are You)
All of that art-for-art’s-sake stuff is BS,” she declares. “What are these people talking about? Are you really telling me that Shakespeare and Aeschylus weren’t writing about kings? All good art is political! There is none that isn’t. And the ones that try hard not to be political are political by saying, ‘We love the status quo.’ We’ve just dirtied the word ‘politics,’ made it sound like it’s unpatriotic or something.” Morrison laughs derisively. “That all started in the period of state art, when you had the communists and fascists running around doing this poster stuff, and the reaction was ‘No, no, no; there’s only aesthetics.’ My point is that is has to be both: beautiful and political at the same time. I’m not interested in art that is not in the world. And it’s not just the narrative, it’s not just the story; it’s the language and the structure and what’s going on behind it. Anybody can make up a story.
Toni Morrison
i will tell you about selfish people. even when they know they will hurt you they walk into your life to taste you because you are the type of being they don’t want to miss out on. you are too much shine to not be felt. so when they have gotten a good look at everything you have to offer. when they have taken your skin your hair and your secrets with them. when they realize how real this is. how much of a storm you are and it hits them. that is when the cowardice sets in. that is when the person you thought they were is replaced by the sad reality of what they are. that is when they lose every fighting bone in their body and leave after saying you will find better than me. you will stand there naked with half of them still hidden somewhere inside you and sob. asking them why they did it. why they forced you to love them when they had no intention of loving you back and they’ll say something along the lines of i just had to try. i had to give it a chance. it was you after all. but that isn’t romantic. it isn’t sweet. the idea that they were so engulfed by your existence they had to risk breaking it for the sake of knowing they weren’t the one missing out. your existence meant that little next to their curiosity of you.
Rupi Kaur (milk and honey)
My therapist told me I need to learn to love myself. It sounds easy enough, but really, how do you just wake up one day and learn that? It feels like something you should just do involuntarily, like swallowing or blinking, but now I have to work on it. It feels so forced. I mean, I know I went to a good school, and people tell me I'm smart and creative, but I don't KNOW that. I don't know how to make myself feel that.
Stephanie Klein (Straight Up and Dirty)
Grief is not linear. People kept telling me that once this happened or that passed, everything would be better. Some people gave me one year to grieve. They saw grief as a straight line, with a beginning, middle, and end. But it is not linear. It is disjointed. One day you are acting almost like a normal person. You maybe even manage to take a shower. Your clothes match. You think the autumn leaves look pretty, or enjoy the sound of snow crunching under your feet. Then a song, a glimpse of something, or maybe even nothing sends you back into the hole of grief. It is not one step forward, two steps back. It is a jumble. It is hours that are all right, and weeks that aren't. Or it is good days and bad days. Or it is the weight of sadness making you look different to others and nothing helps.
Ann Hood (Comfort: A Journey Through Grief)
It’s the first thing I always say at our new employee training seminars. I gaze around the room, pick one person, and have him stand up. And this is what I say: I have some good news for you, and some bad news. The bad news first. We’re going to have to rip off either your fingernails or your toenails with pliers. I’m sorry, but it’s already decided. It can’t be changed. I pull out a huge, scary pair of pliers from my briefcase and show them to everybody. Slowly, making sure everybody gets a good look. And then I say: Here’s the good news. You have the freedom to choose which it’s going to be—your fingernails, or your toenails. So, which will it be? You have ten seconds to make up your mind. If you’re unable to decide, we’ll rip off both your fingernails and your toenails. I start the count. At about eight seconds most people say, ‘The toes.’ Okay, I say, toenails it is. I’ll use these pliers to rip them off. But before I do, I’d like you to tell me something. Why did you choose your toes and not your fingers? The person usually says, ‘I don’t know. I think they probably hurt the same. But since I had to choose one, I went with the toes.’ I turn to him and warmly applaud him. And I say, Welcome to the real world.
Haruki Murakami (Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage)
Here's the thing, say Shug. The thing I believe. God is inside you and inside everybody else. You come into the world with God. But only them that search for it inside find it. And sometimes it just manifest itself even if you not looking, or don't know what you looking for. Trouble do it for most folks, I think. Sorrow, lord. Feeling like shit. It? I ast. Yeah, It. God ain't a he or a she, but a It. But what do it look like? I ast. Don't look like nothing, she say. It ain't a picture show. It ain't something you can look at apart from anything else, including yourself. I believe God is everything, say Shug. Everything that is or ever was or ever will be. And when you can feel that, and be happy to feel that, you've found It. Shug a beautiful something, let me tell you. She frown a little, look out cross the yard, lean back in her chair, look like a big rose. She say, My first step from the old white man was trees. Then air. Then birds. Then other people. But one day when I was sitting quiet and feeling like a motherless child, which I was, it come to me: that feeling of being part of everything, not separate at all. I knew that if I cut a tree, my arm would bleed. And I laughed and I cried and I run all around the house. I knew just what it was. In fact, when it happen, you can't miss it. It sort of like you know what, she say, grinning and rubbing high up on my thigh. Shug! I say. Oh, she say. God love all them feelings. That's some of the best stuff God did. And when you know God loves 'em you enjoys 'em a lot more. You can just relax, go with everything that's going, and praise God by liking what you like. God don't think it dirty? I ast. Naw, she say. God made it. Listen, God love everything you love? and a mess of stuff you don't. But more than anything else, God love admiration. You saying God vain? I ast. Naw, she say. Not vain, just wanting to share a good thing. I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it. What it do when it pissed off? I ast. Oh, it make something else. People think pleasing God is all God care about. But any fool living in the world can see it always trying to please us back. Yeah? I say. Yeah, she say. It always making little surprises and springing them on us when us least expect. You mean it want to be loved, just like the bible say. Yes, Celie, she say. Everything want to be loved. Us sing and dance, make faces and give flower bouquets, trying to be loved. You ever notice that trees do everything to git attention we do, except walk? Well, us talk and talk bout God, but I'm still adrift. Trying to chase that old white man out of my head. I been so busy thinking bout him I never truly notice nothing God make. Not a blade of corn (how it do that?) not the color purple (where it come from?). Not the little wildflowers. Nothing. Now that my eyes opening, I feels like a fool. Next to any little scrub of a bush in my yard, Mr. ____s evil sort of shrink. But not altogether. Still, it is like Shug say, You have to git man off your eyeball, before you can see anything a'tall. Man corrupt everything, say Shug. He on your box of grits, in your head, and all over the radio. He try to make you think he everywhere. Soon as you think he everywhere, you think he God. But he ain't. Whenever you trying to pray, and man plop himself on the other end of it, tell him to git lost, say Shug. Conjure up flowers, wind,water, a big rock. But this hard work, let me tell you. He been there so long, he don't want to budge. He threaten lightening, floods and earthquakes. Us fight. I hardly pray at all. Every time I conjure up a rock, I throw it. Amen
Alice Walker (The Color Purple)
Suddenly, in the space of a moment, I realized what it was that I loved about Britain - which is to say, all of it. Every last bit of it, good and bad - Marmite, village fetes, country lanes, people saying 'mustn't grumble' and 'I'm terribly sorry but', people apologizing to me when I conk them with a nameless elbow, milk in bottles, beans on toast, haymaking in June, stinging nettles, seaside piers, Ordnance Survey maps, crumpets, hot-water bottles as a necessity, drizzly Sundays - every bit of it. What a wondrous place this was - crazy as fuck, of course, but adorable to the tiniest degree. What other country, after all, could possibly have come up with place names like Tooting Bec and Farleigh Wallop, or a game like cricket that goes on for three days and never seems to start? Who else would think it not the least odd to make their judges wear little mops on their heads, compel the Speaker of the House of Commons to sit on something called the Woolsack, or take pride in a military hero whose dying wish was to be kissed by a fellow named Hardy? ('Please Hardy, full on the lips, with just a bit of tongue.') What other nation in the world could possibly have given us William Shakespeare, pork pies, Christopher Wren, Windsor Great Park, the Open University, Gardners' Question Time and the chocolate digestive biscuit? None, of course. How easily we lose sight of all this. What an enigma Britain will seem to historians when they look back on the second half of the twentieth century. Here is a country that fought and won a noble war, dismantled a mighty empire in a generally benign and enlightened way, created a far-seeing welfare state - in short, did nearly everything right - and then spent the rest of the century looking on itself as a chronic failure. The fact is that this is still the best place in the world for most things - to post a letter, go for a walk, watch television, buy a book, venture out for a drink, go to a museum, use the bank, get lost, seek help, or stand on a hillside and take in a view. All of this came to me in the space of a lingering moment. I've said it before and I'll say it again. I like it here. I like it more than I can tell you.
Bill Bryson (Notes from a Small Island)
I walked towards her. Jean-Claude grabbed my arm. "Do not harm her, Anita. She is under our protection." "I swear to you that I will not lay a finger on her tonight. I just want to tell her something." He released my arm, slowly, like he wasn't sure it was a good idea. I stepped next to Monica, until our bodies almost touched. I whispered into her face, "If anything happens to Catherine, I will see you dead." She smirked at me, confident in her protectors. "They will bring me back as one of them." I felt my head shake, a little to the right, a little to the left, a slow precise movement. "I will cut out your heart." I was still smiling, I couldn'tseem to stop. "Then I will burn it and scatter the ashes in the river. Do you understand me?" She swallowed audibly. Her health-club tan looked a little green. She nodded, staring at me like I was the bogey man. I think she believed I'd do it. Peachy keen. I hate to waste a really good threat
Laurell K. Hamilton (Guilty Pleasures (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #1))
The idea tells you everything. Lots of times I get ideas, I fall in love with them. Those ones you fall in love with are really special ideas. And, in some ways, I always say, when something's abstract, the abstractions are hard to put into words unless you're a poet. These ideas you somehow know. And cinema is a language that can say abstractions. I love stories, but I love stories that hold abstractions--that can hold abstractions. And cinema can say these difficult-to-say-in-words things. A lot of times, I don't know the meaning of the idea, and it drives me crazy. I think we should know the meaning of the idea. I think about them, and I tell this story about my first feature Eraserhead. I did not know what these things meant to me--really meant. And on that particular film, I started reading the Bible. And I'm reading the Bible, going along, and suddenly--there was a sentence. And I said, forget it! That's it. That's this thing. And so, I should know the meaning for me, but when things get abstract, it does me no good to say what it is. All viewers on the surface are all different. And we see something, and that's another place where intuition kicks in: an inner-knowingness. And so, you see a thing, you think about it, and you feel it, and you go and you sort of know something inside. And you can rely on that. Another thing I say is, if you go--after a film, withholding abstractions--to a coffee place--having coffee with your friends, someone will say something, and immediately you'll say “No, no, no, no, that's not what that was about.” You know? “This is what it was about.” And so many things come out, it's surprising. So you do know. For yourself. And what you know is valid.
David Lynch
O: You’re quite a writer. You’ve a gift for language, you’re a deft hand at plotting, and your books seem to have an enormous amount of attention to detail put into them. You’re so good you could write anything. Why write fantasy? Pratchett: I had a decent lunch, and I’m feeling quite amiable. That’s why you’re still alive. I think you’d have to explain to me why you’ve asked that question. O: It’s a rather ghettoized genre. P: This is true. I cannot speak for the US, where I merely sort of sell okay. But in the UK I think every book— I think I’ve done twenty in the series— since the fourth book, every one has been one the top ten national bestsellers, either as hardcover or paperback, and quite often as both. Twelve or thirteen have been number one. I’ve done six juveniles, all of those have nevertheless crossed over to the adult bestseller list. On one occasion I had the adult best seller, the paperback best-seller in a different title, and a third book on the juvenile bestseller list. Now tell me again that this is a ghettoized genre. O: It’s certainly regarded as less than serious fiction. P: (Sighs) Without a shadow of a doubt, the first fiction ever recounted was fantasy. Guys sitting around the campfire— Was it you who wrote the review? I thought I recognized it— Guys sitting around the campfire telling each other stories about the gods who made lightning, and stuff like that. They did not tell one another literary stories. They did not complain about difficulties of male menopause while being a junior lecturer on some midwestern college campus. Fantasy is without a shadow of a doubt the ur-literature, the spring from which all other literature has flown. Up to a few hundred years ago no one would have disagreed with this, because most stories were, in some sense, fantasy. Back in the middle ages, people wouldn’t have thought twice about bringing in Death as a character who would have a role to play in the story. Echoes of this can be seen in Pilgrim’s Progress, for example, which hark back to a much earlier type of storytelling. The epic of Gilgamesh is one of the earliest works of literature, and by the standard we would apply now— a big muscular guys with swords and certain godlike connections— That’s fantasy. The national literature of Finland, the Kalevala. Beowulf in England. I cannot pronounce Bahaghvad-Gita but the Indian one, you know what I mean. The national literature, the one that underpins everything else, is by the standards that we apply now, a work of fantasy. Now I don’t know what you’d consider the national literature of America, but if the words Moby Dick are inching their way towards this conversation, whatever else it was, it was also a work of fantasy. Fantasy is kind of a plasma in which other things can be carried. I don’t think this is a ghetto. This is, fantasy is, almost a sea in which other genres swim. Now it may be that there has developed in the last couple of hundred years a subset of fantasy which merely uses a different icongraphy, and that is, if you like, the serious literature, the Booker Prize contender. Fantasy can be serious literature. Fantasy has often been serious literature. You have to fairly dense to think that Gulliver’s Travels is only a story about a guy having a real fun time among big people and little people and horses and stuff like that. What the book was about was something else. Fantasy can carry quite a serious burden, and so can humor. So what you’re saying is, strip away the trolls and the dwarves and things and put everyone into modern dress, get them to agonize a bit, mention Virginia Woolf a few times, and there! Hey! I’ve got a serious novel. But you don’t actually have to do that. (Pauses) That was a bloody good answer, though I say it myself.
Terry Pratchett
For many years I have been asking myself why intelligent children act unintelligently at school. The simple answer is, "Because they're scared." I used to suspect that children's defeatism had something to do with their bad work in school, but I thought I could clear it away with hearty cries of "Onward! You can do it!" What I now see for the first time is the mechanism by which fear destroys intelligence, the way it affects a child's whole way of looking at, thinking about, and dealing with life. So we have two problems, not one: to stop children from being afraid, and then to break them of the bad thinking habits into which their fears have driven them. What is most surprising of all is how much fear there is in school. Why is so little said about it. Perhaps most people do not recognize fear in children when they see it. They can read the grossest signs of fear; they know what the trouble is when a child clings howling to his mother; but the subtler signs of fear escaping them. It is these signs, in children's faces, voices, and gestures, in their movements and ways of working, that tell me plainly that most children in school are scared most of the time, many of them very scared. Like good soldiers, they control their fears, live with them, and adjust themselves to them. But the trouble is, and here is a vital difference between school and war, that the adjustments children make to their fears are almost wholly bad, destructive of their intelligence and capacity. The scared fighter may be the best fighter, but the scared learner is always a poor learner.
John C. Holt (How Children Fail (Classics in Child Development))
Who are we to say getting incested or abused or violated or any of those things can’t have their positive aspects in the long run? … You have to be careful of taking a knee-jerk attitude. Having a knee-jerk attitude to anything is a mistake, especially in the case of women, where it adds up to this very limited and condescending thing of saying they’re fragile, breakable things that can be destroyed easily. Everybody gets hurt and violated and broken sometimes. Why are women so special? Not that anybody ought to be raped or abused, nobody’s saying that, but that’s what is going on. What about afterwards? All I’m saying is there are certain cases where it can enlarge you or make you more of a complete human being, like Viktor Frankl. Think about the Holocaust. Was the Holocaust a good thing? No way. Does anybody think it was good that it happened? No, of course not. But did you read Viktor Frankl? Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning? It’s a great, great book, but it comes out of his experience. It’s about his experience in the human dark side. Now think about it, if there was no Holocaust, there’d be no Man’s Search for Meaning… . Think about it. Think about being degraded and brought within an inch of your life, for example. No one’s gonna say the sick bastards who did it shouldn’t be put in jail, but let’s put two things into perspective here. One is, afterwards she knows something about herself that she never knew before. What she knows is that the most totally terrible terrifying thing that she could ever have imagined happening to her has now happened, and she survived. She’s still here, and now she knows something. I mean she really, really knows. Look, totally terrible things happen… . Existence in life breaks people in all kinds of awful fucking ways all the time, trust me I know. I’ve been there. And this is the big difference, you and me here, cause this isn’t about politics or feminism or whatever, for you this is just ideas, you’ve never been there. I’m not saying nothing bad has ever happened to you, you’re not bad looking, I’m sure there’s been some sort of degradation or whatever come your way in life, but I’m talking Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning type violation and terror and suffering here. The real dark side. I can tell from just looking at you, you never. You wouldn’t even wear what you’re wearing, trust me. What if I told you it was my own sister that was raped? What if I told you a little story about a sixteen-year-old girl who went to the wrong party with the wrong guy and four of his buddies that ended up doing to her just about everything four guys could do to you in terms of violation? But if you could ask her if she could go into her head and forget it or like erase the tape of it happening in her memory, what do you think she’d say? Are you so sure what she’d say? What if she said that even after that totally negative as what happened was, at least now she understood it was possible. People can. Can see you as a thing. That people can see you as a thing, do you know what that means? Because if you really can see someone as a thing you can do anything to him. What would it be like to be able to be like that? You see, you think you can imagine it but you can’t. But she can. And now she knows something. I mean she really, really knows. This is what you wanted to hear, you wanted to hear about four drunk guys who knee-jerk you in the balls and make you bend over that you didn’t even know, that you never saw before, that you never did anything to, that don’t even know your name, they don’t even know your name to find out you have to choose to have a fucking name, you have no fucking idea, and what if I said that happened to ME? Would that make a difference?
David Foster Wallace (Brief Interviews with Hideous Men)
I sat looking at her with rapt attention. My heart was thumping, the blood coursing warmly through my veins. What a wonderful pleasure to be sitting in a human dwelling again, hear a clock ticking, and talk with a lively young girl instead of with myself! Why don't you say something?" Ah, how sweet you are!" I said. "I'm sitting here getting fascinated by you, at this moment I'm thoroughly fascinated. I can't help it. You are the strangest person that... Sometimes your eyes are so radiant, I've never seen anything like it, they look like flowers. Eh? No, no, maybe not like flowers but... I'm madly in love with you, and it won't do me a bit of good. What's your name? Really, you must tell me what your name is..." No, what's your name? Goodness, I almost forgot again! I was thinking all day yesterday that I must ask you. Well, that is, not all day yesterday, I certainly didn't think about you all day yesterday." Do you know what I've called you? I have called you Ylajali. How do you like it? Such a gliding sound-" Ylajali?" Yes." Is it a foreign language?" Hmm. No, it's not." Well, it isn't ugly.
Knut Hamsun (Hunger)
Cinema is a language. It can say things—big, abstract things. And I love that about it. I’m not always good with words. Some people are poets and have a beautiful way of saying things with words. But cinema is its own language. And with it you can say so many things, because you’ve got time and sequences. You’ve got dialogue. You’ve got music. You’ve got sound effects. You have so many tools. And you can express a feeling and a thought that can’t be conveyed any other way. Its a magical medium. For me, it’s so beautiful to think about these pictures and sounds flowing together in time and in sequence, making something that can be done only through cinema. Its not just words or music-it’s a whole range of elements coming together and making something that didn’t exist before. It’s telling stories. It’s devising a world, an experience, that people cannot have unless they see that film. When I catch an idea for a film, I fall in love with the way cinema can express it. I like a story that holds abstractions, and that’s what cinema can do.
David Lynch (Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity)
Jules: Emma? You haven't said anything since we left the church. Emma: You're in love with me. Still. Jules: What are you talking about? Emma: I thought you didn't love me anymore. But that isn't true, is it? Jules: Why are you saying that? Why now? Emma: Because of the church. Because of what happened. We burned a church down, Julian, we melted stone. Jules: What does that have to do with anyhing? Emma: It has everything to do with. You don't understand. You can't. Jules: You're right. I don't understand. I don't understand any of it, Emma. I don't understand why you suddenly decided you didn't want me, you wanted Mark, and then you decided you didn't wnat him either and you dropped him like he was nothing, in fron of everyone. What the hell were you thinking ... Emma: What do you care? What do you care how I feel about Mark? Jules: Because I needed you to love him. Because if you threw me away and everything we had, it had better be for something that meant more to you, it had better be for something real, but maybe none of this is ever real to you ... Emma: Not real to me? You don't know what you're talking about, Julian Blackthron! You don't know what I've given up, what my reasons are for anything, you don't know what I'm trying to do ... Jules: What you're trying to do? How about you did do? How about breaking my heart and breaking Cameron's and breaking Mark's? What, am I missing someone else, some other person whose life you want to wreck forever? Emma: Your life isn't wrecked. You're still alive. You can have a good life! You kissed that faerie girl... Jules: She was a leanansidhe! A shape-shifter! I thought se was you! Emma: Oh. Oh. Jules: Yes, oh. You really think I'm going to fall in love with someon else? You think I get to do that? I'm not you, I don't geet to fall in love every week with someone different. I wish it wasn't you, Emma, but it is, it'll always be you, so don't tell me life isn't wrecked when you don't know the first thing about it!
Cassandra Clare (Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices, #2))
I don't think anything can stay," he tells me. "Good or bad. So I think the important part is to not get caught up in worrying about whether something will stay, and instead enjoy it for the time it's here.
David Levithan (Another Day (Every Day, #2))
That a work of the imagination has to be “really” about some problem is, again, an heir of Socialist Realism. To write a story for the sake of storytelling is frivolous, not to say reactionary. The demand that stories must be “about” something is from Communist thinking and, further back, from religious thinking, with its desire for self-improvement books as simple-minded as the messages on samplers. The phrase “political correctness” was born as Communism was collapsing. I do not think this was chance. I am not suggesting that the torch of Communism has been handed on to the political correctors. I am suggesting that habits of mind have been absorbed, often without knowing it. There is obviously something very attractive about telling other people what to do: I am putting it in this nursery way rather than in more intellectual language because I see it as nursery behavior. Art — the arts generally — are always unpredictable, maverick, and tend to be, at their best, uncomfortable. Literature, in particular, has always inspired the House committees, the Zhdanovs, the fits of moralizing, but, at worst, persecution. It troubles me that political correctness does not seem to know what its exemplars and predecessors are; it troubles me more that it may know and does not care. Does political correctness have a good side? Yes, it does, for it makes us re-examine attitudes, and that is always useful. The trouble is that, with all popular movements, the lunatic fringe so quickly ceases to be a fringe; the tail begins to wag the dog. For every woman or man who is quietly and sensibly using the idea to examine our assumptions, there are 20 rabble-rousers whose real motive is desire for power over others, no less rabble-rousers because they see themselves as anti-racists or feminists or whatever.
Doris Lessing
My delightful, my love, my life, I don’t understand anything: how can you not be with me? I’m so infinitely used to you that I now feel myself lost and empty: without you, my soul. You turn my life into something light, amazing, rainbowed—you put a glint of happiness on everything—always different: sometimes you can be smoky-pink, downy, sometimes dark, winged—and I don’t know when I love your eyes more—when they are open or shut. It’s eleven p.m. now: I’m trying with all the force of my soul to see you through space; my thoughts plead for a heavenly visa to Berlin via air . . . My sweet excitement . . . Today I can’t write about anything except my longing for you. I’m gloomy and fearful: silly thoughts are swarming—that you’ll stumble as you jump out of a carriage in the underground, or that someone will bump into you in the street . . . I don’t know how I’ll survive the week. My tenderness, my happiness, what words can I write for you? How strange that although my life’s work is moving a pen over paper, I don’t know how to tell you how I love, how I desire you. Such agitation—and such divine peace: melting clouds immersed in sunshine—mounds of happiness. And I am floating with you, in you, aflame and melting—and a whole life with you is like the movement of clouds, their airy, quiet falls, their lightness and smoothness, and the heavenly variety of outline and tint—my inexplicable love. I cannot express these cirrus-cumulus sensations. When you and I were at the cemetery last time, I felt it so piercingly and clearly: you know it all, you know what will happen after death—you know it absolutely simply and calmly—as a bird knows that, fluttering from a branch, it will fly and not fall down . . . And that’s why I am so happy with you, my lovely, my little one. And here’s more: you and I are so special; the miracles we know, no one knows, and no one loves the way we love. What are you doing now? For some reason I think you’re in the study: you’ve got up, walked to the door, you are pulling the door wings together and pausing for a moment—waiting to see if they’ll move apart again. I’m tired, I’m terribly tired, good night, my joy. Tomorrow I’ll write you about all kinds of everyday things. My love.
Vladimir Nabokov (Letters to Vera)
I have a feeling," Harry said finally, "that we're coming at this from the wrong angle. There's a tale I once heard about some students who came into a physics class, and the teacher showed them a large metal plate near a fire. She ordered them to feel the metal plate, and they felt that the metal nearer the fire was cooler, and the metal further away was warmer. And she said, write down your guess for why this happens. So some students wrote down 'because of how the metal conducts heat', and some students wrote down 'because of how the air moves', and no one said 'this just seems impossible', and the real answer was that before the students came into the room, the teacher turned the plate around." "Interesting," said Professor Quirrell. "That does sound similar. Is there a moral?" "That your strength as a rationalist is your ability to be more confused by fiction than by reality," said Harry. "If you're equally good at explaining any outcome, you have zero knowledge. The students thought they could use words like 'because of heat conduction' to explain anything, even a metal plate being cooler on the side nearer the fire. So they didn't notice how confused they were, and that meant they couldn't be more confused by falsehood than by truth. If you tell me that the centaurs were under the Imperius Curse, I still have the feeling of something being not quite right. I notice that I'm still confused even after hearing your explanation.
Eliezer Yudkowsky (Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality)
We have a predator that came from the depths of the cosmos and took over the rule of our lives. Human beings are its prisoners. The Predator is our lord and master. It has rendered us docile, helpless. If we want to protest, it suppresses our protest. If we want to act independently, it demands that we don't do so... I have been beating around the bush all this time, insinuating to you that something is holding us prisoner. Indeed we are held prisoner! "This was an energetic fact for the sorcerers of ancient Mexico ... They took us over because we are food for them, and they squeeze us mercilessly because we are their sustenance. just as we rear chickens in chicken coops, the predators rear us in human coops, humaneros. Therefore, their food is always available to them." "No, no, no, no," [Carlos replies] "This is absurd don Juan. What you're saying is something monstrous. It simply can't be true, for sorcerers or for average men, or for anyone." "Why not?" don Juan asked calmly. "Why not? Because it infuriates you? ... You haven't heard all the claims yet. I want to appeal to your analytical mind. Think for a moment, and tell me how you would explain the contradictions between the intelligence of man the engineer and the stupidity of his systems of beliefs, or the stupidity of his contradictory behaviour. Sorcerers believe that the predators have given us our systems of belief, our ideas of good and evil, our social mores. They are the ones who set up our hopes and expectations and dreams of success or failure. They have given us covetousness, greed, and cowardice. It is the predators who make us complacent, routinary, and egomaniacal." "'But how can they do this, don Juan? [Carlos] asked, somehow angered further by what [don Juan] was saying. "'Do they whisper all that in our ears while we are asleep?" "'No, they don't do it that way. That's idiotic!" don Juan said, smiling. "They are infinitely more efficient and organized than that. In order to keep us obedient and meek and weak, the predators engaged themselves in a stupendous manoeuvre stupendous, of course, from the point of view of a fighting strategist. A horrendous manoeuvre from the point of view of those who suffer it. They gave us their mind! Do you hear me? The predators give us their mind, which becomes our mind. The predators' mind is baroque, contradictory, morose, filled with the fear of being discovered any minute now." "I know that even though you have never suffered hunger... you have food anxiety, which is none other than the anxiety of the predator who fears that any moment now its manoeuvre is going to be uncovered and food is going to be denied. Through the mind, which, after all, is their mind, the predators inject into the lives of human beings whatever is convenient for them. And they ensure, in this manner, a degree of security to act as a buffer against their fear." "The sorcerers of ancient Mexico were quite ill at ease with the idea of when [the predator] made its appearance on Earth. They reasoned that man must have been a complete being at one point, with stupendous insights, feats of awareness that are mythological legends nowadays. And then, everything seems to disappear, and we have now a sedated man. What I'm saying is that what we have against us is not a simple predator. It is very smart, and organized. It follows a methodical system to render us useless. Man, the magical being that he is destined to be, is no longer magical. He's an average piece of meat." "There are no more dreams for man but the dreams of an animal who is being raised to become a piece of meat: trite, conventional, imbecilic.
Carlos Castaneda (The Active Side of Infinity)
Coach Graham used to ride me hard. I remember one practice in particular. 'You're doing it all wrong, Pauch. Go back! Do it again!' I tried to do what he wanted. It wasn't enough. 'You owe me, Pauch! You're doing push-ups after practice." When I was finally dismissed, one of the assistant coaches came over to reassure me. 'Coach Graham rode you pretty hard, didn't he?' he said. I could barely muster a 'yeah.' 'That's a good thing,' the assistant told me. 'When you're screwing up and nobody says anything to you anymore, that means they've given up on you.' That lesson has stuck with me my whole life. When you see yourself doing something badly and nobody's bothering to tell you anymore, that's a bad place to be. You may not want to hear it, but your critics are often the ones telling you they still love you and care about you, and want to make you better.
Randy Pausch (The Last Lecture)
I let go of him and remain standing. I promised myself I would do this, if I ever had the chance again.. I promised I would do this the first moment I could. 'I love you,' I say, the words coming out in an unintelligible rush. Cardan looks taken aback. Or possibly I spoke so fast he's not even sure what I said. 'You need not say it out of pity,' he says finally, with great deliberateness. 'Or because I was under a curse. I have asked you to lie to me in the past, in this very room, but I would beg you not to lie now.' My cheeks heat at the memory of those lies. 'I have not made myself easy to love,' he says, and I hear the echo of his mother's words in his. When I imagined telling him, I thought I would say the words, and it would be like pulling off a bandage- painful and swift. But I didn't think he would doubt me. 'I first started liking you when we went to talk to the rulers of the low Courts,' I say. 'You were funny, which was weird. And when we went to Hollow Hall, you were clever. I kept remembering how you'd been the one to get us out of the brugh after Dain's coronation, right before I put the knife to your throat.' He doesn't try to interrupt, so I have to choice but to barrel on. 'After I tricked you into being High King,' I say. 'I thought once you hated me, I could go back to hating you. But I didn't. And I felt so stupid. I thought I would get my heart broken. I thought it was a weakness that you would use against me. But then you saved me from the Undersea when it would have been much more convenient to just leave me to rot. After that, I started to hope my feelings were returned. But then there was the exile-' I take a ragged breath. 'I hid a lot, I guess. I thought if I didn't, if I let myself love you, I would burn up like a match. Like the whole matchbook.' 'But now you've explained it,' he says. 'And you do love me.' 'I love you,' I confirm. 'Because I am clever and funny,' he says, smiling. 'You didn't mention my handsomeness.' 'Or your deliciousness,' I say. 'Although those are both good qualities.' He pulls me to him, so that we're both lying on the couch. I look down at the blackness of his eyes and the softness of his mouth. I wipe a fleck of dried blood from the top of one pointed ear. 'What was it like?' I ask. 'Being a serpent.' He hesitates. 'It was like being trapped in the dark,' he says. 'I was alone, and my instinct was to lash out. I was perhaps not entirely an animal, but neither was I myself. I could not reason. There was only feelings- hatred and terror and the desire to destroy.' I start to speak, but he stops me with a gesture. 'And you.' He looks at me, his lips curving in something that's not quite a smile; it's more and less than that. 'I knew little else, but I always knew you.' And when he kisses me, I feel as though I can finally breathe again.
Holly Black (The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air, #3))
Good evening," it lowed and sat back heavily on its haunches, "I am the main Dish of the Day. May I interest you in parts of my body? It harrumphed and gurgled a bit, wriggled its hind quarters into a more comfortable position and gazed peacefully at them. Its gaze was met by looks of startled bewilderment from Arthur and Trillian, a resigned shrug from Ford Prefect and naked hunger from Zaphod Beeblebrox. "Something off the shoulder perhaps?" suggested the animal. "Braised in a white wine sauce?" "Er, your shoulder?" said Arthur in a horrified whisper. "But naturally my shoulder, sir," mooed the animal contentedly, "nobody else's is mine to offer." Zaphod leapt to his feet and started prodding and feeling the animal's shoulder appreciatively. "Or the rump is very good," murmured the animal. "I've been exercising it and eating plenty of grain, so there's a lot of good meat there." It gave a mellow grunt, gurgled again and started to chew the cud. It swallowed the cud again. "Or a casserole of me perhaps?" it added. "You mean this animal actually wants us to eat it?" whispered Trillian to Ford. "Me?" said Ford, with a glazed look in his eyes. "I don't mean anything." "That's absolutely horrible," exclaimed Arthur, "the most revolting thing I've ever heard." "What's the problem, Earthman?" said Zaphod, now transferring his attention to the animal's enormous rump. "I just don't want to eat an animal that's standing there inviting me to," said Arthur. "It's heartless." "Better than eating an animal that doesn't want to be eaten," said Zaphod. "That's not the point," Arthur protested. Then he thought about it for a moment. "All right," he said, "maybe it is the point. I don't care, I'm not going to think about it now. I'll just ... er ..." The Universe raged about him in its death throes. "I think I'll just have a green salad," he muttered. "May I urge you to consider my liver?" asked the animal, "it must be very rich and tender by now, I've been force-feeding myself for months." "A green salad," said Arthur emphatically. "A green salad?" said the animal, rolling his eyes disapprovingly at Arthur. "Are you going to tell me," said Arthur, "that I shouldn't have green salad?" "Well," said the animal, "I know many vegetables that are very clear on that point. Which is why it was eventually decided to cut through the whole tangled problem and breed an animal that actually wanted to be eaten and was capable of saying so clearly and distinctly. And here I am." It managed a very slight bow. "Glass of water please," said Arthur. "Look," said Zaphod, "we want to eat, we don't want to make a meal of the issues. Four rare steaks please, and hurry. We haven't eaten in five hundred and seventy-six thousand million years." The animal staggered to its feet. It gave a mellow gurgle. "A very wise choice, sir, if I may say so. Very good," it said. "I'll just nip off and shoot myself." He turned and gave a friendly wink to Arthur. "Don't worry, sir," he said, "I'll be very humane." It waddled unhurriedly off to the kitchen. A matter of minutes later the waiter arrived with four huge steaming steaks.
Douglas Adams (The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #2))
champagne, n. You appear at the foot of the bed with a bottle of champagne, and I have no idea why. I search my mind desperately for an occasion I've forgotten - is this some obscure anniversary or, even worse, a not-so-obscure one? Then I think you have something to tell me, some good news to share, but your smile is silent, cryptic. I sit up in bed, ask you what's going on, and you shake your head, as if to say that nothing's going on, as if to pretend that we usually start our Wednesday mornings with champagne. You touch the bottle to my leg - I feel the cool condensation and the glass, the fact that the bottle must have been sleeping all night in the refrigerator without me noticing. You have long-stemmed glasses in you other hand, and you place them on the nightstand, beside the uncommenting clock, the box of kleenex, the tumbler of water. "The thing about champagne," you say, unfailing the cork, unwinding its wire restraint, "is that it is the ultimate associative object. Every time you open a bottle of champagne, it's a celebration, so there's no better way of starting a celebration than opening a bottle of champagne. Every time you sip it, you're sipping from all those other celebrations. The joy accumulates over time." You pop the cork. The bubbles rise. I feel some of the spray on my skin. You pour. "But why?" I ask as you hand me my glass. You raise yours and ask, "Why not? What better way to start the day?" We drink a toast to that.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
You talk about not telling me what to do, that you don’t want to let me down, but I’m sick of being treated like I’m too fragile or too pristine. I don’t want to be a damsel in distress! So stop treating me like one. I’m not a trophy. You aren’t telling me to do anything! I’m telling you I want you to take me, and you’re sitting here, patting my head like I’m stupid, telling me I don’t know what I want. If I don’t like something, I will fucking tell you. But for the love of god, stop deciding what I like or don’t like. What I can or cannot endure. What feels good or doesn’t. Stop holding back with me.
Elsie Silver (Powerless (Chestnut Springs, #3))
I don’t think it’s merely willpower that makes you able to do something. The world isn’t that simple. To tell the truth, I don’t even think there’s that much correlation between my running every day and whether or not I have a strong will. I think I’ve been able to run for more than twenty years for a simple reason: It suits me. Or at least because I don’t find it all that painful. Human beings naturally continue doing things they like, and they don’t continue what they don’t like. Admittedly, something close to will does play a small part in that. But no matter how strong a will a person has, no matter how much he may hate to lose, if it’s an activity he doesn’t really care for, he won’t keep it up for long. Even if he did, it wouldn’t be good for him.
Haruki Murakami (What I Talk About When I Talk About Running)
When I was a kid, summers were the most glorious time of life. Because my parents believed in hands-off, free-range parenting, I’d usually be out the door before ten and wouldn’t return until dinner. There were no cell phones to keep track of me and whenever my mom called a neighbor to ask where I was, the neighbor was often just as clueless as to her own child’s whereabouts. In fact, there was only one rule as far as I could tell: I had to be home at half past five, since my parents liked to eat dinner as a family. I can’t remember exactly how I used to spend those days. I have recollections in snapshot form: building forts or playing king of the hill on the high part of the jungle gym or chasing after a soccer ball while attempting to score. I remember playing in the woods, too. Back then, our home was surrounded by undeveloped land, and my friends and I would have dirt-clod wars or play capture the flag; when we got BB guns, we could spend hours shooting cans and occasionally shooting at each other. I spent hours exploring on my bicycle, and whole weeks would pass where I’d wake every morning with nothing scheduled at all. Of course, there were kids in the neighborhood who didn’t lead that sort of carefree existence. They would head off to camp or participate in summer leagues for various sports, but back then, kids like that were the minority. These days, kids are scheduled from morning to night because parents have demanded it, and London has been no exception. But how did it happen? And why? What changed the outlook of parents in my generation? Peer pressure? Living vicariously through a child’s success? Résumé building for college? Or was it simply fear that if their kids were allowed to discover the world on their own, nothing good would come of it? I don’t know. I am, however, of the opinion that something has been lost in the process: the simple joy of waking in the morning and having nothing whatsoever to do.
Nicholas Sparks (Two By Two)
this is what I say: I have some good news for you, and some bad news. The bad news first. We’re going to have to rip off either your fingernails or your toenails with pliers. I’m sorry, but it’s already decided. It can’t be changed. I pull out a huge, scary pair of pliers from my briefcase and show them to everybody. Slowly, making sure everybody gets a good look. And then I say: Here’s the good news. You have the freedom to choose which it’s going to be—your fingernails, or your toenails. So, which will it be? You have ten seconds to make up your mind. If you’re unable to decide, we’ll rip off both your fingernails and your toenails. I start the count. At about eight seconds most people say, ‘The toes.’ Okay, I say, toenails it is. I’ll use these pliers to rip them off. But before I do, I’d like you to tell me something. Why did you choose your toes and not your fingers? The person usually says, ‘I don’t know. I think they probably hurt the same. But since I had to choose one, I went with the toes.’ I turn to him and warmly applaud him. And I say, Welcome to the real world.” Tsukuru gazed wordlessly at his old friend’s delicate face. “Each of us is given the freedom to choose,” Aka said, winking and smiling. “That’s the point of the story.
Haruki Murakami (Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage)
What is it' Pippa asked gently. I opened my eyes but didn’t lift my head, and I peered at the table where the two upside-down shiny girls were laughing so hard at something the boy had said, and he was stamping green splodges of paint around the knife he had drawn. ‘They have so much time.’ 'So..?' ‘I don’t.' Pippa couldn’t meet my eye. 'I'm not saying that to make you feel bad,' I said, ‘I just want you to understand what I’m feeling. I have an urgency to have fun.' ‘You have an urgency to have fun?’ 'Yes. I have to have fun. It’s urgent.' ‘Okay,' she said eventually, ‘what can I do to make it better?' ‘You know when I came in here when I wasn’t supposed to?” 'Yes...' 'When I met those old people.' ‘The over-eighties group, yes...’ ‘I met Margot.’ 'Yes...' ‘I want you to move me into her art group. The over-eighties one.’ ‘But Lenni, that is the class for people in their eighties and over,' Pippa said. ‘Yes. | understand that.' ‘So it wouldn’t really make sense to put you in that group.' 'Why?' ‘Because you’re not eighty!' But apart from that? That's just the way we've decided to do it, so that classes can be suited to people’s interests and abilities.’ Well, I think that’s ageist.’ I waited. She was wavering, I could tell. 'I promise I'll be good.' Pippa smiled. 'I'll see what I can do.
Marianne Cronin (The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot)
Can I ask you something?" Jamie reaches his hand across his chest and scratches his neck. When I nod, he asks, "What do you see when you look at pictures of yourself?" I swallow. Someone who looks too Asian to be pretty. Because being Asian means I can never be as pretty as the other girls at school—the girls like Mom. I know this because people like Henry and Adam and Mom keep telling me I don't have the right face. I know this because when I look in the mirror, I see what they see—a girl who doesn't belong here. A girl who isn't good enough. But I can't tell him that—he wouldn't understand. "Okay. Well, what do you wish you saw?" He tries again when I remain quiet for so long. Someone with bigger eyes. Lighter hair. A smaller nose. "Someone who looks more like everyone else," I say at last. Jamie runs his thumbs over the edge of his camera. "Do you know how many people would love to have your face? Yeah, you don't look like everyone else in town, but that's special. You stand out because you're unique, and people literally never stop trying to be unique." I twist my mouth. "But I don't want to stand out—not at all. I want to be normal. I want to feel like I belong in the same world as everyone else." If I looked like everyone else, it would probably be easier to make friends. I might even have a mom who cared. That last part really stings. "You might feel that way now, but it isn't like that forever. Wait until you see what the world has to offer besides that small town and your high school. People are different out there.
Akemi Dawn Bowman (Starfish)
Ronan's trying to wake up the world. I'm trying to think of how to talk him out of it, but what he's talking about is a world where she never fell asleep. A world where Matthew's just a kid. A world where it doesn't matter what Hennessy does, if something happens to her. A level playing field. I don't think it's a good idea, but it's not like I can't see the appeal, because now I'm biased, I'm too biased to be clear." Declan shook his head a little. "I said I would never become my father, anything like him. And now look at me. At us." Ah, there it was. It took no effort to remember the way he'd looked at her the first moment he realized she was a dream. "I'm a dream," Jordan said. "I'm not your dream." Declan put his chin in his hand and looked back out the window; that, too, would be a good portrait. Perhaps it was just because she liked looking at him that she thought each pose would make a good one. A series. What a future that idea promised, nights upon nights like this, him sitting there, her standing here. "By the time we're married," Declan said eventually, "I want you to have applied for a different studio in this place because this man's paintings are very ugly." Her pulse gently skipped two beats before continuing on as before. "I don't have a social security number of my own, Pozzi." "I'll buy you one," Declan said. "You can wear it in place of a ring." The two of them looked at each other past the canvas on her easel. Finally, he said, voice soft, "I should see the painting now." "Are you sure?" "It's time, Jordan." Putting his jacket to the side, he stood. He waited. He would not come around to look without an invite. It's time, Jordan. Jordan had never been truly honest with anyone who didn't wear Hennessy's face. Showing him this painting, this original, felt like being more honest than she had ever been in her life. She stepped back to give him room. Declan took it in. His eyes flickered to and from the likeness, from the jacket on Portrait Declan's leg to the real jacket he'd left behind on the chair. She watched his gaze follow the line edge she had taken such care to paint, that subtle electricity of complementary colors at the edge of his form. "It's very good," Declan muttered. "Jordan, it's very good." "I thought it might be." "I don't know if it's a sweetmetal. But you're very good." "I thought I might be." "The next one will be even better." "I think it might be." "And in ten years your scandalous masterpiece will get you thrown out of France, too," he said. "And later you can triumphantly sell it to the Met. Children will write papers about you. People like me will tell stories about you to their dates at museums to make them think they're interesting." She kissed him. He kissed her. And this kiss, too, got all wrapped up in the art-making of the portrait sitting on the easel beside them, getting all mixed in with all the other sights and sounds and feelings that had become part of the process. It was very good.
Maggie Stiefvater (Mister Impossible (Dreamer Trilogy, #2))
I reach out and palm the freezing stone. “God, I miss you. I miss you all the time. I’ll hear a song you played for me or read something good, and you’re the first person I want to tell.” Unable to handle the sting any longer, I let the tears fall at will. “Motherfucker or not, I saw you. I saw you. I knew you. And I grieve for you every damn day. You lose, Dominic, because there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t mourn you.
Kate Stewart (Exodus (The Ravenhood Duet, #2))
I have big dreams and big goals. But also big limitations, which means III never reach the big goals unless I have the wisdom to recognize the chains that bind me. Only then will I be able to figure out a way to work within them instead of ignoring them or naively wishing they'll cease to exist. I'm on a perennial quest to find balance. Writing helps me do that. To quote Neruda: Tengo que acordarme de todos, recoger las briznas, los hilos del acontecer harapiento (I have to remember everything, collect the wisps, the threads of untidy happenings). That line is ME. But my memory is slipping and that's one of the scariest aspects about all this. How can I tell my story, how can I create a narrative around my life, if I cant even remember the details? But I do want to tell my story, and so I write. I write because I want my parents to understand me. I write to leave something behind for them, for my brother Micah, for my boyfriend Jack, and for my extended family and friends, so I won't just end up as ashes scattered in the ocean and nothing else. Curiously, the things I write in my journal are almost all bad: the letdowns. the uncertainties. the anxieties. the loneliness. The good stuff I keep in my head and heart, but that proves an unreliable way of holding on because time eventually steals all memories-and if it doesn't completely steal them, it distorts them, sometimes beyond recognition, or the emotional quality accompanying the moment just dissipates. Many of the feelings I write about are too difficult to share while I'm alive, so I am keeping everything in my journal password-protected until the end. When I die I want my mom to edit these pages to ensure they are acceptable for publication-culling through years of writing, pulling together what will resonate, cutting references that might be hurtful. My hope is that my writing will offer insight for people living with, or loving someone with, chronic illness.
Mallory Smith (Salt in My Soul: An Unfinished Life)
my intuition struck again, this time with even stronger force. I felt a continuation of its original message, but now that I was in New York City, my intuition stated clearly that it wanted me to focus on writing. There may be moments when your intuition tells you something but you are too afraid to hear it. And that is OK. Just don’t forget the message. Return to it when you feel ready. I had felt this call about a year before, but at the time I had not taken it seriously. It felt real and strong but also too different and new to me. This time it hit like lightning. I could feel that if I focused on writing now, it could be a good way to serve.
Yung Pueblo (Lighter: Let Go of the Past, Connect with the Present, and Expand the Future)
Dear Jon, A real Dear Jon let­ter, how per­fect is that?! Who knew you’d get dumped twice in the same amount of months. See, I’m one para­graph in and I’ve al­ready fucked this. I’m writ­ing this be­cause I can’t say any of this to you face-to-face. I’ve spent the last few months ques­tion­ing a lot of my friend­ships and won­der­ing what their pur­pose is, if not to work through big emo­tional things to­gether. But I now re­al­ize: I don’t want that. And I know you’ve all been there for me in other ways. Maybe not in the lit­eral sense, but I know you all would have done any­thing to fix me other than lis­ten­ing to me talk and al­low­ing me to be sad with­out so­lu­tions. And now I am writ­ing this let­ter rather than pick­ing up the phone and talk­ing to you be­cause, de­spite every thing I know, I just don’t want to, and I don’t think you want me to ei­ther. I lost my mind when Jen broke up with me. I’m pretty sure it’s been the sub­ject of a few of your What­sApp con­ver­sa­tions and more power to you, be­cause I would need to vent about me if I’d been friends with me for the last six months. I don’t want it to have been in vain, and I wanted to tell you what I’ve learnt. If you do a high-fat, high-pro­tein, low-carb diet and join a gym, it will be a good dis­trac­tion for a while and you will lose fat and gain mus­cle, but you will run out of steam and eat nor­mally again and put all the weight back on. So maybe don’t bother. Drunk­en­ness is an­other idea. I was in black­out for most of the first two months and I think that’s fine, it got me through the evenings (and the oc­ca­sional af­ter­noon). You’ll have to do a lot of it on your own, though, be­cause no one is free to meet up any more. I think that’s fine for a bit. It was for me un­til some­one walked past me drink­ing from a whisky minia­ture while I waited for a night bus, put five quid in my hand and told me to keep warm. You’re the only per­son I’ve ever told this story. None of your mates will be ex­cited that you’re sin­gle again. I’m prob­a­bly your only sin­gle mate and even I’m not that ex­cited. Gen­er­ally the ex­pe­ri­ence of be­ing sin­gle at thirty-five will feel dif­fer­ent to any other time you’ve been sin­gle and that’s no bad thing. When your ex moves on, you might be­come ob­sessed with the bloke in a way that is al­most sex­ual. Don’t worry, you don’t want to fuck him, even though it will feel a bit like you do some­times. If you open up to me or one of the other boys, it will feel good in the mo­ment and then you’ll get an emo­tional hang­over the next day. You’ll wish you could take it all back. You may even feel like we’ve en­joyed see­ing you so low. Or that we feel smug be­cause we’re win­ning at some­thing and you’re los­ing. Re­member that none of us feel that. You may be­come ob­sessed with work­ing out why ex­actly she broke up with you and you are likely to go fully, fully nuts in your bid to find a sat­is­fy­ing an­swer. I can save you a lot of time by let­ting you know that you may well never work it out. And even if you did work it out, what’s the pur­pose of it? Soon enough, some girl is go­ing to be crazy about you for some un­de­fin­able rea­son and you’re not go­ing to be in­ter­ested in her for some un­de­fin­able rea­son. It’s all so ran­dom and un­fair – the peo­ple we want to be with don’t want to be with us and the peo­ple who want to be with us are not the peo­ple we want to be with. Re­ally, the thing that’s go­ing to hurt a lot is the fact that some­one doesn’t want to be with you any more. Feel­ing the ab­sence of some­one’s com­pany and the ab­sence of their love are two dif­fer­ent things. I wish I’d known that ear­lier. I wish I’d known that it isn’t any­body’s job to stay in a re­la­tion­ship they don’t want to be in just so some­one else doesn’t feel bad about them­selves. Any­way. That’s all. You’re go­ing to be okay, mate. Andy
Dolly Alderton (Good Material)
I just need one night to get myself together...one night to get away from my worries in life...Some type of sign...if you’re up there hanging with Jesus, tell him I need some good luck in my life...Something has to change...Send me a sign that you’re even up there watching over me...All I ask…
Desiree . (The Truth About the Godfreys: Daughters of Atlanta)
I cup her face, increasing my pace, getting more and more turned on as she writhes beneath me. Suddenly, a scent hints at me, one of earth and metal. I clutch her jaw and make her look up at me. “Tell me, Rosalina, have you been a good girl for the Prince of Spring?” Her whole body trembles and something devious flashes in her eyes. “Maybe.
Elizabeth Helen (Forged by Malice (Beasts of the Briar, #3))
So, with no prospects and no skills (again, I majored in The History and Literature of Russia and Britain), I got ahead of the millennial curve and moved back to my parents’ house and into my childhood bedroom. Which, if you haven’t done it, is one of the most humiliating experiences an adult can go through. At first you think, No big deal. It’s like I’m back in high school, except no curfew and I can drink in front of my parents! Then you have one drink in front of your parents in your childhood kitchen and you’re like, I’m the saddest boy on Earth. There’s something about moving back home after college that eliminates all the respect you accumulated by going away to college. All the bragging your parents did about you going to a good school disappears overnight. You live in their house, yet they dare not speak your name in public, for fear that a friend of theirs with a working child will ask, “And what is Colin doing now?” So you slink around and try to eat alone at odd hours and then go to a movie at 11:45 P.M. on a Tuesday with your one other loser friend who moved back home. Then you go to a diner at 2 A.M. and see your high school girlfriend and she’s already married with three kids and you don’t understand how that’s even physically possible. (Or why she’s at a diner at 2 A.M. with three kids at home.) So you ask the diner to make your plate of eggs “to go” to escape the whole scene and now you’re eating cold eggs in the basement of your house at 3 A.M., watching Howard Stern tell a porn star to kiss Gary the Retard, because that’s easily the most thrilling moment of your day. And pretty soon you’re thinking, Why the fuck did I major in the History and Literature of Russia and Britain? After a few weeks of extreme depression, I talked to a couple friends from college who were equally miserable and unemployed, and we all decided: Let’s move to Manhattan or Brooklyn or wherever we can get an apartment and just force ourselves to get jobs and become actual adults. And my parents were like, “No…don’t…” And then closed the door behind me and locked it.
Colin Jost (A Very Punchable Face)
Let me tell you something. It's not easy to do what you're asked to do when you don't know why. A whole lot harder than acting up every time things aren't how you like them. A lot harder than having a hissy fit because you happen to look up one day and notice the people around you aren't doing so good. Because you all the sudden decide you're going to pay attention.
Ayana Mathis (The Unsettled)
The longest relationship I have had is the one with my eating disorder. Every time I think I can walk away from it, something brings me back. It’s the one thing that I’m good at. The one thing that connects me to my past. I feel ashamed. It is embarrassing constantly thinking about food and my body.
Carolyn Rossiter (Diet Pills and Broken Dreams: Stories I could Not Tell)
Marvin stood there. ‘Out of my way little robot,’ growled the tank. ‘I’m afraid,’ said Marvin, ‘that I’ve been left here to stop you.’ The probe extended again for a quick recheck. It withdrew again. ‘You? Stop me?’ roared the tank, ‘Go on!’ ‘No, really I have,’ said Marvin simply. ‘What are you armed with?’ roared the tank in disbelief. ‘Guess,’ said Marvin. The tank’s engines rumbled, its gears ground. Molecule-sized electronic relays deep in its micro-brain flipped backwards and forwards in consternation. ‘Guess?’ said the tank. ‘Yes, go on,’ said Marvin to the huge battle machine, ‘you’ll never guess.’ ‘Errrmmm …’ said the machine, vibrating with unaccustomed thought, ‘laser beams?’ Marvin shook his head solemnly. ‘No,’ muttered the machine in its deep gutteral rumble, ‘Too obvious. Anti-matter ray?’ it hazarded. ‘Far too obvious,’ admonished Marvin. ‘Yes,’ grumbled the machine, somewhat abashed, ‘Er … how about an electron ram?’ This was new to Marvin. ‘What’s that?’ he said. ‘One of these,’ said the machine with enthusiasm. From its turret emerged a sharp prong which spat a single lethal blaze of light. Behind Marvin a wall roared and collapsed as a heap of dust. The dust billowed briefly, then settled. ‘No,’ said Marvin, ‘not one of those.’ ‘Good though, isn’t it?’ ‘Very good,’ agreed Marvin. ‘I know,’ said the Frogstar battle machine, after another moment’s consideration, ‘you must have one of those new Xanthic Re-Structron Destabilized Zenon Emitters!’ 'Nice, aren’t they?’ agreed Marvin. ‘That’s what you’ve got?’ said the machine in condiderable awe. ‘No,’ said Marvin. ‘Oh,’ said the machine, disappointed, ‘then it must be …’ ‘You’re thinking along the wrong lines,’ said Marvin, ‘You’re failing to take into account something fairly basic in the relationship between men and robots.’ ‘Er, I know,’ said the battle machine, 'is it … ’ it tailed off into thought again. ‘Just think,’ urged Marvin, ‘they left me, an ordinary, menial robot, to stop you, a gigantic heavy-duty battle machine, whilst they ran off to save themselves. What do you think they would leave me with?’ ‘Oooh er,’ muttered the machine in alarm, ‘something pretty damn devastating I should expect.’ ‘Expect!’ said Marvin. ‘Oh yes, expect. I’ll tell you what they gave me to protect myself with shall I?’ ‘Yes, alright,’ said the battle machine, bracing itself. ‘Nothing,’ said Marvin. There was a dangerous pause. 'Nothing?’ roared the battle machine. ‘Nothing at all,’ intoned Marvin dismally, ‘not an electronic sausage.’ The machine heaved about with fury. ‘Well doesn’t that just take the biscuit!’ it roared, ‘Nothing, eh?’ Just don’t think, do they?’ ‘And me,’ said Marvin in a soft low voice, ‘with this terrible pain in all the diodes down my left side.’ ‘Makes you spit, doesn’t it?’ ‘Yes,’ agreed Marvin with feeling. ‘Hell that makes me angry,’ bellowed the machine, ‘think I’ll smash that wall down!’ The electron ram stabbed out another searing blaze of light and took out the wall next to the machine. ‘How do you think I feel?’ said Marvin bitterly. ‘Just ran off and left you did they?’ the Machine thundered. ‘Yes,’ said Marvin. ‘I think I’ll shoot down their bloody ceiling as well!’ raged the tank. It took out the ceiling of the bridge. ‘That’s very impressive,’ murmured Marvin. ‘You ain’t seen nothing yet,’ promised the machine, ‘I can take out this floor too, no trouble!’ It took out the floor too. ‘Hells bells!’ the machine roared as it plummeted fifteen storeys and smashed itself to bits on the ground below. ‘What a depressingly stupid machine,’ said Marvin and trudged away.
Douglas Adams (The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #2))
Good girl', I hear him praise her, and she whimpers. I know girl. I get it. Why do we crave that? To be praised for something that others would find degrading. I'd do some sick and twisted shit for Ryat if I knew he'd praise me for it. I want to please Ryat all the time. And when he tells me good girl, it's like everything I actually did meant something to him.
Shantel Tessier (The Ritual (L.O.R.D.S., #1))