The Office Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to The Office. Here they are! All 200 of them:

I always arrive late at the office, but I make up for it by leaving early.
Charles Lamb
I wanted the whole world or nothing.
Charles Bukowski (Post Office)
I DON'T CARE!" Harry yelled at them, snatching up a lunascope and throwing it into the fireplace. "I'VE HAD ENOUGH, I'VE SEEN ENOUGH, I WANT OUT, I WANT IT TO END, I DON'T CARE ANYMORE!" "You do care," said Dumbledore. He had not flinched or made a single move to stop Harry demolishing his office. His expression was calm, almost detached. "You care so much you feel as though you will bleed to death with the pain of it.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5))
Time to leave now, get out of this room, go somewhere, anywhere; sharpen this feeling of happiness and freedom, stretch your limbs, fill your eyes, be awake, wider awake, vividly awake in every sense and every pore.
Stefan Zweig (The Post-Office Girl)
Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.
Jack Kerouac
As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.
H.L. Mencken (On Politics: A Carnival of Buncombe)
Finally, the truth. Lying with his face pressed into the dusty carpet of the office where he had once thought he was learning the secrets of victory, Harry understood at last that he was not supposed to survive.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
But this is touching, Severus,” said Dumbledore seriously. “Have you grown to care for the boy, after all?” “For him?” shouted Snape. “Expecto Patronum!” From the tip of his wand burst the silver doe. She landed on the office floor, bounded once across the office, and soared out of the window. Dumbledore watched her fly away, and as her silvery glow faded he turned back to Snape, and his eyes were full of tears. “After all this time?” “Always,” said Snape.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
In the morning it was morning and I was still alive.
Charles Bukowski (Post Office)
Adam lived in an apartment located above the office of St. Agnes Catholic Church, a fortuitous combination that focused most of the objects of Ronan's worship into one downtown block.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, #4))
You live like this, sheltered, in a delicate world, and you believe you are living. Then you read a book… or you take a trip… and you discover that you are not living, that you are hibernating. The symptoms of hibernating are easily detectable: first, restlessness. The second symptom (when hibernating becomes dangerous and might degenerate into death): absence of pleasure. That is all. It appears like an innocuous illness. Monotony, boredom, death. Millions live like this (or die like this) without knowing it. They work in offices. They drive a car. They picnic with their families. They raise children. And then some shock treatment takes place, a person, a book, a song, and it awakens them and saves them from death. Some never awaken.
Anaïs Nin (The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 1: 1931-1934)
The brain is a wonderful organ; it starts working the moment you get up in the morning and does not stop until you get into the office.
Robert Frost
To be, or not to be: that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep; No more; and by a sleep to say we end The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep; To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub; For in that sleep of death what dreams may come When we have shuffled off this mortal coil, Must give us pause: there's the respect That makes calamity of so long life; For who would bear the whips and scorns of time, The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely, The pangs of despised love, the law's delay, The insolence of office and the spurns That patient merit of the unworthy takes, When he himself might his quietus make With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear, To grunt and sweat under a weary life, But that the dread of something after death, The undiscover'd country from whose bourn No traveller returns, puzzles the will And makes us rather bear those ills we have Than fly to others that we know not of? Thus conscience does make cowards of us all; And thus the native hue of resolution Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought, And enterprises of great pith and moment With this regard their currents turn awry, And lose the name of action.--Soft you now! The fair Ophelia! Nymph, in thy orisons Be all my sins remember'd!
William Shakespeare (Hamlet)
Names?' the receptionist asked us. “Jesus,” Jamie answered. “Mary,” said Stella. “Satan,” I said as I walked past her and pushed open the door to Ira Ginsberg’s office.
Michelle Hodkin (The Retribution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #3))
There's an epigram tacked to my office bulletin board, pinched from a magazine -- "Wanting to meet an author because you like his work is like wanting to meet a duck because you like pâté.
Margaret Atwood (Negotiating with the Dead)
Romanian? That's impressive," said Jace. "Not many people speak it." "Do you?" Sebastian asked with interest. "Not really," Jace said with a smile so disarming Simon knew he was lying. "My Romanian is pretty much limited to useful phrases like, 'Are these snakes poisonous?' and 'But you look much too young to be a police officer.
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
I wasn't much of a petty thief. I wanted the whole world or nothing.
Charles Bukowski (Post Office)
But now and then, a woman walks up, full blossom, a woman just bursting out of her dress…a sex creature, a curse, the end of it all.
Charles Bukowski (Post Office)
Jesus Christ," he muttered to the ceiling. "All those times I sat in the office and laughed my ass off at stories of Lee, Eddie, Hank and Vance. They should have fuckin' medals.
Kristen Ashley (Rock Chick Revenge (Rock Chick, #5))
I do not know if the people of the United States would vote for superior men if they ran for office, but there can be no doubt that such men do not run.
Alexis de Tocqueville (Democracy in America)
But I'm a selfish man. I've wanted you since you fell into my office. You are exquisite, honest, warm, strong, witty, beguilingly innocent; the list is endless. I'm in awe of you. I want you, and the thought of anyone else having you is like a knife twisting in my dark soul.
E.L. James (Fifty Shades Darker (Fifty Shades, #2))
Dogs have their day but cats have 365.
Lilian Jackson Braun (The Cat Who... Omnibus 02 (Books 4-6): The Cat Who Saw Red / The Cat Who Played Brahms / The Cat Who Played Post Office)
I’d missed him so much, it almost hurt. It started the moment I left the Keep and nagged at me all day. Every day I had to fight with myself to keep from making up bullshit reasons to call the Keep so I could hear his voice. My only saving grace was that Curran wasn’t handling this whole mating thing any better. Yesterday he’d called me at the office claiming that he couldn’t find his socks. We talked for two hours.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Slays (Kate Daniels, #5))
In the present case it is a little inaccurate to say I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible to any public office of trust or profit in the Republic. But I do not repine, for I am a subject of it only by force of arms.
H.L. Mencken
Are you going to babysit me every day or just until I learn my way around?" "What do you think?" "Here's to a long and happy friendship, Officer Samos." "Likewise, my lady." "Don't call me that." "Whatever you say, my lady.
Victoria Aveyard (Red Queen (Red Queen, #1))
At first, I could lie about my lack of sleep and she'd fall for it, but she started suspecting insomnia when I began seeing purple elephants in the air vents at the office. I knew I shouldn't have asked her about them. I thought maybe she'd redecorated.
Darynda Jones (Third Grave Dead Ahead (Charley Davidson, #3))
Make it quick," I said when I picked up. "Okay. Two men from the FBI are here." Cookie said. Quickly. Crap. "Men in black are at the office?" "Well, yes, but they're actually in more of a navy." Crapola. I so don't have time for men. In any color. "Okay, two questions. Do they look mad, and are they hot?" After a long, long, pause, Cookie said, "One, not really. Two, no comment at this time. And three, you're on speakerphone." After another long, long pause, I said, "Okie dokie then. Be there in a jiff.
Darynda Jones (Second Grave on the Left (Charley Davidson, #2))
Harry was just thinking that all he needed was for Dumbledore's pet bird to die while he was all alone in the office with it, when the bird burst into flames.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter, #2))
Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance. No one in this world, so far as I know—and I have researched the records for years, and employed agents to help me—has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby.
H.L. Mencken (Notes on Democracy)
Elodin proved a difficult man to find. He had an office in Hollows, but never seemed to use it. When I visited Ledgers and Lists, I discovered he only taught one class: Unlikely Maths. However, this was less than helpful in tracking him down, as according to the ledger, the time of the class was 'now' and the location was 'everywhere.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1))
Food is good for the nerves and the spirit. Courage comes from the belly – all else is desperation.
Charles Bukowski (Post Office)
In the morning it was morning and I was still alive. Maybe I'll write a novel, I thought. And then I did.
Charles Bukowski (Post Office)
In the office, Michael sat behind our father’s desk, clicking away at the computer with his right hand, and making notes with his left. Ambidextrous freak.
Rachel Vincent (Rogue (Shifters, #2))
Do you love me?' I asked her. She smiled. 'Yes.' 'Do you want me to be happy?' as I asked her this I felt my heart beginning to race. 'Of course I do.' 'Will you do something for me then?' She looked away, sadness crossing her features. 'I don't know if I can anymore.' she said. 'but if you could, would you?' I cannot adequately describe the intensity of what I was feeling at that moment. Love, anger, sadness, hope, and fear, whirling together sharpened by the nervousness I was feeling. Jamie looked at me curiously and my breaths became shallower. Suddenly I knew that I'd never felt as strongly for another person as I did at that moment. As I returned her gaze, this simple realization made me wish for the millionth time that I could make all this go away. Had it been possible, I would have traded my life for hers. I wanted to tell her my thoughts, but the sound of her voice suddenly silenced the emotions inside me. 'yes' she finally said, her voice weak yet somehow still full of promise. 'I would.' Finally getting control of myself I kissed her again, then brought my hand to her face, gently running my fingers over her cheek. I marveled at the softness of her skin, the gentleness I saw in her eyes. even now she was perfect. My throat began to tighten again, but as I said, I knew what I had to do. Since I had to accept that it was not within my power to cure her, what I wanted to do was give her something that she'd wanted. It was what my heart had been telling me to do all along. Jamie, I understood then, had already given me the answer I'd been searching for, the answer my heart needed to find. She'd told me outside Mr. Jenkins office, the night we'd asked him about doing the play. I smiled softly, and she returned my affection with a slight squeeze of my hand, as if trusting me in what I was about to do. Encouraged, I leaned closer and took a deep breath. When I exhaled, these were the words that flowed with my breath. 'Will you marry me?
Nicholas Sparks (A Walk to Remember)
It reminds me of that old joke- you know, a guy walks into a psychiatrist's office and says, hey doc, my brother's crazy! He thinks he's a chicken. Then the doc says, why don't you turn him in? Then the guy says, I would but I need the eggs. I guess that's how I feel about relationships. They're totally crazy, irrational, and absurd, but we keep going through it because we need the eggs.
Woody Allen (Annie Hall: Screenplay)
Men," he began his address to the officers, measuring his pauses carefully. "You're American officers. The officers of no other army in the world can make that statement. Think about it.
Joseph Heller (Catch-22)
I live in the Managerial Age, in a world of "Admin." The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid "dens of crime" that Dickens loved to paint. It is not done even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried, and minuted) in clean, carpeted, warmed and well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voices. Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern." [From the Preface]
C.S. Lewis (The Screwtape Letters)
Some seek the comfort of their therapist's office, other head to the corner pub and dive into a pint, but I chose running as my therapy.
Dean Karnazes (Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner)
We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.
Aesop
In our civilization, and under our republican form of government, intelligence is so highly honored that it is rewarded by exemption from the cares of office.
Ambrose Bierce
Art is a kind of innate drive that seizes a human being and makes him its instrument. To perform this difficult office it is sometimes necessary for him to sacrifice happiness and everything that makes life worth living for the ordinary human being.
C.G. Jung
Sometimes you have to steer away from the crowd in order to be a better person. It's not always easy, that's for sure. But it's right. And sometimes doing the right thing feels good, even if it does end up in a trip to the principal's office.
Simone Elkeles (Leaving Paradise (Leaving Paradise, #1))
If I weren't standing next to your boyfriend, I'd be tempted to ask you out myself." She blushes, and St. Clair bounds inside the box office and wrestles her into a hug. "Miiiiiiiiine!" he says. "Cut it out." Anna pushes him off, laughing. "You'll get fired. And then I'll have to support your sorry arse for the rest of our lives.
Stephanie Perkins (Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss, #2))
I think when men hear that women want a commitment, they think it means commitment to a romantic relationship, but that's not it. It's a commitment to not floating around anywhere. I want a guy who is entrenched in his own life.
Mindy Kaling (Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns))
Owning a dog is slightly less expensive than being addicted to crack.
Jen Lancaster (Bitter Is the New Black: Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass, Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office)
From where we stand the rain seems random. If we could stand somewhere else, we would see the order in it.
Tony Hillerman (Coyote Waits (Leaphorn & Chee, #10))
I'm the new Oberjarl." I knew it," said Halt instantly, and the other three looked at him, totally scandalized. You did?" Erak asked, his voice hollow, his eyes still showing the shock of his sudden elevation to the highest office in Skandia. Of course," said the Ranger, shrugging. "You're big, mean, and ugly and those seem to be the qualities Skandian's value most.
John Flanagan (The Battle for Skandia (Ranger's Apprentice, #4))
Please file your complaint with the office of ‘I Don’t Give a Fuck’ and I’ll be sure not to get back to you.
J.J. McAvoy (The Untouchables (Ruthless People, #2))
The main problem in any democracy is that crowd-pleasers are generally brainless swine who can go out on a stage & whup their supporters into an orgiastic frenzy—then go back to the office & sell every one of the poor bastards down the tube for a nickel apiece.
Hunter S. Thompson (Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72)
The short memories of the American voters is what keeps our politicians in office.
Will Rogers
Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died.
Erma Bombeck
This royal throne of kings, this sceptered isle, This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars, This other Eden, demi-paradise, This fortress built by Nature for herself Against infection and the hand of war, This happy breed of men, this little world, This precious stone set in the silver sea, Which serves it in the office of a wall Or as a moat defensive to a house, Against the envy of less happier lands,--This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.
William Shakespeare (Richard II)
It is not necessary that you believe that the officer who choked Eric Garner set out that day to destroy a body. All you need to understand is that the officer carries with him the power of the American state and the weight of an American legacy, and they necessitate that of the bodies destroyed every year, some wild and disproportionate number of them will be black.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (Between the World and Me)
I'm putting you in Dink Meeker's toon. From now on, as far as you're concerned, Dink Meeker is God." "Then who are you?" "The personnel officer who hired God.
Orson Scott Card (Ender's Game (Ender's Saga, #1))
The officer looked at Daisy while she was speaking, in a way that every young girl wants to be looked at sometime, and because it seemed romantic to me I have remembered the incident ever since.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
Her firm belief was that things would be better in society if there was a periodic ‘social cleansing’ to eliminate those influences that are considered unsavory. She sounds like she’d be fun at parties,” the officer joked.
Kathleen Lopez (Thirteen for Dinner)
Just the other day, I was in my neighborhood Starbucks, waiting for the post office to open. I was enjoying a chocolatey cafe mocha when it occurred to me that to drink a mocha is to gulp down the entire history of the New World. From the Spanish exportation of Aztec cacao, and the Dutch invention of the chemical process for making cocoa, on down to the capitalist empire of Hershey, PA, and the lifestyle marketing of Seattle's Starbucks, the modern mocha is a bittersweet concoction of imperialism, genocide, invention, and consumerism served with whipped cream on top.
Sarah Vowell
A German officer visited Picasso in his Paris studio during the Second World War. There he saw Guernica and, shocked at the modernist «chaos» of the painting, asked Picasso: «Did you do this?» Picasso calmly replied: «No, you did this!»
Slavoj Žižek (Violence: Six Sideways Reflections)
Difference of opinion is advantageous in religion. The several sects perform the office of a Censor morum over each other. Is uniformity attainable? Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth. Let us reflect that it is inhabited by a thousand millions of people. That these profess probably a thousand different systems of religion. That ours is but one of that thousand. That if there be but one right, and ours that one, we should wish to see the 999 wandering sects gathered into the fold of truth. But against such a majority we cannot effect this by force. Reason and persuasion are the only practicable instruments. To make way for these, free enquiry must be indulged; and how can we wish others to indulge it while we refuse it ourselves.
Thomas Jefferson (Notes on the State of Virginia)
You sure you don't want me to bring you back something?" Her eyes moved in the direction of his office. "A hit man? Some holy water?
Christina Lauren (Beautiful Bastard (Beautiful Bastard, #1))
Kiss the fattest part of my ass
Jen Lancaster (Bitter Is the New Black: Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass, Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office)
Any damn fool can beg up some kind of job; it takes a wise man to make it without working.
Charles Bukowski (Post Office)
It bothers you, doesn’t it?” Mia said suddenly. “I think you can’t imagine. Why anyone would choose a different life from the one you’ve got. Why anyone might want something other than a big house with a big lawn, a fancy car, a job in an office. Why anyone would choose anything different than what you’d choose.
Celeste Ng (Little Fires Everywhere)
You know, you spend your whole life feeling like you don’t quite fit in anywhere. And then you walk into a room one day, whether it’s at university or an office or some kind of club, and you just go, ‘Ah. There they are.’ And suddenly you feel at home.
Jojo Moyes (One Plus One)
My alarm went off at five a.m., like always. But instead of rising from the bed to go to the office where I’m a star, I threw the clock across the room, smashing it to kingdom come. It was annoying anyway. Stupid clock. Stupid beep-beep-beeping
Emma Chase (Tangled (Tangled, #1))
And there's a cop over there." "What?" the boy said, glancing at the D.C. police officer that stood at the corner of the street, "You think that guy can do a better job protecting you than I can?" Actually, I thought Liz could have done a better job "protecting" me than he could, but instead I said, "No, I think if you don't leave me alone, I can scream and that cop will arrest you." Somehow the boy seemed to know it was a joke...
Ally Carter (Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy (Gallagher Girls, #2))
Oh, by the way…” Jason glanced at Percy. “I resigned my office, gave Frank a field promotion to praetor. Unless you want to contest that ruling.” Percy grinned. “No argument here.” “Praetor?” Hazel stared at Frank. He shrugged uncomfortably. “Well… yeah. I know it seems weird.” She tried to throw her arms around him, then winced as she remembered her busted ribs. She settled for kissing him. “It seems perfect.” Leo clapped Frank on the shoulder. “Way to go, Zhang. Now you can order Octavian to fall on his sword.
Rick Riordan (The House of Hades (The Heroes of Olympus, #4))
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed. Results like these do not belong on the résumé of a Supreme Being. This is the kind of shit you'd expect from an office temp with a bad attitude. And just between you and me, in any decently-run universe, this guy would've been out on his all-powerful ass a long time ago. And by the way, I say "this guy", because I firmly believe, looking at these results, that if there is a God, it has to be a man. No woman could or would ever fuck things up like this. So, if there is a God, I think most reasonable people might agree that he's at least incompetent, and maybe, just maybe, doesn't give a shit. Doesn't give a shit, which I admire in a person, and which would explain a lot of these bad results.
George Carlin
Ser Barristan loves his honor, Grand Maester Pycelle loves his office, and Littlefinger loves Littlefinger.
George R.R. Martin (A Game of Thrones)
The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
I love my job. I love the pay! ~I love it more and more each day. ~I love my boss, he is the best! ~I love his boss and all the rest. ~I love my office and its location. I hate to have to go on vacation. ~I love my furniture, drab and grey, and piles of paper that grow each day! ~I think my job is swell, there's nothing else I love so well. ~I love to work among my peers, I love their leers, and jeers, and sneers. ~I love my computer and its software; I hug it often though it won't care. ~I love each program and every file, I'd love them more if they worked a while. ~I'm happy to be here. I am. I am. ~I'm the happiest slave of the Firm, I am. ~I love this work. I love these chores. ~I love the meetings with deadly bores. ~I love my job - I'll say it again - I even love those friendly men. ~Those friendly men who've come today, in clean white coats to take me away!!!!!
Dr. Seuss
Who snitched?" "We have people monitoring police radio frequencies. They gave Jim a heads-up in case our security had to storm PAD offices and bust you out of there. I found out when I saw Jim walking down the hallway snickering to himself.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Slays (Kate Daniels, #5))
I collect church collapses, recreationally. Did you see the recent one in Sicily? Marvelous! The facade fell on sixty-five grandmothers at a special mass. Was that evil? If so, who did it? If he's up there, he just loves it, Officer Starling. Typhoid and swans - it all comes from the same place.
Thomas Harris (The Silence of the Lambs (Hannibal Lecter, #2))
The top two movies at the box office this weekend were 'High School Musical 3' and 'Saw V.' One movie features gruesome onscreen torture that is difficult to watch and the other is about a guy with a saw.
Conan O'Brien
If I gave you a pity position it wouldn't be in my office.
Janet Evanovich (Eleven on Top (Stephanie Plum, #11))
Minerva, kindly go to Hagrid's house, where you will find a large black dog sitting in the pumpkin patch. Take the dog to my office, tell him I will be with him shortly, then come back here.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4))
A woman means by Unselfishness chiefly taking trouble for others; a man means not giving trouble to others...thus, while the woman thinks of doing good offices and the man of respecting other people’s rights, each sex, without any obvious unreason, can and does regard the other as radically selfish.
C.S. Lewis (The Screwtape Letters)
The press today is an army with carefully organized weapons, the journalists its officers, the readers its soldiers. The reader neither knows nor is supposed to know the purposes for which he is used and the role he is to play.
Oswald Spengler (The Decline of the West)
We let off a Dungbomb in the corridor and it upset him for some reason—" "So he hauled us off to his office and started threatening us with the usual—" "—detention—" "—disembowelment—
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
Rohan, one of us is an unmarried man with superior mathematical abilities and no prospects for the evening. The other is a confirmed lecher in an amorous mood, with a willing and nubile young wife waiting at home. Who do you think should do the damned account books?" And, with a nonchalant wave, St. Vincent had left the office.
Lisa Kleypas (Mine Till Midnight (The Hathaways, #1))
Officer After leaned across the seat toward me - which, under the circumstances, made me start back. 'I'm sorry I'm not allowed to beat the shit out of him for you.
Jennifer Echols (Going Too Far)
Soooo," Arriane said. "Now you've met Randy." "I thought his name was Cam." "We're not talking about him," Arriane said quickly. "I mean the she-man in there." Arriane jerked her head toward the office where they'd left the attendant in front of the TV. "Whaddya think-dude or chick?" "Uh, chick?" Luce said tentativley. "Is this a test?" Arriane cracked a smile. "The first of many. And you passed. At least, I think you passed. The gender of most of the faculty here is an ongoing, schoolwiide debate. Don't worry, you'll get into it.
Lauren Kate (Fallen (Fallen, #1))
I think this is when most people give up on their stories. They come out of college wanting to change the world, wanting to get married, wanting to have kids and change the way people buy office supplies. But they get into the middle and discover it was harder than they thought. They can't see the distant shore anymore, and they wonder if their paddling is moving them forward. None of the trees behind them are getting smaller and none of the trees ahead are getting bigger. They take it out on their spouses, and they go looking for an easier story.
Donald Miller (A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life)
After dinner or lunch or whatever it was -- with my crazy 12-hour night I was no longer sure what was what -- I said, "Look, baby, I'm sorry, but don't you realize that this job is driving me crazy? Look, let's give it up. Let's just lay around and make love and take walks and talk a little. Let's go to the zoo. Let's look at animals. Let's drive down and look at the ocean. It's only 45 minutes. Let's play games in the arcades. Let's go to the races, the Art Museum, the boxing matches. Let's have friends. Let's laugh. This kind of life like everybody else's kind of life: it's killing us.
Charles Bukowski (Post Office)
Nothing happened to me, Officer Starling. I happened. You can't reduce me to a set of influences.
Thomas Harris (The Silence of the Lambs (Hannibal Lecter, #2))
They really kicked me out?" "Refunded the tuition and everything." Julie blinked a couple of times coming to grips with this tidbit. "So what happens now?" "I expect you'll be a bum. Homeless and jobless begging on the street for a crust of bread..." "Kate." "Oh, alright, I suppose if you come by the office once in a while I'll give you a sandwich. You can squat in the office on the floor when it gets too cold outside. We can even get you a little blanket to lie on...
Ilona Andrews (Magic Slays (Kate Daniels, #5))
Fay had a spot of blood on the left side of her mouth and I took a wet cloth and wiped it off. Women were meant to suffer; no wonder they asked for constant declarations of love.
Charles Bukowski (Post Office)
Look, some people prefer they,” Alex said. “They’re non-binary or mid-spectrum or whatever. If they want you to use they, then that’s what you should do. But for me, personally, I don’t want to use the same pronouns all the time, because that’s not me. I change a lot. That’s sort of the point. When I’m she, I’m she. When I’m he, I’m he. I’m not they. Get it?” “If I say no, will you hurt me?” “No.” “Then no, not really.” She shrugged. “You don’t have to get it. Just, you know, a little respect.” “For the girl with the very sharp wire? No problem.” She must have liked that answer. There was nothing confusing about the smile she gave me. It warmed the office about five degrees.
Rick Riordan (The Hammer of Thor (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, #2))
It happens that the stage sets collapse. Rising, streetcar, four hours in the office or the factory, meal, streetcar, four hours of work, meal, sleep, and Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday and Saturday according to the same rhythm – this path is easily followed most of the time. But one day the “why” arises and everything begins in that weariness tinged with amazement.
Albert Camus (The Myth of Sisyphus)
The blankets had fallen off and I stared down at her white back, the shoulder blades sticking out as if they wanted to grow into wings, poke through that skin. Little blades. She was helpless.
Charles Bukowski (Post Office)
Organized crime in America takes in over forty billion dollars a year and spends very little on office supplies.
Woody Allen
Yeah. Floyd is his batman." His what?" Batman, like in the British army, each officer had a batman, a personal servant." You spend too much time reading, Spenser. You know more stuff that don't make you money than anybody I know.
Robert B. Parker (Mortal Stakes (Spenser, #3))
Vain trifles as they seem, clothes have, they say, more important offices than to merely keep us warm. They change our view of the world and the world's view of us.
Virginia Woolf (Orlando)
The six squares of our love didn’t add up to a cube. Still, I took the oddly-shaped box down to the post office and tried to mail it into the future, when I’d be more prepared to open it.

Jarod Kintz (This is the best book I've ever written, and it still sucks (This isn't really my best book))
Officers, what offence have these men done? DOGBERRY Marry, sir, they have committed false report; moreover, they have spoken untruths; secondarily, they are slanders; sixth and lastly, they have belied a lady; thirdly, they have verified unjust things; and, to conclude, they are lying knaves.
William Shakespeare (Much Ado About Nothing)
Maybe you've never fallen into a frozen stream. Here's what happens. 1. It is cold. So cold that the Department of Temperature Acknowledgment and Regulation in you brain gets the readings and says, "I can't deal with this. I'm out of here." It puts up the OUT TO LUNCH sign and passes all responsibility to the... 2. Department of Pain and the Processing Thereof, which gets all this gobbledygook from the temperature department that it can't understand. "This is so not our job," it says. So it just starts hitting random buttons, filling you with strange and unpleasant sensations, and calls the... 3. Office of Confusion and Panic, where there is always someone ready to hop on the phone the moment it rings. This office is at least willing to take some action. The Office of Confusion and Panic loves hitting buttons.
Maureen Johnson (Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances)
It's not lying when you do it to officers!
Terry Pratchett (Monstrous Regiment (Discworld, #31; Industrial Revolution, #3))
Anyone who campaigns for public office becomes disqualified for holding any office at all.
Thomas More (Utopia)
We are accustomed to live in hopes of good weather, a good harvest, a nice love-affair, hopes of becoming rich or getting the office of chief of police, but I've never noticed anyone hoping to get wiser. We say to ourselves: it'll be better under a new tsar, and in two hundred years it'll still be better, and nobody tries to make this good time come tomorrow. On the whole, life gets more and more complex every day and moves on its own sweet will, and people get more and more stupid, and get isolated from life in ever-increasing numbers.
Anton Chekhov
I've been a police officer for twenty years now and I'll tell you, pretty much every bad thing is life is a result of bad timing, and every good thing is the result of good timing.
Gabrielle Zevin (The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry)
The owner of the Post Office was called Maurice. A sixtyish-year-old with a large red nose that was pebble-dashed with broken capillaries, and a smooth bald head with a fuzz of grey hair around the side like the tide mark on a dirty bath. He had a gruff manner, distrusting eyes and a cough like kicked gravel.
R.D. Ronald
This was sharing office space with wacko and bordering on ludicrous.
Kelly Moran (Give Up the Ghost (Phantoms #2))
Mr. Park’s home, which doubled as his office, was small, dark, and stank of old man. Although Mr. Park was not that old, he was cheap and unmarried. And that smell, and the smell of old man, are easily confused.
J.K. Franko
The thing about old friends is not that they love you, but that they know you. They remember that disastrous New Year's Eve when you mixed White Russians and champagne, and how you wore that red maternity dress until everyone was sick of seeing the blaze of it in the office, and the uncomfortable couch in your first apartment and the smoky stove in your beach rental. They look at you and don't really think you look older because they've grown old along with you, and, like the faded paint in a beloved room, they're used to the look. And then one of them is gone, and you've lost a chunk of yourself. The stories of the terrorist attacks of 2001, the tsunami, the Japanese earthquake always used numbers, the deaths of thousands a measure of how great the disaster. Catastrophe is numerical. Loss is singular, one beloved at a time.
Anna Quindlen (Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake)
His lips reached mine and enveloped them, soft as velvet and yet unyielding.
Robert Thier (Storm and Silence (Storm and Silence, #1))
There is not such a cradle of democracy upon the earth as the Free Public Library, this republic of letters, where neither rank, office, nor wealth receives the slightest consideration.
Andrew Carnegie
I stopped in the middle of that building and I saw — the sky. I saw the things that I love in this world. The work and the food and time time to sit and smoke. And I looked at the pen and said to myself, what the hell am I grabbing this for? Why am I trying to become what I don't want to be? What am I doing in an office, making a contemptuous, begging fool of myself, when all I want is out there, waiting for me the minute I say I know who I am! Why can't I say that, Willy?
Arthur Miller (Death of a Salesman)
Thankfully the rest of the world assumed that the Irish were crazy, a theory that the Irish themselves did nothing to debunk. They had somehow got it into their heads that each fairy lugged around a pot of gold with him wherever he went. While it was true that LEP had a ransom fund, because of its officers' high-risk occupation, no human had ever taken a chunk of it yet. This didn't stop the Irish population in general from skulking around rainbows, hoping to win the supernatural lottery.
Eoin Colfer (Artemis Fowl (Artemis Fowl, #1))
I start to wonder if I’m being creepy. I mean, I am creeping. Does creep-ing automatically make one creep-y? Or are there dispensations for…romance? I bet all stalkers believe they’re being romantic. I did it for love, officer.
Laini Taylor (Night of Cake & Puppets (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #2.5))
I've wasted a lot of time in my life. I've thought too much about what people will say or what they're gonna think. And sometimes it's over silly things like going to the grocery store or going to the post office. But there have been times when I really stopped myself from doing something special. All because I was scared someone might look at me and decide I wasn't good enough. But you don't have to bother with that nonsense. I wasted all that time so you don't have to.
Julie Murphy (Dumplin' (Dumplin', #1))
The chair I want for my office has wheels, so I can put it on my treadmill and get some exercise while I work. Likewise, we can’t let a love like ours just roll on by without trying to work things out.
Jarod Kintz (This Book is Not for Sale)
It was sad, it was sad, it was sad. When Betty came back we didn't sing or laugh, or even argue. We sat drinking in the dark, smoking cigarettes, and when we went to sleep, I didn't put my feet on her body or she on mine like we used to. We slept without touching. We had both been robbed.
Charles Bukowski (Post Office)
Probably the wisest words that were ever uttered to me. Came from a therapist. I was sitting in her office, crying my eyes out. . . and she said, "So let me get this straight. You base your personal happiness on things entirely out of your control.
Laura Munson (This Is Not The Story You Think It Is: A Season of Unlikely Happiness)
...the number one reason knitters knit is because they are so smart that they need knitting to make boring things interesting. Knitters are so compellingly clever that they simply can't tolerate boredom. It takes more to engage and entertain this kind of human, and they need an outlet or they get into trouble. "...knitters just can't watch TV without doing something else. Knitters just can't wait in line, knitters just can't sit waiting at the doctor's office. Knitters need knitting to add a layer of interest in other, less constructive ways.
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
At the same moment, Kate and I drop our beverages and make a mad dash for the door. In the lobby, she pushes the elevator button furiously while I head for the stairs. Genius that I am, I figure I can take them three at a time. I’m almost six-feet—long legs. The only problem with this, of course, is that my office is on the fortieth floor. Idiot.
Emma Chase (Tangled (Tangled, #1))
My office door slams open, leaving a dent in the drywall. Here we go. “You are driving me crazy!” Her cheeks are flushed, her breathing’s fast, and she’s got murder in her eyes. Beautiful. I raise my brows hopefully. “Crazy? Like you want to rip my shirt open again?” “No. Crazy like the itch of a yeast infection that just won’t go away.” I flinch. Can’t help it. I mean—Christ.
Emma Chase (Tangled (Tangled, #1))
As we walked toward the dean's office, he reached over, trailing his fingers along my arm. "Do they still react when I touch you?" Heat crawled through my veins, and I nodded. The marks had followed the path of his touch. "Yeah, they still like you." One side of his lips curled up, and a look of male pride crossed his face. I shook my head. Boys.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Sentinel (Covenant, #5))
Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home - so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person; the neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm, or office where he works. Such are the places where every man, woman, and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.
Eleanor Roosevelt
So you speak French?" Isabelle sighed. "I wish I spoke another language. But Hodge never thought we needed to learn anything but ancient Greek and Latin, and nobody speaks those." "I also speak Russian and Italian. And some Romanian," Sebastian said with a modest smile. "I could teach you some phrases-" "Romanian? That's impressive," said Jace. "Not many people speak it." "Do you?" Sebastian asked with interest. "Not really," Jace said with a smile so disarming Simon knew he was lying. "My Romanian is pretty much limited to useful phrases like, 'Are these snakes poisonous?' and 'But you look much too young to be a police officer.
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
[Thinking about his first day if he were the Fuhrer] "On that day, all female officers will be required to wear... tiny miniskirts!" [Strikes pose] Roy Mustang, The Flame Alchemist, Full metal Alchemist
Hiromu Arakawa
KNOW YOUR DOPE FIEND. YOUR LIFE MAY DEPEND ON IT! You will not be able to see his eyes because of the Tea-Shades, but his knuckles will be white from inner tension and his pants will be crusted with semen from constantly jacking off when he can't find a rape victim. He will stagger and babble when questioned. He will not respect your badge. The Dope Fiend fears nothing. He will attack, for no reason, with every weapon at his command-including yours. BEWARE. Any officer apprehending a suspected marijuana addict should use all necessary force immediately. One stitch in time (on him) will usually save nine on you. Good luck. -The Chief
Hunter S. Thompson (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas)
Outside his office my father had a framed copy of a letter written by Abraham Lincoln to his son’s teacher, translated into Pashto. It is a very beautiful letter, full of good advice. “Teach him, if you can, the wonder of books…But also give him quiet time to ponder the eternal mystery of birds in the sky, bees in the sun, and the flowers on a green hillside,” it says. “Teach him it is far more honorable to fail than to cheat.
Malala Yousafzai (I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban)
She gave me the same smile I'd seen on Saturday night. That type of smile caused men to write those pussy-ass songs that Isaiah and I made fun of. I'd sit in Mrs. Collins's office for hours and wake my ass up early to go to calculus in order to see that smile again.
Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1))
We waited and waited. All of us. Didn't the shrink know that waiting was one of the things that drove people crazy? People waited all their lives. They waited to live, they waited to die. They waited in line to buy toilet paper. They waited in line for money. And if they didn't have any money they waited in longer lines. You waited to go to sleep and then you waited to awaken. You waited to get married and you waited to get divorced. You waited for it to rain, you waited for it to stop. You waited to eat and then you waited to eat again. You waited in a shrink's office with a bunch of psychos and you wondered if you were one.
Charles Bukowski (Pulp)
So tonight I reach for my journal again. This is the first time I’ve done this since I came to Italy. What I write in my journal is that I am weak and full of fear. I explain that Depression and Loneliness have shown up, and I’m scared they will never leave. I say that I don’t want to take the drugs anymore, but I’m frightened I will have to. I am terrified that I will never really pull my life together. In response, somewhere from within me, rises a now-familiar presence, offering me all the certainties I have always wished another person would say to me when I was troubled. This is what I find myself writing on the page: I’m here. I love you. I don’t care if you need to stay up crying all night long. I will stay with you. If you need the medication again, go ahead and take it—I will love you through that, as well. If you don’t need the medication, I will love you, too. There’s nothing you can ever do to lose my love. I will protect you until you die, and after your death I will still protect you. I am stronger than Depression and Braver than Loneliness and nothing will ever exhaust me. Tonight, this strange interior gesture of friendship—the lending of a hand from me to myself when nobody else is around to offer solace—reminds me of something that happened to me once in New York City. I walked into an office building one afternoon in a hurry, dashed into the waiting elevator. As I rushed in, I caught an unexpected glance of myself in a security mirror’s reflection. In that moment, my brain did an odd thing—it fired off this split-second message: “Hey! You know her! That’s a friend of yours!” And I actually ran forward toward my own reflection with a smile, ready to welcome that girl whose name I had lost but whose face was so familiar. In a flash instant of course, I realized my mistake and laughed in embarrassment at my almost doglike confusion over how a mirror works. But for some reason that incident comes to mind again tonight during my sadness in Rome, and I find myself writing this comforting reminder at the bottom of the page. Never forget that once upon a time, in an unguarded moment, you recognized yourself as a FRIEND… I fell asleep holding my notebook pressed against my chest, open to this most recent assurance. In the morning when I wake up, I can still smell a faint trace of depression’s lingering smoke, but he himself is nowhere to be seen. Somewhere during the night, he got up and left. And his buddy loneliness beat it, too.
Elizabeth Gilbert
All the boys were grown up and done for by this time; so it is scarcely worth while saying anything more about them. You may see the twins and Nibs and Curly any day going to an office, each carrying a little bag and an umbrella. Michael is an engine driver. Slightly married a lady of title, and so he became a lord. You see that judge in a wig coming out at the iron door? That used to be Tootles. The bearded man who doesn't know any story to tell his children was once John.
J.M. Barrie (Peter Pan)
She is a walking weapon in society, is what the teachers said. We've never seen anything like it, is what the doctors said. She should be removed from your home, is what the police officers said. No problem at all, is what my parents said.
Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1))
He's not in a very good mood," said Luke, pausing in front of a closed door. "I shut him up in Freaky Pete's office after he nearly killed half my pack with his bare hands. He wouldn't talk to me, so"—Luke shrugged—"I thought of you." He looked from Clary's baffled face to Simon's. "What?" "I can't believe he came here," Clary said. "I can't believe you know someone named Freaky Pete," said Simon. "I know a lot of people," said Luke. "Not that Freaky Pete is strictly people, but I'm hardly one to talk.
Cassandra Clare (City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2))
..I find it incredible impossible not to cry when I hear Stevie Nicks's "Landslide," especially the lyric: "I've been afraid of changing, because I've built my life around you." I think a good test to see if a human is actually a robot/android/cylon is to have them listen to this song lyric and study their reaction. If they don't cry, you should stab them through the heart. You will find a fusebox.
Mindy Kaling
I also stole a small yellow doughnut from the box of Duncan's doughnuts in the rec room and fed it to the attack poodle in my office. He made a great production of it. First, he growled at the doughnut, just to show it who was boss. Then he nudged it with his nose. Then he licked it, until finally he snagged it into his mouth and chomped it with great pleasure, dropping crumbs all over the carpet.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Bleeds (Kate Daniels, #4))
As he ran next to Noriko, a thought suddenly occurred to him. The screaming, their hasty footsteps, and the officer warning them to stop all receded as his mind was occupied with this thought. It might have been inappropriate. And besides… he'd ripped it off. Oh, man. But still he thought this: Together Noriko we'll live with the sadness. I'll love you with all the madness in my soul. Someday girl I don't know when we're gonna get to that place. Where we really want to go and we'll walk in the sun. But till then tramps like us baby we were born to run.
Koushun Takami (Battle Royale)
What are you two up to today?" "Oh, I just figured I'd show Ty some more of Texas. Head down to San Antonio and visit the Bureau office there," Zane said. He shot a sideways look at Ty. "Maybe spend the night in Beaumont." Ty smacked his forehead and turned his head away. "Not much in Beaumont to see," Harrison said with a frown. Zane grinned. "Even so, we're going to try to get it in." Ty had his hand over his mouth, his head down. He was either going to throw up or he was laughing. Harrison felt he'd missed a joke, but he thought maybe he didn't want to know.
Abigail Roux (Stars & Stripes (Cut & Run, #6))
Billy had a framed prayer on his office wall which expressed his method for keeping going, even though he was unenthusiastic about living. A lot of patients who saw the prayer on Billy’s wall told him that it helped them to keep going, too. It went like this: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom always to tell the difference.” Among the things Billy Pilgrim could not change were the past, the present, and the future.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Slaughterhouse-Five)
I will be known forever as the Puppy who chased a cutpurse and caught fish garbage instead. My descendants will pretend I'm not in their bloodline. No – no one will want to make descendants with me. [from Beka Cooper's journal of her first day as a new Dog i.e. cop]
Tamora Pierce (Terrier (Beka Cooper, #1))
So let me get this straight.”... “He threw the note at Tommy and then told him to fuck off? Or do I have it backwards?” “I’m detecting some sarcasm.” “And then got himself sent the principal’s office because he was ready to defend your honor?” “Quinn.” “Her friend waved a hand. “No, I think you might be on to something. This is clearly an elaborate plot to screw with you. He asks you out, he defends you from that meathead—what next?” Quinn’s eyes flashed wide in mock surprise. “Crap, Bex, do you think he will do something truly horrible like buy you flowers?
Brigid Kemmerer (Storm (Elemental, #1))
When did my house turn into a hangout for every grossly overpaid, terminally pampered professional football player in northern Illinois?" "We like it here," Jason said. "It reminds us of home." "Plus, no women around." Leandro Collins, the Bears' first-string tight end emerged from the office munching on a bag of chips. "There's times when you need a rest from the ladies." Annabelle shot out her arm and smacked him in the side of the head. "Don't forget who you're talking to." Leandro had a short fuse, and he'd been known to take out a ref here and there when he didn't like a call, but the tight end merely rubbed the side of his head and grimaced. "Just like my mama." "Mine, too," Tremaine said with happy nod. Annabelle spun on Heath. "Their mother! I'm thirty-one years old, and I remind them of their mothers." "You act like my mother," Sean pointed out, unwisely as it transpired, because he got a swat in the head next.
Susan Elizabeth Phillips (Match Me If You Can (Chicago Stars, #6))
Ronald Reagan has a stack of three-by-five cards in his lap. He skids up a new one: "What advice do you, as the youngest American fighting man ever to win both the Navy Cross and the Silver Star, have for any young marines on their way to Guadalcanal?" Shaftoe doesn't have to think very long. The memories are still as fresh as last night's eleventh nighmare: ten plucky Nips in Suicide Charge! "Just kill the one with the sword first." "Ah," Reagan says, raising his waxed and penciled eyebrows, and cocking his pompadour in Shaftoe's direction. "Smarrrt--you target them because they're the officers, right?" "No, fuckhead!" Shaftoe yells. "You kill 'em because they've got fucking swords! You ever had anyone running at you waving a fucking sword?
Neal Stephenson (Cryptonomicon)
Overeating is the addiction of choice of carers, and that's why it's come to be regarded as the lowest-ranking of all the addictions. It's a way of fucking yourself up while still remaining fully functional, because you have to. Fat people aren't indulging in the "luxury" of their addiction making them useless, chaotic, or a burden. Instead, they are slowly self-destructing in a way that doesn't inconvenience anyone. And that's why it's so often a woman's addiction of choice. All the quietly eating mums. All the KitKats in office drawers. All the unhappy moments, late at night, caught only in the fridge light.
Caitlin Moran (How to Be a Woman)
...new prejudices will serve as well as old ones to harness the great unthinking masses. For this enlightenment, however, nothing is required but freedom, and indeed the most harmless among all the things to which this term can properly be applied. It is the freedom to make public use of one's reason at every point. But I hear on all sides, 'Do not argue!' The Officer says: 'Do not argue but drill!' The tax collector: 'Do not argue but pay!' The cleric: 'Do not argue but believe!' Only one prince in the world says, 'Argue as much as you will, and about what you will, but obey!' Everywhere there is restriction on freedom.
Immanuel Kant (An Answer to the Question: What Is Enlightenment? (Great Ideas))
Read this to yourself. Read it silently. Don't move your lips. Don't make a sound. Listen to yourself. Listen without hearing anything. What a wonderfully weird thing, huh? NOW MAKE THIS PART LOUD! SCREAM IT IN YOUR MIND! DROWN EVERYTHING OUT. Now, hear a whisper. A tiny whisper. Now, read this next line in your best crotchety- old man voice: "Hello there, sonny. Does your town have a post office?" Awesome! Who was that? Whose voice was that? It sure wasn't yours! How do you do that? How?! It must've been magic.
Bo Burnham
Hello, Officer? Can you help me? My dad got turned into a zombie. You know, we’ve been travelling around getting rid of things that aren’t real, and this time they hit back. I really need someplace to stay – but can you make sure I have some holy water or something wherever it is? And some silver-jacketed bullets? That’d be sweet. Yeah, that’d be totally cool. Thanks. And while you’re at it, can you tell the guys with the straitjackets that I’m really sane? That would help.
Lilith Saintcrow (Strange Angels (Strange Angels, #1))
[Said during a debate when his opponent asserted that atheism and belief in evolution lead to Nazism:] Atheism by itself is, of course, not a moral position or a political one of any kind; it simply is the refusal to believe in a supernatural dimension. For you to say of Nazism that it was the implementation of the work of Charles Darwin is a filthy slander, undeserving of you and an insult to this audience. Darwin’s thought was not taught in Germany; Darwinism was so derided in Germany along with every other form of unbelief that all the great modern atheists, Darwin, Einstein and Freud were alike despised by the National Socialist regime. Now, just to take the most notorious of the 20th century totalitarianisms – the most finished example, the most perfected one, the most ruthless and refined one: that of National Socialism, the one that fortunately allowed the escape of all these great atheists, thinkers and many others, to the United States, a country of separation of church and state, that gave them welcome – if it’s an atheistic regime, then how come that in the first chapter of Mein Kampf, that Hitler says that he’s doing God’s work and executing God’s will in destroying the Jewish people? How come the fuhrer oath that every officer of the Party and the Army had to take, making Hitler into a minor god, begins, “I swear in the name of almighty God, my loyalty to the Fuhrer?” How come that on the belt buckle of every Nazi soldier it says Gott mit uns, God on our side? How come that the first treaty made by the Nationalist Socialist dictatorship, the very first is with the Vatican? It’s exchanging political control of Germany for Catholic control of German education. How come that the church has celebrated the birthday of the Fuhrer every year, on that day until democracy put an end to this filthy, quasi-religious, superstitious, barbarous, reactionary system? Again, this is not a difference of emphasis between us. To suggest that there’s something fascistic about me and about my beliefs is something I won't hear said and you shouldn't believe.
Christopher Hitchens
You say you are a nameless man. You are not to your wife and to your child. You will not long remain so to your immediate colleagues if you can answer their simple questions when they come into your office. You are not nameless to me. Do not remain nameless to yourself — it is too sad a way to be. Know your place in the world and evaluate yourself fairly, not in terms of the naïve ideals of your own youth, nor in terms of what you erroneously imagine your teacher's ideals are.
Richard P. Feynman
Remember that you ought to behave in life as you would at a banquet. As something is being passed around it comes to you; stretch out your hand, take a portion of it politely. It passes on; do not detain it. Or it has not come to you yet; do not project your desire to meet it, but wait until it comes in front of you. So act toward children, so toward a wife, so toward office, so toward wealth.
Epictetus
L: You want me just to be your... friend? E: You want the truth? I think you're my guardian angel. L: What? E: Do you know what it's like to have someone crash into your life with no warning? When you landed in my office, I was like, Who the fuck is this? But you shook me up. You brought me back to life at a time when I was in limbo. You were just what I needed... You're just what I need. L: Well I need you too. So we're even. E: No, you don't need me. You're doing just fine. L: Ok. Maybe I don't need you. But... I want you.
Sophie Kinsella (Twenties Girl)
And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?... The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin's thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If...if...We didn't love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation.... We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956 (Abridged))
I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute - where no Catholic prelate would tell the President (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote - where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference - and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the President who might appoint him or the people who might elect him. I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish - where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source - where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials - and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all. [Remarks to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association, September 12 1960]
John F. Kennedy
...Whilst on board the Beagle I was quite orthodox, and I remember being heartily laughed at by several of the officers... for quoting the Bible as an unanswerable authority on some point of morality... But I had gradually come by this time, i.e., 1836 to 1839, to see that the Old Testament from its manifestly false history of the world, with the Tower of Babel, the rainbow at sign, &c., &c., and from its attributing to God the feelings of a revengeful tyrant, was no more to be trusted than the sacred books of the Hindoos, or the beliefs of any barbarian. ...By further reflecting that the clearest evidence would be requisite to make any sane man believe in the miracles by which Christianity is supported, (and that the more we know of the fixed laws of nature the more incredible do miracles become), that the men at that time were ignorant and credulous to a degree almost uncomprehensible by us, that the Gospels cannot be proved to have been written simultaneously with the events, that they differ in many important details, far too important, as it seemed to me, to be admitted as the usual inaccuracies of eyewitnesses; by such reflections as these, which I give not as having the least novelty or value, but as they influenced me, I gradually came to disbelieve in Christianity as a divine revelation. The fact that many false religions have spread over large portions of the earth like wild-fire had some weight with me. Beautiful as is the morality of the New Testament, it can be hardly denied that its perfection depends in part on the interpretation which we now put on metaphors and allegories. But I was very unwilling to give up my belief... Thus disbelief crept over me at a very slow rate, but was at last complete. The rate was so slow that I felt no distress, and have never since doubted even for a single second that my conclusion was correct. I can indeed hardly see how anyone ought to wish Christianity to be true; for if so the plain language of the text seems to show that the men who do not believe, and this would include my Father, Brother and almost all of my friends, will be everlastingly punished. And this is a damnable doctrine.
Charles Darwin (The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, 1809–82)
She inched closer to him. "I intrigue you?" "You know you do," he replied boldly, his eyes burning into hers. Wow-things were suddenly heating up fast. He wondered if they would have sex right there on her desk.Somebody better move that stapler. With a coy look, Taylor stood up to whisper in Jason's ear. "then I think you're going to find this next part really intriging," she said breathlessly. He gazed down at her-he like the sound of that-and raised one eybrow expectantly as taylor grinned wickedly and- Slammed the office door right in his face. For a moment, Jason could only stand there in the hallway with his nose pressed against the cold wood of her door. After a few seconds, he knocked politely. Taylor whipped open the door, unamused. Jason grinned at her. "I just gotta ask: where did you get the whole 'all the cute girls run around naked' thing?
Julie James (Just the Sexiest Man Alive)
[about suicide] And why is it the biggest sin of all? All your life you're told that you'll be going to this marvellous place when you pass on. And the one thing you can do to get you there a bit quicker is something that stops you getting there at all. Oh, I can see that it's a kind of queue­jumping. But if someone jumps the queue at the Post Office, people tut. Or sometimes they say, “Excuse me, I was here first.” They don't say, “You will be consumed by hellfire for all eternity.” That would be a bit strong.
Nick Hornby (A Long Way Down)
When the late Pope John Paul II decided to place the woman so strangely known as “Mother” Teresa on the fast track for beatification, and thus to qualify her for eventual sainthood, the Vatican felt obliged to solicit my testimony and I thus spent several hours in a closed hearing room with a priest, a deacon, and a monsignor, no doubt making their day as I told off, as from a rosary, the frightful faults and crimes of the departed fanatic. In the course of this, I discovered that the pope during his tenure had surreptitiously abolished the famous office of “Devil’s Advocate,” in order to fast‐track still more of his many candidates for canonization. I can thus claim to be the only living person to have represented the Devil pro bono.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
Love loves to love love. Nurse loves the new chemist. Constable 14A loves Mary Kelly. Gerty MacDowell loves the boy that has the bicycle. M. B. loves a fair gentlema. Li Chi Han lovey up kissy Cha Pu Chow. Jumbo, the elephant, loves Alice, the elephant. Old Mr Verschole with the ear trumpet loves old Mrs VErschoyle with the turnedin eye. The man in the brown macintosh loves a lady who is dead. His Majesty the King loves Her Majesty the Queen. Mrs Norman W. Tupper loves officer Taylor. You love a certain person. And this person loves that other person because everybody loves somebody but God loves everybody.
James Joyce (Ulysses)
Joan of Arc came back as a little girl in Japan, and her father told her to stop listening to her imaginary friends. Elvis was born again in a small village in Sudan, he died hungry, age 9, never knowing what a guitar was. Michelangelo was drafted into the military at age 18 in Korea, he painted his face black with shoe polish and learned to kill. Jackson Pollock got told to stop making a mess, somewhere in Russia. Hemingway, to this day, writes DVD instruction manuals somewhere in China. He’s an old man on a factory line. You wouldn’t recognise him. Gandhi was born to a wealthy stockbroker in New York. He never forgave the world after his father threw himself from his office window, on the 21st floor. And everyone, somewhere, is someone, if we only give them a chance.
Iain Thomas
WHAT'S WRONG WITH ASSHOLES, BABY? YOU'VE GOT AN ASSHOLE, I'VE GOT AN ASSHOLE! YOU GO TO THE STORE AND BUY A PORTERHOUSE STEAK, THAT HAD AN ASSHOLE! ASSHOLES COVER THE EARTH! IN A WAY TREES HAVE ASSHOLES BUT YOU CAN'T FIND THEM, THEY JUST DROP THEIR LEAVES. YOUR ASSHOLE, MY ASSHOLE, THE WORLD IS FULL OF BILLIONS OF ASSHOLES. THE PRESIDENT HAS AN ASSHOLE, THE CARWASH BOY HAS AN ASSHOLE, THE JUDGE AND THE MURDERER HAVE ASSHOLES . . . EVEN THE PURPLE STICKINPIN HAS AN ASSHOLE!
Charles Bukowski (Post Office)
In school, the year was the marker. Fifth grade. Senior year of high school. Sophomore year of college. Then after, the jobs were the marker. That office. This desk. But now that school is over and I've been working at the same place in the same office at the same desk for longer than I can truly believe, I realize: You have become the marker. This is your era. And it's only if it goes on and on that will have to look for other ways to identify the time.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
Christianity may be good and Satanism evil. Under the Constitution, however, both are neutral. This is an important, but difficult, concept for many law enforcement officers to accept. They are paid to uphold the penal code, not the Ten Commandments … The fact is that far more crime and child abuse has been committed by zealots in the name of God, Jesus and Mohammed than has ever been committed in the name of Satan. Many people don’t like that statement, but few can argue with it.
Carl Sagan (The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark)
Wanted, wanted: Dolores Haze. Hair: brown. Lips: scarlet. Age: five thousand three hundred days. Profession: none, or "starlet" Where are you hiding, Dolores Haze? Why are you hiding, darling? (I Talk in a daze, I walk in a maze I cannot get out, said the starling). Where are you riding, Dolores Haze? What make is the magic carpet? Is a Cream Cougar the present craze? And where are you parked, my car pet? Who is your hero, Dolores Haze? Still one of those blue-capped star-men? Oh the balmy days and the palmy bays, And the cars, and the bars, my Carmen! Oh Dolores, that juke-box hurts! Are you still dancin', darlin'? (Both in worn levis, both in torn T-shirts, And I, in my corner, snarlin'). Happy, happy is gnarled McFate Touring the States with a child wife, Plowing his Molly in every State Among the protected wild life. My Dolly, my folly! Her eyes were vair, And never closed when I kissed her. Know an old perfume called Soliel Vert? Are you from Paris, mister? L'autre soir un air froid d'opera m'alita; Son fele -- bien fol est qui s'y fie! Il neige, le decor s'ecroule, Lolita! Lolita, qu'ai-je fait de ta vie? Dying, dying, Lolita Haze, Of hate and remorse, I'm dying. And again my hairy fist I raise, And again I hear you crying. Officer, officer, there they go-- In the rain, where that lighted store is! And her socks are white, and I love her so, And her name is Haze, Dolores. Officer, officer, there they are-- Dolores Haze and her lover! Whip out your gun and follow that car. Now tumble out and take cover. Wanted, wanted: Dolores Haze. Her dream-gray gaze never flinches. Ninety pounds is all she weighs With a height of sixty inches. My car is limping, Dolores Haze, And the last long lap is the hardest, And I shall be dumped where the weed decays, And the rest is rust and stardust.
Vladimir Nabokov (Lolita)
I want you, Hank. I'm much more of an animal than you think. I wanted you from the first moment I saw you - and the only thing I'm ashamed of is that I did not know it. I did not know why, for two years, the brightest moments I found were the ones in your office, where I could lift my head to look up at you. I did not know the nature of what I felt in your presence, nor the reason. I know it now. That is all I want, Hank. I want you in my bed - and you are free of me for all the rest of your time. There's nothing you'll have to pretend - don't think of me, don't feel; don't care - I do not want your mind, your will, your being or your soul, so long as it's to me you will come for that lowest one of your desires. I am an animal who wants nothing but the sensation of pleasure which you despise - but I want it from you. You'd give up amy height of virtue for it , while I - I haven't any to give up. There's none I seek or wish to reach. I am so low that I would exchange the greatest sight of beauty in the world for the sight of your figure in the cab of a railroad engine. Amd seeing it, I would not be able to see it indifferently. You don't have to fear that you're now dependent on me. It's I who will depend on any whim of yours. You'll have me anytime you wish, anywhere, on any terms. Did you call it the obscenity of my talent? It's such that it gives you a safer hold on me than on any other property you own. You may dispose of me as you please - I'm not afraid to admit it - I have nothing to protect from you and nothing to reserve. You think that this is a threat to your achievement, but it is not to mine. I will sit at my desk, and work, and when the things around me get hard to bear, I will think that for my reward I will be in your bed that night. Did you call it depravity? I am much more depraved than you are: you hold it as your guilt, and I - as my pride. I'm more proud of it than anything I've done, more proud than of building the Line. If I'm asked to name my proudest attainment, I will say: I have slept with Hank Rearden. I had earned it.
Ayn Rand
Be brave. Even if you're not, pretend to be. No one can tell the difference. Don't allow the phone to interrupt important moments. It's there for your convenience, not the callers. Don't be afraid to go out on a limb. That's where the fruit is. Don't burn bridges. You'll be surprised how many times you have to cross the same river. Don't forget, a person's greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated. Don't major in minor things. Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Helen Keller, Leonardo Da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein. Don't spread yourself too thin. Learn to say no politely and quickly. Don't use time or words carelessly. Neither can be retrieved. Don't waste time grieving over past mistakes Learn from them and move on. Every person needs to have their moment in the sun, when they raise their arms in victory, knowing that on this day, at his hour, they were at their very best. Get your priorities straight. No one ever said on his death bed, 'Gee, if I'd only spent more time at the office'. Give people a second chance, but not a third. Judge your success by the degree that you're enjoying peace, health and love. Learn to listen. Opportunity sometimes knocks very softly. Leave everything a little better than you found it. Live your life as an exclamation, not an explanation. Loosen up. Relax. Except for rare life and death matters, nothing is as important as it first seems. Never cut what can be untied. Never overestimate your power to change others. Never underestimate your power to change yourself. Remember that overnight success usually takes about fifteen years. Remember that winners do what losers don't want to do. Seek opportunity, not security. A boat in harbor is safe, but in time its bottom will rot out. Spend less time worrying who's right, more time deciding what's right. Stop blaming others. Take responsibility for every area of your life. Success is getting what you want. Happiness is liking what you get. The importance of winning is not what we get from it, but what we become because of it. When facing a difficult task, act as though it's impossible to fail.
Jackson H. Brown Jr.
Soon he was online every night until one or two a.m. Often he would wake up at three of four a.m. and go back online. He would shut down the computer screen when I walked in. In the past, he used to take the laptop to bed with him and we would both be on our laptops, hips touching. He stopped doing that, slipping off to his office instead and closing the door even when A was asleep. He started closing doors behind him. I was steeped in denial, but my body knew.
Suzanne Finnamore (Split: A Memoir of Divorce)
Go out with me tomorow night," Perry went on. "Let me prove to you that I'm the guy you want." "I...I guess I coul go out tomorrow night," Miranda sounded shocked and a little swept off her feet. Then, from the corner of her eyes. Kylie saw something move at the office window. When she looked back, she spotted Burnett and Holiday standing there high-fiving each other. No doubt Burnett was listening to the coversation and sharing the details with Holiday. Perry nodded, stepped closer, and then pressed a quick kiss on Miranda's cheek. It had to be the most romantic thing Kylie had ever seen. ..."What?" Miranda asked. "You're happy my date [with Todd] wasn't exciting?" "No," Kylie said. "Let's just say we're more excited about tomorrow night's date." A bright smile lit up Miranda's face. "Me too. Can you believ Perry did that? I mean, he was so..." "Romantic," Kylie said. "Hot," Della added. "Sweet," Miranda whispered. "I couldn't stop thinkibng about him all night." And that was the best news Kylie had gotten all day.
C.C. Hunter (Taken at Dusk (Shadow Falls, #3))
I've become a collector of stories about unlikely returns: the sudden reappearance of the long-lost son, the father found, the lovers reunited after forty years. Once in awhile, a letter does fall behind a post office desk and lie there for years before it's finally discovered and delivered to the rightful address. The seemingly brain-dead sometimes wake up and start talking. I'm always on the lookout for proof that what is done can sometimes be undone.
Karen Thompson Walker (The Age of Miracles)
I know a few things to be true. I do not know where I am going, where I have come from is disappearing, I am unwelcome and my beauty is not beauty here. My body is burning with the shame of not belonging, my body is longing. I am the sin of memory and the absence of memory. I watch the news and my mouth becomes a sink full of blood. The lines, the forms, the people at the desks, the calling cards, the immigration officers, the looks on the street, the cold settling deep into my bones, the English classes at night, the distance I am from home. But Alhamdulilah all of this is better than the scent of a woman completely on fire, or a truckload of men, who look like my father pulling out my teeth and nails, or fourteen men between my legs, or a gun, or a promise, or a lie, or his name, or his manhood in my mouth.
Warsan Shire (Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth)
Eventually, the room was cleared, and we stood there together, chests heaving, a spray of shifters and humans on the floor in front of us. We weren’t entirely undamaged—I’d taken a bruising shot to my right thigh, and Ethan had slices across his belly where he’d been caught with the edge of a bar of steel broken from someone’s office chair. But we were alive. We glanced over at each other. I was just about to speak, but before I could get out words, his hand was at the back of my head, his mouth pressing against mine. The intensely possessive kiss left me gasping for breath, but even as he pulled back, his fingers stayed knotted in the back of my hair.
Chloe Neill (Twice Bitten (Chicagoland Vampires, #3))
Ryodan doesn’t like Mac. He never has. She got between him and his best boy-bud. I give him a look. “I’ll tell you a secret, Ryodan. You mess with her, Barrons’ll kill you.” I drag a finger across my neck. “Just like that. You aren’t all that. Barrons’ll stomp your ass, hand’s down.” He smiles faintly. “I’ll be damned. You have a crush on Barrons.” “I do not have a crush—“ “You do, too. It’s all over your face. Anybody could see it.” “Sometimes, boss, you’re just wrong.” “I’m never wrong. You might as well take out a billboard. ‘Dani O’Malley thinks Jericho Barrons is hot.’ My offer to teach you is still open. Save you from future embarrassment. If I can see it on your face, he can, too. ” “He never figured it out before,” I grumble then realize I just admitted it. Ryodan has a tricky way of wording things that makes you say things you didn’t mean to say. “Maybe I’ll ask Barrons to teach me,” I mutter and turn away from the stairs, heading for his office. I run smack into his chest. “Dude, move. Trying to get somewhere here.” “No one but me is ever going to teach you, Dani.” He touches me before I see it coming, has his hand under my chin, turning my face up. My shiver is instant and uncontrollable. “That’s non-negotiable. You signed a contract with me that grants exclusivity. You won’t like it if you try to break it.
Karen Marie Moning (Iced (Fever, #6))
You can argue that it's a different world now than the one when Matthew Shepard was killed, but there is a subtle difference between tolerance and acceptance. It's the distance between moving into the cul-de-sac and having your next door neighbor trust you to keep an eye on her preschool daughter for a few minutes while she runs out to the post office. It's the chasm between being invited to a colleague's wedding with your same-sex partner and being able to slow-dance without the other guests whispering.
Jodi Picoult (Sing You Home)
Actually there were many officers' clubs that Yossarian had not helped build, but he was proudest of the one on Pianosa. It was a sturdy and complex monument to his powers of determination. Yossarian never went there to help until it was finished; then he went there often, so pleased was he with the large , fine, rambling shingled building. It was a truly splendid building, and Yossarian throbbed with a mighty sense of accomplishment each time he gazed at it and reflected that none of the work that had gone into it was his.
Joseph Heller (Catch-22)
I want you to move in here with me. I want to fall asleep with your hair in my face every night. And I want to wake up wrapped around you every morning. I want us to spend whole weekends without any clothes on at all. I want to have clean fights and dirty makeup sex...I want to talk to you until the sun comes up, and I want to bring you cereal in bed every Sunday. I want to work long, endless hours in this office, but only if you’re here next to me.” Excerpt From: Chase, Emma. “Tangled.” Omnific Publishing, 2013-05-21T05:00:00+00:00. iBooks. This material may be protected by copyright.
Emma Chase (Tangled (Tangled, #1))
I realized that searching for a mentor has become the professional equivalent of waiting for Prince Charming. We all grew up on the fairy tale "Sleeping Beauty," which instructs young women that if they just wait for their prince to arrive, they will be kissed and whisked away on a white horse to live happily ever after. Now young women are told that if they can just find the right mentor, they will be pushed up the ladder and whisked away to the corner office to live happily ever after. Once again, we are teaching women to be too dependent on others.
Sheryl Sandberg (Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead)
If you wear black, then kindly, irritating strangers will touch your arm consolingly and inform you that the world keeps on turning. They're right. It does. However much you beg it to stop. It turns and lets grenadine spill over the horizon, sends hard bars of gold through my window and I wake up and feel happy for three seconds and then I remember. It turns and tips people out of their beds and into their cars, their offices, an avalanche of tiny men and women tumbling through life... All trying not to think about what's waiting at the bottom. Sometimes it turns and sends us reeling into each other's arms. We cling tight, excited and laughing, strangers thrown together on a moving funhouse floor. Intoxicated by the motion we forget all the risks. And then the world turns... And somebody falls off... And oh God it's such a long way down. Numb with shock, we can only stand and watch as they fall away from us, gradually getting smaller... Receding in our memories until they're no longer visible. We gather in cemeteries, tense and silent as if for listening for the impact; the splash of a pebble dropped into a dark well, trying to measure its depth. Trying to measure how far we have to fall. No impact comes; no splash. The moment passes. The world turns and we turn away, getting on with our lives... Wrapping ourselves in comforting banalities to keep us warm against the cold. "Time's a great healer." "At least it was quick." "The world keeps turning." Oh Alec— Alec's dead.
Alan Moore (Swamp Thing, Vol. 5: Earth to Earth)
Sensuality does not wear a watch but she always gets to the essential places on time. She is adventurous and not particularly quiet. She was reprimanded in grade school because she couldn’t sit still all day long. She needs to move. She thinks with her body. Even when she goes to the library to read Emily Dickinson or Emily Bronte, she starts reading out loud and swaying with the words, and before she can figure out what is happening, she is asked to leave. As you might expect, she is a disaster at office jobs. Sensuality has exquisite skin and she appreciates it in others as well. There are other people whose skin is soft and clear and healthy but something about Sensuality’s skin announces that she is alive. When the sun bursts forth in May, Sensuality likes to take off her shirt and feel the sweet warmth of the sun’s rays brush across her shoulder. This is not intended as a provocative gesture but other people are, as usual, upset. Sensuality does not understand why everyone else is so disturbed by her. As a young girl, she was often scolded for going barefoot. Sensuality likes to make love at the border where time and space change places. When she is considering a potential lover, she takes him to the ocean and watches. Does he dance with the waves? Does he tell her about the time he slept on the beach when he was seventeen and woke up in the middle of the night to look at the moon? Does he laugh and cry and notice how big the sky is? It is spring now, and Sensuality is very much in love these days. Her new friend is very sweet. Climbing into bed the first time, he confessed he was a little intimidated about making love with her. Sensuality just laughed and said, ‘But we’ve been making love for days.
J. Ruth Gendler (The Book of Qualities)
The wish of death had been palpably hanging over this otherwise idyllic paradise for a good many years. All business and politics is personal in the Philippines. If it wasn't for the cheap beer and lovely girls one of us would spend an hour in this dump. They [Jehovah's Witnesses] get some kind of frequent flyer points for each person who signs on. I'm not lazy. I'm just motivationally challenged. I'm not fat. I just have lots of stored energy. You don't get it do you? What people think of you matters more than the reality. Marilyn. Despite standing firm at the final hurdle Marilyn was always ready to run the race. After answering the question the woman bent down behind the stand out of sight of all, and crossed herself. It is amazing what you can learn in prison. Merely through casual conversation Rick had acquired the fundamentals of embezzlement, fraud and armed hold up. He wondered at the price of honesty in a grey world whose half tones changed faster than the weather. The banality of truth somehow always surprises the news media before they tart it up. You've ridden jeepneys in peak hour. Where else can you feel up a fourteen-year-old schoolgirl without even trying? [Ralph Winton on the Philippines finer points] Life has no bottom. No matter how bad things are or how far one has sunk things can always get worse. You could call the Oval Office an information rain shadow. In the Philippines, a whole layer of criminals exists who consider that it is their right to rob you unhindered. If you thwart their wicked desires, to their way of thinking you have stolen from them and are evil. There's honest and dishonest corruption in this country. Don't enjoy it too much for it's what we love that usually kills us. The good guys don't always win wars but the winners always make sure that they go down in history as the good guys. The Philippines is like a woman. You love her and hate her at the same time. I never believed in all my born days that ideas of truth and justice were only pretty words to brighten a much darker and more ubiquitous reality. The girl was experiencing the first flushes of love while Rick was at least feeling the methadone equivalent. Although selfishness and greed are more ephemeral than the real values of life their effects on the world often outlive their origins. Miriam's a meteor job. Somewhere out there in space there must be a meteor with her name on it. Tsismis or rumours grow in this land like tropical weeds. Surprises are so common here that nothing is surprising. A crooked leader who can lead is better than a crooked one who can't. Although I always followed the politics of Hitler I emulate the drinking habits of Churchill. It [Australia] is the country that does the least with the most. Rereading the brief lines that told the story in the manner of Fox News reporting the death of a leftist Rick's dark imagination took hold. Didn't your mother ever tell you never to trust a man who doesn't drink? She must have been around twenty years old, was tall for a Filipina and possessed long black hair framing her smooth olive face. This specter of loveliness walked with the assurance of the knowingly beautiful. Her crisp and starched white uniform dazzled in the late-afternoon light and highlighted the natural tan of her skin. Everything about her was in perfect order. In short, she was dressed up like a pox doctor’s clerk. Suddenly, she stopped, turned her head to one side and spat comprehensively into the street. The tiny putrescent puddle contrasted strongly with the studied aplomb of its all-too-recent owner, suggesting all manner of disease and decay.
John Richard Spencer
Will saw the first Senshi officer release and instantly knew where the arrow was aimed. 'They've spotted Shigeru!' He was about to turn and shove Shigeru to the ground, but as he did so, his eye caught a flicker of movement and he spun back. When asked later about what he did next, he could never explain how he managed it. Nor could he ever repeat the feat. He acted totally from instinct, an unbelievable piece of coordination between hand and eye. The Senshi arrow flashed downward, heading directly for Shigeru. Will flicked his bow at it, caught it and deflected it from its course. The arrowhead screeched on the hard, rocky ground and the arrow skittered away. Even Halt took a second to be impressed. 'My god!' he said. 'How did you do that?
John Flanagan (The Emperor of Nihon-Ja (Ranger's Apprentice, #10))
People who have recently lost someone have a certain look, recognizable maybe only to those who have seen that look on their own faces. I have noticed it on my face and I notice it now on others. The look is one of extreme vulnerability, nakedness, openness. It is the look of someone who walks from the ophthalmologist's office into the bright daylight with dilated eyes, or of someone who wears glasses and is suddenly made to take them off. These people who have lost someone look naked because they think themselves invisible. I myself felt invisible for a period of time, incorporeal. I seemed to have crossed one of those legendary rivers that divide the living from the dead, entered a place in which I could be seen only by those who were themselves recently bereaved. I understood for the first time the power in the image of the rivers, the Styx, the Lethe, the cloaked ferryman with his pole. I understood for the first time the meaning in the practice of suttee. Widows did not throw themselves on the burning raft out of grief. The burning raft was instead an accurate representation of the place to which their grief (not their families, not the community, not custom, their grief) had taken them.
Joan Didion (The Year of Magical Thinking)
My head is throbbing. I need coffee. Leaving the marbled papers in a state of controlled chaos, I walk through the office and past the page's desk in the Reading Room. I am halted by Isabelle's voice saying, "Perhaps Mr. DeTamble can help you," by which she means "Henry, you weasel, where are you slinking off to?" and this astoundingly beautiful amber-haired tall slim girl turns around and looks at me as through I am her personal Jesus. My stomach lurches. Obviously she knows me, and I don't know her. Lord only knows what I've said, done, or promised to this luminous creature, so I am forced to say in my best librarianese, "Is there something I can help you with?" The girl sort of breathes "Henry!" in this very evocative way that convinces me that at some point in time we have a really amazing thing together. This makes it worse that I don't know anything about her, not even her name. I say "Have we met?" and Isabelle givs me a look that says You asshole. But the girl says, "I'm Claire Abshire. I knew you when I was a little girl," and invites me out to dinner. I accept, stunned.
Audrey Niffenegger (The Time Traveler's Wife)
Well," I ventured as we left Salazar's office, stepping back into the long hallway. I glanced over at Kanin, Zeke and Jackal, and shrugged. "What now?" Jackal rolled his eyes and stepped away from us. "What now is that I am going to relax for a few hours without listening to the lot of you whine at me. 'Ohhh, don't hurt the humans, ohhh, we have to save refugees from mole men, ohhh, Kanin's dying.' Ugh." He made a disgusted gesture with both hands. "It's enough to make me puke. I am going to the bar to get this taste out of my mouth. You all can do whatever you want.
Julie Kagawa (The Eternity Cure (Blood of Eden, #2))
But you can’t be a scientist if you’re uncomfortable with ignorance, because scientists live at the boundary between what is known and unknown in the cosmos. This is very different from the way journalists portray us. So many articles begin, “Scientists now have to go back to the drawing board.” It’s as though we’re sitting in our offices, feet up on our desks—masters of the universe—and suddenly say, “Oops, somebody discovered something!” No. We’re always at the drawing board. If you’re not at the drawing board, you’re not making discoveries. You’re not a scientist; you’re something else. The public, on the other hand, seems to demand conclusive explanations as they leap without hesitation from statements of abject ignorance to statements of absolute certainty.
Neil deGrasse Tyson (Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier)
I want a dyke for president. I want a person with AIDS for president and I want a fag for vice president and I want someone with no health insurance and I want someone who grew up in a place where the earth is so saturated with toxic waste that they didn’t have a choice about getting leukemia. I want a president that had an abortion at sixteen and I want a candidate who isn’t the lesser of two evils and I want a president who lost their last lover to AIDS, who still sees that in their eyes every time they lay down to rest, who held their lover in their arms and knew they were dying. I want a president with no air-conditioning, a president who has stood in line at the clinic, at the DMV, at the welfare office, and has been unemployed and laid off and sexually harassed and gaybashed and deported. I want someone who has spent the night in the tombs and had a cross burned on their lawn and survived rape. I want someone who has been in love and been hurt, who respects sex, who has made mistakes and learned from them. I want a Black woman for president. I want someone with bad teeth and an attitude, someone who has eaten that nasty hospital food, someone who crossdresses and has done drugs and been in therapy. I want someone who has committed civil disobedience. And I want to know why this isn’t possible. I want to know why we started learning somewhere down the line that a president is always a clown. Always a john and never a hooker. Always a boss and never a worker. Always a liar, always a thief, and never caught.
Zoe Leonard
Aubade" I work all day, and get half-drunk at night. Waking at four to soundless dark, I stare. In time the curtain-edges will grow light. Till then I see what's really always there: Unresting death, a whole day nearer now, Making all thought impossible but how And where and when I shall myself die. Arid interrogation: yet the dread Of dying, and being dead, Flashes afresh to hold and horrify. The mind blanks at the glare. Not in remorse - The good not done, the love not given, time Torn off unused - nor wretchedly because An only life can take so long to climb Clear of its wrong beginnings, and may never; But at the total emptiness for ever, The sure extinction that we travel to And shall be lost in always. Not to be here, Not to be anywhere, And soon; nothing more terrible, nothing more true. This is a special way of being afraid No trick dispels. Religion used to try, That vast, moth-eaten musical brocade Created to pretend we never die, And specious stuff that says No rational being Can fear a thing it will not feel, not seeing That this is what we fear - no sight, no sound, No touch or taste or smell, nothing to think with, Nothing to love or link with, The anasthetic from which none come round. And so it stays just on the edge of vision, A small, unfocused blur, a standing chill That slows each impulse down to indecision. Most things may never happen: this one will, And realisation of it rages out In furnace-fear when we are caught without People or drink. Courage is no good: It means not scaring others. Being brave Lets no one off the grave. Death is no different whined at than withstood. Slowly light strengthens, and the room takes shape. It stands plain as a wardrobe, what we know, Have always known, know that we can't escape, Yet can't accept. One side will have to go. Meanwhile telephones crouch, getting ready to ring In locked-up offices, and all the uncaring Intricate rented world begins to rouse. The sky is white as clay, with no sun. Work has to be done. Postmen like doctors go from house to house. The Times Literary Supplement (December 23, 1977)
Philip Larkin
Me, and thousands of others in this country like me, are half-baked, because we were never allowed to complete our schooling. Open our skulls, look in with a penlight, and you'll find an odd museum of ideas: sentences of history or mathematics remembered from school textbooks (no boy remembers his schooling like the one who was taken out of school, let me assure you), sentences about politics read in a newspaper while waiting for someone to come to an office, triangles and pyramids seen on the torn pages of the old geometry textbooks which every tea shop in this country uses to wrap its snacks in, bits of All India Radio news bulletins, things that drop into your mind, like lizards from the ceiling, in the half hour before falling asleep--all these ideas, half formed and half digested and half correct, mix up with other half-cooked ideas in your head, and I guess these half-formed ideas bugger one another, and make more half-formed ideas, and this is what you act on and live with.
Aravind Adiga (The White Tiger)
So, Mr. Digence, home to visit the family?" "That's right. My mother's folks are from Killarney." "Oh, really?" "O'Reilly, actually. But what's a vowel between friends?" "Very good. You should be on the stage." "It's funny you should mention that." The passport officer groaned. Ten more minutes and his shift would have been over. "I was being sarcastic, actually. . ." "Because my friend, Mr. McGuire, and I are also doing a stint in the Christmas pantomime. It's Snow White. I'm Doc, and he's Dopey." The passport officer forced a smile. "Very good. Next." Mulch spoke for the entire line to hear. "Of course, Mr. McGuire there was born to play Dopey, if you catch my drift." Loafers lost it right there in the terminal. "You little freak!" he screamed. "I'll kill you! You'll be my next tattoo! You'll be my next tattoo!" Much tutted as Loafers disappeared beneath half a dozen security guards. "Actors," he said. "Highly strung.
Eoin Colfer (The Eternity Code (Artemis Fowl, #3))
This "sir, yes sir" business, which would probably sound like horseshit to any civilian in his right mind, makes sense to Shaftoe and to the officers in a deep and important way. Like a lot of others, Shaftoe had trouble with military etiquette at first. He soaked up quite a bit of it growing up in a military family, but living the life was a different matter. Having now experienced all the phases of military existence except for the terminal ones (violent death, court-martial, retirement), he has come to understand the culture for what it is: a system of etiquette within which it becomes possible for groups of men to live together for years, travel to the ends of the earth, and do all kinds of incredibly weird shit without killing each other or completely losing their minds in the process. The extreme formality with which he addresses these officers carries an important subtext: your problem, sir, is deciding what you want me to do, and my problem, sir, is doing it. My gung-ho posture says that once you give the order I'm not going to bother you with any of the details--and your half of the bargain is you had better stay on your side of the line, sir, and not bother me with any of the chickenshit politics that you have to deal with for a living. The implied responsibility placed upon the officer's shoulders by the subordinate's unhesitating willingness to follow orders is a withering burden to any officer with half a brain, and Shaftoe has more than once seen seasoned noncoms reduce green lieutenants to quivering blobs simply by standing before them and agreeing, cheerfully, to carry out their orders.
Neal Stephenson (Cryptonomicon)
...he asked, "Where are you today, right now?" Eagerly, I started talking about myself. However, I noticed that I was still being sidetracked from getting answers to my questions. Still, I told him about my distant and recent past and about my inexplicable depressions. He listened patiently and intently, as if he had all the time in the world, until I finished several hours later. "Very well," he said. "But you still have not answered my question about where you are." "Yes I did, remember? I told you how I got to where I am today: by hard work." "Where are you?" "What do you mean, where am I?" "Where Are you?" he repeated softly. "I'm here." "Where is here?" "In this office, in this gas station!" I was getting impatient with this game. "Where is this gas station?" "In Berkeley?" "Where is Berkeley?" "In California?" "Where is California?" "In the United States?" "On a landmass, one of the continents in the Western Hemisphere. Socrates, I..." "Where are the continents? I sighed. "On the earth. Are we done yet?" "Where is the earth?" "In the solar system, third planet from the sun. The sun is a small star in the Milky Way galaxy, all right?" "Where is the Milky Way?" "Oh, brother, " I sighed impatiently, rolling my eyes. "In the universe." I sat back and crossed my arms with finality. "And where," Socrates smiled, "is the universe?" "The universe is well, there are theories about how it's shaped..." "That's not what I asked. Where is it?" "I don't know - how can I answer that?" "That is the point. You cannot answer it, and you never will. There is no knowing about it. You are ignorant of where the universe is, and thus, where you are. In fact, you have no knowledge of where anything is or of What anything is or how is came to be. Life is a mystery. "My ignorance is based on this understanding. Your understanding is based on ignorance. This is why I am a humorous fool, and you are a serious jackass.
Dan Millman (Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives)
You swallow hard when you discover that the old coffee shop is now a chain pharmacy, that the place where you first kissed so-and-so is now a discount electronics retailer, that where you bought this very jacket is now rubble behind a blue plywood fence and a future office building. Damage has been done to your city. You say, ''It happened overnight.'' But of course it didn't. Your pizza parlor, his shoeshine stand, her hat store: when they were here, we neglected them. For all you know, the place closed down moments after the last time you walked out the door. (Ten months ago? Six years? Fifteen? You can't remember, can you?) And there have been five stores in that spot before the travel agency. Five different neighborhoods coming and going between then and now, other people's other cities. Or 15, 25, 100 neighborhoods. Thousands of people pass that storefront every day, each one haunting the streets of his or her own New York, not one of them seeing the same thing.
Colson Whitehead (The Colossus of New York)
Even if it were possible to cast my horoscope in this one life, and to make an accurate prediction about my future, it would not be possible to 'show' it to me because as soon as I saw it my future would change by definition. This is why Werner Heisenberg's adaptation of the Hays Office—the so-called principle of uncertainty whereby the act of measuring something has the effect of altering the measurement—is of such importance. In my case the difference is often made by publicity. For example, and to boast of one of my few virtues, I used to derive pleasure from giving my time to bright young people who showed promise as writers and who asked for my help. Then some profile of me quoted someone who disclosed that I liked to do this. Then it became something widely said of me, whereupon it became almost impossible for me to go on doing it, because I started to receive far more requests than I could respond to, let alone satisfy. Perception modifies reality: when I abandoned the smoking habit of more than three decades I was given a supposedly helpful pill called Wellbutrin. But as soon as I discovered that this was the brand name for an antidepressant, I tossed the bottle away. There may be successful methods for overcoming the blues but for me they cannot include a capsule that says: 'Fool yourself into happiness, while pretending not to do so.' I should actually want my mind to be strong enough to circumvent such a trick.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
How skillful to tax the middle class to pay for the relief of the poor, building resentment on top of humiliation! How adroit to bus poor black youngsters into poor white neighborhoods, in a violent exchange of impoverished schools, while the schools of the rich remain untouched and the wealth of the nation, doled out carefully where children need free milk, is drained for billion-dollar aircraft carriers. How ingenious to meet the demands of blacks and women for equality by giving them small special benefits, and setting them in competition with everyone else for jobs made scares by an irrational, wasteful system. How wise to turn the fear and anger of the majority toward a class of criminals bred - by economic inequity - faster than they can be put away, deflecting attention from the huge thefts of national resources carried out within the law by men in executive offices.
Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States)
At this second appearing to take the oath of the Presidential office there is less occasion for an extended address than there was at the first. Then a statement somewhat in detail of a course to be pursued seemed fitting and proper. Now, at the expiration of four years, during which public declarations have been constantly called forth on every point and phase of the great contest which still absorbs the attention and engrosses the energies of the nation, little that is new could be presented. The progress of our arms, upon which all else chiefly depends, is as well known to the public as to myself, and it is, I trust, reasonably satisfactory and encouraging to all. With high hope for the future, no prediction in regard to it is ventured. On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it, all sought to avert it. While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war--seeking to dissolve the Union and divide effects by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish, and the war came. One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was somehow the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union even by war, while the Government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it. Neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with or even before the conflict itself should cease. Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes. "Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh." If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said "the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether." With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.
Abraham Lincoln (Great Speeches / Abraham Lincoln: with Historical Notes by John Grafton)
with the night falling we are saying thank you we are stopping on the bridge to bow from the railings we are running out of the glass rooms with our mouths full of food to look at the sky and say thank you we are standing by the water looking out in different directions back from a series of hospitals back from a mugging after funerals we are saying thank you after the news of the dead whether or not we knew them we are saying thank you in a culture up to its chin in shame living in the stench it has chosen we are saying thank you over telephones we are saying thank you in doorways and in the backs of cars and in elevators remembering wars and the police at the back door and the beatings on stairs we are saying thank you in the banks that use us we are saying thank you with the crooks in office with the rich and fashionable unchanged we go on saying thank you thank you with the animals dying around us our lost feelings we are saying thank you with the forests falling faster than the minutes of our lives we are saying thank you with the words going out like cells of a brain with the cities growing over us like the earth we are saying thank you faster and faster with nobody listening we are saying thank you we are saying thank you and waving dark though it is
W.S. Merwin
The first time she carved something into her skin, she used the sharp tip of an X-Acto knife. She lifted up her shirt to show me after the cuts had scabbed over. She had scrawled F*** YOU on her stomach. I stood quiet for a moment, feeling the breath get knocked out of me. I should have grabbed her arm and taken her straight to the nurse's office, into that small room with two cots covered in paper sheets and the sweet, stale medicinal smell. I should have lifted Ingrid's shirt to show the cuts. Look, I would've said to the nurse at her little desk, eyeglasses perched on her pointed nose. Help her. Instead, I reached my hand out and traced the words. The cuts were shallow, so the scabs only stood out a little bit. They were rough and brown. I knew that a lot of girls at our school cut themselves. They wore their long sleeves pulled down past their wrists and made slits for their thumbs so that the scars on their arms wouldn't show. I wanted to ask Ingrid if it hurt to do that to herself, but I felt stupid, like I must have been missing something, so what I said was, F*** you too, b****. Ingrid giggled, and I tried to ignore the feeling that something good between us was changing.
Nina LaCour (Hold Still)
It's perfectly simple," said Wednesday. "In other countries, over the years, people recognized the places of power. Sometimes it would be a natural formation, sometimes it would just be a place that was, somehow, special. They knew that something important was happening there, that there was some focusing point, some channel, some window to the Immanent. And so they would build temples or cathedrals, or erect stone circles, or...well, you get the idea." "There are churches all across the States, though," said Shadow. "In every town. Sometimes on every block. And about as significant, in this context, as dentists' offices. No, in the USA, people still get the call, or some of them, and they feel themselves being called to from the transcendent void, and they respond to it by building a model out of beer bottles of somewhere they've never visited, or by erecting a gigantic bat house in some part of the country that bats have traditionally declined to visit. Roadside attractions: people feel themselves pulled to places where, in other parts of the world, they would recognize that part of themselves that is truly transcendent, and buy a hot dog, and walk around, feeling satisfied on a level they cannot truly describe, and profoundly dissatisfied on a level beneath that.
Neil Gaiman (American Gods (American Gods, #1))
The Beat Generation, that was a vision that we had, John Clellon Holmes and I, and Allen Ginsberg in an even wilder way, in the late forties, of a generation of crazy, illuminated hipsters suddenly rising and roaming America, serious, bumming and hitchhiking everywhere, ragged, beatific, beautiful in an ugly graceful new way--a vision gleaned from the way we had heard the word 'beat' spoken on streetcorners on Times Square and in the Village, in other cities in the downtown city night of postwar America--beat, meaning down and out but full of intense conviction--We'd even heard old 1910 Daddy Hipsters of the streets speak the word that way, with a melancholy sneer--It never meant juvenile delinquents, it meant characters of a special spirituality who didn't gang up but were solitary Bartlebies staring out the dead wall window of our civilization--the subterraneans heroes who'd finally turned from the 'freedom' machine of the West and were taking drugs, digging bop, having flashes of insight, experiencing the 'derangement of the senses,' talking strange, being poor and glad, prophesying a new style for American culture, a new style (we thought), a new incantation--The same thing was almost going on in the postwar France of Sartre and Genet and what's more we knew about it--But as to the actual existence of a Beat Generation, chances are it was really just an idea in our minds--We'd stay up 24 hours drinking cup after cup of black coffee, playing record after record of Wardell Gray, Lester Young, Dexter Gordon, Willie Jackson, Lennie Tristano and all the rest, talking madly about that holy new feeling out there in the streets- -We'd write stories about some strange beatific Negro hepcat saint with goatee hitchhiking across Iowa with taped up horn bringing the secret message of blowing to other coasts, other cities, like a veritable Walter the Penniless leading an invisible First Crusade- -We had our mystic heroes and wrote, nay sung novels about them, erected long poems celebrating the new 'angels' of the American underground--In actuality there was only a handful of real hip swinging cats and what there was vanished mightily swiftly during the Korean War when (and after) a sinister new kind of efficiency appeared in America, maybe it was the result of the universalization of Television and nothing else (the Polite Total Police Control of Dragnet's 'peace' officers) but the beat characters after 1950 vanished into jails and madhouses, or were shamed into silent conformity, the generation itself was shortlived and small in number.
Jack Kerouac
To encapsulate the notion of Mardi Gras as nothing more than a big drunk is to take the simple and stupid way out, and I, for one, am getting tired of staying stuck on simple and stupid. Mardi Gras is not a parade. Mardi Gras is not girls flashing on French Quarter balconies. Mardi Gras is not an alcoholic binge. Mardi Gras is bars and restaurants changing out all the CD's in their jukeboxes to Professor Longhair and the Neville Brothers, and it is annual front-porch crawfish boils hours before the parades so your stomach and attitude reach a state of grace, and it is returning to the same street corner, year after year, and standing next to the same people, year after year--people whose names you may or may not even know but you've watched their kids grow up in this public tableau and when they're not there, you wonder: Where are those guys this year? It is dressing your dog in a stupid costume and cheering when the marching bands go crazy and clapping and saluting the military bands when they crisply snap to. Now that part, more than ever. It's mad piano professors converging on our city from all over the world and banging the 88's until dawn and laughing at the hairy-shouldered men in dresses too tight and stalking the Indians under Claiborne overpass and thrilling the years you find them and lamenting the years you don't and promising yourself you will next year. It's wearing frightful color combination in public and rolling your eyes at the guy in your office who--like clockwork, year after year--denies that he got the baby in the king cake and now someone else has to pony up the ten bucks for the next one. Mardi Gras is the love of life. It is the harmonic convergence of our food, our music, our creativity, our eccentricity, our neighborhoods, and our joy of living. All at once.
Chris Rose (1 Dead in Attic: Post-Katrina Stories)
-You know how to call me although such a noise now would only confuse the air Neither of us can forget the steps we danced the words you stretched to call me out of dust Yes I long for you not just as a leaf for weather or vase for hands but with a narrow human longing that makes a man refuse any fields but his own I wait for you at an unexpected place in your journey like the rusted key or the feather you do not pick up.- -I WILL NEVER FIND THE FACES FOR ALL GOODBYES I'VE MADE.- For Anyone Dressed in Marble The miracle we all are waiting for is waiting till the Parthenon falls down and House of Birthdays is a house no more and fathers are unpoisoned by renown. The medals and the records of abuse can't help us on our pilgrimage to lust, but like whips certain perverts never use, compel our flesh in paralysing trust. I see an orphan, lawless and serene, standing in a corner of the sky, body something like bodies that have been, but not the scar of naming in his eye. Bred close to the ovens, he's burnt inside. Light, wind, cold, dark -- they use him like a bride. I Had It for a Moment I had it for a moment I knew why I must thank you I saw powerful governing men in black suits I saw them undressed in the arms of young mistresses the men more naked than the naked women the men crying quietly No that is not it I'm losing why I must thank you which means I'm left with pure longing How old are you Do you like your thighs I had it for a moment I had a reason for letting the picture of your mouth destroy my conversation Something on the radio the end of a Mexican song I saw the musicians getting paid they are not even surprised they knew it was only a job Now I've lost it completely A lot of people think you are beautiful How do I feel about that I have no feeling about that I had a wonderful reason for not merely courting you It was tied up with the newspapers I saw secret arrangements in high offices I saw men who loved their worldliness even though they had looked through big electric telescopes they still thought their worldliness was serious not just a hobby a taste a harmless affectation they thought the cosmos listened I was suddenly fearful one of their obscure regulations could separate us I was ready to beg for mercy Now I'm getting into humiliation I've lost why I began this I wanted to talk about your eyes I know nothing about your eyes and you've noticed how little I know I want you somewhere safe far from high offices I'll study you later So many people want to cry quietly beside you
Leonard Cohen (Flowers for Hitler)
Nobody reads poetry, we are told at every inopportune moment. I read poetry. I am somebody. I am the people, too. It can be allowed that an industrious quantity of contemporary American poetry is consciously written for a hermetic constituency; the bulk is written for the bourgeoisie, leaving a lean cut for labor. Only the hermetically aimed has a snowball's chance in hell of reaching its intended ears. One proceeds from this realization. A staggering figure of vibrant, intelligent people can and do live without poetry, especially without the poetry of their time. This figure includes the unemployed, the rank and file, the union brass, banker, scientist, lawyer, doctor, architect, pilot, and priest. It also includes most academics, most of the faculty of the humanities, most allegedly literary editors and most allegedly literary critics. They do so--go forward in their lives, toward their great reward, in an engulfing absence of poetry--without being perceived or perceiving themselves as hobbled or deficient in any significant way. It is nearly true, though I am often reminded of a Transtromer broadside I saw in a crummy office building in San Francisco: We got dressed and showed the house You live well the visitor said The slum must be inside you. If I wanted to understand a culture, my own for instance, and if I thought such an understanding were the basis for a lifelong inquiry, I would turn to poetry first. For it is my confirmed bias that the poets remain the most 'stunned by existence,' the most determined to redeem the world in words..
C.D. Wright (Cooling Time: An American Poetry Vigil)
I saw thee once - only once - years ago: I must not say how many - but not many. It was a July midnight; and from out A full-orbed moon, that, like thine own soul, soaring, Sought a precipitate pathway up through heaven, There fell a silvery-silken veil of light, With quietude, and sultriness, and slumber, Upon the upturn'd faces of a thousand Roses that grew in an enchanted garden, Where no wind dared stir, unless on tiptoe - Fell on the upturn'd faces of these roses That gave out, in return for the love-light, Their odorous souls in an ecstatic death - Fell on the upturn'd faces of these roses That smiled and died in the parterre, enchanted By thee, and by the poetry of thy presence. Clad all in white, upon a violet bank I saw thee half reclining; while the moon Fell upon the upturn'd faces of the roses, And on thine own, upturn'd - alas, in sorrow! Was it not Fate, that, on this July midnight - Was it not Fate, (whose name is also Sorrow,) That bade me pause before that garden-gate, To breathe the incense of those slumbering roses? No footsteps stirred: the hated world all slept, Save only thee and me. (Oh, Heaven! - oh, G**! How my heart beats in coupling those two words!) Save only thee and me. I paused - I looked - And in an instant all things disappeared. (Ah, bear in mind the garden was enchanted!) The pearly lustre of the moon went out: The mossy banks and the meandering paths, The happy flowers and the repining trees, Were seen no more: the very roses' odors Died in the arms of the adoring airs. All - all expired save thee - save less than thou: Save only divine light in thine eyes - Save but the soul in thine uplifted eyes. I saw but them - they were the world to me. I saw but them - saw only them for hours - Saw only them until the moon went down. What wild heart-histories seemed to lie enwritten Upon those crystalline, celestial spheres! How dark a wo! yet how sublime a hope! How silently serene a sea of pride! How daring an ambition! yet how deep - How fathomless a capacity for love! But now, at length, dear Dian sank from sight, Into a western couch of thunder-cloud; And thou, a ghost, amid the entombing trees Didst glide away. Only thine eyes remained. They would not go - they never yet have gone. Lighting my lonely pathway home that night, They have not left me (as my hopes have) since. They follow me - they lead me through the years. They are my ministers - yet I their slave. Their office is to illumine and enkindle - My duty, to be saved by their bright fire, And purified in their electric fire, And sanctified in their elysian fire. They fill my soul with Beauty (which is Hope,) And are far up in Heaven - the stars I kneel to In the sad, silent watches of my night; While even in the meridian glare of day I see them still - two sweetly scintillant Venuses, unextinguished by the sun!
Edgar Allan Poe (The Raven and Other Poems)
You will not remember much from school. School is designed to teach you how to respond and listen to authority figures in the event of an emergency. Like if there's a bomb in a mall or a fire in an office. It can, apparently, take you more than a decade to learn this. These are not the best days of your life. They are still ahead of you. You will fall in love and have your heart broken in many different, new and interesting ways in college or university (if you go) and you will actually learn things, as at this point, people will believe you have a good chance of obeying authority and surviving, in the event of an emergency. If, in your chosen career path, there are award shows that give out more than ten awards in one night or you have to pay someone to actually take the award home to put on your mantlepiece, then those awards are more than likely designed to make young people in their 20's work very late, for free, for other people. Those people will do their best to convince you that they have value. They don't. Only the things you do have real, lasting value, not the things you get for the things you do. You will, at some point, realise that no trophy loves you as much as you love it, that it cannot pay your bills (even if it increases your salary slightly) and that it won't hold your hand tightly as you say your last words on your deathbed. Only people who love you can do that. If you make art to feel better, make sure it eventually makes you feel better. If it doesn't, stop making it. You will love someone differently, as time passes. If you always expect to feel the same kind of love you felt when you first met someone, you will always be looking for new people to love. Love doesn't fade. It just changes as it grows. It would be boring if it didn't. There is no truly "right" way of writing, painting, being or thinking, only things which have happened before. People who tell you differently are assholes, petrified of change, who should be violently ignored. No philosophy, mantra or piece of advice will hold true for every conceivable situation. "The early bird catches the worm" does not apply to minefields. Perfection only exists in poetry and movies, everyone fights occasionally and no sane person is ever completely sure of anything. Nothing is wrong with any of this. Wisdom does not come from age, wisdom comes from doing things. Be very, very careful of people who call themselves wise, artists, poets or gurus. If you eat well, exercise often and drink enough water, you have a good chance of living a long and happy life. The only time you can really be happy, is right now. There is no other moment that exists that is more important than this one. Do not sacrifice this moment in the hopes of a better one. It is easy to remember all these things when they are being said, it is much harder to remember them when you are stuck in traffic or lying in bed worrying about the next day. If you want to move people, simply tell them the truth. Today, it is rarer than it's ever been. (People will write things like this on posters (some of the words will be bigger than others) or speak them softly over music as art (pause for effect). The reason this happens is because as a society, we need to self-medicate against apathy and the slow, gradual death that can happen to anyone, should they confuse life with actually living.)
pleasefindthis
I used to think love was two people sucking on the same straw to see whose thirst was stronger, but then I whiffed the crushed walnuts of your nape, traced jackals in the snow-covered tombstones of your teeth. I used to think love was a non-stop saxophone solo in the lungs, till I hung with you like a pair of sneakers from a phone line, and you promised to always smell the rose in my kerosene. I used to think love was terminal pelvic ballet, till you let me jog beside while you pedaled all over hell on the menstrual bicycle, your tongue ripping through my prairie like a tornado of paper cuts. I used to think love was an old man smashing a mirror over his knee, till you helped me carry the barbell of my spirit back up the stairs after my car pirouetted in the desert. You are my history book. I used to not believe in fairy tales till I played the dunce in sheep’s clothing and felt how perfectly your foot fit in the glass slipper of my ass. But then duty wrapped its phone cord around my ankle and yanked me across the continent. And now there are three thousand miles between the u and s in esophagus. And being without you is like standing at a cement-filled wall with a roll of Yugoslavian nickels and making a wish. Some days I miss you so much I’d jump off the roof of your office building just to catch a glimpse of you on the way down. I wish we could trade left eyeballs, so we could always see what the other sees. But you’re here, I’m there, and we have only words, a nightly phone call - one chance to mix feelings into syllables and pour into the receiver, hope they don’t disassemble in that calculus of wire. And lately - with this whole war thing - the language machine supporting it - I feel betrayed by the alphabet, like they’re injecting strychnine into my vowels, infecting my consonants, naming attack helicopters after shattered Indian tribes: Apache, Blackhawk; and West Bank colonizers are settlers, so Sharon is Davey Crockett, and Arafat: Geronimo, and it’s the Wild West all over again. And I imagine Picasso looking in a mirror, decorating his face in war paint, washing his brushes in venom. And I think of Jenin in all that rubble, and I feel like a Cyclops with two eyes, like an anorexic with three mouths, like a scuba diver in quicksand, like a shark with plastic vampire teeth, like I’m the executioner’s fingernail trying to reason with the hand. And I don’t know how to speak love when the heart is a busted cup filling with spit and paste, and the only sexual fantasy I have is busting into the Pentagon with a bazooka-sized pen and blowing open the minds of generals. And I comfort myself with the thought that we’ll name our first child Jenin, and her middle name will be Terezin, and we’ll teach her how to glow in the dark, and how to swallow firecrackers, and to never neglect the first straw; because no one ever talks about the first straw, it’s always the last straw that gets all the attention, but by then it’s way too late.
Jeffrey McDaniel
It was the general opinion of ancient nations, that the divinity alone was adequate to the important office of giving laws to men... and modern nations, in the consecrations of kings, and in several superstitious chimeras of divine rights in princes and nobles, are nearly unanimous in preserving remnants of it... Is the jealousy of power, and the envy of superiority, so strong in all men, that no considerations of public or private utility are sufficient to engage their submission to rules for their own happiness? Or is the disposition to imposture so prevalent in men of experience, that their private views of ambition and avarice can be accomplished only by artifice? — … There is nothing in which mankind have been more unanimous; yet nothing can be inferred from it more than this, that the multitude have always been credulous, and the few artful. The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature: and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had any interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the inspiration of heaven, any more than those at work upon ships or houses, or labouring in merchandize or agriculture: it will for ever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses. As Copley painted Chatham, West, Wolf, and Trumbull, Warren and Montgomery; as Dwight, Barlow, Trumbull, and Humphries composed their verse, and Belknap and Ramzay history; as Godfrey invented his quadrant, and Rittenhouse his planetarium; as Boylston practised inoculation, and Franklin electricity; as Paine exposed the mistakes of Raynal, and Jefferson those of Buffon, so unphilosophically borrowed from the Recherches Philosophiques sur les Américains those despicable dreams of de Pauw — neither the people, nor their conventions, committees, or sub-committees, considered legislation in any other light than ordinary arts and sciences, only as of more importance. Called without expectation, and compelled without previous inclination, though undoubtedly at the best period of time both for England and America, to erect suddenly new systems of laws for their future government, they adopted the method of a wise architect, in erecting a new palace for the residence of his sovereign. They determined to consult Vitruvius, Palladio, and all other writers of reputation in the art; to examine the most celebrated buildings, whether they remain entire or in ruins; compare these with the principles of writers; and enquire how far both the theories and models were founded in nature, or created by fancy: and, when this should be done, as far as their circumstances would allow, to adopt the advantages, and reject the inconveniences, of all. Unembarrassed by attachments to noble families, hereditary lines and successions, or any considerations of royal blood, even the pious mystery of holy oil had no more influence than that other of holy water: the people universally were too enlightened to be imposed on by artifice; and their leaders, or more properly followers, were men of too much honour to attempt it. Thirteen governments thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole quarter of the globe, are a great point gained in favour of the rights of mankind. [Preface to 'A Defence of the Constitutions of the United States of America', 1787]
John Adams (A Defense of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America: Akashic U.S. Presidents Series)
Once upon a time, there lived a boy and a girl. The boy was eighteen and the girl sixteen. He was not unusually handsome, and she was not especially beautiful. They were just an ordinary lonely boy and an ordinary lonely girl, like all the others. But they believed with their whole hearts that somewhere in the world there lived the 100% perfect boy and the 100% perfect girl for them. Yes, they believed in a miracle. And that miracle actually happened. One day the two came upon each other on the corner of a street. “This is amazing,” he said. “I’ve been looking for you all my life. You may not believe this, but you’re the 100% perfect girl for me.” “And you,” she said to him, “are the 100% perfect boy for me, exactly as I’d pictured you in every detail. It’s like a dream.” They sat on a park bench, held hands, and told each other their stories hour after hour. They were not lonely anymore. They had found and been found by their 100% perfect other. What a wonderful thing it is to find and be found by your 100% perfect other. It’s a miracle, a cosmic miracle. As they sat and talked, however, a tiny, tiny sliver of doubt took root in their hearts: Was it really all right for one’s dreams to come true so easily? And so, when there came a momentary lull in their conversation, the boy said to the girl, “Let’s test ourselves - just once. If we really are each other’s 100% perfect lovers, then sometime, somewhere, we will meet again without fail. And when that happens, and we know that we are the 100% perfect ones, we’ll marry then and there. What do you think?” “Yes,” she said, “that is exactly what we should do.” And so they parted, she to the east, and he to the west. The test they had agreed upon, however, was utterly unnecessary. They should never have undertaken it, because they really and truly were each other’s 100% perfect lovers, and it was a miracle that they had ever met. But it was impossible for them to know this, young as they were. The cold, indifferent waves of fate proceeded to toss them unmercifully. One winter, both the boy and the girl came down with the season’s terrible inluenza, and after drifting for weeks between life and death they lost all memory of their earlier years. When they awoke, their heads were as empty as the young D. H. Lawrence’s piggy bank. They were two bright, determined young people, however, and through their unremitting efforts they were able to acquire once again the knowledge and feeling that qualified them to return as full-fledged members of society. Heaven be praised, they became truly upstanding citizens who knew how to transfer from one subway line to another, who were fully capable of sending a special-delivery letter at the post office. Indeed, they even experienced love again, sometimes as much as 75% or even 85% love. Time passed with shocking swiftness, and soon the boy was thirty-two, the girl thirty. One beautiful April morning, in search of a cup of coffee to start the day, the boy was walking from west to east, while the girl, intending to send a special-delivery letter, was walking from east to west, but along the same narrow street in the Harajuku neighborhood of Tokyo. They passed each other in the very center of the street. The faintest gleam of their lost memories glimmered for the briefest moment in their hearts. Each felt a rumbling in their chest. And they knew: She is the 100% perfect girl for me. He is the 100% perfect boy for me. But the glow of their memories was far too weak, and their thoughts no longer had the clarity of fouteen years earlier. Without a word, they passed each other, disappearing into the crowd. Forever. A sad story, don’t you think?
Haruki Murakami (The Elephant Vanishes)
[excerpt] The usual I say. Essence. Spirit. Medicine. A taste. I say top shelf. Straight up. A shot. A sip. A nip. I say another round. I say brace yourself. Lift a few. Hoist a few. Work the elbow. Bottoms up. Belly up. Set ‘em up. What’ll it be. Name your poison. I say same again. I say all around. I say my good man. I say my drinking buddy. I say git that in ya. Then a quick one. Then a nightcap. Then throw one back. Then knock one down. Fast & furious I say. Could savage a drink I say. Chug. Chug-a-lug. Gulp. Sauce. Mother’s milk. Everclear. Moonshine. White lightning. Firewater. Hootch. Relief. Now you’re talking I say. Live a little I say. Drain it I say. Kill it I say. Feeling it I say. Wobbly. Breakfast of champions I say. I say candy is dandy but liquor is quicker. I say Houston, we have a drinking problem. I say the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems. I say god only knows what I’d be without you. I say thirsty. I say parched. I say wet my whistle. Dying of thirst. Lap it up. Hook me up. Watering hole. Knock a few back. Pound a few down. My office. Out with the boys I say. Unwind I say. Nurse one I say. Apply myself I say. Toasted. Glow. A cold one a tall one a frosty I say. One for the road I say. Two-fisted I say. Never trust a man who doesn’t drink I say. Drink any man under the table I say. Then a binge then a spree then a jag then a bout. Coming home on all fours. Could use a drink I say. A shot of confidence I say. Steady my nerves I say. Drown my sorrows. I say kill for a drink. I say keep ‘em comin’. I say a stiff one. Drink deep drink hard hit the bottle. Two sheets to the wind then. Knackered then. Under the influence then. Half in the bag then. Out of my skull I say. Liquored up. Rip-roaring. Slammed. Fucking jacked. The booze talking. The room spinning. Feeling no pain. Buzzed. Giddy. Silly. Impaired. Intoxicated. Stewed. Juiced. Plotzed. Inebriated. Laminated. Swimming. Elated. Exalted. Debauched. Rock on. Drunk on. Bring it on. Pissed. Then bleary. Then bloodshot. Glassy-eyed. Red-nosed. Dizzy then. Groggy. On a bender I say. On a spree. I say off the wagon. I say on a slip. I say the drink. I say the bottle. I say drinkie-poo. A drink a drunk a drunkard. Swill. Swig. Shitfaced. Fucked up. Stupefied. Incapacitated. Raging. Seeing double. Shitty. Take the edge off I say. That’s better I say. Loaded I say. Wasted. Off my ass. Befuddled. Reeling. Tanked. Punch-drunk. Mean drunk. Maintenance drunk. Sloppy drunk happy drunk weepy drunk blind drunk dead drunk. Serious drinker. Hard drinker. Lush. Drink like a fish. Boozer. Booze hound. Alkie. Sponge. Then muddled. Then woozy. Then clouded. What day is it? Do you know me? Have you seen me? When did I start? Did I ever stop? Slurring. Reeling. Staggering. Overserved they say. Drunk as a skunk they say. Falling down drunk. Crawling down drunk. Drunk & disorderly. I say high tolerance. I say high capacity. They say protective custody. Blitzed. Shattered. Zonked. Annihilated. Blotto. Smashed. Soaked. Screwed. Pickled. Bombed. Stiff. Frazzled. Blasted. Plastered. Hammered. Tore up. Ripped up. Destroyed. Whittled. Plowed. Overcome. Overtaken. Comatose. Dead to the world. The old K.O. The horrors I say. The heebie-jeebies I say. The beast I say. The dt’s. B’jesus & pink elephants. A mindbender. Hittin’ it kinda hard they say. Go easy they say. Last call they say. Quitting time they say. They say shut off. They say dry out. Pass out. Lights out. Blackout. The bottom. The walking wounded. Cross-eyed & painless. Gone to the world. Gone. Gonzo. Wrecked. Sleep it off. Wake up on the floor. End up in the gutter. Off the stuff. Dry. Dry heaves. Gag. White knuckle. Lightweight I say. Hair of the dog I say. Eye-opener I say. A drop I say. A slug. A taste. A swallow. Down the hatch I say. I wouldn’t say no I say. I say whatever he’s having. I say next one’s on me. I say bottoms up. Put it on my tab. I say one more. I say same again
Nick Flynn (Another Bullshit Night in Suck City)