The Office Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to The Office. Here they are! All 100 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))
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
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)
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 (Maryland Paperback Bookshelf))
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))
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))
In the morning it was morning and I was still alive.
Charles Bukowski (Post Office)
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: A Writer on Writing)
I wasn't much of a petty thief. I wanted the whole world or nothing.
Charles Bukowski (Post Office)
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))
Suspicion always haunts the guilty mind; The thief doth fear each bush an officer.
William Shakespeare (King Henry VI, Part 3)
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)
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)
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))
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)
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))
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))
He sounds like a politician running for office.
March Lions (The Last Sunset)
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))
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)
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))
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)
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))
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)
We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.
Aesop
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)
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
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)
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)
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
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))
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))
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 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))
The short memories of the American voters is what keeps our politicians in office.
Will Rogers
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))
Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died.
Erma Bombeck
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)
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'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))
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)
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)
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
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 (Published by the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture and the University of North Carolina Press))
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)
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)
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))
The big question was, what all was this society up to? They’d certainly been in and out of his office, as well as accidently running into him all around town. Had he inadvertently missed what this group of ladies knew? And worse yet, had he given himself away?
Kirsten Fullmer (Problems at the Pub (Sugar Mountain, #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
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))
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))
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))
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)
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))
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)
This royal throne of kings, this scepter’d 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, This nurse, this teeming womb of royal kings, Fear’d by their breed and famous by their birth, Renowned for their deeds as far from home, For Christian service and true chivalry, As is the sepulchre in stubborn Jewry Of the world’s ransom, blessed Mary’s Son, This land of such dear souls, this dear dear land, Dear for her reputation through the world, Is now leased out, I die pronouncing it, Like to a tenement or pelting farm: England, bound in with the triumphant sea, Whose rocky shore beats back the envious siege Of watery Neptune, is now bound in with shame, With inky blots and rotten parchment bonds: That England, that was wont to conquer others, Hath made a shameful conquest of itself. Ah, would the scandal vanish with my life, How happy then were my ensuing death!
William Shakespeare (Richard II)
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)
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))
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)
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)
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))
...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
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))
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)
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)
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
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))
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))
[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
...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)
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
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.
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 S. Thomas
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)
Nagumo was suddenly on his own. At this crucial time, the cost of his failure to learn the complicated factors that played into carrier operations suddenly exploded. Now, when every minute counted, it was too late to learn the complexities involved in loading different munitions on different types of planes on the hangar deck, too late to learn how the planes were organized and spotted on the flight decks, too late to learn the flight capabilities of his different types of planes, and far too late to know how to integrate all those factors into a fast-moving and efficient operation with the planes and ordnance available at that moment. Commander Genda, his brilliant operations officer, couldn’t make the decisions for him now. It was all up to Nagumo. At 0730 on June 4, 1942, years of shipbuilding, training, and strategic planning had all come to this moment. Teams of highly trained pilots, flight deck personnel, mechanics, and hundreds of other sailors were ready and awaiting his command. The entire course of the battle, of the Combined Fleet, and even perhaps of Japan were going to bear the results of his decisions, then and there.
Dale A. Jenkins (Diplomats & Admirals: From Failed Negotiations and Tragic Misjudgments to Powerful Leaders and Heroic Deeds, the Untold Story of the Pacific War from Pearl Harbor to Midway)
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
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)
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))
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)
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
A moth goes into a podiatrist’s office, and the podiatrist’s office says, “What seems to be the problem, moth?” The moth says “What’s the problem? Where do I begin, man? I go to work for Gregory Illinivich, and all day long I work. Honestly doc, I don’t even know what I’m doing anymore. I don’t even know if Gregory Illinivich knows. He only knows that he has power over me, and that seems to bring him happiness. But I don’t know, I wake up in a malaise, and I walk here and there… at night I…I sometimes wake up and I turn to some old lady in my bed that’s on my arm. A lady that I once loved, doc. I don’t know where to turn to. My youngest, Alexendria, she fell in the…in the cold of last year. The cold took her down, as it did many of us. And my other boy, and this is the hardest pill to swallow, doc. My other boy, Gregarro Ivinalititavitch… I no longer love him. As much as it pains me to say, when I look in his eyes, all I see is the same cowardice that I… that I catch when I take a glimpse of my own face in the mirror. If only I wasn’t such a coward, then perhaps…perhaps I could bring myself to reach over to that cocked and loaded gun that lays on the bedside behind me and end this hellish facade once and for all…Doc, sometimes I feel like a spider, even though I’m a moth, just barely hanging on to my web with an everlasting fire underneath me. I’m not feeling good. And so the doctor says, “Moth, man, you’re troubled. But you should be seeing a psychiatrist. Why on earth did you come here?” And the moth says, “‘Cause the light was on.
Norm Macdonald
Time moves so fucking fast. Blink, and you’re halfway through school, paralyzed by the idea that whatever you choose to do, it means choosing not to do a hundred other things, so you change your major half a dozen times before finally ending up in theology, and for a while it seems like the right path, but that’s really just a reflex to the pride on your parents’ faces, because they assume they’ve got a budding rabbi, but the truth is, you have no desire to practice, you see the holy texts as stories, sweeping epics, and the more you study, the less you believe in any of it. Blink, and you’re twenty-four, and you travel through Europe, thinking—hoping—that the change will spark something in you, that a glimpse of the greater, grander world will bring your own into focus. And for a little while, it does. But there’s no job, no future, only an interlude, and when it’s over, your bank account is dry, and you’re not any closer to anything. Blink, and you’re twenty-six, and you’re called into the dean’s office because he can tell that your heart’s not in it anymore, and he advises you to find another path, and he assures you that you’ll find your calling, but that’s the whole problem, you’ve never felt called to any one thing. There is no violent push in one direction, but a softer nudge a hundred different ways, and now all of them feel out of reach. Blink and you’re twenty-eight, and everyone else is now a mile down the road, and you’re still trying to find it, and the irony is hardly lost on you that in wanting to live, to learn, to find yourself, you’ve gotten lost.
V.E. Schwab (The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue)
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 anaesthetic 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.
Philip Larkin (Collected Poems)
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
...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)
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)