Trolley Quotes

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

And do I look like the kind of man that can be intimidated?" barked Uncle Vernon. "Well..." said Moody, pushing back his bowler hat to reveal his sinisterly revolving eye. Uncle Vernon lept backward in horror and collided painfully with a luggage trolley. "Yes, I'd have to say you do, Dursley.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5))
Envy is a really stupid sin because it’s the only one you could never possibly have any fun at. There’s a lot of pain and no fun. Why would you want to get on that trolley?
Charles T. Munger (Charlie Munger: The Complete Investor (Columbia Business School Publishing))
A story has to glide like a yacht, not bump along like a supermarket trolley.
Kevin Ansbro
Sleep was a vehicle for passing the time, for avoiding the present. It was a trolley for the depressed, the impatient, and the dying.
Hugh Howey (Dust (Silo, #3))
He helped the Librarian up. There was a red glow in the ape's eyes. It had tried to steal his books. This was probably the best proof any wizard could require that the trolleys were brainless.
Terry Pratchett (Reaper Man (Discworld, #11; Death, #2))
I am the Trolley of Love. Free rides before noon and after 11:58 am!

Dark Jar Tin Zoo (Love Quotes for the Ages. Specifically Ages 19-91.)
The words "I´m sorry" felt like an insult. You said "I´m sorry" when you bumped against someone´s supermarket trolley. There need to be bigger words.
Liane Moriarty (The Husband's Secret)
It can’t be said enough. Don’t concern yourself with fashion; stick to simple pieces that flatter your body type. By nineteen, I had found my look. Oversize T-shirts, bike shorts, and wrestling shoes. To prevent the silhouette from being too baggy, I would cinch it at the waist with my fanny pack. I was pretty sure I would wear this look forever. The shirts allowed me to express myself with cool sayings like “There’s No Crying in Baseball” and “Universität Heidelberg,” the bike shorts showed off my muscular legs, and the fanny pack held all my trolley tokens. I was nailing it on a daily basis. Find something like this for yourself as soon as possible.
Tina Fey (Bossypants)
Are you threatening me, sir?” he said, so loudly that passersby actually turned to stare. “Yes, I am,” said Mad-Eye, who seemed rather pleased that Uncle Vernon had grasped this fact so quickly. “And do I look like the kind of man who can be intimidated?” barked Uncle Vernon. “Well...” said Moody, pushing back his bowler hat to reveal his sinisterly revolving magical eye. Uncle Vernon leapt backward in horror and collided painfully with a luggage trolley. “Yes, I’d have to say you do, Dursley.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5))
The dead man is on the trolley and the woman collapses across his chest. That's what the ghouls want a shufti at, like at that Princess Diana's funeral, they want to scrutinise those who really knew her, to drink the misery out of their faces.
Irvine Welsh (Filth)
Women were still strange and inscrutable creatures. Men didn’t understand them. And women didn’t understand themselves either. It was always a performance of some sort. Everywhere you went, it was like there was a spotlight shining down on your head. You were on a stage when you were on the trolley. You were being judged and judged and judged. Every minute of your performance was supposed to be incredible and outstanding and sexy. You were often only an ethical question away from being a prostitute.
Heather O'Neill (The Lonely Hearts Hotel)
Yawning, I stumbled off the trolley after him and tried to get out of the way of people rushing aboard. Apparently manners weren' t a thing of the past. They' d never existed at all.
Tamara Allen (Downtime)
Nothing is important, so people, realising that, should get on with their lives, go mad, take their clothes off, jump in the canal, jump into one of those supermarket trolleys, race around the supermarket and steal Mars bars and kiss kittens.
Morrissey
She thought that trying to live life according to any plan you actually work out is like trying to buy ingredients for a recipe from the supermarket. You get one of those trolleys which simply will not go in the direction you push it and end up just having to buy completely different stuff. What do you do with it? What do you do with the recipe? She didn't know.
Douglas Adams (Mostly Harmless (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #5))
I thought of the cool, fresh air of the city I'd always dreamed of living in. The art museums and trolleys and the mysterious fog that blanketed it. I could almost smell the cappuccinos I'd planned to drink in bohemian cafes or hear the indie music in the bookstores I would spend my free time in. I pictured the friends I'd make, my kindred art people, and the dorm room I was supposed to move into.
Heather Demetrios (I'll Meet You There)
I knew he was unreliable, but he was fun to be with. He was a child’s ideal companion, full of surprises and happy animal energy. He enjoyed food and drink. He liked to try new things. He brought home coconuts, papayas, mangoes, and urged them on our reluctant conservative selves. On Sundays he liked to discover new places, take us on endless bus or trolley rides to some new park or beach he knew about. He always counseled daring, in whatever situation, the courage to test the unknown, an instruction that was thematically in opposition to my mother’s.
E.L. Doctorow (World's Fair)
Oskar knew people would catch that trolley anyhow. Doors closed, no stops, machine guns on walls—it wouldn’t matter. Humans were incurable that way. People would try to get off it, someone’s loyal Polish maid with a parcel of sausage. And people would try to get on, some fast-moving athletic young man like Leopold Pfefferberg with a pocketful of diamonds or Occupation złoty or a message in code for the partisans. People responded to any slim chance, even if it was an outside one, its doors locked shut, moving fast between mute walls.
Thomas Keneally (Schindler’s List)
The more he rode the trolleys and trains of New York, the more they seemed to form a giant, malevolent bellows, inhaling defenseless passengers from platforms and street corners and blowing them out again elsewhere.
Helene Wecker (The Golem and the Jinni (The Golem and the Jinni, #1))
Children. There was no particular gurney for children and few things made Benke feel as uncomfortable as seeing the empty spaces left over on the trolley when he was transporting the body of a child; the little figure under the white cover, pushed up against the headboard. The lower half empty, the sheet smooth. That flat sheet was death itself.
John Ajvide Lindqvist (Let the Right One In)
Think of me as the porter . . . and consider the possiblity that life might be less exhausting if you unloaded some of your bags on to my empty trolley.
Susan Howatch (Glittering Images (Starbridge, #1))
Gripped with bitter cold, ice-locked, Petersburg burned in delirium. One knew: out there, invisible behind the curtain of fog, the red and yellow columns, spires, and hoary gates and fences crept on tiptoe, creaking and shuffling. A fevered, impossible, icy sun hung in the fog - to the left, to the right, above, below - a dove over a house on fire. From the delirium-born, misty world, dragon men dived up into the earthly world, belched fog - heard in the misty world as words, but here becoming nothing - round white puffs of smoke. The dragon men dived up and disappeared again into the fog. And trolleys rushed screeching out of the earthly world into the unknown. ("The Dragon")
Yevgeny Zamyatin (The Dragon: Fifteen Stories (English and Russian Edition))
I wandered out like a haggard ghost, and there she was, Frisco - long, bleak streets with trolley wires all shrouded in fog and whiteness. I stumbled around a few blocks. Weird bums (Mission and Third) asked me for dimes in the dawn.
Jack Kerouac (On the Road)
When we spoke about attempts to give a man in camp mental courage, we said that he had to be shown something to look forward to in the future. He had to be reminded that life still waited for him, that a human being waited for his return. But after liberation? There were some men who found that no one awaited them. Woe to him who found that the person whose memory alone had given him courage in camp did not exist any more! Woe to him who, when the day of his dreams finally came, found it so different from all he had longed for! Perhaps he boarded a trolley, traveled out to the home which he had seen for years in his mind, and only in his mind, and pressed the bell, just as he has longed to do in thousands of dreams, only to find that the person who should open the door was not there, and would never be there again.
Viktor E. Frankl (Man’s Search for Meaning)
I used to fear their deaths--the car! the dog! the sea! the germ!--until I realized it need never be a problem: on the trolley, on the way to the mortuary, I would put my hands into their ribs and take their hearts and swallow them, and give birth to them again, so that they would never, ever end.
Caitlin Moran (How to Be a Woman)
H. L Mencken's Dictionary of the American Language supplies a long list of slang terms for being drunk, but the Irish are no slouches, either. They're spannered, rat-arsed, cabbaged, and hammered; ruined, legless, scorched, and blottoed; or simply trolleyed or sloshed. In Kerry, you're said to be flamin'; in Waterford, you're in the horrors; and in Cavan, you've gone baloobas, a tough one to wrap your tongue around if you ARE baloobas. In Donegal, you're steamin', while the afflicted in Limerick are out of their tree.
Bill Barich (A Pint of Plain)
So the whole conversation is going right off course. It's like a supermarket trolley with a wonky wheel, because all the time I'm thinking, this should be easy to push along, and everything I say just takes me in the wrong direction.
Nick Hornby (A Long Way Down)
In the corridor outside, a trolley squeaks by. The brigadier I knew has left his bombed-out face, leaving me alone with the clock, shelves of handsome books nobody ever reads, and one certainty: that whatever I do with my life, however much power, wealth, experience, knowledge, or beauty I’ll accrue, I, too, will end up like this vulnerable old man. When I look at Brigadier Reginald Philby, I’m looking down time’s telescope at myself.
David Mitchell (The Bone Clocks)
He stops and turns to me. “Do you think people would stare if I threw you over my shoulder? Because I really want to do that. Then I can ogle your ass and just run.” The look in his eye is a little manic. For a second, I think he’s going to do it. Then he spies the heavily armed security officer a few feet away. “Excuse me, sir?” he says, and the guard looks at him. “Would it be acceptable to carry my girlfriend like a sack of potatoes in order to get out of here quicker and make sweet love to her?” The guard’s mouth moves, but he resists smiling. “No, sir, that would not be acceptable.” “Piggyback?” “Nope.” “Put her on a trolley?” “No.” “You’re no fun.” “So my wife keeps telling me.
Leisa Rayven (Broken Juliet (Starcrossed, #2))
Who's that? (Silence.) Who's there? (Silence.) God? Not exactly. Well, who? Where do I start? I'm the butterfly antenna. I'm the chemicals that paint's made of. I'm the person dead at the water's edge. I'm the water. I'm the edge. I'm the skin cells. I'm the smell of disinfectant. I'm that thing they rub against your mouth to moisten it, can you feel it? I'm soft. I'm hard. I'm glass. I'm sand. I'm a yellow plastic bottle. I'm all the plastics in the seas and in the guts of all the fishes. I'm the fishes. I'm the seas. I'm molluscs in the seas. I'm the flattened-out old beer can. I'm the shopping trolley in the canal. I'm the note on the stave, the bird on the line. I'm the stave. I'm the line. I'm spiders. I'm seeds. I'm water. I'm heart. I'm the cotton of the sheet. ..... I'm pollution. I'm a fall of horseshit on a country road a hundred years ago. ... I'm the fly .....I haven't even started telling you what I am. I'm everything that makes everything. I'm everything that unmakes everything. .... I'm the voice that tells no story.
Ali Smith (Autumn (Seasonal Quartet, #1))
They had chains which they fastened about the leg of the nearest hog, and the other end of the chain they hooked into one of the rings upon the wheel. So, as the wheel turned, a hog was suddenly jerked off his feet and borne aloft. At the same instant the ear was assailed by a most terrifying shriek; the visitors started in alarm, the women turned pale and shrank back. The shriek was followed by another, louder and yet more agonizing--for once started upon that journey, the hog never came back; at the top of the wheel he was shunted off upon a trolley and went sailing down the room. And meantime another was swung up, and then another, and another, until there was a double line of them, each dangling by a foot and kicking in frenzy--and squealing. The uproar was appalling, perilous to the ear-drums; one feared there was too much sound for the room to hold--that the walls must give way or the ceiling crack. There were high squeals and low squeals, grunts, and wails of agony; there would come a momentary lull, and then a fresh outburst, louder than ever, surging up to a deafening climax. It was too much for some of the visitors--the men would look at each other, laughing nervously, and the women would stand with hands clenched, and the blood rushing to their faces, and the tears starting in their eyes. Meantime, heedless of all these things, the men upon the floor were going about their work. Neither squeals of hogs nor tears of visitors made any difference to them; one by one they hooked up the hogs, and one by one with a swift stroke they slit their throats. There was a long line of hogs, with squeals and life-blood ebbing away together; until at last each started again, and vanished with a splash into a huge vat of boiling water. It was all so very businesslike that one watched it fascinated. It was pork-making by machinery, pork-making by applied mathematics. And yet somehow the most matter-of-fact person could not help thinking of the hogs; they were so innocent, they came so very trustingly; and they were so very human in their protests--and so perfectly within their rights! They had done nothing to deserve it; and it was adding insult to injury, as the thing was done here, swinging them up in this cold-blooded, impersonal way, without a pretence at apology, without the homage of a tear. Now and then a visitor wept, to be sure; but this slaughtering-machine ran on, visitors or no visitors. It was like some horrible crime committed in a dungeon, all unseen and unheeded, buried out of sight and of memory.
Upton Sinclair (The Jungle)
Squeezed against each other in the heavy heat, they were silent...looking toward the home that was expecting them--quiet, perspiring, resigned to this existence divided among a soulless job, long trips coming and going in an uncomfortable trolley, and at the end an abrupt sleep. On some evenings it would sadden Jacques to look at them. Until then he had only known the riches and the joys of poverty. But now heat and boredom and fatigue were showing him their curse, the curse of work so stupid you could weep and so interminably monotonous that it made the days too long and, at the same time, life too short.
Albert Camus (The First Man)
They've committed a *murder*! And it's not like taking a trolley ride together where they can get off at different stops. They're stuck with each other and they got to ride all the way to the end of the line and it's a one-way trip and the last stop is the cemetery.
James M. Cain (Double Indemnity)
The corridors and rooms were starting to fill with unfamiliar faces and patients the size of small whales being wheeled past on trolleys.
Henry Marsh (Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death, and Brain Surgery)
There’s nothing quite like a perfectly stocked maid’s trolley early in the morning. It is, in my humble opinion, a cornucopia of bounty and beauty.
Nita Prose (The Maid (Molly the Maid, #1))
Life is conceived as a vast supermarket through which one moves with one’s shopping trolley, fetching down ways of life from shelves marked “Existential choices.
Theodore Dalrymple (The New Vichy Syndrome: Why European Intellectuals Surrender to Barbarism)
Holy fuckity cunticles—” I didn’t know what I was saying. Couldn’t do anything but swear. “Arsehole twat trolley!
K.F. Breene (A Throne of Ruin (Deliciously Dark Fairytales, #2))
So he bought tickets to the Greyhound and they climbed, painfully, inch by inch and with the knowledge that, once they reached the top, there would be one breath-taking moment when the car would tip precariously into space, over an incline six stories steep and then plunge, like a plunging plane. She buried her head against him, fearing to look at the park spread below. He forced himself to look: thousands of little people and hundreds of bright little stands, and over it all the coal-smoke pall of the river factories and railroad yards. He saw in that moment the whole dim-lit city on the last night of summer; the troubled streets that led to the abandoned beaches, the for-rent signs above overnight hotels and furnished basement rooms, moving trolleys and rising bridges: the cagework city, beneath a coalsmoke sky.
Nelson Algren (Never Come Morning)
The most frills-free airliner cannot compare with the rear of a C-130. No soundproofing, no heating, no pressurization and certainly no trolley service. The Tracker knew it would never get quieter but it would become savagely cold as the air thinned. Nor is the rear leak-proof. Despite the oxygen-delivering mask on his face, the place by now stank of kerosene and oil.
Frederick Forsyth (The Kill List)
She meant I was hungover. I had been slaughtered, legless, trolleyed, slashed, shredded, plastered, polluted, pissed. I thought, I do love my country's relationship with alcohol. How would I ever exist in the United States? I suppose I would have grief counselling instead. (77)
Peter Carey (The Chemistry of Tears)
If you have read this far in the chronicle of the Baudelaire orphans - and I certainly hope you have not - then you know we have reached the thirteenth chapter of the thirteenth volume in this sad history, and so you know the end is near, even though this chapter is so lengthy that you might never reach the end of it. But perhaps you do not yet know what the end really means. "The end" is a phrase which refers to the completion of a story, or the final moment of some accomplishment, such as a secret errand, or a great deal of research, and indeed this thirteenth volume marks the completion of my investigation into the Baudelaire case, which required much research, a great many secret errands, and the accomplishments of a number of my comrades, from a trolley driver to a botanical hybridization expert, with many, many typewriter repairpeople in between. But it cannot be said that The End contains the end of the Baudelaires' story, any more than The Bad Beginning contained its beginning. The children's story began long before that terrible day on Briny Beach, but there would have to be another volume to chronicle when the Baudelaires were born, and when their parents married, and who was playing the violin in the candlelit restaurant when the Baudelaire parents first laid eyes on one another, and what was hidden inside that violin, and the childhood of the man who orphaned the girl who put it there, and even then it could not be said that the Baudelaires' story had not begun, because you would still need to know about a certain tea party held in a penthouse suite, and the baker who made the scones served at the tea party, and the baker's assistant who smuggled the secret ingredient into the scone batter through a very narrow drainpipe, and how a crafty volunteer created the illusion of a fire in the kitchen simply by wearing a certain dress and jumping around, and even then the beginning of the story would be as far away as the shipwreck that leftthe Baudelaire parents as castaways on the coastal shelf is far away from the outrigger on which the islanders would depart. One could say, in fact, that no story really has a beginning, and that no story really has an end, as all of the world's stories are as jumbled as the items in the arboretum, with their details and secrets all heaped together so that the whole story, from beginning to end, depends on how you look at it. We might even say that the world is always in medias res - a Latin phrase which means "in the midst of things" or "in the middle of a narrative" - and that it is impossible to solve any mystery, or find the root of any trouble, and so The End is really the middle of the story, as many people in this history will live long past the close of Chapter Thirteen, or even the beginning of the story, as a new child arrives in the world at the chapter's close. But one cannot sit in the midst of things forever. Eventually one must face that the end is near, and the end of The End is quite near indeed, so if I were you I would not read the end of The End, as it contains the end of a notorious villain but also the end of a brave and noble sibling, and the end of the colonists' stay on the island, as they sail off the end of the coastal shelf. The end of The End contains all these ends, and that does not depend on how you look at it, so it might be best for you to stop looking at The End before the end of The End arrives, and to stop reading The End before you read the end, as the stories that end in The End that began in The Bad Beginning are beginning to end now.
Lemony Snicket (The End (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #13))
An oxymoronic combination of the tough and tender, [Of Mice and Men] will appeal to sentimental cynics, cynical sentimentalists...Readers less easily thrown off their trolley will still prefer Hans Andersen. [Time 1937]
Time-Life Books
Look what can happen in this country, they'd say. A girl lives in some out-of-the-way town for 19 years, so poor she can't afford a magazine, and then she gets a scholarship to college and wins a prize here and a prize there and ends up steering New York like her own private car. Only I wasn't steering anything, not even myself. I bumped from my hotel to work and to parties and from parties to my hotel and back to work like a numb trolley-bus.
Sylvia Plath (The Bell Jar)
In front of the group was a legless man on a small wheeled trolley, who was singing at the top of his voice and banging two saucepans together. His name was Arnold Sideways. Pushing him along was Coffin Henry, whose croaking progress through an entirely different song was punctuated by bouts of off-the-beat coughing. He was accompanied by a perfectly ordinary-looking manin torn, dirty and yet expensive looking clothing, whose pleasant tenor voice was drowned out by the quaking of a duck on his head. He answered to the name of Duck Man, although he never seemed to understand why, or why he was always surrounded by people who seemed to see ducks where no ducks could be. And finally, being towed along by a small grey dog on a string, was Foul Ole Ron, generally regarded in Ankh-Morpork as the deranged beggars' deranged beggar. He was probably incapable of singing, but at least he was attempting to swear in time to the beat, or beats. The wassailers stopped and watched them in horror. People have always had the urge to sing and clang things at the dark stub of the year, when all sorts of psychic nastiness has taken advantage of the long grey days and the deep shadows to lurk and breed. Lately people had taken to singing harmoniously, which rather lost the affect. Those who really understood just clanged something and shouted. The beggars were not in fact this well versed in folkloric practice. They were just making a din in the well-founded hope that people would give them money to stop. It was just possible to make out consensus song in there somewhere. "Hogswatch is coming, The pig is getting fat, Please put a dollar in the old man's hat If you ain't got a dollar a penny will do-" "And if you ain't got a penny," Foul Ole Ron yodeled, solo, 'Then- fghfgh yffg mfmfmf..." The Duck man had, with great Presence of mind, clamped a hand over Ron's mouth.
Terry Pratchett (Hogfather (Discworld, #20; Death, #4))
Going home in the trolley, Francie held the shoebox in her lap because Mama had no lap now. Francie thought deep thoughts during her ride. 'If what Granma Mary Rommely said is true, then it must be that no one ever dies, really. Papa is gone, but he's still here in many ways. He's here in Neeley who looks just like him and in Mama who knew him so long. He's here in his mother who began him and who is still living. Maybe I will have a boy some day who looks like Papa and has all of Papa's good without the drinking. And that boy will have a boy. And that boy will have a boy. It might be there is no real death.' Her thougths went to McGarrity. 'No one would ever believe there was any part of Papa in him.
Betty Smith (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn)
I hated and loved him in turns, as witches will do, for our hearts are strange and inexplicable.
Ellen Datlow (Troll's-Eye View: A Book of Villainous Tales)
But mum was tough. No matter how fancily she dressed, she couldn't hide her true nature. Everyone at school was scared of her. Especially the other mums. She once knocked out a man with a single punch when he barged her trolley in Sainsbury's.
Matthew Crow (In Bloom)
The notion of children makes me ill. The thought of having one... when you see those guys in the supermarket, wheeling the trolley around while their brats whine and wheedle and some blundering sow questions every little thing they take off the shelves. I mean, just the fucking idea of it, the very word: family. Whenever I see it, on travel brochures, on house schedules... I feel sick.
John Niven (Kill Your Friends)
And then they were at the end of the line, the silver tracks, abandoned for eighteen years, ran on into rolling country. In 1910 people took the trolley out to Chessman's Park with vast picnic hampers. The track, never ripped up, still lay rusting among the hills.
Ray Bradbury (Dandelion Wine)
I can’t blame all this for my drinking—I can’t blame my parents or my childhood, an abusive uncle or some terrible tragedy. It’s my fault. I was a drinker anyway—I’ve always liked to drink. But I did become sadder, and sadness gets boring after a while, for the sad person and for everyone around them. And then I went from being a drinker to being a drunk, and there’s nothing more boring than that. I’m better now, about the children thing; I’ve got better since I’ve been on my own. I’ve had to. I’ve read books and articles, I’ve realized that I must come to terms with it. There are strategies, there is hope. If I straightened myself out and sobered up, there’s a possibility that I could adopt. And I’m not thirty-four yet—it isn’t over. I am better than I was a few years ago, when I used to abandon my trolley and leave the supermarket if the place was packed with mums and kids; I wouldn’t have been able to come to a park like this, to sit near the playground and watch chubby toddlers rolling down the slide. There were times, at my lowest, when the hunger was at its worst, when I thought I was going to lose my mind.
Paula Hawkins (The Girl on the Train)
Arnold started to investigate the charitable donations as they maneuvered his trolley through the slush and drifts. “Tastes…sort of familiar,” he said. “Familiar like what?” “Like mud and old boots.” “Garn! That’s posh grub, that is.” “Yeah, yeah…” Arnold chewed for a while. “You don’t think we’ve become posh all of a sudden?” “Dunno. You posh, Ron?” “Buggrit.” “Yep. Sounds posh to me.” The snow began to settle gently on the River Ankh. “Still…Happy New Year, Arnold.” “Happy New Year, Duck Man. And your duck.” “What duck?” “Happy New Year, Henry.” “Happy New Year, Ron.” “Buggrem!” “And god bless us, every one,” said Arnold Sideways. The curtain of snow hid them from view. “Which god?” “Dunno. What’ve you got?
Terry Pratchett (Hogfather (Discworld, #20; Death, #4))
But Douglas, standing on the lawn, was seeing how it would be tomorrow, when the men would pour hot tar over the silver tracks so you would never know a trolley had ever run this way. He knew it would take as many years as he could think of now to forget the tracks, no matter how deeply buried.
Ray Bradbury (Dandelion Wine)
Drawing a good figure doesn’t make you a good artist. I can name you ten men, right off the bat, who draw better than I do. But I don’t think their work gets as much response as mine. I can’t think of a better man to draw Dick Tracy than Chester Gould, who certainly is no match for Leonardo Da Vinci. But Chester Gould told the story of Dick Tracy. He told the story of Dick Tracy the way it should have been told. No other guy could have done it. It’s not in the draftsmanship, it’s in the man. Like I say, a tool is dead. A brush is a dead object. It’s in the man. If you want to do, you do it. If you think a man draws the type of hands that you want to draw, steal ‘em. Take those hands. The only thing I can say is: Caniff was my teacher, Alex Raymond was my teacher, even the guy who drew Toonerville Trolley was my teacher. Whatever he had stimulated me in some way. And I think that’s all you need. You need that stimulation. Stimulation to make you an individual. And the draftsmanship, hang it. If you can decently: learn to control what you can, learn to control what you have, learn to refine what you have. Damn perfection. You don’t have to be perfect. You are never going to do a Sistine Chapel, unless someone ties you to a ceiling. Damn perfection. All a man has in this field is pressure. And I think the pressure supplies a stimulation. You have your own stresses, that will supply your own stimulation. If you want to do it, you’ll do it. And you’ll do it anyway you can.
Jack Kirby
I saw the same joy, the same uncontrollable smile in the faces of a Nigerian earth mama, a thin-lipped Scottish granny and a pale correct Japanese businessman as they wheeled their trolleys in and recognised a figure in the expectant crowd. Observing human variety can give pleasure, but so too can human sameness
Ian McEwan (Enduring Love)
I wasn’t in the mood to talk. The mournful sound of the rubber wheels of the tea trolley squeaking on the lino floor was the right soundtrack for the end of the world. Sometimes the tea lady lost her grip and the trolley hit the corners of the walls and beds. It was the equivalent of waterfalls and parrots in my new terrible world.
Deborah Levy (The Man Who Saw Everything)
Most satyrs excel at running away. Gleeson Hedge, however, was not most satyrs. He grabbed a barrel brush from his cart, yelled, "DIE!" and charged the three-hundred-pound manager. Even the automatons were too surprised to react, which probably saved Hedge's life. I grabbed the satyr's collar and dragged him backwards as the employees' first shots went wild, a barrage of bright orange discount stickers flying over our heads. I pulled Hedge down the aisle as he launched a fierce kick, overturning his shopping trolley at our enemies' feet. Another discount sticker grazed my arm with the force of an angry Titaness's slap. "Careful!" Macro yelled at his men. "I need Apollo in one piece, not half-off!
Rick Riordan (The Burning Maze (The Trials of Apollo, #3))
He's a waiter, not a Mafia stooge, so what's he going to do? Black pepper them to death? Compliment them into a coma? Run them over with the dessert trolley?
Marian Keyes (Watermelon (Walsh Family, #1))
shopping trolleys
Lee Child (The Hard Way (Jack Reacher, #10))
The closer the trolley got to the local steel works, the more worried Julius got. He had thought they might pass a lake on the way and that they’d be able to dump the corpse in it. But they didn’t. And before Julius had time to worry any further, the trolley rolled into the foundry yard. Julius applied the brakes just in time. The corpse fell forwards and hit his forehead on an iron handle. ‘That would have been really painful if the circumstances had been a little different,’ said Allan. ‘There are undoubtedly advantages to being dead,’ said Julius.
Jonas Jonasson (Der Hundertjährige, der aus dem Fenster stieg und verschwand)
All morning he organized the silver polishers and cake decorators, the oilers of trolley wheels and lift gates, the lint and vomit removers, the replacers of soap at each sink, the replacers of chlorine medallions in the urinals, and the men hosing the pavement outside the entrance, as well as immigrants who squeezed out English names they had never spelled before onto birthday cakes, diced up onions, slashed open pigs with terrible knives, or prepared whatever else would be desired twelve hours later in the Ivor Novello Room or the Miguel Invernio Room.
Michael Ondaatje (Warlight)
He knew it would take as many years as he could think of now to forget the tracks, no matter how deeply buried. Some morning in autumn, spring, or winter he knew he’d wake and, if he didn’t go near the window, if he just lay deep and snug and warm, in his bed, he would hear it, faint and far away. And around the bend of the morning street, up the avenue, between the even rows of sycamore, elm and maple, it the quietness before the start of living, past his house he would hear the familiar sounds. Like the ticking of a clock, the rumble of a dozen metal barrels rolling, the hum of single immense dragonfly at dawn. Like a merry-go-round like a small electrical storm, the color of blue lightning, coming, here, and gone. The trolley’s chime! The hiss like a soda-fountain spigot as it let down and took up its step, and the starting of the dream again, as on it sailed along its way, traveling a hidden and buried track to some hidden and buried destination.
Ray Bradbury (Dandelion Wine)
I escaped out of the pitch-black customs area, and in the darkness everybody merged with their bags and suitcases, fusing together like shadows worn thin; they looked like ghosts, passing through a station to the other world. Carrying backpacks and pushing trolleys, as though the weight and bulk of their luggage were a final, definitive record of who they had been in life, like a funeral guestbook.
Bae Suah (Untold Night and Day)
Luckily, literature—and by “literature” I mean comic books—provides us a way to discuss issues like these without having to experience them. We don’t have to trick people into standing in front of a runaway trolley, and we don’t have to have a real-life Batman and Joker. That’s what thought experiments are for—they let us play through an imaginary scenario and imagine what we should or shouldn’t do.
William Irwin (Superheroes: The Best of Philosophy and Pop Culture)
TROLLEY WITCH People don’t know much about me. They buy my Cauldron Cakes – but they never really notice me. I don’t remember the last time someone asked my name. ALBUS What is your name? TROLLEY WITCH I’ve forgotten.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child)
Would you rather have people be helpful or not? It turns out that having little nice things happen to them is a much better way of making them helpful than spending a huge amount of energy on improving their characters.”5
David Edmonds (Would You Kill the Fat Man?: The Trolley Problem and What Your Answer Tells Us about Right and Wrong)
But it was the figure you cut as an employee, on an employee's footing with the girls, in work clothes, and being of that tin-tough, creaking, jazzy bazaar of hardware, glassware, chocolate, chickenfeed, jewelry, drygoods, oilcloth, and song hits--that was the big thing; and even being the Atlases of it, under the floor, hearing how the floor bore up under the ambling weight of hundreds, with the fanning, breathing movie organ next door and the rumble descending from the trolleys on Chicago Avenue--the bloody-rinded Saturday gloom of wind-bourne ash, and blackened forms of five-story buildings rising up to a blind Northern dimness from the Christmas blaze of shops.
Saul Bellow (The Adventures of Augie March)
Imagine that a trolley car is going down a track. Further down the track are five people who do not hear the trolley and who will not be able to get out of the way. Unfortunately, there isn’t enough time to stop the trolley before it hits and kills them. The only way to avoid killing these five people is to switch the trolley to another track. But, unfortunately, there is one person standing on that track, also too close for the trolley to stop before killing him. Now imagine that there is a bystander standing by the track switch who must make a choice: do nothing, which leads to the death of the five people on the current track, or act to divert the trolley to the other track, which leads to the death of the single person.
Mark D. White (Batman and Philosophy: The Dark Knight of the Soul (The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Book 9))
Very few people know where they will die, But I do; in a brick-faced hospital, Divided, not unlike Caesarean Gaul, Into three parts; the Dean Memorial Wing, in the classic cast of 1910, Green-grated in unglazed, Aeolian Embrasures; the Maud Wiggin Building, which Commemorates a dog-jawed Boston bitch Who fought the brass down to their whipcord knees In World War I, and won enlisted men Some decent hospitals, and, being rich, Donated her own granite monument; The Mandeville Pavilion, pink-brick tent With marble piping, flying snapping flags Above the entry where our bloody rags Are rolled in to be sponged and sewn again. Today is fair; tomorrow, scourging rain (If only my own tears) will see me in Those jaundiced and distempered corridors Off which the five-foot-wide doors slowly close. White as my skimpy chiton, I will cringe Before the pinpoint of the least syringe; Before the buttered catheter goes in; Before the I.V.’s lisp and drip begins Inside my skin; before the rubber hand Upon the lancet takes aim and descends To lay me open, and upon its thumb Retracts the trouble, a malignant plum; And finally, I’ll quail before the hour When the authorities shut off the power In that vast hospital, and in my bed I’ll feel my blood go thin, go white, the red, The rose all leached away, and I’ll go dead. Then will the business of life resume: The muffled trolley wheeled into my room, The off-white blanket blanking off my face, The stealing secret, private, largo race Down halls and elevators to the place I’ll be consigned to for transshipment, cased In artificial air and light: the ward That’s underground; the terminal; the morgue. Then one fine day when all the smart flags flap, A booted man in black with a peaked cap Will call for me and troll me down the hall And slot me into his black car. That’s all.
L.E. Sissman
You probably learned in your high school civics course, as I did in mine, that the Supreme Court is the highest court in the land. Well, I’m here to tell you this morning that this is not strictly true. The Court of Public Opinion is actually the highest court in the land.
Thomas Cathcart (The Trolley Problem, or Would You Throw the Fat Guy Off the Bridge?: A Philosophical Conundrum)
Our behavior is as absurd and incomprehensible with respect to the first drink as that of an individual with a passion, say, for jay-walking. He gets a thrill out of skipping in front of fast-moving vehicles. He enjoys himself for a few years in spite of friendly warnings. Up to this point you would label him as a foolish chap having queer ideas of fun. Luck then deserts him and he is slightly injured several times in succession. You would expect him, if he were normal, to cut it out. Presently he is hit again and this time has a fractured skull. Within a week after leaving the hospital a fast-moving trolley car breaks his arm. He tells you he has decided to stop jay-walking for good, but in a few weeks he breaks both legs. On through the years this conduct continues, accompanied by his continual promises to be
Alcoholics Anonymous (Alcoholics Anonymous)
Charlie and Douglas were the last to stand near the opened tongue of the trolley, the folding step, breathing electricity, watching Mr. Tridden's gloves on the brass controls.... "Well...so long again, Mir. Tridden." "Good-by, boys." "See you around, Mr. Tridden." "See you around." There was a soft sigh of the air; the door collapsed gently shut, tucking up its corrugated tongue. The trolley sailed slowly down the late afternoon, brighter than the sun, all tangerine, all flashing gold and lemon, turned a far corner, wheeling, and vanished, gone away.
Ray Bradbury (Dandelion Wine)
And at last, the dearest, most improbable sound of all— the sound of a green trolley car going around a comer— a trolley burdened with brown and alien and beautiful people, and the sound of other people running and calling out with triumph as they leaped up and swung aboard and vanished around a corner on the shrieking rails and were borne away in the sun-blazed distance to leave only the sound of tortillas frying on the market stoves, or was it merely the ever rising and falling hum and burn of static quivering along two thousand miles of copper wire . . .
Ray Bradbury (Dandelion Wine)
Parents choosing a school for their children—an innocent, important, humdrum, private affair which a lethal blend of bitter division and too much money had transmuted into a monstrous clerical task, into box files of legal documents so numerous and heavy they were hauled to court on trolleys, into hours of educated wrangling, procedural hearings, deferred decisions, the whole circus rising, but so slowly, through the judicial hierarchy like a lopsided, ill-tethered hot-air balloon. If the parents could not agree, the law, reluctantly, must take the decisions.
Ian McEwan (The Children Act)
Sleet was falling through a motionless blanket of smog. It was early morning. I was riding in the Lincoln sedan of Dr. Asa Breed. I was vaguely ill, still a little drunk from the night before. Dr. Breed was driving. Tracks of a long-abandoned trolley system kept catching the wheels of his car.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Cat's Cradle)
Ah, God, what an ugly city Ilium is! 'Ah, God,' says Bokonon, 'what an ugly city every city is!' Sleet was falling through a motionless blanket of smog. It was early morning. I was riding in the Lincoln sedan of Dr. Asa Breed. I was vaguely ill, still a little drunk from the night before. Dr. Breed was driving. Tracks of a long-abandoned trolley system kept catching the wheels of his car. Breed was a pink old man, very prosperous, beautifully dressed. His manner was civilized, optimistic, capable. I, by contrast, felt bristly, diseased, cynical. I had spent the night with Sandra. My soul seemed as foul as smoke from burning cat fur.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Cat’s Cradle)
Later, a very fat woman came in with a trolley and put a plate of something brown and foul-smelling on a table beside me. I couldn’t imagine what I’d ever done to her, but whatever it was, it must have been bad. She obviously realised that she’d over-reacted, because half an hour later she came and took the plate away again.
Hugh Laurie (The Gun Seller)
Deontology states that there are certain things, like torture, that you just shouldn’t do.
David Edmonds (Would You Kill the Fat Man?: The Trolley Problem and What Your Answer Tells Us about Right and Wrong)
Most people seem to believe that not only is it permissible to turn the train down the spur, it is actually required—morally obligatory.
David Edmonds (Would You Kill the Fat Man?: The Trolley Problem and What Your Answer Tells Us about Right and Wrong)
Subjectivism maintains that there are no objective moral truths.
David Edmonds (Would You Kill the Fat Man?: The Trolley Problem and What Your Answer Tells Us about Right and Wrong)
Blood kin are hard to hide from.
Ellen Datlow (Troll's-Eye View: A Book of Villainous Tales)
And when spring comes to the City people notice one another in the road; notice the strangers with whom they share aisles and tables and the space where intimate garments are laundered. going in and out, in and out the same door, they handle the handle; on trolleys and park benches they settle thighs on a seat in which hundreds have done it too. Copper coins dropped in the palm have been swallowed by children and tested by gypsies, but it’s still money and people smile at that. It’s the time of year when the City urges contradiction most, encouraging you to buy street food when you have no appetite at all; giving you a taste for a single room occupied by you alone as well as a craving to share it with someone you passed in the street. Really there is no contradiction—rather it’s a condition; the range of what an artful City can do. What can beat bricks warming up to the sun? The return of awnings. The removal of blankets from horses’ backs. Tar softens under the heel and the darkness under bridges changes from gloom to cooling shade. After a light rain, when the leaves have come, tree limbs are like wet fingers playing in woolly green hair. Motor cars become black jet boxes gliding behind hoodlights weakened by mist. On sidewalks turned to satin figures move shoulder first, the crowns of their heads angled shields against the light buckshot that the raindrops are. The faces of children glimpsed at windows appear to be crying, but it is the glass pane dripping that makes it seem so.
Toni Morrison (Jazz (Beloved Trilogy, #2))
As Boris Johnson has pointed out, it’s now an offence to swear at a police officer. So should you incur a public-spirited 50,000-volt warning shot – perhaps for brandishing your pension book in an aggressive manner or because a young PC has mistaken your tartan shopping trolley for a piece of field artillery – don’t accidentally shout “Oh fuck!” or you might get sent to prison.
David Mitchell (Thinking About It Only Makes It Worse: And Other Lessons from Modern Life)
Bentham maintained that what mattered about an action was how much pleasure it produced and how much pain was avoided. He enjoined us always to act so as to maximize pleasure and minimize pain.
David Edmonds (Would You Kill the Fat Man?: The Trolley Problem and What Your Answer Tells Us about Right and Wrong)
When we spoke about attempts to give a man in camp mental courage, we said that he had to be shown something to look forward to in the future. He had to be reminded that life still waited for him, that a human being waited for his return. But after liberation? There were some men who found that no one awaited them. Woe to him who found that the person whose memory alone had given him courage in camp did not exist any more! Woe to him who, when the day of his dreams finally came, found it so different from all he had longed for! Perhaps he boarded a trolley, traveled out to the home which he had seen for years in his mind, and only in his mind, and pressed the bell, just as he has longed to do in thousands of dreams, only to find that the person who should open the door was not there, and would never be there again.
Viktor E. Frankl (Man’s Search for Meaning)
When people consider the trolley problem, here’s what brain imaging reveals: In the footbridge scenario, areas involved in motor planning and emotion become active. In contrast, in the track-switch scenario, only lateral areas involved in rational thinking become active. People register emotionally when they have to push someone; when they only have to tip a lever, their brain behaves like Star Trek’s Mr. Spock.
David Eagleman (Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain)
He had taken a few days' leave from his army training and they had taken refuge in the Charing Cross Hotel while an unexploded bomb in the Strand was being dealt with. They could hear the naval guns that had been stationed on trolleys between Vauxhall and Waterloo--boom-boom-boom--but the bombers were looking for other targets and seemed to have moved on. 'Doesn't it ever stop?' Jimmy asked. 'Apparently not.' 'It's safer in the army,' he laughed.
Kate Atkinson (Life After Life (Todd Family, #1))
In East Bangor, Pennsylvania (population 800), there’s a little diner named for the trolley that used to take people to the once-bustling steel town of Bethlehem. The proprietors have adorned the walls with photographs of other local things that are no more. There’s one of the East Bangor band, a group of about twenty men and boys, in uniform, in front of a bandstand draped with bunting. There’s also one of the Kaysers, a local baseball club, on the day of an exhibition ballgame against the Philadelphia Athletics. These were Connie Mack’s A’s, which team in those early 1930s featured Hall of Famers Jimmie Foxx, Mickey Cochrane, and Lefty Grove. How did a village of under a thousand people manage to have its own band? How did a cluster of slate-belt villages field a regular baseball club, apparently good enough to stay on the same field for nine innings with the Philadelphia Athletics? What
Anthony Esolen (Life Under Compulsion: Ten Ways to Destroy the Humanity of Your Child)
Woe to him who found that the person whose memory alone had given him courage in camp did not exist any more! Woe to him who, when the day of his dreams finally came, found it so different from all he had longed for! Perhaps he boarded a trolley, traveled out to the home which he had seen for years in his mind, and only in his mind, and pressed the bell, just as he has longed to do in thousands of dreams, only to find that the person who should open the door was not there, and would never be there again.
Viktor E. Frankl (Man's Search for Meaning)
The breath had become as much a trick as breathing. Things were not dual merely, but multiple. I had become a cage of mirrors reflecting vacuity. But vacuity once stoutly posited I was at home and what is called creation was merely a job of filling up holes. The trolley conveniently carried me about from place to place and in each little side pocket of the great vacuum I dropped a ton of poems to wipe out the idea of annihilation. I had ever before me boundless vistas. I began to live in the vista, like a microscopic speck on the lens of a giant telescope. There was no night in which to rest. It was perpetual starlight on the arid surface of dead planets. Now and then a lake black as marble in which I saw myself walking amidst brilliant orbs of lights. So low hung the stars and so dazzling was the light they shed, that it seemed as if the universe were only about to be born. What rendered the impression stronger was that I was alone; not only were there no animals, no trees, no other beings, but there was not even a blade of grass, not even a dead root. In that violet incandescent light witihout even the suggestion of a shadow motion itself seemed to be absent. It was like a blaze of pure consciousness, thought become God. And God, for the first time in my knowledge, was dean-shaven. I was also clean-shaven, flawless, deadly accurate. I saw my image in the marble black lakes and it was diapered with stars. Stars, stars... like a clout between the eyes and all remembrance fast run out. I was Samson and I was Lackawanna and I was dying as one being in the ecstasy of full consciousness.
Henry Miller (Tropic of Capricorn (Tropic, #2))
One of the hardest things is that life keeps relentlessly rolling on, like the ocean, the tides keep rising and falling, the waves breaking and retreating. Everybody returns to their regular routine and there's an expectation that the bereaved person will start the process of recovery. This is very difficult to do because for a grieving person the most ordinary activities can take on deep meaning that would never cross anybody else's mind. Hannah says “I remember being in the supermarket and someone bumping into me. It was the first time I'd been to the supermarket since Matt had died, probably only two weeks after. I was walking around with the trolley and you're confronted by all the things you don't need to buy anymore. Matt used to have gluten free bread for example. I thought 'well I don’t need to buy that anymore’. It's the most mundane detail but it kills you inside. And someone bumped into me and didn't say sorry. I didn't do anything but I just wanted to turn around and go ‘you don't know what's happened to me! I'm grieving!' It can be the tiniest thing that wounds you.
Leigh Sales (Any Ordinary Day)
I make my way back whistling. Gerry nods towards Mrs Brady who is standing beside the trolleys. Morning, Mrs Brady, I say cheerfully. I push her provisions out to the car. Things are something terrible, she says. You can't trust anybody. No. It's come to a sorry pass. It has. There's hormones in the beef and tranquillizers in the bacon. There's men with breasts and women with mickeys. All from eating meat. Now. I steer a path between a crowd of people while she keeps step alongside. Can you believe it - they're feeding the pigs Valium. If you boil a bit of bacon you have to lie down afterwards. Dear oh dear. Yes, I nod. The thought of food makes me ill. The pigs are getting depressed in those sheds. If they get depressed they lose weight. So they tranquillize them. Where will it end? I don't know, Mrs Brady, I say. I begin filling the boot. That's why I started buying lamb. Then along came Chernobyl. Now you can't even have lamb stew or you'll light up at night! I swear. And when they've left you with nothing safe to eat, next thing they come along and tell you you can't live in your own house. I haven't heard of that one, Mrs Brady. Listen to me. She took my elbow. It could all happen that you're in your own house and the next thing is there's radiation bubbling under the floorboards. What? It comes right at you through the foundations. Watch the yogurts. Did you hear of that? No. I saw it in the Champion. Did you not see it in the Champion? I might have. No wonder we're not right. I brought the lid of the boot down. She sits into the car very decorously and snaps her bag open on her lap. She winds down the window and gives me 50p for myself and £1 for the trolley.
Dermot Healy (Sudden Times)
PROCRASTINATION The day after tomorrow, yes, only the day after tomorrow ... Tomorrow I’ll start thinking about the day after tomorrow, Maybe I could do it then; but not today ... No, nothing today; today I can’t. The confused persistence of my objective subjectivity, The sleep of my real life, intercalated, Anticipated, infinite weariness— I’m worlds too weary to catch a trolley— That kind of soul ... Only the day after tomorrow ... Today I want to prepare, I want to prepare myself for tomorrow, when I’ll think about the next day ... That’d be decisive. I’ve already got the plans sketched out, but no, today I’m not making any plans ... Tomorrow’s the day for plans. Tomorrow I’ll sit down at my desk to conquer the world; But I’ll only conquer the world the day after tomorrow ... I feel like crying, I suddenly feel like crying a lot, inside ... That’s all you’re getting today, it’s a secret, I’m not talking. Only the day after tomorrow ... When I was a kid the Sunday circus diverted me every week. Today all that diverts me is the Sunday circus from all the weeks of my childhood ... The day after tomorrow I’ll be someone else, My life will triumph, All my real qualities—intelligent, well-read, practical— Will be gathered together in a public notice ... But the public notice will go up tomorrow ... Today I want to sleep, I’ll make a fair copy tomorrow ... For today, what show will repeat my childhood to me? Even if I buy tickets tomorrow, The show would still really be the day after tomorrow ... Not before ... The day after tomorrow I’ll have the public pose I will have practiced tomorrow. The day after tomorrow I’ll finally be what I could never be today. Only the day after tomorrow ... I’m sleepy as a stray dog's chill. I’m really sleepy. Tomorrow I’ll tell you everything, or the day after tomorrow ... Yes, maybe only the day after tomorrow ... By and by ... Yes, the old by and by ...
Fernando Pessoa
They sat eating ham sandwiches and fresh strawberries and waxy oranges and Mr. Tridden told them how it had been twenty years ago, the band playing on that ornate stand at night, the men pumping air into their brass horns, the plump conductor flinging perspiration from his baton, the children and fireflies running in the deep grass, the ladies with long dresses and high pompadours treading the wooden xylophone walks with men in choking collars. There was the walk now, all softened into a fiber mush by the years. The lake was silent and blue and serene, and fish peacefully threaded the bright reeds, and the motorman murmured on and on, and the children felt it was some other year, with Mr. Tridden looking wonderfully young, his eyes lighted like small bulbs, blue and electric. It was a drifting, easy day, nobody rushing, and the forest all about, the sun held in one position, as Mr. Tridden's voice rose and fell, and a darning needle sewed along the air, stitching, restitching designs both golden and invisible. A bee settled into a flower, humming and humming. The trolley stood like an enchanted calliope, simmering where the sun fell on it. The trolley was on their hands, a brass smell, as they ate ripe cherries. The bright odor of the trolley blew from their clothes on the summer wind.
Ray Bradbury (Dandelion Wine)
Sleep was a vehicle for passing the time, for avoiding the present. It was a trolley for the depressed, the impatient, and the dying. Donald was all three. He turned out the light beside his cot and lay in the darkness. The cryopods and shifts were exaggerated forms of sleep, he thought. What seemed unnatural was more a matter of degree than of kind. Cave bears hibernated for a season. Humans hibernated each night. Daytime was a shift, each one endured like a quantum of life, all the short-term planning leading up to another bout of darkness, little thought given to stringing those days into something useful, some chain of valuable pearls. Just another day to survive. He
Hugh Howey (Dust (Silo, #3))
Where, where all the summer dogs leaping like dolphins in the wind-braided and unbraided tides of what? Where lightning smell of Green Machine or trolley? Did the wine remember? It did not? Or seemed not, anyway. Somewhere, a book said once, all the talk ever talked, all the songs ever sung, still lived, had vibrated way out in space and if you could travel to Far Centauri you could hear George Washington talking in his sleep or Caesar surprised at the knife in his back. So much for sounds. What about light then? All things, once seen, they didn't just die, that couldn't be. It must be then that somewhere, searching the world, perhaps in the dripping multiboxed honeycombs where light was an amber sap stored by pollen-fired bees, or in the thirty thousand lenses of the noon dragonfly's hemmed skull you might find all the colors and sights of the world in any one year. Or pour one single drop of this dandelion wine beneath a microscope and perhaps the entire world of July Fourth would firework out in Vesuvius showers. This he would have to believe. And yet... looking here at this bottle which by its number signalized the day when Colonel Freeleigh had stumbled and fallen six feet into the earth, Douglas could not find so much as a gram of dark sediment, not a speck of the great flouring buffalo dust, not a flake of sulphur from the guns at Shiloh...
Ray Bradbury (Dandelion Wine)
And really, that’s the most important thing he does with his days. It’s a small, measurable success, in the face of diminishing sales and an empty double bed and a set of skills which were marketable one hundred years ago, but now look quaint and even sad. Every afternoon for the last six months he has been fighting an uneven battle with himself not to overturn the trolley with its many keys, and scatter them across the room. His better nature has won only because the image of himself on his knees, remorsefully gathering them again, repairing scratched case clocks and whispering apologies to the ghost of his grandfather—and for strange and different reasons also his father—is more than he can bear.
Nick Harkaway (Angelmaker)
The tulips are too excitable, it is winter here. Look how white everything is, how quiet, how snowed-in. I am learning peacefulness, lying by myself quietly As the light lies on these white walls, this bed, these hands. I am nobody; I have nothing to do with explosions. I have given my name and my day-clothes up to the nurses And my history to the anesthetist and my body to surgeons. They have propped my head between the pillow and the sheet-cuff Like an eye between two white lids that will not shut. Stupid pupil, it has to take everything in. The nurses pass and pass, they are no trouble, They pass the way gulls pass inland in their white caps, Doing things with their hands, one just the same as another, So it is impossible to tell how many there are. My body is a pebble to them, they tend it as water Tends to the pebbles it must run over, smoothing them gently. They bring me numbness in their bright needles, they bring me sleep. Now I have lost myself I am sick of baggage—— My patent leather overnight case like a black pillbox, My husband and child smiling out of the family photo; Their smiles catch onto my skin, little smiling hooks. I have let things slip, a thirty-year-old cargo boat stubbornly hanging on to my name and address. They have swabbed me clear of my loving associations. Scared and bare on the green plastic-pillowed trolley I watched my teaset, my bureaus of linen, my books Sink out of sight, and the water went over my head. I am a nun now, I have never been so pure. I didn’t want any flowers, I only wanted To lie with my hands turned up and be utterly empty. How free it is, you have no idea how free—— The peacefulness is so big it dazes you, And it asks nothing, a name tag, a few trinkets. It is what the dead close on, finally; I imagine them Shutting their mouths on it, like a Communion tablet. The tulips are too red in the first place, they hurt me. Even through the gift paper I could hear them breathe Lightly, through their white swaddlings, like an awful baby. Their redness talks to my wound, it corresponds. They are subtle : they seem to float, though they weigh me down, Upsetting me with their sudden tongues and their color, A dozen red lead sinkers round my neck. Nobody watched me before, now I am watched. The tulips turn to me, and the window behind me Where once a day the light slowly widens and slowly thins, And I see myself, flat, ridiculous, a cut-paper shadow Between the eye of the sun and the eyes of the tulips, And I have no face, I have wanted to efface myself. The vivid tulips eat my oxygen. Before they came the air was calm enough, Coming and going, breath by breath, without any fuss. Then the tulips filled it up like a loud noise. Now the air snags and eddies round them the way a river Snags and eddies round a sunken rust-red engine. They concentrate my attention, that was happy Playing and resting without committing itself. The walls, also, seem to be warming themselves. The tulips should be behind bars like dangerous animals; They are opening like the mouth of some great African cat, And I am aware of my heart: it opens and closes Its bowl of red blooms out of sheer love of me. The water I taste is warm and salt, like the sea, And comes from a country far away as health. --"Tulips", written 18 March 1961
Sylvia Plath (Ariel)
In this country faith is absolute and universal. The choice, if there is a choice, is made at birth. Everyone believes. For these people, God is a near neighbour. I thought of Sundays at home when I was a child, buttoned up in an uncomfortable tweed jacket and forced to go to Sunday communion. I remember mouthing the hymns without really singing, peering between my fingers at the rest of the congregation when I was supposed to be praying, twisting in my seat during the sermon, aching with impatience for the whole boring ritual to be over. I can’t remember when I last went to church. I must have been since Mary and I were married but I can’t remember when. I don’t know anyone who does go to church now. It’s extraordinary, isn’t it? I know I live amongst scientists and civil servants, and Mary’s friends are all bankers or economists, so perhaps we are not typical. You still see people coming out of church on Sunday morning, chatting on the steps, shaking hands with the vicar, as you drive past on your way to get the Sunday papers, relieved you are too old now to be told to go. But no one I know goes any more. We never talk about it. We never think about it. I cannot easily remember the words of the Lord’s Prayer. We have moved on from religion. Instead of going to church, which would never occur to us, Mary and I go to Tesco together on Sundays. At least, that is what we did when she still lived in London. We never have time to shop during the week and Saturdays are too busy. But on Sunday our local Tesco is just quiet enough to get round without being hit in the ankles all the time by other people’s shopping carts. We take our time wheeling the shopping cart around the vast cavern, goggling at the flatscreen TVs we cannot afford, occasionally tossing some minor luxury into the trolley that we can afford but not justify. I suppose shopping in Tesco on Sunday morning is in itself a sort of meditative experience: in some way a shared moment with the hundreds of other shoppers all wheeling their shopping carts, and a shared moment with Mary, come to that. Most of the people I see shopping on Sunday morning have that peaceful, dreamy expression on their faces that I know is on ours. That is our Sunday ritual. Now, I am in a different country, with a different woman by my side. But I feel as if I am in more than just a different country; I am in another world, a world where faith and prayer are instinctive and universal, where not to pray, not to be able to pray, is an affliction worse than blindness, where disconnection from God is worse than losing a limb.
Paul Torday (Salmon Fishing in the Yemen)
Maggie chiuse gli occhi e contò sino a dieci. Uno, due, tre… Se voleva arrivare a casa di sua sorella prima che facesse notte, non aveva altra scelta che chiedere al cowboy di accompagnarla. Certo, avrebbe sempre potuto optare per il motel e attraversare quelle duecento iarde pullulanti di lupi. Un altro ululato. No, non avrebbe potuto. «Lupi» disse Mitch, il braccio sinistro che sporgeva indolente dal finestrino, il mozzicone del sigaro stretto tra le dita. «Lupi» ripeté lei con un’alzata di spalle, come se si trattasse di barboncini addestrati. Poi mosse un paio di passi esitanti verso il pick-up. Quell’affare era così alto che dovette allungare il collo e sollevare la testa per parlare al cowboy. «Mi chiedevo…» mormorò vincendo ogni residua resistenza. Lui rimase immobile, se non per il sopracciglio sinistro che scattò verso l’alto. «… se per caso tu non potessi darmi uno strappo.» Lui finse di prendere in considerazione la cosa. Poi, con un altro sbuffo di fumo, disse: «Mi sembrava che avessi rifiutato la mia offerta, dieci minuti fa...». «Perché non intendevo esserti di disturbo» rispose lei come se si stesse rivolgendo alla duchessa di Kent. E di fatti lui scoppiò a ridere. «Essermi di disturbo? Dopo avermi assalito come un ninja? Ma sarò magnanimo. Dai, sali.» Maggie tirò un sospiro di sollievo. Era così stanca e infreddolita che anche quel pick-up scassato le parve per un istante una limousine. «Dove metto la valigia?» «Buttala dietro, nel cassone.» Buttare nel cassone la sua Samsonite rosa, costata una cifra improponibile? «Preferirei sistemarla in cabina, se non ti spiace.» «In cabina non c’è posto, qua dietro è pieno di roba. A meno che tu preferisca viaggiare nel cassone e la valigia sul sedile…» Lei rimase zitta, gli occhi sgranati, per nulla certa che quella fosse solo una battuta. «Ok, ci penso io» tagliò corto lui, aprendo la portiera e scivolando a terra con un balzo. Afferrò il trolley per la maniglia e, senza un’altra parola, lo fece volare nel cassone. Oh! Il botto risuonò nelle orecchie di Maggie come una granata. Risistemandosi lo Stetson sulla testa, il cowboy girò intorno al pick-up e con un sorriso esagerato aprì la portiera del passeggero. «Sali, sorella di Suzie, o vuoi che dia una mano anche a te?»
Viviana Giorgi (Tutta colpa del vento (e di un cowboy dagli occhi verdi))
It’s nice when grown people whisper to each other under the covers. Their ecstasy is more leaf-sigh than bray and the body is the vehicle, not the point. They reach, grown people, for something beyond, way beyond and way, way down underneath tissue. They are remembering while they whisper the carnival dolls they won and the Baltimore boats they never sailed on. The pears they let hang on the limb because if they plucked them, they would be gone from there and who else would see that ripeness if they took it away for themselves? How could anybody passing by see them and imagine for themselves what the flavor would be like? Breathing and murmuring under covers both of them have washed and hung out on the line, in a bed they chose together and kept together nevermind one leg was propped on a 1916 dictionary, and the mattress, curved like a preacher’s palm asking for witnesses in His name’s sake, enclosed them each and every night and muffled their whispering, old-time love. They are under the covers because they don’t have to look at themselves anymore; there is no stud’s eye, no chippie glance to undo them. They are inward toward the other, bound and joined by carnival dolls and the steamers that sailed from ports they never saw. That is what is beneath their undercover whispers. But there is another part, not so secret. The part that touches fingers when one passes the cup and saucer to the other. The part that closes her neckline snap while waiting for the trolley; and brushes lint from his blue serge suit when they come out of the movie house into the sunlight. I envy them their public love. I myself have only known it in secret, shared it in secret and longed, aw longed to show it—to be able to say out loud what they have no need to say at all: That I have loved only you, surrendered my whole self reckless to you and nobody else. That I want you to love me back and show it to me. That I love the way you hold me, how close you let me be to you. I like your fingers on and on, lifting, turning. I have watched your face for a long time now, and missed your eyes when you went away from me. Talking to you and hearing you answer —that’s the kick. But I can’t say that aloud; I can’t tell anyone that I have been waiting for this all my life and that being chosen to wait is the reason I can. If I were able I’d say it. Say make me, remake me. You are free to do it and I am free to let you because look, look. Look where your hands are. Now.
Toni Morrison (Jazz (Beloved Trilogy, #2))
You know,” I said, “you don’t owe New Fiddleham anything. You don’t need to help them.” “Look,” Charlie said as we clipped past Market Street. He was pointing at a man delicately painting enormous letters onto a broad window as we passed. NONNA SANTORO’S, it read, although the RO’S was still just an outline. “That Italian restaurant?” “Yes,” he smiled. “They will be opening their doors for the first time very soon. Sweet family. I bought my first meal in New Fiddleham from that man. A couple of meatballs from a street cart were about all I could afford at the time. He’s an immigrant, too. He’s going to do well. His red sauce is amazing.” “That’s grand for him, then,” I said. “I like it when doors open,” said Charlie. “Doors are opening in New Fiddleham every day. It is a remarkable time to be alive anywhere, really. Do you think our parents could ever have imagined having machines that could wash dishes, machines that could sew, machines that do laundry? Pretty soon we’ll be taking this trolley ride without any horses. I’ve heard that Glanville has electric streetcars already. Who knows what will be possible fifty years from now, or a hundred. Change isn’t always so bad.” “Your optimism is both baffling and inspiring,” I said. “The sun is rising,” he replied with a little chuckle. I glanced at the sky. It was well past noon. “It’s just something my sister and I used to say,” he clarified. “I think you would like Alina. You often remind me of her. She has a way of refusing to let the world keep her down.” He smiled and his gaze drifted away, following the memory. “Alina found a rolled-up canvas once,” he said, “a year or so after our mother passed away. It was an oil painting—a picture of the sun hanging low over a rippling ocean. She was a beautiful painter, our mother. I could tell that it was one of hers, but I had never seen it before. It felt like a message, like she had sent it, just for us to find. “I said that it was a beautiful sunset, and Alina said no, it was a sunrise. We argued about it, actually. I told her that the sun in the picture was setting because it was obviously a view from our camp near Gelendzhik, overlooking the Black Sea. That would mean the painting was looking to the west. “Alina said that it didn’t matter. Even if the sun is setting on Gelendzhik, that only means that it is rising in Bucharest. Or Vienna. Or Paris. The sun is always rising somewhere. From then on, whenever I felt low, whenever I lost hope and the world felt darkest, Alina would remind me: the sun is rising.” “I think I like Alina already. It’s a heartening philosophy. I only worry that it’s wasted on this city.” “A city is just people,” Charlie said. “A hundred years from now, even if the roads and buildings are still here, this will still be a whole new city. New Fiddleham is dying, every day, but it is also being constantly reborn. Every day, there is new hope. Every day, the sun rises. Every day, there are doors opening.” I leaned in and kissed him on the cheek. “When we’re through saving the world,” I said, “you can take me out to Nonna Santoro’s. I have it on good authority that the red sauce is amazing.” He blushed pink and a bashful smile spread over his face. “When we’re through saving the world, Miss Rook, I will hold you to that.
William Ritter (The Dire King (Jackaby, #4))