We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Walls Talking. Here they are! All 100 of them:
The biggest wall you have to climb is the one you build in your mind: Never let your mind talk you out of your dreams, trick you into giving up. Never let your mind become the greatest obstacle to success. To get your mind on the right track, the rest will follow.
Roy T. Bennett (The Light in the Heart)
I have claimed that Escape is one of the main functions of fairy-stories, and since I do not disapprove of them, it is plain that I do not accept the tone of scorn or pity with which 'Escape' is now so often used. Why should a man be scorned if, finding himself in prison, he tries to get out and go home? Or if he cannot do so, he thinks and talks about other topics than jailers and prison-walls?
You were talking to that niche in the wall again, Gwyneth. I saw you."
"Yes, but it's my favorite bit of wall, Gordon. I'd hurt its feelings if I didn't stop and talk to it.
Kerstin Gier (Ruby Red (Precious Stone Trilogy, #1))
Nobody listens anymore. I can't talk to the walls because they're yelling at me, I can't talk to my wife; she listens to the walls. I just want someone to hear what I have to say. And maybe if I talk long enough it'll make sense. And I want you to teach me to understand what I read.
Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451)
In the best conversations, you don't even remember what you talked about, only how it felt. It felt like we were in some place your body can't visit, some place with no ceiling and no walls and no floor and no instruments
John Green (Turtles All the Way Down)
I swear, talking to you is like talking to a really good-looking and mildly stupid brick wall.
Look, everyone talks about the unknown like it's some big scary thing, but it's the familiar that's always bothered me. It's heavy, builds up around you like rocks, until it's walls and a ceiling and a cell.
V.E. Schwab (A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic, #2))
Anne, I don't want to live. . . . Now listen, life is lovely, but I Can't Live It. I can't even explain. I know how silly it sounds . . . but if you knew how it Felt. To be alive, yes, alive, but not be able to live it. Ay that's the rub. I am like a stone that lives . . . locked outside of all that's real. . . . Anne, do you know of such things, can you hear???? I wish, or think I wish, that I were dying of something for then I could be brave, but to be not dying, and yet . . . and yet to [be] behind a wall, watching everyone fit in where I can't, to talk behind a gray foggy wall, to live but to not reach or to reach wrong . . . to do it all wrong . . . believe me, (can you?) . . . what's wrong. I want to belong. I'm like a jew who ends up in the wrong country. I'm not a part. I'm not a member. I'm frozen.
Anne Sexton (Anne Sexton: A Self-Portrait in Letters)
Sweat isn't a bad thing," he said, leaning his head against the wall thoughtfully. "Some of the best things in life happen while your sweating. Yeah, if you get too much of it and it gets old and stale, it turns pretty gross. But on a beautiful women? Intoxicating. If you could smell things like a vampire does, you'd know what I'm talking about. Most people mess it all up and drown themselves in perfume. Perfume can be good...especially if you get one that goes with your chemistry. But you only need a hint. Mix about 20 percent of that with 80 percent of your own perspiration...mmm." He tilted his head to the side and looked at me. "Dead sexy.
Richelle Mead (Frostbite (Vampire Academy, #2))
I like talking to a brick wall- it's the only thing in the world that never contradicts me!
Oscar Wilde (Lady Windermere's Fan)
The walls of the educational system must come down. Education should not be a privilege, so the children of those who have money can study.
Ernesto Che Guevara (Che Guevara Talks to Young People (The Cuban Revolution in World Politics))
What if everyone hates me and no one talks to me? What if someone throws something at me?” Aiden snorted, setting the shirt he’d been holding aside and picking up the next one on the pile. “What are they going to throw? Bookmarks?
Mariana Zapata (The Wall of Winnipeg and Me)
I'm watching her talk. Watching her jaw move and collecting her words one by one as they spill from her lips. I don't deserve them. Her warm memories. I'd like to paint them over the bare plaster walls of my soul, but everything I paint seems to peel.
Isaac Marion (Warm Bodies (Warm Bodies, #1))
Shrinking in a corner,
pressed into the wall;
do they know I'm present,
am I here at all?
Is there a written rule book,
that tells you how to be—
all the right things to talk about—
that everyone has but me?
Slowly I am withering—
a flowered deprived of sun;
longing to belong to—
somewhere or someone.
Lang Leav (Love & Misadventure)
If these walls could talk, I wonder what secrets they'd tell.
Gayle Forman (Just One Day (Just One Day, #1))
Talk. We are going to talk first. I want to see you smile and laugh. I want to know what your favorite show was when you were a kid and who made you cry at school and what boy band you hung posters of on your wall. Then I want you naked in my bed again.
Abbi Glines (Fallen Too Far (Rosemary Beach, #1; Too Far, #1))
you come home, and everyone talks at once and everyone asks questions, but no one waits for the answers.Instead they talk about themselves, what they've been up to, what they're going to do next, as if you're a photo on the wall.And then they talk to one another, forgetting you've jsut flown in, forgetting you're in the backseat, forgetting they've already said it all.
Ellen Hopkins (Crank (Crank, #1))
What broke your heart so bad
That you had to close every door,
That you say you have a dark soul
And can't utter the word 'love' anymore?
If only these walls could talk…the world would know just how hard it is to tell the truth in a story in which everyone’s a liar.
Gregg Olsen (Envy (Empty Coffin, #1))
His tunic was unbuttoned at the top, and he ran a hand through his blue-black hair before he wordlessly slumped against the wall across from me and slid to the floor.
"What do you want?" I demanded.
"A moment of peace and quiet," he snapped, rubbing his temples.
I paused. "From what?"
He massaged his pale skin, making the corners of his eyes go up and down, out and in. He sighed. "From this mess."
I sat up farther on my pallet of the hay. I'd never seen him so candid.
"That damned bitch is running me ragged," he went on, and dropped his hands from his temples to lean his head against the wall. "You hate me. Imagine how you'd feel if I made you serve in my bedroom. I'm High Lord of the Night Court - not her harlot."
So the slurs were true. And I could imagine very easily how much I would hate him - what it would do to me - to be enslaved to someone like that. "Why are you telling me this?"
The swagger and nastiness were gone. "Because I'm tired and lonely, and you're the only person I can talk to without putting myself at risk." He let out a low laugh. "How absurd: a High Lord of Prythian and a - "
"You can leave if you're just going to insult me."
"But I'm so good at it". He flashed one of his grins. I glared at him, but he sighted. "One wrong move tomorrow, Freyre, and we're all doomed.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1))
Pompous fools drive me up the wall. Ordinary fools are alright; you can talk to them and try to help them out. But pompous fools – guys who are fools and covering it all over and impressing people as to how wonderful they are with all this hocus pocus – THAT, I CANNOT STAND! An ordinary fool isn’t a faker; an honest fool is all right. But a dishonest fool is terrible!
Richard P. Feynman
I sank down onto the bed against the headboard and leaned back. I crossed my legs underneath me.
"Then we'll talk." I said with a smile.
Rush sat down onto the bed and leaned back against the wall. A deep chuckle came from his chest and I watched as a real smile broke out on his face.
"I can't believe I just begged a female to sit and talk to me."
In all honesty, I couldn't either.
Abbi Glines (Fallen Too Far (Rosemary Beach, #1; Too Far, #1))
I could not stop wasting time. It was crazy. I wanted to do something with my life, but instead I went to sleep, or sung in the shower, or sat and stared at the wall. I couldn't even tell you about anything that I saw. I didn't talk to anybody. The cicadas kept dying outside, and as I dreamed, my mouth grew thick and venomous with silence.
No, no, no, no! Come, let's away to prison:
We two alone will sing like birds i' the cage:
When thou dost ask me blessing, I'll kneel down,
And ask of thee forgiveness: so we'll live,
And pray, and sing, and tell old tales, and laugh
At gilded butterflies, and hear poor rogues
Talk of court news; and we'll talk with them too,
Who loses and who wins; who's in, who's out;
And take upon's the mystery of things,
As if we were God's spies: and we'll wear out,
In a wall'd prison, packs and sects of great ones,
That ebb and flow by the moon.
William Shakespeare (The Tragedy Of King Lear (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) (Signet Classic Shakespeare))
It’s pretty thin, the wall separating healthy confidence and unhealthy Pride.
Haruki Murakami (What I Talk About When I Talk About Running)
There was a soft chuckle beside me, and my heart stopped.
"So this is Oberon's famous half-blood," Ash mused as I whirled around. His eyes, cold and inhuman, glimmered with amusement. Up close, he was even more beautiful, with high cheekbones and dark tousled hair falling into his eyes. My traitor hands itched, longing to run my fingers through those bangs. Horrified, I clenched them in my lap, trying to concentrate on what Ash was saying. "And to think," the prince continued, smiling, "I lost you that day in the forest and didn't even know what I was chasing."
I shrank back, eyeing Oberon and Queen Mab. They were deep in conversation and did not notice me. I didn't want to interrupt them simply because a prince of the Unseelie Court was talking to me.
Besides, I was a faery princess now. Even if I didn't quite believe it, Ash certainly did. I took a deep breath, raised my chin, and looked him straight in the eye.
"I warn you," I said, pleased that my voice didn't tremble, "that if you try anything, my father will remove your head and stick it to a plaque on his wall."
He shrugged one lean shoulder. "There are worse things." At my horrified look, he offered a faint, self-derogatory smile. "Don't worry, princess, I won't break the rules of Elysium. I have no intention of facing Mab's wrath should I embarrass her. That's not why I'm here."
"Then what do you want?"
He bowed. "A dance."
"What!" I stared at him in disbelief. "You tried to kill me!"
"Technically, I was trying to kill Puck. You just happened to be there. But yes, if I'd had the shot, I would have taken it."
"Then why the hell would you think I'd dance with you?"
"That was then." He regarded me blandly. "This is now. And it's tradition in Elysium that a son and daughter of opposite territories dance with each other, to demonstrate the goodwill between the courts."
"Well, it's a stupid tradition." I crossed my arms and glared. "And you can forget it. I am not going anywhere with you."
He raised an eyebrow. "Would you insult my monarch, Queen Mab, by refusing? She would take it very personally, and blame Oberon for the offense. And Mab can hold a grudge for a very, very long time."
Oh, damn. I was stuck.
Julie Kagawa (The Iron King (The Iron Fey, #1))
sometimes after I finished a particularly good book, I had the urge to get the library card, find out who else had read the book, and track them down to talk about it
Jeannette Walls (Half Broke Horses)
He stepped away from me to talk, and I leaned heavily against the wall beside his door. Clearly, I was not meant to have sex. This was God telling me that I was meant to be a nun. Get thee to a nunnery, and all that crap. I was so delirious I was confusing God and Shakespeare.
Cora Carmack (Losing It (Losing It, #1))
Talking, talking. Spinning a web of words, pale walls of dreams, between myself and all I see.
John Gardner (Grendel)
Save all your energies and time for breaking the wall your mind has built around you.
Nisargadatta Maharaj (I Am That: Talks with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj)
What do you want, Mal?" The room seemed very quiet.
"Don't ask me that."
"Because it can't be."
"I want to hear it anyway."
He blew out a long breath. "Say goodnight. Tell me to leave, Alina."
"You need an army. You need a crown."
He laughed then. "I know I'm supposed to say something noble--I want a united Ravka free from the Fold. I want the Darkling in the ground, where he can never hurt you or anyone else again." He gave a rueful shake of his head. "But I guess I'm the same selfish ass I've always been. For all my talk of vows and honor, what I really want is to put you up against that wall and kiss you until you forget you ever knew another man's name. So tell me to go, Alina. Because I can't give you a title or an army or any of the things you need.
Leigh Bardugo (Ruin and Rising (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #3))
….For all my talk of vows and honor, what I really want is to put you up against that wall and kiss you until you forget you ever knew another man’s name. So tell me to go, Alina. Because I can’t give you a title or an army or any of the things you need.
Leigh Bardugo (Ruin and Rising (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #3))
My eyelids flickered open again and focused on Daemon. He had his eyes closed as he leaned his head against the wall but I knew he was listening to everything. Dee talked about taking me home if my mom couldn’t leave. I was struck again by the twins. Daemon and Dee didn’t belong here, but I did. I could blend easily with the whitewashed walls and pale green curtains. I was as plain as the linoleum, but these two seemed to light the room with their flawless beauty and demanding presence.
Ah, the medication was kicking in. I was poetic. And high. Bliss.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Obsidian (Lux, #1))
I can tell he lost someone close somehow. You can feel that in people, an openness, or maybe it's an opening that you're talking into. With other people, people who haven't been through something like that, you feel the solid wall. Your words go scattershot off of it.
Lily King (Writers & Lovers)
If only these walls could talk…the world would know just how hard it is to tell the truth in a story in which everyone’s a liar.
J.J. McAvoy (The Untouchables (Ruthless People, #2))
When they bombed Hiroshima, the explosion formed a mini-supernova, so every living animal, human or plant that received direct contact with the rays from that sun was instantly turned to ash.
And what was left of the city soon followed. The long-lasting damage of nuclear radiation caused an entire city and its population to turn into powder.
When I was born, my mom says I looked around the whole hospital room with a stare that said, "This? I've done this before." She says I have old eyes.
When my Grandpa Genji died, I was only five years old, but I took my mom by the hand and told her, "Don't worry, he'll come back as a baby."
And yet, for someone who's apparently done this already, I still haven't figured anything out yet.
My knees still buckle every time I get on a stage. My self-confidence can be measured out in teaspoons mixed into my poetry, and it still always tastes funny in my mouth.
But in Hiroshima, some people were wiped clean away, leaving only a wristwatch or a diary page. So no matter that I have inhibitions to fill all my pockets, I keep trying, hoping that one day I'll write a poem I can be proud to let sit in a museum exhibit as the only proof I existed.
My parents named me Sarah, which is a biblical name. In the original story God told Sarah she could do something impossible and she laughed, because the first Sarah, she didn't know what to do with impossible.
And me? Well, neither do I, but I see the impossible every day. Impossible is trying to connect in this world, trying to hold onto others while things are blowing up around you, knowing that while you're speaking, they aren't just waiting for their turn to talk -- they hear you. They feel exactly what you feel at the same time that you feel it. It's what I strive for every time I open my mouth -- that impossible connection.
There's this piece of wall in Hiroshima that was completely burnt black by the radiation. But on the front step, a person who was sitting there blocked the rays from hitting the stone. The only thing left now is a permanent shadow of positive light. After the A bomb, specialists said it would take 75 years for the radiation damaged soil of Hiroshima City to ever grow anything again. But that spring, there were new buds popping up from the earth.
When I meet you, in that moment, I'm no longer a part of your future. I start quickly becoming part of your past. But in that instant, I get to share your present. And you, you get to share mine. And that is the greatest present of all.
So if you tell me I can do the impossible, I'll probably laugh at you. I don't know if I can change the world yet, because I don't know that much about it -- and I don't know that much about reincarnation either, but if you make me laugh hard enough, sometimes I forget what century I'm in.
This isn't my first time here. This isn't my last time here. These aren't the last words I'll share.
But just in case, I'm trying my hardest to get it right this time around.
It's quiet for a while, and then Rowan says; "We could talk now. We're alone out here. No walls."
"There are always walls." I say.
Lauren DeStefano (Sever (The Chemical Garden, #3))
Why should a man be scorned, if, finding himself in prison, he tries to get out and go home? Or if, when he cannot do so, he thinks and talks about other topics than jailers and prison-walls? The world outside has not become less real because the prisoner cannot see it. In using Escape in this way the critics have chosen the wrong word, and, what is more, they are confusing, not always by sincere error, the Escape of the Prisoner with the Flight of the Deserter. just so a Party-spokesman might have labeled departure from the misery of the Fuhrer's or any other Reich and even criticism of it as treachery .... Not only do they confound the escape of the prisoner with the flight of the deserter; but they would seem to prefer the acquiescence of the "quisling" to the resistance of the patriot.
J.R.R. Tolkien (Tolkien On Fairy-stories)
People love to talk but hate to listen. Listening is not merely not talking, though even that is beyond most of our powers; it means taking a vigorous, human interest in what is being told us. You can listen like a blank wall or like a splendid auditorium where every sound comes back fuller and richer.
Alice Duer Miller
quicksilver lizards in the adobe walls,
the bird that punctures space,
thirst, tedium, clouds of dust,
impalpable epiphanies of wind.
The pines taught me to talk to myself.
In that garden I learnedto send myself off.
Later there were no gardens.
Octavio Paz (A Draft of Shadows and Other Poems)
There were a lot of fools at that conference—pompous fools—and pompous fools drive me up the wall. Ordinary fools are all right; you can talk to them, and try to help them out.
Richard P. Feynman (Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! Adventures of a Curious Character)
That's for the best. Otherwise they might realize they're in prison. It can't be helped. You women are used to harems and prisons. A person can spend his whole life between four walls. If he doesn't think or feel that he's a prisoner, then he's not a prisoner. But then there are people for whom the whole planet is a prison, who see the infinite expanse of the universe, the millions of stars and galaxies that remain forever inaccessible to them. And that awareness makes them the greatest prisoners of time and space.
Vladimir Bartol (Alamut)
You know how it is when one talks of liberty. Everything seems beautifully simple. One expects every gate to open and every wall to fall flat.
Robert Graves (Claudius the God and His Wife Messalina (Claudius, #2))
now, if there's anything stupider than buddy lists, its lol. if anyone ever uses lol with me, i rip my computer right out of the wall and smash it over the nearest head. i mean, it's not like anyone is laughing out loud about the things they lol. i think it should be spelled loll. like what a lobotomized person's tongue does. loll. loll. i can't think anymore. loll. loll! or ttyl. bitch, you're not actually talking. that would require actual vocal contact or <3. you honestly think that looks like a heart? if you do, that's only because you'v never seen scrotum. (rofl! what? are you really rolling on the floor laughing? well, please stay down there a sec while i KICK YOUR ASS)
David Levithan (Will Grayson, Will Grayson)
I like to let them talk things out, but fact isn’t a democratic process; if a thing isn’t true it isn’t true, even if everybody votes that it is.
K.J. Parker (Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City (The Siege, #1))
Theodor Geisel (otherwise known as Dr. Seuss) spent his workdays ensconced in his private studio, the walls lined with sketches and drawings, in a bell-tower outside his La Jolla, California, house. Geisel was a much more quiet man than his jocular rhymes suggest. He rarely ventured out in public to meet his young readership, fretting that kids would expect a merry, outspoken, Cat in the Hat–like figure, and would be disappointed with his reserved personality. “In mass, [children] terrify me,” he admitted.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
We can't talk about it, or I know she won't so I don't even try, but it's what goes unsaid between people tat builds up like masonry. You have to either knock the bricks out with other things, or let them keep stacking until eventually you are alone in a room.
I guess what I’m saying is, let’s keep lifting each other up. It’s not lost on me that two of the biggest opportunities I’ve had to break into the next level were given to me by successful women in positions of power. If I’m ever in that position and you ask me, “Who?” I’ll do my best to say, “You” too. But in order to get there, you may have to break down the walls of whatever it is that’s holding you back first. Ignore the doubt—it’s not your friend—and just keep going, keep going, keep going.
Lauren Graham (Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls, and Everything in Between)
BLACK AND WHITE
I was born into
A religion of Light,
But with so many other
How do I know which
Is it not
To seek out the light?
To find Truth
After surveying all the proof,
Am I supposed
And why do all those who
Try to guide me,
Always start by dividing
And multiplying me –
From what they consider
Wrong or right?
There were no walls
For whoever beams truth and light.
And how can one speak on Light's behalf,
lf all they do
Is act black,
But talk WHITE?
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
I have no memory for things I have learned, nor things I have read, nor things experienced or heard, neither for people nor events; I feel that I have experienced nothing, learned nothing, that I actually know less than the average schoolboy, and that what I do know is superficial, and that every second question is beyond me. I am incapable of thinking deliberately; my thoughts run into a wall. I can grasp the essence of things in isolation, but I am quite incapable of coherent, unbroken thinking. I can’t even tell a story properly; in fact, I can scarcely talk.
Franz Kafka (Letters to Felice)
That summer and into the fall and in the ensuing years to come, amid talk of Muslim bans, nasty women, border walls, and shithole nations, it was common to hear in certain circles the disbelieving cries, “This is not America,” or “I don’t recognize my country,” or “This is not who we are.” Except that this was and is our country and this was and is who we are, whether we have known or recognized it or not.
Isabel Wilkerson (Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents)
I love you.'
'I'm a little stuck for words here,' she said. 'I'm just trying to get my head around it, trying to find the right way for... Okay, yeah, I have it now. Caelan, cop on to yourself.'
'But I love you.'
'Here we go.'
'When will you admit that you are in love with me too?'
'I swear, talking to you is like talking to a really good looking and mildly stupid brick wall. Look, I like you okay? I think you're cute. You could probably ease up on the brooding self-loathing, though. That stopped being attractive a while ago. But, I mean, on the whole, I like you, and you like me-'
'I love you.'
I shall have twenty cats and talk to them all," she said, picking up the volume of poetry. "My cats and I shall have fish every day for dinner." Her imagination taking flight, she finished, dropping the book into the box, "And I shall memorize every line in this book and paint it in calligraphy on my living room walls.
Regina Doman (Waking Rose (A Fairy Tale Retold #3))
Just as I opened the door, and before I could talk myself out of it, I mouthed, “I deserve better, asshole,” making sure he read my lips as I did it. Then I raised my middle finger up at him and waved good-bye with it. I hope they both got syphilis.
Mariana Zapata (The Wall of Winnipeg and Me)
He was lounging in a cubicle beside an outdated computer, hands shoved into the pockets of his faded jeans. A wavy lock of hair covered his forehead, brushing against thick lashes. His lips curled into a half smile. “I was wondering if you were ever going to find me.” He made no move to clear up any space in the tiny 6x6 hole.
I dropped my bag outside the walls and hopped up on the desk opposite him. “Embarrassed someone would see you and think you’re capable of reading?”
“I do have a reputation to maintain.”
“And what a lovely reputation that is.”
He stretched out his legs so that his feet were under mine. “So what did you want to talk about”—his voice lowered to a deep, sexy whisper—“in private?”
I shivered—and it had nothing to do with the temperature. “Not what you’re hoping.”
Daemon gave me a sexy smirk.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Onyx (Lux, #2))
So,” Lauren said. “You help ghosts with unfulfilled wishes cross over to the astral plane for judgment.”
“And you hunt demons.”
“And you’re married to an angel.”
She paused. “…so basically, you’re Dean Winchester.”
I made an exasperated sound. “I am NOT.”
She smirked. “Yeah, sure.
Kyoko M. (The Holy Dark (The Black Parade, #3))
Do you have any fathomlethes around here?”
“I hope you’re not talking about the weird river-pearl thing you took in Alluveterre that made you cover your walls in scraps of paper like a serial killer,” Sophie told him.
“Oh I am- I know you’re not going to like it, Foster. But I remembered a ton of stuff last time. So how about I promise to let you help me sort through the notes again? Remember that? Such a classic Keephie moment!
Shannon Messenger (Flashback (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #7))
I need you to go talk to a girl who may have some information about Emma."
"Where is she?"
"Someplace you're not going to want to go."
"I give up. Where?"
I felt a hitch in my breathing. I leaned back against the wall.
"Could I pick hell instead?
Lissa Price (Starters (Starters, #1))
That's what this little conversation is all about. The talk about my knives, the stroll on the terrace, the handholding and come-on about what my scar sounds like. Interesting technique. Tell me, what was your next move? Maneuvering me up against the wall here? Or me accidentally falling on your dick?
Jennifer Estep (Web of Lies (Elemental Assassin, #2))
Children have always tumbled down rabbit holes, fallen through mirrors, been swept away by unseasonal floods or carried off by tornadoes. Children have always traveled, and because they are young and bright and full of contradictions, they haven’t always restricted their travel to the possible. Adulthood brings limitations like gravity and linear space and the idea that bedtime is a real thing, and not an artificially imposed curfew. Adults can still tumble down rabbit holes and into enchanted wardrobes, but it happens less and less with every year they live. Maybe this is a natural consequence of living in a world where being careful is a necessary survival trait, where logic wears away the potential for something bigger and better than the obvious. Childhood melts, and flights of fancy are replaced by rules. Tornados kill people: they don’t carry them off to magical worlds. Talking foxes are a sign of fever, not guides sent to start some grand adventure.
But children, ah, children. Children follow the foxes, and open the wardrobes, and peek beneath the bridge. Children climb the walls and fall down the wells and run the razor’s edge of possibility until sometimes, just sometimes, the possible surrenders and shows them the way to go home.
Seanan McGuire (Beneath the Sugar Sky (Wayward Children, #3))
Some prisoners spent more than ten years buried in solitary cells the size of coffins, hearing nothing but clanging bars or footsteps in the corridors. . .[they] survived because they could talk to each other by tapping on the wall. In that way they told of dreams and memories, fallings in and out of love; they discussed, embraced, fought; they shared beliefs and beauties, doubts and guilts, and those questions that have no answers.
When it is genuine, when it is born of the need to speak, no one can stop the human voice. When denied a mouth, it speaks with the hands or the eyes, or the pores, or anything at all. Because every single one of us has something to say to the others, something that deserves to be celebrated or forgiven by others.
For a long time he had been white smoke. He did not realize that until he left the hospital, because white smoke had no consciousness of itself. It faded into the white world of their bed sheets and walls; it was sucked away by the words of doctors who tried to talk to the invisible scattered smoke... They saw his outline but they did not realize it was hollow inside.
Leslie Marmon Silko (Ceremony)
But the gospel doesn’t need a coalition devoted to keeping the wrong people out. It needs a family of sinners, saved by grace, committed to tearing down the walls, throwing open the doors, and shouting, “Welcome! There’s bread and wine. Come eat with us and talk.” This isn’t a kingdom for the worthy; it’s a kingdom for the hungry.
Rachel Held Evans (Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church)
I don't think it is enough appreciated how much an outdoor book the Bible is. It is a "hypaethral book," such as Thoreau talked about - a book open to the sky. It is best read and understood outdoors, and the farther outdoors the better. Or that has been my experience of it. Passages that within walls seem improbable or incredible, outdoors seem merely natural. This is because outdoors we are confronted everywhere with wonders; we see that the miraculous is not extraordinary but the common mode of existence. It is our daily bread.
Wendell Berry (The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays)
But there’s a reason. There’s a reason. There’s a reason for this, there’s a reason education sucks, and it’s the same reason that it will never, ever, ever be fixed. It’s never gonna get any better. Don’t look for it. Be happy with what you got. Because the owners of this country don't want that. I'm talking about the real owners now, the real owners, the big wealthy business interests that control things and make all the important decisions. Forget the politicians. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don't. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land. They own and control the corporations. They’ve long since bought and paid for the senate, the congress, the state houses, the city halls, they got the judges in their back pockets and they own all the big media companies so they control just about all of the news and information you get to hear. They got you by the balls. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying, lobbying, to get what they want. Well, we know what they want. They want more for themselves and less for everybody else, but I'll tell you what they don’t want: They don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that. That doesn’t help them. Thats against their interests. Thats right. They don’t want people who are smart enough to sit around a kitchen table to figure out how badly they’re getting fucked by a system that threw them overboard 30 fucking years ago. They don’t want that. You know what they want? They want obedient workers. Obedient workers. People who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork, and just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits, the end of overtime and the vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it, and now they’re coming for your Social Security money. They want your retirement money. They want it back so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street, and you know something? They’ll get it. They’ll get it all from you, sooner or later, 'cause they own this fucking place. It's a big club, and you ain’t in it. You and I are not in the big club. And by the way, it's the same big club they use to beat you over the head with all day long when they tell you what to believe. All day long beating you over the head in their media telling you what to believe, what to think and what to buy. The table is tilted folks. The game is rigged, and nobody seems to notice, nobody seems to care. Good honest hard-working people -- white collar, blue collar, it doesn’t matter what color shirt you have on -- good honest hard-working people continue -- these are people of modest means -- continue to elect these rich cocksuckers who don’t give a fuck about them. They don’t give a fuck about you. They don’t give a fuck about you. They don't care about you at all -- at all -- at all. And nobody seems to notice, nobody seems to care. That's what the owners count on; the fact that Americans will probably remain willfully ignorant of the big red, white and blue dick that's being jammed up their assholes everyday. Because the owners of this country know the truth: it's called the American Dream, because you have to be asleep to believe it.
When my husband had an affair with someone else I watched his eyes glaze over when we ate dinner together and I heard him singing to himself without me, and when he tended the garden it was not for me.
He was courteous and polite; he enjoyed being at home, but in the fantasy of his home I was not the one who sat opposite him and laughed at his jokes. He didn't want to change anything; he liked his life. The only thing he wanted to change was me.
It would have been better if he had hated me, or if he had abused me, or if he had packed his new suitcases and left.
As it was he continued to put his arm round me and talk about being a new wall to replace the rotten fence that divided our garden from his vegetable patch. I knew he would never leave our house. He had worked for it.
Day by day I felt myself disappearing. For my husband I was no longer a reality, I was one of the things around him. I was the fence which needed to be replaced. I watched myself in the mirror and saw that I was mo longer vivid and exciting. I was worn and gray like an old sweater you can't throw out but won't put on.
He admitted he was in love with her, but he said he loved me.
Translated, that means, I want everything. Translated, that means, I don't want to hurt you yet. Translated, that means, I don't know what to do, give me time.
Why, why should I give you time? What time are you giving me? I am in a cell waiting to be called for execution.
I loved him and I was in love with him. I didn't use language to make a war-zone of my heart.
'You're so simple and good,' he said, brushing the hair from my face.
He meant, Your emotions are not complex like mine. My dilemma is poetic.
But there was no dilemma. He no longer wanted me, but he wanted our life
Eventually, when he had been away with her for a few days and returned restless and conciliatory, I decided not to wait in my cell any longer. I went to where he was sleeping in another room and I asked him to leave. Very patiently he asked me to remember that the house was his home, that he couldn't be expected to make himself homeless because he was in love.
'Medea did,' I said, 'and Romeo and Juliet and Cressida, and Ruth in the Bible.'
He asked me to shut up. He wasn't a hero.
'Then why should I be a heroine?'
He didn't answer, he plucked at the blanket.
I considered my choices.
I could stay and be unhappy and humiliated.
I could leave and be unhappy and dignified.
I could Beg him to touch me again.
I could live in hope and die of bitterness.
I took some things and left. It wasn't easy, it was my home too.
I hear he's replaced the back fence.
Jeanette Winterson (Sexing the Cherry)
I think the man who designed this should have committed suicide. A man who can conceive a thing as beautiful as this should never allowed it to be erected. He should not want to exist. But he will let it be built, so that women will hang out diapers on his terraces, so that men will spit on his stairways and draw dirty pictures on his walls. He's given it to them and he's made it part of them, part of everything. He shouldn't have offered it for men like you to look at. For men like you to talk about. He's defiled his own work by the first word you'll utter about it. He's made himself worse than you are. You'll be committing only a mean little indecency, but he's committed a sacrilege. A man who knows what he must have known to produce this should not have been able to remain alive.
Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead)
What the hell," I said, pushing off the wall, ready to take off the head of whatever stupid salesperson had decided to get cozy with me. My elbow was still buzzing, and I could feel a hot flush creeping up my neck: bad signs. I knew my temper.
I turned my head and saw it wasn't a salesman at all. It was a guy with black curly hair, around my age, wearing a bright orange T-shirt. And for some reason he was smiling.
"Hey there," he said cheerfully. "How's it going?"
"What is your problem?" I snapped, rubbing my elbow.
"You just slammed me into the wall, asshole."
He blinked. "Goodness," he said finally. "Such language."
I just looked at him. Wrong day, buddy, I thought. You caught me on the wrong day.
"The thing is," he said, as if we'd been discussing the weather or world politics, "I saw you out in the showroom. I was over by the tire display?"
I was sure I was glaring at him. But he kept talking.
"I just thought to myself, all of a sudden, that we had something in common. A natural chemistry, if you will. And I had a feeling that something big was going to happen. To both of us. That we were, in fact, meant to be together."
"You got all this," I said, clarifying, "at the tire display?"
"You didn't feel it?" he asked.
"No. I did, however, feel you slamming me into the wall," I said evenly.
"That," he said, lowering his voice and leaning closer to me, "was an accident. An oversight. Just an unfortunate result of the enthusiasm I felt knowing I was about to talk to you.
Sarah Dessen (This Lullaby)
The prince leans to the girl in scarlet heels,
Her green eyes slant, hair flaring in a fan
Of silver as the rondo slows; now reels
Begin on tilted violins to span
The whole revolving tall glass palace hall
Where guests slide gliding into light like wine;
Rose candles flicker on the lilac wall
Reflecting in a million flagons' shine,
And glided couples all in whirling trance
Follow holiday revel begun long since,
Until near twelve the strange girl all at once
Guilt-stricken halts, pales, clings to the prince
As amid the hectic music and cocktail talk
She hears the caustic ticking of the clock.
His books were part of him. Each year of his life, it seemed, his books became more and more a part of him. This room, thirty by twenty feet, and the walls of shelves filled with books, had for him the murmuring of many voices. In the books of Herodotus, Tacitus, Rabelais, Thomas Browne, John Milton, and scores of others, he had found men of face and voice more real to him than many a man he had met for a smoke and a talk.
Carl Sandburg (Remembrance Rock)
There are those who say that spiritual enlightenment is achieved through the denial of oneself; you must deny yourself many things, go and live in a mountaintop, never mingle with other people, talk to the birds..but I say to you, why should you dismantle your home? Where is the meaning in removing the bricks from your walls one by one? What is the purpose in uprooting your floors? Is there any significance in only allowing yourself a tin roof and a muddy bed? Why deny your house its structure? A truly enlightened soul is strong enough, is bright enough to live and shine through, even in a beautiful house! There is no need to ransack the house in order to see an inner beauty etched against a distraught surrounding. A bright and beautiful soul can shine forth even from inside an equally beautiful surrounding.
C. JoyBell C.
The Beat Generation, that was a vision that we had, John Clellon Holmes and I, and Allen Ginsberg in an even wilder way, in the late forties, of a generation of crazy, illuminated hipsters suddenly rising and roaming America, serious, bumming and hitchhiking everywhere, ragged, beatific, beautiful in an ugly graceful new way--a vision gleaned from the way we had heard the word 'beat' spoken on streetcorners on Times Square and in the Village, in other cities in the downtown city night of postwar America--beat, meaning down and out but full of intense conviction--We'd even heard old 1910 Daddy Hipsters of the streets speak the word that way, with a melancholy sneer--It never meant juvenile delinquents, it meant characters of a special spirituality who didn't gang up but were solitary Bartlebies staring out the dead wall window of our civilization--the subterraneans heroes who'd finally turned from the 'freedom' machine of the West and were taking drugs, digging bop, having flashes of insight, experiencing the 'derangement of the senses,' talking strange, being poor and glad, prophesying a new style for American culture, a new style (we thought), a new incantation--The same thing was almost going on in the postwar France of Sartre and Genet and what's more we knew about it--But as to the actual existence of a Beat Generation, chances are it was really just an idea in our minds--We'd stay up 24 hours drinking cup after cup of black coffee, playing record after record of Wardell Gray, Lester Young, Dexter Gordon, Willie Jackson, Lennie Tristano and all the rest, talking madly about that holy new feeling out there in the streets- -We'd write stories about some strange beatific Negro hepcat saint with goatee hitchhiking across Iowa with taped up horn bringing the secret message of blowing to other coasts, other cities, like a veritable Walter the Penniless leading an invisible First Crusade- -We had our mystic heroes and wrote, nay sung novels about them, erected long poems celebrating the new 'angels' of the American underground--In actuality there was only a handful of real hip swinging cats and what there was vanished mightily swiftly during the Korean War when (and after) a sinister new kind of efficiency appeared in America, maybe it was the result of the universalization of Television and nothing else (the Polite Total Police Control of Dragnet's 'peace' officers) but the beat characters after 1950 vanished into jails and madhouses, or were shamed into silent conformity, the generation itself was shortlived and small in number.
No matter where; of comfort no man speak:
Let's talk of graves, of worms, and epitaphs;
Make dust our paper and with rainy eyes
Write sorrow on the bosom of the earth,
Let's choose executors and talk of wills:
And yet not so, for what can we bequeath
Save our deposed bodies to the ground?
Our lands, our lives and all are Bolingbroke's,
And nothing can we call our own but death
And that small model of the barren earth
Which serves as paste and cover to our bones.
For God's sake, let us sit upon the ground
And tell sad stories of the death of kings;
How some have been deposed; some slain in war,
Some haunted by the ghosts they have deposed;
Some poison'd by their wives: some sleeping kill'd;
All murder'd: for within the hollow crown
That rounds the mortal temples of a king
Keeps Death his court and there the antic sits,
Scoffing his state and grinning at his pomp,
Allowing him a breath, a little scene,
To monarchize, be fear'd and kill with looks,
Infusing him with self and vain conceit,
As if this flesh which walls about our life,
Were brass impregnable, and humour'd thus
Comes at the last and with a little pin
Bores through his castle wall, and farewell king!
Cover your heads and mock not flesh and blood
With solemn reverence: throw away respect,
Tradition, form and ceremonious duty,
For you have but mistook me all this while:
I live with bread like you, feel want,
Taste grief, need friends: subjected thus,
How can you say to me, I am a king?
William Shakespeare (Richard II)
Did you know sometimes it frightens me--
when you say my name and I can't see you?
will you ever learn to materialize before you speak?
impetuous boy, if that's what you really are.
how many centuries since you've climbed a balcony
or do you do this every night with someone else?
you tell me that you'll never leave
and I am almost afraid to believe it.
why is it me you've chosen to follow?
did you like the way I look when I am sleeping?
was my hair more fun to tangle?
are my dreams more entertaining?
do you laugh when I'm complaining that I'm all alone?
where were you when I searched the sea
for a friend to talk to me?
in a year where will you be?
is it enough for you to steal into my mind
filling up my page with music written in my hand
you know I'll take the credit for I must have made you come to me somehow.
but please try to close the curtains when you leave at night,
or I'll have to find someone to stay and warm me.
will you always attend my midnight tea parties--
as long as I set it at your place?
if one day your sugar sits untouched
will you have gone forever?
would you miss me in a thousand years--
when you will dry another's tears?
but you say you'll never leave me
and I wonder if you'll have the decency
to pass through my wall to the next room
while I dress for dinner
but when I'm stuck in conversation
with stuffed shirts whose adoration
hurts my ears,
where are you then?
can't you cut in when I dance with other men?
it's too late not to interfere with my life
you've already made me a most unsuitable wife
for any man who wants to be the first his bride has slept with
and you can't just fly into people's bedrooms
then expect them to calmly wave goodbye
you've changed the course of history
and didn't even try
where are you now--
standing behind me,
taking my hand?
come and remind me
who you are
have you traveled far
are you made of stardust too
are the angels after you
tell me what I am to do
but until then I'll save your side of the bed
just come and sing me to sleep
I stay back, because if i get close I'll have to roll him over and look in his eyes, and what if they're empty like Alina's were ? Then I'll know he's gone, like I knew she was gone, too far beyond my reach to ever hear my voice again, to hear me say, I'm sorry, Alina. I wish I'd called more often; I wish I'd heard the truth beneath our vapid sister talk; I wish I'd come to Dublin and fought beside you, or raged at you, because you were acting from fear, too, Alina, not hope at all, or you would have trusted me to help you. Or maybe just apologize, Barrons, for being too young to have my priorities reffined, like you, because I haven't suffered whatever the hell it is you suffered, and then shove you up against a wall and kiss you until you can't breathe, do what I wanted to do the first day I saw you there in your bloody damned bookstore. Disturb you like you disturbed me, make you see me, make you want me-pink me!-shatter your self-control, bring you crashing to your knees in front of me, even though I told myself I'd never want a man like you, that you were too old, too carnal, more animal than man, with one foot in the swamp and no desire to come all the way out, when the truth was that I was terrified by what you made me feel.
Karen Marie Moning (Shadowfever (Fever, #5))
There is something about talking in the night, with the shreds of sleep around your ears, with the silences between one remark and another, the town dark and dreaming beyond your own walls. It draws the truth out of you, straight from its little dark pool down there, where usually you guard it so careful, and wave your hands over it and hum and haw to protect people's feelings, to protect your own . . . You can bring out the jaggedest feelings - if you are my wife and know how to state them calm - into the night quiet. They will float there for consideration, harming no one.
Margo Lanagan (Tender Morsels)
When would you like to go out with me so we can talk about it?" A grin flirts with his lips.
He's got her cornered.
And he knows it.
Janie chuckles, defeated. "You are such a bastard."
"When," he demands. "I promise, all my heart, I'll be your house elf for the rest of my life if I fail to meet you at the appointed date and time." He leans forward. "Promise," he says again. He holds up two fingers.
The bell rings.
They stand up.
She's not answering.
He comes around the table toward her and pushes her gently against the wall. Sinks his lips into hers.
He tastes like spearmint. She can't stop the flipping in her stomach.
He pulls back and touches her cheek, her hair. "When," he whispers. Urgently
She clears her throat and blinks. "A-a-after school works for me," she says.
Lisa McMann (Wake (Wake, #1))
All these years I thought a piece of my life was missing. But it was there all along. It was there when I sat beside you in your car and you began to drive. It was there when I sang backwards and you laughed or I made a picnic and you ate every crumb. It was there when you told me you liked my brown suit, when you opened the door for me, when you asked once if I would like to take the long road home. It came later in my garden. When I looked at the sun and saw it glow on my hands. When a rosebud appeared where there had not been one before. It was in the people who stopped and talked of this and that over the garden wall. And just when I thought my life was done, it came time and time again at the hospice. It has been everywhere, my happiness – when my mother sang for me to dance, when my father took my hand to keep me safe – but it was such a small, plain thing that I mistook it for something ordinary and failed to see. We expect our happiness to come with a sign and bells, but it doesn’t.
Rachel Joyce (The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy (Harold Fry, #2))
Gansey despised raising his voice (in his head, his mother said, People shout when they don't have the vocabulary to whisper), but he heard it happening despite himself and so, with effort, he kept his voice even. "Not like this. At least you have a place to go. 'End of the world'... What is your problem, Adam? I mean, is there something about my place that's too repugnant for you to imagine living there? Why is it that everything kind I do is pity to you? Everything is charity. Well, here it is: I'm sick of tiptoeing around your principles."
"God, I'm sick of your condescension, Gansey," Adam said. "Don't try to make me feel stupid. Who whips out repugnant? Don't pretend you're not trying to make me feel stupid."
"This is the way I talk. I'm sorry your father never taught you the meaning of repugnant. He was too busy smashing your head against the wall of your trailer while you apologized for being alive."
Both of them stopped breathing.
Gansey knew he'd gone too far. It was too far, too late, too much.
Adam shoved open the door.
"Fuck you, Gansey. Fuck you," he said, voice low and furious.
Gansey close his eyes.
Adam slammed the door, and then he slammed it again when the latch didn't catch. Gansey didn't open his eyes. He didn't want to see if people were watching some kid fight with a boy in a bright orange Camaro and an Aglionby jumper. Just then he hated his raven-breasted uniform and his loud car and every three- and four-syllable word his parents had used in casual conversation at the dinner table and he hated Adam's hideous father and Adam's permissive mother and most of all, most of all, he hated the sound of Adam's last words, playing over and over.
He couldn't stand it, all of this inside him.
In the end, he was nobody to Adam, he was nobody to Ronan. Adam spit his words back at him and Ronan squandered however many second chances he gave him. Gansey was just a guy with a lot of stuff and a hole inside him that chewed away more of his heart every year.
They were always walking away from him. But he never seemed able to walk away from them.
Gansey opened his eyes. The ambulance was still there, but Adam was gone.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1))
O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend
The brightest heaven of invention,
A kingdom for a stage, princes to act
And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!
Then should the warlike Harry, like himself,
Assume the port of Mars; and at his heels,
Leash'd in like hounds, should famine, sword and fire
Crouch for employment. But pardon, and gentles all,
The flat unraised spirits that have dared
On this unworthy scaffold to bring forth
So great an object: can this cockpit hold
The vasty fields of France? or may we cram
Within this wooden O the very casques
That did affright the air at Agincourt?
O, pardon! since a crooked figure may
Attest in little place a million;
And let us, ciphers to this great accompt,
On your imaginary forces work.
Suppose within the girdle of these walls
Are now confined two mighty monarchies,
Whose high upreared and abutting fronts
The perilous narrow ocean parts asunder:
Piece out our imperfections with your thoughts;
Into a thousand parts divide on man,
And make imaginary puissance;
Think when we talk of horses, that you see them
Printing their proud hoofs i' the receiving earth;
For 'tis your thoughts that now must deck our kings,
Carry them here and there; jumping o'er times,
Turning the accomplishment of many years
Into an hour-glass: for the which supply,
Admit me Chorus to this history;
Who prologue-like your humble patience pray,
Gently to hear, kindly to judge, our play.
William Shakespeare (Henry V)
Not like this. At least you have a place to go. 'End of the world' ... What is your problem, Adam? I mean, is there something about my place that's too repugnant for you to imagine living there? Why is it that everything kind I do is pity to you? Everything is charity. Well, here it is: I'm sick of tiptoeing around your principles."
"God, I'm sick of your condescension, Gansey," Adam said. "Don't try to make me feel stupid. Who whips out repugnant? Don't pretend you're not trying to make me feel stupid."
"This is the way I talk. I'm sorry your father never taught you the meaning of repugnant. He was too busy smashing your head against the wall of your trailer while you apologized for being alive."
Both of them stopped breathing.
Gansey knew he'd gone too far. It was too far, too late, too much.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1))
Why do you suppose the poets talk about hearts?' he asked me suddenly. 'When they discuss emotional damage? The tissue of hearts is tough as a shoe. Did you ever sew up a heart?'
I shook my head. 'No, but I've watched. I know what you mean.' The walls of a heart are thick and strong, and the surgeons use heavy needles. It takes a good bit of strength, but it pulls together neatly. As much as anything it's like binding a book.
The seat of human emotion should be the liver,' Doc Homer said. 'That would be an appropriate metaphor: we don't hold love in our hearts, we hold it in our livers.'
I understood exactly. Once in ER I saw a woman who'd been stabbed everywhere, most severely in the liver. It's an organ with the consistency of layer upon layer of wet Kleenex. Every attempt at repair just opens new holes that tear and bleed. You try to close the wound with fresh wounds, and you try and you try and you don't give up until there's nothing left.
I opened the fire door
to four lips
none of which were mine
tightened my belt around my hips
where your hands were missing
and stepped out into the cold
under the slate grey sky
the air was smoking and the streets were dry
and I wasn't joking when I said
magazine quality men talking on the corner
French, no less much less of them then us
so why do I feel like something's been rearranged?
you know, taken out of context I must seem so strange
killed a cockroach so big
it left a puddle of pus on the wall
when you and I are lying in bed
you don't seem so tall
I'm singing now because my tear ducts are too tired
and my brain is disconnected but my heart is wired
I make such a good statistic
someone should study me now
somebody's got to be interested in how I feel
just 'cause I'm here
and I'm real
oh, how I miss
substituting the conclusion to confrontation with a kiss
and oh, how I miss
walking up to the edge and jumping in
like I could feel the future on your skin
I opened the fire door
to four lips
none of which were mine
I opened the fire door
They were talking more distantly than if they were strangers who had just met, for if they had been he would have been interested in her just because of that, and curious, but their common past was a wall of indifference between them. Kitty knew too well that she had done nothing to beget her father's affection, he had never counted in the house and had been taken for granted, the bread-winner who was a little despised because he could provide no more luxuriously for his family; but she had taken for granted that he loved her just because he was her father, and it was a shock to discover that his heart was empty of feeling for her. She had known that they were all bored by him, but it had never occurred to her that he was equally bored by them. He was as ever kind and subdued, but the sad perspicacity which she had learnt in suffering suggested to her that, though he probably never acknowledged it to himself and never would, in his heart he disliked her.
W. Somerset Maugham (The Painted Veil)
He was done talking. Aiden came off the wall so fast the water reacted in a frenzy of bubbling. He—we—were in a frenzy. His arms crushed me to him, his mouth demanding, saying those three little words over and over again without speaking them. Aiden lifted me up, one hand burying deep in my hair, the other pressing into my lower back, fitting us together. He turned and my back was against the edge and he was everywhere all at once, stealing my breath, my heart, my soul. There was no coming up for air, no control or limits. There was no tottering on the edge. We both fell headfirst. In his arms, in the way the water bubbled and moved with our bodies, I may’ve lost track of time, but I gained a little part of me. I gained a part of him that U would hold close for the rest of my days, no matter how long or short that turned out to be.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Apollyon (Covenant, #4))
Well, the thing is, I don't think Indians are nomadic anymore. Most indians anyway.'
No, we're not,' I said
I'm not nomadic,' Rowdy said. 'Hardly anybody on this rez is nomadic. Except for you. You're the nomadic one.'
No. I'm serious. I always knew you were going to leave. I always knew you were going to leave us behind and travel the world. I had this dream about you a few months ago. You were standing on the Great Wall of China. You looked happy. And I was happy for you.'
Rowdy didn't cry. But I did.
You're an old-time nomad,' Rowdy said. 'You're going to keep moving all over the world in search of food and water and grazing land. That's pretty cool.'
I could barely talk.
Thank you,' I said.
Yeah,' Rowdy said. 'Just make sure you send me postcards, you asshole.'
From everywhere,' I said.
I would always love Rowdy. And I would always miss him, too. Just as I would always love and miss my grandmother, my big sister, and Eugene.
Just as I would always love and miss my reservation and my tribe.
I hoped and prayed that they would someday forgive me for leaving them.
I hoped and prayed that I would someday forgive myself for leaving them.
Sherman Alexie (The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian)
I don't..." He gasps. "I don't really want to talk about it anymore."
"Okay.Then...I can talk. Ask me something."
"Okay." He laughs shakily in my ear. "Why is your heart racing, Tris?"
I cringe and say, "Well,I..." I search for an excuse that doesn't involve his arms being around me. "I barely know you." Not good enough. "I barely know you and I'm crammed against you in a box,Four,what do you think?"
"If we were in your fear landscape," he says, "would I be in it?"
"I'm not afraid of you."
"Of course you're not.But that's not what I meant."
He laughs again,and when he does,the walls break apart with a crack and fall away,leaving us in a circle of light. Four sighs and lifts his arms from my body. I scramble to my feet and brush myself off,though I haven't accumulated any dirt that I'm aware of. I wipe my palms on my jeans. My back feels cold from the sudden absence of him.
He stands in front of me. He's grinning, and I'm not sure I like the look in his eyes.
"Maybe you were cut out for Candor," he says, "because you're a terrible liar.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
We walked home in silence,which I guess was pretty normal, since he was a dog after all.When we arrived at the house, he wasn't impressed at all.In fact, he showed me just how unimpressed he was by growling at the walls for at least three straight hours.
“Enough already. The wall is not gonna bark back, Mister Fancy Pants!”
He growled at me.Maybe he didn’t like his name? “Don't pee on my carpet,no sniffing, no barking, and no chewing while I'm gone. Stay away from the coffee—touch it and you're gone.” He blinked at me and then snapped his head back at the walls and went back to circling them like a sentry—well,a growling, whining sentry. My cell phone rang, startling me, and I answered it.I winced as the dog continued to go off at the walls as if they would
attack him. “Stop barking!”
“What?” Ryder asked.
“I'm not talking to you. I'm talking to Mister Fancy Pants.” I should seriously change his name. It was too long.
“Who the fuck is Mister Fancy Pants?”
I snickered as he said my dog's name. Coming out of his mouth,
it really sounded bad.
Amelia Hutchins (Taunting Destiny (The Fae Chronicles, #2))
I used to think love was two people sucking
on the same straw to see whose thirst was stronger,
but then I whiffed the crushed walnuts of your nape,
traced jackals in the snow-covered tombstones of your teeth.
I used to think love was a non-stop saxophone solo
in the lungs, till I hung with you like a pair of sneakers
from a phone line, and you promised to always smell
the rose in my kerosene. I used to think love was terminal
pelvic ballet, till you let me jog beside while you pedaled
all over hell on the menstrual bicycle, your tongue
ripping through my prairie like a tornado of paper cuts.
I used to think love was an old man smashing a mirror
over his knee, till you helped me carry the barbell
of my spirit back up the stairs after my car pirouetted
in the desert. You are my history book. I used to not believe
in fairy tales till I played the dunce in sheep’s clothing
and felt how perfectly your foot fit in the glass slipper
of my ass. But then duty wrapped its phone cord
around my ankle and yanked me across the continent.
And now there are three thousand miles between the u
and s in esophagus. And being without you is like standing
at a cement-filled wall with a roll of Yugoslavian nickels
and making a wish. Some days I miss you so much
I’d jump off the roof of your office building
just to catch a glimpse of you on the way down. I wish
we could trade left eyeballs, so we could always see
what the other sees. But you’re here, I’m there,
and we have only words, a nightly phone call - one chance
to mix feelings into syllables and pour into the receiver,
hope they don’t disassemble in that calculus of wire.
And lately - with this whole war thing - the language machine
supporting it - I feel betrayed by the alphabet, like they’re
injecting strychnine into my vowels, infecting my consonants,
naming attack helicopters after shattered Indian tribes:
Apache, Blackhawk; and West Bank colonizers are settlers,
so Sharon is Davey Crockett, and Arafat: Geronimo,
and it’s the Wild West all over again. And I imagine Picasso
looking in a mirror, decorating his face in war paint,
washing his brushes in venom. And I think of Jenin
in all that rubble, and I feel like a Cyclops with two eyes,
like an anorexic with three mouths, like a scuba diver
in quicksand, like a shark with plastic vampire teeth,
like I’m the executioner’s fingernail trying to reason
with the hand. And I don’t know how to speak love
when the heart is a busted cup filling with spit and paste,
and the only sexual fantasy I have is busting
into the Pentagon with a bazooka-sized pen and blowing
open the minds of generals. And I comfort myself
with the thought that we’ll name our first child Jenin,
and her middle name will be Terezin, and we’ll teach her
how to glow in the dark, and how to swallow firecrackers,
and to never neglect the first straw; because no one
ever talks about the first straw, it’s always the last straw
that gets all the attention, but by then it’s way too late.
We should do something,” I said.
“Can the something be play blind-guy video games while sitting on the couch?”
“Yeah, that’s just the kind of something I had in mind.”
So we sat there for a couple hours talking to the screen together, navigating this invisible labyrinthine cave without a single lumen of light. The most entertaining part of the game by was far trying to get the computer to engage with us in humorous conversation:
Me: “Touch the cave wall.”
Computer: “You touch the cave wall. It is moist.”
Isaac: “Lick the cave wall.”
Computer: “I do not understand. Repeat?”
Me: “Hump the cave wall.”
Computer: “You attempt to jump. You hit your head.”
Isaac: “Not jump. HUMP.”
Computer: “I don’t understand.”
Isaac: “Dude, I’ve been alone in the dark in this cave for weeks and I need some relief. HUMP THE CAVE WALL.”
Computer: “You attempt to ju—”
Me: “Thrust pelvis against cave wall.”
Computer: “I do not—”
Isaac: “Make sweet love to the cave.”
Computer: “I do not—”
Me: “FINE. Follow left branch.”
Computer: “You follow the left branch. The passage narrows.”
Computer: “You crawl for one hundred yards. The passage narrows.”
Me: “Snake crawl.”
Computer: “You snake crawl for thirty yards. A trickle of water runs down your body. You reach a mound of small rocks blocking the passageway.”
Me: “Can I hump the cave now?”
Computer: “You cannot jump without standing.”
Isaac: “I dislike living in a world without Augustus Waters.”
Computer: “I don’t understand—”
Isaac: “Me neither. Pause.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
Twenty-two months are a long time and a lot of things can happen in them- there is time for new families to be formed, for babies to be born and even begin to talk, for a great house to rise where once there was only a field, for a beautiful woman to grow old and no one desire her any more, for an illness- for a long illness- to ripen (yet men live on heedlessly), to consume the body slowly, to recede for short periods as if cured, to take hold again more deeply and drain away the last hopes; there is time for a man to die and be buried, for his son to be able to laugh again and in the evening take the girls down the avenues and past the cemetery gates without a thought. But it seemed as if Drogo’s existence had come to a halt. The same day, the same things, had repeated themselves hundreds of times without taking a step forward. The river of time flowed over the Fort, crumbled the walls, swept down dust and fragments of stone, wore away the stairs and the chain, but over Drogo it passed in vain- it had not yet succeeded in catching him, bearing him with it as it flowed.
Dino Buzzati (The Tartar Steppe)
when she was 7, a boy pushed her on the playground
she fell headfirst into the dirt and came up with a mouthful of gravel and lines of blood chasing each other down her legs
when she told her teacher what happened, she laughed and said ‘boys will be boys honey don’t let it bother you
he probably just thinks you’re cute’
but the thing is,
when you tell a little girl who has rocks in her teeth and scabs on her knees that hurt and attention are the same
you teach her that boys show their affection through aggression
and she grows into a young woman who constantly mistakes the two
because no one ever taught her the difference
‘boys will be boys’
‘that’s how he shows his love’
and bruises start to feel like the imprint of lips
she goes to school with a busted mouth in high school and says she was hit with a basketball instead of his fist
the one adult she tells scolds her
‘you know he loses his temper easily
why the hell did you have to provoke him?’
so she shrinks
folds into herself, flinches every time a man raises his voice
by the time she’s 16 she’s learned her job well
be quiet, be soft, be easy
don’t give him a reason
but for all her efforts, he still finds one
‘boys will be boys’ rings in her head
‘boys will be boys
he doesn’t mean it
he can’t help it’
she’s 7 years old on the playground again
with a mouth full of rocks and blood that tastes like copper love
because boys will be boys baby don’t you know
that’s just how he shows he cares
she’s 18 now and they’re drunk
in the split second it takes for her words to enter his ears they’re ruined
like a glass heirloom being dropped between the hands of generations
she meant them to open his arms but they curl his fists and suddenly his hands are on her and her head hits the wall and all of the goddamn words in the world couldn’t save them in this moment
she touches the bruise the next day
boys will be boys
aggression, affection, violence, love
how does she separate them when she learned so early that they’re inextricably bound, tangled in a constant tug-of-war
she draws tally marks on her walls ratios of kisses to bruises
one entire side of her bedroom turns purple, one entire side of her body
boys will be boys will be boys will be boys
when she’s 20, a boy touches her hips and she jumps
he asks her who the hell taught her to be scared like that and she wants to laugh
doesn’t he know that boys will be boys?
it took her 13 years to unlearn that lesson from the playground
so I guess what I’m trying to say is
i will talk until my voice is hoarse so that my little sister understands that aggression and affection are two entirely separate things
baby they exist in different universes
my niece can’t even speak yet but I think I’ll start with her now
don’t ever accept the excuse that boys will be boys
don’t ever let him put his hands on you like that
if you see hate blazing in his eyes don’t you ever confuse it with love
baby love won’t hurt when it comes
you won’t have to hide it under long sleeves during the summer
the only reason he should ever reach out his hand
is to hold yours
Because women tend to turn their anger inward and blame themselves, they tend to become depressed and their self-esteem is lowered. This, in turn, causes them to become more dependent and less willing to risk rejection or abandonment if they were to stand up for themselves by asserting their will, their opinions, or their needs.
Men often defend themselves against hurt by putting up a wall of nonchalant indifference. This appearance of independence often adds to a woman's fear of rejection, causing her to want to reach out to achieve comfort and reconciliation. Giving in, taking the blame, and losing herself more in the relationship seem to be a small price to pay for the acceptance and love of her partner.
As you can see, both extremes anger in and anger out-create potential problems. While neither sex is wrong in the way they deal with their anger, each could benefit from observing how the other sex copes with their anger. Most men, especially abusive ones, could benefit from learning to contain their anger more instead of automatically striking back, and could use the rather female ability to empathise with others and seek diplomatic resolutions to problems. Many women, on the other hand, could benefit from acknowledging their anger and giving themselves permission to act it out in constructive ways instead of automatically talking themselves out of it, blaming themselves, or allowing a man to blame them. Instead of giving in to keep the peace, it would be far healthier for most women to stand up for their needs, their opinions, and their beliefs.
Beverly Engel (The Emotionally Abusive Relationship: How to Stop Being Abused and How to Stop Abusing)
It is lonely behind these boundaries. Some people-particularly those whom psychiatrists call schizoid-because of unpleasant, traumatizing experiences in childhood, perceive the world outside of themselves as unredeemably dangerous, hostile, confusing and unnurturing. Such people feel their boundaries to be protecting and comforting and find a sense of safety in their loneliness. But most of us feel our loneliness to be painful and yearn to escape from behind the walls of our individual identities to a condition in which we can be more unified with the world outside of ourselves. The experience of falling in love allows us this escapetemporarily. The essence of the phenomenon of falling in love is a sudden collapse of a section of an individual's ego boundaries, permitting one to merge his or her identity with that of another person. The sudden release of oneself from oneself, the explosive pouring out of oneself into the beloved, and the dramatic surcease of loneliness accompanying this collapse of ego boundaries is experienced by most of us as ecstatic. We and our beloved are one! Loneliness is no more!
In some respects (but certainly not in all) the act of falling in love is an act of regression. The experience of merging with the loved one has in it echoes from the time when we were merged with our mothers in infancy. Along with the merging we also reexperience the sense of omnipotence which we had to give up in our journey out of childhood. All things seem possible! United with our beloved we feel we can conquer all obstacles. We believe that the strength of our love will cause the forces of opposition to bow down in submission and melt away into the darkness. All problems will be overcome. The future will be all light. The unreality of these feelings when we have fallen in love is essentially the same as the unreality of the two-year-old who feels itself to be king of the family and the world with power unlimited.
Just as reality intrudes upon the two-year-old's fantasy of omnipotence so does reality intrude upon the fantastic unity of the couple who have fallen in love. Sooner or later, in response to the problems of daily living, individual will reasserts itself. He wants to have sex; she doesn't. She wants to go to the movies; he doesn't. He wants to put money in the bank; she wants a dishwasher. She wants to talk about her job; he wants to talk about his. She doesn't like his friends; he doesn't like hers. So both of them, in the privacy of their hearts, begin to come to the sickening realization that they are not one with the beloved, that the beloved has and will continue to have his or her own desires, tastes, prejudices and timing different from the other's. One by one, gradually or suddenly, the ego boundaries snap back into place; gradually or suddenly, they fall out of love. Once again they are two separate individuals. At this point they begin either to dissolve the ties of their relationship or to initiate the work of real loving.
M. Scott Peck (The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth)
In one hallway, the floor gleaming parquet and the ceiling festooned with golden cherubs, there was a boy in a grumpy cat mask and biker boots, not involved in any sexual activity, legs crossed and leaning against the wall. As a bevy of faeries passed the boy, giggling and groping, the boy scooted away.
Alec remembered being younger, and how overwhelming large groups of people had seemed. He came over and leaned against the wall beside the boy. He saw the boy texting, PARTIES WERE INVENTED TO ANNOY ME. THEY FEATURE MY LEAST FAVORITE THING: PEOPLE, ALL INTENT ON MY LEAST FAVORITE ACTIVITY: SOCIAL INTERACTION.
“I don’t really like parties either,” Alec said sympathetically.
“No hablo italiano,” the boy mumbled without looking up.
“Er,” said Alec. “This conversation is happening in English.”
“No hablo ingles,” he said without missing a beat.
“Oh, come on. Really?”
“Worth a shot,” said the boy.
Alec considered going away. The boy wrote another text to a contact he had saved as RF. Alec could not help but notice that the conversation was entirely one-sided, the boy sending text after text with no response. The last text read VENICE SMELLS LIKE A TOILET. AS A NEW YORKER, I DO NOT SAY THIS LIGHTLY.
The weird coincidence emboldened Alec to try again.
“I get shy when there are strangers too,” Alec told the kid.
“I’m not shy,” the boy sneered. “I just hate everyone around me and everything that is happening.”
“Well.” Alec shrugged. “Those feel like similar things sometimes.”
The boy lifted his curly head, pushing the grumpy cat mask off his face, and froze. Alec froze too, at the twin shock of fangs and familiarity. This was a vampire, and Alec knew him.
“Raphael?” he asked. “Raphael Santiago?”
He wondered what the second-in-command of the New York clan was doing here. Downworlders might be flooding in from all over the world, but Raphael had never struck Alec as a party animal.
Of course, he was not exactly coming off as a party animal now.
“Oh no, it’s you,” said Raphael. “The twelve-year-old idiot.”
Alec was not keen on vampires. They were, after all, people who had died. Alec had seen too much death to want reminders of it.
He understood that they were immortal, but there was no need to show off about it.
“We just fought a war together. I was with you in the graveyard when Simon came back as a vampire. You’ve seen me multiple times since I was twelve.”
“The thought of you at twelve haunts me,” Raphael said darkly.
“Okay,” Alec said, humoring him. “So have you seen a guy called Mori Shu anywhere around here?”
“I am trying not to make eye contact with anyone here,” said Raphael. “And I’m not a snitch for Shadowhunters. Or a fan of talking to people, of any kind, in any place.”
Alec rolled his eyes.
Cassandra Clare (The Red Scrolls of Magic (The Eldest Curses, #1))
Poshlust,” or in a better transliteration poshlost, has many nuances, and evidently I have not described them clearly enough in my little book on Gogol, if you think one can ask anybody if he is tempted by poshlost. Corny trash, vulgar clichés, Philistinism in all its phases, imitations of imitations, bogus profundities, crude, moronic, and dishonest pseudo-literature—these are obvious examples. Now, if we want to pin down poshlost in contemporary writing, we must look for it in Freudian symbolism, moth-eaten mythologies, social comment, humanistic messages, political allegories, overconcern with class or race, and the journalistic generalities we all know. Poshlost speaks in such concepts as “America is no better than Russia” or “We all share in Germany’s guilt.” The flowers of poshlost bloom in such phrases and terms as “the moment of truth,” “charisma,” “existential” (used seriously), “dialogue” (as applied to political talks between nations), and “vocabulary” (as applied to a dauber). Listing in one breath Auschwitz, Hiroshima, and Vietnam is seditious poshlost. Belonging to a very select club (which sports one Jewish name—that of the treasurer) is genteel poshlost. Hack reviews are frequently poshlost, but it also lurks in certain highbrow essays. Poshlost calls Mr. Blank a great poet and Mr. Bluff a great novelist. One of poshlost’s favorite breeding places has always been the Art Exhibition; there it is produced by so-called sculptors working with the tools of wreckers, building crankshaft cretins of stainless steel, Zen stereos, polystyrene stinkbirds, objects trouvés in latrines, cannonballs, canned balls. There we admire the gabinetti wall patterns of so-called abstract artists, Freudian surrealism, roric smudges, and Rorschach blots—all of it as corny in its own right as the academic “September Morns” and “Florentine Flowergirls” of half a century ago. The list is long, and, of course, everybody has his bête noire, his black pet, in the series. Mine is that airline ad: the snack served by an obsequious wench to a young couple—she eyeing ecstatically the cucumber canapé, he admiring wistfully the hostess. And, of course, Death in Venice. You see the range.
Vladimir Nabokov (Strong Opinions)
I touched Loki's chest, running my fingers over the bumps of his scar. I didn't know why exactly, but I felt compelled to, as if the scar connected us somehow.
"You just couldn't wait to get me naked, could you, Princess?" Loki asked tiredly. I started to pull my hand back, but he put his own hand over it, keeping it in pace.
"No,I-I was checking for wounds," I stumbled. I wouldn't meet his gaze.
"I'm sure." He moved his thumb, almost caressing my hand, until it hit my ring. "What's that?" He tried to sit up to see it, so I lifted my hand, showing him the emerald-encrusted oval on my finger. "Is that a wedding ring?"
"No, engagement." I lowered my hand, resting it on the bed next to him. "I'm not married yet."
"I'm not too late, then." He smiled and settled back in the bed.
"Too late for what?" I asked.
"To stop you, of course." Still smiling, he closed his eyes.
"Is that why you're here?" I asked, failing to point out how near we were to my nuptials.
"I told you why I'm here," Loki said.
"What happened to you, Loki?" I asked, my voice growing thick when I thought about what he had to have gone through to get all those marks and bruises.
"Are you crying?" Loki asked and opened his eyes.
"No, I'm not crying." I wasn't, but my eyes were moist.
"Don't cry." He tried to sit up, but he winced when he lifted his head, so I put my hand gently on his chest to keep him down.
"You need to rest," I said.
"I will be fine." He put his hand over mine again, and I let him. "Eventually."
"Can you tell me what happened?" I asked. "Why do you need amnesty?"
"Remember when we were in the garden?" Loki asked.
Of course I remembered. Loki had snuck in over the wall and asked me to run away with him. I had declined, but he'd stolen a kiss before he left, a rather nice kiss. My cheeks reddened slightly at the memory, and that make Loki smile wider.
"I see you do." He grinned.
"What does that have to do with anything?" I asked.
"That doesn't," Loki said, referring to the kiss. "I meant when I told you that the King hates me. He really does, Wendy." His eyes went dark for a minute.
"The Vittra King did this to you?" I asked, and my stomach tightened. "You mean Oren? My father?"
"Don't worry about it now," he said, trying to calm the anger burning in my eyes. "I'll be fine."
"Why?" I asked. "Why does the King hate you? Why did he do this to you?"
"Wendy, please." He closed his eyes. "I'm exhausted. I barely made it here. Can we have this conversation when I'm feeling a bit better? Say, in a month or two?"
"Loki," I said with a sigh, but he had a point. "Rest. But we will talk tomorrow. All right?"
"As you wish, Princess," he conceded, and he was already drifting back to sleep again.
I sat beside him for a few minutes longer, my hand still on his chest so I could feel his heartbeat pounding underneath. When I was certain he was asleep, I slid my hand out from under his, and I stood up.
Amanda Hocking (Ascend (Trylle, #3))
Because I questioned myself and my sanity and what I was doing wrong in this situation. Because of course I feared that I might be overreacting, overemotional, oversensitive, weak, playing victim, crying wolf, blowing things out of proportion, making things up. Because generations of women have heard that they’re irrational, melodramatic, neurotic, hysterical, hormonal, psycho, fragile, and bossy. Because girls are coached out of the womb to be nonconfrontational, solicitous, deferential, demure, nurturing, to be tuned in to others, and to shrink and shut up. Because speaking up for myself was not how I learned English. Because I’m fluent in Apology, in Question Mark, in Giggle, in Bowing Down, in Self-Sacrifice. Because slightly more than half of the population is regularly told that what happens doesn’t or that it isn’t the big deal we’re making it into. Because your mothers, sisters, and daughters are routinely second-guessed, blown off, discredited, denigrated, besmirched, belittled, patronized, mocked, shamed, gaslit, insulted, bullied, harassed, threatened, punished, propositioned, and groped, and challenged on what they say. Because when a woman challenges a man, then the facts are automatically in dispute, as is the speaker, and the speaker’s license to speak. Because as women we are told to view and value ourselves in terms of how men view and value us, which is to say, for our sexuality and agreeability. Because it was drilled in until it turned subconscious and became unbearable need: don’t make it about you; put yourself second or last; disregard your feelings but not another’s; disbelieve your perceptions whenever the opportunity presents itself; run and rerun everything by yourself before verbalizing it—put it in perspective, interrogate it: Do you sound nuts? Does this make you look bad? Are you holding his interest? Are you being considerate? Fair? Sweet? Because stifling trauma is just good manners. Because when others serially talk down to you, assume authority over you, try to talk you out of your own feelings and tell you who you are; when you’re not taken seriously or listened to in countless daily interactions—then you may learn to accept it, to expect it, to agree with the critics and the haters and the beloveds, and to sign off on it with total silence. Because they’re coming from a good place. Because everywhere from late-night TV talk shows to thought-leading periodicals to Hollywood to Silicon Valley to Wall Street to Congress and the current administration, women are drastically underrepresented or absent, missing from the popular imagination and public heart. Because although I questioned myself, I didn’t question who controls the narrative, the show, the engineering, or the fantasy, nor to whom it’s catered. Because to mention certain things, like “patriarchy,” is to be dubbed a “feminazi,” which discourages its mention, and whatever goes unmentioned gets a pass, a pass that condones what it isn’t nice to mention, lest we come off as reactionary or shrill.
Roxane Gay (Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture)
You go out into your world, and try and find the things that will be useful to you. Your weapons. Your tools. Your charms. You find a record, or a poem, or a picture of a girl that you pin to the wall and go, "Her. I'll try and be her. I'll try and be her - but here." You observe the way others walk, and talk, and you steal little bits of them - you collage yourself out of whatever you can get your hands on. You are like the robot Johnny 5 in Short Circuit, crying, "More input! More input for Johnny 5! as you rifle through books and watch films and sit in front of the television, trying to guess which of these things that you are watching - Alexis Carrington Colby walking down a marble staircase; Anne of Green Gables holding her shoddy suitcase; Cathy wailing on the moors; Courtney Love wailing in her petticoat; Dorothy Parker gunning people down; Grace Jones singing "Slave to the Rhythm" - you will need when you get out there. What will be useful. What will be, eventually, you?
And you will be quite on your own when you do all this. There is no academy where you can learn to be yourself; there is no line manager slowly urging you toward the correct answer. You are midwife to yourself, and will give birth to yourself, over and over, in dark rooms, alone.
And some versions of you will end in dismal failure - many prototypes won't even get out the front door, as you suddenly realize that no, you can't style-out an all-in-one gold bodysuit and a massive attitude problem in Wolverhampton. Others will achieve temporary success - hitting new land-speed records, and amazing all around you, and then suddenly, unexpectedly exploding, like the Bluebird on Coniston Water.
But one day you'll find a version of you that will get you kissed, or befriended, or inspired, and you will make your notes accordingly, staying up all night to hone and improvise upon a tiny snatch of melody that worked.
Until - slowly, slowly - you make a viable version of you, one you can hum every day. You'll find the tiny, right piece of grit you can pearl around, until nature kicks in, and your shell will just quietly fill with magic, even while you're busy doing other things. What your nature began, nature will take over, and start completing, until you stop having to think about who you'll be entirely - as you're too busy doing, now. And ten years will pass without you even noticing.
And later, over a glass of wine - because you drink wine now, because you are grown - you will marvel over what you did. Marvel that, at the time, you kept so many secrets. Tried to keep the secret of yourself. Tried to metamorphose in the dark. The loud, drunken, fucking, eyeliner-smeared, laughing, cutting, panicking, unbearably present secret of yourself. When really you were about as secret as the moon. And as luminous, under all those clothes.
Caitlin Moran (How to Build a Girl (How to Build a Girl, #1))
I don’t know what to . . . to think.” There was a horrifying burn of tears crawling up my throat.
“This is all overwhelming for you, I imagine. The whole world as you know it is on the brink of great change, and you’re here and don’t even know my name.” The man smiled so broadly, I wondered if it hurt. “You can call me Rolland.” Then he extended a hand.
My gaze dropped to it and I made no attempt to take it.
Rolland chuckled as he turned and strolled back to the desk. “So, you’re a hybrid? Mutated and linked to him on such an intense level that if one of you dies, so does the other?”
His question caught me off guard, but I kept quiet.
He sat on the edge of the desk. “You’re actually the first hybrid I’ve seen.”
“She really isn’t anything special.” The redhead sneered. “Frankly, she’s rather filthy, like an unclean animal.”
As stupid as it was, my cheeks heated, because I was filthy, and Daemon had just physically removed me from him. My pride—my everything—was officially wounded.
Rolland chuckled. “She’s had a rough day, Sadi.”
At her name, every muscle in my body locked up, and my gaze swung back to her. That was Sadi? The one Dee said was trying to molest Daemon—my Daemon? Anger punched through the confusion and hurt. Of course it would have to be a freaking walking and talking model and not a hag.
“Rough day or not, I can’t imagine she cleans up well.” Sadi looked at Daemon as she placed a hand on his chest. “I’m kind of disappointed.”
“Are you?” Daemon replied.
Every hair on my body rose as my arms unfolded.
“Yes,” she purred. “I really think you can do better. Lots better.” As she spoke, she trailed red-painted fingers down the center of his chest, over his abdomen, heading straight for the button on his jeans.
And oh, hell to the no. “Get your hands off him.”
Sadi’s head snapped in my direction. “Excuse me?”
“I don’t think I stuttered.” I took a step forward. “But it looks like you need me to repeat it. Get your freaking hands off him.”
One side of her plump red lips curled up. “You want to make me?”
In the back of my head, I was aware that Sadi didn’t move or speak like the other Luxen. Her mannerisms were too human, but then that thought was quickly chased away when Daemon reached down and pulled her hand away.
“Stop it,” he murmured, voice dropped low in that teasing way of his.
I saw red.
The pictures on the wall rattled and the papers on the desk started to lift up. Static charged over my skin. I was about to pull a Beth right here, seconds away from floating to the ceiling and ripping out every strand of red—
“And you stop it,” Daemon said, but the teasing quality was gone from his words. There was a warning in them that took the wind right out of my pissed-off sails.
The pictures settled as I gaped at him. Being slapped in the face would’ve been better.