Why Do I Run Quotes

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We’re all seeking that special person who is right for us. But if you’ve been through enough relationships, you begin to suspect there’s no right person, just different flavors of wrong. Why is this? Because you yourself are wrong in some way, and you seek out partners who are wrong in some complementary way. But it takes a lot of living to grow fully into your own wrongness. And it isn’t until you finally run up against your deepest demons, your unsolvable problems—the ones that make you truly who you are—that we’re ready to find a lifelong mate. Only then do you finally know what you’re looking for. You’re looking for the wrong person. But not just any wrong person: it's got to be the right wrong person—someone you lovingly gaze upon and think, “This is the problem I want to have.” I will find that special person who is wrong for me in just the right way.
Andrew Boyd (Daily Afflictions: The Agony of Being Connected to Everything in the Universe)
So you were going to rescue the Prince! Why did you pretend to run away? To deceive the Witch?" "Not likely! I'm a coward. Only way I can do something this frightening is to tell myself I'm not doing it!
Diana Wynne Jones (Howl’s Moving Castle (Howl’s Moving Castle, #1))
Does this mean you’re going to make love to me tonight, Christian?” Holy shit. Did I just say that? His mouth drops open slightly, but he recovers quickly. “No, Anastasia it doesn’t. Firstly, I don’t make love. I fuck… hard. Secondly, there’s a lot more paperwork to do, and thirdly, you don’t yet know what you’re in for. You could still run for the hills. Come, I want to show you my playroom.” My mouth drops open. Fuck hard! Holy shit, that sounds so… hot. But why are we looking at a playroom? I am mystified. “You want to play on your Xbox?” I ask. He laughs, loudly. “No, Anastasia, no Xbox, no Playstation. Come.”… Producing a key from his pocket, he unlocks yet another door and takes a deep breath. “You can leave anytime. The helicopter is on stand-by to take you whenever you want to go, you can stay the night and go home in the morning. It’s fine whatever you decide.” “Just open the damn door, Christian.” He opens the door and stands back to let me in. I gaze at him once more. I so want to know what’s in here. Taking a deep breath I walk in. And it feels like I’ve time-traveled back to the sixteenth century and the Spanish Inquisition. Holy fuck.
E.L. James (Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, #1))
It starts so young, and I'm angry about that. The garbage we're taught. About love, about what's "romantic." Look at so many of the so-called romantic figures in books and movies. Do we ever stop and think how many of them would cause serious and drastic unhappiness after The End? Why are sick and dangerous personality types so often shown a passionate and tragic and something to be longed for when those are the very ones you should run for your life from? Think about it. Heathcliff. Romeo. Don Juan. Jay Gatsby. Rochester. Mr. Darcy. From the rigid control freak in The Sound of Music to all the bad boys some woman goes running to the airport to catch in the last minute of every romantic comedy. She should let him leave. Your time is so valuable, and look at these guys--depressive and moody and violent and immature and self-centered. And what about the big daddy of them all, Prince Charming? What was his secret life? We dont know anything about him, other then he looks good and comes to the rescue.
Deb Caletti (The Secret Life of Prince Charming)
That's a good fellow,' Sturmhond said to Ivan. 'Now, I'll take the prisoner back to her quarters, and you can run off and do . . . whatever it is you do when everyone else is working.' Ivan scowled. 'I don't think—' 'Clearly. Why start now?
Leigh Bardugo (Siege and Storm (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #2))
As they passed the rows of houses they saw through the open doors that men were sweeping and dusting and washing dishes, while the women sat around in groups, gossiping and laughing. What has happened?' the Scarecrow asked a sad-looking man with a bushy beard, who wore an apron and was wheeling a baby carriage along the sidewalk. Why, we've had a revolution, your Majesty -- as you ought to know very well,' replied the man; 'and since you went away the women have been running things to suit themselves. I'm glad you have decided to come back and restore order, for doing housework and minding the children is wearing out the strength of every man in the Emerald City.' Hm!' said the Scarecrow, thoughtfully. 'If it is such hard work as you say, how did the women manage it so easily?' I really do not know,' replied the man, with a deep sigh. 'Perhaps the women are made of cast-iron.
L. Frank Baum (The Marvelous Land of Oz (Oz, #2))
Why aren't you in school? I see you every day wandering around." "Oh, they don't miss me," she said. "I'm antisocial, they say. I don't mix. It's so strange. I'm very social indeed. It all depends on what you mean by social, doesn't it? Social to me means talking to you about things like this." She rattled some chestnuts that had fallen off the tree in the front yard. "Or talking about how strange the world is. Being with people is nice. But I don't think it's social to get a bunch of people together and then not let them talk, do you? An hour of TV class, an hour of basketball or baseball or running, another hour of transcription history or painting pictures, and more sports, but do you know, we never ask questions, or at least most don't; they just run the answers at you, bing, bing, bing, and us sitting there for four more hours of film-teacher. That's not social to me at all. It's a lot of funnels and lot of water poured down the spout and out the bottom, and them telling us it's wine when it's not. They run us so ragged by the end of the day we can't do anything but go to bed or head for a Fun Park to bully people around, break windowpanes in the Window Smasher place or wreck cars in the Car Wrecker place with the big steel ball. Or go out in the cars and race on the streets, trying to see how close you can get to lampposts, playing 'chicken' and 'knock hubcaps.' I guess I'm everything they say I am, all right. I haven't any friends. That's supposed to prove I'm abnormal. But everyone I know is either shouting or dancing around like wild or beating up one another. Do you notice how people hurt each other nowadays?
Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451)
We stood there, looking at each other, saying nothing. But it was the kind of nothing that meant everything. In his eyes, there was no trace of what had happened between us earlier and I could feel something inside me break. So that was that. We were finally, finally over. I looked at him, and I felt so sad, because this thought occurred to me: 'I will never look at you the same way again. I'll never be that girl again. The girl who comes running back every time you push her away, the girl who loves you anyway.' I couldn’t even be mad at him, because this was who he was. This was who he’d always been. He’d never lied about that. He gave and then he took away. I felt it in the pit of my stomach, the familiar ache, that lost, regretful feeling only he could give me. I never wanted to feel it again. Never, ever. Maybe this was why I came, so I could really know. So I could say good-bye. I looked at him, and I thought, 'If I was very brave or very honest, I would tell him.' I would say it, so he would know it and I would know it, and I could never take it back. But I wasn’t that brave or honest, so all I did was look at him. And I think he knew anyway. 'I release you. I evict you from my heart. Because if I don't do it now, I never will.' I was the one to look away first.
Jenny Han (It's Not Summer Without You (Summer, #2))
I just don’t get it. I’ve spent my whole life hiding the things I can’t do. Why run from the amazing things you can do?
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
Can you think what the Mirror of Erised shows us all?" Harry shook his head. "Let me explain. The happiest man on earth would be able to use the Mirror of Erised like a normal mirror, that is, he would look into it and see himself exactly as he is. Does that help." Harry thought. Then he said slowly, "It shows us what we want... whatever we want..." "Yes and no," said Dumbledore quietly. "It shows us nothing more or less than the deepest, most desperate desire of our hearts. You, who have never known your family, see them standing around you. Ronald Weasley, who has always been overshadowed by his brothers, sees himself standing alone, the best of all of them. However, this mirror will give us neither knowledge or truth. Men have wasted away before it, entranced by what they have seen, or been driven mad, not knowing if what it shows is real or even possible. "The Mirror will be moved to a new home tomorrow, Harry, and I ask you not to go looking for it again. If you ever do run across it, you will now be prepared. It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that. Now, why don't you put that admirable cloak back on and get off to bed.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1))
Hey, have you ever heard of the Alchemists? " "Sure, " he said. "Of course you have. " "Why? Did you run into them? " "Kind of. " "What'd you do? " "Why do you think I did anything? " He laughed. "Alchemists only show up when trouble happens, and you bring trouble wherever you go. Be careful, though. They're religious nuts." "That's kind of extreme," I said. "Just don't let them convert you." He winked. "I like you being the sinner you are.
Richelle Mead (Blood Promise (Vampire Academy, #4))
At dawn, when you have trouble getting out of bed, tell yourself: “I have to go to work — as a human being. What do I have to complain of, if I’m going to do what I was born for — the things I was brought into the world to do? Or is this what I was created for? To huddle under the blankets and stay warm?” So you were born to feel “nice”? Instead of doing things and experiencing them? Don’t you see the plants, the birds, the ants and spiders and bees going about their individual tasks, putting the world in order, as best they can? And you’re not willing to do your job as a human being? Why aren’t you running to do what your nature demands? You don’t love yourself enough. Or you’d love your nature too, and what it demands of you.
Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)
Father sat down on the edge of the narrow bed. "Corrie," he began gently, "when you and I go to Amsterdam-when do I give you your ticket?" I sniffed a few times, considering this. "Why, just before we get on the train." "Exactly. And our wise Father in heaven knows when we're going to need things, too. Don't run out ahead of Him, Corrie. When the time comes that some of us will have to die, you will look into your heart and find the strength you need-just in time.
Corrie ten Boom (The Hiding Place: The Triumphant True Story of Corrie Ten Boom)
Shepley jogged around the front of the Charger, and then slid into the driver’s seat. “I’m still taking the official position that this is a bad idea.” “Noted.” “Then where?” “Steiner’s.” “The jewelry store?” “Yep.” “Why, Travis?” Shepley said, his voice more stern than before. “You’ll see.” He shook his head. “Are you trying to run her off?” “It’s going to happen, Shep. I just want to have it. For when the time is right.” “No time any time soon is right. I am so in love with America that it drives me crazy sometimes, but we’re not old enough for that shit, yet, Travis. And … what if she says no?” My teeth clenched at the thought. “I won’t ask her until I know she’s ready.” Shepley’s mouth pulled to the side. “Just when I think you can’t get any more insane, you do something else to remind me that you are far beyond bat shit crazy.” “Wait until you see the rock I’m getting.” Shepley craned his neck slowly in my direction. “You’ve already been over there shopping, haven’t you?” I smiled.
Jamie McGuire (Walking Disaster (Beautiful, #2))
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))
I didn't do it,' he insisted. 'Then why did you run?' Sabrina asked. 'And send rabbits to eat us! I'm a seven-year-old girl,' Daphne said. 'Do you know how important bunny rabbits are to me?
Michael Buckley (The Unusual Suspects (The Sisters Grimm #2))
When Peeta holds out his arms, I walk straight into them. It's the first time since they announced the Quarter Quell that he's offered me any sort of affection. He's been more like a very demanding trainer, always pushing, always insisting Haymitch and I run faster, eat more, know our enemy better. Lovers? Forget about that. He abandoned any pretense of even being my friend. I wrap my arms tightly around his neck before he can order me to do push-ups or something. Instead he pulls me in close and buries his face in my hair. Warmth radiates from the spot where his lips just touch my neck, slowly spreading through the rest of me. It feels so good, so impossibly good, that I know I will not be the first to let go. And why should I?
Suzanne Collins (Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2))
And then I laugh, because it's so ridiculous and so gorgeous and it's all I an do to not melt into a fit of giggles. So what if I'm ninety-three? So what if I'm ancient and cranky and my body's a wreck? If they're willing to accept me and my guilty conscience, why the hell shouldn't I run away with the circus? It's like Charlie told the cop. For this old man, this IS home.
Sara Gruen
I'm not sure why I've decided to do this. I'm not any stronger than I was, and nothing else has changed. But all the same, this time I'm not going to run away. It's okay to feel weak sometimes. It's okay to be afraid. The important thing is that we face our fears. That's what makes us strong."-Yuki
Natsuki Takaya
No,” he muttered, running a hand through his copper hair. “No. No. There are dozens.” “Kell?” she asked, moving to touch his arm. He shook her off. “Dozens of ships, Lila! And you had to climb aboard his.” “I’m sorry,” she shot back, bristling, “I was under the impression that I was free to do as I pleased.” “To be fair,” added Alucard, “I think she was planning to steal it and slit my throat.” “Then why didn’t you?” snarled Kell, spinning on her. “You’re always so eager to slash and stab, why couldn’t you have stabbed him?
V.E. Schwab (A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic, #2))
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))
Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labour or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ``What shall we eat?'' or ``What shall we drink?'' or ``What shall we wear?'' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. - Matthew 6:25-34
Anonymous (The Holy Bible: King James Version)
I hate them,” she says softly. “Who?” “Everybody,” she says. “I hate everybody”. I close my eyes and lift my hand, then run it down her hair, doing my best to comfort her. Finally, someone who actually gets it. I’m not sure why she hates everybody but I have a feeling she’s got a pretty valid reason.“I hate everybody too, Cinderella.
Colleen Hoover (Finding Cinderella (Hopeless, #2.5))
There is probably no better or more reliable measure of whether a woman has spent time in ugly duckling status at some point or all throughout her life than her inability to digest a sincere compliment. Although it could be a matter of modesty, or could be attributed to shyness- although too many serious wounds are carelessly written off as "nothing but shyness"- more often a compliment is stuttered around about because it sets up an automatic and unpleasant dialogue in the woman's mind. If you say how lovely she is, or how beautiful her art is, or compliment anything else her soul took part in, inspired, or suffused, something in her mind says she is undeserving and you, the complimentor, are an idiot for thinking such a thing to begin with. Rather than understand that the beauty of her soul shines through when she is being herself, the woman changes the subject and effectively snatches nourishment away from the soul-self, which thrives on being acknowledged." "I must admit, I sometimes find it useful in my practice to delineate the various typologies of personality as cats and hens and ducks and swans and so forth. If warranted, I might ask my client to assume for a moment that she is a swan who does not realzie it. Assume also for a moment that she has been brought up by or is currently surrounded by ducks. There is nothing wrong with ducks, I assure them, or with swans. But ducks are ducks and swans are swans. Sometimes to make the point I have to move to other animal metaphors. I like to use mice. What if you were raised by the mice people? But what if you're, say, a swan. Swans and mice hate each other's food for the most part. They each think the other smells funny. They are not interested in spending time together, and if they did, one would be constantly harassing the other. But what if you, being a swan, had to pretend you were a mouse? What if you had to pretend to be gray and furry and tiny? What you had no long snaky tail to carry in the air on tail-carrying day? What if wherever you went you tried to walk like a mouse, but you waddled instead? What if you tried to talk like a mouse, but insteade out came a honk every time? Wouldn't you be the most miserable creature in the world? The answer is an inequivocal yes. So why, if this is all so and too true, do women keep trying to bend and fold themselves into shapes that are not theirs? I must say, from years of clinical observation of this problem, that most of the time it is not because of deep-seated masochism or a malignant dedication to self-destruction or anything of that nature. More often it is because the woman simply doesn't know any better. She is unmothered.
Clarissa Pinkola Estés (Women Who Run With the Wolves)
Ty laughed, a carefree, boyish sound, and glanced to his side, distracted by what he saw. “You moved the rug.” “I kitty-cornered it.” “Why would you do that?” Ty asked, aghast. “To see you lose your shit when you got home.” Zane leaned closer, grinning evilly. “There are other things out of order too. Books not alphabetized. Coffee mug handles facing different directions.” He lowered his voice to a whisper as Ty’s eyes widened in horror. “The closet isn’t color coded.” “You’re just watching the world burn, huh?” Zane laughed. “God I missed you.” Ty said in a rush of breath.
Abigail Roux (Touch & Geaux (Cut & Run, #7))
Don't you ever feel like, what if the world really IS messed up? What if we COULD Do it all over again from scratch? No more war. Nobody homeless. No more summer reading homework. 'm listening. Annabeth: I mean, the West represents a lot of the best things mankind ever did--that's why the fire is still burning. That's why OlympusIs still around. But sometimes you just see the bad stuff, you know? And you start thinking the way Luke does: 'If I could tear this all down, i would do it better.'. Don't you ever feel that way? Like YOU could do a better job I'd you ran the world? Percy:Um...no. Me running the world would be kind of a nightmare. Annabeth: then you're lucky. Hubris isn't your fatal flaw. Percy: what is? Annabeth: I don't know, Percy, but every hero has one. If you don't find it and learn to control it...well, they don't call it 'fatal' for nothing. Percy(thinking to himself): I thought about that. It didn't exactly cheer me up.
Rick Riordan (The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #2))
I almost miss the sound of your voice but know that the rain outside my window will suffice for tonight. I’m not drunk yet, but we haven’t spoken in months now and I wanted to tell you that someone threw a bouquet of roses in the trash bin on the corner of my street, and I wanted to cry because, because — well, you know exactly why. And, I guess I’m calling because only you understand how that would break my heart. I’m running out of things to say. My gas is running on empty. I’ve stopped stealing pages out of poetry books, but last week I pocketed a thesaurus and looked for synonyms for you but could only find rain and more rain and a thunderstorm that sounded like glass, like crystal, like an orchestra. I wanted to tell you that I’m not afraid of being moved anymore; Not afraid of this heart packing up its things and flying transcontinental with only a wool coat and a pocket with a folded-up address inside. I’ve saved up enough money to disappear. I know you never thought the day would come. Do you remember when we said goodbye and promised that it was only for then? It’s been years since I last saw you, years since we last have spoken. Sometimes, it gets quiet enough that I can hear the cicadas rubbing their thighs against each other’s. I’ve forgotten almost everything about you already, except that your skin was soft, like the belly of a peach, and how you would laugh, making fun of me for the way I pronounced almonds like I was falling in love with language.
Shinji Moon
Roarke: “Our engines don't run at the same speed.” Eve: “What the hell does that mean?” Roarke: “Just that.” Eve: “It sounds like something that ought to piss me off. But I can't figure out exactly why. When I do, I might have to pop you one.” Roarke: “I'll look forward to it. If you don't sleep, eat. You need something in your stomach. And what are you grinning at?” Eve: “You. You're such a wife.” Roarke: “Now, I'm pissed off.
J.D. Robb (Witness in Death (In Death, #10))
It's like being home again, when they bring in the hopelessly mangled person from the mine explosion, or the woman in her third day of labor, or the famished child struggling against pneumonia and my mother and Prim, they wear that same look on their faces. Now is the times to run away tho the woods, to hide in the trees until the patient is long gone and in another part of the Seam the hammers make the coffin. But I'm held here both by the hovercraft walls and the same force that holds the loved ones of the dying. How often I've seen them, ringed around our kitchen table and I thought, Why don't they leave? Why do they stay to watch? And now I know. It's because you have no choice.
Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1))
Why do I take a blade and slash my arms? Why do I drink myself into a stupor? Why do I swallow bottles of pills and end up in A&E having my stomach pumped? Am I seeking attention? Showing off? The pain of the cuts releases the mental pain of the memories, but the pain of healing lasts weeks. After every self-harming or overdosing incident I run the risk of being sectioned and returned to a psychiatric institution, a harrowing prospect I would not recommend to anyone. So, why do I do it? I don't. If I had power over the alters, I'd stop them. I don't have that power. When they are out, they're out. I experience blank spells and lose time, consciousness, dignity. If I, Alice Jamieson, wanted attention, I would have completed my PhD and started to climb the academic career ladder. Flaunting the label 'doctor' is more attention-grabbing that lying drained of hope in hospital with steri-strips up your arms and the vile taste of liquid charcoal absorbing the chemicals in your stomach. In most things we do, we anticipate some reward or payment. We study for status and to get better jobs; we work for money; our children are little mirrors of our social standing; the charity donation and trip to Oxfam make us feel good. Every kindness carries the potential gift of a responding kindness: you reap what you sow. There is no advantage in my harming myself; no reason for me to invent delusional memories of incest and ritual abuse. There is nothing to be gained in an A&E department.
Alice Jamieson (Today I'm Alice: Nine Personalities, One Tortured Mind)
Ty: Were you running away? Kit: I was going for a walk. Ty: No, you're lying. You were running away. Kit: Why do you care what I do? Ty: I'm a Shadowhunter. We help people. Kit: Now you're lying Ty: I need you. You might be surprised to hear that.
Cassandra Clare (Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices, #2))
Sometimes the man who looks happiest in town, with the biggest smile, is the one carrying the biggest load of sin. There are smiles & smiles; learn to tell the dark variety from the light. The seal-barker, the laugh-shouter, half the time he's covering up. He's had his fun & he's guilty. And all men do love sin, Will, oh how they love it, never doubt, in all shapes, sizes, colors & smells. Times come when troughs, not tables, suit appetites. Hear a man too loudly praising others & look to wonder if he didn't just get up from the sty. On the other hand, that unhappy, pale, put-upon man walking by, who looks all guilt & sin, why, often that's your good man with a capital G, Will. For being good is a fearful occupation; men strain at it & sometimes break in two. I've known a few. You work twice as hard to be a farmer as to be his hog. I suppose it's thinking about trying to be good makes the crack run up the wall one night. A man with high standards, too, the least hair falls on him sometimes wilts his spine. He can't let himself alone, won't let himself off the hook if he falls just a breath from grace.
Ray Bradbury (Something Wicked This Way Comes (Green Town, #2))
There are stories of elopements, unrequited love, family feuds and exhausting vendettas, which everyone was drawn into, had to be involved with. But nothing is said of the closeness between two people: how they grew in the shade of each other's presence. No one speaks of that exchange of gift and character - the way a person took on and recognized in himself the smile of a lover... Where is the intimate and truthful in all this? Teenager and Uncle. Husband and lover. A lost father in his solace. And why do I want to know of this privacy? After the cups of tea, coffee, public conversations ... I want to sit down with someone and talk with utter directness, want to talk to all the lost history like that deserving lover.
Michael Ondaatje (Running in the Family)
Why do I want to run from happiness?
Mary Balogh (More Than a Mistress (Mistress Trilogy #1))
Honestly, Jared, one thing at a time. Why are you in a well with me? This is a really bad rescue!" [...] "I called the police as I was running to the well. I'm sure they're coming." "Did they say they were coming?" Kami asked suspiciously. "Or did you shout, 'Kami's in the well!' before jumping in the well too, thus loosing your phone and making sure the police think it was some kids playing a dumb joke?" Jared paused. [...] "Alternate plan," Jared said. "Do you have a very intelligent collie who might communicate through a system of barks to your parents that little Kami is in the well?
Sarah Rees Brennan (Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy, #1))
Edward spoke in a voice so peaceful and gentle that it made the words strangely more threatening. "I'm not going to kill you now, because it would upset Bella." "Hmph," I grumbled. Edward turned slightly to throw me a quick smile. His face was still calm. "It would bother you in the morning," he said, brushing his fingers across my cheek. The he turned back to Jacob. "But if you ever bring her back damaged again--and I don't care whose fault it is; I don't care if she merely trips, or if a meteor falls out of the sky and hits her in the head--if you return her to me in less than the perfect condition that I left her in, you will be running with three legs. Do you understand that, mongrel?" Jacob rolled his eyes. "who's going back?" I muttered Edward continued as if he hadn't heard me. "And if you ever kiss her again, I wiil break your jaw for her," he promised, his voice still gentle and velvet deadly. "What if she wants me to?" Jacob drawled, arrogant. "Hah!" I snorted. "If that's what she wants, then I won't object." Edward shrugged, untroubled. "You might want to wait for her to say it, rather than trust your interpretation of body language-but it's your face." Jacob grinned. "You wish," I grumbled. "Yes, he does," Edward murmured. "Well, if you're done rummaging through my head," Jacob said with a think edge of annoyance, "why don't you go take care of her hand?" "One more thing," Edward said slowly. "I'll be fighting for her, too. You should know that. I'm not taking anything for granted, and I'll be fighting twice as hard as you will." "Good," Jacob growled. "it's no fun beating someone who forfeits." She is mine." Edward's low voice was suddenly dark, not as composed as before, "i did't say I would fight fair." "Neither did I." "Best of luck." Jacob nodded. "Yes, may the best man win." "That sounds about right...pup.
Stephenie Meyer (Eclipse (The Twilight Saga, #3))
The worst thing is not that the world is unfree, but that people have unlearned their liberty. The more indifferent people are to politics, to the interests of others, the more obsessed they become with their own faces. The individualism of our time. Not being able to fall asleep and not allowing oneself to move: the marital bed. If high culture is coming to an end, it is also the end of you and your paradoxical ideas, because paradox as such belongs to high culture and not to childish prattle. You remind me of the young men who supported the Nazis or communists not out of cowardice or out of opportunism but out of an excess of intelligence. For nothing requires a greater effort of thought than arguments to justify the rule of nonthought… You are the brilliant ally of your own gravediggers. In the world of highways, a beautiful landscape means: an island of beauty connected by a long line with other islands of beauty. How to live in a world with which you disagree? How to live with people when you neither share their suffering nor their joys? When you know that you don’t belong among them?... our century refuses to acknowledge anyone’s right to disagree with the world…All that remains of such a place is the memory, the ideal of a cloister, the dream of a cloister… Humor can only exist when people are still capable of recognizing some border between the important and the unimportant. And nowadays this border has become unrecognizable. The majority of people lead their existence within a small idyllic circle bounded by their family, their home, and their work... They live in a secure realm somewhere between good and evil. They are sincerely horrified by the sight of a killer. And yet all you have to do is remove them from this peaceful circle and they, too, turn into murderers, without quite knowing how it happened. The longing for order is at the same time a longing for death, because life is an incessant disruption of order. Or to put it the other way around: the desire for order is a virtuous pretext, an excuse for virulent misanthropy. A long time a go a certain Cynic philosopher proudly paraded around Athens in a moth-eaten coat, hoping that everyone would admire his contempt for convention. When Socrates met him, he said: Through the hole in your coat I see your vanity. Your dirt, too, dear sir, is self-indulgent and your self-indulgence is dirty. You are always living below the level of true existence, you bitter weed, you anthropomorphized vat of vinegar! You’re full of acid, which bubbles inside you like an alchemist’s brew. Your highest wish is to be able to see all around you the same ugliness as you carry inside yourself. That’s the only way you can feel for a few moments some kind of peace between yourself and the world. That’s because the world, which is beautiful, seems horrible to you, torments you and excludes you. If the novel is successful, it must necessarily be wiser than its author. This is why many excellent French intellectuals write mediocre novels. They are always more intelligent than their books. By a certain age, coincidences lose their magic, no longer surprise, become run-of-the-mill. Any new possibility that existence acquires, even the least likely, transforms everything about existence.
Milan Kundera
Sometmes when you pull knives on people, they get this impression that you're going to hurt them, and then they're completely terrified. Crazy, I know!" "Okay," said Nick. He turned to Jamie & popped his left wrist sheath again. "Look." Jamie backed up. "Which part of 'completely terrified' did you translate as 'show us your knives, Nick'? Don't show me your knives, Nick. I have no interest in your knives." Nick rolled his eyes. "This is a quillon dagger. That's a knife with a sword handle. I like it because it has a good grip for stabbing." "Why do you say these things?" Jamie inquired piteously. "Is it to make me sad?" "I didn't have you cornered," Nick went on. "You could've run. And this dagger doesn't have an even weight distribution; it's absolute rubbish for throwing. If I had any intention of hurting you, I'd have used a knife I could throw." Jamie blinked. "I will remember those words always. I may try to forget them, but I sense that I won't be able to.
Sarah Rees Brennan (The Demon's Covenant)
Desi, Desi, Desi what am I going to do with you? (Kyrian) Don't you dare take that flippant tone with me! (Desiderius) Why ever not? (Kyrian) Because I am not some scared little Daimon to run cringing from you. I am your worst nightmare. (Desiderius) Must you resort to cliches? C'mon, Desidisastrous, couldn't you think of anything more original than that B-movie dialogue staple? (Kyrian)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Night Pleasures (Dark-Hunter #1))
Dalek Sec: The Doctor will open the Ark! The Doctor: Ha ha, the Doctor will not. Dalek Sec: You have no way of resisting! The Doctor: Mm, you got me there. [withdrawing the sonic screwdriver] Although, there is always this. Dalek Sec: A sonic probe? The Doctor: [with jocular bravado] That's screwdriver. Dalek Sec: It is harmless. The Doctor: Ohh, yes. Harmless is just the word: that's why I like it! Doesn't kill, doesn't wound, doesn't maim. But I'll tell you what it does do: It is very good at opening doors. [He pushes the switch and the doors explode inwards; Jake's squad and some Cybermen run in and open fire.]
Russell T. Davies
I just don't get it. I've spent my whole life hiding the things I can't do. Why run from the amazing things you can do?
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
What do we say to a guest who forgets her umbrella? Do we run after her and say "What is the matter with you? Every time you come to visit you forget something. If it's not one thing it's another. Why can't you be like your sister? When she comes to visit, she knows how to behave. You're forty-four years old! Will you never learn? I'm not a slave to pick up after you! I bet you'd forget your head if it weren't attached to your shoulders." That's not what we say to a guest. We say "Here's your umbrella, Alice," without adding "scatterbrain." Parents need to learn to respond to their children as they do to guests.
Haim G. Ginott (Between Parent and Child)
With a new awareness, both painful and humorous, I begin to understand why the saints were rarely married women. I am convinced it has nothing inherently to do, as I once supposed, with chastity or children. It has to do primarily with distractions. The bearing, rearing, feeding and educating of children; the running of a house with its thousand details; human relationships with their myriad pulls--woman's normal occupations in general run counter to creative life, or contemplative life, or saintly life. The problem is not merely one of Woman and Career, Woman and the Home, Woman and Independence. It is more basically: how to remain whole in the midst of the distractions of life; how to remain balanced, no matter what centrifugal forces tend to pull one off center; how to remain strong, no matter what shocks come in at the periphery and tend to crack the hub of the wheel.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh (Gift from the Sea)
Well, what do you want me to say?' The Doctor was so angry he was almost hovering. 'Well done on marrying the only male nurse not to have a full set of Barbara Streisand records? Why did you pick him, anyway? Were there no flight attendants in your village?' 'Only Jeff,' [Amy replied]. 'Ah.'... 'I picked Rory, always Rory, because he is just like you,' I [Amy] yelled at him. 'He is sweet and understanding and funny and he always tries to do the right thing. Plus you both run the same way.' 'We do not.' 'Do so.
James Goss (Doctor Who: Dead of Winter)
Why can’t I do it?” [Isabel] asked…. “Do what?” “Just forget about everything. Just go somewhere and get smashed and pretend like there are no problems or consequences. I know why. Because there are still problems and consequences. And going and--and--partying doesn’t make them go away. I feel like I’m the only sane person in the world. I don’t get why this whole world runs on stupidity.
Maggie Stiefvater (Sinner (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #3.5))
I don't know why it is, but women who have anything to do with Opera, even if they're only studying for it, always appear to run to surplus poundage.
P.G. Wodehouse (Very Good, Jeeves! (Jeeves, #4))
I just don't get it. I've spent my whole life hiding the things I can't do. Why run from the amazing things you can't do?
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
She looked at his young face, so full of concern and tenderness; and she remembered why she had run away from everyone else and sought solitude here. She yearned to kiss him, and she saw the answering longing in his eyes. Every fiber of her body told her to throw herself into his arms, but she knew what she had to do. She wanted to say, I love you like a thunderstorm, like a lion, like a helpless rage; but instead she said: "I think I'm going to marry Alfred.
Ken Follett (The Pillars of the Earth (Kingsbridge, #1))
For the love of ammonites, man! That's just stupid. Why on earth would the Society need to protect unmarried women from bone-dry lectures regarding soil composition? Do your members find themselves whipped into some sort of dusty frenzy, from which no delicate lass would be safe?" Mr. Barrington tugged on his coat. "Sometimes the debate does get heated." Colin turned to her. "Min, Can I just hit him?" "I think that's a bad idea." "run him through with something sharp?
Tessa Dare (A Week to Be Wicked (Spindle Cove, #2))
Gods know about fading. They know about being forgotten over centuries. The idea of ceasing to exist altogether terrifies us. In fact- well, Zeus would not like me sharing this information, and if you tell anyone, I will deny I ever said it-but the truth is we gods are a little in awe of you mortals. You spend your whole lives knowing you will die. No matter how many friends and relatives you have, your puny existences will quickly be forgotten. How do you cope with it? Why are you not running around constantly screaming and pulling your hair out? Your bravery, I must admit, is quite admirable.
Rick Riordan (The Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo, #1))
If you find yourself debating whether or not you should go exercise, it means you have the time and the means, your're simply talking yourself out of doing something difficults
Matthew Inman (The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances)
I call it treason against rock 'n' roll because rock is the antithesis of politics. Rock should never be in bed with politics. ... When I was a kid and my parents started talking about politics, I'd run to my room and put on the Rolling Stones as loud as I could. So when I see all these rock stars up there talking politics, it makes me sick. .... If you're listening to a rock star in order to get your information on who to vote for, you're a bigger moron than they are. Why are we rock stars? Because we're morons. We sleep all day, we play music at night and very rarely do we sit around reading the Washington Journal.
Alice Cooper
The truth is, we want to be known; we truly do. But we’re afraid. If you see the real me, will you run away? Am I even worth being known? Will the real me bore you? Scare you? Repulse you? And so we hide.
Gary L. Thomas (The Sacred Search: What If It's Not about Who You Marry, But Why?)
The psychiatrist wants to know why I go out and hike around in the forests and watch the birds and collect butterflies. I'll show you my collection some day." "Good." "They want to know what I do with my time. I tell them that sometimes I just sit and think. But I won't tell them what. I've got them running. And sometimes, I tell them, I like to put my head back, like this, and let the rain fall in my mouth. It tastes just like wine. Have you ever tried it?
Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451)
She looked up. "What I can't figure out is why the good things always end." "Everything ends." "Not some things. Not the bad things. They never go away." "Yes, they do. If you let them, they go away. Not as fast as we'd like sometimes, but they end too. What doesn't end is the way we feel about each other. Even when you're all grown up and somewhere else, you can remember what a good time we had together. Even when you're in the middle of bad things and they never seem to be changing, you can remember me. And I'll remember you.
Torey L. Hayden (Torpedo Run / Banners Of Silk / My Left Foot / Trojan Treasure)
Young people, Lord. Do they still call it infatuation? That magic ax that chops away the world in one blow, leaving only the couple standing there trembling? Whatever they call it, it leaps over anything, takes the biggest chair, the largest slice, rules the ground wherever it walks, from a mansion to a swamp, and its selfishness is its beauty. Before I was reduced to singsong, I saw all kinds of mating. Most are two-night stands trying to last a season. Some, the riptide ones, claim exclusive right to the real name, even though everybody drowns in its wake. People with no imagination feed it with sex—the clown of love. They don’t know the real kinds, the better kinds, where losses are cut and everybody benefits. It takes a certain intelligence to love like that—softly, without props. But the world is such a showpiece, maybe that’s why folks try to outdo it, put everything they feel onstage just to prove they can think up things too: handsome scary things like fights to the death, adultery, setting sheets afire. They fail, of course. The world outdoes them every time. While they are busy showing off, digging other people’s graves, hanging themselves on a cross, running wild in the streets, cherries are quietly turning from greed to red, oysters are suffering pearls, and children are catching rain in their mouths expecting the drops to be cold but they’re not; they are warm and smell like pineapple before they get heavier and heavier, so heavy and fast they can’t be caught one at a time. Poor swimmers head for shore while strong ones wait for lightning’s silver veins. Bottle-green clouds sweep in, pushing the rain inland where palm trees pretend to be shocked by the wind. Women scatter shielding their hair and men bend low holding the women’s shoulders against their chests. I run too, finally. I say finally because I do like a good storm. I would be one of those people in the weather channel leaning into the wind while lawmen shout in megaphones: ‘Get moving!
Toni Morrison (Love)
So you got fired?” “I quit.” “When I quit the Order, you told me I was besmirched.” “That’s because you quit in a huff over some silliness like trying to save people’s lives. I quit to maximize my earning potential. Don’t you know being a hero is a losing bet? The pay is shit and people hate you for it.” Luther looked at Curran. “Who is the male specimen?” Curran offered Luther his hand. “Lennart.” Luther grabbed Curran’s hand and smelled it. “Shapeshifter, feline, probably a lion, but not the run-of-the-mill African Simba. You’ve got an odd scent about you.” He glanced at me. “Why do you always hang out with weirdos?
Ilona Andrews (Magic Shifts (Kate Daniels, #8))
Where are we going?” Desandra asked. “We’re going to Blue Ribbon Stables,” I said. “It’s the closest place to rent a horse. “Why?” Desandra asked. “Because I can’t keep up with you on foot,” I said. “And she runs like a rhino.” Derek added. “You can hear her a mile away.” Traitor. “I thought you had my back?” “I do,” Derek said. “The rhino running is nice. Makes it easy to keep track of you. If I ever lose you, I just have to listen and there you are.” “Yes,” Desandra agreed. “It’s convenient.” I laughed. “Are you always this casual?” Robert asked. “Derek and I worked together for a long time,” I told him. “He’s allowed some leeway.” “What about Desandra?” “She only bothers with protocol when she wants something. The rest of the time it’s lewd jokes and descriptions of plums.” Desandra snickered. Robert’s eyebrows crept up. “Plums?” I waved my hand. “Don’t ask.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Breaks (Kate Daniels, #7))
Funny, reely," he said. "You spend your whole life goin' to school and learnin' stuff, and they never tell you about stuff like the Bermuda Triangle and UFOs and all these Old Masters running around the inside of the Earth. Why do we have to learn boring stuff when there's all this brilliant stuff we could be learnin', that's what I want to know.
Terry Pratchett (Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch)
At dawn, when you have trouble getting out of bed, tell yourself: ‘I have to go to work—as a human being. What do I have to complain of, if I’m going to do what I was born for—the things I was brought into the world to do? Or is this what I was created for? To huddle under the blankets and stay warm? —But it’s nicer here… So you were born to feel ‘nice’? Instead of doings things and experiencing them? Don’t you see the plants, the birds, the ants and spiders and bees going about their individual tasks, putting the world in order, as best they can? And you’re not willing to do your job as a human being? Why aren’t you running to do what your nature demands? —But we have to sleep sometime… Agreed. But nature set a limit on that—as it did on eating and drinking. And you’re over the limit. You’ve had more than enough of that. But not of working. There you’re still below your quota. You don’t love yourself enough. Or you’d love your nature too, and what it demands of you. People who love what they do wear themselves down doing it, they even forget to wash or eat. Do you have less respect for your own nature than the engraver does for engraving, the dancer for dance, the miser for money or the social climber for status? When they’re really possessed by what they do, they’d rather stop eating and sleeping than give up practicing their arts.
Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)
Ed, "I hate deserts. There is nothing but sand *collapses* If there was some grass I could turn it into bread. I'm starving! Huh? Hey! Al' where'd you go? Al? Hey!" Al, "Down here! *Al's hand emerges from the sand beneath Ed and grabs Ed's leg*" Ed, "AHH!!" Al, "I sunk again. . ." (cut to later, after Ed dug Al out) Al, "I get full." Ed, "Full of what? *kicks Al and sand falls out of his chest plate and buries Ed*" Al, "Hahahaha. . .hahaha. . .haha. . . ha. . . *still laughing, inches away from Ed*" Ed, "*bursts out of sand and starts running after Al* Get back here!" Al, "What are you going to do?" Ed, "Nothing!" Al, "Than why are you chasing me?" Ed, "Stop and you'll find out!" Al, "I promise I won't get buried again!" Ed, "Not unless it's by me!" Al," Ed!" Ed, "Rrrrrrrrr!
Hiromu Arakawa (Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 1 (Fullmetal Alchemist, #1))
The movies make the brooding guy the hero – the guy with problems the guy who carries a gun, the gun with unresolved anger, the guy with a chip on his shoulder, the guy who’s a vampire – and they tell you that you can have the mythical happy ending with that same brooding guy. But in reality, the brooding guy is cranky. He doesn’t reply to emails. He doesn’t call. He’s only half there when you’re talking to him, and he doesn’t chase you when you run. You feel insecure all the time. You get needy and sad and you hate yourself got being needy. If you don’t know why he’s brooding, you’re shut out. And if you do know why he’s brooding, you’re still shut out. (Because he’s busy brooding.)
E. Lockhart (Real Live Boyfriends: Yes. Boyfriends, Plural. If My Life Weren't Complicated, I Wouldn't Be Ruby Oliver (Ruby Oliver, #4))
Philip stood with the tip of a sword pressed into Mr. Beaufort’s throat. I saw another sword on the floor. Neither gentleman looked toward the door. Philip looked perfectly in control, his sword bending the skin of Mr. Beaufort’s neck without piercing it. When he spoke, though, his voice sounded so fierce I hardly recognized it. “Tell me what you did to her.” “I made sure you wouldn’t want her anymore.” “I will always want her,” Philip said in a quiet, furious voice. “Always! There is nothing you could do to change that.” Mr. Beaufort sneered. “Then why do you want to know?” “Because I would never make her say the words. And because I want to know how much I should enjoy running you through.
Julianne Donaldson (Edenbrooke (Edenbrooke, #1))
Jack linked her arm with Irene’s. “Good. You deserve to be happy, sweetie. Now what about his Pack?” “They look frightened and I have absolutely no idea why. I’m nothing but appropriately pleasant.” “Price you pay as the new Alpha Female.” “I understand all that, but running from the room every time I walk in seems a tad harsh, wouldn’t you say?” “You do have a point.
Shelly Laurenston (When He Was Bad (Magnus Pack, #3.5; Pride, #0.75; Smith's Shifter World, #3.5))
Rock & Roll is so great, people should start dying for it. You don't understand. The music gave you back the beat so you could dream. A whole generation running with a Fender bass... The people just have to die for the music. People are dying for everything else, so why not the music? Die for it. Isn't it pretty? Wouldn't you die for something pretty? Perhaps I should die. After all, all the great blues singers did die. But life is getting better now. I don't want to die. Do I? - Lou Reed (1965-1968)
Legs McNeil (Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk)
Where's your car? Miles asks, glancing at him as he slams his door shut and slings his backpack over his shoulder. "And whats up with your hand?" "I got rid of it," Damen says, gaze fixed on mine. Then glancing at Miles and seeing his expression he adds, "The car, not the hand." "Did you trade it in?" I ask, but only because Miles is listening. [...] He shakes his head and walks me to the gate, smiling as he says, "No, I just dropped off on the side of the road, key in the ignition, engine running." "Excuse me?!" Miles yelps. "You mean to tell me that you left your shiny, black, BMW M6 Coupe—by the side of the road?" Damen nods. But thats a hundred-thousand-dollar car!" Miles gasps as his face turns bright red. "A hundreds and ten." Damen laughs. "Don't forget, it was fully customized and loaded with options." Miles stares at him, eyes practically bugging out of his head, unable to comprehend how anyone could do such a thing—why anyone would do such a thing. "Um, okay, so let me get this straight—you just woke up and decided—Hey, what the hell? I think I'll just dump my ridiculously expensive luxury car by the side of the road—WHERE JUST ANYONE CAN TAKE IT?" Damen shrugs. "Pretty much." "Because in case you haven't noticed," Miles says, practically hyperventilating now. "Some of us are a little car deprived. Some of us were born with parents so cruel and unusual they're forced to rely on the kindness of friends for the rest of their lives!" "Sorry." Damen shrugs. "Guess I hadn't thought about that. Though if it makes you feel any better, it was all for a very good cause.
Alyson Noel (Shadowland (The Immortals, #3))
At last we heard Father's footsteps winding up the stairs. It was the best moment in every day, when he came up to tuck us in. We never fell asleep until he had arranged the balnkets in his special way and laid his hand for a moment on each head. Then we tried not to move even a toe. But that night as he stepped through the door I burst into tears. "I need you!" I sobbed. "You can't die! You can't!" Father sat down on the edge of the narrow bed. "Corrie," he began gently, "when you and I go to Amsterdam, when do I give you your ticket?" I sniffed a few times, considering this. "Why, just before we get on the train." "Exactly. And our wise Father in Heaven knows when we're going to need things too. Don't run out ahead of Him, Corrie. When the time comes that some of us will have to die, you will look into your heart and find the strength you need--just in time.
Corrie ten Boom (The Hiding Place: The Triumphant True Story of Corrie Ten Boom)
You're pretty sexy when you're domestic.” I told him, running a hand up the back of his thigh. “If you think this is hot, you should see me change a diaper.” “I have, actually: why do you think I married you? That and your accent. Oh and your giant penis.
Christina Lauren (Beautiful Beloved (Beautiful Bastard, #3.6))
I want to share something Virginia Woolf wrote: 'English, which can express the thoughts of Hamlet and the tragedy of Lear, has no words for the shiver and the headache...The merest schoolgirl when she falls in love, has Shakespeare or Keats to speak her mind for her; but let a sufferer try to describe a pain in his head to a doctor and language at once runs dry.' And we're such language-based creatures that to some extent we cannot know what we cannot name. And so we assume it isn't real. We refer to it with catch-all terms, like crazy or chronic pain, terms that both ostracize and minimize. The term chronic pain captures nothing of the grinding, constant, ceaseless,inescapable hurt. And the term crazy arrives at us with none of the terror and worry you live with. Nor do either of those terms connote the courage people in such pains exemplify, which is why I'd ask you to frame your mental health around a word other than crazy.
John Green (Turtles All the Way Down)
Do you really want to know why you lost?” I asked. “Do you really have an answer?” he countered. “You need to get off your horse and run with your men. You don’t have the stamina for a long fight. And find a lighter sword.” “But it was my uncle’s.” “You’re not your uncle.” “But I’m the King, and this is the King’s sword,” Cahil said. His brows creased together. He seemed confused. “So wear it to your coronation,” I said. “If you use it in battle, you’ll be wearing it to your funeral,” I said.
Maria V. Snyder (Magic Study (Study, #2))
Anger engulfed me and I ripped my hand away from him. ‘You left me,’ I growled. ‘You treated me no better than one of your random hookups, and suddenly because you’ve decided that no, wait, you do love me, I'm to come running back?’ I stood up, my chair clattering behind me with the force of the movement. ‘Your words are nice in the moment. But at the end of the day it means fuck all. I don’t trust you with your own feelings, Nate. Why the hell would I trust you with mine?
Samantha Young (Before Jamaica Lane (On Dublin Street, #3))
He pauses at my first button and searches my face. Touching him was never a part of the deal, and he must be wondering why I’m doing it willingly. I don’t know if he hates or loves it, but I don’t give him or myself time to think about it. I lift my knee and hit him in the crotch. Hard. As hard as I can. His face contorts and his hands shoot out for me, but I duck and run past him. A huge grin pulls on my face. I just kneed Aiden fucking King in the balls!
Rina Kent (Deviant King (Royal Elite, #1))
Your cynicism lies in your willing abuse of others to consolidate your superiority over them. My cynicism is in regard to humanity’s wilful blindness with respect to its own extinction.’ ‘Without that wilful blindness there is naught but despair.’ ‘Oh, I am not that cynical. In fact, I do not agree at all. Maybe when the wilful blindness runs its inevitable course, there will be born wilful wisdom, the revelation of seeing things as they are.’ ‘Things? To which things are you referring, old man?’ ‘Why, that everything of true value is, in fact, free.
Steven Erikson (Reaper's Gale (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #7))
You're asking yourself, Can I give this child the best possible upbringing and keep her out of harm's way her whole life long? The answer is no, you can't. But nobody else can either. Not a state home, that's for sure. For heaven's sake, the best they can do is turn their heads while the kids learn to pick locks and snort hootch, and then try to keep them out of jail. Nobody can protect a child from the world. That's why it's the wrong thing to ask, if you're really trying to make a decision." So what's the right thing to ask?" Do I want to try? Do I think it would be interesting, maybe even enjoyable in the long run, to share my life with this kid and give her my best effort and maybe, when all's said and done, end up with a good friend.
Barbara Kingsolver (The Bean Trees (Greer Family, #1))
Truth disappears with history and gossip tells us in the end nothing of personal relationships. There are stories of elopements, unrequited love, family feuds, and exhausting vendettas, which everyone was drawn into, had to be involved with. But nothing is said of the closeness between two people: how they grew in the shade of each other's presence. No one speaks of that exchange of gift and character - the way a person took on and recognized in himself he smile of a lover. Individuals are seen only in the context of these swirling social tides. It was almost impossible for a couple to do anything without rumour leaving their shoulders like a flock of messenger pigeons. Where is the intimate and truthful in all this? Teenager and Uncle. Husband and lover. A lost father in his solace. And why do I want to know of this privacy? After the cups of tea, coffee, public conversations...I want to sit down with someone and talk with utter directness, want to talk to all the lost history like that deserving lover.
Michael Ondaatje (Running in the Family)
Father! My father knows the proper way The nation should be run; He tells us children every day Just what should now be done. He knows the way to fix the trusts, He has a simple plan; But if the furnace needs repairs, We have to hire a man. My father, in a day or two Could land big thieves in jail; There's nothing that he cannot do, He knows no word like "fail." "Our confidence" he would restore, Of that there is no doubt; But if there is a chair to mend, We have to send it out. All public questions that arise, He settles on the spot; He waits not till the tumult dies, But grabs it while it's hot. In matters of finance he can Tell Congress what to do; But, O, he finds it hard to meet His bills as they fall due. It almost makes him sick to read The things law-makers say; Why, father's just the man they need, He never goes astray. All wars he'd very quickly end, As fast as I can write it; But when a neighbor starts a fuss, 'Tis mother has to fight it. In conversation father can Do many wondrous things; He's built upon a wiser plan Than presidents or kings. He knows the ins and outs of each And every deep transaction; We look to him for theories, But look to ma for action
Edgar A. Guest
You can’t run away. The past will be only too happy to chase you —- in absolute, complete, and total earnest. Do you know why? Because they’re lonely. The past and memories are very lonely things. I don’t believe in God. Because he doesn’t have a fixed form. The past certainly does exist, even in a world where the future doesn’t have a fixed form. Even if it’s being colored by misunderstandings and delusions, a person’s past can’t be anything but the truth as long as he believes in it. If that’s what you base your actions or your way of life on, isn’t that like being god?
Ryohgo Narita
Do you ever think about him? About the boy who infected you?" Images flash in the darkness: a crown of auburn hair, like autumn leaves burning; the blur of a body, a shape running next to me; a dream-figure. "I try not to," I say. "Why not?" Julian's voice is quiet. I say, "Because it hurts.
Lauren Oliver (Pandemonium (Delirium, #2))
Your daddy is standing in a swimming pool out a little bit from the edge. You are, let’s say, three years old and standing on the edge of the pool. Daddy holds out his arms to you and says, “Jump, I’ll catch you. I promise.” Now, how do you make your daddy look good at that moment? Answer: trust him and jump. Have faith in him and jump. That makes him look strong and wise and loving. But if you won’t jump, if you shake your head and run away from the edge, you make your daddy look bad. It looks like you are saying, “he can’t catch me” or “he won’t catch me” or “it’s not a good idea to do what he tells me to do.” And all three of those make your dad look bad. But you don’t want to make God look bad. So you trust him. Then you make him look good–which he really is. And that is what we mean when we say, “Faith glorifies God” or “Faith gives God glory.” It makes him look as good as he really is. So trusting God is really important. And the harder it seems for him to fulfill his promise, the better he looks when you trust him. Suppose that you are at the deep end of a pool by the diving board. You are four years old and can’t swim, and your daddy is at the other end of the pool. Suddenly a big, mean dog crawls under the fence and shows his teeth and growls at you and starts coming toward you to bite you. You crawl up on the diving board and walk toward the end to get away from him. The dog puts his front paws up on the diving board. Just then, your daddy sees what’s happening and calls out, “Johnny, jump in the water. I’ll get you.” Now, you have never jumped from one meter high and you can’t swim and your daddy is not underneath you and this water is way over your head. How do you make your daddy look good in that moment? You jump. And almost as soon as you hit the water, you feel his hands under your arms and he treads water holding you safely while someone chases the dog away. Then he takes you to the side of the pool. We give glory to God when we trust him to do what he has promised to do–especially when all human possibilities are exhausted. Faith glorifies God. That is why God planned for faith to be the way we are justified.
John Piper
‎As I get older I see that running has changed for me. What used to be about burning calories is now more about burning up what is false. Lies I used to tell myself about who I was and what I could do, friendships that cannot withstand hills or miles, the approval I no longer need to seek, and solidarity that cannot bear silence. I run to burn up what I don't need and ignite what I do.
Kristin Armstrong (Mile Markers: The 26.2 Most Important Reasons Why Women Run)
As soon as she releases me, Galen grabs my hand and I don't even have time to gasp before he snatches me to the surface and pulls me toward shore, only pausing to dislodge his pair of swimming trunks from under his favorite rock, where he had just moments before taken the time to hide them. I know the routine and turn away so he can change, but it seems like no time before he hauls me onto the beach and drags me to the sand dunes in front of my house. "What are you doing?" I ask. His legs are longer than mine so for every two of his strides I have to take three, which feels a lot like running. He stops us in between the dunes. "I'm doing something that is none of anyone else's business." Then he jerks me up against him and crushes his mouth on mine. And I see why he didn't want an audience for this kiss. I wouldn't want an audience for this kiss, either, especially if the audience included my mother. This is our first kiss after he announced that he wanted me for his mate. This kiss holds promises of things to come. When he pulls away I feel drunk and excited and nervous and filled with a craving that I'm not sure can ever be satisfied. And Galen looks startled. "Maybe I shouldn't have done that," he says. "That makes it about fifty times harder to leave, I think.
Anna Banks (Of Triton (The Syrena Legacy, #2))
I'm not sure I even believe in marriage," Hadley says and he looks surprised. "Aren't you on your way to a wedding?" "Yeah," she says with a nod. "But that's what I mean." He looks at her blankly. "It shouldn't be this big fuss, where you drag everyone halfway across the world to witness your love. If you want to share your life together, fine. But it's between two people, and that should be enough. Why the big show? Why rub it in everyone's faces?" Oliver runs a hand along his jaw, obviously not quite sure what to think. "It sounds like its weddings you don't believe in," he says finally. "Not marriage." "I'm not such a big fan of either at the moment." "I don't know," he says. "I think they're kind of nice." "They're not," she insists. "They're all for show. You shouldn't need to prove anything if you really mean it. It should be a whole lot simpler than that. It should mean something." "I think it does," Oliver says quietly. "It's a promise." "I guess so," she says, unable to keep the sigh out of her voice. "But not everyone keeps that promise." she looks over toward the woman, still fast asleep. "Not everyone makes it fifty-two years, and if you do, it doesn't matter that you once stood in front of all those people and said that you would. The important part is that you had someone to stick by you all that time. Even when everything sucked.
Jennifer E. Smith (The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight)
I try to catch my breath and calm myself down, but it isn't easy. I was dead. I was dead, and then i wasn't, and why? Because of Peter? Peter? I stare at him. He still looks so innocent, despite all that he has done to prove that he is not. His hair lies smooth against his head, shiny and dark, like we didn't just run for a mile at full speed. His round eyes scan the stairwell and then rest on my face. "What?" he says. "Why are you looking at me like that?" " How did you do it?" I say.
Veronica Roth (Insurgent (Divergent, #2))
Running a race assigns a point to a sport that often feels very pointless. It's an exuberant payoff to months of tedium. It's a way of crafting an end boss for a particularly cumbersome video game. It's a fun, monstrous reason to keep putting one foot in front of the other. So, do yourself a favor: go build a monster.
Matthew Inman (The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances)
Have you ever heard a woman claim that the reason why she is chronically mistreating her male partner is because a previous man abused her? I have never run into this excuse in the fifteen years I have worked in the field of abuse. Certainly I have encountered cases where women had trouble trusting another man after leaving an abuser, but there is a critical distinction to be made: Her past experiences may explain how she feels, but they are not an excuse for how she behaves. And the same is true for a man.
Lundy Bancroft (Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men)
Think about the world. War, violence, natural disasters, man-made disasters, corruption. Things are bad, and it feels like they are getting worse, right? The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer; and the number of poor just keeps increasing; and we will soon run out of resources unless we do something drastic. At least that’s the picture that most Westerners see in the media and carry around in their heads. I call it the overdramatic worldview. It’s stressful and misleading. In fact, the vast majority of the world’s population lives somewhere in the middle of the income scale. Perhaps they are not what we think of as middle class, but they are not living in extreme poverty. Their girls go to school, their children get vaccinated, they live in two-child families, and they want to go abroad on holiday, not as refugees. Step-by-step, year-by-year, the world is improving. Not on every single measure every single year, but as a rule. Though the world faces huge challenges, we have made tremendous progress. This is the fact-based worldview.
Hans Rosling (Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World—and Why Things Are Better Than You Think)
Do you know that feeling? When everything you do seems like a struggle. Where you dont wanna leave the house because you know everyone is judging you. Where you cant even ask for directions in fear that they critise you. Where everyone always seems to be picking out your flaws. That feeling where you feel so damn sick for no reason. Do you know that feeling where you look in the mirror and completly hate what you see. When you grab handfuls and handfuls of fat and just want to cut it all off. That feeling when you see other beautiful girls and just wish you looked like them. When you compare yourself to everyone you meet. When you realise why no one ever showed intrest in you. That feeling where you become so self conscious you dont even turn up at school. That feeling when you feel so disappointed in who you are and everything you have become. That feeling when every bite makes you wanna be sick. When hunger is more satifying that food. The feeling of failure when you eat a meal. Do you know that feeling when you cant run as far as your class. Fear knowing that everyone thinks of you as the"Unfit FAT BITCH" That feeling when you just wanna let it all out but you dont wanna look weak. The fear you have in class when you dont understand something but your too afraid to ask for help. The feeling of being to ashamed to stand up for yourself. Do you know the feeling when your deepest fear becomes a reality. Fear that you will NEVER be good enough. When you feel as if you deserve all the pain you give yourself. When you finally understand why everyone hates you. FINALLY realising the harsh truth. Understanding that every cut, every burn, every bruise you have even given yourself, you deserved. In fact you deserved worse. That feeling when you believe you deserve constant and brutal pain. Do you know what it feels like to just want to give up. When you just want all the pain to end but you want it to continue? Or am i just insane
Anonymous.
My new apartment might be a place where there are lots of children. They might gather on my porch to play, and when I step out for groceries, they will ask me, "Hi, do you have any kids?" and then, "Why not, don't you like kids?" "I like kids," I will explain. "I like kids very much." And when I almost run over them with my car, in my driveway, I will feel many different things.
Lorrie Moore (Anagrams)
Well, I was thinking this very thing. I was thinking: I am going to die today, but Jesu also died, so he knows how it is with me. And I was thinking, would he know me when I came to him? Yes! Sitting in his hall, he will see me sail into the bay, and he will run down to meet me on the shore; he will wade into the sea and pull my boat onto the sand and welcome me as his wayfaring brother. Why will he do this? Because he too has suffered, and he knows...HE KNOWS...Is that not good news?
Stephen R. Lawhead
Words are small things. No one means any harm by them, they keep saying that. Everyone is just doing their job. The police say it all the time. 'I'm just doing my job here.' That's why no one asks what the boy did; as soon as the girl starts to talk they interrupt her instead with questions about what she did. Did she go up the stairs ahead of him or behind him? Did she lie down on the bed voluntarily or was she forced? Did she unbutton her own blouse? Did she kiss him? No? Did she kiss him back, then? Had she been drinking alcohol? Had she smoked marijuana? Did she say no? Was she clear about that? Did she scream loudly enough? Did she struggle hard enough? Why didn't she take photographs of her bruises right away? Why did she run from the party instead of saying anything to the other guests? They have to gather all the information, they say, when they ask the same question ten times in different ways in order to see if she changes her answer. This is a serious allegation, they remind her, as if it's the allegation that's the problem. She is told all the things she shouldn't have done: She shouldn't have waited so long before going to the police. She shouldn't have gotten rid of the clothes she was wearing. Shouldn't have showered. Shouldn't have drunk alcohol. Shouldn't have put herself in that situation. Shouldn't have gone into the room, up the stairs, given him the impression. If only she hadn't existed, then none of this would have happened, why didn't she think of that? She's fifteen, above the age of consent, and he's seventeen, but he's still 'the boy' in every conversation. She's 'the young woman.' Words are not small things.
Fredrik Backman (Beartown (Beartown, #1))
He stood up and took a step toward her. "There has been a request for your hand in marriage." "Is that why you kissed me? So you could take me home and then marry me to a man I don't love? Who is he?" she demanded, emotionally spent now and uncaring that tears were streaming down her face. He started toward her. "Don't you dare kiss me again," she ordered. "I can't think when you… Just don't," she stammered. "And as for the offer, I decline." "You can't decline until you know who he is," he reasoned. "All right. Tell me his name, and then I'll decline. You're going to praise him first though, aren't you? That's what you always do to try to get me to agree," she ended, and even she could hear the heartbreak in her voice. "No, I'm not going to praise him. He's riddled with flaws." She stopped trying to run away. "He is?" He slowly nodded. "I have it on good authority that he's stupid and arrogant and obstinate, or at least he was until he realized what a fool he has been." "But that's what I said about… you." "I love you, Bridgid. Will you marry me?
Julie Garwood (Ransom (Highlands' Lairds, #2))
There’s a quote from Stalin,” he says. “‘A single death is a tragedy; a million is a statistic.’ Can you imagine seven billion of anything? I have trouble doing it. It pushes the limits of our ability to comprehend. And that’s exactly why they did it. Like running up the score in football. You played football, right? It isn’t about destroying our capability to fight so much as crushing our will to fight.
Rick Yancey (The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave, #1))
The truth is, Colonel, that there's no divine spark, bless you. There's many a man alive no more value than a dead dog. Believe me, when you've seen them hang each other...Equality? Christ in Heaven. What I'm fighting for is the right to prove I'm a better man than many. Where have you seen this divine spark in operation, Colonel? Where have you noted this magnificent equality? The Great White Joker in the Sky dooms us all to stupidity or poverty from birth. no two things on earth are equal or have an equal chance, not a leaf nor a tree. There's many a man worse than me, and some better, but I don't think race or country matters a damn. What matters is justice. 'Tis why I'm here. I'll be treated as I deserve, not as my father deserved. I'm Kilrain, and I God damn all gentlemen. I don't know who me father was and I don't give a damn. There's only one aristocracy, and that's right here - " he tapped his white skull with a thick finger - "and YOU, Colonel laddie, are a member of it and don't even know it. You are damned good at everything I've seen you do, a lovely soldier, an honest man, and you got a good heart on you too, which is rare in clever men. Strange thing. I'm not a clever man meself, but I know it when I run across it. The strange and marvelous thing about you, Colonel darlin', is that you believe in mankind, even preachers, whereas when you've got my great experience of the world you will have learned that good men are rare, much rarer than you think.
Michael Shaara (The Killer Angels (The Civil War Trilogy, #2))
Does your blood run blue or red? You decide. If it runs blue, it turns out I have jurisdiction over you. Little shits like Vernon can’t do as they will to my kind–not without my permission. If your blood runs red … Well, I don’t particularly care about humans, and seeing what Vernon does with you might be entertaining.” “Why would you offer this?” Manon gave her a half smile, all iron teeth and no remorse. “Because I can.
Sarah J. Maas
But now I gotta pay,' he said. To pay?' For my sin. That's why I'm here, right? Justice?' The Blue Man smiled. 'No, Edward. You are here so I can teach you something. All the people you meet here have one thing to teach you...That there are no random acts. That we are all connected. That you can no more seperate a breeze from the wind.' ...'It was my stupidity, running out there like that. Why should you have to die on account of me? It ain't fair.' The Blue Man held out his hand. 'Fairness,' he said, 'does not govern life and death. If it did, no good person would ever die young...Why people gather when others die? Why people feel they should? It is because the human spirit knows, deep down, that all lives intersect. That death doesn't just take someone, it misses someone else, and in the small distance between being taken and being missed, lives are changed. You say you should have died instead of me. But during my time on earth, people died instead of me, too. It happens every day. When lightning strikes a minute after you are gone, or an airplane crashes that you might have been on. When your colleague falls ill and you do not. We think such things are random. But there is a balance to it all. One withers, another grows. Birth and death are part of a whole.' ... 'I still don't understand,' Eddie whispered. 'What good came from your death?' You lived,' the Blue Man answered. But we barely knew each other. I might as well have been a stranger.' The Blue Man put his arms on Eddie's shoulders. Eddie felt that warm, melting sensation. Strangers,' the Blue Man said, 'are just family have yet to come to know.
Mitch Albom (The Five People You Meet in Heaven)
The sun had come up brilliantly after a heavy rain, and the trees were glistening and very wet. On some impulse, plain exuberance, I suppose, the fellow jumped up and caught hold of a branch, and a storm of luminous water came pouring down on the two of them, and they laughed and took off running, the girl sweeping water off her hair and her dress as if she were a little bit disgusted, but she wasn’t. It was a beautiful thing to see, like something from a myth. I don’t know why I thought of that now, except perhaps because it is easy to believe in such moments that water was made primarily for blessing, and only secondarily for growing vegetables or doing the wash. I wish I had paid more attention to it. My list of regrets may seem unusual, but who can know that they are, really. This is an interesting planet. It deserves all the attention you can give it.
Marilynne Robinson (Gilead)
You mean we won't get to run through burning buildings?" I could see he wanted to laugh, but instead he watched me intently. "What? Why are you staring at me?" "I'm not staring. I'm observing." I smiled through my tears. "And what do you observe?" He brushed his lips against my ear. "A brave young woman who has always fought for what was right, even when it was unpopular. A woman who can't return to the land of her birth, but is wlcome to cross the seas and rebuild Alexandria in mine. And a woman who has suffered enough in Rome and deserves happiness for a change. Will you come to Mauretania and be my queen?" He drew back to look at me, but I held him closer. "Yes." "Just yes?" I nodded and pressed my lips against his.
Michelle Moran (Cleopatra's Daughter)
Well, let’s all get maudlin, shall we? George, stop on the way and get us some red-hot pokers to put out our eyes. Oh, and while you’re at it, I think we should see about adding salt for our wounds, too. (Solin) Quite good, sir. Is there any particular place you’d care for me to stop? I’ve heard the market is a good place for pokers. That is, if you’re agreeable to a short detour. (George) What do you two think? Run-of-the-mill pokers, or a better quality. Oh hell, why not use rusty spoons. They’d hurt more. (Solin)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (The Dream-Hunter (Dark-Hunter, #10; Dream-Hunter, #1))
PLEASE DON’T DO IT, NOAH! PLEASE!” “WHY NOT?!” “BECAUSE YOU’RE MINE!” I screamed at him through my sobs. … “Then why don’t you fucking take me and stop this bullshit you keep putting us through? You’re going to tell me you’re okay with my hands running up and down her body? Touching her ass and her tits. You’re okay with my tongue licking every inch of her? You’re okay knowing that while you’re over in your bed, I’ll be over here sliding into her, when we both know it should be you?
Alison G. Bailey (Present Perfect (Perfect, #1))
The attitude of our managers vividly contrasts with that of the young man who married a tycoon's only child, a decidedly homely and dull lass. Relieved, the father called in his new son- in-law after the wedding and began to discuss the future: Son, you're the boy I always wanted and never had. Here's a stock certificate for 50% of the company. You're my equal partner from now on.' Thanks, dad.' Now, what would you like to run? How about sales?' I'm afraid I couldn't sell water to a man crawling in the Sahara.' Well then, how about heading human relations?' I really don't care for people.' No problem, we have lots of other spots in the business. What would you like to do?' Actually, nothing appeals to me. Why don't you just buy me out?
Warren Buffett
I think you can tell by now that I'm not the type of man to beat around the bush. I'll tell you exactly what I want from you." Maxon took a step closer. My breath caught in my throat. I'd just walked into the very situation I feared. No guards, no cameras, no one to stop him from doing whatever he wanted. Knee-jerk reaction. Literally. I kneed His Majesty in the thigh. Hard. Maxon let out a yell and reached down, clutching himself as I backed away from him. "What was that for?" "If you lay a single finger on me, I'll do worse!" I promised. "What?" "I said, if you-" "No, no, you crazy girl, I heard you the first time." Maxon grimaced. "But just what in the world do you mean by it?" I felt the heat run through my body. I'd jumped to the worst possible conclusion and set myself up to fight something that obviously wasn't coming. The guards ran up, alerted by our little squabble. Maxon waved them away from an awkward, half-bent position. We were quiet for a while, and once Maxon was over the worst of his pain, he faced me. "What did you think I wanted?" he asked. I ducked my head and blushed. "America, what did you think I wanted?" He sounded upset. More than upset. Offended. He had obviously guessed what I'd assumed, and he didn't like that one bit. "In public? You thought...for heaven's sake. I'm a gentleman!" He started to walk away but turned back. "Why did you even offer to help if you think so little of me?" I couldn't even look him in the eye. I didn't know how to explain I had been prepped to expect a dog, that the darkness and privacy made me feel strange, that I'd only ever been alone with one other boy and that was how we behaved.
Kiera Cass (The Selection (The Selection, #1))
My running theory was that my shyness and introversion were linked to my whole 'never fancying anyone' situation - maybe I just didn't talk to enough people, or maybe people just stressed me out in general, and that was why I'd never wanted to kiss anyone. If I just improved my confidence, tried to be a bit more open and sociable, I'd be able to do and feel those things, like most people.
Alice Oseman (Loveless)
I'm speechless.I think at the rooftops of Paris. he touches my cheek,pulling my gaze back to him.I suck in my breath. "Anna.I'm sorry for what happened in Luxembourg Gardens.Not because of the kiss-I've never had a kiss like that in my life-but because I didn't tell you why I was running away.I chased after Meredith because of you." Touch me again. Please,touch me again. "All I could think about was what that bastard did to you last Christmas. Toph never tried to explain or apologize. How could I do that to Mer? And I ought to have called you before I went to Ellie's,but I was so anxious to just end it,once and for all,that I wasn't thinking straight." I reach for him. "St. Clair-" He pulls back. "And that.Why don't you call me Etienne anymore?" "But...no one else calls you that.It was weird.Right?" "No.It wasn't." His expression saddens. "And every time you say 'St. Clair,' it's like you're rejecting me again." "I have never rejected you." "But you have.And for Dave." His tone is venomous. "And you rejected me for Ellie on my birthday. I don't understand.If you liked me so much,why didn't you break up with her?" He gazes at the river. "I've been confused. I've been so stupid." "Yes.You have." "I deserve that." "Yes.You do." I pause. "But I've been stupid,too.You were right.About...the alone thing.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
Who are we to say getting incested or abused or violated or any of those things can’t have their positive aspects in the long run? … You have to be careful of taking a knee-jerk attitude. Having a knee-jerk attitude to anything is a mistake, especially in the case of women, where it adds up to this very limited and condescending thing of saying they’re fragile, breakable things that can be destroyed easily. Everybody gets hurt and violated and broken sometimes. Why are women so special? Not that anybody ought to be raped or abused, nobody’s saying that, but that’s what is going on. What about afterwards? All I’m saying is there are certain cases where it can enlarge you or make you more of a complete human being, like Viktor Frankl. Think about the Holocaust. Was the Holocaust a good thing? No way. Does anybody think it was good that it happened? No, of course not. But did you read Viktor Frankl? Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning? It’s a great, great book, but it comes out of his experience. It’s about his experience in the human dark side. Now think about it, if there was no Holocaust, there’d be no Man’s Search for Meaning… . Think about it. Think about being degraded and brought within an inch of your life, for example. No one’s gonna say the sick bastards who did it shouldn’t be put in jail, but let’s put two things into perspective here. One is, afterwards she knows something about herself that she never knew before. What she knows is that the most totally terrible terrifying thing that she could ever have imagined happening to her has now happened, and she survived. She’s still here, and now she knows something. I mean she really, really knows. Look, totally terrible things happen… . Existence in life breaks people in all kinds of awful fucking ways all the time, trust me I know. I’ve been there. And this is the big difference, you and me here, cause this isn’t about politics or feminism or whatever, for you this is just ideas, you’ve never been there. I’m not saying nothing bad has ever happened to you, you’re not bad looking, I’m sure there’s been some sort of degradation or whatever come your way in life, but I’m talking Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning type violation and terror and suffering here. The real dark side. I can tell from just looking at you, you never. You wouldn’t even wear what you’re wearing, trust me. What if I told you it was my own sister that was raped? What if I told you a little story about a sixteen-year-old girl who went to the wrong party with the wrong guy and four of his buddies that ended up doing to her just about everything four guys could do to you in terms of violation? But if you could ask her if she could go into her head and forget it or like erase the tape of it happening in her memory, what do you think she’d say? Are you so sure what she’d say? What if she said that even after that totally negative as what happened was, at least now she understood it was possible. People can. Can see you as a thing. That people can see you as a thing, do you know what that means? Because if you really can see someone as a thing you can do anything to him. What would it be like to be able to be like that? You see, you think you can imagine it but you can’t. But she can. And now she knows something. I mean she really, really knows. This is what you wanted to hear, you wanted to hear about four drunk guys who knee-jerk you in the balls and make you bend over that you didn’t even know, that you never saw before, that you never did anything to, that don’t even know your name, they don’t even know your name to find out you have to choose to have a fucking name, you have no fucking idea, and what if I said that happened to ME? Would that make a difference?
David Foster Wallace (Brief Interviews with Hideous Men)
Naturally—and why should I not admit this—I have occasionally wondered to myself how things might have turned out in the long run.... I only speculate this now because in the light of subsequent events, it could well be argued that in making my decision...I was perhaps not entirely aware of the full implications of what I was doing. Indeed, it might even be said that this small decision of mine constituted something of a key turning point; that that decision set things on an inevitable course towards what eventually happened. But then, I suppose, when with the benefit of hindsight one begins to search one's past for such 'turning points', one is apt to start seeing them everywhere.... What would have transpired, one may ask, had one responded slightly differently...? And perhaps—occurring as it did around the same time as these events?
Kazuo Ishiguro (The Remains of the Day)
Then tell me this: How do I outthink an enemy I know is smarter than I am?' ... I face some of the most crafty people who have ever lived. My current foe understands the minds of others in a way that I cannot hope to match. So how do I defeat her? She will vanish the moment I threaten her, running to one of a dozen other refuges that she is sure to have set up. ... I have to peer into her eyes, see into her soul, and know that it's her that I face and not some decoy. I have to do that without frightening her into running. How?' *** The question remains,' he said, voice soft but tense. 'How would you fight her, Nynaeve?' I don't care to play your games, Rand al'Thor,' Nynaeve replied with a huff. 'You've obviously already decided what you intend to do. Why ask me?' Because what I'm about to do should frighten me,' he said. 'It doesn't.
Brandon Sanderson (The Gathering Storm (The Wheel of Time, #12))
THE DAY YOU READ THIS On this day, you read something that moved you and made you realise there were no more fears to fear. No tears to cry. No head to hang in shame. That every time you thought you’d offended someone, it was all just in your head and really, they love you with all their heart and nothing will ever change that. That everyone and everything lives on inside you. That that doesn’t make any of it any less real. That soft touches will change you and stay with you longer than hard ones. That being alone means you’re free. That old lovers miss you and new lovers want you and the one you’re with is the one you’re meant to be with. That the tingles running down your arms are angel feathers and they whisper in your ear, constantly, if you choose to hear them. That everything you want to happen, will happen, if you decide you want it enough. That every time you think a sad thought, you can think a happy one instead. That you control that completely. That the people who make you laugh are more beautiful than beautiful people. That you laugh more than you cry. That crying is good for you. That the people you hate wish you would stop and you do too. That your friends are reflections of the best parts of you. That you are more than the sum total of the things you know and how you react to them. That dancing is sometimes more important than listening to the music. That the most embarrassing, awkward moments of your life are only remembered by you and no one else. That no one judges you when you walk into a room and all they really want to know, is if you’re judging them. That what you make and what you do with your time is more important than you’ll ever fathom and should be treated as such. That the difference between a job and art is passion. That neither defines who you are. That talking to strangers is how you make friends. That bad days end but a smile can go around the world. That life contradicts itself, constantly. That that’s why it’s worth living. That the difference between pain and love is time. That love is only as real as you want it to be. That if you feel good, you look good but it doesn’t always work the other way around. That the sun will rise each day and it’s up to you each day if you match it. That nothing matters up until this point. That what you decide now, in this moment, will change the future. Forever. That rain is beautiful. And so are you.
pleasefindthis (I Wrote This For You)
What - what - what are you doing?" he demanded. "I am almost six hundred years old," Magnus claimed, and Ragnor snorted, since Magnus changed his age to suit himself every few weeks. Magnus swept on. "It does seem about time to learn a musical instrument." He flourished his new prize, a little stringed instrument that looked like a cousin of the lute that the lute was embarrassed to be related to. "It's called a charango. I am planning to become a charanguista!" "I wouldn't call that an instrument of music," Ragnor observed sourly. "An instrument of torture, perhaps." Magnus cradled the charango in his arms as if it were an easily offended baby. "It's a beautiful and very unique instrument! The sound box is made from an armadillo. Well, a dried armadillo shell." "That explains the sound you're making," said Ragnor. "Like a lost, hungry armadillo." "You are just jealous," Magnus remarked calmly. "Because you do not have the soul of a true artiste like myself." "Oh, I am positively green with envy," Ragnor snapped. "Come now, Ragnor. That's not fair," said Magnus. "You know I love it when you make jokes about your complexion." Magnus refused to be affected by Ragnor's cruel judgments. He regarded his fellow warlock with a lofty stare of superb indifference, raised his charango, and began to play again his defiant, beautiful tune. They both heard the staccato thump of frantically running feet from within the house, the swish of skirts, and then Catarina came rushing out into the courtyard. Her white hair was falling loose about her shoulders, and her face was the picture of alarm. "Magnus, Ragnor, I heard a cat making a most unearthly noise," she exclaimed. "From the sound of it, the poor creature must be direly sick. You have to help me find it!" Ragnor immediately collapsed with hysterical laughter on his windowsill. Magnus stared at Catarina for a moment, until he saw her lips twitch. "You are conspiring against me and my art," he declared. "You are a pack of conspirators." He began to play again. Catarina stopped him by putting a hand on his arm. "No, but seriously, Magnus," she said. "That noise is appalling." Magnus sighed. "Every warlock's a critic." "Why are you doing this?" "I have already explained myself to Ragnor. I wish to become proficient with a musical instrument. I have decided to devote myself to the art of the charanguista, and I wish to hear no more petty objections." "If we are all making lists of things we wish to hear no more . . . ," Ragnor murmured. Catarina, however, was smiling. "I see," she said. "Madam, you do not see." "I do. I see it all most clearly," Catarina assured him. "What is her name?" "I resent your implication," Magnus said. "There is no woman in the case. I am married to my music!" "Oh, all right," Catarina said. "What's his name, then?" His name was Imasu Morales, and he was gorgeous.
Cassandra Clare (The Bane Chronicles)
You're thinking of revolution as a great all-or-nothing. I think of it as one more morning in a muggy cotton field, checking the undersides of leaves to see what's been there, figuring out what to do that won't clear a path for worse problems next week. Right now that's what I do. You ask why I'm not afraid of loving and losing, and that's my answer. Wars and elections are both too big and too small to matter in the long run. The daily work--that goes on, it adds up. It goes into the ground, into crops, into children's bellies and their bright eyes. Good things don't get lost. Codi, here's what I've decided: the very least you can do in you life is to figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof. What I want is so simple I almost can't say it: elementary kindness. Enough to eat, enough to go around. The possibility that kids might one day grow up to be neither the destroyer nor the destroyed.
Barbara Kingsolver (Animal Dreams)
I can't wait for him to visit me again. He's just so handsome, don't you think?" she asked. I paused. "Yeah, he's cute." "Come on, America! You have to have noticed those eyes and his voice..." "Except when he laughs!" Just remembering Maxon's laugh had me grinning. It was cute but awkward. He pushed his breaths out, and then made a jagged noise when he inhaled, almost like another laugh in itself. "Yes, okay, he does have a funny laugh, but it's cute." "Sure, if you like the lovable sound of an asthma attack in your ear every time you tell a joke." Marlee lost it and doubled over in laughter. "All right, all right," she said, coming up for air. "You have to think there's something attractive about him." I opened my mouth and shut it two or three times. I was tempted to take another jab at Maxon, but I didn't want Marlee to see him in a negative light. So I thought about it. What was attractive about Maxon? "Well, when he lets his guard down, he's okay. Like when he just talks without checking his words or you catch him just looking at something like...like he's really looking for the beauty in it." Marlee smiled, and I knew she'd seen that in him, too. "And I like that he seems genuinely involved when he's there, you know? Like even though he's got a country to run and a thousand things to do, it's like he forgets it all when he's with you. He just dedicates himself to what's right in front of him. I like that. "And...well, don't tell anyone this, but his arms. I like his arms." I blushed at the end. Stupid...why hadn't I just stuck to the general good things about his personality? Luckily, Marlee was happy to pick up the conversation. "Yes! You can really feel them under those thick suits, can't you? He must be incredibly strong." Marlee gushed. "I wonder why. I mean, what's the point of him being that strong? He does deskwork. It's weird." "Maybe he likes to flex in front of the mirror," Marlee said, making a face and flexing her own tiny arms. "Ha, ha! I bet that's it. I dare you to ask him!" "No way!
Kiera Cass (The Selection (The Selection, #1))
There are things that don’t make sense about me. I don’t know if I belong here. How can that be possible, to feel estranged from a place where everyone loves you? To owe your life to a place and still want to run? I’ve been trying and trying to figure out what it is about me that makes me feel this way and why it feels so deep and so big that it must be most of me, the skin stretching between my knuckles and across my shoulders and then the bones under them too. Knowing that I couldn’t have you if I wanted to—that stings almost the same. It’s almost the same feeling. They’re right beside each other. What do they have in common?
Casey McQuiston (I Kissed Shara Wheeler)
The bees sit so slothfully on the flowers, and the sunshine lies so lazily on the ground. A horrible idleness prevails. -- Idleness is the root of all vice. -- What people won't do out of boredom! They study out of boredom, they pray out of boredom, they fall in love, marry, and multiply out of boredom and finally die out of boredom, and -- and that's the humor in it -- they do everything with the most serious faces, without realizing why and with God knows what intentions. All these heroes, these geniuses, these idiots, these saints, these sinners, these fathers of families are basically nothing but refined idlers. -- Why must I be the one to know this? Why can't I take myself seriously and dress this poor puppet in tails and put an umbrella in its hand so that it will become very proper and very useful and very moral? That man who just left me -- I envied him, I could have beaten him out of envy. Oh, to be someone else for once! Just for a minute. -- How that man runs! If only I knew of one thing under the sun that could still make me run.
Georg Büchner (Leonce und Lena)
You'll get over it...' It's the cliches that cause the trouble. To lose someone you love is to alter your life for ever. You don't get over it because 'it' is the person you loved. The pain stops, there are new people, but the gap never closes. How could it? The particularness of someone who mattered enough to greive over is not made anodyne by death. This hole in my heart is in the shape of you and no-one else can fit it. Why would I want them to? I've thought a lot about death recently, the finality of it, the argument ending in mid-air. One of us hadn't finished, why did the other one go? And why without warning? Even death after long illness is without warning. The moment you had prepared for so carefully took you by storm. The troops broke through the window and snatched the body and the body is gone. The day before the Wednesday last, this time a year ago, you were here and now you're not. Why not? Death reduces us to the baffled logic of a small child. If yesterday why not today? And where are you? Fragile creatures of a small blue planet, surrounded by light years of silent space. Do the dead find peace beyond the rattle of the world? What peace is there for us whose best love cannot return them even for a day? I raise my head to the door and think I will see you in the frame. I know it is your voice in the corridor but when I run outside the corridor is empty. There is nothing I can do that will make any difference. The last word was yours. The fluttering in the stomach goes away and the dull waking pain. Sometimes I think of you and I feel giddy. Memory makes me lightheaded, drunk on champagne. All the things we did. And if anyone had said this was the price I would have agreed to pay it. That surprises me; that with the hurt and the mess comes a shaft of recognition. It was worth it. Love is worth it.
Jeanette Winterson (Written on the Body)
Tris!” Four calls out. Will and I exchange a look, half surprise and half apprehension. Four pulls away from the railing and walks up to me. Ahead of us, Al and Christina stop running, and Christina slides to the ground. I don’t blame them for staring. There are four of us, and Four is only talking to me. “You look different.” His words, normally crisp, are now sluggish. “So do you,” I say. And he does—he looks more relaxed, younger. “What are you doing?” “Flirting with death,” he replies with a laugh. “Drinking near the chasm. Probably not a good idea.” “No, it isn’t.” I’m not sure I like Four this way. There’s something unsettling about it. “Didn’t know you had a tattoo,” he says, looking at my collarbone. He sips the bottle. His breath smells thick and sharp. Like the factionless man’s breath. “Right. The crows,” he says. He glances over his shoulder at his friends, who are carrying on without him, unlike mine. He adds, “I’d ask you to hang out with us, but you’re not supposed to see me this way.” I am tempted to ask him why he wants me to hang out with him, but I suspect the answer has something to do with the bottle in his hand. “What way?” I ask. “Drunk?” “Yeah...well, no.” His voice softens. “Real, I guess.” “I’ll pretend I didn’t.” “Nice of you.” He puts his lips next to my ear and says, “You look good, Tris.” His words surprise me, and my heart leaps. I wish it didn’t, because judging by the way his eyes slide over mine, he has no idea what he’s saying. I laugh. “Do me a favor and stay away from the chasm, okay?” “Of course.” He winks at me.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
What do you know about bipolar disorder?” I almost say, What do you know about it? But I make myself breathe and smile. “Is that the Jekyll-Hyde thing?” My voice sounds flat and even. Maybe a little bored, even though my mind and body are on alert. “Some people call it manic depression. It’s a brain disorder that causes extreme shifts in mood and energy. It runs in families, but it can be treated.” I continue to breathe, even if I’m not smiling anymore, but here is what is happening: my brain and my heart are pounding out different rhythms; my hands are turning cold and the back of my neck is turning hot; my throat has gone completely dry. The thing I know about bipolar disorder is that it’s a label. One you give crazy people. I know this because I’ve taken junior-year psychology and I’ve seen movies and I’ve watched my father in action for almost eighteen years, even though you could never slap a label on him because he would kill you. Labels like “bipolar” say This is why you are the way you are. This is who you are. They explain people away as illnesses.
Jennifer Niven (All the Bright Places)
I'd make oatmeal cookies." "Cookies?" "I would. That's just what I would do." "Why?" He lifts one hand from the steering wheel and pinches his chin. "Because the world is changing so fast all the time. There's nothing you can do but just say, 'cool,' and roll with it. But some things can stay the same. Flour is still flour. Vanilla still smells like vanilla. Say a giant fireball is motoring toward us right now from Alha Centauri. Okay, universe. You expect us to run and scream and kill one another? Sorry, we're making oatmeal freaking cookies.
R.A. Nelson (Breathe My Name)
My Teacher Sees Right Through Me I didn’t do my homework. My teacher asked me, “Why?” I answered him, “It’s much too hard.” He said, “You didn’t try.” I told him, “My dog ate it.” He said, “You have no dog.” I said, “I went out running.” He said, “You never jog.” I told him, “I had chores to do.” He said, “You watched TV.” I said, “I saw the doctor.” He said, “You were with me.” My teacher sees right through my fibs, which makes me very sad. It’s hard to fool the teacher when the teacher is your dad.
Bruce Lansky
Now, for example, people with freckles aren’t thought of as a minority by the nonfreckled. They aren’t a minority in the sense we’re talking about. And why aren’t they? Because a minority is only thought of as a minority when it constitutes some kind of a threat to the majority, real or imaginary. And no threat is ever quite imaginary. Anyone here disagree with that? If you do, just ask yourself, What would this particular minority do if it suddenly became the majority overnight? You see what I mean? Well, if you don’t – think it over! “All right. Now along come the liberals – including everybody in this room, I trust – and they say, ‘Minorities are just people, like us.’ Sure, minorities are people – people, not angels. Sure, they’re like us – but not exactly like us; that’s the all-too- familiar state of liberal hysteria in which you begin to kid yourself you honestly cannot see any difference between a Negro and a Swede….” (Why, oh why daren’t George say “between Estelle Oxford and Buddy Sorensen”? Maybe, if he did dare, there would be a great atomic blast of laughter, and everybody would embrace, and the kingdom of heaven would begin, right here in classroom. But then again, maybe it wouldn’t.) “So, let’s face it, minorities are people who probably look and act and – think differently from us and hay faults we don’t have. We may dislike the way they look and act, and we may hate their faults. And it’s better if we admit to disliking and hating them than if we try to smear our feelings over with pseudo liberal sentimentality. If we’re frank about our feelings, we have a safety valve; and if we have a safety valve, we’re actually less likely to start persecuting. I know that theory is unfashionable nowadays. We all keep trying to believe that if we ignore something long enough it’ll just vanish…. “Where was I? Oh yes. Well, now, suppose this minority does get persecuted, never mind why – political, economic, psychological reasons. There always is a reason, no matter how wrong it is – that’s my point. And, of course, persecution itself is always wrong; I’m sure we all agree there. But the worst of it is, we now run into another liberal heresy. Because the persecuting majority is vile, says the liberal, therefore the persecuted minority must be stainlessly pure. Can’t you see what nonsense that is? What’s to prevent the bad from being persecuted by the worse? Did all the Christian victims in the arena have to be saints? “And I’ll tell you something else. A minority has its own kind of aggression. It absolutely dares the majority to attack it. It hates the majority–not without a cause, I grant you. It even hates the other minorities, because all minorities are in competition: each one proclaims that its sufferings are the worst and its wrongs are the blackest. And the more they all hate, and the more they’re all persecuted, the nastier they become! Do you think it makes people nasty to be loved? You know it doesn’t! Then why should it make them nice to be loathed? While you’re being persecuted, you hate what’s happening to You, you hate the people who are making it happen; you’re in a world of hate. Why, you wouldn’t recognize love if you met it! You’d suspect love! You’d think there was something behind it – some motive – some trick…
Christopher Isherwood (A Single Man)
Ideologies aren't all that important. What's important is psychology. The Democratic constituency is just like a herd of cows. All you have to do is lay out enough silage and they come running. That's why I became an operative working with Democrats. With Democrats all you have to do is make a lot of noise, lay out the hay, and be ready to use the ole cattle prod in case a few want to bolt the herd. Eighty percent of the people who call themselves Democrats don't have a clue as to political reality. What amazes me is that you could take a group of people who are hard workers and convince them that they should support social programs that were the exact opposite of their own personal convictions. Put a little fear here and there and you can get people to vote any way you want. The voter is basically dumb and lazy. The reason I became a Democratic operative instead of a Republican was because there were more Democrats that didn't have a clue than there were Republicans. Truth is relative. Truth is what you can make the voter believe is the truth. If you're smart enough, truth is what you make the voter think it is. That's why I'm a Democrat. I can make the Democratic voters think whatever I want them to.
James Carville
I didn't understand the war. It was new, and they all said it would be there for a long time, but where it was, exactly, was one of the things I didn't understand. It seemed to be out-of-doors, and that was why we had the blackout curtains, so that we didn't have to look at it at night–or it didn't have to look at us, perhaps. Yet on some nights we sat on the balcony and watched searchlights play across the dark sky, and that had to do with the war, too. So the war was in the sky, somehow. And it was there in the daytime, though I was not sure where. It was why sometimes, during school, whistles blew, and we had to run to the subway station.
Lois Lowry (Autumn Street)
Science works by experiments. It watches how things behave. Every scientific statement in the long run, however complicated it looks, really means something like, 'I pointed the telescope to such and such a part of the sky at 2:20 a.m. on January 15th and saw so-and-so,' or, 'I put some of this stuff in a pot and heated it to such-and-such a temperature and it did so-and-so.' Do not think I am saying anything against science: I am only saying what its job is. And the more scientific a man is, the more (I believe) he would agree with me that this is the job of science--and a very useful and necessary job it is too. But why anything comes to be there at all, and whether there is anything behind the things science observes--something of a different kind--this is not a scientific question. If there is 'Something Behind,' then either it will have to remain altogether unknown to men or else make itself known in some different way. The statement that there is any such thing, and the statement that there is no such thing, are neither of them statements that science can make. And real scientists do not usually make them. It is usually the journalists and popular novelists who have picked up a few odds and ends of half-baked science from textbooks who go in for them. After all, it is really a matter of common sense. Supposing science ever became complete so that it knew every single thing in the whole universe. Is it not plain that the questions, 'Why is there a universe?' 'Why does it go on as it does?' 'Has it any meaning?' would remain just as they were?
C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)
Why do men feel threatened by women?' I asked a male friend of mine. So this male friend of mine, who does by the way exist, conveniently entered into the following dialogue. 'I mean,' I said, 'men are bigger, most of the time, they can run faster, strangle better, and they have on the average a lot more money and power.' 'They're afraid women will laugh at them,' he said. 'Undercut their world view.' Then I asked some women students in a quickie poetry seminar I was giving, 'Why do women feel threatened by men?' 'They're afraid of being killed,' they said.
Margaret Atwood
Life bullies us son, but God don't. He had good reasons for fixin' it where if'n you git too sick or too hurt to live, why, you can die, same as a sick chicken. I've knowed a few really sick chickens to git well, and lots a-folks git well thet nobody ever thought to see out a-bed agin cept in a coffin. Still and all, common sense tells you this much: everwhat makes a wheel run over a track will make it run over a boy if'n he's in the way. If'n you'd a got kilt, it'd mean you jest didn't move fast enough, like a rabbit that gits caught by a hound dog... When it comes to prayin' we got it all over the other animals, but we ain't no different when it comes to livin' and dyin'. If'n you give God the credit when somebody don't die, you go'n blame Him when they do die? Call it His Will? Ever noticed we git well all the time and don't die but once't? Thet has to mean God always wants us to live if'n we can.
Olive Ann Burns (Leaving Cold Sassy: The Unfinished Sequel to Cold Sassy Tree)
Despair Who is he? A railroad track toward hell? Breaking like a stick of furniture? The hope that suddenly overflows the cesspool? The love that goes down the drain like spit? The love that said forever, forever and then runs you over like a truck? Are you a prayer that floats into a radio advertisement? Despair, I don't like you very well. You don't suit my clothes or my cigarettes. Why do you locate here as large as a tank, aiming at one half of a lifetime? Couldn't you just go float into a tree instead of locating here at my roots, forcing me out of the life I've led when it's been my belly so long? All right! I'll take you along on the trip where for so many years my arms have been speechless
Anne Sexton
And the creature run from the cur? There thou mightst behold the great image of authority: a dog’s obeyed in office. Thou rascal beadle, hold thy bloody hand. Why dost thou lash that whore? Strip thine own back. Thou hotly lust’st to use her in that kind For which thou whipp’st her. The usurer hangs the cozener. Through tattered clothes great vices do appear; Robes and furred gowns hide all. Plate sin with gold, And the strong lance of justice hurtless breaks. Arm it in rags, a pigmy’s straw does pierce it. None does offend—none, I say, none. I’ll able 'em. Take that of me, my friend, who have the power To seal th' accuser’s lips. Get thee glass eyes, And like a scurvy politician seem To see the things thou dost not.
William Shakespeare (King Lear)
I taught how to be sociable with ink on paper. I told my students that when they were writing they should be good dates on blind dates, should show strangers good times. Alternatively, they should run really nice whorehouses, come one, come all, although they were in fact working in perfect solitude. I said I expected them to do this with nothing but idiosyncratic arrangements in horizontal lines of twenty-six phonetic symbols, ten numbers, and maybe eight punctuation marks, because it wasn't anything that hadn't been done before. In 1996, with movies and TV doing such good jobs of holding the attention of literates and illiterates alike, I have to question the value of my very strange, when you think about it, charm school. There is this: Attempted seductions with nothing but words on paper are so cheap for would-be ink-stained Don Juans or Cleopatras!They don't have to get a bankable actor or actress to commit to the project, and then a bankable director, and so on, and then raise millions and millions of buckareenies from manic-depressive experts on what most people want. Still and all, why bother? Here's my answer: Many people need desperately to receive this message: "I feel and think much as you do, care about many of the things you care about, although most people don't care about them. You are not alone.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Timequake)
Since Sienna was in an unusually cooperative mood, the session went well. He was returning from it midmorning - after a short detour - when a small naked body barreled into him in one of the main corridors. Steadying the boy with Tk, he looked down. The child lifted a finger to his lips. "Shh. I'm hiding." With that, he went behind Judd and scrambled into a small alcove. "Quickly! Not sure why he obeyed the order, Judd backed up to stand in front of the alcove, arms crossed. A flustered Lara came running around the corner a few seconds later. "Have you seen Ben? Four-year-old. Naked as a jaybird?" "How tall is he?" Judd asked in his most overbearing Psy manner. Lara stared. "He's four. How tall do you think he is? Have you seen him or not?" "Let me think...did you say he was naked?" "He was about to be bathed. Slippery little monkey." A giggle from behind Judd. Lara's eyes widened and then her lips twitched. "So you haven't seen him?" "Without a proper description, I can't be sure." The healer was obviously trying not to laugh. "You shouldn't encourage him - he's incorrigible as it is." Judd felt childish hands on his left calf and then Ben poked his head out. "I'm incorwigeable, did ya hear?" Judd nodded. "I do believe you've been found. Why don't you go have your bath?" "Come on, munchkin." Lara held out a hand. Surprisingly strong baby arms and legs wrapped around Judd's leg. "No. I wanna stay with Uncle Judd." Lara anticipated his question. "Ben spends a lot of time with Marlee." "I spend a lot of time with Marlee," a small voice piped up.
Nalini Singh (Caressed by Ice (Psy-Changeling #3))
No,” I hear myself say. “You’re not supposed to be here.” She’s sitting on my bed. She’s leaning back on her elbows, legs outstretched in front of her, crossed at the ankles. And while some part of me understands I must be dreaming, there’s another, overwhelmingly dominant part of me that refuses to accept this. Part of me wants to believe she’s really here, inches away from me, wearing this short, tight black dress that keeps slipping up her thighs. But everything about her looks different, oddly vibrant; the colors are all wrong. Her lips are a richer, deeper shade of pink; her eyes seem wider, darker. She’s wearing shoes I know she’d never wear. And strangest of all: she’s smiling at me. “Hi,” she whispers. It’s just one word, but my heart is already racing. I’m inching away from her, stumbling back and nearly slamming my skull against the headboard, when I realize my shoulder is no longer wounded. I look down at myself. My arms are both fully functional. I’m wearing nothing but a white T-shirt and my underwear. She shifts positions in an instant, propping herself up on her knees before crawling over to me. She climbs onto my lap. She’s now straddling my waist. I’m suddenly breathing too fast. Her lips are at my ear. Her words are so soft. “Kiss me,” she says. “Juliette—” “I came all the way here.” She’s still smiling at me. It’s a rare smile, the kind she’s never honored me with. But somehow, right now, she’s mine. She’s mine and she’s perfect and she wants me, and I’m not going to fight it. I don’t want to. Her hands are tugging at my shirt, pulling it up over my head. Tossing it to the floor. She leans forward and kisses my neck, just once, so slowly. My eyes fall closed. There aren’t enough words in this world to describe what I’m feeling. I feel her hands move down my chest, my stomach; her fingers run along the edge of my underwear. Her hair falls forward, grazing my skin, and I have to clench my fists to keep from pinning her to my bed. Every nerve ending in my body is awake. I’ve never felt so alive or so desperate in my life, and I’m sure if she could hear what I’m thinking right now, she’d run out the door and never come back. Because I want her. Now. Here. Everywhere. I want nothing between us. I want her clothes off and the lights on and I want to study her. I want to unzip her out of this dress and take my time with every inch of her. I can’t help my need to just stare; to know her and her features: the slope of her nose, the curve of her lips, the line of her jaw. I want to run my fingertips across the soft skin of her neck and trace it all the way down. I want to feel the weight of her pressed against me, wrapped around me. I can’t remember a reason why this can’t be right or real. I can’t focus on anything but the fact that she’s sitting on my lap, touching my chest, staring into my eyes like she might really love me. I wonder if I’ve actually died. But just as I lean in, she leans back, grinning before reaching behind her, never once breaking eye contact with me. “Don’t worry,” she whispers. “It’s almost over now.” Her words seem so strange, so familiar. “What do you mean?” “Just a little longer and I’ll leave.” “No.” I’m blinking fast, reaching for her. “No, don’t go—where are you going—” “You’ll be all right,” she says. “I promise.” “No—” But now she’s holding a gun. And pointing it at my heart.
Tahereh Mafi (Destroy Me (Shatter Me, #1.5))
I drove by all the places we used to hang out getting wasted I thought about our last kiss, how it felt the way you tasted And even though your friends tell me you're doing fine Are you somewhere feeling lonely even though he's right beside you? When he says those words that hurt you, do you read the ones I wrote you? Sometimes I start to wonder, was it just a lie? If what we had was real, how could you be fine? 'Cause I'm not fine at all I remember the day you told me you were leaving I remember the make-up running down your face And the dreams you left behind you didn't need them Like every single wish we ever made I wish that I could wake up with amnesia And forget about the stupid little things Like the way it felt to fall asleep next to you And the memories I never can escape 'Cause I'm not fine at all The pictures that you sent me they're still living in my phone I'll admit I like to see them, I'll admit I feel alone And all my friends keep asking why I'm not around It hurts to know you're happy, yeah, it hurts that you've moved on It's hard to hear your name when I haven't seen you in so long It's like we never happened, was it just a lie? If what we had was real, how could you be fine? 'Cause I'm not fine at all I remember the day you told me you were leaving I remember the make-up running down your face And the dreams you left behind you didn't need them Like every single wish we ever made I wish that I could wake up with amnesia And forget about the stupid little things Like the way it felt to fall asleep next to you And the memories I never can escape If today I woke up with you right beside me Like all of this was just some twisted dream I'd hold you closer than I ever did before And you'd never slip away And you'd never hear me say I remember the day you told me you were leaving I remember the make-up running down your face And the dreams you left behind you didn't need them Like every single wish we ever made I wish that I could wake up with amnesia And forget about the stupid little things Like the way it felt to fall asleep next to you And the memories I never can escape 'Cause I'm not fine at all No, I'm really not fine at all Tell me this is just a dream 'Cause I'm really not fine at all
5 Seconds of Summer
No," I said automatically, "don't do anything about Dad. You can't fix my relationship with him." "I can block or run interference." "Thanks, Jack, but I don't need blocking, and I really don't need any more interference." He looked annoyed. "Well, why did you waste all that time complaining to me if you didn't want me to do something about it?" "I don't want you to fix my problems. I just wanted you to listen." "Hang it all, Haven, talk to a girlfriend if all you want is a pair of ears. Guys hate it when you give us a problem and then don't let us do something about it. It makes us feel bad. And then the only way to make ourselves feel better is to rip a phone book in two or blow something up. So let's get this straight — I'm not a good listener. I'm a guy." "Yes you are." I stood and smiled. "Want to buy me a drink at an after work bar?" "Now you're talking," my brother said, and we left the office.
Lisa Kleypas (Blue-Eyed Devil (Travises, #2))
And so I miss the fertilization that might come from a contact. And for me--yes, I think I might as well admit it--fertilization does come a great deal from contacts. Why then do I avoid them--in a sort of false pride--shyness--timorous modesty? I used to be afraid of falling in love with people--or having them think I was--that I was chasing them (how ridiculous--I am actually always running away!) but now surely--I should be mature enough to be over that. I am no longer afraid of falling in love, and the other false modesties should vanish. I cannot bear to think "par delicatesse j'ai perdu ma vie." (Because of discretion I have lost my life).
Anne Morrow Lindbergh (Against Wind and Tide: Letters and Journals, 1947-1986)
If you want to see philosophy in action, pay a visit to a robo-rat laboratory. A robo-rat is a run-ofthe-mill rat with a twist: scientists have implanted electrodes into the sensory and reward areas in the rat’s brain. This enables the scientists to manoeuvre the rat by remote control. After short training sessions, researchers have managed not only to make the rats turn left or right, but also to climb ladders, sniff around garbage piles, and do things that rats normally dislike, such as jumping from great heights. Armies and corporations show keen interest in the robo-rats, hoping they could prove useful in many tasks and situations. For example, robo-rats could help detect survivors trapped under collapsed buildings, locate bombs and booby traps, and map underground tunnels and caves. Animal-welfare activists have voiced concern about the suffering such experiments inflict on the rats. Professor Sanjiv Talwar of the State University of New York, one of the leading robo-rat researchers, has dismissed these concerns, arguing that the rats actually enjoy the experiments. After all, explains Talwar, the rats ‘work for pleasure’ and when the electrodes stimulate the reward centre in their brain, ‘the rat feels Nirvana’. To the best of our understanding, the rat doesn’t feel that somebody else controls her, and she doesn’t feel that she is being coerced to do something against her will. When Professor Talwar presses the remote control, the rat wants to move to the left, which is why she moves to the left. When the professor presses another switch, the rat wants to climb a ladder, which is why she climbs the ladder. After all, the rat’s desires are nothing but a pattern of firing neurons. What does it matter whether the neurons are firing because they are stimulated by other neurons, or because they are stimulated by transplanted electrodes connected to Professor Talwar’s remote control? If you asked the rat about it, she might well have told you, ‘Sure I have free will! Look, I want to turn left – and I turn left. I want to climb a ladder – and I climb a ladder. Doesn’t that prove that I have free will?
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow)
Cold flu looks nothing in front of cancer...complications in our personal life is like a flu and killing people on name of God or borders or countries is cancer...you can help this planet...there are ways...willingness is an action We are one...the only difference is ...few are awake, few are ready to wake up and few are just ignorant and time is coming when there will be no choice for those who is ignorant because of suffering and pain .... Bigger EGO is always drawn to Bigger Ego so many times Bigger ego ignores the important message being delivered by not a famous person. Love heals...Love not from mind...deep from heart....Mind brings games and play around with relationships...Something sacred deep from heart....L ♥ V E...Unconditional...No business of give and take....unconditional giving.... Don't be afraid and run away from loneliness and start seeking securities....Try to enjoy every part of it and then you will see ...Loneliness turned into something which we never want to loose....investigate your feeling when you feel lonely We always want something in return...we have made LOVE a business...I did it too in the past that's why I know it...this is the reason that we should change...you change, I change....everyone should think again on the way of living life and thinking and specially who thinks they know what life is. 2 births in the same life....physical and spiritual....you break the bondage (psychologically) with physical attributes of life ( detached state of mind) and try to find real "maksad" (purpose) of your existence as Being not Doing If you want to enjoy your relationship with your special one then please keep these tools handy:1) Patience2) Trust3) Freedom4) Honesty5) Respect we are all stars... twinkling with love and when there is love then there is no conflict 4 letters L ♥ V E ..imagine these letters on your hand and try to feel the deep meaning and power of these letters...feel the love you have for this life...start from there and spread love to everyone you see or meet...LOVE
Neeraj Sabharwal
If I walked too far and wondered loud enough the fields would change. I could look down and see horse corn and I could hear it then- singing- a kind of low humming and moaning warning me back from the edge. My head would throb and the sky would darken and it would be that night again, that perpetual yesterday lived again. My soul solidifying, growing heavy. I came up to the lip of my grave this way many times but had yet to stare in. I did begin to wonder what the word heaven meant. I thought, if this were heaven, truly heaven, it would be where my grandparents lived. Where my father's father, my favorite of them all, would lift me up and dance with me. I would feel only joy and have no memory, no cornfield and no grave. You can have that,' Franny said to me. 'Plenty of people do.' How do you make the switch?' I asked. It's not as easy as you might think,' she said. 'You have to stop desiring certain answers.' I don't get it.' If you stop asking why you were killed instead of someone else, stop investigating the vaccum left by your loss, stop wondering what everyone left on Earth is feeling,' she said, 'you can be free. Simply put, you have to give up on Earth.' This seemed impossible to me. ... She used the bathroom, running the tap noisily and disturbing the towels. She knew immediately that her mother had bought these towels- cream, a ridiculous color for towels- and monogrammed- also ridiculous, my mother thought. But then, just as quickly, she laughed at herself. She was beginning to wonder how useful her scorched-earth policy had been to her all these years. Her mother was loving if she was drunk, solid if she was vain. When was it all right to let go not only of the dead but of the living- to learn to accept? I was not in the bathroom, in the tub, or in the spigot; I did not hold court in the mirror above her head or stand in miniature at the tip of every bristle on Lindsey's or Buckley's toothbrush. In some way I could not account for- had they reached a state of bliss? were my parents back together forever? had Buckley begun to tell someone his troubles? would my father's heart truly heal?- I was done yearning for them, needing them to yearn for me. Though I still would. Though they still would. Always.
Alice Sebold (The Lovely Bones)
At dawn, when you have trouble getting out of bed, tell yourself: “I have to go to work—as a human being. What do I have to complain of, if I’m going to do what I was born for— the things I was brought into the world to do? Or is this what I was created for? To huddle under the blankets and stay warm? —But it’s nicer here. . . . So you were born to feel “nice”? Instead of doing things and experiencing them? Don’t you see the plants, the birds, the ants and spiders and bees going about their individual tasks, putting the world in order, as best they can? And you’re not willing to do your job as a human being? Why aren’t you running to do what your nature demands? —But we have to sleep sometime. . . . Agreed. But nature set a limit on that—as it did on eating and drinking. And you’re over the limit. You’ve had more than enough of that. But not of working. There you’re still below your quota. You don’t love yourself enough. Or you’d love your nature too, and what it demands of you. People who love what they do wear themselves down doing it, they even forget to wash or eat. Do you have less respect for your own nature than the engraver does for engraving, the dancer for the dance, the miser for money or the social climber for status? When they’re really possessed by what they do, they’d rather stop eating and sleeping than give up practicing their arts. Is helping others less valuable to you? Not worth your effort?
Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)
When we get hurt, our bodies immediately start trying to heal that hurt. This works for emotions as well. If we were scarred socially, by an incident of rejection or bullying, we immediately start trying to heal. Like pus comes out of wounds, emotions flow from psychological wounds. And what do we really need at that moment? When we are out of that dangerous situation that scarred us, and we become triggered by some little thing - what do we need? Do we need someone to look at us and say, "Wow, you're really sensitive, aren't you?" or "Hey, man, I didn't mean it like that."? Do we need someone to justify their actions or tell us to take it easy, because the situation didn't really require such a reaction? And, from ourselves, do we really need four pounds of judgment with liberal helpings of shame? Do we need to run away, to suppress, to hate our "over-sensitivity" to situations that seem innocuous to others? No. We do not need all of these versions of rejection of a natural healing process. You would not feel shame over a wound doing what it must do to heal, nor would you shame another. So why do we do this to our heart wounds? Why do we do it to ourselves? To others? Next time some harmless situation triggers you or someone around you into an intense emotion - realize it's an attempt at emotional healing. Realize the danger is no longer there, but don't suppress the healing of old dangers and old pains. Allow the pain. Don't react, but don't repress. Embrace the pain. Embrace the pain of others. Like this, we have some chance at healing the endless cycles of generational repression and suppression that are rolling around in our society. Fall open. Break open. Sit with others' openness. Let love be your medicine.
Vironika Tugaleva
Are you all right?" A crease appears between his eyebrows, and he touches my cheek gently.I bat his hand away. "Well," I say, "first I got reamed out in front of everyone,and then I had to chat with the woman who's trying to destroy my old faction,and then Eric almost tossed my friends out of Dauntless,so yeah,it's shaping up to be a pretty great day,Four." He shakes his head and looks at the dilapidated building to his right, which is made of brick and barely resembles the sleek glass spire behind me. It must be ancient.No one builds with brick anymore. "Why do you care,anyway?" I say. "You can be either cruel instructor or concerned boyfriend." I tense up at the word "boyfriend." I didn't mean to use it so flippantly,but it's too late now. "You can't play both parts at the same time." "I am not cruel." He scowls at me. "I was protecting you this morning. How do you think Peter and his idiot friends would have reacted if they discovered that you and I were..." He sighs. "You would never win. They would always call your ranking a result of my favoritism rather than your skill." I open my mouth to object,but I can't. A few smart remarks come to mind, but I dismiss them. He's right. My cheeks warm, and I cool them with my hands. "You didn't have to insult me to prove something to them," I say finally. "And you didn't have to run off to your brother just because I hurt you," he says. He rubs at the back of his neck. "Besides-it worked,didn't it?" "At my expense." "I didn't think it would affect you this way." Then he looks down and shrugs. "Sometimes I forget that I can hurt you.That you are capable of being hurt." I slide my hands into my pockets and rock back on my heels.A strange feeling goes through me-a sweet,aching weakness. He did what he did because he believed in my strength. At home it was Caleb who was strong,because he could forget himself,because all the characteristics my parents valued came naturally to him. No one has ever been so convinced of my strength. I stand on my tiptoes, lift my head, and kiss him.Only our lips touch. "You're brilliant,you know that?" I shake my head. "You always know exactly what to do." "Only because I've been thinking about this for a long time," he says, kissing my briefly. "How I would handle it, if you and I..." He pulls back and smiles. "Did I hear you call me your boyfriend,Tris?" "Not exactly." I shrug. "Why? Do you want me to?" He slips his hands over my neck and presses his thumbs under my chin, tilting my head back so his forehead meets mine. For a moment he stands there, his eyes closed, breathing my air. I feel the pulse in his fingertips. I feel the quickness of his breath. He seems nervous. "Yes," he finally says. Then his smile fades. "You think we convinced him you're just a silly girl?" "I hope so," I say.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
Why Do People become Shadowhunters, by Magnus Bane This Codex thing is very silly. Downworlders talk about the Codex like it is some great secret full of esoteric knowledge, but really itès a Boy Scout manual. One thing that it mysteriously doesnèt address is why people become Shadowhunters. And you should know that people become Shadowhunters for many stupid reasons. So here is an addition to your copy. Greetings, aspiring young Shadowhunter-to-be- or possibly already technically a Shadowhunter. I canèt remember whether you drink from the Cup first or get the book first. Regardless, you have just been recruited by the Monster Police. You may be wondering, why? Why of all the mundanes out there was I selected and invited to this exclusive club made up largely, at least from a historical perspective, of murderous psychopaths? Possible Reasons Why 1. You possess a stout heart, strong will, and able body. 2. You possess a stout body, able will, and strong heart. 3. Local Shadowhunters are ironically punishing you by making you join them. 4. You were recruited by a local institute to join the Nephilim as an ironic punishment for your mistreatment of Downworlders. 5. Your home , village, or nation is under siege by demons. 6. You home, village, or nation is under siege by rogue Downworlders. 7. You were in the wrong place at the wrong time. 8.You know too much, and should be recruited because the secrecy of the Shadow World has already been compromised for you. 9. You know too little; it would be helpful to the Shadowhunters if you knew more. 10. You know exactly the right amount, making you a natural recruit. 11. You possess a natural resistance to glamour magic and must be recruited to keep you quiet and provide you with some basic protection. 12. You have a compound last name already and have convinced someone important that yours is a Shadowhunter family and the Shadowhunteriness has just been weakened by generations of bad breeding. 13. You had a torrid affair with a member of the Nephilim council and now he's trying to cover his tracks. 14. Shadowhunters are concerned they are no longer haughty and condescending enough-have sought you out to add a much needed boost of haughty condescension. 15. You have been bitten by a radioactive Shadowhunter, giving you the proportional strength and speed of a Shadowhunter. 16. Large bearded man on flying motorcycle appeared to take you away to Shadowhunting school. 17. Your mom has been in hiding from your evil dad, and you found out you're a Shadowhunter only a few weeks ago. That's right. Seventeen reasons. Because that's how many I came up with. Now run off, little Shadowhunter, and learn how to murder things. And be nice to Downworlders.
Cassandra Clare (The Shadowhunter's Codex)
We look back on history, and what do we see? Empires rising and falling; revolutions and counter-revolutions succeeding one another; wealth accumulating and wealth dispersed; one nation dominant and then another. As Shakespeare’s King Lear puts it, “the rise and fall of great ones that ebb and flow with the moon.” In one lifetime I’ve seen my fellow countrymen ruling over a quarter of the world, and the great majority of them convinced – in the words of what is still a favorite song – that God has made them mighty and will make them mightier yet. I’ve heard a crazed Austrian announce the establishment of a German Reich that was to last for a thousand years; an Italian clown report that the calendar will begin again with his assumption of power; a murderous Georgian brigand in the Kremlin acclaimed by the intellectual elite as wiser than Solomon, more enlightened than Ashoka, more humane than Marcus Aurelius. I’ve seen America wealthier than all the rest of the world put together; and with the superiority of weaponry that would have enabled Americans, had they so wished, to outdo an Alexander or a Julius Caesar in the range and scale of conquest. All in one little lifetime – gone with the wind: England now part of an island off the coast of Europe, threatened with further dismemberment; Hitler and Mussolini seen as buffoons; Stalin a sinister name in the regime he helped to found and dominated totally for three decades; Americans haunted by fears of running out of the precious fluid that keeps their motorways roaring and the smog settling, by memories of a disastrous military campaign in Vietnam, and the windmills of Watergate. Can this really be what life is about – this worldwide soap opera going on from century to century, from era to era, as old discarded sets and props litter the earth? Surely not. Was it to provide a location for so repetitive and ribald a production as this that the universe was created and man, or homo sapiens as he likes to call himself – heaven knows why – came into existence? I can’t believe it. If this were all, then the cynics, the hedonists, and the suicides are right: the most we can hope for from life is amusement, gratification of our senses, and death. But it is not all.
Malcolm Muggeridge
I can't help but recall, at this point, a horribly elitist but very droll remark by one of my favorite writers, the American "critic of the seven arts", James Huneker, in his scintillating biography of Frédéric Chopin, on the subject of Chopin's étude Op. 25, No. 11 in A minor, which for me, and for Huneker, is one of the most stirring and most sublime pieces of music ever written: “Small-souled men, no matter how agile their fingers, should avoid it.” "Small-souled men"?! Whew! Does that phrase ever run against the grain of American democracy! And yet, leaving aside its offensive, archaic sexism (a crime I, too, commit in GEB, to my great regret), I would suggest that it is only because we all tacitly do believe in something like Hueneker's' shocking distinction that most of us are willing to eat animals of one sort or another, to smash flies, swat mosquitos, fight bacteria with antibiotics, and so forth. We generally concur that "men" such as a cow, a turkey, a frog, and a fish all possess some spark of consciousness, some kind of primitive "soul" but by God, it's a good deal smaller than ours is — and that, no more and no less, is why we "men" feel that we have the perfect right to extinguish the dim lights in the heads of these fractionally-souled beasts and to gobble down their once warm and wiggling, now chilled and stilled protoplasm with limitless gusto, and not feel a trace of guilt while doing so.
Douglas R. Hofstadter (Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid)
I don't know why, but I didn't want her to call me Dick anymore. It was feeling kind of fake. 'Maybe we should use our real names outside of class. Yours is Rosetta, right?' 'Yes. Rosetta Vaughn.' 'All right,' I said. 'Well, mine is - ' 'Seth McCoy. I know.' She kind of wrapped her arms around herself like she was getting cold. 'I've known since February fourteenth, actually.' She's memorized the date she found out my name? What the hell? She laughed. 'Don't freak out! I only remember because it was Valentine's Day.' As if that explained it. 'And why do you remember learning my name on Valentine's Day?' 'Kendall Eckman was running after you in the hall screaming, "Seth McCoy, if you don't buy a rose from me, I'll kill you!" She was doing that Valentine's drama club fundraiser. Remember?' 'Actually, yes.' What I remembered was getting stoned with Isaac before school, and Kendall harshing my mellow the minute we walked in the door. Rosetta was looking like there was more to this story. 'And after she kept asking, you bought a red one?' 'Right. And I passed it off to -' I'd been about to say 'some chick,' but with how intently she was watching me, I was getting a different idea. '-you, right?' She extended her arm to pass me an imaginary rose in the same way I must have handed her a real one. Then she imitated the corny voice I must have used. 'Here, beautiful. Have a wonderful Valentine's Day.' Oh, Christ. The stupid shit I said sometimes.
Mindi Scott (Freefall)
Here one comes upon an all-important English trait: the respect for constituitionalism and legality, the belief in 'the law' as something above the state and above the individual, something which is cruel and stupid, of course, but at any rate incorruptible. It is not that anyone imagines the law to be just. Everyone knows that there is one law for the rich and another for the poor. But no one accepts the implications of this, everyone takes for granted that the law, such as it is, will be respected, and feels a sense of outrage when it is not. Remarks like 'They can't run me in; I haven't done anything wrong', or 'They can't do that; it's against the law', are part of the atmosphere of England. The professed enemies of society have this feeling as strongly as anyone else. One sees it in prison-books like Wilfred Macartney's Walls Have Mouths or Jim Phelan's Jail Journey, in the solemn idiocies that take places at the trials of conscientious objectors, in letters to the papers from eminent Marxist professors, pointing out that this or that is a 'miscarriage of British justice'. Everyone believes in his heart that the law can be, ought to be, and, on the whole, will be impartially administered. The totalitarian idea that there is no such thing as law, there is only power, has never taken root. Even the intelligentsia have only accepted it in theory. An illusion can become a half-truth, a mask can alter the expression of a face. The familiar arguments to the effect that democracy is 'just the same as' or 'just as bad as' totalitarianism never take account of this fact. All such arguments boil down to saying that half a loaf is the same as no bread. In England such concepts as justice, liberty and objective truth are still believed in. They may be illusions, but they are powerful illusions. The belief in them influences conduct,national life is different because of them. In proof of which, look about you. Where are the rubber truncheons, where is the caster oil? The sword is still in the scabbard, and while it stays corruption cannot go beyond a certain point. The English electoral system, for instance, is an all but open fraud. In a dozen obvious ways it is gerrymandered in the interest of the moneyed class. But until some deep change has occurred in the public mind, it cannot become completely corrupt. You do not arrive at the polling booth to find men with revolvers telling you which way to vote, nor are the votes miscounted, nor is there any direct bribery. Even hypocrisy is powerful safeguard. The hanging judge, that evil old man in scarlet robe and horse-hair wig,whom nothing short of dynamite will ever teach what century he is living in, but who will at any rate interpret the law according to the books and will in no circumstances take a money bribe,is one of the symbolic figures of England. He is a symbol of the strange mixture of reality and illusion, democracy and privilege, humbug and decency, the subtle network of compromises, by which the nation keeps itself in its familiar shape.
George Orwell (Why I Write)
As it is, I guess I find "Jack and Diane" a little disgusting. As a child of immigrant professionals, I can't help but notice the wasteful frivolity of it all. Why are these kids not at home doing their homework? Why aren't they setting the table for dinner or helping out around the house? Who allows their kids to hang out in parking lots? Isn't that loitering? I wish there was a song called "Nguyen & Ari," a little ditty about a hardworking Vietnamese girl who helps her parents with the franchised Holiday Inn they run, and does homework in the lobby, and Ari, a hardworking Jewish boy who does volunteer work at his grandmother's old-age home, and they meet after school at Princeton Review. They help each other study for the SATs and different AP courses, and then, after months of studying, and mountains of flashcards, they kiss chastely upon hearing the news that they both got into their top college choices. This is a song teens need to inadvertently memorize. Now that's a song I'd request at Johnny Rockets!
Mindy Kaling (Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns))
But I thought we might get naked, just like Adam and Eve, so natural...” I gasped. I'd forgotten all about that part of my conversation with Scott! Utter humiliation. I curled into a tighter ball. “Oh, come on. You haven't even thanked me yet.” “For what?” I asked, still not looking. “For saving you from snogging that plonker. You didn't really fancy him, did you?” My cheeks burned, and I was glad to be turned away from him. I kept my mouth shut. “So that's it, then?” he asked. I ignored him. “I always wondered what it would feel like.” That made me curious enough to turn to him. “What what would feel like?” I asked. “Rejection.” He seemed in the midst of a revelation. “What are you saying? That no girl has ever told you no?” “Not one.” Well, that explained a lot. “And what about you?” I asked. "Haven't you ever stopped or said no to a girl?” He laughed as if I'd said something ridiculous. "Why would I do that?” “Lots of reasons,” I said. “Never mind, just go to sleep. We have a long day tomorrow.” I turned away from him again, punching the thick pillow and laying my head down. “I suppose I did refuse one, but she doesn't count,” he said. “Why not?” “Because she was Neph.” Discomfort gnawed at me. “This must be the part where I take a cold shower?” he asked. “Good idea.” When he was in the bathroom with the water running, I jumped down and changed into my pajamas. Then I leaped back into bed and chanted to myself, Don't think about the kiss. Don't think about the kiss. Impossible.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Evil (Sweet, #1))
Because I kissed you? Seriously? You only like me because I’m a good kisser? That’s it. We’re not doing this. I’m not letting you risk your life just because you can’t think with your upstairs brain.” “No, you twit.” Ryan laughed. “Because you kissed me that day. I expected the ice queen and got a funny, go-with-the-flow girl that didn’t care what anyone thought about her. A girl willing to stir up gossip just so that I could win a date with someone else. “You didn’t have to help me. In fact, you probably should have been insulted, but you weren’t. You kissed me, you smiled, and then you wished me good luck. No one’s ever surprised me like that. I couldn’t figure out why you did it, and I just had to get to know you after that.” I had no idea that stupid kiss had that kind of effect on him. Charged him up like a battery, sure, but do all that? All this time I really thought it was just the superkissing that kept him coming back. I looked down at my lunch, feeling a little ashamed of my lack of faith in him, but Ryan couldn’t stop there. Oh, no, not Ryan Miller. “After that day, every time I was with you I got brief glimpses of the real Jamie, the one who is dying to break out, and she was this fun, relaxed, smart, funny, caring girl. Finding out the truth about you only made you that much more incredible. You’re so strong. You’ve gone through so much, you’re going through so much, but you never stop trying. You’re amazing.” I was surprised when I felt Ryan’s hand lift my chin up. I didn’t want to look at him, I knew what would happen to my heart if I did, but I couldn’t stop myself. I craved him too much. When we made eye contact, his face lit up and he whispered, “I love you, Jamie Baker.” It came out of nowhere, and it stole the breath from me, leaving me speechless. Ryan stared at me, just waiting for some kind of reaction, and then I was the one who broke the no-kissing rule. It wasn’t my fault. He totally cheated! Like anyone could resist Ryan Miller when he’s touching your face and saying he loves you? I threw myself at him so fast that I startled him for a change, and he was the one who had to pull me off him when his hair started to stick up. “Sorry,” I breathed as he pulled away. “Don’t be sorry,” he teased. “Just stop.” “Sorry,” I said again when I noticed that his leg was now bouncing under the table. “Yeah. Looks like I don’t get to sleep through economics today.” “On the bright side, Coach could make you run laps all practice long and you’d be fine.
Kelly Oram (Being Jamie Baker (Jamie Baker, #1))
You’re awfully quiet.” Her head snapped the other way, heat creeping up into her cheeks as she focused on the ocean below. “Just waiting for all of this to sink in.” “Oh.” He chuckled. “I was hoping you were staring at me because you liked what you saw.” Clio grinned, shaking her head. “I thought you were concentrating on the road.” He pulled into a cobblestone driveway. The truck vibrated as they rumbled over the uneven surface. When he stopped in front of a cottage, he turned off the engine and met her eyes. “I have a hard time concentrating on anything but you when you’re around.” Her heart pounded. “No one’s ever had that problem around me before.” “I call bullshit.” He rolled his eyes. “I’ve been wishing you’d notice me since the day we met.” Her jaw dropped. “I always notice you. Why do you think I’m at the theater site so often?” He reached over to run a finger along her jawline. “You’re beautiful, Clio. But you’re so busy with your books and reading about the past, you must not notice the effect you have on everyone in the present.
Lisa Kessler (Devoted to Destiny (Muse Chronicles, #5))
Kate knocked on his door and sucked in some air when he opened the door fresh from a shower. His hair was wet and he had a towel wrapped low on his hips. "Jeez," Kate said, staring at the towel, her mind running amuck over what the towel was hiding, unable to drag her eyes to Nick's face. "Is that a good jeez or a bad jeez?" "It's just jeez. Don't you have a robe?" "The room didn't come with a robe." "Okay, so that's why you're wearing the towel. I can see that. Makes perfect sense." A smile twitched at the corners of Nick's mouth. "Is there something I can do for you?" "No! Gosh. Absolutely not." Kate stared at the towel. She was pretty sure she saw it move. Nick tightened his grip on the towel. "Kate?" "Yep?" "You're staring." "I know. I can't help myself." "Cute," Nick said. Kate squinched her eyes shut and wrinkled her nose. "Ugh! I hate being cute." "Cute is good." "It's not. I'm an FBI agent. There's no cute in the FBI. Cute is goofy." "I'd grab you and kiss you, but I'd lose my towel, and I'm afraid you'd faint at the sight of me naked." "I think I could handle it." Nick dropped his towel
Janet Evanovich (The Chase (Fox and O'Hare, #2))
I think we're the only ones in the building," he says. "Then no one will mind when I do this!" I jump onto the desk and parade back and forth. St. Clair belts out a song, and I shimmy to the sound of his voice. When he finishes,I bow with a grand flourish. "Quick!" he says. "What?" I hop off the desk. Is Nate here? Did he see? But St. Clair runs to the stairwell. He throws open the door and screams. The ehco makes us both jump, and then together we scream again at the top of our lungs. It's exhilarating. St. Clair chases me to the elevator,and we ride it to the rooftop. He hangs back but laughs as I spit off the side, trying to hit a lingerie advertisement. The wind is fierce,and my aim is off,so I race back down two flights of stairs. Our staircase is wide and steady, so he's only a few feet behind me. We reach his floor. "Well," he says. Our conversation halts for the first time in hours. I look past him. "Um.Good night." "See you tomorrow? Late breakfast at the creperie?" "That'd be nice." "Unless-" he cuts himself off. Unless what? He's hesitant, changed his mind. The moment passes. I give him one more questioning look, but he turns away. "Okay." It's hard to keep the disappointment out of my voice. "See you in the morning." I take the steps down and glance back.He's staring at me. I lift my hand and wave. He's oddly statuesque. I push through the door to my floor,shaking my head. I don't understand why things always go from perfect to weird with us. It's like we're incapable of normal human interaction. Forget about it,Anna. The stairwell door bursts open. My heart stops. St. Clair looks nervous. "It's been a good day. This was the first good day I've had in ages." He walks slowly toward me. "I don't want it to end. I don't want to be alone right now." "Uh." I can't breathe. He stops before me,scanning my face. "Would it be okay if I stayed with you? I don't want to make you uncomfortable-" "No! I mean..." My head swims. I can hardly think straight. "Yes. Yes, of course,it's okay." St. Clair is still for a moment. And then he nods. I pull off my necklace and insert my key into the lock. He waits behind me. My hand shakes as I open the door.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
No Child of Yours I saw a child hide in the corner So I went and asked her name She was so naive and so petite With such a tiny frame. 'No one,' she replied, that's what I am called I have no family, no one at all I eat, I sleep, I get depressed There is no life, I have nothing left.' 'Why hide in the corner?' I had to ask twice Because I've been hurt, it not very nice I tried to stop it, it was out of my control I feared for myself I wanted to go. I begged for my sorrow to disappear I turned in my bed, oh God, I knew they were near 'So come on little girl, where do you go A path ahead, or a path to unknown?' With that she arose, her head hung low She held herself for only she knows Her tears held back, her heart like ice It looks as though she has paid the price. The ice started melting, her tears to flow The memories flood back, still so many years to go The pain, the anger all built up inside Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. It will get better, just wait and see You'll get a life, though you'll never be fire Open your heart and love yourself The abuse you suffered was NOT your fault.
Teresa Cooper (Pin Down)
You may set your mind at rest, Miss Anstruther-Wetherby." He glanced down, the planes of his face granite-hard. "I'm not marrying you because of any social stricture. That, if you consider it, is a nonsensical idea. Cynsters, as you well know, do not give a damn about social strictures. Society, as far as we're concerned, can think what it pleases—it does not rule us." "But… if that's the case—and given your reputation I can readily believe it is—why insist on marrying me?" "Because I want to." The words were delivered as the most patently obvious answer to a simple question. Honoria held on to her temper. "Because you want to?" He nodded. "That's it? Just because you want to?" The look he sent her was calculated to quell. "For a Cynster, that's a perfectly adequate reason. In fact, for a Cynster, there is no better reason." He looked ahead again; Honoria glanced at his profile. "This is ridiculous. You only set eyes on me yesterday, and now you want to marry me?" Again he nodded. "Why?" The glance he shot her was too brief for her to read. "It so happens I need a wife, and you're the perfect candidate." With that, he altered their direction and lengthened his stride even more. "I am not a racehorse." His lips thinned, but he slowed--just enough so she didn't have to run. They'd gained the graveled walk that circled the house. It took her a moment to replay his words, another to see their weakness. "That's still ridiculous. You must have half the female population of the ton waiting to catch your handkerchief every time you blow your nose." He didn't even glance her way. "At least half." "So why me?" Devil considered telling her--in graphic detail. Instead, he gritted his teeth and growled: "Because you're unique." "Unique?" Unique in that she was arguing.
Stephanie Laurens (Devil's Bride (Cynster, #1))
Where's my sister?" "She's setting up the island we found tonight." Galen shakes his head. "You slithering eel. You might have told me what you were up to." Toraf laughs. "Oh sure. 'Hey, Galen, I need to borrow Emma for a few minutes so I can kiss her, okay?' Didn't see that going over very well." "You think your surprise attack went over better?" Toraf shrugs. "I'm satisfied." "I could have killed you today." "Yeah." "Don't ever do that again." "Wasn't planning on it. Thought it was real sweet of you to defend your sister's honor. Very brotherly." Toraf snickers. "Shut up." "I'm just saying." Galen runs a hand through his hair. "I only saw Emma. I forgot all about Rayna." "I know, idiot. That's why I let you hit me fifty-eight times. That's what I would do if someone kissed Rayna." "Fifty-nine times." "Don't get carried away, minnow. By the way, was Emma boiling mad or just a little heated? Should I keep my distance for a while?" Galen snorts. "She laughed so hard I thought she'd pass out. I'm the one in trouble." "Shocker. What'd you do?" "The usual." Hiding his feelings. Blurting out the wrong thing. Acting like a territorial bull shark. Toraf shakes his head. "She won't put up with that forever. She already thinks you only want to change her so she can become another of your royal subjects." "She said that?" Galen scowls. "I don't know what's worse. Letting her think that, or telling her the truth about why I'm helping her to change." "In my opinion, there's nothing to tell her unless she can actually change. And so far, she can't." "You don't think she's one of us?" Toraf shrugs. "Her skin wrinkles. It's kind of gross. Maybe she's some sort of superhuman. You know, like Batman." Galen laughs. "How do you know about Batman?" "I saw him on that black square in your living room. He can do all sorts of things other humans can't do. Maybe Emma is like him." "Batman isn't real. He's just a human acting like that so other humans will watch him." "Looked real to me." "They're good at making it look real. Some humans spend their whole lives making something that isn't real look like something that is." "Humans are creepier than I thought. Why pretend to be something you're not?" Galen nods. To take over a kingdom, maybe? "Actually, that reminds me. Grom needs you." Toraf groans. "Can it wait? Rayna's getting all cozy on our island right about now." "Seriously. I don't want to know." Toraf grins. "Right. Sorry. But you can see my point, right? I mean, if Emma were waiting for you-" "Emma wouldn't be waiting for me. I wouldn't have left." "Rayna made me. You've never hit me that hard before. She wants us to get along. Plus, there's something I need to tell you, but I didn't exactly get a change to." "What?" "Yesterday when we were practicing in front of your house, I sensed someone. Someone I don't know. I made Emma get out of the water while I went to investigate." "And she listened to you?" Toraf nods. "Turns out, you're the only one she disobeys.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
The two men sat silent for a little, and then Lord Peter said: "D'you like your job?" The detective considered the question, and replied: "Yes—yes, I do. I know it to be useful, and I am fitted to it. I do it quite well—not with inspiration, perhaps, but sufficiently well to take a pride in it. It is full of variety and it forces one to keep up to the mark and not get slack. And there's a future to it. Yes, I like it. Why?" "Oh, nothing," said Peter. "It's a hobby to me, you see. I took it up when the bottom of things was rather knocked out for me, because it was so damned exciting, and the worst of it is, I enjoy it—up to a point. If it was all on paper I'd enjoy every bit of it. I love the beginning of a job—when one doesn't know any of the people and it's just exciting and amusing. But if it comes to really running down a live person and getting him hanged, or even quodded, poor devil, there don't seem as if there was any excuse for me buttin' in, since I don't have to make my livin' by it. And I feel as if I oughtn't ever to find it amusin'. But I do.
Dorothy L. Sayers (Whose Body? (Lord Peter Wimsey, #1))
John Adair had little liking for the simple life; he said it was not simple, but the most damnably complicated method of wasting time that had every existed. He liked a constant supply of hot water, a refrigerator, an elevator, an electric toaster, a telephone beside his bed, central heating and electric fires, and anything whatever that reduced the time spent upon the practical side of living to a minimum and left him free to paint. But Sally [his daughter] did not want to be set free for anything, for it was living itself that she enjoyed. She liked lighting a real fire of logs and fir cones, and toasting bread on an old-fashioned toaster. And she liked the lovely curve of an old staircase and the fun of running up and down it. And she vastly preferred writing a letter and walking with it to the post to using the telephone and hearing with horror her voice committing itself to things she would never have dreamed of doing if she'd had the time to think. "It's my stupid brain," she said to herself. "I like the leisurely things, and taking my time about them. That's partly why I like children so much, I think. They're never in a hurry to get on to something else.
Elizabeth Goudge (Pilgrim's Inn (Eliots of Damerosehay, #2))
It might not be immediately obvious to some readers why the ability to perform 10^85 computational operations is a big deal. So it's useful to put it in context. [I]t may take about 10^31-10^44 operations to simulate all neuronal operations that have occurred in the history of life on Earth. Alternatively, let us suppose that the computers are used to run human whole brain emulations that live rich and happy lives while interacting with one another in virtual environments. A typical estimate of the computational requirements for running one emulation is 10^18 operations per second. To run an emulation for 100 subjective years would then require some 10^27 operations. This would be mean that at least 10^58 human lives could be created in emulation even with quite conservative assumptions about the efficiency of computronium. In other words, assuming that the observable universe is void of extraterrestrial civilizations, then what hangs in the balance is at least 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 human lives. If we represent all the happiness experienced during one entire such life with a single teardrop of joy, then the happiness of these souls could fill and refill the Earth's oceans every second, and keep doing so for a hundred billion billion millennia. It is really important that we make sure these truly are tears of joy.
Nick Bostrom (Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies)
After changing shape several times, the ball eventually turned into a huge face. It floated alongside the air-car. This time, time instead of sending him a mental message, the face spoke out aloud and the whole air-car vibrated with its intensity. “If you are foolish enough to renege on your contract, you will be severely punished. For your sake, I hope you wouldn’t do such a thing.” When Tarmy made no attempt to respond, the face turned and pressed itself against the millipede-free window. A moment later, Tarmy felt the fat slug entering his mind, the sign that the face was attempting to use its powers to obtain his response by other means. But as the slug dug deeper, Samantha’s cover stories began springing out of the corners of his mind. Instead of obtaining Tarmy’s agreement, all that the face saw was a burning army transporter surrounded by bodies. Undeterred, the face continued its assault. Samantha had anticipated that Tarmy might come up against an adept, so the mental images of death and destruction flowed unchecked. After failing to break Tarmy’s defences, the face removed the slug and tried reason. “You can’t win, Mr Tarleton, so why don’t you do yourself a favour and cooperate? It will be better for you in the long run. Now, where is the miniature pulse drive engine?” Tarmy realised why the millipedes hadn’t been allowed to attack. It was obvious that the Great Ones were hoping to retrieve the engine. When Tarmy didn’t respond, the face said, “I am prepared to overlook your desertion if you agree to tell us where the engine is and also honour your contract by showing us how to convert the engine into a bomb.
Andrew R. Williams (Samantha's Revenge (Arcadia's Children, #1))
The Power of the Dog by Rudyard Kipling There is sorrow enough in the natural way From men and women to fill our day; And when we are certain of sorrow in store, Why do we always arrange for more? Brothers and Sisters, I bid you beware Of giving your heart to a dog to tear. Buy a pup and your money will buy Love unflinching that cannot lie-- Perfect passion and worship fed By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head. Nevertheless it is hardly fair To risk your heart for a dog to tear. When the fourteen years which Nature permits Are closing in asthma, or tumour, or fits, And the vet's unspoken prescription runs To lethal chambers or loaded guns, Then you will find--it's your own affair-- But ... you've given your heart to a dog to tear. When the body that lived at your single will, With its whimper of welcome, is stilled (how still!). When the spirit that answered your every mood Is gone--wherever it goes--for good, You will discover how much you care, And will give your heart to a dog to tear. We've sorrow enough in the natural way, When it comes to burying Christian clay. Our loves are not given, but only lent, At compound interest of cent per cent. Though it is not always the case, I believe, That the longer we've kept 'em, the more do we grieve: For, when debts are payable, right or wrong, A short-time loan is as bad as a long-- So why in--Heaven (before we are there) Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear?
Rudyard Kipling (Collected Dog Stories)
Wednesday, November 8th, 1893 Here I sit in the still winter night on the drifting ice-floe, and see only stars above me. Far off I see the threads of life twisting themselves into the intricate web which stretches unbroken from life’s sweet morning dawn to the eternal death-stillness of ice. Thought follows thought—you pick the whole to pieces, and it seems so small—but high above all towers one form … Why did you take this voyage? … Could I do otherwise? Can the river arrest its course and run up hill? My plan has come to nothing. That palace of theory which I reared, in pride and self-confidence, high above all silly objections has fallen like a house of cards at the first breath of wind. Build up the most ingenious theories and you may be sure of one thing—that fact will defy them all. Was I so very sure? Yes, at times; but that was self-deception, intoxication. A secret doubt lurked behind all the reasoning. It seemed as though the longer I defended my theory, the nearer I came to doubting it. But no, there is not getting over the evidence of that Siberian drift-wood. But if, after all, we are on the wrong track, what then? Only disappointed human hopes, nothing more. And even if we perish, what will it matter in the endless cycles of eternity?
Fridtjof Nansen (Farthest North)
Are you going to hand me over to him?" "I haven't decided yet," I teased, and he smiled again, erasing his momentary seriousness. "So, where'd you get the suit?" "Believe it or not, that lovely friend of yours, Willa," Loki said. "She brought me a whole slew of clothes last night. When I asked her why she was being so generous, she said it was out of fear that I would run around naked." I smiled. "That does sound like something you would do. Why are you wearing all black, though? Didn't you know you were going to a wedding?" "On the contrary," he said, doing his best to look unhappy. "I'm in mourning over the wedding." "Oh, because it's too late?" I asked. "No, Wendy, it's never too late." His voice was light, but his eyes were solemn. "May I cut in?" the best man asked. "No, you may not," Loki said. I'd started to move away from him, but he held fast. "Loki," I said, and my eyes widened. "I'm still dancing with her," Loki said, turning to look at him. "You can have her when I'm done." "Loki," I said again, but he was already twirling me away. "You can't do that." "I just did." He grinned. "Oh, Wendy, don't look so appalled. I'm already the rebel Prince of thine enemy. I can't do much more to tarnish my image." "You can certainly tarnish mine," I pointed out. "Never," Loki said, and it was his turn to look appalled. "I'm merely showing them how it's done." He began spinning me around the dance floor in grand arcs, my gown swirling around me. He was a brilliant dancer, moving with grace and speed. Everyone had stopped to watch us, but I didn't care. This was the way a Princess was supposed to dance on her wedding day. The song ended, switching to something by Mozart, and he slowed, almost to a stop, but he kept me in his arms. "Thank you." I smiled. My skin felt flushed from dancing, and I was a little out of breath. "That was a wonderful dance." "You're welcome," he said, staring intently at me. "You are so beautiful." "Stop," I said, looking away as my cheeks reddened. "How can you blush?" Loki asked, laughing gently. "People must tell you how beautiful you are a thousand times a day." "It's not the same," I said. "It's not the same?" Loki echoed. "Why? Because you know they don't mean it like I do?" We did stop dancing them, and neither of us said anything. Garrett came up to us. He smiled, but his eyes didn't appear happy. "Can I cut in?" Garrett asked. "Yes," Loki said, shaking off the intensity he'd had a moment ago, and grinned broadly at Garrett. "She's all yours, good sir. Take care of her." He patted Garrett on the arm once for good measure and gave me a quick smile before heading back over to the refreshment table.
Amanda Hocking (Ascend (Trylle, #3))
You are loosed from your moorings, and are free; I am fast in my chains, and M a slave! You move merrily before the gentle gale, and I sadly before the bloody whip! You are freedoms swift winged angels, that fly around the world; I am confined in the bands of iron! O that I were free! O, that if I were on one of your gallant decks, under your protecting wing! Alas! Betwixt me and you, the turbid waters roll. Go on, go on. O, that I could also go! Could I but swim! If I could fly! O, why was I born a man, of whom to make a brute! The glad ship is gone; she hides in the dim distance. I am left in the hottest hell of unending slavery. O God, save me! God, deliver me! Let me be free! Is there any God! Why am I a slave? I will run away. I will not stand. Get caught, or clear, I'll try it. I had as well die with ague as the fever. I have only one life to lose. I had as well be killed running as die standing. Only think of it; 100 miles straight north, and I am free! Try it? Yes! God is helping me, I will. It cannot be that I shall live and die a slave. I will take to the water. This is very bay shall yet bear me into freedom. The steamboats steered in the Northeast course from Northpoint. I will do the same; and when I get to the head of the bay, I will turn my canoe adrift, and walked straight through Delaware into Pennsylvania. When I get there, I shall not be required to have a pass; I can travel without being disturbed. Let but the first opportunity offer, and, come what will, I am off. Meanwhile, I will try to bear up under the yoke. I am not the only slave in the world. Why should I be free? I can bear as much as any of them. Besides I am but a boy, and all boys are bound to some one. It may be that my misery and slavery will only increase the happiness when I get free there is a better day coming. [62 – 63]
Frederick Douglass (Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass)
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))
According to the biographical notes, Monsieur Julian Carax was twenty-seven, born with the century in Barcelona, and currently living in Paris; he wrote in French and worked at night as a professional pianist in a hostess bar. The blurb, written in the pompous, moldy style of the age, proclaimed that this was a first work of dazzling courage, the mark of a protean and trailblazing talent, and a sign of hope for the future of all of European letters. In spite of such solemn claims, the synopsis that followed suggested that the story contained some vaguely sinister elements slowly marinated in saucy melodrama, which, to the eyes of Monsieur Roquefort, was always a plus: after the classics what he most enjoyed were tales of crime, boudoir intrigue, and questionable conduct. One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. By the time the mind is able to comprehend what has happened, the wounds of the heart are already too deep. She laughed nervously. She had around her a burning aura of loneliness. "You remind me a bit of Julian," she said suddenly. "The way you look and your gestures. He used to do what you are doing now. He would stare at you without saying a word, and you wouldn't know what he was thinking, and so, like an idiot, you'd tell him things it would have been better to keep to yourself." "Someone once said that the moment you stop to think about whether you love someone, you've already stopped loving that person forever." I gulped down the last of my coffee and looked at her for a few moments without saying anything. I thought about how much I wanted to lose myself in those evasive eyes. I thought about the loneliness that would take hold of me that night when I said good-bye to her, once I had run out of tricks or stories to make her stay with me any longer. I thought about how little I had to offer her and how much I wanted from her. "You women listen more to your heart and less to all the nonsense," the hatter concluded sadly. "That's why you live longer." But the years went by in peace. Time goes faster the more hollow it is. Lives with no meaning go straight past you, like trains that don't stop at your station.
Carlos Ruiz Zafón (The Shadow of the Wind (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #1))
Why didn't you just let me run home?" she asked. "I wanted you here," he said simply. "But why?" she persisted. He shrugged. "I don't know.Punishment, perhaps, for spying on me." "I wasn't-" Sophie's denial was automatic, but she cut herself off halfway through, because of course she'd been spying on him. "Smart girl," he murmured. She scowled at him. She would have liked to have said something utterly droll and witty, but she had a feeling that anything emerging from her mouth just then would have been quite the opposite,so she held her tongue. Better to be a silent fool than a talkative one. "It's very bad to spy on one's host," he said, planting his hands on his hips and somehow managing to look both authoritative and relaxed at the same time. "It as an accident," she grumbled. "Oh,I believe you there," he said. "But even if you didn't intend to spy on me, the fact remains that when the opportunity arose, you took it." "Do you blame me?" He grinned. "Not at all.I would have done precisely the same thing." Her mouth fell open. "Oh,don't pretend to be offended," he said. "I'm not pretending." He leaned a bit closer. "To tell the truth, I'm quite flattered." "It was academic curiosity," she ground out, "I assure you." His smile grew sly. "So you're telling me that you would have spied upon any naked man you'd come across?" "Of course not!" "As I said," he drawled, leaning back against a tree, "I'm flattered.
Julia Quinn (An Offer From a Gentleman (Bridgertons, #3))
I smack into him as if shoved from behind. He doesn't budge, not an inch. Just holds my shoulders and waits. Maybe he's waiting for me to find my balance. Maybe he's waiting for me to gather my pride. I hope he's got all day. I hear people passing on the boardwalk and imagine them staring. Best-case scenario, they think I know this guy, that we're hugging. Worst-case scenario, they saw me totter like an intoxicated walrus into this complete stranger because I was looking down for a place to park our beach stuff. Either way, he knows what happened. He knows why my cheek is plastered to his bare chest. And there is definite humiliation waiting when I get around to looking up at him. Options skim through my head like a flip book. Option One: Run away as fast as my dollar-store flip flops can take me. Thing is, tripping over them is partly responsible for my current dilemma. In fact, one of them is missing, probably caught in a crack of the boardwalk. I'm getting Cinderella didn't feel this foolish, but then again, Cinderella wasn't as clumsy as an intoxicated walrus. Option two: Pretend I've fainted. Go limp and everything. Drool, even. But I know this won't work because my eyes flutter too much to fake it, and besides, people don't blush while unconscious. Option Three: Pray for a lightning bolt. A deadly one that you feel in advance because the air gets all atingle and your skin crawls-or so the science books say. It might kill us both, but really, he should have been paying more attention to me when he saw that I wasn't paying attention at all. For a shaved second, I think my prayers are answered because I go get tingly all over; goose bumps sprout everywhere, and my pulse feels like electricity. Then I realize, it's coming from my shoulders. From his hands. Option Last: For the love of God, peel my cheek off his chest and apologize for the casual assault. Then hobble away on my one flip-flop before I faint. With my luck, the lightning would only maim me, and he would feel obligated to carry me somewhere anyway. Also, do it now. I ease away from him and peer up. The fire on my cheeks has nothing to do with the fact that it's sweaty-eight degrees in the Florida sun and everything to do with the fact that I just tripped into the most attractive guy on the planet. Fan-flipping-tastic. "Are-are you all right?" he says, incredulous. I think I can see the shape of my cheek indented on his chest. I nod. "I'm fine. I'm used to it. Sorry." I shrug off his hands when he doesn't let go. The tingling stays behind, as if he left some of himself on me. "Jeez, Emma, are you okay?" Chloe calls from behind. The calm fwopping of my best friend's sandals suggests she's not as concerned as she sounds. Track star that she is, she would already be at my side if she thought I was hurt. I groan and face her, not surprised that she's grinning wide as the equator. She holds out my flip-flop, which I try not to snatch from her hand. "I'm fine. Everybody's fine," I say. I turn back to the guy, who seems to get more gorgeous by the second. "You're fine, right? No broken bones or anything?" He blinks, gives a slight nod. Chloe setts her surfboard against the rail of the boardwalk and extends her hand to him. He accepts it without taking his eyes off me. "I'm Chloe and this is Emma," she says. "We usually bring her helmet with us, but we left it back in the hotel room this time.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
My little brother's greatest fear was that the one person who meant so much to him would go away. He loved Lindsey and Grandma Lynn and Samuel and Hal, but my father kept him stepping lightly, son gingerly monitoring father every morning and every evening as if, without such vigilance, he would lose him. We stood- the dead child and the living- on either side of my father, both wanting the same thing. To have him to ourselves forver. To please us both was an impossibility. ... 'Please don't let Daddy die, Susie,' he whispered. 'I need him.' When I left my brother, I walked out past the gazebo and under the lights hanging down like berries, and I saw the brick paths branching out as I advanced. I walked until the bricks turned to flat stones and then to small, sharp rocks and then to nothing but churned earth for miles adn miles around me. I stood there. I had been in heaven long enough to know that something would be revealed. And as the light began to fade and the sky to turn a dark, sweet blue as it had on the night of my death, I saw something walking into view, so far away I could not at first make out if it was man or woman, child or adult. But as moonlight reached this figure I could make out a man and, frightened now, my breathing shallow, I raced just far enough to see. Was it my father? Was it what I had wanted all this time so deperately? 'Susie,' the man said as I approached and then stopped a few feet from where he stood. He raised his arms up toward me. 'Remember?' he said. I found myself small again, age six and in a living room in Illinois. Now, as I had done then, I placed my feet on top of his feet. 'Granddaddy,' I said. And because we were all alone and both in heaven, I was light enough to move as I had moved when I was six and in a living room in Illinois. Now, as I had done then, I placed my feet on top of his feet. 'Granddaddy,' I said. And because we were all alone and both in heaven, I was light enough to move as I had moved when I was six and he was fifty-six and my father had taken us to visit. We danced so slowly to a song that on Earth had always made my grandfather cry. 'Do you remember?' he asked. 'Barber!' 'Adagio for Strings,' he said. But as we danced and spun- none of the herky-jerky awkwardness of Earth- what I remembered was how I'd found him crying to this music and asked him why. 'Sometimes you cry,' Susie, even when someone you love has been gone a long time.' He had held me against him then, just briefly, and then I had run outside to play again with Lindsey in what seemed like my grandfather's huge backyard. We didn't speak any more that night, but we danced for hours in that timeless blue light. I knew as we danced that something was happening on Earth and in heaven. A shifting. The sort of slow-to-sudden movement that we'd read about in science class one year. Seismic, impossible, a rending and tearing of time and space. I pressed myself into my grandfather's chest and smelled the old-man smell of him, the mothball version of my own father, the blood on Earth, the sky in heaven. The kumquat, skunk, grade-A tobacco. When the music stopped, it cold have been forever since we'd begun. My grandfateher took a step back, and the light grew yellow at his back. 'I'm going,' he said. 'Where?' I asked. 'Don't worry, sweetheart. You're so close.' He turned and walked away, disappearing rapidly into spots and dust. Infinity.
Alice Sebold
Children write essays in school about the unhappy, tragic, doomed life of Anna Karenina. But was Anna really unhappy? She chose passion and she paid for her passion—that's happiness! She was a free, proud human being. But what if during peacetime a lot of greatcoats and peaked caps burst into the house where you were born and live, and ordered the whole family to leave house and town in twenty-four hours, with only what your feeble hands can carry?... You open your doors, call in the passers-by from the streets and ask them to buy things from you, or to throw you a few pennies to buy bread with... With ribbon in her hair, your daughter sits down at the piano for the last time to play Mozart. But she bursts into tears and runs away. So why should I read Anna Karenina again? Maybe it's enough—what I've experienced. Where can people read about us? Us? Only in a hundred years? "They deported all members of the nobility from Leningrad. (There were a hundred thousand of them, I suppose. But did we pay much attention? What kind of wretched little ex-nobles were they, the ones who remained? Old people and children, the helpless ones.) We knew this, we looked on and did nothing. You see, we weren't the victims." "You bought their pianos?" "We may even have bought their pianos. Yes, of course we bought them." Oleg could now see that this woman was not yet even fifty. Yet anyone walking past her would have said she was an old woman. A lock of smooth old woman's hair, quite incurable, hung down from under her white head-scarf. "But when you were deported, what was it for? What was the charge?" "Why bother to think up a charge? 'Socially harmful' or 'socially dangerous element'—S.D.E.', they called it. Special decrees, just marked by letters of the alphabet. So it was quite easy. No trial necessary." "And what about your husband? Who was he?" "Nobody. He played the flute in the Leningrad Philharmonic. He liked to talk when he'd had a few drinks." “…We knew one family with grown-up children, a son and a daughter, both Komsomol (Communist youth members). Suddenly the whole family was put down for deportation to Siberia. The children rushed to the Komsomol district office. 'Protect us!' they said. 'Certainly we'll protect you,' they were told. 'Just write on this piece of paper: As from today's date I ask not to be considered the son, or the daughter, of such-and-such parents. I renounce them as socially harmful elements and I promise in the future to have nothing whatever to do with them and to maintain no communication with them.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (Cancer Ward)
Do you want to know the first time I ever saw you?" he said with his lips at my ear. I knew the story,but I nodded anyway, frantically. "Your family had just moved in. You were...how old were you,Becks?" I shrugged,and he ran his fingers over my head, calming me.He knew the answer. "You were eleven," he said. "I was twelve.I remember Joey Velasquez talking about the pretty new girl in the neighborhood.Actually his exact words were 'the hot chick.' But I didn't think a thing about it until I saw you at the baseball field. We were having practice at the park and your family showed up for a picnic.You had so much dark hair,and it was hiding your face.Remember?" I nodded. "I know what you're trying to do." He ignored me. "I had to see if Joey was right,about the hot chick part, and I kept trying to get a good look at your face, but you never looked over our way.I hit home run after home run trying to get your attention, but you couldn't be bothered with my record-shattering, supherhuman performance." I smiled,and breathed in slowly. I'd heard this story so many times before.The familiarity of it enveloped me with warmth. "So what did you do?" I asked, fully aware of the answer. "I did the only thing I could think of. I went up to the bat,lined my feet up in the direction of your head,and swung away." "Hitting the foulest foul ball anyone had ever seen," I continued the story. I felt him chuckle next to me. "Yep. I figured in order to return the ball,you'd have to get really close to me, because..." He waited for me to fill in the blank. "Because someone made the mistake of assuming I would throw like a girl," I said softly. He pressed his lips against my head before he went on. "Which,of course, was stupid of me to think. You stood right where you were and chucked the ball farther than I'd ever seen a girl, or even any guy,chuck it." "It was all those years of Bonnet Ball my parents forced on me." "The entire team went nuts. You gave a little tiny shrug, like it was no big deal, and sat back down with your family. Completely ignoring me again. So my plan totally backfired. Not only did you get the attention of every boy on the field-which was not my intention-but I got reamed by the coach, who couldn't understand why I suddenly decided to stand perpendicular to home plate.
Brodi Ashton (Everneath (Everneath, #1))
These are lines from my asteroid-impact novel, Regolith: Just because there are no laws against stupidity doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be punished. I haven’t faced rejection this brutal since I was single. He smelled trouble like a fart in the shower. If this was a kiss of gratitude, then she must have been very grateful. Not since Bush and Cheney have so few spent so much so fast for so long for so little. As a nympho for mind-fucks, Lisa took to politics like a pig to mud. She began paying men compliments as if she expected a receipt. Like the Aerosmith song, his get-up-and-go just got-up-and-went. “You couldn’t beat the crap out of a dirty diaper!” He embraced his only daughter as if she was deploying to Iraq. She was hotter than a Class 4 solar flare! If sex was a weapon, then Monique possessed WMD I haven’t felt this alive since I lost my virginity. He once read that 95% of women fake organism, and the rest are gay. Beauty may be in the eyes of the beholder, but ugly is universal. Why do wives fart, but not girlfriends? Adultery is sex that is wrong, but not necessarily bad. The dinosaurs stayed drugged out, drooling like Jonas Brothers fans. Silence filled the room like tear gas. The told him a fraction of the truth and hoped it would take just a fraction of the time. Happiness is the best cosmetic, He was a whale of a catch, and there were a lot of fish in the sea eager to nibble on his bait. Cheap hookers are less buck for the bang, Men cannot fall in love with women they don’t find attractive, and women cannot fall in love with men they do not respect. During sex, men want feedback while women expect mind-reading. Cooper looked like a cow about to be tipped over. His father warned him to never do anything he couldn’t justify on Oprah. The poor are not free -- they’re just not enslaved. Only those with money are free. Sperm wasn’t something he would choose on a menu, but it still tasted better than asparagus. The crater looked alive, like Godzilla was about to leap out and mess up Tokyo. Bush follows the Bible until it gets to Jesus. When Bush talks to God, it’s prayer; when God talks to Bush, it’s policy. Cheney called the new Miss America a traitor – apparently she wished for world peace. Cheney was so unpopular that Bush almost replaced him when running for re-election, changing his campaign slogan to, ‘Ain’t Got Dick.’ Bush fought a war on poverty – and the poor lost. Bush thinks we should strengthen the dollar by making it two-ply. Hurricane Katrina got rid of so many Democratic voters that Republicans have started calling her Kathleen Harris. America and Iraq fought a war and Iran won. Bush hasn’t choked this much since his last pretzel. Some wars are unpopular; the rest are victorious. So many conservatives hate the GOP that they are thinking of changing their name to the Dixie Chicks. If Saddam had any WMD, he would have used them when we invaded. If Bush had any brains, he would have used them when we invaded. It’s hard for Bush to win hearts and minds since he has neither. In Iraq, you are a coward if you leave and a fool if you stay. Bush believes it’s not a sin to kill Muslims since they are going to Hell anyway. And, with Bush’s help, soon. In Iraq, those who make their constitution subservient to their religion are called Muslims. In America they’re called Republicans. With great power comes great responsibility – unless you’re Republican.
Brent Reilly
There was something wrong with me. The human body doesn’t want to get hurt. We’re programmed to feel squeamish at the sight of blood. Pain is a careful orchestration of chemical processes so that we keep our body alive. Studies have shown that people born with congenital analgesia — the inability to feel pain — bite off the tips of their tongues and scratch holes in their eyes and break bones. We are a wonder of checks and balances to keep on running. The human body doesn’t want to get hurt. There was something wrong with me, because sometimes I didn’t care. There was something wrong with me, because sometimes I wanted it. We fear death; we fear the void; we scrabble to keep our pulses. I was the void. What are you afraid of? Nothing. You are not doing this you are not doing this you are not doing this But my eyes were already clawing over the bathroom for ways out. Trust you? I wasn’t meant to live, probably. This was why I was wired this way. Biology formed me and then took a look and wondered what the hell it was thinking and put in a mental fail-safe. In case of emergency pull cord. I was crouching by the wall, breathing into my hands. Victor had told me once that he’d never considered suicide, not even for a second, not even at his darkest moments. It’s the only life we have, he’d said. Even when I was happy, I felt like I was always looking for the edges on life. The seams. I was so perfectly born to die.
Maggie Stiefvater (Sinner (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #3.5))
Boy everyone in this country is running around yammering about their fucking rights. "I have a right, you have no right, we have a right." Folks I hate to spoil your fun, but... there's no such thing as rights. They're imaginary. We made 'em up. Like the boogie man. Like Three Little Pigs, Pinocio, Mother Goose, shit like that. Rights are an idea. They're just imaginary. They're a cute idea. Cute. But that's all. Cute...and fictional. But if you think you do have rights, let me ask you this, "where do they come from?" People say, "They come from God. They're God given rights." Awww fuck, here we go again...here we go again. The God excuse, the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument, "It came from God." Anything we can't describe must have come from God. Personally folks, I believe that if your rights came from God, he would've given you the right for some food every day, and he would've given you the right to a roof over your head. GOD would've been looking out for ya. You know that. He wouldn't have been worried making sure you have a gun so you can get drunk on Sunday night and kill your girlfriend's parents. But let's say it's true. Let's say that God gave us these rights. Why would he give us a certain number of rights? The Bill of Rights of this country has 10 stipulations. OK...10 rights. And apparently God was doing sloppy work that week, because we've had to ammend the bill of rights an additional 17 times. So God forgot a couple of things, like...SLAVERY. Just fuckin' slipped his mind. But let's say...let's say God gave us the original 10. He gave the british 13. The british Bill of Rights has 13 stipulations. The Germans have 29, the Belgians have 25, the Sweedish have only 6, and some people in the world have no rights at all. What kind of a fuckin' god damn god given deal is that!?...NO RIGHTS AT ALL!? Why would God give different people in different countries a different numbers of different rights? Boredom? Amusement? Bad arithmetic? Do we find out at long last after all this time that God is weak in math skills? Doesn't sound like divine planning to me. Sounds more like human planning . Sounds more like one group trying to control another group. In other words...business as usual in America. Now, if you think you do have rights, I have one last assignment for ya. Next time you're at the computer get on the Internet, go to Wikipedia. When you get to Wikipedia, in the search field for Wikipedia, i want to type in, "Japanese-Americans 1942" and you'll find out all about your precious fucking rights. Alright. You know about it. In 1942 there were 110,000 Japanese-American citizens, in good standing, law abiding people, who were thrown into internment camps simply because their parents were born in the wrong country. That's all they did wrong. They had no right to a lawyer, no right to a fair trial, no right to a jury of their peers, no right to due process of any kind. The only right they had was...right this way! Into the internment camps. Just when these American citizens needed their rights the most...their government took them away. and rights aren't rights if someone can take em away. They're priveledges. That's all we've ever had in this country is a bill of TEMPORARY priviledges; and if you read the news, even badly, you know the list get's shorter, and shorter, and shorter. Yeup, sooner or later the people in this country are going to realize the government doesn't give a fuck about them. the government doesn't care about you, or your children, or your rights, or your welfare or your safety. it simply doesn't give a fuck about you. It's interested in it's own power. That's the only thing...keeping it, and expanding wherever possible. Personally when it comes to rights, I think one of two things is true: either we have unlimited rights, or we have no rights at all.
George Carlin (It's Bad for Ya)
What is toast?” says Snowman to himself, once they’ve run off. Toast is when you take a piece of bread – What is bread? Bread is when you take some flour – What is flour? We’ll skip that part, it’s too complicated. Bread is something you can eat, made from a ground-up plant and shaped like a stone. You cook it . . . Please, why do you cook it? Why don’t you just eat the plant? Never mind that part – Pay attention. You cook it, and then you cut it into slices, and you put a slice into a toaster, which is a metal box that heats up with electricity – What is electricity? Don’t worry about that. While the slice is in the toaster, you get out the butter – butter is a yellow grease, made from the mammary glands of – skip the butter. So, the toaster turns the slice of bread black on both sides with smoke coming out, and then this “toaster” shoots the slice up into the air, and it falls onto the floor . . . Forget it,” says Snowman. “Let’s try again.” Toast was a pointless invention from the Dark Ages. Toast was an implement of torture that caused all those subjected to it to regurgitate in verbal form the sins and crimes of their past lives. Toast was a ritual item devoured by fetishists in the belief that it would enhance their kinetic and sexual powers. Toast cannot be explained by any rational means. Toast is me. I am toast.
Margaret Atwood
The sun was shining on the sea, Shining with all his might: He did his very best to make The billows smooth and bright-- And this was odd, because it was The middle of the night. The moon was shining sulkily, Because she thought the sun Had got no business to be there After the day was done-- "It's very rude of him," she said, "To come and spoil the fun!" The sea was wet as wet could be, The sands were dry as dry. You could not see a cloud, because No cloud was in the sky: No birds were flying over head-- There were no birds to fly. The Walrus and the Carpenter Were walking close at hand; They wept like anything to see Such quantities of sand: "If this were only cleared away," They said, "it WOULD be grand!" "If seven maids with seven mops Swept it for half a year, Do you suppose," the Walrus said, "That they could get it clear?" "I doubt it," said the Carpenter, And shed a bitter tear. "O Oysters, come and walk with us!" The Walrus did beseech. "A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk, Along the briny beach: We cannot do with more than four, To give a hand to each." The eldest Oyster looked at him. But never a word he said: The eldest Oyster winked his eye, And shook his heavy head-- Meaning to say he did not choose To leave the oyster-bed. But four young oysters hurried up, All eager for the treat: Their coats were brushed, their faces washed, Their shoes were clean and neat-- And this was odd, because, you know, They hadn't any feet. Four other Oysters followed them, And yet another four; And thick and fast they came at last, And more, and more, and more-- All hopping through the frothy waves, And scrambling to the shore. The Walrus and the Carpenter Walked on a mile or so, And then they rested on a rock Conveniently low: And all the little Oysters stood And waited in a row. "The time has come," the Walrus said, "To talk of many things: Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax-- Of cabbages--and kings-- And why the sea is boiling hot-- And whether pigs have wings." "But wait a bit," the Oysters cried, "Before we have our chat; For some of us are out of breath, And all of us are fat!" "No hurry!" said the Carpenter. They thanked him much for that. "A loaf of bread," the Walrus said, "Is what we chiefly need: Pepper and vinegar besides Are very good indeed-- Now if you're ready Oysters dear, We can begin to feed." "But not on us!" the Oysters cried, Turning a little blue, "After such kindness, that would be A dismal thing to do!" "The night is fine," the Walrus said "Do you admire the view? "It was so kind of you to come! And you are very nice!" The Carpenter said nothing but "Cut us another slice: I wish you were not quite so deaf-- I've had to ask you twice!" "It seems a shame," the Walrus said, "To play them such a trick, After we've brought them out so far, And made them trot so quick!" The Carpenter said nothing but "The butter's spread too thick!" "I weep for you," the Walrus said. "I deeply sympathize." With sobs and tears he sorted out Those of the largest size. Holding his pocket handkerchief Before his streaming eyes. "O Oysters," said the Carpenter. "You've had a pleasant run! Shall we be trotting home again?" But answer came there none-- And that was scarcely odd, because They'd eaten every one.
Lewis Carroll (Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, #2))
Why do you care, anyway?" I say. "You can be either cruel instructor or concerned boyfriend." I tense up at the word "boyfriend." I didn’t mean to use it so flippantly, but it’s too late now. "You can’t play both parts at the same time." "I am not cruel." He scowls at me "I was protecting you this morning. How do you think Peter and his idiot friends would have reacted if they discovered that you and I were..." He sighs. "You would never win. They would always call you ranking a result of my favoritism rather than your skill." I open my mouth to object, but I can't. A few smart remarks come to mind, but I dismiss them. He's right. My cheeks warm, and I cool them with my hands. "You didn't have to insult me to prove something to them," I say finally. "And you didn't have to run off to your brother just because I hurt you," he says. He rubs at the back of his neck. "Besides- it worked, didn't it?" "At my expense." "I didn't think it would affect you this way." Then he looks down and shrugs. "Sometimes I forget that I can hurt you. That you are capable of being hurt." I slide my hands into my pockets and rock back on my heels. A strange feeling goes through me- a sweet, aching weakness. He did what he did because he believed in my strength. At home it was Caleb who was strong, because he could forget himself, because all the characteristics my parents valued came naturally to him. No one has ever been so convinced of my strength. I stand on my tiptoes, lift my head, and kiss him. Only our lips touch. "You're brilliant. You know that?" I shake my head. "You always know exactly what to do." "Only because I've been thinking about his for a long time," he says, kissing me briefly. "How I would handle it, if you and I..." He pulls back and smiles. "Did I hear you call me your boyfriend, Tris?" "Not exactly." I shrug. "Why? Do you want me to?" He slips his hands over my neck and presses his thumbs under my chin, tilting my head back so his forehead meets mine. For a moment he stands there, his eyes closed, breathing my air. I feel the pulse in his fingertips. I feel the quickness of his breath. He seems nervous. "Yes," he finally says.
Veronica Roth
We are working! She was fine. You could see her. What the fuck is wrong with you? This is our job, asshole. You can't go doing shit like that when we have a packed house!" Krit shoved him again. "Don't tell me what the fuck to do." I had to stop them. This was about me. I wasn't sure why Krit had come offstage, but I knew it was about me. I had to fix this. I didn't want Krit fighting his best friend. "Stop fucking shoving me, you pansy-ass motherfucker!" Green roared, and lunged for Krit. I moved fast, putting up two hands and jumping in front of Krit to stop him. The force of impact when Green didn't stop hit me directly in the chest. It was as if someone had put a vacuum in my lungs and sucked all of the oxygen from the room. Nothing was getting in, and panic gripped me when I realized I couldn't breathe. "Fuck!" Krit yelled, and his arms were around me. He was doing something to my chest as he begged me to breathe. I was trying to breathe. It wouldn't work. "Baby, please breathe," he was pleading, and I wanted nothing more than to do that, but I couldn't. It hurt, and the terror that I was about to die settled over me. "She got the air knocked out of her. She's gonna be okay," Matty said in a calmer voice. And then the vacuum left, and the air I had been fighting for filled my chest as I gasped loudly and bent over. Krit was holding me against him as me muttered sweet things over and over while he rocked me back and forth. "Take him out of here," Matty said. I couldn't look up to see who he was talking to, but I grabbed Krit's arms to hold onto him in case they were talking about him. "Not me, baby. I'm not leaving you," he said as his hand began running down my hair as if he were petting me. "Not going anywhere." "When Krit is sure she's okay, he is going to beat the motherfucking hell out of you. Go with Legend and let him calm down first.
Abbi Glines (Bad for You (Sea Breeze, #7))
I turn and I walk my tray to the conveyor and I drop it on the belt and I start to walk out of the Dining Hall. As I head through the Glass Corridor separating the men and women, I see Lilly sitting alone at a table. She looks up at me and she smiles and our eyes meet and I smile back. She looks down and I stop walking and I stare at her. She looks up and she smiles again. She is as beautiful a girl as I have ever seen. Her eyes, her lips, her teeth, her hair, her skin. The black circles beneath her eyes, the scars I can see on her wrists, the ridiculous clothes she wears that are ten sizes too big, the sense of sadness and pain she wears that is even bigger. I stand and I stare at her, just stare stare stare. Men walk past me and other women look at me and LIlly doesn’t understand what I’m doing or why I’m doing it and she’s blushing and it’s beautiful. I stand there and I stare. I stare because I know where I am going I’m not going to see any beauty. They don’t sell crack in Mansions or fancy Department Stores and you don’t go to luxury Hotels or Country Clubs to smoke it. Strong, cheap liquor isn’t served in five-star Restaurants or Champagne Bars and it isn’t sold in gourmet Groceries or boutique Liquor stores. I’m going to go to a horrible place in a horrible neighborhood run by horrible people providing product for the worst Society has to offer. There will be no beauty there, nothing even resembling beauty. There will be Dealers and Addicts and Criminals and Whores and Pimps and Killers and Slaves. There will be drugs and liquor and pipes and bottles and smoke and vomit and blood and human rot and human decay and human disintegration. I have spent much of my life in these places. When I leave here I will fond one of the and I will stay there until I die. Before I do, however, I want one last look at something beautiful. I want one last look so that I have something to hold in my mind while I’m dying, so that when I take my last breath I will be able to think of something that will make me smile, so that in the midst of the horror I can hold on to some shred of humanity.
James Frey
To: Anna Oliphant From: Etienne St. Clair Subject: Uncommon Prostitues I have nothing to say about prostitues (other than you'd make a terrible prostitute,the profession is much too unclean), I only wanted to type that. Isn't it odd we both have to spend Christmas with our fathers? Speaking of unpleasant matters,have you spoken with Bridge yet? I'm taking the bus to the hospital now.I expect a full breakdown of your Christmas dinner when I return. So far today,I've had a bowl of muesli. How does Mum eat that rubbish? I feel as if I've been gnawing on lumber. To: Etienne St. Clair From: Anna Oliphant Subject: Christmas Dinner MUESLY? It's Christmas,and you're eating CEREAL?? I'm mentally sending you a plate from my house. The turkey is in the oven,the gravy's on the stovetop,and the mashed potatoes and casseroles are being prepared as I type this. Wait. I bet you eat bread pudding and mince pies or something,don't you? Well, I'm mentally sending you bread pudding. Whatever that is. No, I haven't talked to Bridgette.Mom keeps bugging me to answer her calls,but winter break sucks enough already. (WHY is my dad here? SERIOUSLY. MAKE HIM LEAVE. He's wearing this giant white cable-knit sweater,and he looks like a pompous snowman,and he keeps rearranging the stuff on our kitchen cabinets. Mom is about to kill him. WHICH IS WHY SHE SHOULDN'T INVITE HIM OVER FOR HOLIDAYS). Anyway.I'd rather not add to the drama. P.S. I hope your mom is doing better. I'm so sorry you have to spend today in a hospital. I really do wish I could send you both a plate of turkey. To: Anna Oliphant From: Etienne St. Clair Subject: Re: Christmas Dinner YOU feel sorry for ME? I am not the one who has never tasted bread pudding. The hospital was the same. I won't bore you with the details. Though I had to wait an hour to catch the bus back,and it started raining.Now that I'm at the flat, my father has left for the hospital. We're each making stellar work of pretending the other doesn't exist. P.S. Mum says to tell you "Merry Christmas." So Merry Christmas from my mum, but Happy Christmas from me. To: Etienne St. Clair From: Anna Oliphant Subject: SAVE ME Worst.Dinner.Ever.It took less than five minutes for things to explode. My dad tried to force Seany to eat the green bean casserole, and when he wouldn't, Dad accused Mom of not feeding my brother enough vegetables. So she threw down her fork,and said that Dad had no right to tell her how to raise her children. And then he brought out the "I'm their father" crap, and she brought out the "You abandoned them" crap,and meanwhile, the WHOLE TIME my half-dead Nanna is shouting, "WHERE'S THE SALT! I CAN'T TASTE THE CASSEROLE! PASS THE SALT!" And then Granddad complained that Mom's turkey was "a wee dry," and she lost it. I mean,Mom just started screaming. And it freaked Seany out,and he ran to his room crying, and when I checked on him, he was UNWRAPPING A CANDY CANE!! I have no idea where it came from. He knows he can't eat Red Dye #40! So I grabbed it from him,and he cried harder, and Mom ran in and yelled at ME, like I'd given him the stupid thing. Not, "Thank you for saving my only son's life,Anna." And then Dad came in and the fighting resumed,and they didn't even notice that Seany was still sobbing. So I took him outside and fed him cookies,and now he's running aruond in circles,and my grandparents are still at the table, as if we're all going to sit back down and finish our meal. WHAT IS WRONG WITH MY FAMILY? And now Dad is knocking on my door. Great. Can this stupid holiday get any worse??
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
I didn't have a choice." "Are you saying...What are you saying?" Is he...could he be talking about me? He runs a hand through his hair. I've never seen him this emotional before. He's always so controlled, so sure of himself. "I'm saying you're what I want, Emma. I'm saying I'm in love with you." He steps forward and lifts his hand to my cheek, blazing a line of fire with his fingertips as they trace down to my mouth. "How do you think it would make me feel to see you with Grom?" he whispers. "Like someone ripped my heart out and put it through Rachel's meat grinder, that's how. Probably worse. It would probably kill me. Emma, please don't cry." I throw my hands in the air. "Don't cry? Are you serious? Why did you come here, Galen? Did you think it would make me feel better to know that you do love me, but that it still won't work out? That I still have to mate with Grom for the greater good? Don't you tell me not to cry, Galen! I...c...c...can't h...h...help-" The waterworks soak me. Galen looks at me, hands by his side, helpless as a trapped crab. I'm bordering on hyperventilation, and pretty soon I'll start hiccupping. This is too much. His expression is so severe, it looks like he's in physical pain. "Emma," he breathes. "Emma, does this mean you feel the same way? Do you care for me at all?" I laugh, but it sounds sharper than I intended, because of a hiccup. "What does it matter how I feel, Galen? I think we pretty much covered why. No need to rehash things, right?" "It matters, Emma." He grabs my hand and pulls me to him again. "Tell me right now. Do you care for me?" "If you can't tell that I'm stupid in love with you, Galen, then you aren't a very good ambassador for the hum-" His mouth covers mine, cutting me off. This kiss isn't gentle like the first one. It's definitely not sweet. It's rough, demanding, searching. And disorienting. There's not a part of me that isn't melting against Galen, not a part that isn't combusting with his fevered touch. I accidentally moan into his lips. He takes it for his cue to lift me off my feet, to pull me up to his height for more leverage. I take his groan for my cue to kiss him harder. He ignores his cell phone ringing in his pocket. I ignore the rest of the universe. Even when headlights approach, I'm willing to overlook their intrusion and keep kissing. But, prince that he is, Galen is a little more refined than me at this moment. He gently pries his lips from mine and sets me down. His smile is both intoxicated and intoxicating. "We still need to talk." "Right," I say, but I'm shaking my head. He laughs. "I didn't come all the way to Atlantic City to make you cry." "I'm not crying." I lean into him again. He doesn't refuse my lips, but he doesn't do them justice either, planting a measly little kiss on them before stepping back.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
Long black hair and deep clean blue eyes and skin pale white and lips blood red she's small and thin and worn and damaged. She is standing there. What are you doing here? I was taking a walk and I saw you and I followed you. What do you want. I want you to stop. I breathe hard, stare hard, tense and coiled. There is still more tree for me to destroy I want that fucking tree. She smiles and she steps towards me, toward toward toward me, and she opens he r arms and I'm breathing hard staring hard tense and coiled she puts her arms around me with one hand not he back of my head and she pulls me into her arms and she holds me and she speaks. It's okay. I breathe hard, close my eyes, let myself be held. It's okay. Her voice calms me and her arms warm me and her smell lightens me and I can feel her heart beat and my heart slows and I stop shaking an the Fury melts into her safety an she holds me and she says. Okay. Okay. Okay. Something else comes and it makes me feel weak and scared and fragile and I don't want to be hurt and this feeling is the feeling I have when I know I can be hurt and hurt deeper and more terribly than anything physical and I always fight it and control it and stop it but her voice calms me and her arms warm me and her smell lightens me and I can feel her heart beat and if she let me go right now I would fall and the need and confusion and fear and regret and horror and shame and weakness and fragility are exposed to the soft strength of her open arms and her simple word okay and I start to cry. I start to cry. I want to cry. It comes in waves. THe waves roll deep and from deep the deep within me and I hold her and she holds me tighter and i let her and I let it and I let this and I have not felt this way this vulnerability or allowed myself to feel this way this vulnerability since I was ten years old and I don't know why I haven't and I don't know why I am now and I only know that I am and that it is scary terrifying frightening worse and better than anything I've ever felt crying in her arms just crying in her ams just crying. She guides me to the ground, but she doesn't let me go. THe Gates are open and thirteen years of addiction, violence, hell and their accompaniments are manifesting themselves in dense tears and heavy sobs and a shortness of breath and a profound sense of loss. THe loss inhabits, fills and overwhelms me. It is the loss of a childhood of being a Teeenager of normalcy of happiness of love of trust anon reason of God of Family of friends of future of potential of dignity of humanity of sanity f myself of everything everything everything. I lost everything and I am lost reduced to a mass of mourning, sadness, grief, anguish and heartache. I am lost. I have lost. Everything. Everything. It's wet and Lilly cradles me like a broken Child. My face and her shoulder and her shirt and her hair are wet with my tears. I slow down and I start to breathe slowly and deeply and her hair smells clean and I open my eyes because I want to see it an it is all that I can see. It is jet black almost blue and radiant with moisture. I want to touch it and I reach with one of my hands and I run my hand from the crown along her neck and her back to the base of her rib and it is a thin perfect sheer and I let it slowly drop from the tips of my fingers and when it is gone I miss it. I do it again and again and she lets me do it and she doesn't speak she just cradles me because I am broken. I am broken. Broken. THere is noise and voices and Lilly pulls me in tighter and tighter and I know I pull her in tighter and tighter and I can feel her heart beating and I know she can feel my heart beating and they are speaking our hearts are speaking a language wordless old unknowable and true and we're pulling and holding and the noise is closer and the voices louder and Lilly whispers. You're okay. You're okay. You're okay.
James Frey
Dear Kai, The sun is probably streaming in through the big barn windows now, which means you're awake. And if you're awake, it means you're wondering where I went. I haven't run away from you, I promise. But I knew that today of all days, they'd need me in the house. Tatiana may be the head of our household now, but she's not the one our staff will look to in my mother's absence. And there is so much to do to prepare for the funeral. Also, I have to go tell my grandfather what has happened to his daughter. I don't want him to hear of her death from anyone but me. Thank you for last night. I wish I could say I don't know why you re the one I ran to,- you, Kai, not Tatiana or my father or even my grandfather. But I know why. And I have a confession to make. After you let me cry, after you let me sob and shout and choke on all that pain-after you did all that, and didn't say a word-I didn't fall asleep like you thought. Not right away. I lay there, wadded up into a ball, and you curved your body behind mine. You were barely touching me-your thigh against the edge of my hip, your arm draped lightly across my waist, your fingers entwined with mine. How many times have our hands touched, when we were passing each other tools or helping each other in and out of machines? Hundreds of times. Thousands. But last night was different. You cradled my hand in yours, palms up, our fingers curled in like a pair of fallen leaves. Fallen, maybe, but not dead. My hand never felt so alive. Every place you touched me sparked with energy. I couldn't sleep. Not like that. And so I bent my head, just the slightest bit, until my mouth reached our hands. I smelled the oil you never quite get off your fingers. I breathed in the scent of your skin. And then, as if that was all I was doing, just breathing, I let my bottom lip brush against your knuckle. Time stopped, I was sure you'd see through my ruse and pull away. I was sure you'd know that I was not asleep, that I was not just breathing. But you didn't move, so I did it again. And again. And in the third time, I let my top lip join my bottom. I kissed your hand, Kai. I didn't do it to thank you for letting me cry. For letting me sleep in your arms. I thought you should know. Yours, Elliot Dear Elliot, I know. When will I see you again? Yours, Kai
Diana Peterfreund (For Darkness Shows the Stars (For Darkness Shows the Stars, #1))
Making these choices [to attend school instead of skipping], as it turned out, wasn't about willpower. I always admired people who “willed” themselves to do something, because I have never felt I was one of them. If sheer will were enough by itself, it would have been enough a long time ago, back on University Avenue, I figured. It wasn't, not for me anyway. Instead, I needed something to motivate me. I needed a few things that I could think about in my moments of weakness that would cause me to throw off the blanket and walk through the front door. More than will, I needed something to inspire me. One thing that helped was a picture I kept in mind, this image that I used over and over whenever I was faced with these daily choices. I pictured a runner running on a racetrack. The image was set in the summertime and the racetrack was a reddish orange, divided in white racing stripes to flag the runners’ columns. Only, the runner in my mental image did not run alongside others; she ran solo, with no one watching her. And she did not run a free and clear track, she ran one that required her to jump numerous hurdles, which made her break into a heavy sweat under the sun. I used this image every time I thought of things that frustrated me: the heavy books, my crazy sleep schedule, the question of where I would sleep and what I would eat. To overcome these issues I pictured my runner bolting down the track, jumping hurdles toward the finish line. Hunger, hurdle. Finding sleep, hurdle, schoolwork, hurdle. If I closed my eyes I could see the runner’s back, the movement of her sinewy muscles, glistening with sweat, bounding over the hurdles, one by one. On mornings when I did not want to get out of bed, I saw another hurdle to leap over. This way, obstacles became a natural part of the course, an indication that I was right where I needed to be, running the track, which was entirely different from letting obstacles make me believe I was off it. On a racing track, why wouldn't there be hurdles? With this picture in mind—using the hurdles to leap forward toward my diploma—I shrugged the blanket off, went through the door, and got myself to school.
Liz Murray (Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey from Homeless to Harvard)
What happened isn't your fault." "Maybe. But maybe this wouldn't have happened if I'd run away with you." "You still can." "No, I can't." I shook my head. "I have so much I need to do here. I can't just leave it all behind. But you can stay here. I will grant you amnesty." "Mmm, I knew it." He smiled. "You'd miss me too much if I left." I laughed. "Hardly." "Hardly?" Loki smirked. He'd lowered his arm, so his hand was on my waist. Loki was incredibly near, and his muscles pressed against me. I knew that I should move away, that I had no justifiable reason to be this close to him, but I didn't move. "Would you?" Loki asked, his voice low. "Would I what?" "Would you run away with me, if you didn't have all the responsibilities and the palace and all that?" "I don't know," I said. "I think you would." "Of course you do." I looked away from him, but I didn't move away. "Where did you get the pajamas, by the way? You didn't bring anything with you when you came." "I don't want to tell you." "Why not?" I looked sharply at him. "Because. I'll tell you, and it will ruin this whole mood," Loki said. "Can't we just sit here and look longingly into each other's eyes until we fall into each other's arms, kissing passionately?" "No," I said and finally started to pull away from him. "Not if you don't tell me-" "Tove," Loki said quickly, trying to hang on to me. He was much stronger than me, but he let me push him off. "Of course." I stood up. "That's exactly the kind of thing my fiancé would do. He's always thinking of other people." "It's just pajamas!" Loki insisted, like that would mean something. "Sure, he's a terrifically nice guy, but that doesn't matter." "How does that not matter?" I asked. "Because you don't love him." "I care about him," I said, and he shrugged. "And it's not like I love you." "Maybe not," he allowed. "But you will." "You think so?" I asked. "Mark my words, Princess," Loki said. "One day, you'll be madly in love with me." "Okay." I laughed, because I didn't know how else to respond. "But I should go. If I've given you amnesty, that means I have to go about enacting it, and getting everyone to agree that it's not a suicidal decision." "Thank you." "You're welcome," I said and opened the door to go. "It was worth it," Loki said suddenly. "What was?" I turned back to him. "Everything I went through," he said. "For you. It was worth it.
Amanda Hocking (Ascend (Trylle, #3))
It's like this, Bunny Boy, if you walk up to an oak tree or a bloody elm or something - you know, one of those big bastards - one with a thick, heavy trunk with giant roots that grow deep in the soil and great branches that are covered in leaves, right, and you walk up to it and give the tree a shake, well, what happens?' (...) 'I really don't know, Dad,' (...) 'Well, nothing bloody happens, of course!' (...) 'You can stand there shaking it till the cows come home and all that will happen is your arms will get tired. Right?' (...) 'Right, Dad,' he says. (...) 'But if you go up to a skinny, dry, fucked-up little tree, with a withered trunk and a few leaves clinging on for dear life, and you put your hands around it and shake the shit out of it - as we say in the trade - those bloody leaves will come flying off! Yeah?' 'OK, Dad,' says the boy (...) 'Now, the big oak tree is the rich bastard, right, and the skinny tree is the poor cunt who hasn't got any money. Are you with me?' Bunny Junior nods. 'Now, that sounds easier than it actually is, Bunny Boy. Do you want to know why?' 'OK, Dad.' 'Because every fucking bastard and his dog has got hold of the little tree and is shaking it for all that it's worth - the government, the bloody landlord, the lottery they don't have a chance in hell of winning, the council, their bloody exes, their hundred snotty-nosed brats running around because they are too bloody stupid to exercise a bit of self-control, all the useless shit they see on TV, fucking Tesco, parking fines, insurance on this and insurance on that, the boozer, the fruit machines, the bookies - every bastard and his three-legged, one-eyed, pox-riden dog are shaking this little tree,' says Bunny, clamping his hands together and making like he is throttling someone. 'So what do you go and do, Dad?' says Bunny Junior. 'Well, you've got to have something they think they need, you know, above all else.' 'And what's that, Dad?' 'Hope... you know... the dream. You've got to sell them the dream.
Nick Cave (The Death of Bunny Munro)
New Rule: Not everything in America has to make a profit. If conservatives get to call universal health care "socialized medicine," I get to call private, for-profit health care "soulless vampire bastards making money off human pain." Now, I know what you're thinking: "But, Bill, the profit motive is what sustains capitalism." Yes, and our sex drive is what sustains the human species, but we don't try to fuck everything. It wasn't that long ago when a kid in America broke his leg, his parents took him to the local Catholic hospital, the nun stuck a thermometer in his ass, the doctor slapped some plaster on his ankle, and you were done. The bill was $1.50; plus, you got to keep the thermometer. But like everything else that's good and noble in life, some bean counter decided that hospitals could be big business, so now they're not hospitals anymore; they're Jiffy Lubes with bedpans. The more people who get sick, and stay sick, the higher their profit margins, which is why they're always pushing the Jell-O. Did you know that the United States is ranked fiftieth in the world in life expectancy? And the forty-nine loser countries were they live longer than us? Oh, it's hardly worth it, they may live longer, but they live shackled to the tyranny of nonprofit health care. Here in America, you're not coughing up blood, little Bobby, you're coughing up freedom. The problem with President Obama's health-care plan isn't socialism. It's capitalism. When did the profit motive become the only reason to do anything? When did that become the new patriotism? Ask not what you could do for your country, ask what's in it for Blue Cross Blue Shield. And it's not just medicine--prisons also used to be a nonprofit business, and for good reason--who the hell wants to own a prison? By definition, you're going to have trouble with the tenants. It's not a coincidence that we outsourced running prisons to private corporations and then the number of prisoners in America skyrocketed. There used to be some things we just didn't do for money. Did you know, for example, there was a time when being called a "war profiteer" was a bad thing? FDR said he didn't want World War II to create one millionaire, but I'm guessing Iraq has made more than a few executives at Halliburton into millionaires. Halliburton sold soldiers soda for $7.50 a can. They were honoring 9/11 by charging like 7-Eleven. Which is wrong. We're Americans; we don't fight wars for money. We fight them for oil. And my final example of the profit motive screwing something up that used to be good when it was nonprofit: TV news. I heard all the news anchors this week talk about how much better the news coverage was back in Cronkite's day. And I thought, "Gee, if only you were in a position to do something about it.
Bill Maher (The New New Rules: A Funny Look At How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass)
Thank you," he said. "Welcome. Welcome especially to Mr. Coyle Mathis and the other men and women of Forster Hollow who are going to be employed at this rather strikingly energy-inefficient plant. It's a long way from Forster Hollow, isn't it?" "So, yes, welcome," he said. "Welcome to the middle class! That's what I want to say. Although, quickly, before I go any further, I also want to say to Mr. Mathis here in the front row: I know you don't like me. And I don't like you. But, you know, back when you were refusing to have anything to do with us, I respected that. I didn't like it, but I had respect for your position. For your independence. You see, because I actually came from a place a little bit like Forster Hollow myself, before I joined the middle class. And, now you're middle-class, too, and I want to welcome you all, because it's a wonderful thing, our American middle class. It's the mainstay of economies all around the globe!" "And now that you've got these jobs at this body-armor plant," he continued, "You're going to be able to participate in those economies. You, too, can help denude every last scrap of native habitat in Asia, Africa, and South America! You, too, can buy six-foot-wide plasma TV screens that consume unbelievable amounts of energy, even when they're not turned on! But that's OK, because that's why we threw you out of your homes in the first places, so we could strip-mine your ancestral hills and feed the coal-fired generators that are the number-one cause of global warming and other excellent things like acid rain. It's a perfect world, isn't it? It's a perfect system, because as long as you've got your six-foot-wide plasma TV, and the electricity to run it, you don't have to think about any of the ugly consequences. You can watch Survivor: Indonesia till there's no more Indonesia!" "Just quickly, here," he continued, "because I want to keep my remarks brief. Just a few more remarks about this perfect world. I want to mention those big new eight-miles-per-gallon vehicles you're going to be able to buy and drive as much as you want, now that you've joined me as a member of the middle class. The reason this country needs so much body armor is that certain people in certain parts of the world don't want us stealing all their oil to run your vehicles. And so the more you drive your vehicles, the more secure your jobs at this body-armor plant are going to be! Isn't that perfect?" "Just a couple more things!" Walter cried, wresting the mike from its holder and dancing away with it. "I want to welcome you all to working for one of the most corrupt and savage corporations in the world! Do you hear me? LBI doesn't give a shit about your sons and daughters bleeding in Iraq, as long as they get their thousand-percent profit! I know this for a fact! I have the facts to prove it! That's part of the perfect middle-class world you're joining! Now that you're working for LBI, you can finally make enough money to keep your kids from joining the Army and dying in LBI's broken-down trucks and shoddy body armor!" The mike had gone dead, and Walter skittered backwards, away from the mob that was forming. "And MEANWHILE," he shouted, "WE ARE ADDING THIRTEEN MILLION HUMAN BEINGS TO THE POPULATION EVERY MONTH! THIRTEEN MILLION MORE PEOPLE TO KILL EACH OTHER IN COMPETITION OVER FINITE RESOURCES! AND WIPE OUT EVERY OTHER LIVING THING ALONG THE WAY! IT IS A PERFECT FUCKING WORLD AS LONG AS YOU DON'T COUNT EVERY OTHER SPECIES IN IT! WE ARE A CANCER ON THE PLANT! A CANCER ON THE PLANET!
Jonathan Franzen (Freedom)
There was a few seconds' pause. Then Amit said: I meant, what were you thinking just now. When? said Lata. When you were looking at Pran and Savita. Over the pudding. Oh. Well, what? I can't remember, said Lata with a smile. Amit laughed. Why are you laughing? asked Lata I like making you feel uncomfortable, I suppose. Oh. Why? --Or happy--or puzzled--just to see your change of mood. It's such fun. I pity you! Why? said Lata, startled. Because you'll never know what a pleasure it is to be in your company. Do stop talking like that, said Lata. Ma will come in any minute. You're quite right. In that case: Will you marry me? Lata dropped her cup. It fell to the floor and broke. She looked at the broken pieces--luckily, it has been empty--and then at Amit. Quick! said Amit. Before they come running to see what's happened. Say yes. Lata had knelt down; she was gathering he bits of the cup together and placing them on the delicately patterned blue-and-gold saucer. Amit joined her on the floor. Her face was only a few inches away from his, but her mind appeared to be somewhere else. he wanted to kiss her but he sensed that there was no question of it. One by one she picked up the shards of china. Was it a family heirloom? asked Amit. What? I'm sorry--said Lata, snapped out of her trance by the words. Well, I suppose I'll have to wait. I was hoping that by springing it on you like that I'd surprise you into agreeing... ...Do stop being idotic, Amit, said Lata. You're so brilliant, do you have to be so stupid as well? I should only take you seriously in black and white. And in sickness and health. Lata laughed: For better and for worse, she added.
Vikram Seth (A Suitable Boy (A Bridge of Leaves, #1))
New Rule: America must stop bragging it's the greatest country on earth, and start acting like it. I know this is uncomfortable for the "faith over facts" crowd, but the greatness of a country can, to a large degree, be measured. Here are some numbers. Infant mortality rate: America ranks forty-eighth in the world. Overall health: seventy-second. Freedom of the press: forty-fourth. Literacy: fifty-fifth. Do you realize there are twelve-year old kids in this country who can't spell the name of the teacher they're having sex with? America has done many great things. Making the New World democratic. The Marshall Plan. Curing polio. Beating Hitler. The deep-fried Twinkie. But what have we done for us lately? We're not the freest country. That would be Holland, where you can smoke hash in church and Janet Jackson's nipple is on their flag. And sadly, we're no longer a country that can get things done. Not big things. Like building a tunnel under Boston, or running a war with competence. We had six years to fix the voting machines; couldn't get that done. The FBI is just now getting e-mail. Prop 87 out here in California is about lessening our dependence on oil by using alternative fuels, and Bill Clinton comes on at the end of the ad and says, "If Brazil can do it, America can, too!" Since when did America have to buck itself up by saying we could catch up to Brazil? We invented the airplane and the lightbulb, they invented the bikini wax, and now they're ahead? In most of the industrialized world, nearly everyone has health care and hardly anyone doubts evolution--and yes, having to live amid so many superstitious dimwits is also something that affects quality of life. It's why America isn't gonna be the country that gets the inevitable patents in stem cell cures, because Jesus thinks it's too close to cloning. Oh, and did I mention we owe China a trillion dollars? We owe everybody money. America is a debtor nation to Mexico. We're not a bridge to the twenty-first century, we're on a bus to Atlantic City with a roll of quarters. And this is why it bugs me that so many people talk like it's 1955 and we're still number one in everything. We're not, and I take no glee in saying that, because I love my country, and I wish we were, but when you're number fifty-five in this category, and ninety-two in that one, you look a little silly waving the big foam "number one" finger. As long as we believe being "the greatest country in the world" is a birthright, we'll keep coasting on the achievements of earlier generations, and we'll keep losing the moral high ground. Because we may not be the biggest, or the healthiest, or the best educated, but we always did have one thing no other place did: We knew soccer was bullshit. And also we had the Bill of Rights. A great nation doesn't torture people or make them disappear without a trial. Bush keeps saying the terrorist "hate us for our freedom,"" and he's working damn hard to see that pretty soon that won't be a problem.
Bill Maher (The New New Rules: A Funny Look At How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass)
...each day I sit down in purposeful concentration to write in a notebook, some sentences on a buried truth, an unnamed reality, things that happened but are denied. It is hard to describe the stillness it takes, the difficulty of this act. It requires an almost perfect concentration which I am trying to learn and there is no way to learn it that is spelled out anywhere or so I can understand it but I have a sense that it's completely simply, on the order of being able to sit still and keep your mind dead center in you without apology or fear. I squirm after some time but it ain't boredom, it's fear of what's possible, how much you can know if you can be quiet enough and simple enough. I move around, my mind wanders, I lose the ability to take words and roll them through my brain, move with them into their interiors, feel their colors, touch what's under them, where they come from long ago and way back. I get frightened seeing what's in my own mind if words get put to it. There's a light there, it's bright, it's wide, it could make you blind if you look direct into it and so I turn away, afraid; I get frightened and I run and the only way to run is to abandon the process altogether or compromise it beyond recognition. I think about Celine sitting with his shit, for instance; I don't know why he didn't run, he should've. It's a quality you have to have of being near mad and at the same time so quiet in your heart that you could pass for a spiritual warrior; you could probably break things with the power in your mind. You got to be able to stand it, because it's a powerful and disturbing light, not something easy and kind, it comes through your head to make its way onto the page and you get fucking scared so your mind runs away, it wanders, it gets distracted, it buckles, it deserts, it takes a Goddamn freight train if it can find one, it wants calming agents and sporifics, and you mask that you are betraying the brightest and the best light you will ever see, you are betraying the mind that can be host to it... ...Your mind does stupid tricks to mask that you are betraying something of grave importance. It wanders so you won't notice that you are deserting your own life, abandoning it to triviality and garbage, how you are too fucking afraid to use your own brain for what it's for, which is to be a host to the light, to use it, to focus it; let it shine and carry the burden of what is illuminated, everything buried there; the light's scarier than anything it shows, the pure, direct experience of it in you as if your mind ain't the vegetable thing it's generally conceived to be or the nightmare thing you know it to be but a capacity you barely imagined, real; overwhelming and real, pushing you out to the edge of ecstasy and knowing and then do you fall or do you jump or do you fly?
Andrea Dworkin (Mercy)
If you tell a guy in the street you're hungry you scare the shit out of him, he runs like hell. That's something I never understood. I don't understand it yet. The whole thing is so simple - you just say Yes when some one comes up to you. And if you can't say Yes you can take him by the arm and ask some other bird to help you out. Why you have to don a uniform and kill men you don't know, just to get that crust of bread, is a mystery to me. That's what I think about, more than about whose trap it's going down or how much it costs. Why should I give a fuck about what anything costs ? I'm here to live, not to calculate. And that's just what the bastards don't want you to do - to live! They want you to spend your whole life adding up figures. That makes sense to them. That's reasonable. That's intelligent. If I were running the boat things wouldn't be so orderly perhaps, but it would be gayer, by Jesus! You wouldn't have to shit in your pants over trifles. Maybe there wouldn't be macadamized roads and streamlined cars and loudspeakers and gadgets of a million-billion varieties, maybe there wouldn't even be glass in the windows, maybe you'd have to sleep on the ground, maybe there wouldn't be French cooking and Italian cooking and Chinese cooking, maybe people would kill each other when their patience was exhausted and maybe nobody would stop them because there wouldn't be any jails or any cops or judges, and there certainly wouldn't be any cabinet ministers or legislatures because-there wouldn't be any goddamned laws to obey or disobey, and maybe it would take months and years to trek from place to place, but you wouldn't need a visa or a passport or a carte d'identite because you wouldn't be registered anywhere and you wouldn't bear a number and if you wanted to change your name every week you could do it because it wouldn't make any difference since you wouldn't own anything except what you could carry around with you and why would you want to own anything when everything would be free?
Henry Miller (Tropic of Capricorn (Tropic, #2))
These ideas can be made more concrete with a parable, which I borrow from John Fowles’s wonderful novel, The Magus. Conchis, the principle character in the novel, finds himself Mayor of his home town in Greece when the Nazi occupation begins. One day, three Communist partisans who recently killed some German soldiers are caught. The Nazi commandant gives Conchis, as Mayor, a choice — either Conchis will execute the three partisans himself to set an example of loyalty to the new regime, or the Nazis will execute every male in the town. Should Conchis act as a collaborator with the Nazis and take on himself the direct guilt of killing three men? Or should he refuse and, by default, be responsible for the killing of over 300 men? I often use this moral riddle to determine the degree to which people are hypnotized by Ideology. The totally hypnotized, of course, have an answer at once; they know beyond doubt what is correct, because they have memorized the Rule Book. It doesn’t matter whose Rule Book they rely on — Ayn Rand’s or Joan Baez’s or the Pope’s or Lenin’s or Elephant Doody Comix — the hypnosis is indicated by lack of pause for thought, feeling and evaluation. The response is immediate because it is because mechanical. Those who are not totally hypnotized—those who have some awareness of concrete events of sensory space-time, outside their heads— find the problem terrible and terrifying and admit they don’t know any 'correct' answer. I don’t know the 'correct' answer either, and I doubt that there is one. The universe may not contain 'right' and 'wrong' answers to everything just because Ideologists want to have 'right' and 'wrong' answers in all cases, anymore than it provides hot and cold running water before humans start tinkering with it. I feel sure that, for those awakened from hypnosis, every hour of every day presents choices that are just as puzzling (although fortunately not as monstrous) as this parable. That is why it appears a terrible burden to be aware of who you are, where you are, and what is going on around you, and why most people would prefer to retreat into Ideology, abstraction, myth and self-hypnosis. To come out of our heads, then, also means to come to our senses, literally—to live with awareness of the bottle of beer on the table and the bleeding body in the street. Without polemic intent, I think this involves waking from hypnosis in a very literal sense. Only one individual can do it at a time, and nobody else can do it for you. You have to do it all alone.
Robert Anton Wilson (Natural Law: or Don't Put a Rubber on Your Willy)
A few months ago on a school morning, as I attempted to etch a straight midline part on the back of my wiggling daughter's soon-to-be-ponytailed blond head, I reminded her that it was chilly outside and she needed to grab a sweater. "No, mama." "Excuse me?" "No, I don't want to wear that sweater, it makes me look fat." "What?!" My comb clattered to the bathroom floor. "Fat?! What do you know about fat? You're 5 years old! You are definitely not fat. God made you just right. Now get your sweater." She scampered off, and I wearily leaned against the counter and let out a long, sad sigh. It has begun. I thought I had a few more years before my twin daughters picked up the modern day f-word. I have admittedly had my own seasons of unwarranted, psychotic Slim-Fasting and have looked erroneously to the scale to give me a measurement of myself. But these departures from my character were in my 20s, before the balancing hand of motherhood met the grounding grip of running. Once I learned what it meant to push myself, I lost all taste for depriving myself. I want to grow into more of a woman, not find ways to whittle myself down to less. The way I see it, the only way to run counter to our toxic image-centric society is to literally run by example. I can't tell my daughters that beauty is an incidental side effect of living your passion rather than an adherence to socially prescribed standards. I can't tell my son how to recognize and appreciate this kind of beauty in a woman. I have to show them, over and over again, mile after mile, until they feel the power of their own legs beneath them and catch the rhythm of their own strides. Which is why my parents wake my kids early on race-day mornings. It matters to me that my children see me out there, slogging through difficult miles. I want my girls to grow up recognizing the beauty of strength, the exuberance of endurance, and the core confidence residing in a well-tended body and spirit. I want them to be more interested in what they are doing than how they look doing it. I want them to enjoy food that is delicious, feed their bodies with wisdom and intent, and give themselves the freedom to indulge. I want them to compete in healthy ways that honor the cultivation of skill, the expenditure of effort, and the courage of the attempt. Grace and Bella, will you have any idea how lovely you are when you try? Recently we ran the Chuy's Hot to Trot Kids K together as a family in Austin, and I ran the 5-K immediately afterward. Post?race, my kids asked me where my medal was. I explained that not everyone gets a medal, so they must have run really well (all kids got a medal, shhh!). As I picked up Grace, she said, "You are so sweaty Mommy, all wet." Luke smiled and said, "Mommy's sweaty 'cause she's fast. And she looks pretty. All clean." My PRs will never garner attention or generate awards. But when I run, I am 100 percent me--my strengths and weaknesses play out like a cracked-open diary, my emotions often as raw as the chafing from my jog bra. In my ultimate moments of vulnerability, I am twice the woman I was when I thought I was meant to look pretty on the sidelines. Sweaty and smiling, breathless and beautiful: Running helps us all shine. A lesson worth passing along.
Kristin Armstrong
Middlemarch is a novel that is diminished by being put on the screen. It can't help but be, because so much of what we enjoy in Middlemarch is the interplay between what the characters do and what we know about them because of the telling voice. It's less of a problem for the cinema when it deals with novels that are purely concerned with action and what people do. I haven't thought this through, and I'm just trying it now to see what it sounds like. But maybe it would be less a problem with novels that are told in the first person. The interesting thing to me about Middlemarch, and Thackeray's Vanity Fair, and several other great novels, is precisely this omniscient, as we call it, third person, which naive readers mistake for the author. It isn't George Eliot who is saying this; it's a voice that George Eliot adopts to tell this story. There can be something very interesting in a novel like Bleak House, which was also done very well on the television by the same adapter, Andrew Davis. Now, Bleak House is told in two voices, as you remember. One is the somewhat trying Esther Summerson, who is a paradigm of every kind of virtue, and the other is a different sort of voice entirely, a voice that tells the story in the present tense, which was unusual for the time, a voice that doesn't seem to have a main character attached to it. But I think that Dickens is playing a very subtle game here. I've noticed a couple of things about that second narration that make me wonder whether it isn't Esther herself writing the other bits of it. For instance, at the very beginning, she says, "When I come to write my portion of these pages . . ." So she knows that there is another narrative going on, but nobody else does. Nobody else refers to it. The second thing is that she is the only character who never appears in those passages of present-tense narration. The other characters do. She doesn't. Why would that be? There's one point very near the end of the book where she almost does. Inspector Bucket is coming into the house to collect Esther to go and look for Lady Dedlock, who's run away, and we hear that Esther is just coming -- but no, she's turned back and brought her cloak, so we don't quite see her. It's as if she's teasing us and saying, "You're going to see me; no, you're not." Now, that's Dickens, at the height of his powers, playing around -- in ways that we would now call, I don't know, postmodern, ironic, self-referential, or something -- with the whole notion of narration, characterization, and so on. Yet, it doesn't matter. Those things are there for us to notice and to enjoy and to relish, if we have the taste for that sort of thing. But the events of Bleak House are so thrilling, so perplexing, so exciting that a mere recital of the events themselves is enough to carry a whole television adaptation, a whole play, a whole story. It's so much better with Dickens's narrative playfulness there, but it's pretty good without them.
Philip Pullman
America I’ve given you all and now I’m nothing. America two dollars and twentyseven cents January 17, 1956. I can’t stand my own mind. America when will we end the human war? Go fuck yourself with your atom bomb. I don’t feel good don’t bother me. I won’t write my poem till I’m in my right mind. America when will you be angelic? When will you take off your clothes? When will you look at yourself through the grave? When will you be worthy of your million Trotskyites? America why are your libraries full of tears? America when will you send your eggs to India? I’m sick of your insane demands. When can I go into the supermarket and buy what I need with my good looks? America after all it is you and I who are perfect not the next world. Your machinery is too much for me. You made me want to be a saint. There must be some other way to settle this argument. Burroughs is in Tangiers I don’t think he’ll come back it’s sinister. Are you being sinister or is this some form of practical joke? I’m trying to come to the point. I refuse to give up my obsession. America stop pushing I know what I’m doing. America the plum blossoms are falling. I haven’t read the newspapers for months, everyday somebody goes on trial for murder. America I feel sentimental about the Wobblies. America I used to be a communist when I was a kid I’m not sorry. I smoke marijuana every chance I get. I sit in my house for days on end and stare at the roses in the closet. When I go to Chinatown I get drunk and never get laid. My mind is made up there’s going to be trouble. You should have seen me reading Marx. My psychoanalyst thinks I’m perfectly right. I won’t say the Lord’s Prayer. I have mystical visions and cosmic vibrations. America I still haven’t told you what you did to Uncle Max after he came over from Russia. I’m addressing you. Are you going to let your emotional life be run by Time Magazine? I’m obsessed by Time Magazine. I read it every week. Its cover stares at me every time I slink past the corner candystore. I read it in the basement of the Berkeley Public Library. It’s always telling me about responsibility. Businessmen are serious. Movie producers are serious. Everybody’s serious but me. It occurs to me that I am America. I am talking to myself again. ...
Allen Ginsberg (Howl and Other Poems)
Outside of your relationship with God, the most important relationship you can have is with yourself. I don’t mean that we are to spend all our time focused on me, me, me to the exclusion of others. Instead, I mean that we must be healthy internally—emotionally and spiritually—in order to create healthy relationships with others. Motivational pep talks and techniques for achieving success are useless if a person is weighed down by guilt, shame, depression, rejection, bitterness, or crushed self-esteem. Countless marriages land on the rocks of divorce because unhealthy people marry thinking that marriage, or their spouse, will make them whole. Wrong. If you’re not a healthy single person you won’t be a healthy married person. Part of God’s purpose for every human life is wholeness and health. I love the words of Jesus in John 10:10: “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” God knows we are the walking wounded in this world and He wants the opportunity to remove everything that limits us and heal every wound from which we suffer. Some wonder why God doesn’t just “fix” us automatically so we can get on with life. It’s because He wants our wounds to be our tutors to lead us to Him. Pain is a wonderful motivator and teacher! When the great Russian intellectual Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was released from the horrible Siberian work camp to which he was sent by Joseph Stalin, he said, “Thank you, prison!” It was the pain and suffering he endured that caused his eyes to be opened to the reality of the God of his childhood, to embrace his God anew in a personal way. When we are able to say thank you to the pain we have endured, we know we are ready to fulfill our purpose in life. When we resist the pain life brings us, all of our energy goes into resistance and we have none left for the pursuit of our purpose. It is the better part of wisdom to let pain do its work and shape us as it will. We will be wiser, deeper, and more productive in the long run. There is a great promise in the New Testament that says God comes to us to comfort us so we can turn around and comfort those who are hurting with the comfort we have received from Him (see 2 Corinthians 1:3–4). Make yourself available to God and to those who suffer. A large part of our own healing comes when we reach out with compassion to others.
Zig Ziglar (Better Than Good: Creating a Life You Can't Wait to Live)
I’m not sure how the ponies happened, though I have an inkling: “Can I get you anything?” I’ll say, getting up from a dinner table, “Coffee, tea, a pony?” People rarely laugh at this, especially if they’ve heard it before. “This party’s ‘sposed to be fun,” a friend will say. “Really? Will there be pony rides?” It’s a nervous tic and a cheap joke, cheapened further by the frequency with which I use it. For that same reason, it’s hard to weed it out of my speech – most of the time I don’t even realize I’m saying it. There are little elements in a person’s life, minor fibers that become unintentionally tangled with your personality. Sometimes it’s a patent phrase, sometimes it’s a perfume, sometimes it’s a wristwatch. For me, it is the constant referencing of ponies. I don’t even like ponies. If I made one of my throwaway equine requests and someone produced an actual pony, Juan-Valdez-style, I would run very fast in the other direction. During a few summers at camp, I rode a chronically dehydrated pony named Brandy who would jolt down without notice to lick the grass outside the corral and I would careen forward, my helmet tipping to cover my eyes. I do, however, like ponies on the abstract. Who doesn’t? It’s like those movies with the animated insects. Sure, the baby cockroach seems cute with CGI eyelashes, but how would you feel about fifty of her real-life counterparts living in your oven? And that’s precisely the manner in which the ponies clomped their way into my regular speech: abstractly. “I have something for you,” a guy will say on our first date. “Is it a pony?” No. It’s usually a movie ticket or his cell phone number. But on our second date, if I ask again, I’m pretty sure I’m getting a pony. And thus the Pony drawer came to be. It’s uncomfortable to admit, but almost every guy I have ever dated has unwittingly made a contribution to the stable. The retro pony from the ‘50s was from the most thoughtful guy I have ever known. The one with the glitter horseshoes was from a boy who would later turn out to be straight somehow, not gay. The one with the rainbow haunches was from a librarian, whom I broke up with because I felt the chemistry just wasn’t right, and the one with the price tag stuck on the back was given to me by a narcissist who was so impressed with his gift he forgot to remover the sticker. Each one of them marks the beginning of a new relationship. I don’t mean to hint. It’s not a hint, actually, it’s a flat out demand: I. Want. A. Pony. I think what happens is that young relationships are eager to build up a romantic repertoire of private jokes, especially in the city where there’s not always a great “how we met” story behind every great love affair. People meet at bars, through mutual friends, on dating sites, or because they work in the same industry. Just once a coworker of mine, asked me out between two stops on the N train. We were holding the same pole and he said, “I know this sounds completely insane, bean sprout, but would you like to go to a very public place with me and have a drink or something...?” I looked into his seemingly non-psycho-killing, rent-paying, Sunday Times-subscribing eyes and said, “Sure, why the hell not?” He never bought me a pony. But he didn’t have to, if you know what I mean.
Sloane Crosley (I Was Told There'd Be Cake: Essays)
New Rule: Now that liberals have taken back the word "liberal," they also have to take back the word "elite." By now you've heard the constant right-wing attacks on the "elite media," and the "liberal elite." Who may or may not be part of the "Washington elite." A subset of the "East Coast elite." Which is overly influenced by the "Hollywood elite." So basically, unless you're a shit-kicker from Kansas, you're with the terrorists. If you played a drinking game where you did a shot every time Rush Limbaugh attacked someone for being "elite," you'd be almost as wasted as Rush Limbaugh. I don't get it: In other fields--outside of government--elite is a good thing, like an elite fighting force. Tiger Woods is an elite golfer. If I need brain surgery, I'd like an elite doctor. But in politics, elite is bad--the elite aren't down-to-earth and accessible like you and me and President Shit-for-Brains. Which is fine, except that whenever there's a Bush administration scandal, it always traces back to some incompetent political hack appointment, and you think to yourself, "Where are they getting these screwups from?" Well, now we know: from Pat Robertson. I'm not kidding. Take Monica Goodling, who before she resigned last week because she's smack in the middle of the U.S. attorneys scandal, was the third-ranking official in the Justice Department of the United States. She's thirty-three, and though she never even worked as a prosecutor, was tasked with overseeing the job performance of all ninety-three U.S. attorneys. How do you get to the top that fast? Harvard? Princeton? No, Goodling did her undergraduate work at Messiah College--you know, home of the "Fighting Christies"--and then went on to attend Pat Robertson's law school. Yes, Pat Robertson, the man who said the presence of gay people at Disney World would cause "earthquakes, tornadoes, and possibly a meteor," has a law school. And what kid wouldn't want to attend? It's three years, and you have to read only one book. U.S. News & World Report, which does the definitive ranking of colleges, lists Regent as a tier-four school, which is the lowest score it gives. It's not a hard school to get into. You have to renounce Satan and draw a pirate on a matchbook. This is for the people who couldn't get into the University of Phoenix. Now, would you care to guess how many graduates of this televangelist diploma mill work in the Bush administration? On hundred fifty. And you wonder why things are so messed up? We're talking about a top Justice Department official who went to a college founded by a TV host. Would you send your daughter to Maury Povich U? And if you did, would you expect her to get a job at the White House? In two hundred years, we've gone from "we the people" to "up with people." From the best and brightest to dumb and dumber. And where better to find people dumb enough to believe in George Bush than Pat Robertson's law school? The problem here in America isn't that the country is being run by elites. It's that it's being run by a bunch of hayseeds. And by the way, the lawyer Monica Goodling hired to keep her ass out of jail went to a real law school.
Bill Maher (The New New Rules: A Funny Look At How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass)
Why do we complain of Nature? She has shown herself kindly; life, if you know how to use it, is long. But one man is possessed by an avarice that is insatiable, another by a toilsome devotion to tasks that are useless; one man is besotted with wine, another is paralyzed by sloth; one man is exhausted by an ambition that always hangs upon the decision of others, another, driven on by the greed of the trader, is led over all lands and all seas by the hope of gain; some are tormented by a passion for war and are always either bent upon inflicting danger upon others or concerned about their own; some there are who are worn out by voluntary servitude in a thankless attendance upon the great; many are kept busy either in the pursuit of other men's fortune or in complaining of their own; many, following no fixed aim, shifting and inconstant and dissatisfied, are plunged by their fickleness into plans that are ever new; some have no fixed principle by which to direct their course, but Fate takes them unawares while they loll and yawn—so surely does it happen that I cannot doubt the truth of that utterance which the greatest of poets delivered with all the seeming of an oracle: "The part of life we really live is small."5 For all the rest of existence is not life, but merely time. Vices beset us and surround us on every side, and they do not permit us to rise anew and lift up our eyes for the discernment of truth, but they keep us down when once they have overwhelmed us and we are chained to lust. Their victims are never allowed to return to their true selves; if ever they chance to find some release, like the waters of the deep sea which continue to heave even after the storm is past, they are tossed about, and no rest from their lusts abides. Think you that I am speaking of the wretches whose evils are admitted? Look at those whose prosperity men flock to behold; they are smothered by their blessings. To how many are riches a burden! From how many do eloquence and the daily straining to display their powers draw forth blood! How many are pale from constant pleasures! To how many does the throng of clients that crowd about them leave no freedom! In short, run through the list of all these men from the lowest to the highest—this man desires an advocate,6 this one answers the call, that one is on trial, that one defends him, that one gives sentence; no one asserts his claim to himself, everyone is wasted for the sake of another. Ask about the men whose names are known by heart, and you will see that these are the marks that distinguish them: A cultivates B and B cultivates C; no one is his own master. And then certain men show the most senseless indignation—they complain of the insolence of their superiors, because they were too busy to see them when they wished an audience! But can anyone have the hardihood to complain of the pride of another when he himself has no time to attend to himself? After all, no matter who you are, the great man does sometimes look toward you even if his face is insolent, he does sometimes condescend to listen to your words, he permits you to appear at his side; but you never deign to look upon yourself, to give ear to yourself. There is no reason, therefore, to count anyone in debt for such services, seeing that, when you performed them, you had no wish for another's company, but could not endure your own.
Seneca (On the Shortness of Life)
I had recently read to my dismay that they have started hunting moose again in New England. Goodness knows why anyone would want to shoot an animal as harmless and retiring as the moose, but thousands of people do—so many, in fact, that states now hold lotteries to decide who gets a permit. Maine in 1996 received 82,000 applications for just 1,500 permits. Over 12,000 outof-staters happily parted with a nonrefundable $20 just to be allowed to take part in the draw. Hunters will tell you that a moose is a wily and ferocious forest creature. Nonsense. A moose is a cow drawn by a three-year-old. That’s all there is to it. Without doubt, the moose is the most improbable, endearingly hopeless creature ever to live in the wilds. Every bit of it—its spindly legs, its chronically puzzled expression, its comical oven-mitt antlers—looks like some droll evolutionary joke. It is wondrously ungainly: it runs as if its legs have never been introduced to each other. Above all, what distinguishes the moose is its almost boundless lack of intelligence. If you are driving down a highway and a moose steps from the woods ahead of you, he will stare at you for a long minute (moose are notoriously shortsighted), then abruptly try to run away from you, legs flailing in eight directions at once. Never mind that there are several thousand square miles of forest on either side of the highway. The moose does not think of this. Clueless as to what exactly is going on, he runs halfway to New Brunswick before his peculiar gait inadvertently steers him back into the woods, where he immediately stops and takes on a startled expression that says, “Hey—woods. Now how the heck did I get here?” Moose are so monumentally muddle-headed, in fact, that when they hear a car or truck approaching they will often bolt out of the woods and onto the highway in the curious hope that this will bring them to safety. Amazingly, given the moose’s lack of cunning and peculiarly-blunted survival instincts, it is one of the longest-surviving creatures in North America. Mastodons, saber-toothed tigers, wolves, caribou, wild horses, and even camels all once thrived in eastern North America alongside the moose but gradually stumbled into extinction, while the moose just plodded on. It hasn’t always been so. At the turn of this century, it was estimated that there were no more than a dozen moose in New Hampshire and probably none at all in Vermont. Today New Hampshire has an estimated 5,000 moose, Vermont 1,000, and Maine anywhere up to 30,000. It is because of these robust and growing numbers that hunting has been reintroduced as a way of keeping them from getting out of hand. There are, however, two problems with this that I can think of. First, the numbers are really just guesses. Moose clearly don’t line up for censuses. Some naturalists think the population may have been overstated by as much as 20 percent, which means that the moose aren’t being so much culled as slaughtered. No less pertinent is that there is just something deeply and unquestionably wrong about killing an animal that is so sweetly and dopily unassuming as a moose. I could have slain this one with a slingshot, with a rock or stick—with a folded newspaper, I’d almost bet—and all it wanted was a drink of water. You might as well hunt cows.
Bill Bryson (A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail)
There's one big difference between the poor and the rich,' Kite says, taking a drag from his cigarette. We are in a pub, at lunch-time. John Kite is always, unless stated otherwise, smoking a fag, in a pub, at lunch-time. 'The rich aren't evil, as so many of my brothers would tell you. I've known rich people -- I have played on their yachts -- and they are not unkind, or malign, and they do not hate the poor, as many would tell you. And they are not stupid -- or at least, not any more than the poor are. Much as I find amusing the idea of a ruling class of honking toffs, unable to put their socks on without Nanny helping them, it is not true. They build banks, and broker deals, and formulate policy, all with perfect competency. 'No -- the big difference between the rich and the poor is that the rich are blithe. They believe nothing can ever really be so bad, They are born with the lovely, velvety coating of blitheness -- like lanugo, on a baby -- and it is never rubbed off by a bill that can't be paid; a child that can't be educated; a home that must be left for a hostel, when the rent becomes too much. 'Their lives are the same for generations. There is no social upheaval that will really affect them. If you're comfortably middle-class, what's the worst a government policy could do? Ever? Tax you at 90 per cent and leave your bins, unemptied, on the pavement. But you and everyone you know will continue to drink wine -- but maybe cheaper -- go on holiday -- but somewhere nearer -- and pay off your mortgage -- although maybe later. 'Consider, now, then, the poor. What's the worst a government policy can do to them? It can cancel their operation, with no recourse to private care. It can run down their school -- with no escape route to a prep. It can have you out of your house and into a B&B by the end of the year. When the middle-classes get passionate about politics, they're arguing about their treats -- their tax breaks and their investments. When the poor get passionate about politics, they're fighting for their lives. 'Politics will always mean more to the poor. Always. That's why we strike and march, and despair when our young say they won't vote. That's why the poor are seen as more vital, and animalistic. No classical music for us -- no walking around National Trust properties, or buying reclaimed flooring. We don't have nostalgia. We don't do yesterday. We can't bear it. We don't want to be reminded of our past, because it was awful; dying in mines, and slums, without literacy, or the vote. Without dignity. It was all so desperate, then. That's why the present and the future is for the poor -- that's the place in time for us: surviving now, hoping for better, later. We live now -- for our instant, hot, fast treats, to prep us up: sugar, a cigarette, a new fast song on the radio. 'You must never, never forget, when you talk to someone poor, that it takes ten times the effort to get anywhere from a bad postcode, It's a miracle when someone from a bad postcode gets anywhere, son. A miracle they do anything at all.
Caitlin Moran (How to Build a Girl (How to Build a Girl, #1))
BOWLS OF FOOD Moon and evening star do their slow tambourine dance to praise this universe. The purpose of every gathering is discovered: to recognize beauty and love what’s beautiful. “Once it was like that, now it’s like this,” the saying goes around town, and serious consequences too. Men and women turn their faces to the wall in grief. They lose appetite. Then they start eating the fire of pleasure, as camels chew pungent grass for the sake of their souls. Winter blocks the road. Flowers are taken prisoner underground. Then green justice tenders a spear. Go outside to the orchard. These visitors came a long way, past all the houses of the zodiac, learning Something new at each stop. And they’re here for such a short time, sitting at these tables set on the prow of the wind. Bowls of food are brought out as answers, but still no one knows the answer. Food for the soul stays secret. Body food gets put out in the open like us. Those who work at a bakery don’t know the taste of bread like the hungry beggars do. Because the beloved wants to know, unseen things become manifest. Hiding is the hidden purpose of creation: bury your seed and wait. After you die, All the thoughts you had will throng around like children. The heart is the secret inside the secret. Call the secret language, and never be sure what you conceal. It’s unsure people who get the blessing. Climbing cypress, opening rose, Nightingale song, fruit, these are inside the chill November wind. They are its secret. We climb and fall so often. Plants have an inner Being, and separate ways of talking and feeling. An ear of corn bends in thought. Tulip, so embarrassed. Pink rose deciding to open a competing store. A bunch of grapes sits with its feet stuck out. Narcissus gossiping about iris. Willow, what do you learn from running water? Humility. Red apple, what has the Friend taught you? To be sour. Peach tree, why so low? To let you reach. Look at the poplar, tall but without fruit or flower. Yes, if I had those, I’d be self-absorbed like you. I gave up self to watch the enlightened ones. Pomegranate questions quince, Why so pale? For the pearl you hid inside me. How did you discover my secret? Your laugh. The core of the seen and unseen universes smiles, but remember, smiles come best from those who weep. Lightning, then the rain-laughter. Dark earth receives that clear and grows a trunk. Melon and cucumber come dragging along on pilgrimage. You have to be to be blessed! Pumpkin begins climbing a rope! Where did he learn that? Grass, thorns, a hundred thousand ants and snakes, everything is looking for food. Don’t you hear the noise? Every herb cures some illness. Camels delight to eat thorns. We prefer the inside of a walnut, not the shell. The inside of an egg, the outside of a date. What about your inside and outside? The same way a branch draws water up many feet, God is pulling your soul along. Wind carries pollen from blossom to ground. Wings and Arabian stallions gallop toward the warmth of spring. They visit; they sing and tell what they think they know: so-and-so will travel to such-and-such. The hoopoe carries a letter to Solomon. The wise stork says lek-lek. Please translate. It’s time to go to the high plain, to leave the winter house. Be your own watchman as birds are. Let the remembering beads encircle you. I make promises to myself and break them. Words are coins: the vein of ore and the mine shaft, what they speak of. Now consider the sun. It’s neither oriental nor occidental. Only the soul knows what love is. This moment in time and space is an eggshell with an embryo crumpled inside, soaked in belief-yolk, under the wing of grace, until it breaks free of mind to become the song of an actual bird, and God.
Rumi (The Soul of Rumi: A New Collection of Ecstatic Poems)
I had never been so close to death before. For a long time, as I lay there trying to clear my mind, I couldn't think coherently at all, conscious only of a terrible, blind bitterness. Why had they singled me out? Didn't they understand? Had everything I'd gone through on their behalf been utterly in vain? Did it really count for nothing? What had happened to logic, meaning and sense? But I feel much calmer now. It helps to discipline oneself like this, writing it down to see it set out on paper, to try and weigh it and find some significance in it. Prof Bruwer: There are only two kinds of madness one should guard against, Ben. One is the belief that we can do everything. The other is the belief that we can do nothing. I wanted to help. Right. I meant it very sincerely. But I wanted to do it on my terms. And I am white, and they are black. I thought it was still possible to reach beyond our whiteness and blackness. I thought that to reach out and touch hands across the gulf would be sufficient in itself. But I grasped so little, really: as if good intentions from my side could solve it all. It was presumptuous of me. In an ordinary world, in a natural one, I might have succeeded. But not in this deranged, divided age. I can do all I can for Gordon or scores of others who have come to me; I can imagine myself in their shoes, I can project myself into their suffering. But I cannot, ever, live their lives for them. So what else could come of it but failure? Whether I like it or not, whether I feel like cursing my own condition or not -- and that would only serve to confirm my impotence -- I am white. This is the small, final, terrifying truth of my broken world. I am white. And because I am white I am born into a state of privilege. Even if I fight the system that has reduced us to this I remain white, and favored by the very circumstances I abhor. Even if I'm hated, and ostracized, and persecuted, and in the end destroyed, nothing can make me black. And so those who are cannot but remain suspicious of me. In their eyes my very efforts to identify myself with Gordon, whit all the Gordons, would be obscene. Every gesture I make, every act I commit in my efforts to help them makes it more difficult for them to define their real needs and discover for themselves their integrity and affirm their own dignity. How else could we hope to arrive beyond predator and prey, helper and helped, white and black, and find redemption? On the other hand: what can I do but what I have done? I cannot choose not to intervene: that would be a denial and a mockery not only of everything I believe in, but of the hope that compassion may survive among men. By not acting as I did I would deny the very possibility of that gulf to be bridged. If I act, I cannot but lose. But if I do not act, it is a different kind of defeat, equally decisive and maybe worse. Because then I will not even have a conscience left. The end seems ineluctable: failure, defeat, loss. The only choice I have left is whether I am prepared to salvage a little honour, a little decency, a little humanity -- or nothing. It seems as if a sacrifice is impossible to avoid, whatever way one looks at it. But at least one has the choice between a wholly futile sacrifice and one that might, in the long run, open up a possibility, however negligible or dubious, of something better, less sordid and more noble, for our children… They live on. We, the fathers, have lost.
André Brink (A Dry White Season)
I ask him if he tried to rape Nyla. “Laws are silent in times of war,” Tactus drawls. “Don’t quote Cicero to me,” I say. “You are held to a higher standard than a marauding centurion.” “In that, you’re hitting the mark at least. I am a superior creature descended from proud stock and glorious heritage. Might makes right, Darrow. If I can take, I may take. If I do take, I deserve to have. This is what Peerless believe.” “The measure of a man is what he does when he has power,” I say loudly. “Just come off it, Reaper,” Tactus drawls, confident in himself as all like him are. “She’s a spoil of war. My power took her. And before the strong, bend the weak.” “I’m stronger than you, Tactus,” I say. “So I can do with you as I wish. No?” He’s silent, realizing he’s fallen into a trap. “You are from a superior family to mine, Tactus. My parents are dead. I am the sole member of my family. But I am a superior creature to you.” He smirks at that. “Do you disagree?” I toss a knife at his feet and pull my own out. “I beg you to voice your concerns.” He does not pick his blade up. “So, by right of power, I can do with you as I like.” I announce that rape will never be permitted, and then I ask Nyla the punishment she would give. As she told me before, she says she wants no punishment. I make sure they know this, so there are no recriminations against her. Tactus and his armed supporters stare at her in surprise. They don’t understand why she would not take vengeance, but that doesn’t stop them from smiling wolfishly at one another, thinking their chief has dodged punishment. Then I speak. “But I say you get twenty lashes from a leather switch, Tactus. You tried to take something beyond the bounds of the game. You gave in to your pathetic animal instincts. Here that is less forgivable than murder; I hope you feel shame when you look back at this moment fifty years from now and realize your weakness. I hope you fear your sons and daughters knowing what you did to a fellow Gold. Until then, twenty lashes will serve.” Some of the Diana soldiers step forward in anger, but Pax hefts his axe on his shoulder and they shrink back, glaring at me. They gave me a fortress and I’m going to whip their favorite warrior. I see my army dying as Mustang pulls off Tactus’s shirt. He stares at me like a snake. I know what evil thoughts he’s thinking. I thought them of my floggers too. I whip him twenty brutal times, holding nothing back. Blood runs down his back. Pax nearly has to hack down one of the Diana soldiers to keep them from charging to stop the punishment. Tactus barely manages to stagger to his feet, wrath burning in his eyes. “A mistake,” he whispers to me. “Such a mistake.” Then I surprise him. I shove the switch into his hand and bring him close by cupping my hand around the back of his head. “You deserve to have your balls off, you selfish bastard,” I whisper to him. “This is my army,” I say more loudly. “This is my army. Its evils are mine as much as yours, as much as they are Tactus’s. Every time any of you commit a crime like this, something gratuitous and perverse, you will own it and I will own it with you, because when you do something wicked, it hurts all of us.” Tactus stands there like a fool. He’s confused. I shove him hard in the chest. He stumbles back. I follow him, shoving. “What were you going to do?” I push his hand holding the leather switch back toward his chest. “I don’t know what you mean …” he murmurs as I shove him. “Come on, man! You were going to shove your prick inside someone in my army. Why not whip me while you’re at it? Why not hurt me too? It’ll be easier. Milia won’t even try to stab you. I promise.” I shove him again. He looks around. No one speaks. I strip off my shirt and go to my knees. The air is cold. Knees on stone and snow. My eyes lock with Mustang’s. She winks at me and I feel like I can do anything.
Pierce Brown (Red Rising (Red Rising Saga, #1))