"She thought again of Emma, alone and scared in jail, and felt the already familiar ache. Being a mother is like being held hostage, she thought, with no prospect of release - even when your children are grown, probably even when they have children of their own."
"Jennifer sank down on the bed and looked helplessly at Mark. Usually, she would take comfort in his presence, gain strength from their dual purpose, from his arm around her. But now? She felt alienated, criticized, hurt, but mostly alone. Sitting next to her on the bed, he did put his arm around her shoulders, his habitual gesture in times of trouble, but he did it absentmindedly, dutifully, and she sensed the difference."
"One day she needs me, another she wants to be completely independent, another time she wants to show off how much she's learned and how sophisticated she's become, and yet another, she wants to tell me how spoiled and privileged and unworthy I am. She goes from hot to cold to hot again. Sometimes I feel like she's been invaded, like in that film, The Exorcist, but not by the devil - by Paco, and the ideas he's filled her head with."
"She leaned back again and looked out the window at the crowded streets, all the people moving about, living their lives, hurrying to meet someone or going home alone to empty apartments, happy or sad or angry or afraid. They were all coping with their own private crisis or celebrating their own triumphs. And though she didn't know them and could barely understand their language, she felt a kinship with them somehow, a sense that they were all part of the same human drama and that though the case might be different, her current unhappiness was something they could understand."
" 'You think from day to day. If you allow yourself to think of the future - any personal future - you lose your nerve. And suddenly you recall all the senseless time-wasting things you've done...the wasted minutes you'll never recover. And you realize that time is the most precious thing. Because time is life. It's the only thing you can never get back.' "
"Anne felt sad. People parted, years passed, they met again - and the meeting proved no reunion, offered no warm memories, only the acid knowledge that time had passed and things weren't as bright or attractive as they had been. She was glad Lyon was in England. She'd hate to run into him like this, to find that his hair has thinned or that the girl he dated was too young, too insipid. It was better to keep a memory intact."
" 'Yeah, I read all that jazz in Spain, how she suddenly found true love and all. But come on - the Senator was no Rock Hudson. Jen got pretty bored sitting around just being married to Tony, and he was young and gorgeous. Nope, I think she just couldn't face it. She was getting older, and her looks had to go soon, and she couldn't settle for just the Senator. So she took a powder.' "
" 'Since everyone seems to be offering unsolicited advice, let me add some of my own. Never judge anyone by another's opinions. We all have different sides that we show to different people.'
She smiled. 'You mean that even Hitler could be soft playful with Eva Braun.'
'Something like that. And King Henry didn't kill all of his wives. If I recall correctly the last one actually henpecked him.' "
"You do not write your life with words...You write it with actions. What you think is not important. It is only important what you do.”
"There is not always a good guy. Nor is there always a bad one. Most people are somewhere in between.”
"He was greedy and rude and bitter, but he was still a healer. The parson, though, what was he? He was nothing. Belief is half of all healing. Belief in the cure, belief in the future that awaits. And here was a man who lived on belief, but who sacrificed it at the first challenge, right when he needed it most. He believed selfishly and fearfully. And it took the lives of his daughters."
"Who am I? The monster repeated, still roaring. I am the spine that the mountains hang upon! I am the tears that the rivers cry! I am the lungs that breathe the wind! I am the wolf that kills the stag, the hawk that kills the mouse, the spider that kills the fly! I am the stag, the mouse and the fly that are eaten! I am the snake of the world devouring its tail! I am everything untamed and untameable! It brought Conor up close to its eye. I am this wild earth, come for you Conor O'Malley."
"So sometimes it's the sand in the oyster that creates the pearl. You need some irritation. You need some repression or some conflict. And my life would have been much less satisfying if I didn't know that." Hugh Hefner
"The weirdest thing about being really successful is that you are kind of ready to die. Especially now I've got kids. I mean, I want to live. Don't get me wrong. But I'm not in fear of dying. I've made my mark. Death is the enemy of my family-of my wife and my daughters. But to me as an artist, it's actually my friend." Chris Rock
"I haven't heard anything new that I've liked on the show. A lot of the bands we play with are just bad, especially those alternative rock bands. They can do it in the studio but they can't play live... I see the audience applauding while they're playing, and I wonder if it's just because they're fans of the band and don't care, or out of spite. Because it certainly isn't because they sound good" Branford Marsalis
"What is an adult? He'd always wondered. Was it a person who can speak when silent and who invents life, as opposed to just living it? At the wheel, Luke told himself she was the most adult person he had ever known. Some people would argue the opposite: that she had never grown up, that she had never faced things. But he was a happy student again, learning, over the miles, how to read a person by finding what character was available. She was brazen with words and actions no matter how baffled she seemed. No matter how far away she seemed, no matter how lost, she was with him, and he was determined to go with her as she slipped through the past into some brand-new element of the present."
"Luke felt weak. Just as there was heat inside the heat, there was weakness inside his weakness. Everything is dense with itself out there; everything is thick with its own crazed lack of known limits. Things could escalate. You could sense it in your nerves and feel it on your skin."
"There was no such things as an ordinary life. He'd learned that from Anne and he learned it from himself. You can only live a life proportionate to your nature. And he was calm. He was getting there. He could imagine a future less taken up with loss."
" 'Everything was before me, ' Alice said. At times she felt that her mother might suffocate her with the past. Yet she went silent, admiring the mix of periods, wondering if her mother's neighbor really had any notion of the places that Anne had been to in her busy life. Sometimes Alice would just be sitting like this and she'd suddenly realize she was in pain, without really knowing where it came from."
"Captivity does things to you. It shows you how base an animal you can be. How you'd do anything to stay alive and suffer a little bit less than the day before."
"They didn't understand how much safer it felt to have crowds of people right outside my door at all times. In New York City, I tried to explain, there is always someone to hear you scream. And better still were the glorious advantages of a doorman building in a city that never slept."
"The only other human I would dare touch. Who was the lucky one here? I wondered. Jennifer didn't have to be alone anymore, while I was here, locked in my own box, a solitary figure unable to let anyone in. Sealed up as tight as a drum, with nothing but phobias and paranoia to guide me. Broken. Unfixable. Trapped."
"I stopped at a gas station on the way down, taking advantage of what appeared to be an unusually pristine BP right outside of town. I noticed with no small satisfaction that the attendant was locked away from me behind plexiglass. If only everyone could be like that."
"Or is it the case that no one ever truly gets over anything? Is there really that much pain and suffering continuing right now at this minute, in millions of hearts, in bodies carrying on the burden of existence, trying to smile through tears for fleeting, passing moments here and there - when when they can forget what happened to them, maybe ever for whole hours at a time? Maybe that's what it is to live."
"I ask you to remember, not every man that bears the mark of the castaway, is a castaway at heart."
"They put me in a boat with the captain's corpse beside me, and set us adrift. Why they chose to cast me away I do not know. But those whom we have abused we customarily grow to hate, and wish never to lay eyes on again. The heart of man is a dark forest."
"I thought I was myself and this girl a creature from another order speaking words you made up for her. But now I am full of doubt. Nothing is left to me but doubt. I am doubt itself. Who is speaking me? Am I a phantom too? To what order do I belong? And you: who are you?"
"For surely, with every day that passes, our memories grow less certain, as even a statue in marble is worn away by rain, till at last we can no longer tell what shape the sculptor's hand gave it."
"I do not wish to dispute, but you have forgotten much, and with every day that passes you forget more! There is no shame in forgetting: it is our nature to forget as it is our nature to grow old and pass away. But seen from too remote a vantage, life begins to lose its particularity."
"Paranoid are not paranoid because they're paranoid, but because they keep putting themselves, fucking idiots, deliberately into paranoid situations."
"San Narciso was a name; an incident among our climatic records of dreams and what dreams became among our accumulated daylight, a moment’s squall-line or tornado’s touchdown among the higher, more continental solemnities—storm-systems of group suffering and need, prevailing winds of affluence. There was the true continuity, San Narciso had no boundaries. No one knew yet how to draw them. She had dedicated herself, weeks ago, to making sense of what Inverarity had left behind, never suspecting that the legacy was America.”
"Oedipa wondered whether, at the end of this (if it were supposed to end), she too might not be left with only compiled memories of clues, announcements, intimations, but never the central truth itself, which must somehow each time be too bright for her memory to hold; which must always blaze out, destroying its own message irreversibly, leaving an overexposed blank when the ordinary world came back.”
"For there either was some Tristero beyond the appearance of the legacy America, or there was just America, and if there was just America then it seemed the only way she could continue, and manage to be at all relevant to it, was as an alien, unfurrowed, assumed full circle into some paranoia.”
"That was the sort of thing my father used to say often. Soft on logic, but as potentially lethal as a live current."
“‘I’ll tell you the real problem with dying is,' Delia said, her eyes fixed on Papa. 'It's a one-shot deal. You don't have an opportunity to learn from your mistakes.' "
"He was a very cautious man, who never romped or played. He never smoked, he never drank, nor even kissed a maid. And when he up and passed away, insurance was denied. For since he hadn't ever lived, they claimed he never died."
"So everyone has secrets. Badges of shame they carry around under heavy clothing. Why should Archimedes be any different?"
"There was the problem with human relationships - you could never really explain them. Sammy had simply been Sammy. Why wasn't it enough of a claim on him that she cared what happened to him? Obviously, it wasn’t."
"It never occurred to me that our lives, until then were so closely interwoven, could unravel and separate over a thing like that. But the fact was, I suppose, there were powerful tides tugging us apart by then, and it only needed something like that to finish the task. If we'd understood that back then-who knows?-maybe we'd have kept a tighter hold of one another."
“I keep thinking about this river somewhere, with the water moving really fast. And these two people in the water, trying to hold onto each other, holding on as hard as they can, but in the end it's just too much. The current's too strong. They've got to let go, drift apart. That's how it is with us. It's a shame, Kath, because we've loved each other all our lives. But in the end, we can't stay together forever.”
"So you're waiting, even if you don't quite know it, waiting for the moment when you realize that you really are different to them; that there are people out there, like Madame, who don't hate you or wish you any harm, but who nevertheless shudder at the very thought of you - of how you were brought into this world and why - and who dread the idea of your hand brushing against theirs. The first time you glimpse yourself through the eyes of a person like that, it's a cold moment. It's like walking past a mirror you've walked past everyday of your life, and suddenly it shows you something else, something troubling and strange."
“‘We all know it. We're modeled from trash. Junkies, prostitutes, winos, tramps. Convicts, maybe, just so long as they aren't psychos. That's what we come from. We all know it, so why don't we say it? A woman like that? Come on. Yeah, right, Tommy. A bit of fun. Let's have a bit of fun pretending.'"
"She died in my arms saying, “I don’t want to die.” That is what death is like. It doesn't matter what uniforms the soldiers are wearing. It doesn't matter how good the weapons are. I thought if everyone could see what I saw, we could never have war anymore."
"Well! So many people enter and leave your life! Hundreds of thousands of people! You have to keep the door open so they can come in! But it also means you have to let them go!"
She’s at home now, writing her life story, she’s typing while I’m leaving, unaware of the chapter’s to come. It was my suggestion, and at the time I thought it was a very good one, I thought maybe if she could express herself, if she had a way to relieve the burden she lived for nothing more than living, with nothing to get inspired by, to care for, to call her own, she helped out at the store, then came home and sat in her big chair and stared at her magazines, not at them but through them, she let the dust accumulate on her shoulders."
"Grief and loss are probably the most fearful creatures that exist. But loss shouldn't be a fearful creature. It should be a creature of wisdom. It should teach us not to fear that tomorrow may never come, but live fully, as though the hours are melting away like seconds. Loss should teach us to cherish those we love, to never do anything that will result in regret, and to cheer on tomorrow with all of its promises of greatness. It's easy and un-extraordinary to be frightened of life. It's far more difficult to arm yourself with the good stuff despite all the bad and step foot into tomorrow as an everyday warrior."