“Would 'sorry' have made any difference? Does it ever? It's just a word. One word against a thousand actions.”
“It takes forty muscles to frown, and only twelve to jam a cupcake in your mouth and get over it.”
“But once in a while, you pick the right thing, the exact best thing. Every day, the moment you open your eyes and pull off your blankets, that's what you hope for. The sunshine on your face,warm enough to make you heart sing.”
“I've never met a problem a proper cupcake couldn't fix.”
“Everyone says that the internet is so awesome because you can connect with people from all over the world, but I think it’s the opposite. The internet doesn’t make it easier to connect with anyone—it just makes it so you don’t really have to.”
“I'm not sure if you even want me around or if you just feel sorry for me. I'm not sure of anything.”
“All the little quirks that make even the most barren, frigid places beautiful, that make a tiny gray dot on the map the one place you'll always call home, no matter where your glamorous, boring, adventurous, average, ridiculous, impossible, epic, romantic, bacon-infused life leads you.”
“We can get used to just about anything but it doesn't mean it's okay”
“No matter what happens next, I'm not letting this turn into another two weeks of silence, the entire history of us summed up in a series of near misses and almosts just because neither of us had the snowballs to say anything.”
“When you're out here alone, contemplating all the things you didn't do and the person you didn't become ... if you think about it too long a hush seeps into the gray space, and the wind will hollow out your bones, and the purest kind of loneliness comes up from the inside to swallow you like an avalanche.”
“Abby's my sister, Hudson. We're twins."
"Oh thank God! I mean thank God... that you... have a sister... what a special... um, napkin?”
“Maybe he's just... craving the meatloaf?"
Dani hops off the counter and gives me the once over. "Craving the meatloaf? Is that what the kids are calling it now?”
“What's up?" Need a kidney? Two of them? Where do I sign? I grab my pen again, just in case.”
“I like him, okay?"
"No you don't. You 'well I'm un I don't know um I guess yeah maybe' him.”
“Being with Josh is like being touched from the inside out. An unexpected blaze of sunshine on an otherwise bleak winter day. Wrapping your fingers around a mug of hot chocolate after walking home in that frigid lake-effect wind. A fire crackling softly beneath your outstretched hands. The perfect combination of cupcake and icing, the kind where you can’t quite identify all the secret ingredients, but you feel them melting together on your tongue, and you know that for as long you live, this will be the best thing you’ve ever tasted.”
“What do you need, Josh? Just name it. Anything. I'm totally here for you.
I knew I could count on you, Hudson. The thing is... I don't know if I'm a good kisser. It's not the sort of thing you can figure out on your own, you know? So I was thinking, if it wouldn't be too much trouble, maybe you could kiss me, everyday for a year, and then you can...
“Why did he leave so fast at the end? Who was on the phone? A girl? That's it, he must have a girlfriend. One from another school. One he was just about to call so he could propose to her, but I interrupted, and then he had to run off to take her call, because weddings don't just plan themselves, you know.”
“When it's like this, I don't notice the cold. I don't hear the wind howling through the empty spaces. I don't feel like a small, broken-winged bird trapped in a rusty cage.”
“See, some people politely encourage their tone-deaf friends to sing. Some people even convince them to go on live television and audition for national competitions. But me? I am not that friend.”
“...if I let him walk away now, we'll forever be a "just"; Just hockey player and skating coach. Just music swappers. Just friends. A not-quite-almost whose time passed through as quickly as the train, fading into the distance before it even had a real chance at staying, at becoming something more, because I didn't speak up.”
“What good are all those bits of nostalgia when the one thing that truly holds you to a place - the one thing that really makes it home over any other dot on the map - crumbles?”
“Sometimes life rocks so hard your heart wants to explode just because the sun came up and you got to feel it on your face for one more day. ...Sometimes you get the bitter end instead.”
“I think you're beautiful," an old man at the counter - one of our Sunday night fixtures - says.
"You passed the Earl test," she says as she pours him a fresh cup.
"Ma, he says that to anyone who still has their own teeth. No offense, Earl."
"None taken," he says. "But you got your own hair too, so you're twice as pretty.”
“Anyway, what about you? How's, um, Abby? Angie? What's her name?"
Oh, Hudson. Your suavity is an example to us all.”
“Some people call it child labor. I call it... let's not get technical.”
“Because maybe Watonka was only ever supposed to be a temporary stopover, and maybe I will chase that train over the hill, and maybe we're all destined to leave this place, for sure, for real, together or alone. But for right now, we're here.”
“Have some carrots. They're good for your eyes."
"Then you have some fries. They're good for your... I don't know. They're just good.”
“No powdery residue. But definitely suspicious. Smell." He slides a makeup catalog from beneath a microscope made out of a plate, a toilet paper roll, and an intricate arrangement of pipe cleaners. "Any ideas?"
I take a scientific whiff. "Gardenia. Looks like those Mary Kay terrorists are at it again.”
“No one wants to do it with a chick who smells like bacon."
Her brow creases. "Everybody loves bacon.”
“Mom asked for a cupcake miracle? Well, here comes the freaking holy angel of icing, at your service. --Hudson
Angel icing? That's the craziest, corniest, most whack-ass stuff I've heard in my life”
“Life would be a lot easier if conversations were rewindable and erasable, like videos.”
“But here's some advice, boy. Don't put your trust in revolutions. They always come around again. That's why they're called revolutions.”
“She bent over me again. Blood began to move around in me, like a prospective tenant looking over a house.”
“I wanted to...feel hatred and love, despair and tedium-- all those simple, yet foolish things that make up everyday life but that give pleasure to your existence. If one day I could get out of here, I would allow myself to be crazy, Everyone is indeed crazy, but the craziest are the ones who don't know they are crazy; they just keep repeating what others tell them to.”
“I wonder if ever again Americans can have that experience of returning to a home place so intimately known, profoundly felt, deeply loved, and absolutely submitted to? It is not quite true that you can't go home again. I have done it, coming back here. But it gets less likely. We have had too many divorces, we have consumed too much transportation, we have lived too shallowly in too many places.”
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