“The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive.”
“When adults say, "Teenagers think they are invincible" with that sly, stupid smile on their faces, they don't know how right they are. We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes and manifestations. They forget that when they get old. They get scared of losing and failing. But that part of us greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail.”
“Thomas Edison's last words were "It's very beautiful over there". I don't know where there is, but I believe it's somewhere, and I hope it's beautiful.”
“So I walked back to my room and collapsed on the bottom bunk, thinking that if people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane.”
“Imagining the future is a kind of nostalgia. (...) You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you'll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present.”
“When I look at my room, I see a girl who loves books.”
“I wanted so badly to lie down next to her on the couch, to wrap my arms around her and sleep. Not fuck, like in those movies. Not even have sex. Just sleep together in the most innocent sense of the phrase. But I lacked the courage and she had a boyfriend and I was gawky and she was gorgeous and I was hopelessly boring and she was endlessly fascinating. So I walked back to my room and collapsed on the bottom bunk, thinking that if people were rain, I was drizzle and she was hurricane.”
“What the hell is that?" I laughed.
"It's my fox hat."
"Your fox hat?"
"Yeah, Pudge. My fox hat."
"Why are you wearing your fox hat?" I asked.
"Because no one can catch the motherfucking fox.”
“They love their hair because they're not smart enough to love something more interesting.”
“What is an "instant" death anyway? How long is an instant? Is it one second? Ten? The pain of those seconds must have been awful as her heart burst and her lungs collapsed and there was no air and no blood to her brain and only raw panic. What the hell is instant? Nothing is instant. Instant rice takes five minutes, instant pudding an hour. I doubt that an instant of blinding pain feels particularly instantaneous.”
“I may die young, but at least I'll die smart.”
“It always shocked me when I realized that I wasn’t the only person in the world who thought and felt such strange and awful things.”
“What you must understand about me is that I’m a deeply unhappy person.”
“Francois Rabelais. He was a poet. And his last words were "I go to seek a Great Perhaps." That's why I'm going. So I don't have to wait until I die to start seeking a Great Perhaps.”
“It's not because I want to make out with her."
Hold on." He grabbed a pencil and scrawled excitedly at the paper as if he'd just made a mathematical breakthrough and then looked back up at me. "I just did some calculations, and I've been able to determine that you're full of shit”
“At some point, you just pull off the Band-Aid, and it hurts, but then it's over and you're relieved.”
“He was gone, and I did not have time to tell him what I had just now realized: that I forgave him, and that she forgave us, and that we had to forgive to survive in the labyrinth. There were so many of us who would have to live with things done and things left undone that day. Things that did not go right, things that seemed okay at the time because we could not see the future. If only we could see the endless string of consequences that result from our smallest actions. But we can’t know better until knowing better is useless. And as I walked back to give Takumi’s note to the Colonel, I saw that I would never know. I would never know her well enough to know her thoughts in those last minutes, would never know if she left us on purpose. But the not-knowing would not keep me from caring, and I would always love Alaska Young, my crooked neighbor, with all my crooked heart.”
“Have you really read all those books in your room?”
Alaska laughing- “Oh God no. I’ve maybe read a third of ‘em. But I’m going to read them all. I call it my Life’s Library. Every summer since I was little, I’ve gone to garage sales and bought all the books that looked interesting. So I always have something to read.”
“And then something invisible snapped insider her, and that which had come together commenced to fall apart.”
“Sometimes you lose a battle. But mischief always wins the war”
“I am going to take this bucket of water and pour it on the flames of hell, and then I am going to use this torch to burn down the gates of paradise so that people will not love God for want of heaven or fear of hell, but because He is God.”
“I just did some calculations and I've been able to determine that you're full of shit.”
“That didn’t happen, of course. Things never happened the way I imagined them.”
“Sometimes I don't get you,' I said.
She didn't even glance at me. She just smiled toward the television and said, 'You never get me. That's the whole point.”
“We are all going, I thought, and it applies to turtles and turtlenecks, Alaska the girl and Alaska the place, because nothing can last, not even the earth itself. The Buddha said that suffering was caused by desire, we'd learned, and that the cessation of desire meant the cessation of suffering. When you stopped wishing things wouldn't fall apart, you'd stop suffering when they did.”
“It's not life or death, the labyrinth. Suffering. Doing wrong and having wrong things happen to you. That's the problem. Bolivar was talking about the pain, not about the living or dying. How do you get out of the labyrinth of suffering?”
“We need never be hopeless because we can never be irreperably broken.”
“Y'all smoke to enjoy it. I smoke to die.”
“I wanted to be one of those people who have streaks to maintain, who scorch the ground with their intensity. But for now, at least I knew such people, and they needed me, just like comets need tails.”
“The only person I needed to trust was myself. The other road had too many curves, and I wanted to see straight ahead.”
“I didn't know what I expected. But the smell of fresh paint make me nauseous.”
“My good Japp, is it possible that you throw the mud in my eyes? I know well enough that it is the Chinaman you suspect. But you are so artful. You want me to help you—and yet you drag the red kipper across the trail.”
“Some big insect flew in and began walking on the table. I don’t know what insect it was, but it was brown, shining, and rich in structures. In the city the big universal chain of insects gets thin, but where there’s a leaf or two it’ll be represented.”
“But I'd much rather face a dozen assassins like LaFleur any night than deal with something as tricky, convoluted, and fragile as my feelings.”
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