“Beauty thinks it needs no talent and can feed on itself, so it soon dies.”
“How wonderful to be understood, and never have to explain.”
“Angel, saint, Devil's spawn, good or evil, you've got me pinned to the wall and labeled as yours until the day I die. And if you die first, then it won't be long before I follow.”
“Little girls get hurt when they play grown-up games.”
“...I'm a fool. I expect too much, then I'm angry because nothing ever works out the way I want. When I was young and full of hopes and aspirations, I didn't know I would get hurt so often. I think I'll get tough and won't ache again, then my fragile shell shatters, and again, symbolically, my blood is spilled with the tears I shed. I pull myself back together again, go on, convince myself there is a reason for everything, and at some point in my life it will be disclosed. And when I have what I want, I hope to god it stays long enough to let me know I have it, and it wont hurt when it goes, for I don't expect it to stay, not now. I'm like a doughnut, always being punch out in the middle, and constantly I go around searching for the missing piece, and on and on it goes, never ending, only beginning...”
“Life offers more than one chance, Cathy, you know that.”
“All you need do is say good-bye to yesterday’s loves, and hello to the new. Look around and see who needs you most and you won’t go wrong. Forget who needed you yesterday.”
“Death can be a good friend to those in extreme pain. I wondered how he held on so long...”
“You are an intriguing combination, half child, half seductress, half angel."
I laughed sort and bitterly. "That's what all men like to think about women. Little girls they have to take care of--when I know for a fact it is the male who is more boy than man.”
“I watched the jealousy between them grow, and felt it was none of my fault--only Momma's! As everything wrong in my life was her fault.”
“The mountain trees that grew between the pines were a brilliant blaze of fall colors, like fire against the emerald green of the pines, firs and pruces. And it was, as I'd told myself long ago, the year's last passionate love affair before it grew old and died from the frosty bite of winter.”
“I think you might be the kind to put all the men you love up so high they are bound to come tumbling down.”
“What women wanted to be eaten alive, choked by a thrusting tongue? Not me, I wanted to be played like a violin, strummed pianissimo, in largo timing, fingered into legato, and let it grow into crescendo.”
“Y pidio a Dios que se la tragase al suelo. Pero los suelos nunca se abren cuando deberian hacerlo.”
“I sighed, he sighed, the wind and flowers sighed too. I think those marble statues sighed along as well, in their lack of understanding the human condition”
“I don't know if it's for the better, but I do know people aren't static. We all change from day to day.”
“Maybe that was what millions could do-- nail a satisfied smirk to one's face.”
“Then the wind came in with Bart and blew the vase of roses from the table. I stood and stared down at the crystal pieces and the petals scattered about. Why was the wind always trying to tell me something? Something I didn't want to hear!”
“way you find out how much they care is by looking into the eyes—eyes never learn how to lie.”
“I want you to understand that what is black to one person is white to another. And nothing in this world is so perfect that it is pure white, or so bad it is pure black. Everything concerning human beings comes in shades of gray, Carrie.”
“Pain always makes me antagonistic--are you any different?”
“Yo solo podia preguntarme por que tenia que ocurrirnos todas las desgracias. Por que se empenaba el destino en perseguirnos?”
“We’ll make it work, because two people who are sincerely in love can always overcome obstacles no matter what they are.”
“All you need do is say good-bye to yesterday’s loves, and hello to the new. Look around and see who needs you most and you won’t go wrong. Forget who needed you yesterday. You”
“Don’t cry stop,” he murmured, caressing and stroking me, “all my life I’ve had nothing but frustrations. I try to love others, but it’s always you . . . you, whom I can never have! Cathy . . . leave Julian! Come away with me! We’ll go to some distant place, where no one knows us,
and together we can live as man and wife. We won’t have any children . . . I’ll see to that. We can adopt babies. You know we make good parents . . . you know we love each other and always will! Nothing can change that! You can run from me and marry twelve other men, but your heart is in your eyes when you look at me—it’s me you want—as I want you!”
He was carried away with his own persuasions and wouldn’t listen to my weak words.
“Cathy, just to hold you, to have you again! This time I’ll know how to give you the pleasure I couldn’t before—please, if you ever loved me—leave Julian before he destroys us both!”
“I could have slapped him from the way he moved backward, abandoning the sweet ecstasy of kissing forbidden places that had aroused me. He sat up on the side of the bed and bowed his head into his hands. Then he sobbed, “Always you manage to defeat me, Cathy! First Paul, then Julian . . . and now a baby.” Then suddenly he faced me. “Come away and let me be the father to that child! Julian isn’t fit! If you never let me touch you, let me live near enough so I can see you every day and hear your voice. Sometimes I want it back like it used to be . . . just you and I, and our twins.”
“No. I wasn’t there. I was back in Gladstone, Pennsylvania, and I was twelve years old. Two state troopers were in the driveway, with a white car parked . . . and swiftly they were striding to interrupt a birthday party to tell us all that Daddy was dead. Killed in an accident on Greenfield Highway.
“Chris! Chris!” I screamed, terrified he might have gone.
“I’m here. I’m coming. I knew you’d need me.”
“His name is Julian Janus Marquet, but I’m going to call him Jory.”
Both Chris and Paul heard my thin whisper. I was so tired, so sleepy.
“Why would you call him Jory?” asked Paul, but it wasn’t me who had the strength to answer. It was Chris who understood my reasoning.
“If he had been blond, she would have named him Cory—but the J will stand for Julian, and the rest for Cory.”
Our eyes met and I smiled.
How wonderful to be understood, and never have to explain.”
“I jumped then. It seemed I heard a child laugh. My imagination, of course. And then, when I should have known better, I headed for the closet and the high and narrow door at the very back end and the steep and narrow dark stairs. A million times I’d ascended these stairs. A million times in the dark, without a candle, or a flashlight. Up into the dark, eerie, gigantic attic, and only when I was there did I feel around for the place where Chris and I had hidden our candles and matches.
Still there. Time did stand still in this place. We’d had several candle holders, all of pewter with small handles to grasp. Holders we’d found in an old trunk along with boxes and boxes of short, stubby, clumsily made candles. We’d always presumed them to be homemade candles, for they had smelled so rank and old when they burned.
My breath caught! Oh! It was the same! The paper flowers still dangled down, mobiles to sway in the drafts, and the giant flowers were still on the walls. Only all the colors had faded to indistinct gray—ghost flowers. The sparkling gem centers we’d glued on had loosened, and now only a few daisies had sequins, or gleaming stones, for centers. Carrie’s purple worm was there only now he too was a nothing color. Cory’s epileptic snail didn’t appear a bright, lopsided beach ball now, it was more a tepid, half-rotten squashy orange. The BEWARE signs Chris and I had painted in red were still on the walls, and the swings still dangled down from the attic rafters. Over near the record player was the barre Chris had fashioned, then nailed to the wall so I could practice my ballet positions. Even my outgrown costumes hung limply from nails, dozens of them with matching leotards and worn out pointe shoes, all faded and dusty, rotten smelling.
As in an unhappy dream I was committed to, I drifted aimlessly toward the distant schoolroom, with the candelight flickering. Ghosts were unsettled, memories and specters followed me as things began to wake up, yawn and whisper. No, I told myself, it was only the floating panels of my long chiffon wings . . . that was all. The spotted rocking-horse loomed up, scary and threatening, and my hand rose to my throat as I held back a scream. The rusty red wagon seemed to move by unseen hands pushing it, so my eyes took flight to the blackboard where I’d printed my enigmatic farewell message to those who came in the future. How was I to know it would be me?
We lived in the attic,
Christopher, Cory, Carrie and me—
Now there are only three.
Behind the small desk that had been Cory’s I scrunched down, and tried to fit my legs under. I wanted to put myself into a deep reverie that would call up Cory’s spirit that would tell me where he lay.”
“And the way you find out how much they care is by looking into the eyes—eyes never learn how to lie.”
“I leaned agains the warm brick wall and gazed up. It was a bright, cloudless day, the sky a mocking blue. It was the kind of day when children ran up and down the streets and shouted, when couples walked out through the town gates, past the windmills and along the canals, when old women sat in the sun and closed their eyes. My father was probably sitting on the bench in front of the house, his face turned towards the warmth. Tomorrow night might be bitterly cold, but today it was spring.”
“His lips tasted cool and sharp, peppermint, winter, but his hands, soft on the back of my neck, promised long days and summer and forever.”
“Toad, with no one to check his statements or to criticize in an unfriendly spirit, rather let himself go. Indeed, much that he related belonged more properly to the category of what-might-have-happened-had-I-only-thought-of-it-in-time-instead-of-ten-minutes-afterwards. Those are always the best and raciest adventures; and why should they not be truly ours, as much as the somewhat inadequate things that really come off?”
“Today I know that such memories are the key not to the past, but to the future. I know that the experiences of our lives, when we let God use them, become the mysterious and perfect preparation for the work He will give us to do. ”
“If we meet and I say, "Hi,"
That's a salutation.
If you ask me how I feel,
That's a consideration.
If we stop and talk awhile,
That's a conversation.
If we understand each other,
If we argue, scream and fight,
That's an altercation.
If later we apologize,
That's a reconciliation.
If we help each other home,
And all these ations added up
(And if I say this is a wonderful poem, Is that exaggeration?)”
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