Quotes from Possible Side Effects

Augusten Burroughs ·  291 pages

Rating: (41.3K votes)


“Just as I had long suspected, a person didn't really need math for anything anyway. Maybe some people did. Some limited people.”
― Augusten Burroughs, quote from Possible Side Effects


“...I don't think it's any more deceptive than wearing four-inch come-fuck-me pumps when one has no intention of ever fucking anybody.”
― Augusten Burroughs, quote from Possible Side Effects


“Everybody in recovery smokes. If you don't like smoking, don't even bother trying to get sober. Just stay drunk.”
― Augusten Burroughs, quote from Possible Side Effects


“Like every child, I adored her. Until I formed a brain and got to know her.”
― Augusten Burroughs, quote from Possible Side Effects


“Throwing things horrified me. I suffered extreme, paralyzing anxiety when it came to anything remotely athletic. I wouldn't even run to catch the school bus because I knew I'd trip and then get teased for a year.”
― Augusten Burroughs, quote from Possible Side Effects



“Fact: upon locking yourself our of your apartment you will immediately need to use the bathroom. Fact: and then you will stand in place and watch your door. You will just stare. As though rebuffed by it. As though it has done this to you.”
― Augusten Burroughs, quote from Possible Side Effects


“The most I would do was use the shadow tool in Photoshop to bring out the muscular rips in my stomach, which were honestly there. Beneath the fat.”
― Augusten Burroughs, quote from Possible Side Effects


“Although my parents never attended church or mentioned Jesus except when they screamed at each other—and then they used his full name, 'Jesus Fucking Christ”
― Augusten Burroughs, quote from Possible Side Effects


“My instinct was always have your gun in your hand. Especially when you are telling somebody to do something.

But, in fact, the police academy discourages this. They feel your gun should rarely, if ever, be brought out of its holster. Most certainly not when children are involved, which is exactly when I saw myself using my gun most often. A truant teenager loitering outside a movie theater is going to be far more motivated to return to school when he has the barrel of a .45 pressed against his cheek.”
― Augusten Burroughs, quote from Possible Side Effects


“I understood at once, I am not living, but actively dying. I am smoking, living unhealthily. I’m shutting down. I need to go the other way, inside. And it was so clear to me what I was doing. It was suddenly perfectly clear.
I understood, I need to write. Live here, in my words, and my head. I need to go inside, that’s all. No big, complicated, difficult thing. I just need to go in reverse. And not worry about what to write about, but just write. Or, if I’m going to worry about what to write, then do this worrying on paper, so at least I’m writing and will have a record of the anxiety.”
― Augusten Burroughs, quote from Possible Side Effects



“It was a great story and I admired her. And I also felt a little envious. Because that bloody tampon had been a secret weapon. And every woman had one. But only a woman like Debby would be brave enough to use it.”
― Augusten Burroughs, quote from Possible Side Effects


“I gazed around the room and my eyes stopped dead on a little boy standing in the corner. This was a particularly eerie doll. Life-sized and blond-haired and blue-eyed. I saw a little Nazi boy, pockets probably stuffed with scissors and retractable blades. My grandfather on my mother's side was rumored to be half Jewish, which practically makes me Jerry Seinfeld's brother, and thus wary of blond German boys with their hands out of sight.”
― Augusten Burroughs, quote from Possible Side Effects


“and she's a nurse. do you know how hard nursing school is? it's like medical school. so she's obviously smart.”
― Augusten Burroughs, quote from Possible Side Effects


“Dennis looked at the puppy in the window. We both did. It was the oddest thing. Normally, puppies in pet store windows sleep or pee or roll around on top of other dogs. This one ignored us its window-mates and was instead sitting with its nose pressed against the glass, looking at us with an extremely serious little expression on its face. An expression that seemed to me to be saying, "I am a sacred cow. Get out your wallet.”
― Augusten Burroughs, quote from Possible Side Effects


“I am tired from having lived seventeen different lives, compressed into the space of one.”
― Augusten Burroughs, quote from Possible Side Effects



“Be glad you don't have a vagina," my friend, who does have a vagina, told me. "You have to have a special doctor. You have to have these awful exams where you basically get naked and then remove your dignity. And then the various parts down there can get cancer and have to get cut out. I'm telling you, having a vagina is like having a pet. Like a dog that's always chasing cars."
When she described it this way, it did seem a blessing that I was born without a vagina. I mean, I can't even handle having a heart.”
― Augusten Burroughs, quote from Possible Side Effects


“Give me down. And give me the Polaroids of the fifty geese that had to die in the process.”
― Augusten Burroughs, quote from Possible Side Effects


“I was not living but actively dying.”
― Augusten Burroughs, quote from Possible Side Effects


“I didn't begin life hating my grandmother. Like every child, I adored her. Until I formed a brain and got to know her.”
― Augusten Burroughs, quote from Possible Side Effects


“If you don't like smoking don't even bother getting sober, just stay drunk.”
― Augusten Burroughs, quote from Possible Side Effects



“Like socks in a dryer, it had vanished into the ether.”
― Augusten Burroughs, quote from Possible Side Effects


“It's neat how money smells nothing like anything in the world except money, just like cardboard.”
― Augusten Burroughs, quote from Possible Side Effects


“Dennis is the person who organizes everything in our lives. To the casual outsider, it would seem grossly unfair. He owns a company, he handles all our money, he manages our lives. While I sit and write, Dennis does everything else. When I try to accept additional responsibilities, I make a mess and he has to fix whatever I broke.”
― Augusten Burroughs, quote from Possible Side Effects


“As charming as the room was, I knew it wouldn’t work for me. I do not need charming. I need to be online, at all times. I need surge protection.”
― Augusten Burroughs, quote from Possible Side Effects


“I felt ignorant, self-deprived, incredibly isolated, deeply and profoundly lonely and missing people, absolutely starved for affection, physically weary from alcohol, very depressed about my physical appearance, my weak muscles. Hurt and angry and sad”
― Augusten Burroughs, quote from Possible Side Effects



“On London Tonight, on television right now, a reporter is standing in front of a building that is under construction. It’s windy, and the wind has pressed the fabric of his slacks against his body, outlining his penis. You can see everything—the length and width and the fact that he’s uncut and hangs to the right. But I bet none of the viewers even noticed. In America, there would be letters to the station. There would be a lawsuit because a child was watching. The headlines would dub the reporter “Anchor of Shame” and he’d be fired. When our own Greta Van Susteren got her eyes done, it was front-page news for a week. So you can be sure, if Anderson Cooper’s penis were to be visible in outline beneath his trousers, he’d be on the cover of People, Vanity Fair, and The New York Times. We are obsessed with sex in an unnatural way.”
― Augusten Burroughs, quote from Possible Side Effects


About the author

Augusten Burroughs
Born place: in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, The United States
Born date October 23, 1965
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