“As he read, I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.”
“My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations.”
“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.”
“I'm in love with you," he said quietly.
"Augustus," I said.
"I am," he said. He was staring at me, and I could see the corners of his eyes crinkling. "I'm in love with you, and I'm not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I'm in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we're all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we'll ever have, and I am in love with you.”
“You don't get to choose if you get hurt in this world...but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices.”
“Some infinities are bigger than other infinities.”
“The marks humans leave are too often scars.”
“What a slut time is. She screws everybody.”
“There are infinite numbers between 0 and 1. There's .1 and .12 and .112 and an infinite collection of others. Of course, there is a bigger infinite set of numbers between 0 and 2, or between 0 and a million. Some infinities are bigger than other infinities. A writer we used to like taught us that. There are days, many of them, when I resent the size of my unbounded set. I want more numbers than I'm likely to get, and God, I want more numbers for Augustus Waters than he got. But, Gus, my love, I cannot tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity. I wouldn't trade it for the world. You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I'm grateful.”
“Oh, I wouldn't mind, Hazel Grace. It would be a privilege to have my heart broken by you.”
“Some people don't understand the promises they're making when they make them," I said.
"Right, of course. But you keep the promise anyway. That's what love is. Love is keeping the promise anyway.”
“The world is not a wish-granting factory.”
“Grief does not change you, Hazel. It reveals you.”
“There will come a time when all of us are dead. All of us. There will come a time when there are no human beings remaining to remember that anyone ever existed or that our species ever did anything. There will be no one left to remember Aristotle or Cleopatra, let alone you. Everything that we did and built and wrote and thought and discovered will be forgotten and all of this will have been for naught. Maybe that time is coming soon and maybe it is millions of years away, but even if we survive the collapse of our sun, we will not survive forever. There was time before organisms experienced consciousness, and there will be time after. And if the inevitability of human oblivion worries you, I encourage you to ignore it. God knows that’s what everyone else does.”
“May I see you again?" he asked. There was an endearing nervousness in his voice.
I smiled. "Sure."
"Tomorrow?" he asked.
"Patience, grasshopper," I counseled. "You don't want to seem overeager.
"Right, that's why I said tomorrow," he said. "I want to see you again tonight. But I'm willing to wait all night and much of tomorrow." I rolled my eyes. "I'm serious," he said.
"You don't even know me," I said. I grabbed the book from the center console. "How about I call you when I finish this?"
"But you don't even have my phone number," he said.
"I strongly suspect you wrote it in this book."
He broke out into that goofy smile. "And you say we don't know each other.”
“Augustus Waters was a self-aggrandizing bastard. But we forgive him. We forgive him not because he had a heart as figuratively good as his literal one sucked, or because he knew more about how to hold a cigarette than any nonsmoker in history, or because he got eighteen years when he should've gotten more.'
'Seventeen,' Gus corrected.
'I'm assuming you've got some time, you interupting bastard.
'I'm telling you,' Isaac continued, 'Augustus Waters talked so much that he'd interupt you at his own funeral. And he was pretentious: Sweet Jesus Christ, that kid never took a piss without pondering the abundant metaphorical resonances of human waste production. And he was vain: I do not believe I have ever met a more physically attractive person who was more acutely aware of his own physical attractiveness.
'But I will say this: When the scientists of the future show up at my house with robot eyes and they tell me to try them on, I will tell the scientists to screw off, because I do not want to see a world without him.'
I was kind of crying by then.”
“Books so special and rare and yours that advertising your affection feels like a betrayal.”
“Without pain, how could we know joy?' This is an old argument in the field of thinking about suffering and its stupidity and lack of sophistication could be plumbed for centuries but suffice it to say that the existence of broccoli does not, in any way, affect the taste of chocolate.”
“Some tourists think Amsterdam is a city of sin, but in truth it is a city of freedom. And in freedom, most people find sin.”
“It's a metaphor, see: You put the killing thing right between your teeth, but you don't give it the power to do its killing.”
“Maybe 'okay' will be our 'always”
“I believe the universe wants to be noticed. I think the universe is inprobably biased toward the consciousness, that it rewards intelligence in part because the universe enjoys its elegance being observed. And who am I, living in the middle of history, to tell the universe that it-or my observation of it-is temporary?”
“You realize that trying to keep your distance from me will not lessen my affection for you. All efforts to save me from you will fail.”
“You are so busy being YOU that you have no idea how utterly unprecedented you are.”
“I'm a grenade and at some point I'm going to blow up and I would like to minimize the casualties, okay?”
“Because you are beautiful. I enjoy looking at beautiful people, and I decided a while ago not to deny myself the simpler pleasures of existence”
“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book. And then there are books like An Imperial Affliction, which you can't tell people about, books so special and rare and yours that advertising your affection feels like betrayal”
“It's just that most really good-looking people are stupid, so I exceed expectations.'
'Right, it's primarily his hotness,' I said.
'It can be sort of blinding,' he said.
'It actually did blind our friend Isaac,' I said.
'Terrible tragedy, that. But can I help my own deadly beauty?'
'It is my burden, this beautiful face.'
'Not to mention your body.'
'Seriously, don't even get me started on my hot bod. You don't want to see me naked, Dave. Seeing me naked actually took Hazel Grace's breath away,' he said, nodding toward the oxygen tank.”
“Much of my life had been devoted to trying not to cry in front of people who loved me, so I knew what Augustus was doing. You clench your teeth. You look up. You tell yourself that if they see you cry, it will hurt them, and you will be nothing but a Sadness in their lives, and you must not become a mere sadness, so you will not cry, and you say all of this to yourself while looking up at the ceiling, and then you swallow even though your throat does not want to close and you look at the person who loves you and smile.”
“Pray, do not speak to me of weather Not sun, not cloud, not of the places Where storms are born I would not know of wind shivering the heather Nor sleet, nor rain, nor of ancient traces On stone grey and worn Pray, do not regale the troubles of ill health Not self, not kin, not of the old woman At the road’s end I will spare no time nor in mercy yield wealth Nor thought, nor feeling, nor shrouds woven To tempt luck’s send Pray, tell me of deep chasms crossed Not left, not turned, not of the betrayals Breeding like worms I would you cry out your rage ’gainst what is lost Now strong, now to weep, now to make fist and rail On earth so firm Pray, sing loud the wretched glories of love Now pain, now drunken, now torn from all reason In laughter and tears I would you bargain with the fey gods above Nor care, nor cost, nor turn of season To wintry fears Sing to me this and I will find you unflinching Now knowing, now seeing, now in the face Of the howling storm Sing your life as if a life without ending And your love, sun’s bright fire, on its celestial pace To where truth is born Pray, An End to Inconsequential Things Baedisk of Nathilog”
“So dark. Endless darkness, eternal. It was not the absence of light that was so frightening as the absence of thought, of knowledge, of comprehension. Our lives, the lives of the living will go on. The sun shines, the moons rise, we will laugh and talk, and he will know nothing, feel nothing. Nothing.
So final. It will come to us all. It will come to me.”
“Distressing to be hated because of lies, isn't it." (Mirella)
"Especially when there are so many legitimate reasons to be hated." (Schramm)”
“Perhaps some of us will have learned enough to make a difference, to influence things for the better, to wait until the moment is right, and then act.
And despite appearances, despite all indications to the contrary, despite reticence for fear of what others might think, I still felt we all possessed this quiet belief.
A quiet belief in angels.”
“How long does it last?" Said the other customer, a man wearing a tan shirt with little straps that buttoned on top of the shoulders. He looked as if he were comparing all the pros and cons before shelling out $.99. You could see he thought he was pretty shrewd.
"It lasts for as long as you live," the manager said slowly. There was a second of silence while we all thought about that. The man in the tan shirt drew his head back, tucking his chin into his neck. His mind was working like a house on fire
"What about other people?" He asked. "The wife? The kids?"
"They can use your membership as long as you're alive," the manager said, making the distinction clear.
"Then what?" The man asked, louder. He was the type who said things like "you get what you pay for" and "there's one born every minute" and was considering every angle. He didn't want to get taken for a ride by his own death.
"That's all," the manager said, waving his hands, palms down, like a football referee ruling an extra point no good. "Then they'd have to join for themselves or forfeit the privileges."
"Well then, it makes sense," the man said, on top of the situation now, "for the youngest one to join. The one that's likely to live the longest."
"I can't argue with that," said the manager.
The man chewed his lip while he mentally reviewed his family. Who would go first. Who would survive the longest. He cast his eyes around to all the cassettes as if he'd see one that would answer his question. The woman had not gone away. She had brought along her signed agreement, the one that she paid $25 for.
"What is this accident waiver clause?" She asked the manager.
"Look," he said, now exhibiting his hands to show they were empty, nothing up his sleeve, "I live in the real world. I'm a small businessman, right? I have to protect my investment, don't I? What would happen if, and I'm not suggesting you'd do this, all right, but some people might, what would happen if you decided to watch one of my movies in the bathtub and a VCR you rented from me fell into the water?"
The woman retreated a step. This thought had clearly not occurred to her before.”
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