“Books were, and always would be, something a little magic and something to respect.”
“The trick is to find that one person who can give it back as good as they can take it.”
“It's a corporate truth universally acknowledged that workers would rather eat rat skeletons than participate in group activities.”
“Watching you pretend to hate the nickname is the best part of my day.”
“I have a theory. Hating someone feels disturbingly similar to being in love with them. I've had a lot of time to compare love and hate, and these are my observations.
Love and hate are visceral. Your stomach twists at the thought of that person. The heart in your chest beats heavy and bright, nearly visible through your flesh and clothes. Your appetite and sleep are schredded. Every interaction spikes your blood with adrenaline, and you're in the brink of fight or flight. Your body is barely under your control. You're consumed, and it scares you.
Both love and hate are mirror versions of the same game - and you háve to win. Why? Your heart and your ego. Trust me, I should know.”
“What are you imagining? Your expression is filthy.”
“Strangling you. Bare hands.” I can barely get the words out. I’m huskier than a phone-sex operator after a double shift.
“So that’s your kink.” His eyes are going dark.
“Only where you’re concerned.”
Both his eyebrows ratchet up, and he opens his mouth as his eyes go completely black, but he does not seem to be able to say a word.
It is wonderful.”
“I want to know what’s going on in your brain. I want to juice your head like a lemon.”
“I hope it's not too forward of me to say, but your eyes are incredible, Lucy. I die when you blink.”
“How You Doing, Little Lucy?” His bright tone and mild expression indicates we’re playing a game we almost never play. It’s a game called How You Doing? and it basically starts off like we don’t hate each other. We act like normal colleagues who don’t want to swirl their hands in each other’s blood. It’s disturbing.
“Great, thanks, Big Josh. How You Doing?”
“Super. Gonna go get coffee. Can I get you some tea?” He has his heavy black mug in his hand. I hate his mug.
I look down; my hand is already holding my red polka-dot mug. He’d spit in anything he made me. Does he think I’m crazy? “I think I’ll join you.”
We march purposefully toward the kitchen with identical footfalls, left, right, left, right, like prosecutors walking toward the camera in the opening credits of Law & Order. It requires me to almost double my stride. Colleagues break off conversations and look at us with speculative expressions. Joshua and I look at each other and bare our teeth. Time to act civil. Like executives.
“Ah-ha-ha,” we say to each other genially at some pretend joke. “Ah-ha-ha.”
We sweep around a corner. Annabelle turns from the photocopier and almost drops her papers. “What’s happening?”
Joshua and I nod at her and continue striding, unified in our endless game of one-upmanship. My short striped dress flaps from the g-force.
“Mommy and Daddy love you very much, kids,” Joshua says quietly so only I can hear him. To the casual onlooker he is politely chatting. A few meerkat heads have popped up over cubicle walls. It seems we’re the stuff of legend. “Sometimes we get excited and argue. But don’t be scared. Even when we’re arguing, it’s not your fault.”
“It’s just grown-up stuff,” I softly explain to the apprehensive faces we pass. “Sometimes Daddy sleeps on the couch, but it’s okay. We still love you.”
“I always thought you’d live underground somewhere, near the earth’s core,”
“All I want to do is kiss you until I fall asleep. I want to slide in between your sheets, and find out what goes on inside your head, and underneath your clothes. I want to make a fool of myself over you.”
“I love him so much it's like a thread piercing me. Punching holes. Dragging through. Stitching love into me. I'll neve robe able to untangle myself from this feeling. The color of love is surely this robin's-egg blue.”
“He did not smile back, and somehow I feel like he’s been carrying my smile around in his breast pocket ever since. He’s one up.”
“Truth or Dare,” he says. He always knows the exact right thing to say.
“Coward. Okay, I dare you to eat the entire jar of hot mustard I have in my fridge.”
“I was hoping for a sexy dare.”
“I’ll get you a spoon.”
“Shyness takes so many different forms. Some people are shy and soft. Some, shy and hard. Or in Josh’s case, shy, and wrapped in military-grade armor. “Josh,”
“So, how was work? You clearly missed me.”
I put my hands on my face in embarrassment and he just laughs a bit to himself.
“It was boring.” It’s the truth.
“No one to antagonize, huh?”
“I tried abusing some of the gentle folk in payroll but they got all teary.”
“The trick is to find that one person who can give it back as good as they can take it.” He takes out a pan and begins to fry the vegetables in a single, stingy drop of oil.
“Sonja Rutherford, probably. That scary lady in the mailroom that looks like an albino Morticia Addams.”
“Don’t line my replacement up too quick. You’ll hurt my feelings.”
“The Kissing Game goes like this, Shortcake. Press, retreat, tilt, breathe, repeat. Use your hands to angle just right. Loosen up until it’s a slow, wet slide. Hear the drum of blood in your own ears? Survive on tiny puffs of air. Do not stop. Don’t even think about it. Shudder a sigh, pull back, let your opponent catch you with lips or teeth and ease you back into something even deeper. Wetter. Feel your nerve endings crackle to life with each touch of tongue. Feel a new heaviness between your legs. The aim of the game is to do this for the rest of your life. Screw human civilization and all it entails. This elevator is home now. This is what we do now. Do not fucking stop. He”
“He glances over his shoulder, no doubt hearing my insanely loud shoes stop in their tracks. Then he looks again. It’s a double take for the record books.
“I’m out stalking,” I call. It doesn’t come out the way I’d intended. It’s not lighthearted or funny. It comes out like a warning. I’m one scary bitch right now. I hold my hands up to show I’m not armed. My heart is racing.
“Me too,” he replies. Another cab cruises past like a shark.
“Where are you actually going?” My voice rings down the empty street.
“I just told you. I’m going out stalking.”
“What, on foot?” I come closer by another six paces. “You were going to walk?”
“I was going to run down the middle of the street like the Terminator.”
The laugh blasts out of me like bah.I’m breaking one of my rules by grinning at him, but I can’t seem to stop.
“You’re on foot, after all. Stilts.” He gestures at my sky-high shoes.
“It gives me a few extra inches of height to look through your garbage.”
“Find anything of interest?” He strolls closer and stops until we have maybe ten paces between us. I can almost pick up the scent of his skin.
“Pretty much what I was expecting. Vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, adult diapers.”
“How long have you done it?”
“Since the second day of B and G. The first day was a bit of a blur. I’ve always meant to compile some stats. Sorry. Saying it aloud sounds insane.”
“I wish I’d thought of doing it, if it makes you feel better. I’m equally insane.”
“You cracked the shirt code pretty quick.”
“Why do you even wear them in sequence?”
“I wanted to see if you noticed. And once you did notice, it pissed you off.”
“I’ve always noticed.”
“Yeah, I know.” He smiles, and I smile too. ”
“He advances like a floating Dracula. The menace is ruined by the sporting-goods-store bag loudly crinkling against his leg. A shoebox is in it, judging from the shape.
Imagine the wretched sales assistant who had to help Joshua choose shoes.I require shoes to ensure I can effectively run down the targets I am paid to assassinate in my spare time. I require the best value for my money. I am size eleven”
“He taught me things in the space of two minutes that the span of my lifetime did not.”
“I tug him down to lie on me properly. “I’m pretty heavy. I’ll flatten you.” “I’ve had a good life.”
“I’ve got so much inside me I have no idea about. I’m like the mayor of a city I’ve never seen.”
He smiles at my phrasing. “If you knew the kind of little miracles happening every moment you breathe in, you wouldn’t be able to handle it. A valve could close and not open; an artery could split, you could die. At any moment. It’s nothing but miracles inside your tiny city.” He presses a kiss to my temple.
“Holy shit.” I clutch at him.
“You wouldn’t believe the stats on people who go to bed one night and never wake up. Normal, healthy people who aren’t even old.”
“Why would you tell me this? Is this what you think about?”
There’s the longest pause. “I used to. Not so much anymore.”
“I think I preferred it when I thought I was full of white bones and red goo. Why am I now thinking about dying tonight?”
“Now you see why I can’t do small talk. ”
“He sits on the edge of the couch, his hair damp and ruffled in every direction. I turn the page and unfortunately a lurid diagram of an erect penis glares up at me. “I am trying to be a bit more normal.” He looks at the page. “How’s it working out so far?” “I’m glad this isn’t a pop-up book.”
“It’s going to happen, Josh. We just need to get it out of our systems. I think that’s what it’s all been building toward.”
“You sound a little resigned.”
“I can only apologize in advance for the things I’ll do to you.”
“How somebody can’t recognize their own eyes, I’ll never know.”
“I’m probably not good at a lot of things, but I will try to be”
“I type my password: IHATEJOSHUA4EV@. My previous passwords have all been variations on how much I hate Joshua. For Ever. His password is almost certainly IHateLucinda4Eva.”
“Dad calls you other names starting with J, but never your real name.”
“What?” He looks alarmed. “You’ve told your dad about me?”
“He’s mad at you for being so mean. Julian and Jasper and John. One time, he called you Jebediah and I nearly peed myself. You’d have to grovel to my dad, that’s for sure.”
Josh looks so disturbed I decide to cut him a break and change the subject.”
“I bring homemade cakes to my meetings with the division heads and they all adore me. I’m described as “worth my weight in gold.” Joshua brings bad news to his divisional meetings and his weight is measured in other substances.”
“What happened to you? Just get back from Never Never Land, Tinker Bell?” I hate him. “Don't”
“Ice hockey is a form of disorderly conduct in which the score is kept. ~ Doug Larson”
“If we stay aware and acknowledge the great mystery that is this life, we will see that we have been perfectly placed, in exactly the right position… to make all the difference in the world.”
“Well, there’s a shitstorm coming, Hayden. And we’re going to be right in the middle of it.”
“Everyone wishes to be saved, but few will use those means which religion prescribes.”
BookQuoters is a community of passionate readers who enjoy sharing the most meaningful, memorable and interesting quotes from great books. As the world communicates more and more via texts, memes and sound bytes, short but profound quotes from books have become more relevant and important. For some of us a quote becomes a mantra, a goal or a philosophy by which we live. For all of us, quotes are a great way to remember a book and to carry with us the author’s best ideas.
We thoughtfully gather quotes from our favorite books, both classic and current, and choose the ones that are most thought-provoking. Each quote represents a book that is interesting, well written and has potential to enhance the reader’s life. We also accept submissions from our visitors and will select the quotes we feel are most appealing to the BookQuoters community.
Founded in 2023, BookQuoters has quickly become a large and vibrant community of people who share an affinity for books. Books are seen by some as a throwback to a previous world; conversely, gleaning the main ideas of a book via a quote or a quick summary is typical of the Information Age but is a habit disdained by some diehard readers. We feel that we have the best of both worlds at BookQuoters; we read books cover-to-cover but offer you some of the highlights. We hope you’ll join us.