Francesca Lia Block · 240 pages
Rating: (6.7K votes)
“But be careful; sand is already broken but glass breaks. The shoes are for dancing, not running away.”
“You must reach inside yourselves where I live like a story, not old, not young laughing at my own sorrow, weeping pearls at weddings, wielding a torch to melt sand into something clear and bright.”
“At least the girls in stories were alive before they died.”
“I think when you are born an angel should say to you, hopefully kindly and not in that fake voice of an airline attendant: Here you go on this long, long dream. Don’t even try to wake up. Just let it go until it is over. You will learn many things. Just relax and observe because there just is pain and that’s it mostly and you aren’t going to be able to escape no matter what. Eventually it will all be over anyway. Good Luck.”
“Besides, secretly, without knowing it herself, she had been waiting for a Beast to go to.”
“I'd sit around dreaming that the boys I saw at shows or at work - the boys with silver earrings and big boots - would tell me I was beautiful, take me home and feed me Thai food or omelets and undress me and make love to me all night with the palm trees whispering windsongs about a tortured gleaming city and the moonlight like flame melting our candle bodies.”
“She was no longer a slow dreamer watching the flowers grow. She was a warrior now. Warriors need something to fight for though, beside their lives, because otherwise their lives will not be worth it.”
“She had changed him. The ice was in his eyes and in his heart, like he had predicted with that song, but now they were deep embedded there, all the pain of the world. Not pain to make you feel for somebody else but pain to make you stop feeling.”
“She went out in the city with its lights like a radioactive phosphorescence, wandered through galleries where the high-priced art on the walls was the same as the graffiti scrawled outside by taggers who were arrested or killed for it, went to parties in hotel rooms where white-skinned, lingerie-clad rock stars had been staying the night their husbands shot themselves in the head, listened to music in nightclubs where stunning boyish actors had OD'd on the pavement.”
“I dreamed of being a part of the stories—even terrifying one, even horror stories—because at least the girls in stories were alive before they died.”
“Relieved because what I dreaded most in the whole world was going to happen and I wouldn’t have to live with it anymore—the fear.
There is the relief of finally not being alone and the relief of being alone when no one can take anything away from you. Here she was, my beautiful fear. Shiny as crystal lace frost.”
“But the woman came to her them. The woman with hair of red like roses, hair of white like snowfall. She was young and old. She was blind and could see everything. She spoke softly, in whispers, but her voice carried across the mountain ranges like sleeping giants, the cities lit like fairies and the oceans-undulating mermaids. She laughed at her own sorrow and wept pearls at weddings. Her fingers were branches and her eyes were little blue planets. She said, You cannot hide forever, though you may try. I've seen you in the kitchen, in the garden. I've seen the things you have sewn -curtains of dawn, twilight blankets and dresses for the sisters like a garden of stars. I have heard the stories you tell. You are the one who transforms, who creates. You will go out into the world and show others. They will feel less alone because of you, they will feel understood, unburdened by you, awakened by you, freed of guilt and shame and sorrow. But to share with them you must wear shoes, you must go out you must not hide, you must dance and it will be harder, you must face jealousy and sometimes rage and desire and love which can hurt most of all because of what can then be taken away.”
“Beauty loved him more than anything, her Beast boy, but, secretly, sometimes, she wished he would have remained a Beast.”
“She pushed the gardener away and called for them. In her sleep she had seen love. It was poisoning. It was possessing. Devouring. Or it was seven pairs of boots climbing up the stairs to find her.”
“Maybe one night I’ll be asleep and I’ll feel a hand like a dove on my cheekbone and feel her breath cool like peppermints and when I open my eyes my mom will be there like an angle, saying in the softest voice, When you are born it is like a long, long dream. Don’t try to wake up. Just go along until it is over. Don’t be afraid. You may not know it all the time but I am with you. I am with you.”
“He said, You're so tiny, like a doll, you look like you might break. I wanted him to break me. Part of me did.”
“She felt their envy and this broke her. The story ended, she couldn’t tell the rest, they’d hate her, she had to stop, she wasn’t any good, shut up you bad, bad, bad ugly girl and you don’t deserve any of this and so the spell was broken and she ran home through a tangle of words where the letters jumbled and made no sense and meant nothing, and the words were ugly and she was not to be heard or seen, she was blemished and too fat, too thin, not smart, too smart, not good, not a storyteller, not a creator, not a woman, not, not, not. All the things that girls feel they are not when they fear that if they become, if they are, they will no longer be loved by the sisters whose hearts have not meant to break. And besides, if the sisters are gone and only the beloved remains with his dense curls and his lips, how safe are you then? You have to have him or you will die if the sisters are gone with their listening ears and their feet to rub and their bodies to dress and their shared loneliness.”
“I pounded through the houses, staggering down the hallways, falling down the steps. It was a hot streaky dawn full of insecticides, exhaust, flowers that could make you sick or fall in love. My battered Impala was still parked there on the side of the road and I wanted to lie down on the shredded seats and sleep and sleep.
But I thought of the bones; I could hear them singing. They needed me to write their song.”
“Same old boring boring story America can’t stop telling itself. What is this sicko fascination? Every book and movie practically has to have a little, right? But why do you think all those runaways are on the streets tearing up their veins with junk and selling themselves so they can sleep in the gutter? What do you think the alternative was at home?”
“Yes, the Beast changed.
He spoke more now, and did not gaze at Beauty in the same intense, almost pained way, as if he were feeling every emotion she felt. He did not sigh in his sleep when she sighed and his stomach didn't growl when hers hurt. He could not read her thoughts anymore, and she could not read his. He seemed a bit more clumsy and guarded and distant, too. They no longer ran through the woods together, although they still walked there sometimes. They quarreled and raised their voices to each other once in a while. Each time, after they quarreled, Beauty bathed, combed the tangles from her hair, and began to wear shoes again for a few days.”
“The fairy who was not old, not young, who was red roses, white snowfall, who was blind and saw everything, who sent stories resounding through the universe said, You much reach inside yourself where I live like a story, not old, not young, laughing at my own sorrow, weeping pearls at weddings, wielding a torch to melt sand into something clear and bright.”
“All the things that girls feel they are not when they fear that if they become, if they are, they will no longer be loved by the sisters whose hearts they have not meant to break. And besides, if the sisters are gone and only the beloved remains with his dense curls and his lips, how safe are you then? You have to have him or you will die if the sisters are gone with their listening ears and their feet to rub and their bodies to dress and their shared loneliness.”
“Tinys do not deserve safety. If they are to prove themselves, they must suffer and die or suffer and survive.”
“I thought he had taken my soul, said Rev.
I thought he took mine, too. But no one can. It's just been sleeping.”
“They knew, though, she would not suffer as they had suffered. She was perfect. They were scarred.”
“Part of me wanted to swoon into nothing, but the other women’s bones were talking. I didn’t see the bones but I knew they were there, under the house. The little runaway bones of skinny, hungry girls who didn’t think they were worth much—anything—so they stayed after the party was over and let Derrick Blue tell them his stories. He probable didn’t even have to use much force on most of them.”
“She was free, still, like a child, the way it is before you are seen and then after that you can never remember who you are unless someone else shows it to you.”
“So the spell was broken and she ran home through a tangle of words where the letters jumbled and made no sense and meant nothing, and the words were ugly and she was not to be heard or seen, she was blemished and too fat, too thin, not smart, too smart, not beautiful, not a woman not not not. All the things that girls feel they are not when they fear that if they become, if they are, they will no longer be loved by the sisters whose hearts they have not meant to break.”
“I decided that travel was flight and pursuit in equal parts,”
“در حال و هوای سن ژرمن
وقتی در بلوار دیدم دور شدید، به خودم گفتم: خیلی احمقانه است، با زنی در خیابان برخورد می کنم، به او لبخند می زنم، او به من لبخند می زند و دیگر همدیگر را نمی بینیم... خیلی احمقانه است، حتی باید گفت پوچ و بی معنی است.”
“I frequently feel I'm being taken advantage of merely because I'm asked to do the work I'm paid to do.”
“The waitress's eyes were wide. "Beat you off?”
“I would have given my life for you," she whispered, sadly.
"Live," said the monk.
"You shall be revenged," said the fox. "The onmyoji who did this to you will learn what it means to take something from a fox.”
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