“I also read that spending time with a pedophile can be like a drug high. There was this girl who said it’s as if the pedophile lives in a fantastic kind of reality, and that fantasticness infects everything. Kind of like they’re children themselves, only full of the knowledge that children don’t have. Their imaginations are stronger than kids’ and they can build realities that small kids would never be able to dream up. They can make the child’s world… ecstatic somehow. And when it’s over, for people who’ve been through this, it’s like coming off of heroin and, for years, they can’t stop chasing the ghost of how it felt. One girl said that it’s like the earth is scorched and the grass won’t grow back. And the ground looks black and barren but inside it’s still burning.”
“This isn't fair! This is sick! I can't be a little girl again! And now you're telling me I'm not allowed to be a woman!' I knew the most important thing was that I keep moving forward, that I leave the girl I was behind me, but now he wanted to stop me from doing so.”
“I was twelve and love burned in me like sap. Peter got down on his knees as though I was his goddess, as though I really was the only sound he could hear and I filled his head with miraculous ringing, as though I made him permanent, and for this he would always be grateful.”
“I was afraid that if I did anything at all without bartering for at least some small thing in return, he might think I enjoyed it, and not understand that I paid a huge price to myself.”
“Life for me had already lost much of its pulp; the edges were collapsing into the center, and in that gap was the sympathy Peter had sought all his life and never got from anyone. Or perhaps "sympathy" was the wrong word; what he was telling me was more confirmation of what I already understood in biblical terms: the bad Peter, under the influence of the Devil, did horrible things. His honesty was evidence that the good Peter was finally triumphing over the bad one, because to me, that was the whole point of confession -- to figure out where you've gone wrong and to stop sinning.”
“You used to say it was just me but now you're saying you did it with other girls before me. I thought I was special. You said you fell in love with me.' Thinking about this, I felt like a power source with too many of its outlets in use, like my whole brain was having a blackout.”
“That dark, dingy, cobwebbed basement had taken all my life from me. That place was where I gave myself up, destroyed my own will for him, and now it was gone. My will was dead, so I might as well be dead.”
“what good did these visits do? My mother wasn’t cured by them but Poppa continued to insist I make appearances because that was the only thing he cared about: appearances. We could both die and his prime concern would probably be burying us with the right makeup. He was burying me right now. And these psychiatrists and nurses were no better than Poppa. They kept up their sick smiles and, instead of looking for a real solution, just kept stuffing her with drugs that never worked.”
“This, O my Best Beloved is a story – a new and wonderful story – a story quite different from the other stories”
“If we can only speak to slander our betters, let us hold our tongues.”
“DeBlass's eyes darted left and right. His breathing grew hard and fast.
"My client does not acknowledge ownership of the weapon in question."
"Your client's scum."
The lawyer puffed up. "Lieutenant Dallas, you're speaking of a United States Senator."
"That makes him elected scum.”
“Damon’s voice was no louder than before. “Get away from my brother.” Bonnie could feel it inside him, a swell of Power like a tsunami. He continued, “Before I tear your heart out.”
“After the first difficulties in Rochester, New York, I was asked to consult with community leaders. I went and spoke for quite a long time. The leaders were concerned and sincere men. The first question one of them asked after I talked was: “Well, Mr. Griffin, what is the first thing we should do now?” I told him that I had been asked to come and consult with community leaders, and yet I was sitting in a room full of white men. The white man who had asked the question slapped his forehead in real chagrin. “It never occurred to me to ask any of them," he said apologetically.”
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