“Never. Never ask for what ought to be offered.”
“The heart's in it then, spinning dreams, and torment is on the way. The heart makes dreams seem like ideas.”
“You got to be ready to die every day - then you got a chance.”
“The heart makes dreams seem like ideas.”
“Long, dark, and lovely she had been, in those days before her mind broke and the parts scattered and she let them go.”
“Pine trees with low limbs spread over fresh snow made a stronger vault for the spirit than pews and pulpits ever could.”
“This is how sudden things happened that haunted forever.”
“Ree, brunette and sixteen, with milk skin and abrupt green eyes, stood bare-armed in a fluttering yellowed dress, face to the wind, her cheeks reddening as if smacked and smacked again.”
“Love and hate hold hands always so it made natural sense that they'd get confused by upset married folk in the wee hours once in a while and a nosebleed or bruised breast might result. But it just seemed proof that a great foulness was afoot in the world when a no-strings roll in the hay with a stranger led to chipped teeth or cigarette burns on the wrist.”
“Fading light buttered the ridges until shadows licked them clean and they were lost to nightfall.”
“Nobody here wants to be awful," he said. He hopped a little as he zipped up. "It's just nobody here knows all the rules yet, and that makes a rocky time.”
“I said shut up once already, with my mouth.”
“She would never cry where her tears might be seen and counted against her.”
“The first time Ree kissed a man it was not a man, but Gail acting as a man, and as the kissing progressed and Gail acting as a man pushed her backwards onto a blanket of pine needles in shade and slipped her tongue deep into Ree's mouth, Ree found herself sucking on the wiggling tongue of a man in her mind, sucking that plunging tongue of the man in her mind until she tasted morning coffee and cigars and spit leaked from between her lips and down her chin. She opened her eyes then and smiled, and Gail yet acting the man roughed up her breasts with grabs and pinches, kissed her neck, murmuring and Ree said, "Just like that! I want it to be just like that!" There came three seasons of giggling and practice, puckering readily anytime they were alone, each being the man and the woman, each on top and bottom, pushing for it with grunts or receiving it with signs. The first time Ree kissed a boy who was not a girl his lips were soft and timid on hers, dry and unmoving, until finally she had to say it and did, "Tongue, honey, tongue," and the boy she called honey turned away saying, "Yuck!”
“The men came to mind as mostly idle between nights of running wild or time in the pen, cooking moon and gathering around the spout, with ears chewed, fingers chopped, arms shot away, and no apologies grunted ever. The women came to mind bigger, closer, with their lonely eyes and homely yellow teeth, mouths clamped against smiles, working in the hot fields from can to can't, hands tattered rough as dry cobs, lips cracked all winter, a white dress for marrying, a black dress for burying, and Ree nodded yup. Yup.”
“The Dolly's around here can't be seen to coddle a snitch's family --- that's the always been our way. We're old blood, us people, and our ways was set firm long before hot shot baby Jesus ever even burped milk'n sh*& yellow.”
“That water's colder'n hell!"
That's what makes it good. That's what makes it help all your bruises'n bumps'n stuff."
It's colder'n a goddam witch's tit in there!”
“Gail had a baby named Ned who was four months old, and a new look of baffled hurt, a left-behind sadness, like she saw that the great world kept spinning onward and away while she'd overnight become glued to her spot.”
“He was almost twenty and Ree knew most girls would call him handsome or dreamy or some such. Sandy hair, blue eyes, put together strong, with bright teeth and one of those smiles.”
“Ree Dolly stood at the break of day on her cold front steps and smelled coming flurries and saw meat. Meat hung from trees across the creek. Carcasses hung pale of flesh with fatty gleam from low limbs of saplings in the side yards. Three halt haggard houses formed a kneeling rank on the far creekside and each had two or more skinned torsos dangling by rope from sagged limbs, venison left to the weather for two nights and three days so the early blossoming of decay might round the flavor, sweeten that meat to the bone.”
“Ree followed a path made by prey uphill through scrub, across a bald knob and downhill into a section of pine trees and pine scent and that pious shade and silence pines create. Pine trees in low limbs spread over fresh snow made a stronger vault for the spirit than pews and pulpits ever could.”
“Moons of ache glowed in spaces of her meat and when she moved the moons banged together and stunned.”
“Ree sat chilled inside her squat tent. To occupy her mind, she decided to name all the Miltons: Thump, Blond, Catfish, Spider, Whoop, Rooster, Scrap… Lefty, Dog, Punch, Pinkeye, Momsy… Cotton, Hog-jaw, Ten Penny, Peashot…”
“When the mushrooms took hold she sensed some of the gods calling to her from inside her own chest and followed their urging outside into the yard and up the sunny slope into the trees. She felt all gooey, gooey with the slobbered love of various gods gathered within, and smiling full-time went about the woods looking to collect butterflies and pet them until they gave milk, or maybe roll in the dirt until she felt China through her skin.”
“This floor, here? I remember when this floor here used to get to jumpin' like a fuckin' bunny from all the dancin'. Everybody dancin' around all night, stoned out of their minds - and it always was the happy kind of stoned back then.”
“Thump Milton loomed over Ree, a fabled man, his face a monument of Ozark stone, with juts and angles and cold shaded parts the sun never touched.”
“Ree needed often to inject herself with pleasant sounds, stab those sounds past the constant screeching, squalling hubbub regular life raised inside her spirit, poke the soothing sounds past that racket and down deep where her jittering soul paced on a stone slab in a gray room, agitated and endlessly provoked but yearning to hear something that might bring a moment’s rest.”
“As the frosty bits dwindled the wind slowed and big snowflakes began falling as serenely as anything could fall the distance from the sky. Ree listened to lapping shores while snowflakes gathered on her. She sat unmoving and let snow etch her outline in deepening clean whiteness. The valley seemed in twilight though it was not yet noon. The three houses across the creek put on white shawls and burning lights squinted golden from the windows. Meat still hung from limbs in the side yards, and snow began clinging to the limbs and meat. Ocean waves kept sighing to shore while snow built everywhere she could see.”
“I'd get lost without the weight of you two on my shoulders.”
“She leaned forward, her gaze so intense that Helen wanted to look away. “And I love him more for it. Do you hear me? He was a good man when he went away to the Colonies. He came back an extraordinary man. So many think that bravery is a single act of valor in a field of battle—no forethought, no contemplation of the consequences. An act over in a second or a minute or two at most. What my brother has done, is doing now, is to live with his burden for years. He knows that he will spend the rest of his life with it. And he soldiers on.” She sat back in her chair, her gaze still locked with Helen’s. “That to my mind is what real bravery is.”
-Sophia to Helen about Alistair.”
“¿A poco no somos los meros chingones? ¿Sabes? Escoge siempre a tus amigos entre los grandes chingones, porque con ellos no hay quien te chingue a ti.”
“That’s why I write, because life never works except in retrospect. And writing makes you look back. Because since you can’t control life, at least you can control your version.”
“You lit all these candles..." She glanced at them, then back at him.
"I wanted it to be special."
"Any time we're naked in a bedroom together is special to me.”
“I feel like a giant Barbie."
"I do not become romantically involved with plastic people," said Tybalt dryly.”
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