"We're so inconsistent about what we let kill ya. "Smoking? Must be eradicated. Marijuana? Zero tolerance." But there's lots of ways to kill yourself. You know what I think kills you? Stress, and being a workaholic, and never getting laid, and, uh, McDonalds, and staying mad at people, and lying for a living, and three-martini lunches, and the all-American breakfast, and whatever the fuck Elvis was doing. That's what kills you."
"I don't even want to be rich I just want to be alone."
“Perhaps they were right putting love into books. Perhaps it could not live anywhere else.”
"Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.”
“I had no motives, no incentives to exert myself, no duties. Life tasted horribly bitter. I felt that the long-standing disgust was coming to a crisis and that life pushed me out and cast me aside. I walked through the grey streets in a rage and everything smelt of moist earth and burial… How had I, with the wings of youth and poetry, come to this? Art and travel and the glow of ideals—and now this! How had the paralysis crept over me so slowly and furtively, this hatred against myself and everybody, this deep-seated anger and obstruction of all feelings, this filthy hell of emptiness and despair.”
--Hermann Hesse, 'Steppenwolf'
“It’s not all bad. Heightened self-consciousness, apartness, an inability to join in, physical shame and self-loathing—they are not all bad. Those devils have been my angels. Without them I would never have disappeared into language, literature, the mind, laughter and all the mad intensities that made and unmade me.”
“How does one become a butterfly?” she asked pensively. ”You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.”
“I, with a deeper instinct, choose a man who compels my strength, who makes enormous demands on me, who does not doubt my courage or my toughness, who does not believe me naive or innocent, who has the courage to treat me like a woman.”
"I am an invisible man. No, I am not a spook like those who haunted Edgar Allan Poe; nor am I one of your Hollywood-movie ectoplasms. I am a man of substance, or flesh and bone, fiber and liquids--and I might even be said to possess a mind. I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me. Like the bodiless heads you see sometimes in circus sideshows, it is as though I have been surrounded by mirrors of hard, distorting glass. When they approach me they see only my surroundings, themselves, or figments of their imagination--indeed, everything and anything except me."
“I do not wish to expiate, but to live. My life is not an apology, but a life. It is for itself and not for a spectacle. I much prefer that it should be of a lower strain, so it be genuine and equal, than that it should be glittering and unsteady. I wish it to be sound and sweet, and not to need diet and bleeding. My life should be unique; it should be an alms, a battle, a conquest, a medicine.”
--Ralph Waldo Emerson, 'Self-Reliance'
“It wasn’t until I started reading and found books they wouldn’t let us read in school that I discovered you could be insane and happy and have a good life without being like everybody else.”
“I have never liked working. To me a job is an invasion of privacy.”
--Danny Mc Goorty
"Tell the story of your life, and somewhere along the line take off your pants."
“They make it look so easy, connecting with another human being. It’s like no one told them it’s the hardest thing in the world.”
“The chill of what I won’t feel gnaws at my present heart.”
“My soul is impatient with itself, as with a bothersome child; its restlessness keeps growing and is forever the same. Everything interests me, but nothing holds me. I attend to everything, dreaming all the while.”
“Your own nature will triumph. We are all born with our natures…And I think back over my own life and I realize that my own nature -the core me- essentially hasn’t changed over all these years. When I wake up in the morning, for those first few moments before I remember where I am or when I am, I still feel the same way I did when I woke up at the age of five.”
“I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing, as though I had wings.”
--Mary Oliver, 'Starlings in Winter'
“Sometimes I come to hate people because they can’t see where I am. I’ve gone empty, completely empty and all they see is the visual form: my arms and legs, my face, my height and posture, the sounds that come from my throat. But I’m fucking empty. The person I was just one year ago no longer exists, drifts spinning slowly into the ether somewhere way back there.”
“Because there was a hunger in me to see everything and do everything. I wanted to be everyone I saw. I wasn’t enough for me.”
“Words, I think, words are all you need for love—you say them and then just for the hell of it your heart rises and spills over into them. My idea in a love affair is that if everyone makes enough declarations, one of them is bound to come true. Words are interesting in that way.”
--Lorrie Moore, 'Anagrams'
“Develop an interest in life as you see it; the people, things, literature, music - the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself.”
"I am the most tired woman in the world. I am tired when I get up. Life requires an effort I cannot make. Please give me that heavy book. I need to put something heavy like that on top of my head. I have to place my feet under the pillows always, so as to be able to stay on earth. Otherwise I feel myself going away, going away at a tremendous speed, on account of my lightness. I know that I am dead. As soon as I utter a phrase my sincerity dies, becomes a lie whose coldness chills me. Don’t say anything, because I see that you understand me, and I am afraid of your understanding. I have such a fear of finding another like myself, and such a desire to find one! I am so utterly lonely, but I also have such a fear that my isolation be broken through, and I no longer be the head and ruler of my universe.”