I stand on the corner, pretending I am a tree.
Neither of us says the word love, not once. It would be tempting fate; it would be romance, bad luck.
There is something powerful in the whispering of obscenities, about those in power. There's something delightful about it, something naughty, secretive, forbidden, thrilling. It's like a spell, of sorts. It deflates them, reduces them to the common denominator where they can be dealt.
You can only be jealous of someone who has something you think you ought to have yourself.
I used to think of my body as an instrument, of pleasure, or a means of transportation, or an implement for the accomplishment of my will.
Night falls. Or has fallen. Why is it that night falls, instead of rising, like the dawn? Yet if you look east, at sunset, you can see night rising, not falling; darkness lifting into the sky, up from the horizon, like a black sun behind cloud cover. Like smoke from an unseen fire, a line of fire just below the horizon, brushfire or a burning city. Maybe night falls because it's heavy, a thick curtain pulled up over the eyes. Wool blanket.
There's always something to occupy the inquiring mind.
You can think clearly only with your clothes on.
I want to be held and told my name. I want to be valued, in ways that I am not; I want to be more than valuable. I repeat my former name; remind myself of what I once could do, how others saw me. I want to steal something
Nolite te bastardes carborundorum.
These albums were thick with babies, but my replicas thinned out as I grew older, as if the population of my duplicates had been hit with some plague.
You can wet the rim of a glass and run your finger around the rim and it will make a sound. This is what I feel like: this sound of glass. I feel like the word shatter. I want to be with someone.
I would like to believe this is a story I'm telling. I need to believe it. I must believe it. Those who can believe that such stories are only stories have a better chance. If it's a story I'm telling, then I have control over the ending. Then there will be an ending, to the story, and real life will come after it. I can pick up where I left off.
Nolite te bastardes carborundorum. Don't let the bastards grind you down.
These days I script whole fights, in my head, and the reconciliations afterwards, too.
Don't let the bastards grind you down.
I´ll take care of it, Luke said. And because he said it instead of her, I knew it meant kill. That is what you have to do before you kill, I thought. You have to create an it, where none was before. You do that first, in your head, and then you make it real. So that´s how they do it, I thought. I seemed never to have known that before.
Nothing changes instantaneously: in a gradually heating bathtub you'd be boiled to death before you knew it.
These things you did were like prayers; you did them and you hoped they would save you. And for the most part they did. Or something did; you could tell by the fact that you were still alive.
Faith is only a word, embroidered.
If I thought this would never happen again I would die. But this is wrong, nobody dies from lack of sex. It's lack of love we die from.
On these occasions I read quickly, voraciously, almost skimming, trying to get as much into my head as possible before the next long starvation. If it were eating it would be gluttony of the famished; if it were sex it would be a swift furtive stand-up in an alley somewhere.
They seemed to be able to choose. We seemed to be able to choose, then. We were a society dying of too much choice.
Fatigue is here, in my body, in my legs and eyes. That is what gets you in the end. Faith is only a word, embroidered.
If you worked out enough, maybe the man would too. Maybe you would be able to work it out together, as if the two of you were a puzzle that could be solved; otherwise, one of you, most likely the man, taking his addictive body with him and leaving you with bad withdrawal, which you could counteract by exercise. If you didn't work it out it was because one of you had the wrong attitude.
One and one and one and one doesn't equal four. Each one remains unique, there is no way of joining them together. They cannot be exchanged, one for the other. They cannot replace each other.
He stops, looks up at this window, and I can see the white oblong of his face. We look at each other. I have no rose to toss, he has no lute. But it's the same kind of hunger.
Ignoring isn't the same as ignorance, you have to work at it.
Ordinary, said Aunt Lydia, is what you are used to. This may not seem ordinary to you now, but after a time it will. It will become ordinary.
Truly amazing, what people can get used to, as long as there are a few compensations.
Here and there are worms, evidence of the fertility of the soil, caught by the sun, half dead; flexible and pink, like lips.
It isn't running away they're afraid of. We wouldn't get far. It's those other escapes, the ones you can open in yourself, given a cutting edge.
Perhaps he's reached that state of intoxication which power is said to inspire, the state in which you believe you are indispensable and can therefore do anything, absolutely anything you feel like, anything at all.
Waste not want not. I am not being wasted. Why do I want?
His mouth is on me, his hands, I can't wait and he's moving, already, love, it's been so long, I'm alive in my skin, again, arms around him, falling and water softly everywhere, never-ending.
It was like being in an elevator cut loose at the top. Falling, falling, and not knowing when you will hit.
That is what you have to do before you kill, I thought. You have to create an it, where none was before.
We are a society dying, said Aunt Lydia, of too much choice.
How easy it is to invent a humanity, for anyone at all.
It's his word against the Commander's, unless he wants to head a posse. Kick in the door, and what did I tell you? Caught in the act, sinfully Scrabbling. Quick, eat those words.
That was when they suspended the Constitution. They said it would be temporary. There wasn't even any rioting in the streets. People stayed home at night, watching television, looking for some direction. There wasn't even an enemy you could put your finger on.
We lived, as usual by ignoring. Ignoring isn't the same as ignorance, you have to work at it.
I am in a room where things once happened and now nothing does, except for the pollen of the weeds that grow up outside the window, blowing in as dust across the floor.
It's impossible to say a thing exactly the way it was, because of what you say can never be exact, you always have to leave something out, there are too many parts, sides, crosscurrents, nuances; too many gestures, which could mean this or that, too many shapes which can never be fully described, too many flavors, in the air or on the tongue, half-colors, too many.
The bell that measures time is ringing
We slept in what had once been the gymnasium.
I am not your justification for existence.
I've learned to do without a lot of things. If you have a lot of things, said Aunt Lydia, you get too attached to this material world and you forget about spiritual values.
The body is so easily damaged, so easily disposed of, water and chemicals is all it is, hardly more to it than a jellyfish drying on sand.
More Margaret Atwood Quotations (Based on Topics)
Love - Man - Woman - Time - Mind - Power - God - Body - Education - Nature - Water - Life - Future - People - Light - Death & Dying - Faces - Thought & Thinking - Money & Wealth - View All Margaret Atwood Quotations
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