THERE was a curious social situation in Black Hawk. All the young men felt the attraction of the fine, well-set-up country girls who had come to town to earn a living, and, in nearly every case, to help the father struggle out of debt, or to make it possible for the younger children of the family to go to school.
It always takes a man that never made much at any thing to tell you how to run your business, though. Like these college professors without a whole pair of socks to his name, telling you how to make a million in ten years, and a woman that couldn't even get a husband can always tell you how to raise a family.
Each member of the family in his own cell of consciousness, each making his own patchwork quilt of reality - collecting fragments of experience here, pieces of information there. From the tiny impressions gleaned from one another, they created a sense of belonging and tried to make do with the way they found each other.
Hearing him talk about his mother, about his intact family, makes my chest hurt for a second, like someone pierced it with a needle.
Memory is the seamstress, and a capricious one at that. Memory runs her needle in and out, up and down, hither and thither. We know not what comes next, or what follows after. Thus, the most ordinary movement in the world, such as sitting down at a table and pulling the inkstand towards one, may agitate a thousand odd, disconnected fragments, now bright, now dim, hanging and bobbing and dipping and flaunting, like the underlinen of a family of fourteen on a line in a gale of wind.
I'm not prepared for Rue's family. Her parents, whose faces are still fresh with sorrow. Her fiver younger siblings, who resemble her so closely. The slight builds, the luminous brown eyes. They form a flock of small dark birds.
The girl wondered: These policemen... didn't they have families, too? Didn't they have children? Children they went home to? How could they treat children this way? Were they told to do so, or did they act this way naturally? Were they in fact machines, not human beings? She looked closely at them. They seemed of flesh and bone. They were men. She couldn't understand.
I miss you when you're not there. When you're happy, it makes me happy. But I could say the same thing about Charlie, Jacob. You're family. I love you, but I'm not in love with you.
When we were all getting ready to leave, I walked up to my grandfather and gave him a hug and kiss on the cheek. He wiped my lip print off with his palm and gave me a look. He doesn't like the boys in the family to touch him. But I'm very glad that I did it anyway in case he dies. I never got to do that with my Aunt Helen.
It's strange how pain marks our faces, and makes us look like family.
The core of any family is what is changeless, what is going to be there??shared vision and values.
I believe that. But I want you to know something - when it comes to all this enemies nonsense, I'm out. I am a neutral country. I am Switzerland. I refuse to be affected by territorial disputes between mythical creatures. Jacob is family. You are . . . well, not exactly the love of my life, because I expect to love you for much longer than that. The love of my existence. I don't care who's a werewolf and who's a vampire. If Angela turns out to be a witch, she can join the party, too.
Family history, of course, has its proper dietary laws. One is supposed to swallow and digest only the permitted parts of it, the halal portions of the past, drained of their redness, their blood. Unfortunately, this makes the stories less juicy...
Family isn't something that's supposed to be static, or set. People marry in, divorce out. They're born, they die. It's always evolving, turning into something else.
Times like this it did seem real I was leaving, and even more that my family, and this life, would go on without me. And again I felt that emptiness rise up, but pushed it away. Still, I lingered there, in the doorway, memorizing the noise. The moment. Tucking it away out of sight, to be remembered when I needed it most.
My name is Mary Katherine Blackwood. I am eighteen years old, and I live with my sister Constance. I have often thought that with any luck at all, I could have been born a werewolf, because the two middle fingers on both my hands are the same length, but I have had to be content with what I had. I dislike washing myself, and dogs, and noise. I like my sister Constance, and Richard Plantagenet, and Amanita phalloides, the death-cup mushroom. Everyone else in our family is dead.
Before i was jumped in i remember Lucky telling us how being in a gang was like having a second family... a family who would be there when your own family wasn't. They would offer protection and security. It sounded perfect to a kid who'd lost his father.
Everyone knows im perfect. My life is perfect. My clothes are perfect. Even my family is perfect. And although its a complete lie, i've worked my butt off to keep up the appearence that i have it all. The truth, if it were to come out, would destroy my entire picture-perfect image.
He has eyes so expressive they give a hint to more than what he portrays. He's dedicated to his friends, family, and even his motorcyle. He touched me as if I were made of glass. He kissed me as if he'd savor it for the rest of his life.
He had lived and acted on the assumption that he was alone, and now he saw that he had not been. What he had done made others suffer. No matter how much he would long for them to forget him, they would not be able to. His family was a part of him, not only in blood, but in spirit.
He remembered his home now, and that gave him new determination to succeed. He was fighting for two camps now -- two families.
Social responsibility above the level of family, or at most of tribe, requires imagination-- devotion, loyalty, all the higher virtues -- which a man must develop himself; if he has them forced down him, he will vomit them out.
No person ever died that had a family.
A stranger is shot in the street, you hardly move to help. But if, half an hour before, you spent just ten minutes with the fellow and knew a little about him and his family, you might just jump in front of his killer and try to stop it. Really knowing is good. Not knowing, or refusing to know is bad, or amoral, at least. You can't act if you don't know.
I don't care if your dad is the Sultan of Brunei. You happened to be born into a privileged family. What you do with that truth is completely up to you. I'm here because I want to be with you. But if I didn't, all the money in the world wouldn't have changed my feelings for you.
In our family, there was no clear line between religion and fly fishing. We lived at the junction of great trout rivers in western Montana, and our father was a Presbyterian minister and a fly fisherman who tied his own flies and taught others. He told us about Christ's disciples being fishermen, and we were left to assume, as my brother and I did, that all first-class fishermen on the Sea of Galilee were fly fishermen and that John, the favorite, was a dry-fly fisherman.
To be born, or at any rate bred, in a hand-bag, whether it had handles or not, seems to me to display a contempt for the ordinary decencies of family life that reminds one of the worst excesses of the French Revolution.
But no one walks out of his family without reprisals: a family is too disciplined an army to offer compassion to its deserters.
A family is one of nature's solubles; it dissolves in time like salt in rainwater.
We've pretended too much in our family, Luke, and hidden far too much. I think we're all going to pay a high price for our inability to face the truth.