Did I help you toward a fate you didn't want, Alaska, or did I just assist in your willful self-destruction?
You have a choice in this world, I believe, about how to tell sad stories, and we made the funny choice.
But I could always tell in her eyes if she got really pissed at me, and her eyes were still pretty smiley.
Colin's skin was alive with the feeling of connection to everyone in that car and everyone not in it. And he was feeling not-unique in the very best possible way.
What i really want -- and what i never get -- is to be appreciated. do you know what it's like to work so hard to make sure everyone's happy, and to have not a single person recognize it.
I believe in hope, in what is something called radical hope. I believe there is hope for all of us, even amid the suffering. And that's why I write fiction, probably. It's my attempt to keep that fragile strand of radical hope, to build a fire in the darkness.
The missing piece in his stomach hurt so much-and eventually he stopped thinking about the Theorem and wondered only how something that isn't there can hurt you.
You can't know, sweetie, because you've never had a baby become a brilliant young reader with a side interest in horrible television shows, but the joy you bring us is so much greater than the sadness we feel about your illness.
I think it's crazy, crazy that book tours lose so much money. They shouldn't. Book tours should be part of what keeps independent bookstores vibrant and profitable.
Is that what relationships become? A reduced version of the hurt, nothing else let in. It was more than that. I know it was more than that.
That's what we should do, Hazel Grace: We should team up and be this disabled vigilante duo roaring through the world, righting wrongs, defending the weak, protecting the endangered.
You're amazing, and I so want to be your boyfriend, because of what you just said, and also because that shirt makes me want to take you home and do unspeakable things while we watch live-action Sailor Moon videos.
I pulled the oxygen tubes from my nostrils and raised the tube up over my head, handing it to Dad. I wanted it to be just me and just him.
Whenever I'm asked what advice I have for young writers, I always say that the first thing is to read, and to read a lot. The second thing is to write. And the third thing, which I think is absolutely vital, is to tell stories and listen closely to the stories you're being told.
A taste so profound and complex that it can't even be compared to other tastes, only to emotions. Cheesy waffles, I was thinking, tastes like love without the fear of love's dissolution.
The oldest pictures were faded and yellowing, and Colin thought about how even in pictures of their youth, old people look old.
She raised one leg and gave me all her weight as I dipped her. She either trusted me or wanted to fall.
The funny thing about writing is that whether you're doing well or doing it poorly, it looks the exact same. That's actually one of the main ways that writing is different from ballet dancing.
We have this weird thing in the world where you don't get insulted for what you do, you get insulted for who you are.
The nature of impending fatherhood is that you are doing something that you're unqualified to do, and then you become qualified while doing it.
His diaphragm fluttered. And of course it couldn't have been lust or love and it didn't feel like like, so it must have been what the kids at school called like-like.
And then something invisible snapped insider her, and that which had come together commenced to fall apart.
You shall love your neighbour
With your crooked heart,
It says so much about love and brokenness -- it's perfect.
A small olive-skinned creature who had hit puberty but never hit it very hard, Ben had been my best friend since fifth grade, when we both finally owned up to the fact that neither of us was likely to attract anyone else as a best friend.
Well, but you can eat Grandma's cookies. They're not bad for you. They were made by Grandma. Grandma wouldn't hurt you.
The sun was a toddler insistently refusing to go to bed.
The sun was a toddler insistently refusing to go to bed: It was past eight thirty and still light.
I wanted to tell her that I was getting better, because that was supposed to be the narrative of illness: It was a hurdle you jumped over, or a battle you won. Illness is a story told in the past tense.
We're going to get gored to death by a feral fugging hog and your best strategy is to pretend it's a grizzly bear?
There's no way of knowing that your last good day is Your Last Good Day. At the time, it is just another good day.
And even though I laughed with them, it felt like I was watching the whole thing from somewhere else, like I was watching a movie about my life instead of living it.
I'm just sucking food, water, money from the world, and all I'm giving back is, 'Hey, I'm really good at not'doing. Look at all the bad things I'm not doing.
I'm into math the way my nine-year-old self was into skateboarding. I talk about it a lot, and I think about it a lot, but I can't actually, like, do it.
Oh shit did you just dis the feminine gender
I'll pummel your ass then stick you in a blender
You think I like Tori and Ani so I can't rhyme
But I got flow like Ghostbusters got slime
Objectify women and it's fuckin' on
You'll be dead and gone like ancient Babylon.
I didn't know whether to trust Alaska, and I'd certainly had enough of her unpredictability -- cold one day, sweet the next; irresistibly flirty one moment, resistibly obnoxious the next. I preferred the Colonel: At least when he was cranky, he had a reason.
You had been a paper boy to me all these years -- two dimensions as a character on the page and two different, but still flat, dimensions as a person. But that night you turned out to be real.
I kept thinking there were two kinds of adults: There were...miserable creatures who scoured the earth in search of something to hurt. And then there were people like my parents, who walked around zombically, doing whatever they had to do to keep walking around.
I'm in love with you, and I'm not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things.
I'm in love with you, and I'm not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I'm in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout out into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we're all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we'll ever have, and I'm in love with you.
What the hell is instant? Nothing is instant. Instant rice takes five minutes, instant pudding an hour. I doubt that an instant of blinding pain feels particularly instantaneous.
That poem is so damned long. You'd think old Walt could have taken a line or two to tell us how to unscrew the door from its jamb.
All I have to do is stay in between the lines and make sure that no one is too close to me and I am not too close to anyone and keep leaving. Maybe it felt like this for her, too, but I could never feel like this alone.
And as paralyzing and upsetting as all the never agains were, the final leaving felt perfect. Pure. The most distilled possible form of liberation.
And as paralyzing and upsetting as all the never agains were, the final leaving felt perfect. Pure. The most distilled possible form of liberation. Everything that mattered except one lousy picture was in the trash, but it felt so great. I started jogging, wanting to put even more distance between myself and school.
It is so hard to leave--until you leave. And then it is the easiest goddamned thing in the world.
You can't just make me different, and then leave. Because I was fine before, Alaska. I was just fine with me and last words and school friends, and you can't just make me different and then die.
People always talk like there's a bright line between imagination and memory, but there isn't, at least not for me. I remember what I've imagined and imagine what I remember.
If I'm too old to be Emo, how do you account for the very Emo and very old Edgar Allan Poe? Checkmate!
In my opinion, actual heroism, like actual love, is a messy, painful, vulnerable business--and I wanted to try to reflect that.
You never think much about weather when it's good, but once it gets cold enough to see your breath you can't ignore it. The weather decides when you think about it, not the other way around.
I liked that he was a tenured professor in the Department of Slightly Crooked Smiles with a dual appointments in the Department of Having a Voice that Made My Skin Feel More Like Skin.
Look, let me just say it: He was hot. A nonhot boy stares at you relentlessly and it is, at best, awkward and, at worst, a form of assault. But a hot boy ... well.
I went on spouting bullshit Encouragements as Gus's parents, arm in arm, hugged each other and nodded at every word. Funerals, I had decided, are for the living.
Do you ever wonder whether people would like you more or less if they could see inside you? But I always wonder about that. If people could see me the way I see myself -- if they could live in my memories -- would anyone, anyone, love me?
Maybe the sure knowledge that she is alive makes all of that possible again--even if I never see proof of it. I can almost imagine a happiness without her, the ability to let her go, to feel our roots are connected even if I never see that leaf of grass again.
The clock was always punishing, but feeling like I was closer to unraveling the knots made time seem to stop entirely.
Maybe she had sat here in the cacophonous darkness and felt some kind of desperation take her over, and maybe she found it impossible to unthink the thought of death. I could imagine that, of course.
And finally it was too much. I could not talk myself down from the feeling, and the feeling became unbearable.
Yeah, well, she's known me since I was a baby. And she cares about us. But she also gets paid to care about us, you know? And if she didn't... I mean, she'd have to find a different job.
We think of infinity as a really big number, but it's not. It's endlessness. Endlessness is a really strange idea in a universe that is defined by its endings.
And even though he felt pitiful and ridiculous, he didn't want it to end, because he knew the absence of her would hurt more than any breakup ever could.
It was a lame string, for sure, but it was the one I had left and every paper girl needs at least one string, right?
Dumpers may not always be the heartbreakers, and the Dumpees may not always be the heartbroken. But everyone has a tendency.
Augustus Waters was sitting on the front step as we pulled into the driveway. He was holding a bouquet of bright orange tulips just beginning to bloom.
Support Group featured a rotating cast of characters in various states of tumor-driven unwellness. Why did the cast rotate? A side effect of dying.
I've stopped thinking about it. I don't have time to have a girlfriend. I have like a full-time job Learning How to Be Blind.
I go to seek a Great Perhaps. That's why I'm going. So I don't have to wait until I die to start seeking a Great Perhaps.
You gave me a forever within the numbered days and i can't tell you how thankful i am for our little infinity.
All at once, I couldn't figure out why I was methodically tossing a spherical object through a toroidal object. It seemed like the stupidest thing I could possibly be doing.
And the moral of the story is that you don't remember what happened. What you remember becomes what happened.
I know it's impossible for you to see your peers this way, but when you're older, you start to see them -- the bad kids and the good kids and all kids -- as people. They're just people, who deserve to be cared for.
The food was so good that with each passing course, our conversation devolved further into fragmented celebrations of its deliciousness:
'I want this dragon carrot risotto to become a person so I can take it to Las Vegas and marry it.
The fundamental mistake I had always made -- and that she had, in fairness, always led me to make -- was this: Margo was not a miracle. She was not an adventure. She was not a fine and precious thing. She was a girl.
I can almost imagine a happiness without her, the ability to let her go, to feel our roots are connected even if I never see that leaf of grass again.
I can almost imagine a happiness without her, the ability to let her go, to feel our roots are connected even if I never see that leaf of grass again.'
I am in the midst of a soliloquy! I wrote this out and memorized it and if you interrupt me I will completely screw it up,' Augustus interrupted. 'Please to be eating your sandwich and listening.
I love you present tense.
I love you present tense," I whispered, and then put my hand on the middle of his chest and said, "It's okay, Gus. It's okay. It is. It's okay, you hear me?" I had--and have--absolutely no confidence that he could hear me. I leaned forward and kissed his cheek. "Okay," I said. "Okay.
It's just that I learned a while ago that the best way to get people to like you is not to like them too much.
Thank you for explaining that my eye cancer isn't going to make me deaf. I feel so fortunate that an intellectual giant like yourself would deign to operate on me.
That's why I like you. Do you realize how rare it is to come across a hot girl who creates a adjectival version of the word pedophile? You are so busy being you that you have no idea how utterly unprecedented you are.
I wanted to know that he would be okay if I died. I wanted to not be a grenade, to not be a malevolent force in the lives of people I loved.
It's a metaphor, see: You put the killing thing right between your teeth, but you don't give it the power to do its killing.
And I kept thinking about how sky is a singular noun, as if it's one thing. But the sky isn't one thing. The sky is everything. And last night, it was enough.
I stood under the awning for a moment, but finally I decided that being in a bad mood with your friends beats being in a bad mood without them.
I do not say goodbye. I believe that's one of the bullshitiest words ever invented. It's not like you're given the choice to say bad-bye, or awful-bye, or couldn't-care-less-about-you-bye. Everytime you leave, it's supposed to be a good one.
By far the best cure for hangovers is not drinking excessively the night before.This cure has a 100% success rate, and as you save the cost of the drinks you would have otherwise drunk, it is cheaper than free.
I didn't really want to come back here and again have to feel like my lungs were drowning in this perverse nostalgia.
It seemed like forever ago, like we've had this brief but still infinite forever. Some infinities are bigger than other infinities.
While I did not fancy myself a particularly good person, I never thought my first real sexual action would be prostitutional.
Are you trying to be subtle? Because I know you're talking about the honeybunnyless prom tragedy that is my life.
And so much depends, I told Augustus, upon a blue sky cut open by the branches of the trees above. So much depends upon the transparent G-tube erupting from the gut of the blue-lipped boy. So much depends upon the observer of the universe.
You are my favorite person. I want to be buried next to you. we'll have a shared tombstone. It'll read, 'Holmesy and Daisy: They did everything together, except the nasty.
Collin Singleton could no more stay cool than a blue whale could stay skinny or Bangladesh could stay rich.
Where do you come up with these zingers, Clint? Do you own some kind of joke factory in Indonesia where you've got eight-year-olds working ninety hours a week to deliver you that kind of top-quality witticism? There are boy bands with more original material.
Surround yourself with people you like and make cool stuff with them. In the end, at least in my experience, what you do isn't going to be nearly as interesting or important as who you do it with.
You know what I hate? The outdoors. I mean, generally. I don't like outside. I'm an inside person. I'm all about refrigeration and indoor plumbing and Judge Judy.
I'm not from Indianapolis, but I like living in Indianapolis. If I were to explain it, I'd tell someone to imagine a city that perfectly captures the best and the worst of America. Imagine the truly American city, because that's what it is.
Oblivion is inevitable, and that we'are all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and i know the sun will swallow the only earth we'll ever have, and i am in love with you.
I've never known before what it feels like to want someone -- not to want to hook up with them or whatever, but to want them, to want them. And now I do. So maybe I do believe in epiphanies.
It was kind of a beautiful day, finally real summer in Indianapolis, warm and humid -- the kind of weather that reminds you after a long winter that while the world wasn't built for humans, we were built for the world.
He wanted to draw out the moment before the moment- because as good as kissing feels, nothing feels as good as the anticipation of it.
As far as I can tell, there are two basic (kissing) rules: 1. Don't bite anything without permission. 2. The human tongue is like wasabi: it's very powerful, and should be used sparingly.
It is very sad to me that some people are so intent on leaving their mark on the world that they don't care if that mark is a scar.
Maybe there is something you're afraid to say, or someone you're afraid to love, or somewhere you're afraid to go. It's gonna hurt. It's gonna hurt because it matters.
I don't understand why you're so obsessed with figuring out everything that happens here, like we have to unravel every mystery.
So I walked back to my room and collapsed on the bottom bunk, thinking that if people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane.
But that part of us greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail.
There is a part of her greater than the sum of her knowable parts. And that part has to go somewhere, because it cannot be destroyed.
Thomas Edison's last words were 'It's very beautiful over there'. I don't know where there is, but I believe it's somewhere, and I hope it's beautiful.
We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes and manifestations.
At some point, you just pull off the Band-Aid, and it hurts, but then it's over and you're relieved.
You can say a lot of bad things about Alabama, but you can't say that Alabamans as a people are duly afraid of deep fryers.
It's hard as hell to hold on to your dignity when the risen sun is too bright in your losing eyes, and that's what I was thinking about as we hunted for bad guys through the ruins of a city that didn't exist.
I was struck by an awful thought, the kind that cannot be taken back once it escapes into the open air of consciousness; it seemed to me that this was not a place you go to live. It was a place you go to die.
I will not tell you our love story, because--like all real love stories--it will die with us, as it should.
I would not be dying if it were not for her. I would have stayed home, as I have always stayed home, and I would have been safe, and I would have done the one thing I have always wanted to do, which is to grow up.
Right, well, he'd been sick for a while and his nurse said to him, 'You seem to be feeling better this morning,' and Isben looked at her and said, 'On the contrary,' and then he died.
I felt the unfairness of it, the inarguable injustice of loving someone who might have loved you back but can't due to deadness.
The abbreviated exam week meant that Wednesday was the last day of school for us. And all day long, it was hard not to walk around, thinking about the lastness of it all.
The pleasure of remembering had been taken from me, because there was no longer anyone to remember with. It felt like losing your co-rememberer meant losing the memory itself, as if the things we'd done were less real and important than they had been hours before.