"My head hurts, my mouth hurts, my eyes hurt, my hands hurt. Things without names hurt."
"I want to see my eyes. I want to look beneath the surface of the pale green and see what's inside of me, what's within me, what I'm hiding. I start to look up but I turn away. I try to force myself but I can't."
"I cross my arms and begin rubbing my body. I get cold and a chill shoots up my spine. One second I want to cry, one second I want to kill, one second I want to die. I think about running but there's nowhere to run."
"I can hear the screams. The screams of the Addicted without their addictions. The screams of the dead who are somehow still alive."
"I remember staring at her, recklessly and obviously, eyes locked and loaded and unmoving, my eyes straight into her. I remember not knowing if she noticed. I had fallen deep and hard I had fallen. I didn't know if she noticed."
"It is a strong shaking sobbing wracking weeping, the weeping that comes from a wound that will never heal. I let him weep, leave him be with his memories and his loss and his pain. I would offer him comfort, but it wouldn't matter. The wounds that never heal can only be mourned alone."
"In here laughing is the only drug. Laughing or love. They are both drugs."
"Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner."
"She smiles. It's sweet, subtle smile. The type of smile that would break your heart if you stared too long."
"I take another breath, start to shake more, feel more scared. I hate the memories and I hate myself for creating them."
"They each say they love me. Not romantically but in the way people love when they have seen too much hard life and they have seen it together."
"You're all I've got, James. In the whole goddamn world, you're all I've got.
You've got yourself.
I wish that were enough, but it's not."
"His voice was lean and stiff, like the snap of a ruler on a desk."
2. “Children Of God Go Bowling” Shannon Olson. (292 pages.)
"You know, you might try just being considerate and thinking about someone else's feelings for once," my mother said sharply, with her hands on her hips.
"Fuck you!" I blurted.
She stared at me with wide eyes. I was waiting for a hand to fly up and slap me in the face. It did not. She left her hands on her hips and raised her chin defiantly.
"Young lady," she said, "I will not."
"The counselor believed that this was the root of my anger: anytime my fantasies about life didn't match up with reality, which was most of the time. Which meant I was angry a lot."
"She gives me her new, forced celebrity smile, which is the facial-muscular equivalent of I used to like you when you were small, but now I'm just tolerating you because we're related."
"I guess a lot of us didn't really believe he was gone. It's like he suddenly disappeared."
"The thing was, maybe I hadn't cried at Adam's funeral - maybe I was holding up so well, as my mother put it - because I hadn't yet figured out just what it was that I had lost."
"It's such a strange thing for someone just to be gone. And it doesn't take long before you begin to wonder if they were ever there. Or if they were a fantasy. Soon,, all you're left with are artifices of memory, based on something real, like a made-for-TV movie, or processed cheese."
3. “Where The Kissing Never Stops” Ron Koertge. (250 pages.)
"It's good you still have your sense of humor, unless these jokes are symptoms of a complete breakdown."
"There was no message from Rachel, and naturally, no Mom. There wasn't even dinner, just the empty oven ready for any passing suicide."
"Girls have all the breaks. They get to wait to be asked out, they get to say no all the time, and they have their famous periods.
I mean, there are mothers who cry for happiness when their daughters start. It's a regular celebration.
What does a guydo with his first hard-on? It's not like he runs to Dad and they shake hands enthusiastically and Dad hands over a bunch of condoms and says, "Now you're a man, son, because you've got this dandy tool. Treat it carefully. Don't stick it in a sheep or a blender, okay? And gosh darn it, your mother and I are real proud of you."
4. “Vicious Spring” Hollis Hampton-Jones. (200 pages.)
"He doesn't want me anymore.
He doesn't want me anymore.
He doesn't want me anymore, echoes in the air shaft. When I get used to it, it'll just be white noise."
"I don't really want to kill myself. I just want to die."
5. “Suicide Blonde” Darcey Steinke. (191 pages.)
"I didn't want to be one of those women addicted to indifference."
"I read their expressions as if I were reading the ingredients of a bottle of poison I swallowed by mistake."
"But any contentment with last night wore off like the fading charm of a hit song."
"There are a million ways to kill your off the soft parts of yourself."
"She had an animal sense that vulnerability is dangerous."
"Watching Madison talk I realized her coldness and cruelty were ways, known only to herself, of feeling more strongly than others."
"You'll see," she said. "Relationships are like wallpaper patterns, you think you're moving forward but you're always caught in your obsessions."
"After so many broken hearts, the really bloody kind - I've decided it's better to rely on memories. I sift mine, refine them, till they are like jewels in a black velvet bag."
"I couldn't stop him from going down. It was what he wanted. I could tell by the way he held his cigarette, how when he spoke he looked coldly through my head and into the next room."
"I'd been the little actress and had not lived the right life from the start."
"No one gained emotional power without someone else losing some."
"I saw myself in his sunglasses, transparent, helf together only by his gaze."
6. “Paper Wings” Marly Swick. (276 pages.)
"We were after all a generation raised on happy endings."
"Time seemed to move more slowly since I'd started wearing a watch. I was always glancing at it, surprised by how little time had passed since the last time I'd looked. And I was always asking my mother and father what time they had, worried that because mine was a kid's watch it was designed to tick faster so that I'd have to go to bed earlier."
"I liked my mother when she was slightly tipsy. She seemed to glow brighter, like a three-way bulb turned up a notch."
"The more beautiful you were, it seemed, the more likely you were to meet with a tragic end."
"Love thy neighbor as thyself - unless, of course, he wants to marry your daughter, heaven forbid."
"I didn't want to go back," she said. "After I went to live in Kansas City, that was that. I wanted a new life." She shook her head. "I didn't know then that there's no such thing as a new life. You know have one life."
7. “Tart” Jody Gehrman. (311 pages.)
"In theater, we're taught that people are only as interesting as their current crisis."
"Cynical? Maybe. I've earned my cynicism, though. I wear it like a Purple Heart."
"Cynical? Isn't observant a little more accurate?"
"Rosemarie never has worn a watch. I remember her patuently explaining when we were twelve that time didn't exist, and she refused to pretend it did."
"I've convinced myself that being flattened by a bus abruptly and painlessly is the best future I can hope for."
"It's funny how you don't notice what's missing from your life until you get a taste of it again.":
"My mother's voice always contains a potent mixture of bitterness and amusement."
"I wish I could cry like that. Her lungs must fill like little balloons, taking up half her body; I can hear her pausing for breath before a fresh shriek pierces the air. Babies cry like they're dying. When do we forget how to do that?"
8. “Blair Witch: The Secret Confession Of Rustin Parr” D.A. Stern. (150 pages.)
"He had the kind of voice you wanted to confess things to."
"The Church has an answer to that question: It is the devil who sits at our ear, urging us on to commit those wicked deeds. It is the devil who leads us down the garden path, as it were, and shows us the red, shining apple on the tree of knowledge.
It is the devil who shows us to the door beyond which evil lies.
Man must open that door himself."
9. “My Story” Amy Fisher. (276 pages.)
"Someone else put in this way: "Amy you have all the subtlety of a Mack truck."
Yeah: a Mack truck loaded with lit dynamite, with broken brakes, going 120 miles an hour toward a brick wall."
"Here's what I know: it doesn't take long for a girl to destroy her own life."
"If I am very quiet, I would think, maybe I will disappear. Maybe all the pain of this will go away."
"It was like banging your head against the wall 'cause it felt so good when you stopped."
10. “Bye Bye Baby: My Tragic Love Affair With The Bay City Rollers” Caroline Sullivan. (274 pages.)
Quote from it:
"He swore with relish, as if making up for lost time."
Total pages read: 2652