Adam Berlin Quotes
“And I'd noticed her eyes, the lightest blue, and alive, moving here and there and then staring straight on. And now there's darkness under her eyes like she hasn't slept well for too many days, almost like someone punched her just hard enough to leave a little black, a quarter-moon smudge under each eye.”
“He can hit a man in the liver so the blood flow stops. It takes a full second before the pain registers and the man falls. I've seen Billy hook men's livers and punch at their hearts. I've seen him break a man's nose in the ring, shatter an eardrum, close an eye. I've seen him hit a man so hard, fist to jaw, the man seemed to fall asleep before he fell, his body so relaxed his face looked calm even when his head slammed against canvas.”
“He wanted to break me, the me I'd made, the me I'd needed to make, my need, mine, my whole life since I could remember. I didn't want to hear him that night. When I was ready to change I'd change. When life opens up before you, when you don't really know death ... it's easy to promise yourself change. Keeping the lines hard, the parts of me separate, was what I knew, how I lived.”
“The digging continues ... Ground Zero it looks more and more like a construction site. Too much of the horror is gone. No fire. No smoke ... What was war becomes peace, becomes peaceful. But in the coil of my testicles there's an angry residue and in places I can't even name, places inside my throat and behind my chest, I'm sad, and sometimes worse than sad, less than sad, a cavity of empty.”
“I turn the water all the way hot, turn my back to the water, and I take it. I close my eyes and I'm on the hundredth floor with the jet-fuel fire at my back and the drop below. I take it and take it until I can't take it, until the heat takes over everything, and I jump, plummeting to the street
I'm out of the shower.
I turn my back to the mirror and look at the too-red skin behind my shoulder blades. The wind blows north and the smoke is here. Then the wind shifts and you can't smell a thing. Then the wind shifts again. Now you smell it, now you don't.”
“She takes another sip of her drink. She looks around the bar. I look at the fine muscles in her neck, at the two points of her clavicle. Her grief has not so much changed her as stripped her down, stripped her body and her face. Maybe she should do what I do. She could stand next to me and the students could draw our lines. I order another bourbon, count the count.”
- Born: Berkeley, California, The United States.
- Description: Adam Berlin is the author of the post-9/11 novel The Number of Missing (Spuyten Duyvil), the boxing novel Both Members of the Club (Texas Review Press/ winner of the Clay Reynolds Novella Prize), Belmondo Style (St. Martin’s Press/winner of the Publishing Triangle’s Ferro-Grumley Award) and Headlock (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill). His stories and poetry have appeared in numerous journals. He teaches writing at CUNY’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City and co-edits the literary mag J Journal: New Writing on Justice. For more, please visit adamberlin.com