Amelia Gray Quotes
“Why does the rain make us feel so romantic and strange? Maybe it's the fact that we are unnatural spectators of it, from inside our homes, and it is a reminder that we have the power to live our whole lives like this, if we choose. It's not the smell of fertile ground kicked up by raindrops, or the slick leaves, or the way we must amplify our voices to be heard over this larger presence. It's the power of the rooftop that makes us want to fuck under it.”
“They were in love! Carla wore her hair up and Andrew saw everything as a sign. They spent an entire afternoon sitting side by side in a coffee shop, taking more meaning than necessary from the world around them. A man wearing boxing gloves walked down the sidewalk in front of them and they took that to mean they would be together forever.”
“Unload your perishable and empty boxes. Give away old clothes and broken cookware. Crush the empty cans and load them with the yellow newspapers. Shred the sensitive documents. Discard fingernail clippings. Get rid of those photograph and letters. Offload the old enemies. A lighter life, at any price.”
“One day, everyone stopped over-thinking. We started thinking just as much as we should, and not any more than necessary. There was no more misunderstandings whatsoever. Minor disagreements were forgotten, not turned into proof of larger things. Trivial errors of speech or judgement were just as important as items on the breakfast menu: you chose waffles and I chose eggs and it was a god damn miracle.”
“The more bleach in the bedsheets, the greater Chastity's impulse to roll around in them. A party would be thrown, she decided, the kind that would tell a small story in the contents of the dustpan the next morning. Detached sequins and mint leaves muddled by high heels, shrimp tales mixed in with a few shards of broken glass, a crust of bread. She rolled in her bleached sheets until they wrapped around her like a storm, and she fell asleep in the eye of it.”
“In the kitchen he ate a pear. It occurred to him that, though he had eaten hundreds of pears in the past, if not thousands, this pear was different from every single one he had ever eaten, wholly unique, and, in fact, as he ate it, he was opening parts of the pear that had never been experienced by anyone, human or animal. When his maxillary incisors pierced the skin, which first protected the fruit as it had against the rain and sun and then yielded to the invasion, he was oxygenating particles that had never even been open to oxygen. The wet fruit and seeds had existed in darkness for their entire lives until he tore them out with his teeth.”
“Emily felt the sweet strains of paranoia drifting back. They told her to look over her shoulder, and when she did, they told her to check the lock on the door, and when she did that, they told her that her fears had meaning and depth, and that she was right to feel them. Each shadow meant something different and strange, an unfamiliar animal or a line of weapons. These visions were terrifying, but after they went away, she felt a strange kind of peace that those things existed in the world, that her world was powerful enough to conjure them. My world, she thought.”
“[Olive’s] left foot was bleeding through a wide swath of bandages onto the tarp it was resting on. The bowl next to her was full of blood.
Olive looked a little pale. “I don’t think I should move,” she said.
“What are you doing?” Roger shut the door behind him and stood with his back to it.
“I decided I might try to eat my toes,” Olive said, closing her eyes. “But now that I’ve started, I don’t think I should move.”
Roger pushed himself off the wall and knelt down next to her. He unbuckled her silver belt and reached with it under her dress. He looped the belt around the top of her leg and tightened it. His hands were not shaking.
“Sit on the loose end,” he said, pushing it under her. “I hope that works.”
“You brought flowers,” she said, blinking.
“Olive,” he said. “You cut off your toes.”
She looked down at the bowl. “Are they still toes?” she asked.”
“Remain Healthy All Day: Drink a spoonful of oil every morning. Reach up with your arms and extend your body to its full height. Use a warm towel to dry the cat. Consider a philosophical idea larger than your area of expertise. Avoid getting cancer. Chalk up bad decisions to outside influences. Don't take your father too seriously. Play a game where you close your eyes very tightly, and when you open your eyes, you have amnesia and you must draw the details of your life from your surroundings. Give up smoking, drinking, and poetic verse. Remind yourself how important you are to your friends or at least your animals. Wax the floor in socks. Enter into a healthy, monogamous relationship. Consider briefly the idea of a soulmate. Light an entire box of matches and throw it into the sink. Hold a metal rod to the heavens and beg for whatever comes next.”
“No domestic dispute between Franny and David had inspired the removal of their wedding rings. She would take hers off at work when she was giving scalp massages. Once she thought she had lost the ring, but she found it in the treatment room on a candleholder David had made for her during a personal failure of a pottery class he had taken the year he lost his job. After she found her ring, she started leaving it at home.”