Michael Marshall Smith Quotes
“How many times have you tried to talk to someone about something that matters to you, tried to get them to see it the way you do? And how many of those times have ended with you feeling bitter, resenting them for making you feel like your pain doesn't have any substance after all?
Like when you've split up with someone, and you try to communicate the way you feel, because you need to say the words, need to feel that somebody understands just how pissed off and frightened you feel. The problem is, they never do. "Plenty more fish in the sea," they'll say, or "You're better off without them," or "Do you want some of these potato chips?" They never really understand, because they haven't been there, every day, every hour. They don't know the way things have been, the way that it's made you, the way it has structured your world. They'll never realise that someone who makes you feel bad may be the person you need most in the world. They don't understand the history, the background, don't know the pillars of memory that hold you up. Ultimately, they don't know you well enough, and they never can. Everyone's alone in their world, because everybody's life is different. You can send people letters, and show them photos, but they can never come to visit where you live.
Unless you love them. And then they can burn it down.”
“When you're born a light is switched on, a light which shines up through your life. As you get older the light still reaches you, sparkling as it comes up through your memories. And if you're lucky as you travel forward through time, you'll bring the whole of yourself along with you, gathering your skirts and leaving nothing behind, nothing to obscure the light. But if a Bad Thing happens part of you is seared into place, and trapped for ever at that time. The rest of you moves onward, dealing with all the todays and tomorrows, but something, some part of you, is left behind. That part blocks the light, colours the rest of your life, but worse than that, it's alive. Trapped for ever at that moment, and alone in the dark, that part of you is still alive.”
“You love because you want to need someone the way you did when you were a child, and have them need you too. You eat well because the intensity of taste reminds you of a need satisfied, a pain relieved. The finest paintings are nothing more than the red head of a flower, nodding in the breeze, when you were two years old; the most exciting film is just the way everything was, back in the days when you stared goggle-eyed at the whirling chaos all around you. All these things do is get the adult to shut up for a while, to open for just a moment a tiny sliding window in the cell deep inside, letting the pallid child peep hungrily out and drink the world in before darkness falls again.”
“You know when you've got nothing in particular to do, nothing to stay awake for? When your life is just routine and it doesn't feel like it belongs to you, how you feel tired and listless and everything seems like too much effort?
Well, it's like that, but it's much worse, because everything is much worse these days. Everything that's bad is worse, believe me. There are whole Neighborhoods out there where no one has anything to do all their lives. They're born, and from the moment they hit the table, there's nothing to do. They clamber to their feet occasionally, realize there's nothing to do and sit down again. They grow up, and there's nothing to do; they grow up, and there's still nothing. They spend their whole lives indoors, in armchairs, in bed, wondering who they are.”
“To other cities, other machines, other forests of buildings of concrete where other men and women missed the stars at night and tended small plants on windowsills and kept tiny dogs and took them for walks along corridors in the endless procession of boxes and intersections and lights; where they rented space in other peoples's property so they had somewhere to sleep so they could get up and perform profit-related tasks they neither understood nor cared about, simply so they would be given the tokens of exchange they needed in order to rent the space in which they slept and snarled and watched television until finally some of them slipped out of the window and ran howling down the dark streeets, throwing off a numbness handed down from a society that was itself trapped in fracture and betrayal and despair; the lonely insane in a culture turning into a Christmas bauble, gaudy beauty wrapped around an emptiness coalescing faster and faster into parking lots and malls and waiting areas and virtual chat rooms--non places where nobody knew anything about anybody anymore.”
“I once met a woman who'd been in therapy... and it seemed like the big thing she'd learned was to ignore everything she thought in the first hour of the day. That's when the negative stuff will try to bring you down, she said, and she was right about that but not much else. You come back from the night with your head and your soul empty, and bad things try to fill you up. There's a lot to get exercised about, if you let it. But if you've got a task, something to fill your head and move your limbs, by the time you've finished it the day has begun ands you're onto the next thing. You're over the hump, like I said.”
“When you meet someone you love, then you change for good. That’s why the other person will never know or understand the earlier you, and why you can never change back. And why, when that person starts to go, you’ll feel the tear deep in your heart long before your head has the slightest clue what’s going on.”
Michael Marshall Smith
- Born: in Knutsford, Cheshire, The United Kingdom.
- Description: Michael Marshall (Smith) is a bestselling novelist and screenwriter. His first novel, ONLY FORWARD, won the August Derleth and Philip K. Dick awards. SPARES and ONE OF US were optioned for film by DreamWorks and Warner Brothers, and the Straw Men trilogy - THE STRAW MEN, THE LONELY DEAD and BLOOD OF ANGELS - were international bestsellers. His most recent novels are THE INTRUDERS, BAD THINGS and KILLER MOVE. He is a four-time winner of the BFS Award for short fiction, and his stories are collected in two volumes - WHAT YOU MAKE IT and MORE TOMORROW AND OTHER STORIES (which won the International Horror Guild Award). He lives in Santa Cruz, California with his wife and son.