"Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book. And then there are books;which you can’t tell people about, books so special and rare and yours that advertising your affection feels like a betrayal."
— John Green
"Don’t be fooled by me. Don’t be fooled by the face I wear. For I wear a thousand masks, masks that I am afraid to take off and none of them are me. Pretending is an art that’s second nature with me, but don’t be fooled. For God’s sake don’t be fooled. I give the impression that I am secure, that all is sunny and unruffled with me, within as well as without, that confidence is my name and coolness my game; that the waters are calm and I am in command, and that I need no one. But don’t believe me, please. My surface may seem smooth, but my surface is my mask, ever-varying and ever-concealing ‘Neath this lies no complacence. Beneath dwells the real me in confusion, in fear, and aloneness. But I hide this. I don’t want anybody to know. I panic at the thought of my weakness and fear of being exposed. That is why I frantically create a mask to hide behind; a nonchalant, sophisticated facade, to help me pretend, to shield me from the glance that knows. But such a glance is precisely my salvation. My only salvation. And I know it. That is, if it is followed by acceptance, if it is followed by love. It is the only thing that will assure me of what I can’t assure myself, that I am worth something. But, I don’t tell you this. I don’t dare. I am afraid to. I am afraid your glance will not be followed by acceptance and love. I am afraid you will think less of me, that you will laugh at me, and that you will see this and reject me. So I play my game, my desperate game, with a facade of assurance without, and a trembling child within. And so begins the parade of masks, and my life becomes a front. I idly chatter to you in the suave tones of surface talk. I tell you everything that is really nothing, and nothing of what is everything, of what is crying within me; So when I am going through my routine do not be fooled by what I am saying. Please listen carefully and try to hear what I am not saying. What I would like to be able to say, what for survival I need to say, but I can’t say. I dislike hiding, Honestly! I dislike the superficial game I am playing, the phony game. I would really like to be genuine and spontaneous, and me, but you have got to help me. You have got to hold out your hand, even when that is the last thing I seem to want. Only you can wipe away from my eyes that blank stare of breathing death. Only you can call me into aliveness. Each time you try to understand and because you really care, my heart begins to grow wings, very small wings, very feeble wings, but wings. With your sensitivity and sympathy, and your power of understanding, you can breathe life into me. I want you to know that. I want you to know how important you are to me, how you can be the creator of the person that is me if you choose to. Please choose to. You alone can break down the wall behind which I tremble, you alone can remove my mask. You alone can release me from my shadow world of panic and uncertainty; From my lonely person. Do not pass me by. Please … do not pass me by. It will not be easy for you; a long conviction of worthlessness builds strong walls. The nearer you approach me, the blinder I strike back. I fight against the very thing I cry out for. But I am told that love is stronger than walls, and in this lies my hope. Please try to beat down those walls with firm hands, but with gentle hands for a child is very sensitive. Who am I, you may wonder? I am someone you know very well. For I am every man you meet and I am every woman you meet."
— Charles C. Finn
"I don’t want to repeat my innocence. I want the pleasure of losing it again."
— F. Scott Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise
"We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations."
— Anaïs Nin
"I thought about waking her.
But it was unnecessary.
There would be other nights.
And how can you say I love you to someone you love?
I rolled onto my side and fell asleep next to her.
Here is the point of everything I have been trying to tell you, Oskar.
It’s always necessary."
— Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
"I’ve spent so much time in my head and in my heart that I forgot to live in my body."
— Tara Hardy, Bone Marrow
"Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love."
— Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet
"I wonder why we always deny love. I remember in middle school, if you were accused of the crime of loving, you screamed denials constantly and stopped ever even looking at the boy you were accused of liking. The boys could destroy each other by yodeling, “An-drew lo-oves Jen-nie,” and both Andrew and Jennie would flinch and blush. Love is this great thing that most songs and books and poems and lives are all about. So the minute we actually think there might be love around, we start laughing and pretending and hiding from it."
— Caroline B. Cooney, Girl Who Invented Romance
"I don’t want realism. I want magic! Yes, yes, magic! I try to give that to people. I misrepresent things to them. I don’t tell the truth, I tell what ought to be the truth. And if that’s sinful, then let me be damned for it!"
— Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire
"There’s a part of the movie where you can see right through all the acting, where you can tell that I’m about to burst into tears, right before I burst into tears and flee to the slimy moonlit riverbed canopied with devastated clouds. We’re shooting the scene where I swallow your heart and you make me spit it up again. I swallow your heart and it crawls right out of my mouth. You swallow my heart and flee, but I want it back now, baby. I want it back."
— Richard Siken, Dirty Valentine