i cherish with fondness the day (before) i met you

If anyone’s read Mary Karr’s memoirs, can you tell me if it’s beneficial/mandatory to read them in order? I’ve never read The Liars’ Club but I got a copy of Cherry for cheap at the Salvation Army.

So do I have to go rob a Chapters Superstore, is what I’m more or less asking (I underline and generally deface every book I read too much to use my library cards)?


When two people are thinking the same thing, it sends a charge through your whole body. My veins were telephone lines with people laughing and screaming through them.

I wasn’t wearing any gloves that day. Now Xavier took off his own and shoved them in his pocket. He put the tip of his finger on my knee, testing to see if I would move away. I didn’t move a muscle. Then he put his whole hand on the back of my hand. I turned my hand over so my palm was flat against this palm. Then we held hands.

And my heart felt so big. I just wanted to hold hands forever. This was like a promise, an agreement that we wanted each other. Holding hands meant that we thought the other was perfect. For whatever reason, we’d rather hold hands with each other than anybody else in the entire universe.


- Heather O’Neill, Lullabies for Little Criminals

Today I saw Boyhood again and liked it even more the second time. I also smelled llike an old & spicey lumberjack because I had to wear my boyfriend’s deodorant and took really awkward selfies in public because I feel this outfit very accurately captures the philosophical beliefs and values I bring to the human condition.

Tracey Emin “I think about sex most of the time” (2003)


Good Morning Midnight; Quartet; After Leaving Mr. Mackenzie; and Voyage in the Dark by Jean Rhys:

I always wish Jean Rhys’s novels were longer. I’m lumping these four novels together because they all tell the same sort of story.

They are a semiautobiographical story of a chorus girl who has lived disastrously by her looks. She’s dreamy and is prone to serious melancholy and is incapable of fitting in with the world. It’s as if everything moves too quickly for her to keep up with, so she spends her days sleeping and getting drunk in hotel rooms. She has an obsession with clothes and her appearance because she knows it is the only thing between her and the streets, her only illusion of propriety. These books describe terrible love affairs. You can understand perfectly why she is loved, because there is something so seductive and moonlike about her. And you can also see why she is discarded — her self-loathing is overwhelming.

Once I start reading these novels, I’m like a little paper boat that’s put in the water and floats off immediately — I can’t stop until the end. Rhys’s voice is like tiny porcelain cups with peacocks painted on them or lily-patterned buttons, a fragile, lovely thing.


- Heather O’Neill, “Books I Have Read Over and Over Again”

Trish Papadakos

"Writers and filmakers, that is, people who describe the world, suffer from an occupational disease. They never experience moments in life quite spontaneously. You always look at yourself from the outside. Even as a child I always observed myself and the world. I believe that everyone who chooses this path in any way, who chooses to be a describer of life, suffers from this condition. It’s like a mental obsession. It can be a great pity too. It robs you of a certain joy in spontaneity."

- Michael Haneke, from My Life (2009)

(Source: violentwavesofemotion, via theintrovertboy)

Time Pieces, Allan kaprow.


I liked being in the gifted class because the work was actually challenging and enabled me to get my mind off of life for the afternoon. We’d had a lecture on Dostoevsky that day and it had put me in a good mood, by virtue of being thought-provoking. Xavier came running after me on the way home. He slipped and fell backward onto the ground. I could tell Xavier was one of those people who were genetically predisposed to slipping on the ice. He got up quickly, blushing and wiping himself off. I smiled to make him feel at ease.

"Was the film you saw good?" he asked me, still flushed.
“Not really. Actually it was probably good. But it made me feel bad.”

"I love movies that do that! I’m going to make films when I get older. I have an artistic temperament, which is really a tragic thing. It means I’m going to be miserable and go insane probably. I’ve already decided how I’m going to kill myself. My death will be my final work of art. I’m going to film myself in the bathtub overdosing on opium."

"I would load myself up with painkillers," I said. "Morphine or whatever they give soldiers so that they can’t even feel when one of their limbs has been chopped off. Then I would jump off a tall building. Just so I don’t have to feel all my limbs and neck breaking."

"That’s so nice. That’s the prettiest way to die."
“I’d jump off an opera house in Paris.”

I’d stolen that from Perry, a boarder who’d rented a room in an old apartment of ours a couple of years before. Perry used to have a black-and-white photograph of the Paris Opera on his door. He said that when he saved enough money, he was going to go to that building and throw himself off it. He had a jar for money especially for that in his room. It only ever had some nickels and dimes in it and pennies. He would gather them all up and spend them on cigarettes.

"I’m never going to be able to afford to kill myself!" he used to scream from his room completely out of the blue, when the house was quiet. He had these great offstage moments that really made me laugh. I smiled thinking about him.

"You look really pretty when you smile," Xavier said to me.

I was glad he thought I was pretty and that he liked me. Not like when older men told me I was pretty and I always felt like they were up to no good.


- Heather O’Neill, Lullabies for Little Criminals


Philip Roth, American Pastoral


I pulled a paperback book out from under my mattress and examined it lovingly. This was how I escaped from the prison.

I’d been carrying the book around in my pocket for the past couple of weeks. I felt so lucky that I happened to have had it when I was picked up. It was a copy of Rejean Ducharme’s L’avalee des aveles, The Swallower Swallowed. A girl in the park had given it to me. She said that someone is always given a copy of L’avalee des avales and that you can’t buy it. It was the story of a girl who was at once enraptured and furious with the world.

I had always liked reading, but lately I had started reading in a different kind of way. When I opened a book now, I was seized with desperation. I felt as if I were madly in love. It was as if I were in a confession booth and the characters in the book were on the other side telling me their most intimate secrets. When I read, I was a philosopher and it was up to me to figure out the meaning of things. Reading made me feel as if I were the center of the universe.


- Heather O’Neill, Lullabies for Little Criminals


Kris Knight; "Ceremony"; Oil on canvas; Edition of 20; 2013