Every day for a week, sitting in my idling car, saying goodbye without saying anything at all-the touch of his hand, his forehead pressed to mine, the way he brushed my hair out of my face, tucking it behind my ear. And still, he hadn't kissed me. Not once. Nothing but that brief brush of his lips. I was beginning to go a little crazy.
Danger is a good teacher, and makes apt scholars. So are disgrace, defeat, exposure to immediate scorn and laughter. There is no opportunity in such cases for self-delusion, no idling time away, no being off your guard (or you must take the consequences) - neither is there any room for humour or caprice or prejudice.
The democratic youth lives along day by day, gratifying the desire that occurs to him, at one time drinking and listening to the flute, at another downing water and reducing, now practicing gymnastic, and again idling and neglecting everything; and sometimes spending his time as though he were occupied in philosophy.
As for me, I delight in the every day Way Among mist-wrapped vines and rocky caves Here in the wilderness I am completely free With my friends, the white clouds, idling forever There are roads, but they do not reach the world Since I am mindless, who can rouse my thoughts On a bed of stone I sit, alone in the night While a round moon climbs up Cold Mountain
A uniform cordoned off the area with crime scene tape. The M.E. pulled in and parked. There were two EMT trucks idling at the edge of the lot. I'd stayed close to the back door, and one of the Rangeman guys had taken a position two feet from me, standing at parade rest. No doubt in my mind he'd take a bullet for me rather than face Ranger over a dead Stephanie.
Rhode Island works hard to reduce air pollution in our communities. We passed laws to prohibit cars and buses from idling their engines and to retrofit school buses with diesel pollution controls. But there is only so much a single state can do, particularly against out-of-state pollution.
A large section of the idling classes of England get their incomes by believing that Jesus was born of a virgin and that Jonah swallowed a whale; and with the progress of science they were naturally finding this more and more difficult. A school of ingenious Bible-twisters arose, to invent symbolical and literary meanings for fairy tales, in order that people who no longer believed could continue with good conscience to collect the salaries of belief.
I've always felt a little lost in life, like I never received complete instructions on who I'm supposed to be. Everyone else around me seemed to know exactly who they were. Their lives would fly right by me; their GPS's locked on to destinations while I just sat idling in the street. In high school I never did any extracurricular activities because I couldn't figure out if I was a sports person or a music person. And it was no different in college. I wandered through four different majors, unable to decide who I wanted to be. I just felt like a blank slate. And if I was a blank slate, Micah York was The Starry Night - authentic, beautiful, perfect. He was my exact antithesis which is what attracted me to him in the first place. He was born knowing exactly who he was and what he was about. His confidence and certainty in himself was an all but tangible element of him.
I thought of many an autumn I had known: Seemly autumns approaching deliberately, with amplitude. I thought of wild asters, Michaelmas daisies, mushrooms, leaves idling down the air, two or three at a time, warblers twittering and glittering in every bush ('Confusing fall warblers, ' Peterson calls them, and how right he is): the lingering yellow jackets feeding on broken apples; crickets; amber-dappled light; great geese barking down from the north; the seesaw noise that blue jays seem to make more often in the fall. Hoarfrost in the morning, cold stars at night. But slow; the whole thing coming slowly. The way it should be.
Life was not to be sitting in hot amorphic leisure in my backyard idly writing or not-writing, as the spirit moved me. It was, instead, running madly, in a crowded schedule, in a squirrel cage of busy people. Working, living, dancing, dreaming, talking, kissing - singing, laughing, learning. The responsibility, the awful responsibility of managing (profitably) 12 hours a day for 10 weeks is rather overwhelming when there is nothing, noone, to insert an exact routine into the large unfenced acres of time - which it is so easy to let drift by in soporific idling and luxurious relaxing. It is like lifting a bell jar off a securely clockwork-like functioning community, and seeing all the little busy people stop, gasp, blow up and float in the inrush, (or rather outrush, ) of the rarified scheduled atmosphere - poor little frightened people, flailing impotent arms in the aimless air. That's what it feels like: getting shed of a routine. Even though one had rebelled terribly against it, even then, one feels uncomfortable when jounced out of the repetitive rut. And so with me. What to do? Where to turn? What ties, what roots? as I hang suspended in the strange thin air of back-home?
Traveling on, the shaft of his light reached now a great, dully shining oblong, and he stopped, surprised. Then, through the glass sides, he saw bright shapes of fish wheel in schools down the opaque water, startled by the illumination. Coming at last, and so suddenly, on life like his own, Mr. Lecky moved closer. The fixed flood of his light enveloped these small fish dimly, glowed back on him. They came sliding, drifting, mouths in motion, gills rippling, up the light, against the glass. Their senseless round eyes stared at Mr. Lecky. Idling with great grace, the extravagant products of selective breeding - fringetails, Korean, calico - passed, swayed about, came languidly back. Moving faster, stub-finned, crop-tailed danios from the Malabar coast appeared, hovered, taking the light on their fat flanks, now spotted, now iridescent pearl or opal. Seeing so many of them, so eager and attentive, Mr. Lecky felt an unexpected compunction. He was their only proprietor; and soon, trapped unnaturally here in the big tank, they would starve to death. His light went back to a counter he had just passed, showing him again the half-noticed packages - food for birds and pet animals, food, too, for fish. Returning to the tank, his light found many of the fish still waiting, the rest rushing back. He went and took a package, tore the top off, and poured the contents onto the rectangle of open water. It would perhaps postpone the time when, having eaten each other, the sick remainder must die anyway.
James Gould Cozzens