They jostled one another, competed for space below as they did above, in a minuet of ruin and triumph. In the subway, down in the dark, no citizen was more significant or more decrepit than another. All were smeared into a common average of existence, the A's and the C's tumbling or rising to settle into a ruthless mediocrity. No escape.
It is strange being in a crowd where no one knows your face or cares for your purpose. In Lykos, I would have been jostled by men I'd grown up with, run across girls I'd chased and wrestled with as a child. Here, other Colors slam into me and offer not even a faint apology. This is a city, and I do not like it. I feel alone.
I was anti-everything and everyone. I didn't want people around me. This aversion was not some big crippling anxiety; merely a mature recognition of my own psychological vulnerability and my lack of suitability as a companion. Thoughts jostled for space in my crowded brain as i struggled to give them some order which might serve to motivate my listless life.
Since joining the National Park Service fourteen years ago, Anna had worked every Fourth of July... Winding her way through the masses, trying not to get her fragile frame jostled, she realized she preferred it that way. Working on holidays, one wasn't required to have fun. There was no pressure, no disappointments. And she usually had a wonderful time.
I can't speak in too much detail about a book or story I'm working on because I find that it takes the energy out of my writing. When I begin to work, it's like a soda bottle that's been jostled before it's opened. There's a lot of pent up energy in there. I have to let it out slowly, carefully, so that I can turn it into a written work.
David B. Coe
I am sorry the infernal Divinities, who visit mankind with diseases, and are therefore at perpetual war with Doctors, should have prevented my seeing all you great Men at Soho to-day-Lord! what inventions, what wit, what rhetoric, metaphysical, mechanical and pyrotecnical, will be on the wing, bandy'd like a shuttlecock from one to another of your troop of philosophers! while poor I, I by myself I, imprizon'd in a post chaise, am joggled, and jostled, and bump'd, and bruised along the King's high road, to make war upon a pox or a fever!
You obviously don't know what an Old Man of the Sea great wealth is. It is not a fat purse and time to spend it. Its owner finds himself beset on every side, at every hour, wherever he goes, by persistent pleaders, like beggars in Bombay, each demanding that he invest or give away part of his wealth. He becomes suspicious of honest friendship--indeed honest friendship is rarely offered him; those who could have been his friends are too fastidious to be jostled by beggars, too proud to risk being mistaken for one.
Robert A. Heinlein
Our heroes have arrived, then, " the stranger said, his voice a soft, bubbly murmur. "Excuse me?" Poison queries. The odd creature put down his rod in a little wooden cradle that rested next to him and got up from the edge of the jetty. He looked them over with his vast, yellowish eyes. "Hmm, " he said gloomily. "You don't seem a bad bunch." He jostled past them and began to shuffle back towards his house. "At least you're not the typical muscle-bound warrior, beautiful sorceress, and amusing thief sidekick. By the waters, did that become stale fast.
For that moment at least they seemed to give up external plans, theories, and codes, even the inescapable romantic curiosity about one another, to indulge in being simply and purely young, to share that sense of the world's affliction, that outgoing sorrow at the spectacle of Our Human Condition which anyone this age regards as reward or gratuity for having survived adolescence. For them the music was sweet and painful, the strolling chains of tourists like a Dance of Death. They stood on the curb, gazing at one another, jostled against by hawkers and sightseers, lost as much perhaps in that bond of youth as in the depths of the eyes each contemplated.
Mr. Lisbon knew his parental and neighborly duty entailed putting the retainer in a Ziploc bag, calling the Kriegers, and telling them their expensive orthodontal device was in safe keeping. Acts like theses - simple, humane, conscientious, forgiving - held life together. Only a few days earlier he would have been able to perform them. But now he took the retainer and dropped it in the toiler. He pressed the handle. The retainer, jostled int he surge, disappeared down the porcelain throat, and, when waters abated, floated triumphantly, mockingly, out, Mr. Lisbon waited for the tank to refill and flushed again, but the same thing happened. The replica of the boy's mouth clung to the white slope.
The game jostled back and forth, and then came the final inning. Some player named Casey came to bat, like his teammates, looking like a rock. Lightning ripped through the air as rain came down in sheets. The scoreboard said the horses were beating the rocks by two points, but there were two men on base. If Casey hit a homerun, the rocks would beat the horses. If not, too bad for the rocks. This man, Ben, and the two people with him looked horrified as this Casey came to bat. They had red shirts with horses painted on them. They jumped up and down for joy when they saw the final pitch, and Casey sulking back to the dugout. He had struck out. After the game, the four hiked back to a very small car.
Molly Maguire McGill
Now and again, one could detect in a childless woman of a certain age the various characteristics of all the children she had never issued. Her body was haunted by the ghost of souls who hadn't lived yet. Premature ghosts. Half-ghosts. X's without Y's. Y's without X's. They applied at her womb and were denied, but, meant for her and no one else, they wouldn't go away. Like tiny ectoplasmic gophers, they hunkered in her tear ducts. They shone through her sighs. Often to her chagrin, they would soften the voice she used in the marketplace. When she spilled wine, it was their playful antics that jostled the glass. They called out her name in the bath or when she passed real children in the street. The spirit babies were everywhere her companions, and everywhere they left her lonesome - yet they no more bore her resentment than a seed resents uneaten fruit. Like pet gnats, like phosphorescence, like sighs on a string, they would follow her into eternity.
One day I found him amid large packages from which spilled attractive, glossy paperbacks with mythical covers. He had tried to use, as a "generator of ideas" - for we were running out of them - those works of fantastic literature, that popular genre (especially in the States), called, by a persistent misconception, "science fiction." He had not read such books before; he was annoyed - indignant, even - expecting variety, finding monotony. "They have everything except fantasy, " he said. Indeed, a mistake. The authors of these pseudo-scientific fairy tales supply the public with what it wants: truisms, cliches, stereotypes, all sufficiently costumed and made "wonderful" so that the reader may sink into a safe state of surprise and at the same time not be jostled out of his philosophy of life. If there is progress in a culture, the progress is above all conceptual, but literature, the science-fiction variety in particular, has nothing to do with that.
London was a city of ghosts, some deader than others. Thorne knew that in this respect, it wasn't unlike any other major city - New York or Paris or Sydney - but he felt instinctively that London was... at the extreme. The darker side of that history, as opposed to the parks, palaces and pearly kings' side that made busloads of Japanese and American tourists gawk and jabber. The hidden history of a city where the lonely, the dispossessed, the homeless, wandered the streets, brushing shoulders with the shadows of those that had come before them. A city in which the poor and the plague-ridden, those long-since hanged for stealing a loaf or murdered for a shilling, jostled for position with those seeking a meal, or a score, or a bed for the night. A city where the dead could stay lost a long time
Three years in London had not changed Richard, although it had changed the way he perceived the city. Richard had originally imagined London as a gray city, even a black city, from pictures he had seen, and he was surprised to find it filled with color. It was a city of red brick and white stone, red buses and large black taxis, bright red mailboxes and green grassy parks and cemeteries. It was a city in which the very old and the awkwardly new jostled each other, not uncomfortably, but without respect; a city of shops and offices and restaurants and homes, of parks and churches, of ignored monuments and remarkably unpalatial palaces; a city of hundreds of districts with strange names - Crouch End, Chalk Farm, Earl's Court, Marble Arch - and oddly distinct identities; a noisy, dirty, cheerful, troubled city, which fed on tourists, needed them as it despised them, in which the average speed of transportation through the city had not increased in three hundred years, following five hundred years of fitful road-widening and unskillful compromises between the needs of traffic, whether horse-drawn, or, more recently, motorized, and the need of pedestrians; a city inhabited by and teeming with people of every color and manner and kind.