I quit my last real job, as a writer at a magazine, when I was twenty-one. That was the moment when I lost my place of prestige on the fast track, and slowly, millimeter by millimeter, I started to get found, to discover who I had been born to be, instead of the impossibly small package, all tied up tightly in myself, that I had agreed to be.
It is strange, is it not, how an accident of a millimeter here, a millimeter there, makes one face so important. Think about it Elliot, She has two eyes, a nose, a mouth, just like everyone else. It, s all in tiny degrees of placement, such small area of magic to make such a big difference. For me, Elliot, I must tell you it is a hard thing to understand- why these things, these millimeters, are so crucial to you, you of all men.
For a torture to be effective, the pain has to be spread out; it has to come at regular intervals, with no end in sight. The water falls , drop after drop after drop, like the second hand of a watch, carving up time. The shock of each individual drop is insignificant, but the sensation is impossible to ignore. At first, one might manage to think about other things, but after five hours, after ten hours, it becomes unendurable. The repeated stimulation excites the nerves to a point where they literally explode, and every sensation in the body is absorbed into that one spot on the forehead-indeed, you come to feel that you are nothing but a forehead, into which a fine needle is being forced millimeter by millimeter. You can't sleep or even speak, hypnotized by a suffering that is greater than any mere pain. In general, the victim goes mad before a day has passed.
If I had a camera, " I said, "I'd take a picture of you every day. That way I'd remember how you looked every single day of your life." "I look exactly the same." "No, you don't. You're changing all the time. Every day a tiny bit. If I could, I'd keep a record of it all." "If you're so smart, how did I change today?" "You got a fraction of a millimeter taller, for one thing. Your hair grew a fraction of a millimeter longer. And your breasts grew a fraction of a-" "They did not!" "Yes, they did." "Did NOT." "Did too." "What else, you big pig?" "You got a little happier and also a little sadder." "Meaning they cancel out each other, leaving me exactly the same." "Not at all. The fact that you got a little happier today doesn't change the fact that you also become a little sadder. Every day you become a little more of both, which means that right now, at this exact moment, you're the happiest and the saddest you've ever been in your whole life." "How do you know?" "Think about it. Have you ever been happier or sadder than right now, lying here in this grass?" "I guess not. No." "And have you ever been sadder?" "No." "It isn't like that for everyone, you know. Some people[... ]" "What about you? Are you the happiest and saddest right now that you've ever been?" "Of course I am." "Why?" "Because nothing makes me happier and nothing makes me sadder than you.
I have a beautiful little Smith & Wesson, 9 millimeter, and it goes with me virtually everywhere. But I do believe in the right to carry, and I believe in the right to defend myself and my family - whether it's from an intruder or whether it's from the government, should they decide that my rights are no longer important.
The single word that directs a person's fate and ultimately the fates of those she comes in contact with is of course a common subject of entertainments and moralizing stories, but if everyone were to consider all the possible consequences of all one's possible choices, no one would move a millimeter, or even dare to breathe for fear of the ultimate results.
Law Number XXXVI: The thickness of the proposal required to win a multimillion dollar contract is about one millimeter per million dollars. If all the proposals conforming to this standard were piled on top of each other at the bottom of the Grand Canyon it would probably be a good idea.
Norman Ralph Augustine
One day I am at home, watching dramatic images of Iraqi Yazidis fleeing for their lives being aired nonstop on 24-hour news channels. Days later, I am there, staring at tens of thousands of displaced Iraqis and feeling a 35-millimeter frame cannot capture the scope of devastation and heartbreak before me.
Mrs. Zuppa was coming in from bingo just as I was leaving the building. "Looks like you're going to work," she said, leaning heavily on her cane. "What are you packin'?" "A thirty-eight." "I like a nine-millimeter myself." "A nine's good." "Easier to use a semiautomatic after you've had hip replacement and you walk with a cane," she said. One of those useful pieces of information to file away and resurrect when I turn eighty-three.
I take small, shallow breaths, even though my lungs are begging for more air. I feel the heat of Ten's controlled breaths against my face. As we stand there, it feels as if an electric charge is growing between us, so powerful that it would shock us if we moved even a millimeter closer together. And yet I feel like I want to.
My only real contact with what my father did was that he could get 16-millimeter prints, so every weekend we would show two or three movies at home. But our house wasn't frequented by stars. My father's personal life was his personal life, and it was separate from his professional life.
Stanley R. Jaffe
I don't bother writing about Fox News. It is too easy. What I talk about are the liberal intellectuals, the ones who portray themselves and perceive themselves as challenging power, as courageous, as standing up for truth and justice. They are basically the guardians of the faith. They set the limits. They tell us how far we can go. They say, 'Look how courageous I am.' But do not go one millimeter beyond that. At least for the educated sectors, they are the most dangerous in supporting power.
... Even the idea of a city never entered his mind. It was as if he had walked under the millimeter of haze just above the inked fibers of a map, that pure zone between land and chart, between distances and legends, between nature and storyteller. The place they had chosen to come to, to be their best selves, to be unconscious of ancestry. Here, apart from the sun compass and the odometer mileage, and the book, he was alone, his own invention. He knew during these times how the mirage worked, the fata morgana, for he was within it.
If you were meant to cure cancer or crack cold fusion and you don't do it, you not only hurt yourself, even destroy yourself. You hurt your children, you hurt me, you hurt the planet. You shame the angels who watch over you and you spite God Almighty, who created you and only you with your unique gifts, for the sole purpose of nudging the human race one millimeter further along its path back to God.
You write in order to change the world, knowing perfectly well that you probably can't, but also knowing that literature is indispensable to the world... The world changes according to the way people see it, and if you alter, even by a millimeter, the way ... people look at reality, then you can change it.
James A. Baldwin
Human vocabulary is still not capable, and probably never will be, of knowing, recognizing, and communicating everything that can be humanly experienced and felt. Some say that the main cause of this very serious difficulty lies in the fact that human beings are basically made of clay, which, as the encyclopedias helpfully explain, is a detrital sedimentary rock made up of tiny mineral fragments measuring one two hundred and fifty-sixths of a millimeter. Until now, despite long linguistic study, no one has managed to come up with a name for this.
It's the obligation of all writers to shoulder up against the wall of the permissible and shove. Writers must shove no matter how large the obstacle and without concern for the strength of those pushing back from the other side. This shoving is made more difficult by the fact that those pushing back are very often the same shovers who moved the wall to where it now stands-they nudged it forward as far as they could stomach it, and cannot tolerate a millimeter more.
No respect for beauty - that was characteristic of today's society. The work of the great masters were at most employed as ironic references or in advertising. Michelangelo's "The Creation of Adam " where you see a pair of jeans in place of the spark. The whole point of the picture at least as he saw it was that these two monumental bodies each came to an end in two index fingers that almost but not quite touched. There was a space between them a millimeter or so wide. And in this space: life. The sculptural enormity and richness of detail of this picture was simply a frame a backdrop to emphasize the crucial void in the center. The point of emptiness that contained everything. And in its place someone had superimposed a pair of jeans.
John Ajvide Lindqvist
My fight isn't so simple, it has very deep roots, from long ago, from earlier generations. Life weighs on me with the weight of my family history, my genes drag along a race of sons of plenty and sons of bitches who with a blade of a machete cleared the pathways of life. They're still doing it. They ate with the machete, they worked, they shaved, killed, and settled differences with their wives with machete. Today the machete is a shotgun, a nine-millimeter, a chopper. The weapon has changed but not its use. The story has changed, too, has become terrifying. Once proud, we are now ashamed, without understanding how, why, and when it all happened. We don't know how long our history is, but we can feel its weight.
Are you a born writer? Were you put on earth to be a painter, a scientist, an apostle of peace? In the end the question can only be answered by action. Do it or don't do it. It may help to think of it this way. If you were meant to cure cancer or write a symphony or crack cold fusion and you don't do it, you not only hurt yourself, even destroy yourself, . You hurt your children. You hurt me. You hurt the planet. You shame the angels who watch over you and you spite the Almighty, who created you and only you with your unique gifts, for the sole purpose of nudging the human race one millimeter farther along its path back to God. Creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention on the part of the actor. It's a gift to the world and every being in it. Don't cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you've got.
George Gey paid his way through a biology degree at the University of Pittsburgh by working as a carpenter and mason, and he could make nearly anything for cheap or free. During his second year in medical school, he rigged a microscope with a time-lapse motion picture camera to capture live cells on film. It was a Frankensteinish mishmash of microscope parts, glass, and 16-millimeter camera equipment from who knows where, plus metal scraps, and an old motor from Shapiro's junkyard. He built it in a hole he'd blasted in the foundation of Hopkins, right below the morgue, its base entirely underground and surrounded by a thick wall of cork to keep it from jiggling when streetcars passed. At night, a Lithuanian lab assistant slept next to the camera on a cot, listening to its constant tick, making sure it stayed stable through the night, waking every hour to refocus it. With that camera, Gey and his mentor, Warren Lewis, filmed the growth of cells, a process so slow - like the growth of a flower - the naked eye couldn't see it. They played the film at high speed so they could watch cell division on the screen in one smooth motion, like a story unfolding in a flip book.