The world is quieter now. It is never quiet, but it can get quieter. What strange creatures we are, to find silence peaceful, when permanent silence is the thing we most dread. Nighttime is not that. Nighttime still rustles, still creaks and whispers and trembles in its throat. It is not darkness we fear, but our own helplessness within it. How merciful to have been granted the other senses.
My latest battle had nothing to do with The Company, the rebels, or any other faction. It was out-and-out warfare between my head and my heart. Keeping it cool during daylight, versus nighttime, when I unleashed my passion for him... Turned out the Wilderness was a lot more hostile than me.
I'm a light sleeper. I've never been one of those people who can put their head down and suddenly everything disappears. Nighttime is the time I get most scared, anxious or worried. In those darker moments before waking or sleeping is when I feel most, I don't know, I can turn on myself, and my imagination can take me dark places.
I do not write for this generation. I am writing for other ages. If this could read me, they would burn my books, the work of my whole life. On the other hand, the generation which interprets these writings will be an educated generation; they will understand me and say: Not all were asleep in the nighttime of our grandparents.
I do not write for this generation. I am writing for other ages. If this could read me, they would burn my books, the work of my whole life. On the other hand, the generation which interprets these writings will be an educated generation; they will understand me and say: 'Not all were asleep in the nighttime of our grandparents.'
The Big L was cold crazy, A top-notch crook snatchin' pocket books from old ladies I told him, "Give up the dough, before you get smoked! Oh you broke? ( *shots* ) Now you're dead broke" My name is L and I'm from a part of town where clowns, Get beat down and all you hear is gunshot sounds 'Cause at nighttime niggas try to tax, they're sneakier than alley cats, that's why I carry gats
I'll think about you every day. Part of me is scared that there will come a time when you don't feel the same way, that you'll somehow forget what we shared, so this is what I want to do. Wherever you are and no matter what's going on in your life, when it's the first night of the full moon-like it was the first time we met-I want you to find it in the nighttime sky. I want you to think about me and the week we shared, because wherever I am and no matter what's going on in my life, that's exactly what I'll be doing. If we can't be together, at least we can share that, and maybe between the two of us, we can make it last forever.
I eased back on my elbows, tilting my head back to look up at the sky, which was pinkish, streaked with red. This was the time we knew best, that stretch of day going from dusk to dark. It seemed like we were always waiting for nighttime here. I could feel the trampoline easing up and down, moved by our own breathing, bringing us in small increments up and back from the sky as the colors faded, slowly, and the stars began to show themselves.
Your brother's car has been found, " he told Jay Marriot. "It's on a little road almost directly across from Sookie's driveway."... Eric had told me that that little road, a dirt track leading back to a deer camp, was where Debbie Pelt had hidden her car when she'd come to kill me. Might as well put up a sign: PARKING FOR SOOKIE STACKHOUSE NIGHTTIME ATTACKS.
The world rests in the night. Trees, mountains, fields, and faces are released from the prison of shape and the burden of exposure. Each thing creeps back into its own nature within the shelter of the dark. Darkness is the ancient womb. Nighttime is womb- time. Our souls come out to play. The darkness absolves everything; the struggle for identity and impression falls away. We rest in the night.
A tiny cage of butterflies suddenly buzzed around the inside of her gut. Her superhot professor wanted to take a nighttime stroll with her and he was offering her his jacket. Before she could decide whether she wanted to be the type of girl who did that sort of thing with her professor, which was clearly inappropriate, she grasped the leather jacket in her hands and slipped it on. Aw, shucks, who was she kidding? She totally was that kind of girl.
Under the ground seep the toxins of the population that lives above. If you have to, you will eat roots and earthworms. It is always night. Candles burn in lanterns made from tin cans. When it is nighttime up above, you can crawl out, but only for a little while. You feel ashamed of your matted hair, your torn clothes, the dirt on your face. Who would want to speak to you? They are all shiny and pretty. They have parents and house with gardens. What do you have? The earth. Whole handfuls of it. The lizard people with their slit eyes and scaly skin. Your loneliness. Your longing.
Francesca Lia Block
I believe that books, once they are written, have no need of their authors. If they have something to say, they will sooner or later find readers; if not, they won't... I very much love those mysterious volumes, both ancient and modern, that have no definite author but have had and continue to have an intense life of their own. They seem to me a sort of nighttime miracle, like the gifts of the Befana, which I waited for as a child... True miracles are the ones whose makers will never be known... Besides, isn't it true that promotion is expensive? I will be the least expensive author of the publishing house. I'll spare you even my presence.
I took the sleeper out of Glasgow, and as the smelly old train bumped out of Central Station and across the Jamaica Street Bridge, I stared out at the orange halogen streetlamps reflected in the black water of the river Clyde. I gazed at the crumbling Victorian buildings that would soon be sandblasted and renovated into yuppie hutches. I watched the revelers and rascals traverse the shiny wet streets. I thought of the thrill and danger of my youth and the fear and frustration of my adult life thus far. I thought of the failure of my marriage and my failures as a man. I saw all this through my reflection in the nighttime window. Down the tracks I went, hardly aware that I was going further south with every passing second.
I was six years old when my mother died. For a long time afterward, the sweet and earthy magnolia scent of her would permeate my dreams. No matter what I was dreaming about, good or frightening, my mother's smell would waft through my nighttime adventures, infusing them with her unseen presence, reassuring me even through their darkest moments. I never told anyone about this. I felt that, somehow, my mother had found a way to communicate with me from heaven even though I knew from the down-to-earth practicality of my Baptist Sunday School lessons that it was likely impossible. Still, I have heard it said more than once that with God, nothing is impossible. Is it so hard to imagine that He, in His infinite compassion, might have, for a moment in time, comforted a scared little girl with her mother's familiar scent?
I want to give just a slight indication of the influence the book has had. I knew that George Orwell, in his second novel, A Clergyman's Daughter , published in 1935, had borrowed from Joyce for his nighttime scene in Trafalgar Square, where Deafie and Charlie and Snouter and Mr. Tallboys and The Kike and Mrs. Bendigo and the rest of the bums and losers keep up a barrage of song snatches, fractured prayers, curses, and crackpot reminiscences. But only on my most recent reading of Ulysses did I discover, in the middle of the long and intricate mock-Shakespeare scene at the National Library, the line 'Go to! You spent most of it in Georgina Johnson's bed, clergyman's daughter.' So now I think Orwell quarried his title from there, too.
Daylight would have shown a wilderness weathered and blowzy, a wanton that had lived her summer too fast and too greedily. It would have shown the white birches pale and shivering in a sudden ague, and here and there an ash or a sumac burning red, like a hectic spot, where the first frosts already had set the marks of their galloping consumption on the cheek of the forest, giving warning of the time when the white plague of the winter would make a massacre of all this present glory and turn the trees to naked skeletons and stretch a bony bare cadaver on every steeper hillside to bleach there until the snows covered things up. But now the kindly nighttime had all signs and threats of approaching death, so that each shriveled speckled leaf, as revealed and traced in the waning light, seemed flawless - a perfect part of a perfect tapestry.
Irvin S. Cobb
My conception of a novel is that it ought to be a personal struggle, a direct and total engagement with the author's story of his or her own life. This conception, again, I take from Kafka, who, although he was never transformed into an insect, and although he never had a piece of food (an apple from his family's table!) lodged in his flesh and rotting there, devoted his whole life as a writer to describing his personal struggle with his family, with women, with moral law, with his Jewish heritage, with his Unconscious, with his sense of guilt, and with the modern world. Kafka's work, which grows out of the nighttime dreamworld in Kafka's brain, is more autobiographical than any realistic retelling of his daytime experiences at the office or with his family or with a prostitute could have been. What is fiction, after all, if not a kind of purposeful dreaming? The writer works to create a dream that is vivid and has meaning, so that the reader can then vividly dream it and experience meaning. And work like Kafka's, which seems to proceed directly from dream, is therefore an exceptionally pure form of autobiography. There's an important paradox here that I would like to stress: the greater the autobiographical content of a fiction writer's work, the smaller its superficial resemblance to the writer's actual life. The deeper the writer digs for meaning, the more the random particulars of the writer's life become impediments to deliberate dreaming.
I'd like you to come to Kauai with me, ' I say. 'And Scottie. I think it would be good to get her away from the hospital for a day. We can leave in the morning, find him, and be home tomorrow night. If it takes us a day longer, that's fine, but we won't stay more than two nights. That's our deadline. If we don't find him, then at least we know we tried.' 'And this will make you feel better somehow?' 'It's for her, ' I say. 'Not for him or me.' 'What if he's a wreck? What if he loses his shit?' 'Then I'll take care of him.' I imagine Brian Speer wailing on my shoulder. I imagine him and my daughters by Joanie's bed, her lover and his loud sobs shaming us. 'Just so you know, I am angry. I'm not this pure and noble guy. I want to do this for her, but I also want to see who he is. I want to ask him a few things.' 'Just call him. Tell his office it's an emergency. They'll have him call you.' 'I want to tell him in person. I haven't told anyone over the phone, and I don't want to start now.' 'You told Troy.' 'Troy doesn't count. I just need to do this. On the phone he can escape. If I see him in person, he'll have nowhere to go.' We both look away when our eyes meet. She hasn't crossed the border into my room. She never does during her nighttime doorway chats. 'Were you guys having trouble?' Alex asks. 'Is that why she cheated?' 'I didn't think we were having trouble, ' I say. 'I mean, it was the same as always.' This was the problem, that our marriage was the same as always. Joanie needed bumps. She needed rough terrain. It's funny that I can get lost in thoughts about her, but when she was right in front of me, I didn't think much about her at all. 'I wasn't the best husband, ' I say. Alex looks out the window to avoid my confession. 'If we go on this trip, what will we tell Scottie?' 'She'll think we're going on a trip of some sort. I want to get her away from here.
Kaui Hart Hemmings
Comparing marriage to football is no insult. I come from the South where football is sacred. I would never belittle marriage by saying it is like soccer, bowling, or playing bridge, never. Those images would never work, only football is passionate enough to be compared to marriage. In other sports, players walk onto the field, in football they run onto the field, in high school ripping through some paper, in college (for those who are fortunate enough) they touch the rock and run down the hill onto the field in the middle of the band. In other sports, fans cheer, in football they scream. In other sports, players 'high five', in football they chest, smash shoulder pads, and pat your rear. Football is a passionate sport, and marriage is about passion. In football, two teams send players onto the field to determine which athletes will win and which will lose, in marriage two families send their representatives forward to see which family will survive and which family will be lost into oblivion with their traditions, patterns, and values lost and forgotten. Preparing for this struggle for survival, the bride and groom are each set up. Each has been led to believe that their family's patterns are all 'normal, ' and anyone who differs is dense, naive, or stupid because, no matter what the issue, the way their family has always done it is the 'right' way. For the premarital bride and groom in their twenties, as soon as they say, 'I do, ' these 'right' ways of doing things are about to collide like two three hundred and fifty pound linemen at the hiking of the ball. From 'I do' forward, if not before, every decision, every action, every goal will be like the line of scrimmage. Where will the family patterns collide? In the kitchen. Here the new couple will be faced with the difficult decision of 'Where do the cereal bowls go?' Likely, one family's is high, and the others is low. Where will they go now? In the bathroom. The bathroom is a battleground unmatched in the potential conflicts. Will the toilet paper roll over the top or underneath? Will the acceptable residing position for the lid be up or down? And, of course, what about the toothpaste? Squeeze it from the middle or the end? But the skirmishes don't stop in the rooms of the house, they are not only locational they are seasonal. The classic battles come home for the holidays. Thanksgiving. Which family will they spend the noon meal with and which family, if close enough, will have to wait until the nighttime meal, or just dessert if at all? Christmas. Whose home will they visit first, if at all? How much money will they spend on gifts for his family? for hers? Then comes for many couples an even bigger challenge - children of their own! At the wedding, many couples take two candles and light just one often extinguishing their candle as a sign of devotion. The image is Biblical. The Bible is quoted a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one. What few prepare them for is the upcoming struggle, the conflict over the unanswered question: the two shall become one, but which one? Two families, two patterns, two ways of doing things, which family's patterns will survive to play another day, in another generation, and which will be lost forever? Let the games begin.
David W. Jones