No matter what, my chest always tightens up before a race. A rush of adrenaline spikes all the way down my spine, and it's like I'm right there. Right on top of Kali, squeezed in that metal stall, looking out at the dirt with my heart in my throat. The starter opens the gates, and the bell rings.
We ought to give our friend pain if it will benefit him, but not to the extent of breaking off our friendship; but just as we make use of some biting medicine that will save and preserve the life of the patient. And so the friend, like a musician, in bringing about an improvement to what is good and expedient, sometimes slackens the chords, sometimes tightens them, and is often pleasant, but always useful.
I realized that the good stories were affecting the organs of my body in various ways, and the really good ones were stimulating more than one organ. An effective story grabs your gut, tightens your throat, makes your heart race and your lungs pump, brings tears to your eyes or an explosion of laughter to your lips.
The art of poetry consists in taking the poem through draft after draft, without losing its inspirational magic: he removes everything irrelevant or distracting, and tightens up what is left. Lazy poets never carry their early drafts far enough: some even believe that virtue lies in the original doodle scrawled on the back of an envelope.
That as people age, accumulate more and more private experiences, their sense of history tightens, narrows, becomes more personal? So that to the extent that they remember events of social importance, they remember only for example 'where they were' when such-and-such occurred. Et cetera et cetera. Objective events and data become naturally more and more subjectively colored.
David Foster Wallace
He smiles sadly. "Now I know my destiny." "What is it?" "This." He draws me in to him in a kiss. His lips are warm. He pulls me tighter in his embrace. The roots sigh and release their hold on my waist and the wound in my side is healed. "Kartik, " I cry, kissing his cheeks. "It's let me go." "That's good, " he says. He makes a small cry. His back arches, and every muscle in his body tightens.
He smiles sadly. "Now I know my destiny." "What is it?" "This." He draws me in to him in a kiss. His lips are warm. He pulls me tighter in his embrace. The roots sigh and release their hold on my waist and the wound in my side is healed. "Kartik," I cry, kissing his cheeks. "It's let me go." "That's good," he says. He makes a small cry. His back arches, and every muscle in his body tightens.
My chest tightens to the point I fear my heart will suffocate from the pressure of it. Society's standards are the total opposite from how I was raised. The boy who I thought to be so strikingly handsome has less than a year of his life to live, my new friend only a few more months beyond that. Yet they are living these uneventful lives in which they don't think there is a reason for anything. Will I ever see my mother again, or is this how I will be forced to live the rest of my life, as well?
Now you are walking in Paris all alone in the crowd As herds of bellowing buses drive by Love's anguish tightens your throat As if you were never to be loved again If you lived in the old days you would enter a monastery You are ashamed when you discover yourself reciting a prayer You make fun of yourself and like the fire of Hell your laughter crackles The sparks of your laugh gild the depths of your life It's a painting hanging in a dark museum And sometimes you go and look at it close up
My chest tightens: seeing him so upset breaks my own heart. 'Don't you ever wish you could make that bit go away?" I say, feeling angry at the past. 'That you could erase those painful memories, forget they every happened, just remember the happy times you had together?' 'You must never say that, ' he reprimands sternly. 'But why not?' I look at him in surprise. 'Because it's the bad memories that makes you appreciate the good ones. Don't ever wish them away. it's like your nan always used to say, "You need both the sun and the rain to make a rainbow".
The regime of control tightens inexorably in our schools, many of which now have video cameras, police patrols, chain-link fences, random unannounced locker searches, metal detectors, drug-sniffing dogs, networks of informants, undercover police posing as students, and a comprehensive system of passes so that there is a record of each student's authorized whereabouts at all times. What a perfect preparation for life in a prison or a totalitarian society!
Have you ever been anyone's?" I ask, a feathery whisper in the quiet bedroom. He lifts his head to mine, and I want him so bad I feel consumed inside, like he's already possessed my soul, and now my soul aches for him to possess my body. A powerful emotion tightens his features as he reaches out to cradle my cheek in his big hand, and there's an unexpected fierceness in his eyes, in his touch, as he cups me. "No. And you?" The calluses in his palm rasp on my skin, and I find myself tucking my cheek deeper into them. "I've never wanted to." "Neither have I." The moment is intimate.
Somewhere someone is thinking of you. Someone is calling you an angel. This person is using celestial colors to paint your image. Someone is making you into a vision so beautiful that it can only live in the mind. Someone is thinking of the way your breath escapes your lips when you are touched. How your eyes close and your jaw tightens with concentration as you give pleasure a home. These thoughts are saving a life somewhere right now. In some airless apartment on a dark, urine stained, whore lined street, someone is calling out to you silently and you are answering without even being there. So crystalline. So pure. Such life saving power when you smile. You will never know how you have cauterized my wounds. So sad that we will never touch. How it hurts me to know that I will never be able to give you everything I have."
I drag the body out into the snowdrifts, as far away from our shack as I can muster. I put her in a thicket of trees, where the green seems to still have a voice in the branches, and try not to think about the beasts that'll soon be gathering. There's no way of burying her; the ground is a solid rock of ice beneath us. I kneel beside her and want desperately to weep. My throat tightens and my head aches. Everything hurts inside. But I have no way of releasing it. I'm locked up and hard as stone. 'I'm sorry, Mamma, ' I whisper to the shell in front of me. I take her hand. It could belong to a glass doll. There's no life there anymore. So I gather rocks, one by one, and set them over her, trying my best to protect her from the birds, the beasts, keep her safe as much as I can now. I pile the dark stones gently on her stomach, her arms, and over her face, until she becomes one with the mountain. I stand and study my work, feeling like the rocks are on me instead, then I leave the body for the forest and ice.
Rachel A. Marks
We know from several statements of Knecht's that he wanted to write the former Master's biography, but official duties left him no time for such a task. He had learned to curb his own wishes. Once he remarked to one of his tutors: "It is a pity that you students aren't fully aware of the luxury and abundance in which you live. But I was exactly the same when I was still a student. We study and work, don't waste much time, and think we may rightly call ourselves industrious-but we are scarcely conscious of all we could do, all that we might make of our freedom. Then we suddenly receive a call from the hierarchy, we are needed, are given a teaching assignment, a mission, a post, and from then on move up to a higher one, and unexpectedly find ourselves caught in a network of duties that tightens the more we try to move inside it. All the tasks are in themselves small, but each one has to be carried out at its proper hour, and the day has far more tasks than hours. That is well; one would not want it to be different. But if we ever think, between classrooms, Archives, secretariat, consulting room, meetings, and official journeys-if we ever think of the freedom we possessed and have lost, the freedom for self-chosen tasks, for unlimited, far-flung studies, we may well feel the greatest yearning for those days, and imagine that if we ever had such freedom again we would fully enjoy its pleasures and potentialities.
I was Mrs. Taylor yesterday.' I grin at Taylor, who flushes. 'That has a nice ring to it, Miss Steele, ' Taylor says matter-of-factly. 'I thought so, too.' Christian tightens his hold on my hand, scowling. 'If you two have quite finished, I'd like a debrief.' He glares at Taylor, who now looks uncomfortable, and I cringe inwardly. I have overstepped the mark. 'Sorry, ' I mouth at Taylor, who shrugs and smiles kindly before I turn to follow Christian. 'I'll be with you shortly. I just want a word with Miss Steele, ' Christian says to Taylor, and I know I'm in trouble. Christian leads me into his bedroom and closes the door. 'Don't flirt with the staff, Anastasia, ' he scolds. I open my mouth to defend myself-then close it again, then open it. 'I wasn't flirting. I was being friendly-there is a difference.' 'Don't be friendly with the staff or flirt with them. I don't like it.' Oh. Good-bye, carefree Christian. 'I'm sorry, ' I mutter and stare down at my fingers. He hasn't made me feel like a child all day. Reaching down he cups my chin, pulling my head up to meet his eyes. 'You know how jealous I am, ' he whispers. 'You have no reason to be jealous, Christian. You own me body and soul.
As I feel less overwhelmed, my fear softens and begins to subside. I feel a flicker of hope, then a rolling wave of fiery rage. My body continues to shake and tremble. It is alternately icy cold and feverishly hot. A burning red fury erupts from deep within my belly: How could that stupid kid hit me in a crosswalk? Wasn't she paying attention? Damn her! A blast of shrill sirens and flashing red lights block out everything. My belly tightens, and my eyes again reach to find the woman's kind gaze. We squeeze hands, and the knot in my gut loosens. I hear my shirt ripping. I am startled and again jump to the vantage of an observer hovering above my sprawling body. I watch uniformed strangers methodically attach electrodes to my chest. The Good Samaritan paramedic reports to someone that my pulse was 170. I hear my shirt ripping even more. I see the emergency team slip a collar onto my neck and then cautiously slide me onto a board. While they strap me down, I hear some garbled radio communication. The paramedics are requesting a full trauma team. Alarm jolts me. I ask to be taken to the nearest hospital only a mile away, but they tell me that my injuries may require the major trauma center in La Jolla, some thirty miles farther. My heart sinks.
Peter A. Levine
What do we have here?' Grant slurs at me. He seems different and it raises flags in my mind. His fingers wrap around a section of my hair and it scares me. His face is flushed red and his eyes are glassy and bright. I can smell the smoky scent of whiskey or scotch rolling off his tongue as he speaks and breathes heavily. 'I'm lost and I need a ride home.' My voice wavers as I speak and I hate it. I fist my hands in the hem of my blazer. 'I'll get Albert for you, but first spend some time with me, ' he slurs again, sounding like his tongue is too large for his mouth. As if sensing my attention, the tip of his tongue sneaks out and slides along his supple bottom lip. He smiles as he tastes the alcohol that's staining his mouth. His eyes are bright and shiny and glazed over. He has a smirk on his face that shows off his dimple. It no longer reminds me of Whitt. It seems sinister and dangerous- promising something I'm not ready to experience. The feel of his fingers playing with my hair gives me goosebumps and I shiver as my scalp tightens, sucking up the pleasant attention. I do my first stupid-girl moment of my life. I shameless crush on a guy and let it turn my thoughts to mush. 'Okay, if you promise to call Albert first.' I try to negotiate with him and he gives me a naughty smirk for agreeing. He backs me up with his physical presence. His front touches mine- chest-to-chest. His lips part and breathes the smoky, whiskey scent onto my chin. My back hits the door behind me with an audible thump. He reaches around me and I don't wince. I anticipate him touching me and crave it. Instead, his hand twists the doorknob by my hip and I fall backwards. I'm pushed into a dark room until my legs connect with the edge of a bed. I can't see anything, and the only sound is our combined breathing. I feel alive with caution. I'm aware of every hair, every nerve on my flesh. My senses are so in-tuned that I can feel my system pumping the blood through my veins nourishing my whole body.