Skippy Dies

Although if it's a dream that you truly believe in your heart,' Geoff attempts to console him, 'then in a way, you know, it is real?'

'It's not a dream in my heart,' Skippy scowls.

And even though it didn't work, it did sort of work, because when we're all together, it's like Skippy's there too, because each of us has his own little jigsaw piece of him he remembers, and when you fit them all together, and you make the whole picture, then it's like he comes to life.

Fascinating ... The whole thing [the school dance] seems to work on a similar principle to a supercollider. You know, two streams of opposingly charged particles accelerated till they're just under the speed of light, and then crashed into each other? Only here alcohol, accentuated secondary sexual characteristics and primitive "rock and roll" beats take the place of velocity.

Fix that hair! Close that mind! Repeat after me! Page me the second the old man croaks it! Now, are you boys ready? A Seabrook boy is always ready. Ready to work. Ready to play. Ready to listen to his teachers, especially the greatest educator of them all, Jesus. as Jesus said to me once, Greg, what's your secret? And I said, Jesus--study your notes! Get to class! Shave that beard! You show up to your first day on the job dressed like a hippie, of course they're going to crucify you, I don't care whose son you are . . .

Gradually the awful truth dawns on you: that Santa Claus was just the tip of the iceberg - that your future will not be the rollercoaster ride you'd imagined, that the world occupied by your parents, the world of washing the dishes, going to the dentist, weekend trips to the DIY superstore to buy floor tiles, is actually largely what people mean when they speak of 'life'.

Halley believed that a kiss was the beginning of a story, the story, good or bad, short or long, of an us, and once begun, you had to follow it through to the end.

He is thinking about asymmetry. This is a world, he is thinking, where you can lie in bed, listening to a song as you dream about someone you love, and your feelings and the music will resonate so powerfully and completely that it seems impossible that the beloved, whoever and wherever he or she might be, should not know, should not pick up this signal as it pulsates from your heart, as if you and the music and the love and the whole universe have merged into one force that can be chanelled out into the darkness to bring them this message. But, in actuality, not only will he or she not know, there is nothing to stop that other person from lying on his or her bed at the exact moment listening to the exact same song and thinking about someone else entirely-from aiming those identical feelings in some completely opposite direction, at some totally other person, who may in turn be lying in the dark thinking of another person still, a fourth, who is thinking of a fifth, and so on, and so on, so that rather than a universe of neatly reciprocating pairs, love and love-returned fluttering through space nicely and symmetrically like so many pairs of butterfly wings, instead we get chains of yearning, which sprawl and meander and culminate in an infinite number of dead ends.

His name was Paul Eluard, and he said this thing once: There is another world, but it is in this one.

Ruprecht looked baffled.

It's about how -- she could feel herself going red, she squeezed her eyes shut, trying to remember what Mr Scott had told them -- like, how people are always going somewhere? Like everybody's always trying to be not where they are? Like they want to be in Stanford, or in Tuscany, or in Heaven, or in a bigger house on a fancier street? Or they want to be different, like thinner or smarter or richer or with cooler friends (or dead, she did not say). They're so busy trying to find their way somewhere else they don't see the world they're actually in. So this guy's saying, instead of searching for ways out of our lives, what we should be searching for are ways in. Because if you really look at the world, it's like ... it's like ...

It's like, you know, inside every stove there's a fire. Well, inside every grass blade there's a grass blade, that's just like burning up with being a grass blade. And inside every tree, there's a tree, and inside every person there's a person, and inside this world that seems so boring and ordinary, if you look hard enough, there's a totally amazing magical beautiful world. And anything you would want to know, or anything you would want to happen, all the answers are right there where you are right now. In your life. She opened her eyes. Do you know what I mean?

His name was Paul Eluard, and he said this thing once: There is another world, but it is in this one...It's like, you know, inside every stove there's a fire. Well, inside every grass blade there's a grass blade, that's just like burning up with being a grass blade. And inside every tree, there's a tree, and inside every person there's a person, and inside this world that seems so boring and ordinary, if you look hard enough, there's a totally magical beautiful world. And anything you would want to know, or anything you would want to happen, all the answers are right there where you are right now. In your life.

[H]istory, in the end, is only another kind of story, and stories are different from the truth. The truth is messy and chaotic and all over the place. Often it just doesn't make sense. Stories make things make sense, but the way they do that is to leave out anything that doesn't fit. And often that is quite a lot.

History, in the end, is only another kind of story, and stories are different from the truth. The truth is messy and chaotic and all over the place. Often it just doesn’t make sense. Stories make things make sense, but the way they do that is to leave out anything that doesn’t fit. And often that is quite a lot.

Ignoring is what you are supposed to do with bullies, so they get bored and leave you alone. But the problem in school is that they don't get bored, because whatever else there is to do is more boring still.

Irish-looking,' Halley said, by which she meant a collection of indistinct features - pale skin, mousy hair, general air of ill-health - that combine to mysteriously powerful romantic effect.

Life makes fools of all of us sooner or later. But keep your sense of humor and you'll at least be able to take your humiliations with some measure of grace. In the end, you know, its our own expectations that crush us.

Life makes fools of us all sooner or later. But keep your sense of humor and you'll at least be able to take your humiliations with some measure of grace. In the end, it's our own expectations that crush us.

Life makes fools of us all sooner or later. But keep your sense of humor and you'll at least be able to take your humiliations with some measure of grace. In the end, you know, it's our own expectations that crush us." -- from Skippy Dies

Maybe instead of strings it's stories things are made of, an infinite number of tiny vibrating stories; once upon a time they all were part of one big giant superstory, except it got broken up into a jillion different pieces, that's why no story on its own makes any sense, and so what you have to do in a life is try and weave it back together, my story into your story, our stories into all the other people's we know, until you've got something that to God or whoever might look like a letter, or even a whole word....

Never frown even when ur sad, coz u never know whose falling in love with ur smile!

On the way back, Dennis, who has been unusually quiet this lunchtime, speaks up. ‘I’ve been thinking about that Robert Frost poem,’ he says. ‘I don’t think it’s about making choices at all.’
‘What’s it about, so?’ Geoff says.
‘Anal sex,’ Dennis says.
‘Anal sex?’
‘How’d’you figure, Dennis?’
‘Well, once you see it, it’s pretty obvious. Just look at what he says. He’s in a wood, right? He sees two roads in front of him. He takes the one less travelled. What else could it be about?

Pensa all’asimmetria. Questo è un mondo, pensa, in cui puoi startene a letto a sentire una canzone mentre sogni la persona che ami, e i tuoi sentimenti e la canzone si fanno eco a vicenda in modo così potente e completo che sembra impossibile che l’amata, chiunque e ovunque sia, non se ne accorga, non riceva il segnale che pulsa dal tuo cuore, come se tu e la musica e l’amore e tutto l’universo siate fusi in un’unica forza che può essere incanalata verso l’esterno, nell’oscurità, per portargli il messaggio. Ma nella realtà, non solo lei o lui non sapranno nulla, ma non c’è neanche qualcosa che impedisca a quell’altra persona di starsene a letto esattamente nello stesso momento a sentire esattamente la stessa canzone e pensare a qualcun altro - di indirizzare gli stessi sentimenti in una direzione del tutto differente, verso una persona completamente diversa, che a sua volta potrebbe starsene nel buio a pensare a un’altra persona, una quarta, che a sua volta pensa a una quinta, e così via all’infinito; e dunque, invece di un mondo di coppie che si ricambiano precisamente, dove l’innamorato e colei o colui che lo corrisponde solcano lo spazio in modo preciso e meraviglioso come tante paia di ali di farfalla, ci ritroviamo una catena di struggimenti, che si espande e si avvita su se stessa e finisce in un numero infinito di vicoli ciechi.

Since when has love ever looked for reasons, or evidence? Why would love bow to the reality of things, when it creates a reality of its own, so much more vivid, wherein everything resonates to the key of the heart?

Sometimes the reason we do not see the answer is that we are looking too closely at the question.

-so that for these few moments it actually seems that Ruprecht could be right, that everything, or at least the small corner of everything that is the Seabrook Sports Hall, is resonating to the same chord, the same feeling, the one that over a lifetime you learn a million ways to camouflage but never quite to banish - the feeling living in a world of apartness, of distances you cannot overcome; it's almost as if the strange out-of-nowhere voice is the universe itself, some hidden aspect of it that rises momentarily over the motorway-roar of space and time to console you, to remind you that although you can't overcome the distances, you can still sing the song -- out into the darkness over the separating voids, towards a fleeting moment of harmony...

The achievement of maturity, psychologically speaking, might be said to be the realization and acceptance that we simply cannot live independently from the world, and so we must live within it, with whatever compromises that might entail.

Their faith in him is at once touching and alarming -- their trust that they are safe simply because he's with them, as if an adult presence warded of all possible threat, emanated an unbreachable forcefield.

To believe in explanations is good, because it means you may believe also that beneath the chaotic, mindless jumble of everything, beneath the horrible disjunction you feel at every moment between you and all you are not, there dwells in the universe a secret harmony, a coherence and rightness like a balanced equation that’s out of reach for now but some day will reveal itself in its entirety.

To hear people talk, you would think no one ever did anything but love each other. But when you look for it, when you search out this love everyone is always talking about, it is nowhere to be found; and when someone looks for love from you, you find you are not able to give it, you are not able to hold the trust and dreams they want you to hold, any more than you could cradle water in your arms.

When you think about it, the Big Bang's a big like school, isn't it?
...
Well, I mean to say, one day we'll all leave here and become scientists and bank clerks and driving instructors and hotel managers -- the fabric of society, so to speak. But in the meantime, that fabric, that is to say, us, the future, is crowded into one tiny little point where none of the laws of society applies, viz., this school.
-Ruprecht

You know, you spend your childhood watching TV, assuming that at some point in the future everything you see there will one day happen to you: that you too will win a Formula One race, hop a train, foil a group of terrorists, tell someone 'Give me the gun', etc. Then you start secondary school, and suddenly everyone's asking you about your career plans and your long-term goals, and by goals they don't mean the kind you are planning to score in the FA Cup. Gradually the awful truth dawns on you: that Santa Claus was just the tip of the iceberg — that your future will not be the rollercoaster ride you'd imagined, that the world occupied by your parents, the world of washing the dishes, going to the dentist, weekend trips to the DIY superstore to buy floor-tiles, is actually largely what people mean when they speak of 'life'. Now, with every day that passes, another door seems to close, the one marked PROFESSIONAL STUNTMAN, or FIGHT EVIL ROBOT, until as the weeks go by and the doors — GET BITTEN BY SNAKE, SAVE WORLD FROM ASTEROID, DISMANTLE BOMB WITH SECONDS TO SPARE — keep closing, you begin to hear the sound as a good thing, and start closing some yourself, even ones that didn't necessarily need to be closed.

You know, you spend your childhood watching TV, assuming that at some point in the future everything you see will one day happen to you: that you too will win a Formula One race, hop a train, foil a group of terrorists, tell someone 'Give me the gun', etc. Then you start secondary school, and suddenly everyone's asking you about your career plans and your long-term goals, and by goals they don't mean the kind you are planning to score in the FA Cup. Gradually the awful truth dawns on you: that Santa Claus was just the tip of the iceberg - that your future will not be the rollercoaster ride you'd imagined,that the world occupied by your parents, the world of washing dishes, going to the dentist, weekend trips to the DIY superstore to buy floor-tiles, is actually largely what people mean when they speak of 'life'.