I woke up as the sun was reddening; and that was the one distinct time in my life, the strangest moment of all, when I didn’t know who I was — I was far away from home, haunted and tired with travel, in a cheap hotel room I’d never seen, hearing the hiss of steam outside, and the creak of the old wood of the hotel, and footsteps upstairs, and all the sad sounds, and I looked at the cracked high ceiling and really didn’t know who I was for about fifteen strange seconds.
— JACK KEROUAC, ON THE ROAD
You never come back, not all the way. Always there is an odd distance between you and the people you love and the people you meet, a barrier thin as the glass of a mirror, you never come all the way out of the mirror; you stand, for the rest of your life, with one foot in this world and one in another, where everything is upside down and backward and sad.
— MARYA HORNBACHER
I take a few steps and stop. I savor the total oblivion into which I have fallen. I am between two cities, one knows nothing of me, the other knows me no longer.
If you take someone’s thoughts and feelings away, bit by bit, consistently, then they have nothing left, except some gritty, gnawing, shitty little instinct, down there, somewhere, worming round the gut, but so far down, so hidden, it’s impossible to find. Imagine, if you will, a worldwide conspiracy to deny the existence of the color yellow. And whenever you see yellow, they told you, no, that isn’t yellow, what the fuck’s yellow? Eventually, whenever you saw yellow, they would say: that isn’t yellow, course it isn’t, blue or green or purple, or… You’d say it, yes it is, it’s yellow, and become increasing hysterical, and then go berserk.
— PROZAC NATION BY ELIZABETH WURTZ
But who prays for Satan? Who, in eighteen centuries, has had the common humanity to pray for the one sinner that needed it most?
— MARK TWAIN
I think perfection is ugly. Somewhere in the things humans make, I want to see scars, failure, disorder, distortion.
— Yohji Yamamoto
To everything a season; to every time I’ve woken only to make the mistake of believing for a moment that someone is sleeping beside me: a hemorrhoid. Loneliness: there is no organ that can take it all.
— The Last Words on Earth, Nicole Krauss
I start to feel like I can’t maintain the facade any longer, that I may just start to show through. And I wish I knew what was wrong. Maybe something about how stupid my whole life is. I don’t know. Why does the rest of the world put up with the hypocrisy, the need to put a happy face on sorrow, the need to keep on keeping on?… I don’t know the answer, I know only that I can’t. I don’t want any more vicissitudes, I don’t want any more of this try, try again stuff. I just want out. I’ve had it. I am so tired. I am twenty and I am already exhausted.
— Elizabeth Wurtzel - Prozac Nation
Apparently orgasm is the only point where your mind becomes completely empty—you think of nothing for that second. That’s why it’s so compelling—it’s a tiny taste of death. Your mind is void—you have nothing in your head save white light.
— Jeff Buckley
A girl can only be a slut, a bitch, a tease, or the virgin next door.
— Ginger Snaps
So you want a heart do you? You don’t know how lucky you are not to have one. Hearts will never be practical until they can be made unbreakable.
— The Wizard of Oz
When I was supposed to be awake, I was asleep, when I was supposed to speak, I was silent, when a pleasure offered itself to me, I avoided it. My hunger, my thirst, my loneliness and boredom and fear were all weapons aimed at my enemy, the world. They didn’t matter a whit to the world, of course, and they tormented me, but I got a gruesome satisfaction from my sufferings. They proved my existence. All my integrity seemed to lie in saying No.
— SUSANNA KAYSEN, GIRL INTERRUPTED
There is no real me, only an entity, something illusory, and though I can hide my cold gaze and you can shake my hand and feel flesh gripping yours and maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comparable: I simply am not there.
— American Psycho, Bret Easton Ellis
In a strange way, I had fallen in love with my depression. … I loved it because I thought it was all I had. I thought depression was the part of my character that made me worthwhile. I thought so little of myself, felt that I had such scant offerings to give to the world, that the one thing that justified my existence at all was my agony.
— ELIZABETH WURTZEL, PROZAC NATION