Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.
I'm in love with you," he said quietly. "Augustus," I said. "I am," he said. He was staring at me, and I could see the corners of his eyes crinkling. "I'm in love with you, and I'm not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I'm in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we're all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we'll ever have, and I am in love with you.
You don't get to choose if you get hurt in this world...but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices.
Without pain, how could we know joy?' This is an old argument in the field of thinking about suffering and its stupidity and lack of sophistication could be plumbed for centuries but suffice it to say that the existence of broccoli does not, in any way, affect the taste of chocolate.
Some tourists think Amsterdam is a city of sin, but in truth it is a city of freedom. And in freedom, most people find sin.
It's a metaphor, see: You put the killing thing right between your teeth, but you don't give it the power to do its killing.
I believe the universe wants to be noticed. I think the universe is inprobably biased toward the consciousness, that it rewards intelligence in part because the universe enjoys its elegance being observed. And who am I, living in the middle of history, to tell the universe that it-or my observation of it-is temporary?.
I'm a grenade and at some point I'm going to blow up and I would like to minimize the casualties, okay?.
Because you are beautiful. I enjoy looking at beautiful people, and I decided a while ago not to deny myself the simpler pleasures of existence.
Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book. And then there are books like An Imperial Affliction, which you can't tell people about, books so special and rare and yours that advertising your affection feels like betrayal.
It's just that most really good-looking people are stupid, so I exceed expectations.' 'Right, it's primarily his hotness,' I said. 'It can be sort of blinding,' he said. 'It actually did blind our friend Isaac,' I said. 'Terrible tragedy, that. But can I help my own deadly beauty?' 'You cannot.' 'It is my burden, this beautiful face.' 'Not to mention your body.' 'Seriously, don't even get me started on my hot bod. You don't want to see me naked, Dave. Seeing me naked actually took Hazel Grace's breath away,' he said, nodding toward the oxygen tank.
Much of my life had been devoted to trying not to cry in front of people who loved me, so I knew what Augustus was doing. You clench your teeth. You look up. You tell yourself that if they see you cry, it will hurt them, and you will be nothing but a Sadness in their lives, and you must not become a mere sadness, so you will not cry, and you say all of this to yourself while looking up at the ceiling, and then you swallow even though your throat does not want to close and you look at the person who loves you and smile.
But it is the nature of stars to cross, and never was Shakespeare more wrong than when he has Cassius note, ‘The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars / But in ourselves.
Whenever you read a cancer booklet or website or whatever, they always list depression among the side effects of cancer. But, in fact, depression is not a side effect of cancer. Depression is a side effect of dying.
The pleasure of remembering had been taken from me, because there was no longer anyone to remember with. It felt like losing your co-rememberer meant losing the memory itself, as if the things we'd done were less real and important than they had been hours before.
Headline?" he asked. "'Swing Set Needs Home,'" I said. "'Desperately Lonely Swing Set Needs Loving Home,'" he said. "'Lonely, Vaguely Pedophilic Swing Set Seeks the Butts of Children,'" I said.
Gus: "It tastes like..." Me: "Food." Gus: "Yes, precisely. It tastes like food, excellently prepared. But it does not taste, how do I put this delicately...?" Me: "It does not taste like God Himself cooked heaven into a series of five dishes which were then served to you accompanied by several luminous balls of fermented, bubbly plasma while actual and literal flower petals floated down around your canal-side dinner table." Gus: "Nicely phrased." Gus's father: "Our children are weird." My dad: "Nicely phrased.
But I believe in true love, you know? I don't believe that everybody gets to keep their eyes or not get sick or whatever, but everybody should have true love, and it should last at least as long as your life does.
What else? She is so beautiful. You don’t get tired of looking at her. You never worry if she is smarter than you: You know she is. She is funny without ever being mean. I love her. I am so lucky to love her, Van Houten. You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world, old man, but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices. I hope she likes hers.
You have a choice in this world, I believe, about how to tell sad stories, and we made the funny choice.
The real heroes anyway aren't the people doing things; the real heroes are the people NOTICING things, paying attention.
I'm in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we're all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we'll ever have, and I am in love with you.
I told Augustus the broad outline of my miracle: diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer when I was thirteen. (I didn’t tell him that the diagnosis came three months after I got my first period. Like: Congratulations! You’re a woman. Now die.).
I'll fight it. I'll fight it for you. Don't you worry about me, Hazel Grace. I'm okay. I'll find a way to hang around and annoy you for a long time.
I was blind and heart broken and didn't want to do anything and Gus burst into my room and shouted, "I have wonderful news!" And I was like, "I don't really want to hear wonderful news right now," and Gus said, "This is wonderful news you want to hear," and I asked him, "Fine, what is it?" and he said, "You are going to live a good and long life filled with great and terrible moments that you cannot even imagine yet!.
Tell me my copy is missing the last twenty pages or something. Hazel Grace, tell me I have not reached the end of this book. OH MY GOD DO THEY GET MARRIED OR NOT OH MY GOD WHAT IS THIS?!.
The weird thing about houses is that they almost always look like nothing is happening inside of them, even though they contain most of our lives. I wondered if that was sort of the point of architecture.
And I wondered if hurdlers ever thought, you know, 'This would go faster if we just got rid of the hurdles.
But I will say this: When the scientists of the future show up at my house with robot eyes and they tell me to try them on, I will tell the scientists to screw off, because I do not want to see a world without him.
Come over here so I can examine your face with my hands and see deeper into your soul than a sighted person ever could.
I’m in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we’re all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we’ll ever have, and I am in love with you.
I wanted to know that he would be okay if I died. I wanted to not be a grenade, to not be a malevolent force in the lives of people I loved.
That's why I like you. Do you realize how rare it is to come across a hot girl who creates a adjectival version of the word pedophile? You are so busy being you that you have no idea how utterly unprecedented you are.
One swing set, well worn but structurally sound, seeks new home. Make memories with your kid or kids so that someday he or she or they will look into the backyard and feel the ache of sentimentality as desperately as I did this afternoon. It's all fragile and fleeting, dear reader, but with this swing set, your child(ren) will be introduced to the ups and downs of human life gently and safely, and may also learn the most important lesson of all: No matter how hard you kick, no matter how high you get, you can't go all the way around.
Thank you for explaining that my eye cancer isn't going to make me deaf. I feel so fortunate that an intellectual giant like yourself would deign to operate on me.
It seemed like forever ago, like we've had this brief but still infinite forever. Some infinities are bigger than other infinities.
He responded a few minutes later. Okay. I wrote back. Okay. He responded: Oh, my God, stop flirting with me!.
What's that?" "The laundry basket?" "No, next to it." "I don't see anything next to it." "It's my last shred of dignity. It's very small.
All salvation is temporary," Augustus shot back. "I bought them a minute. Maybe that's the minute that buys them an hour, which is the hour that buys them a year. No one's gonna buy them forever, Hazel Grace, but my life bought them a minute. And that's not nothing.
Ma'am," Augustus said, nodding toward her, "Your daughter's car has just been deservingly egged by a blind man. Please close the door and go back inside or we'll be forced to call the police.
Augustus," I said. "Really. You don't have to do this." "Sure I do," he said. "I found my Wish." "God, you're the best," I told him. "I bet you say that to all the boys who finance your international travel," he answered.
She had this dark cancer water dripping out of her chest. Eyes closed. Intubated. But her hand was still her hand, still warm and the nails painted this almost black dark blue and I just held her hand and tried to imagine the world without us and for about one second I was a good enough person to hope she died so she would never know that I was going, too. But then I wanted more time so we could fall in love. I got my wish, I suppose. I left my scar.
Only now that I loved a grenade did I understand the foolishness of trying to save others from my own impending fragmentation: I couldn’t unlove Augustus Waters. And I didn’t want to.
I'm on a roller coaster that only goes up," he said. "And it is my privilege and my responsibility to ride all the way up with you," I said.
We are literally in the heart of Jesus," he said. "I thought we were in a church basement, but we are literally in the heart of Jesus." "Someone should tell Jesus," I said. "I mean, it's gotta be dangerous, storing children with cancer in your heart." "I would tell Him myself," Augustus said, "but unfortunately I am literally stuck inside of His heart, so He won't be able to hear me.
You say you're not special because the world doesn't know about you, but that's an insult to me. I know about you.
Issac:"I dislike living in a world without Augustus Waters." Computer: "I don't understand-" Issac: "Me neither. Pause.
And then the line was quite but not dead. I almost felt like he was there in my room with me, but in a way it was better, like I was not in my room and he was not in his, but instead we were together in some invisible and tenuous third space that could only be visited on the phone.
Augustus Waters," I said, looking up at him, thinking that you cannot kiss anyone in the Anne Frank House, and then thinking that Anne Frank, after all, kissed someone in the Anne Frank House, and that she would probably like nothing more than for her home to have become a place where the young and irreparably broken sink into love.
As the tide washed in, the Dutch Tulip Man faced the Ocean: "Conjoiner rejoinder poisoner concealer revelator. Look at it, rising up and rising down, taking everything with it." "What’s that?" Anna asked. "Water," the Dutchman said. "Well, and time.
Right, of course. But you keep the promise anyway. That’s what love is. Love is keeping the promise anyway. Don’t you believe in true love?.