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The Virgin Suicides book cover

The Virgin Suicides Quotes

She held herself very straight, like Audrey Hepburn, whom all women idolize and men never think about.
Basically what we have here is a dreamer. Somebody out of touch with reality. When she jumped, she probably thought she'd fly.
It didn't matter in the end how old they had been, or that they were girls, but only that we had loved them, and that they hadn't heard us calling, still do not hear us, up here in the tree house, with our thinning hair and soft bellies, calling them out of those rooms where they went to be alone for all time, alone in suicide, which is deeper than death, and where we will never find the pieces to put them back together.
In the end, it wasn't death that surprised her but the stubbornness of life.
We felt the imprisonment of being a girl, the way it made your mind active and dreamy, and how you ended up knowing which colors went together. We knew that the girls were our twins, that we all existed in space like animals with identical skins, and that they knew everything about us though we couldn’t fathom them at all. We knew, finally, that the girls were really women in disguise, that they understood love and even death, and that our job was merely to create the noise that seemed to fascinate them.
We couldn't imagine the emptiness of a creature who put a razor to her wrists and opened her veins, the emptiness and the calm.
Dr. Armonson stitched up her wrist wounds. Within five minutes of the transfusion he declared her out of danger. Chucking her under the chin, he said, "What are you doing here, honey? You're not even old enough to know how bad life gets." And it was then Cecilia gave orally what was to be her only form of suicide note, and a useless one at that, because she was going to live: "Obviously, Doctor," she said, "you've never been a thirteen-year-old girl.
In the end we had the pieces of the puzzle, but no matter how we put them together, gaps remained, oddly shaped emptinesses mapped by what surrounded them, like countries we couldn't name.
In the end, the tortures tearing the Lisbon girls pointed to a simple reasoned refusal to accept the world as it was handed down to them, so full of flaws.
The girls took into their own hands decisions better left to God. They became too powerful to live among us, too self-concerned, too visionary, too blind.
All wisdom ends in paradox.
They had killed themselves over our dying forests, over manatees maimed by propellers as they surfaced to drink from garden hoses; they had killed themselves at the sight of used tires stacked higher than the pyramids; they had killed themselves over the failure to find a love none of us could ever be. In the end, the tortures tearing the Lisbon girls pointed to a simple reasoned refusal to accept the world as it was handed down to them, so full of flaws.
We knew, finally, that the girls were really women in disguise, that they understood love and even death, and that our job was merely to create the noise that seemed to fascinate them.
You never get over it, but you get to where it doesn't bother you so much.
We knew that Cecilia had killed herself because she was a misfit, because the beyond called to her, and we knew that her sisters, once abandoned, felt her calling from that place, too.
We realized that the version of the world they rendered for us was not the world they really believed in...
Words, words, word. Once, I had the gift. I could make love out of words as a potter makes cups of clay. Love that overthrows empire. Love that binds two hearts together, come hellfire & brimstone. For sixpence a line, I could cause a riot in a nunnery. But now -- I have lost my gift. It's as if my quill is broken, as if the organ of my imagination has dried up, as if the proud -illegible word- of my genius has collapsed.
During a warm winter rain ... the basins of her collarbones collected water.
What lingered after them was not life, which always overcomes natural death, but the most trivial list of mundane facts: a clock ticking on a wall, a room dim at noon, and the outrageousness of a human being thinking only of herself.
Winter is the season of alcoholism and despair.
Capitalism has resulted in material well-being but spiritual bankruptcy.
The time has to be right and the heart willing.
They're just memories now. Time to write them off.
and she had succeeded, on the second try, in hurling herself out of the world.
The zipper opened all the way down our spines.
The seeds of death get lost in the mess that God made us.
The world, a tired performer, offers us another half-assed season.
We had loved them, and that they hadn't heard us calling, still do not hear us... calling them out of those rooms where they went to be alone for all time, alone in suicide, which is deeper than death, and where we will never find the pieces to put them back together.
Added to their loveliness was a new mysterious suffering, perfectly silent, visible in the blue puffiness beneath their eyes or the way they would sometimes stop in mid-stride, look down, and shake their heads as though disagreeing with life.
They said nothing and our parents said nothing, so we sensed how ancient they were, how accustomed to trauma, depressions, and wars. We realized that the version of the world they rendered for us was not the world they really believed in, and for all their caretaking and bitching about crabgrass they didn't give a damn about lawns.
On the morning the last Lisbon daughter took her turn at suicide—it was Mary this time, and sleeping pills, like Therese—the two paramedics arrived at the house knowing exactly where the knife drawer was, and the gas oven, and the beam in the basement from which it was possible to tie a rope.
We Greeks are a moody people. Suicide makes sense to us. Putting up Christmas lights after your own daughter does it—that makes no sense. What my yia yia could never understand about America was why everyone pretended to be happy all the time.
Their desire was silent yet magnificent, like a thousand daisies attuning their faces toward the path of the sun.
She wanted out of that decorating scheme.
Bubble-gum angels swooped from top margins, or scraped their wings between teeming paragraphs. Maidens with golden hair dripped sea-blue tears into the books spine. Grape-colored whales spouted blood around a newspaper item (pasted in) listing arrivals to the endangered species list. Six hatchlings cried from shattered shells near an entry made on Easter. Cecilia had filled the pages with a profusion of colors and curlicues, Candyland ladders and striped shamrocks.
Virgin suicide What was that she cried? No use in stayin' On this holocaust ride She gave me her cherry She's my virgin suicide.
They were bound for college, husbands, child-rearing, unhappiness only dimly perceived—bound, in other words, for life.
She kept her face to the floor, moving in her personal oblivion, her sunflower eyes fixed on the predicament of her life we would never understand.
With most people suicide is like Russian roulette. Only one chamber has a bullet. With the Lisbon girls, the gun was loaded. A bullet for family abuse. A bullet for genetic predisposition. A bullet for historical malaise. A bullet for inevitable momentum. The two other bullets are impossible to name, but that doesn't mean the chambers were empty.
Lux spent the ride dialing the radio for her favorite song. "It makes me crazy," she said. "You know they're playing it somewhere, but you have to find it.
I don’t think we’d ever remembered to shut it. It was all clear to me. I knew I had to close that window or else she’d go on jumping out of it forever.
For the eternity that Lux Lisbon looked at him, Trip Fontaine looked back, and the love he felt at that moment, truer than all subsequent loves because it never had to survive real life, still plagued him, even now in the desert, with his looks and health wasted. 'You never know what'll set the memory off,' he told us. 'A baby's face. A bell on a cat's collar. Anything.' They didn't exchange a single word. But in the weeks that followed, Trip spent his days wandering the halls, hoping for Lux to appear, the most naked person with clothes on he had ever seen.
All sixteen mentioned her jutting ribs, the insubstantiality of her thighs, and one, who went up to the roof with Lux during a warm winter rain, told us how the basins of her collarbones collected water.
We felt the imprisonment of being a girl, the way it made your mind active and dreamy, and how you ended up knowing which colors went together.
that since Cecilia’s suicide, the Lisbons could hardly wait for night to forget themselves in sleep.
Her eyes watered and she was a foot taller than any of her sisters, mostly because of the length of her neck which would one day hang from the end of a rope.
At night the cries of cats making love or fighting, their caterwauling in the dark, told us that the world was pure emotion, flung back and forth among its creatures, the agony of the one-eyed Siamese no different from that of the Lisbon girls, and even the trees plunged in feeling.
girls forbidden to dance would only attract husbands with bad complexions and sunken chests.
O Earth, lie heavily upon her eyes; Seal her sweet eyes weary of watching Earth; Lie close around her; leave no room for mirth With its harsh laughter, nor for sound of sighs. She hath no questions, she hath no replies.
But now, Mr. Bates didn't scream or try to get the truck's license plate, nor did Mrs. Bates, who had once wept when we set off firecrackers in her state-fair tulips - they said nothing, and our parents said nothing, so that we sensed how ancient they were, how accustomed to trauma, depressions, and wars. We realized that the version of the world that they rendered for us was not the world they really believed in, and that for all their caretaking and bitching about crabgrass they didn't give a damn about lawns.
Household objects lost meaning. A bedside clock became a hunk of molded plastic, telling something called time, in a world marking its passage for some reason.
Whenever we got a glimpse, their faces looked indecently revealed, as though we were used to seeing women in veils.
But that was in the days when they expected perils to come from without, and nothing made less sense by that time than a survival room buried in a house itself becoming one big coffin.
We lost them in the vastness of their dresses and found them again, squeezed the pulp of their bodies and inhaled the perfume of their exertion. A few of us grew brave enough to insert our legs between theirs and to press our agony against them.
Chucking her under her chin, he said, "What are you doing here, honey? You're not even old enough to know how bad life gets." And it was then Cecilia gave orally what was to be her only form of suicide note, and a useless one at that, because she was going to live: "Obviously, Doctor," she said, "you've never been a thirteen-year-old girl.
He didn't understand how she had bewitched him, nor why having done so she promptly forgot his existence, and in desperate moods he asked his mirror why the only girl he was crazy about was the only girl not crazy about him.
Adolescents tend to seek love where they can find it.
He left in a state of distraction and a winter coat.
When asked why she had tried to kill herself, she said only, "It was a mistake.
Anyone have some mints or some gum?" Bonnie asked. No one did, and she turned to Joe Hill Conley. She scrutinized him a moment, then, using her fingers, combed his part over to the left side. "That looks better," she said. Nearly two decades later, the little hair he has left remains parted by Bonnie's invisible hand.
He hadn't suffered the eternity of the ring about to be picked up, didn't know the heart rush of hearing that incomparable voice suddenly linked with his own, the sense it gave of being too close to even see her, of being actually inside her ear.
What my yia yia could never understand about America was why everyone pretended to be happy all the time.
our job was merely to create the noise that seemed to fascinate them.
It seemed like we were supposed to feel sorry for everything that ever happened, ever.
When we asked him to sum up his impression of the girls' emotional state at that point, he said, "Buffeted but not broken.
Mr. Lisbon had the feeling that he didn't know who she was, that children were only strangers you agreed to live with.