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Brad Barkley quotes (showing 1-22 of 22)

“You can tell all of us are morphing into full-blown adults, wingtip adults, because all the time now the Big Question is, What are you going to do? After the summer, about your scholarship, about choosing a college, after graduation, with the rest of your life. When you are thirteen, the question is, Smooth or crunchy? That's it. Later, at the onset of full-blown adulthood, the Big Question changes a little bit - instead of, What are you going to do? it turns into, What do you do? I hear it all the time when my parents have parties, all the men standing around. After they talk sports, they always ask, What do you do? It's just part of the code that they mean "for a living" because no one ever answers it by saying, I go for walks and listen to music full-blast and don't care about my hearing thirty years from now, and I drink milk out of the carton, and I cough when someone lights up a cigarette, and I dig rainy days because they make me sad in a way I like, and I read books until I fall asleep holding them, and I put on sock-shoe, sock-shoe instead of sock-sock, shoe-shoe because I think it's better luck. Never that. People are always in something. I'm in advertising. I'm in real estate. I'm in sales and marketing. ”
Brad Barkley, Jars of Glass
“You asked me if I believed in magic, and I said yes, and that's how. You just step out, start pulling your life out of the air. You make friends, you find work you really like doing, you find places. You find diners and Laundromats. You find beaches. You find a junk car and drive it for a month, then lave it beside the road. You find someone to fall in love with you. You make it all up as you go. Or, you know, maybe it makes you up.”
Brad Barkley, Dream Factory
tags: magic
“Cal: "I'm really sorry, Professor, but how do you explain these ? Swiss Cake Rolls. That doesn't rhyme; it's not cute; it's not childlike. And this is one of our most-respected snack foods, is it not? How is that, Professor? Hmmm?"
Eliot: "Well, isn't it obvious? We trust the Swiss for their ability to engineer things, to build with precision."
Cal: "We do?"
Eliot: "Do I even have to mention Swiss watches? Swiss Army knives? Swiss cheese? If anyone can build a non-threatening, non-lethal snack cake, it's the Swiss. They're neutral, we can trust them not to attack us with trans-fatty acids and sugar. I think you would feel differently if they were German Cake Rolls. North Korean Cake Rolls. I bet you wouldn't eat them."
Cal: "I bet I would.”
Brad Barkley, Scrambled Eggs at Midnight
“Eliot, huh?" she says. The thin fabric of her long T-shirt brushes my arm. "Is everyone in your family named for a famous symbolist poet?"
No, I'm named for someone who was supposed to be in the Bible but isn't."
No? What happened to him?"
I glance over at her, the way the corner of her mouth turns up, half-smirk, half-smile. Her hair moves as she walks.
He was called to be a disciple, but he had, you know, stuff to do."
Stuff, like...polishing his sandals? Making lunch?"
We keep walking, over the bridge across the lake, past the swings and the playground equipment, just walking.
Exactly. And what about you, everyone in your family named after a...what is it? A keyboard? An organ?"
It's a steam-powered piano. It's also the name of the Greek goddess of poetry. You should read stuff other than chemistry; you'd know these things." Her smirky smile again, her sleeve touching my arm.
I feel like my skin has been removed, every nerve exposed. I open my mouth, and this comes out: "I think you are more goddess than piano." Stupid, stupid.
But she laughs. "You know, that's the nicest thing anyone's said to me today."
You don't see too many calliopes," I tell her.
I'm Cal, actually. I mean, that's what I prefer."
I meant the steam don't see too many." She stops and looks at me, full-on, and right away I put it on the list of the best moments in my life.
Until you said that, Eliot, I wasn't fully aware of the demise of the steam piano, so thank you. Really."
I smirk at her and we both fight not to smile. "Okay, smart-ass," I say.”
Brad Barkley, Scrambled Eggs at Midnight
“Cal," I whisper into her sleep, "if you go, you know what? You'll break my liver." I want to pretend that it's a joke, that she will wake up and laugh with me, throwing her head back the way she did last night, bit this time the words are true . . . she will break my liver, break my heart, kill everything inside alive inside me.”
Brad Barkley, Scrambled Eggs at Midnight
“I pu my finger to her lips. "You have to hush a minute so that I can tell you something."
"What?" she says, bites my finger.
I look at her. "I love you."
She gets quiet, the kind of quiet that sinks into her, softens her. "Well that works out," she finally says, her voice deeper and breathless, her eyes moist, "because I love you too." She turns, leans against my arm, and settles into me.”
Brad Barkley, Scrambled Eggs at Midnight
“All of it seems like noise and false light, and all I want for tonight is quiet, the black and gray of a summer night, and a girl in a pink dress, beside me forever.”
Brad Barkley, Scrambled Eggs at Midnight
“When you grow up the way I do, and the biggest thing in your life so far has been getting dunked in a glass tank by a man who acts like he’s mugging you but says instead he’s saving your soul, then celebrating your soul mugging at Sizzler with your parents (get the buffet by itself, not added on to a steak dinner, because the buffet already has sirloin tips), you need rules. And not their rules, not God’s rules, but mine. My own. Here’s on of Eliot’s Rules for Dating:
When you first meet a girl, make sure you are accidentally conducting a chemistry experiment on your lips.
OK. I didn’t say they were all good rules.”
Brad Barkley, Scrambled Eggs at Midnight
“Any more questions?" I ask, poking him gently in the ribs.
"Do you still love me any?" Eliot asks, putting his hand over mine.
"A little."
"A little?" he asks, pulling away from me.
"A lot."
"How much?" he asks.
"More than chocolate chip cookies."
"Mmm" he says, kissing my shoulder.
"More than walking on the beach." Eliot kisses me on the neck.
"More than . . ." I pause, turning to look at him.
"More than?" he asks, kissing my lips.
I turn toward him. "Anything.”
Brad Barkley, Scrambled Eggs at Midnight
“But how he acts, and what he says, and what he does, and who he is, they don't line up anymore, and the lie is in that not lining up, the lie is in not being what she needs but pretending that he is. No one says a word, and she sees it every minute they have together.”
Brad Barkley, Scrambled Eggs at Midnight
“I want to show you something,” I say.
What?” He dabs at his lips with the napkin, and for a moment I’m wishing so hard that I am that napkin that I can almost feel myself changing, becoming thin and papery and white. “Cal?” I sit back and feel myself blushing, feel it from the tips of my toes all the way to the heat at the backs of my ears.”
Brad Barkley, Scrambled Eggs at Midnight
“She looked like she believed in something, or wanted to, and I hoped to hell it wasn’t God, not in the way The Dad believes, because all that does is make him forced and desperate. No, it was something else, not just that I saw a pretty girl and just got all excited. I mean, yeah, that part is true, and she really was gorgeous, and the freckles covering her, the freckles on top of freckles all spread out and folding into one another made her skin look like it had grain and texture, like polished wood, like it would feel smooth to the touch, and so soft. I knew that. But it wasn’t how she looked.”
Brad Barkley, Scrambled Eggs at Midnight
“Ella, if it's magic, then nothing is supposed to happen.”
Brad Barkley, Dream Factory
tags: magic
“We start home, his hand on my leg again and my hand over his. We are quiet, but this time it's the dark blue kind, the midnight kind, the sink-in-until-you-lose-yourself kind. And some where in the deep blue silence, I can taste the sweetness of mint chocolate, and feel the gentle tug of fingers in my hair, and hear the quiet thud of my own heart.”
Brad Barkley, Scrambled Eggs at Midnight
“Okay, Ella. Is it possible for you to be any more vague?"
"Maybe," I say, smiling at her.”
Brad Barkley, Dream Factory
“What Would Jesus Eat?”
Brad Barkley
“Here is where they tell you, if you only believe, you, too, can live happily ever after.”
Brad Barkley, Dream Factory
“If only your life were a costume, and you could just take it off when you wanted to, leave it hanging on a hook, and walk away.”
Brad Barkley, Dream Factory
“It’s funny, really, all the ways we tell ourselves every day that things are going to be okay. That things are going to get better, or that things can’t possibly get any worse. We all have these elaborate mechanisms to take care of our disappointments, our sadness, our pain. We build these walls around ourselves, placing bricks between us and everyone else, telling ourselves that we’re just protecting ourselves, just staying safe. Sometimes the bricks are easy to see, hard things that you bump up against when you try to touch someone. Sometimes they’re subtle. A slight turn of the head, a fast good-bye, a faraway look in the eyes. Sometimes I wonder why Disney never took to Rapunzel, why they never tried to take that story and put it on lunch boxes and in video stores and on pink sweatshirts. Maybe it’s that some fairy tales don’t need to be computer animated. Maybe Randy New-man doesn’t need to sing their songs. Maybe some fairy tales don’t even really need to be told, because they live inside of us, scaring us with their witches and their evil spells, making us wonder if maybe this time the prince won’t come in time, the princess won’t wake up, and maybe for once there won’t be any happily ever after. Maybe some fairy tales are just too scary to even think about.”
Brad Barkley, Dream Factory
“I wasn’t at all surprised when Cinderella gave me the finger.”
Brad Barkley, Dream Factory
“And maybe that's it- if your family is broken and ruined, go find another one, or better yet, go make another one.”
Brad Barkley, Jars of Glass
tags: family
“Sometimes what you can't see is more real than what you can... Maybe it's because when you don't think anyone can see something, you don't try to hide it. I mean, it's there, but it's invisible... I don't know. It's hard to explain. Maybe it's just that you push all the other stuff to the front, the stuff that you know people want to see. The stuff that people understand. Then the other stuff, the really scary or strange or complicated stuff... you just leave that in the back. I mean, it's there. There if someone wanted to see it, but it's hidden.”
Brad Barkley, Jars of Glass

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