jo mo's Reviews > All I Ever Wanted

All I Ever Wanted by Vikki Wakefield
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Reading Progress

02/26/2012 "‘I want my books.’ ‘Well, they’re gone. Get over it.’ ‘You don’t get it, I need them.’ Those books are my maps. They show me that there is something else out there; they give me hope. They keep me from going crazy in this place."
02/26/2012 "‘..Huh? How do you think we can afford to live?’ ‘Live? How do we live, Mum? In a crappy half-house with witches, drunks and wife-bashers next door. We sell drugs. And you look after grandkids you never see again. You fall in love with them. Then they’re gone. Then you lie on the couch and eat. And you buy useless shit we don’t need. I hate it. I hate this place.’ I know I’m behaving like a brat, but I can’t stop."
02/26/2012 "I don’t want to get out of bed. I lie there for ages, but I can’t get back to sleep."
02/26/2012 "suck it up, baby, seize the day, drink the nectar of life and don’t worry about shit until it happens. That’s her motto."
02/26/2012 "I love summer, but I’m so sick of this heat."
02/26/2012 "It’s not that I hate poor people. Or people who are having shitty luck. I hate being poor. In my experience, poverty makes people do things they don’t want to do. The ones that don’t get out stay aimless and teach their kids to do the same thing and the cycle goes on and on."
02/26/2012 "‘Well, your life sucks.’ ‘No, you just think my life sucks. I like it. Maybe there’s more, maybe there isn’t, but I’ve had a whole lot less before and my life is pretty good right now.’"
02/26/2012 "‘Kate, don’t change,’ I sigh. ‘There are plenty of artistic weirdos. I don’t know any girl-nerds who can crank out edgy music like you do. That’s who you are. Just be yourself.’ ‘You sound so wise.’ She crosses her legs like a preschooler. ‘I’m not wise. I just know that it doesn’t make any sense trying to be something you’re not. It doesn’t change anything. You are who you are.’"
02/26/2012 "A text message has no soul, no matter how many commas you shift."
02/26/2012 "‘Hey, did anything happen with your guy?’ I touch my lips, where a fullness still lingers. ‘Nothing. Everything.’ She nods like I’m making sense. There’s something uncomplicated about Lola that makes me think she’s puddle-deep, but then she surprises me with six-syllable words and an empathy that makes me well up."
02/26/2012 "‘There’s nothing here for me,’ I say bitterly.‘What about your home, your family?’‘They don’t understand me.’She rolls her eye. ‘Ah, the lament of the young.Your mum understands more than you think. That’s why she’s so terrified of losing you. She always knew you’d be the one to fly. The boys are transparent. Dumb as bat shit, but predictable at least.’‘Fly? I can’t even drive,’ I say when I catch my breath."
02/26/2012 "‘Sorry for being a bitch. For going behind your back and being rude to the neighbours. I’m sorry I lost your package.’ She sucks in her breath and I think, Here it comes, finally. Please let her blow. I want her back in all her fierce, beautiful, vein-popping glory."
02/26/2012 "Birthdays are like Christmas and Easter: I wake, stretch and shift until my feet butt against a satisfying weight at the end of the bed. There’s always been something there, before and since I figured out that Santa, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy were in fact a fat woman who loves me."

Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by jo (last edited Feb 26, 2012 11:30AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

jo mo The hopeless drunk with no shoes wanders out of the main entrance, leading with his left leg and dragging the right. His coat pockets are lumpy. He stares at me too long.
I look away first. Stupid old drunk.
I keep whistling, a low note, because the strip is wide.
The man whistles back, exactly the same note, then steps closer.
When I tear the strip in half, the note is high like a pinched balloon.
He matches it.
I waggle my cupped hands and the note wavers at the end. A harmonica.
He does the same. Steps closer.
We blow together. People stop and gape at our wailing. If I had a hat, I’d put it down on the pavement and listen to the coins clink.
I start to grin and all that comes out is a puff of air. He grins too. We stand there, two strangers, smiling, blowing air at each other. Soundless whistling.
His breath smells like toffee.
He pulls a booklet from one of his pockets. Twisted old hands smooth the cover, reverently. He hands it to me. A Watchtower magazine. On the front there are dark-eyed children with pot-bellies eating watery rice.

When Mum comes out all flustered and sweaty, I jump down from the wall.
‘Where did I park the car?’
I point.
‘What’s that?’ She nods at the magazine.
‘An old man gave it to me.’ I tuck it under my arm.
‘What have you been doing?
‘Busking.’
She glares, then looks down. ‘Where are your bloody shoes?’
My feet are bare and brown with pale wishbones. I point again.
Waiting by the pedestrian crossing, there’s an old man in a lumpy coat wearing pink thongs.


message 2: by jo (new) - rated it 4 stars

jo mo What can I tell her? That I dream of other worlds, places I only know from books and documentaries. I read Lonely Planet guides until the pages are see-through. I cover maps with highlighter circles and push-pins. I have a top ten list of destinations that changes every time I watch Getaway. There are thoughts and smells and sounds in my mind, just out of reach, like echoes from a past life. I want to eat snow. I want to ride white water and go over a waterfall. I want to wear a mask to mardi gras and live in a kibbutz. I want to float in the Dead Sea. I want a stranger with dark eyes to tell me I’m beautiful in Spanish. I want to live in France, Egypt, Prague, anywhere. Any place but here. I want.


message 3: by jo (new) - rated it 4 stars

jo mo ‘When you’re a child,’ she says, her expression soft, ‘what you see and hear and comprehend can be sorted into little boxes. Then, as you live and learn, all those boxes open up and become rooms. The more you experience, the bigger those rooms get. If you’re lucky enough, there are some people you will love, and who will love you, long enough to see their boxes grow into vast spaces. You’ll understand things that had no meaning. You’ll find dark corners that only light up for the briefest moments. But when you keep getting lost, you just end up with a pile of boxes.’


message 4: by jo (new) - rated it 4 stars

jo mo ’ll tell her I almost went all the way with a guy I thought I loved. The way Jordan treated me, like I was a second-class citizen, that’s the way I treat people. I’ll tell her that I gave my trust to a beast with a broken spirit, and that trust was returned. I get that being a drunk doesn’t define the whole person. Nor does being a witch with one eye. Good girls get tattoos and best friends aren’t perfect reflections of one another. Being uneducated isn’t the same as being stupid. There are no neat little boxes.


message 5: by jo (new) - rated it 4 stars

jo mo ddd


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