The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven Quotes

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The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven by Sherman Alexie
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The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven Quotes (showing 1-30 of 91)
“We're all travelling heavy with illusions.”
Sherman Alexie, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven
“Your past is a skeleton walking one step behind you, and your future is a a skeleton walking one step in front of you. Maybe you don't wear a watch, but your skeletons do, and they always know what time it is.”
Sherman Alexie, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven
“Coyote, who is the creator of all of us, was sitting on his cloud the day after he created Indians. Now, he liked the Indians, liked what they were doing. This is good, he kept saying to himself. But he was bored. He thought and thought about what he should make next in the world. But he couldn't think of anything so he decided to clip his toenails. ... He looked around and around his cloud for somewhere to throw away his clippings. But he couldn't find anywhere and he got mad. He started jumping up and down because he was so mad. Then he accidentally dropped his toenail clippings over the side of the cloud and they fell to the earth. They clippings burrowed into teh ground like seeds and grew up to be white man. Coyote, he looked down at his newest creation and said, "Oh, shit.”
Sherman Alexie, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven
“Books and beer are the best and worst defense.”
Sherman Alexie, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven
“Humor was an antiseptic that cleaned the deepest of personal wounds.”
Sherman Alexie, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven
“I used to sleep with my books in piles all over my bed and sometimes they were the only thing keeping me warm and always the only thing keeping me alive. Books are the best and worst defense.”
Sherman Alexie, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven
“They're all gone, my tribe is gone. Those blankets they gave us, infected with smallpox, have killed us. I'm the last, the very last, and I'm sick, too. So very sick. Hot. My fever burning so hot.
I have to take off my clothes, feel the cold air, splash water across my bare skin. And dance. I'll dance a Ghost Dance. I'll bring them back. Can you hear the drums? I can hear them, and it's my grandfather and grandmother singing. Can you hear them?
I dance one step and my sister rises from the ash. I dance another and a buffalo crashes down from the sky onto a log cabin in Nebraska. With every step, an Indian rises. With every other step, a buffalo falls.
I'm growing, too. My blisters heal, my muscles stretch, expand. My tribe dances behind me. At first they are no bigger than children. Then they begin to grow, larger than me, larger than the trees around us. The buffalo come to join us and their hooves shake the earth, knock all the white people from their beds, send their plates crashing to the floor.
We dance in circles growing larger and larger until we are standing on the shore, watching all the ships returning to Europe. All the white hands are waving good-bye and we continue to dance, dance until the ships fall off the horizon, dance until we are so tall and strong that the sun is nearly jealous. We dance that way.”
Sherman Alexie, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven
“Imagination is the politics of dreams; imagination turns every word into a bottle rocket. . . . Imagine every day is Independence Day and save us from traveling the river changed; save us from hitchhiking the long road home. Imagine an escape. Imagine that your own shadow on the wall is a perfect door. Imagine a song stronger than penicillin. Imagine a spring with water that mends broken bones. Imagine a drum which wraps itself around your heart. Imagine a story that puts wood in the fireplace.”
Sherman Alexie, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven
“That's how I do this life sometimes by making the ordinary just like magic and just like a card trick and just like a mirror and just like the disappearing. Every Indian learns how to be a magician and learns how to misdirect attention and the dark hand is always quicker than the white eye and no matter how close you get to my heart you will never find out my secrets and I'll never tell you and I'll never show you the same trick twice.
I'm traveling heavy with illusions.”
Sherman Alexie, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven
“But we danced, under wigs and between unfinished walls, through broken promises and around empty cupboards.”
Sherman Alexie, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven
“These are things you should learn. Your past is a skeleton walking one step behind you; your future is a skeleton walking one step in front of you. Maybe you don’t wear a watch, but your skeletons do, and they always know what time it is. Now, these skeletons are made of memories, dreams, and voices. And they can trap you in the in-between, between touching and becoming. But they’re not necessarily evil, unless you let them be.”
Sherman Alexie, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven
“I got in a fight with my girlfriend," I said. "I was just driving around, blowing off steam, you know?"
Well, you should be more careful where you drive," the officer said. "You're making people nervous. You don't fit the profile of the neighborhood."
I wanted to tell him that I didn't fit the profile of the country but I knew it would just get me into trouble.”
Sherman Alexie, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven
“The ordinary can be like medicine.”
Sherman Alexie, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven
tags: truth
“It was so quiet, a reservation kind of quiet, where you can hear somebody drinking whiskey on the rocks three miles away.”
Sherman Alexie, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven
“Summer coming like a car from down the highway.”
Sherman Alexie, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven
“it's way too early for him to be talking anyhow but I see in his eyes something and I see in his eyes a voice and I see in his eyes a whole new set of words”
Sherman Alexie, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven
“He could see his uncles slugging each other with such force that they had to be in love. Strangers would never want to hurt each other that badly.”
Sherman Alexie, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven
“He looked into the crowd for approval, saw his mother and father. He waved and they waved back. Smiles and Indian teeth. They were both drunk. Everything familiar and welcome. Everything beautiful.”
Sherman Alexie, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven
“Seems like the cold would never go away and winter would be like the bottom of my feet but then it is gone in one night and in its place comes the sun so large and laughable.”
Sherman Alexie, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven
“The streetlight outside my house shines on tonight and I'm watching it like it could give me a vision. James ain't talked ever and he looks at that streetlight like it was a word and maybe like it was a verb. James wanted to streetlight me and make me bright and beautiful so all the moths and bats would circle me like I was the center of the world an held secrets.”
Sherman Alexie, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven
“You must be a rich man," she said. "Not much of a warrior, though. You keep letting me sneak up on you."
You don't surprise me," he said. "The Plains Indians had women who rode their horses eighteen hours a day. They could shoot seven arrows consecutively, have them all in the air at the same time. They were the best light cavalry in the world."
Just my luck," she said. "An educated Indian."
Yeah," he said. "Reservation University."
They both laughed at the old joke. Every Indian is an alumnus.
Where you from?" she asked.
Wellpinit," he said. "I'm a Spokane."
I should've known. You got those fisherman's hands."
Ain't no salmon left in our river. Just a school bus and a few hundred basketballs."
What the hell you talking about?"
Our basketball team drives into the river and drowns every year," he said. "It's a tradition."
She laughed. "You're just a storyteller, ain't you?"
I'm just telling you things before they happen," he said. "The same things sons and daughters will tell your mothers and fathers."
Do you ever answer a question straight?"
Depends on the question," he said.
Do you want to be my powwow paradise?”
Sherman Alexie, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven
“I'd only seen Julius play a few times, but he had that gift, that grace, those fingers like a goddamn medicine man. One time, when the tribal school traveled to Spokane to play this white high school team, Julius scored sixty-seven points and the Indians won by forty.
I didn't know they'd be riding horses," I heard the coach of the white team say when I was leaving.
...
Hey," I asked Adrian. "Remember Silas Sirius?"
Hell," Adrian said. "Do I remember? I was there when he grabbed that defensive rebound, took a step, and flew the length of the court, did a full spin in midair, and then dunked that fucking ball. And I don't mean it looked like he flew, or it was so beautiful it was almost like he flew. I mean, he flew, period."
I laughed, slapped my legs, and knew that I believed Adrian's story more as it sounded less true.
Shit," he continued. "And he didn't grow no wings. He just kicked his legs a little. Held that ball like a baby in his hand. And he was smiling. Really. Smiling when he flew. Smiling when he dunked it, smiling when he walked off the court and never came back. Hell, he was still smiling ten years after that.”
Sherman Alexie, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven
“How do you talk to the real person whose ghost has haunted you? How do you tell the difference between the two?”
Sherman Alexie, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven
“Hey," Victor said. "Tell me a story."
Thomas closed his eyes and told this story: "There were these two Indian boys who wanted to be warriors. But it was too late to be warriors in the old way. All the horses were gone. So the two Indian boys stole a car and drove to the city. They parked the stolen car in front of the police station and then hitchhiked back home to the reservation. When they got back, all their friends cheered and their parents' eyes shone with pride. You were very brave, everybody said to the two Indian boys. Very brave."
"Ya-hey," Victor said. "That's a good one. I wish I could be a warrior.”
Sherman Alexie, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven
“.. but I know somebody must be thinking about us because if they weren't we'd just disappear just like those Indians who used to climb the pueblos. Those Indians disappeared with food still cooking in the pot and air waiting to be breathed and they turned into birds or dust or the blue of the sky or the yellow of the sun.
There they were and suddenly they were forgotten for just a second and for just a second nobody thought about them and then they were gone.”
Sherman Alexie, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven
“James tells the crowd that the river is just a few yards from where we stand is all we ever need to believe in. One white woman asks how old James is and I tell her he's seven and she tells me that he's so smart for an Indian boy.
James hears this and tells the white woman that she's pretty smart for an old white woman.”
Sherman Alexie, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven
“Can you hear the dreams crackling like a campfire? Can you hear the dreams sweeping through the pine trees and tipis? Can you hear the dreams laughing in the sawdust? Can you hear the dreams shaking just a little bit as the day grows long? Can you hear the dreams putting on a good jacket that smells of fry bread and sweet smoke? Can you hear the dreams stay up late and talk so many stories?”
Sherman Alexie, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven
tags: dreams
“And finally this, when the sun was falling down so beautiful we didn’t have time to give it a name, she held the child born of white mother and red father and said,’ Both sides of this baby are beautiful’.”
Sherman Alexie, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven
“Driving home, I heard the explosion and thought it was a new story born. But, Adrian, it’s the same old story, whispered past the same false teeth. How can we imagine a new language when the language of the enemy keeps our dismembered tongues tied to his belt? How can we imagine a new alphabet when the old jumps off billboards down into our stomachs? Adrian, what did you say? I want to rasp into sober cryptology and say something dynamic but tonight is my laundry night. How do we imagine a new life when a pocketful of quarters weighs our possibilities down?”
Sherman Alexie, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven
“It's just me and James walking and walking except he's on my back and his eyes are looking past the people who are looking past us for the coyote of our soul and the wolverine of our heart and the crazy crazy man that touches every Indian who spends too much time alone.”
Sherman Alexie, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven

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