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Joe Meno quotes (showing 1-30 of 85)

“What I've learned is that there is nothing in this life that does not fail to disappoint us, even our own deaths.”
Joe Meno, The Boy Detective Fails
“Beneath all of her thoughts and worries, beneath the complication of conflicting identities and needs, maybe it's as simple as loving the way some other person looks when they're sleeping.”
Joe Meno, The Great Perhaps
“The city glitters past us with its sharp edges, reminding us of how tiny, how weak, how totally unimportant we are.”
Joe Meno, Demons in the Spring
“The most important things in your life are almost always impossible to predict.”
Joe Meno, The Boy Detective Fails
“Where do you go when you die? Ha ha. Go on, go on and tell her, Billy."

Billy smiles. "You become a little voice in someone's ear telling them that things will be alright.”
Joe Meno, The Boy Detective Fails
“Maybe that's why people have friends at all. Not because they like them so much but because they don't make them feel so much worse.”
Joe Meno, How the Hula Girl Sings
“It is the strain of walking around the world-down the street, riding city buses and elevators, moving from place to place to place-and not knowing who might want to destroy you, who might like to fill your heart with poison, who might rob you and stab you, who might stand above you in the dark with a tarantula.”
Joe Meno, The Boy Detective Fails
“Just because you have blue hair and fucked-up clothes doesn’t mean you’re better than everyone
else. Because you know what? You’re just conforming to someone else’s code. Even though you don’t
wear khakis or sweaters or whatever, but to me all you guys look the same. You think you’re so
individualistic, but you’re not. You guys—you and Kim and all the rest—you’re like anti-snob snobs.
But you’re just as mean as the preppy kids. You’re all just as fucking lame.”
Joe Meno, Hairstyles of the Damned
“In our town there is a secret spot where you can still see the stars at night, believe it or not. It is the only spot like that left, unclouded by the dwindling skyscrapers rising nearby. It is a good place to go to walk and talk in whispers. Following the little hill that rises from the park to a small clearing which overlooks the statue of the armless general on his bronze steed, most of us later remember this spot as the first place we knew we might be in love.”
Joe Meno, The Boy Detective Fails
“An act of evil is the death of wonder ”
Joe Meno
“When she cries, it is quiet, tearless, almost completely imperceptible: one more unheard prayer.”
Joe Meno, The Great Perhaps
“Being decent is the only thing that matters in a terrible world like this.”
Joe Meno, Demons in the Spring
“The only thing all men have in common with one another is their inherent capacity to make mistakes. But there is wonder in the attempt, knowing we are all destined to fall short, but forgoing reason and fear time and time again so deliberately.”
Joe Meno, The Boy Detective Fails
“It is what we see when we imagine what the afterlife must be like: our happiest triumphs, our most sincere moments, stolen from the seam of our lives, a respite just before the onset of imminent tragedy.”
Joe Meno, The Boy Detective Fails
“The more I write, the more I've come to realize that books have a different place in our society than other media. Books are different from television or film because they ask you to finish the project. You have to be actively engaged to read a book. It's more like a blueprint. What it really is, is an opportunity... A book is a place where you're forced to use your imagination. I find it disappointing that you're not being asked to imagine more.”
Joe Meno
“Above the dirt of an unmarked grave and beneath the shadow of the abandoned refinery, the children would play their own made up games: Wild West Accountants! in which they would calculate the loss of a shipment of gold stolen from an imaginary stagecoach, or Recently Divorced Scientists! in which they would build a super-collider out of garbage to try and win back their recently lost loves.”
Joe Meno, The Boy Detective Fails
“We have fun acting like this, acting like we are incredibly offended. Really, we are just bored to tears with everything.”
Joe Meno, Demons in the Spring
“We did something very simple," Effie says.
"Yes, and what was that?"
Effie Mumford stares off the porch into the night sky. The first stars of the evening are quietly arriving, and Billy, following her gaze, listens as the small girl speaks.
"We allowed ourselves, for one brief moment, to believe in something we could not see.”
Joe Meno, The Boy Detective Fails
“I was a shy kid and I was afraid what i said sounded stupid, so I hardly ever saud anything. I was the third wheel. Fifth wheel? I was the fucking wheel you didn't really need, but I still hung around. I thought maybe my silence would one day impress somebody. As of yet, it hadn't done much for me.”
Joe Meno, Hairstyles of the Damned
“Jack: Well, I've never been to New York, but I hear it's for assholes.
Odile: It's not.
Jack: Well, that's what I heard. Cool people don't live there anymore, They all live here. In Chicago.”
Joe Meno, Office Girl
“I did a bad thing tonight, one of the most terrible things ever: I waited for her to fall asleep, then stole the sheet from under her head. I am missing you or maybe just the idea of you. I have begun seriously thinking about other men. I am afraid I am not strong enough or tough enough for this. I am afraid all the time. I have not slept well in months. When are you coming back, you jerk? We are all trying to be brave without you and doing a real crummy job of it. I do not want to have to be brave anymore without you.”
Joe Meno, Demons in the Spring
“Apples are kissing other apples. Gray cats are kissing other gray cats. Trees are kissing trees. You and I are not kissing. We work in an office together. We are both married to other people. It is okay because we only have ideas, you and I, about whether we should kiss or not. These ideas are both good and bad, probably.
At work, we do not say these words aloud but make elaborate diagrams for one another. You write these words: Kissing you would be like this, and draw a picture of two butterflies being struck by lightning. I stare at it and wonder if you may be right. I do my own drawing and write, Kissing you would be like this, and sketch a picture of a man made of ice kissing a woman who is actually a stove. We have made hundreds of these drawings. We do not actually do any work.”
Joe Meno, Demons in the Spring
“Maybe it was better to just go on believing everything was OK, even when
really bad things were just about to happen.”
Joe Meno, Hairstyles of the Damned
“Attention, God the Judge, God the Father, who Art in Heaven, give me one miracle, please. If You exist as I know You do, even if no one else in the world believes in You, please give me a brain tumor. Please tear my limbs from their sockets and let the backseat and my older sister be totally covered with blood. Please make me dumb and blind and deaf, please make me a martyr, please, dear heavenly Father. Tear my heart right from my chest. Drive spikes into my eyes and let hot lava shoot out of my mouth. Make me silent and thoroughly dead, but please hurry. Before we get home, before we reach the next stoplight, let the only sound be no sound, the silence of my death burning in the empty sky. If You are a mighty and true God, if You are not just a dream I have made up, please, before another hour, another minute passes, let the wire in my bra poke through my heart. Dear Lord, please, please, give me this one miracle. I have begged You every day, every evening, so please, let Your will be done, let Your will be done. Give me a gruesome death as fast as You possibly can. Thank you, God. Amen.”
Joe Meno, The Great Perhaps
tags: death
“After school the very next day, El Rey's mobile home was gone. I laid in bed and wondered what happens to people when they go, if they become like shadows, if they fade away when they disappear from your life. The only thing I could see was the broken picket fence. The only sound I could hear was the cry of birds being killed in the night.”
Joe Meno, Tender as Hellfire
“...a book is actually a place, a place where we, as adults, still have the chance to engage in active imagining, translating word into image, connecting these images to memories, dreams and larger ideas. Television, film, even the stage play, have already been imagined for us, but the book, in whatever form we choose to interact with it, forces us to complete it... The fact that books provide us the place to imagine is critically important, as it is there, in the imagination, that all sense of possibility rests.”
Joe Meno
“...and realizes how there are all these moments, moments like just this one, there are all these moments, and how everyone lives their lives in these short, all-too-short moments. There are all these moments and what's so interesting, what makes them beautiful, is the fact that none of them last.”
Joe Meno, Office Girl
“Madeline decides Jonathan is an immature, selfish asshole and that she is never talking to him again.”
Joe Meno, The Great Perhaps
“His face almost looked the way it did when he was a teenager, when there was the subtle expression of both confidence and mischief in his darkly handsome eyes. When I think of him now, though, I don’t picture his face the way it is. What I see is from a memory, from a moment when he must have been eleven or twelve years old and we were both in our backyard and it was summertime and I was drawing in a coloring book and he was there in the green grass and he didn’t know I was watching him. He was crawling around on all fours; he was practicing being a lion or a tiger or more probably a leopard and he was growling to himself, stalking the shadow of a bird, and he didn’t see me staring at him and I think my mother was there, looking at us from an upstairs window, watching us both and gently smiling, and what I remember most is that all of us were happy then with who we were at that moment; at that moment, all of us were quietly happy.”
Joe Meno, Demons in the Spring
“I figured Alan wasn’t really Alan anymore, that maybe the meds or the disease had made him someone else, someone more timid, someone I actually felt close to. I kept hoping that this would be it, that this would be as bad as it would ever get.”
Joe Meno, Demons in the Spring

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