Geek Love Quotes

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Geek Love Geek Love by Katherine Dunn
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“The truth is always an insult or a joke, lies are generally tastier. We love them. The nature of lies is to please. Truth has no concern for anyone's comfort”
Katherine Dunn, Geek Love
“Can you be happy with the movies, and the ads, and the clothes in the stores, and the doctors, and the eyes as you walk down the street all telling you there is something wrong with you? No. You cannot be happy. Because, you poor darling baby, you believe them.”
Katherine Dunn, Geek Love
“They thought to use and shame me but I win out by nature, because a true freak cannot be made. A true freak must be born.”
Katherine Dunn, Geek Love
“There are the those whose own vulgar normality is so apparent and stultifying that they strive to escape it. They affect flamboyant behaviour and claim originality according to the fashionable eccentricities of their time. They claim brains or talent or indifference to mores in desperate attempts to deny their own mediocrity.”
Katherine Dunn, Geek Love
“I get glimpses of the horror of normalcy. Each of these innocents on the street is engulfed by a terror of their own ordinariness. They would do anything to be unique.”
Katherine Dunn, Geek Love
“When your mama was the geek, my dreamlets," Papa would say, "she made the nipping off of noggins such a crystal mystery that the hens themselves yearned toward her, waltzing around her, hypnotized with longing.”
Katherine Dunn, Geek Love
“It is, I suppose, the common grief of children at having to protect their parents from reality. It is bitter for the young to see what awful innocence adults grow into, that terrible vulnerability that must be sheltered from the rodent mire of childhood.
Can we blame the child for resenting the fantasy of largeness? Big, soft arms and deep voices in the dark saying, "Tell Papa, tell Mama, and we'll make it right." The child, screaming for refuge, senses how feeble a shelter the twig hut of grown-up awareness is. They claim strength, these parents, and complete sanctuary. The weeping earth itself knows how desperate is the child's need for exactly that sanctuary. How deep and sticky is the darkness of childhood, how rigid the blades of infant evil, which is unadulterated, unrestrained by the convenient cushions of age and its civilizing anesthesia.
Grownups can deal with scraped knees, dropped ice-cream cones, and lost dollies, but if they suspected the real reasons we cry they would fling us out of their arms in horrified revulsion. Yet we are small and as terrified as we are terrifying in our ferocious appetites.
We need that warm adult stupidity. Even knowing the illusion, we cry and hide in their laps, speaking only of defiled lollipops or lost bears, and getting lollipop or a toy bear'd worth of comfort. We make do with it rather than face alone the cavernous reaches of our skull for which there is no remedy, no safety, no comfort at all. We survive until, by sheer stamina, we escape into the dim innocence of our own adulthood and its forgetfulness.”
Katherine Dunn, Geek Love
“A true freak cannot be made. A true freak must be born.”
Katherine Dunn, Geek Love
“There are parts of Texas where a fly lives ten thousand years and a man can't die soon enough. Time gets strange there from too much sky, too many miles from crack to crease in the flat surface of the land.”
Katherine Dunn, Geek Love
“There are those whose own vulgar normality is so apparent and stultifying that they strive to escape it. They affect flamboyant behavior and claim originality according to the fashionable eccentricities of their time. They claim brains or talent or indifference to mores in desperate attempts to deny their own mediocrity. These are frequently artists and performers, adventurers and wide-life devotees.
Then there are those who feel their own strangeness and are terrified by it. They struggle toward normalcy. They suffer to exactly that degree that they are unable to appear normal to others, or to convince themselves that their aberration does not exist. These are true freaks, who appear, almost always, conventional and dull.”
Katherine Dunn, Geek Love
“He must love me, i thought, amazed. A faint whiff of nausea hit me at seeing pain as proof of love, but it seemed true. Unavoidable.”
Katherine Dunn, Geek Love
“I wonder, for example, if the twins’ piano training had given them the Tomaini brand of dexterity with hand jobs? Could a non-musician learn it? Could I?

Children stumble through these most critical acts with no real help from the elders who are so anxious to teach them everything else. We were given rules and taboos for the toilet, the sneeze, the eating of an artichoke. Papa taught us all a particular brush stroke for cleaning our teeth, a special angle for the pen in our hand, the exact words for greeting elders, with fine-tuned distinctions for male, female, show folk, customers, or tradesmen. The twins and Arty were taught to design an act, whether it lasted three minutes or thirty, to tease, coax, and startle a crowd, to build to crescendo and then disappear in the instant of climax. From what I have come to understand of life, this show skill, this talk-’em, sock-’em, knock-’em-flat information, is as close as we got to that ultimate mystery. I throw death aside. Death is not mysterious. We all understand death far too well and spend chunks of life resisting, ignoring, or explaining away that knowledge.

But this real mystery I have never touched, never scratched. I’ve seen the tigers with their jaws wide, their fangs buried in each other’s throats, and their shadowed hides sizzling, tip to tip. I’ve seen the young norms tangled and gasping in the shadows between booths. I suspect that, even if I had begun as a norm, the saw-toothed yearning that whirls in me would bend me and spin me colorless, shrink me, scorch every hair from my body, and all invisibly so only my red eyes would blink out glimpses of the furnace thing inside. In fact, I smell the stench of longing so clearly in the streets that I’m surprised there are not hundreds exactly like me on every corner.”
Katherine Dunn, Geek Love
“In the end I would always pull up with a sense of glory, that loving is the strong side. It's feeble to be an object. What's the point of being loved in return, I'd ask myself.”
Katherine Dunn, Geek Love
“Just being visible is my biggest confession, so they try to set me at ease by revealing our equality, by dragging out their own less-apparent deformities.”
Katherine Dunn, Geek Love
“Then he dreamed that he was in the open door of a plane several thousand feet above the earth and he had to jump holding a baby in his arms. It was his baby. He jumped, pulled the rip cord on the parachute, and it didn’t open. The emergency release didn’t work. He was falling fast. The wind tore at him fiercely. He was gripping the baby as tightly as he could but the wind pried under his arms, strained at his muscles, and suddenly the baby was loose, falling beside him, just out of reach. He flailed and groped in the air, trying to reach it. The baby was falling just a little bit faster than he was. It was below him, falling away from him as he fell after it. The earth screamed up at him. He knew that the baby was going to hit first and he would see it, would know it for a whole fraction of a second before he was smashed into a pulp himself. The terrible millisecond of that grief burst in him and he woke shrieking. He couldn’t get the dream out of his head. He prayed that he would have the dream again but that this time he would fall faster and be allowed to die first.”
Katherine Dunn, Geek Love
“You must have wished a million times to be normal.”
“No.”
“No?”
“I’ve wished I had two heads. Or that I was invisible. I’ve wished for a fish’s tail instead of legs. I’ve wished to be more special.”
“Not normal?”
“Never.”
Katherine Dunn, Geek Love
“It's interesting that when these individuals choose-and it is their choice always-to endure voluntary amputations for their own personal benefit, society professes itself shocked and disapproving. Yet this same society respects the concept that any individual should risk total annihilation in war, subject to the judgement of any superior officer at all and for purposes ranging from a promotion for the lieutenant to higher profits for the bullet company. Hell, they don't just respect that idea, they flat out expect it. And they'll shoot your ass if you don't go along with it.
-Arturo in response to critics”
Katherine Dunn, Geek Love
tags: war
“Only a lunatic would want to be president. These lunatics are created deliberately by those who wish to be presided over. You’ve seen it a thousand times. We create a leader by locating one in the crowd who is standing up. This may well be because there are no chairs or because his knees are fused by arthritis. It doesn’t matter. We designate this victim as a ‘stand-up guy’ by the simple expedient of sitting down around him.” ARTURISM:”
Katherine Dunn, Geek Love
“Like colors or a spring tree against that kind ofblue sky that pulls your heart out through your eyes. Pretty things will swarm you like that, like your heart was a hive of electric bees.”
Katherine Dunn, Geek Love
“Sometimes when I felt the eyes crawling on me from all sides, I got scared thinking someone was looking who wasn’t just curious. I knew it was my imagination and I got used to it, learned to shunt it away. But sometimes I held onto it quietly, that feeling that someone behind or beside me in the crowd – some guy leaning on the target booth with a rifle, or some cranky sweating father spending too much on ride tickets to keep his kids away from him – anybody could be looking at me in the sidelong way that norms use to look at freaks, but thinking of me twitching and biting at the dirt while my guts spilled out of the big escape hatch he’d cut for them… a feeling like that is special. Sometimes you hold onto it quietly for a while.”
Katherine Dunn, Geek Love
tags: fear
“[Pride and power] are the same except that pride leaves the lights on and power can do it in the dark.”
Katherine Dunn, Geek Love
“All he had to do to make me like him was need me. All he had to do to make Arty like him was drop dead.”
Katherine Dunn, Geek Love
“Then there are those who feel their own strangeness and are terrified by it. They struggle toward normalcy. They suffer to exactly that degree that they are unable to appear normal to others, or to convince themselves that their aberration does not exist. These are true freaks, who appear, almost always, conventional and dull.”
Katherine Dunn, Geek Love
“the top head would have controlled everything and made his poor little butt-brother miserable.”
Katherine Dunn, Geek Love
“It is, I suppose, the common grief of children at having to protect their parents from reality. It is bitter for the young to see what awful innocence adults grow into, that terrible vulnerability that must be sheltered from the rodent mire of childhood.”
Katherine Dunn, Geek Love
tags: truth
“There are those whose own vulgar normality is so apparent and stultifying that they strive to escape it. They affect flamboyant behavior and claim originality according to the fashionable eccentricities of their time. They claim brains or talent or indifference to mores in desperate attempts to deny their own mediocrity. These are frequently artists and performers, adventurers and wide-life devotees.

Then there are those who feel their own strangeness and are terrified by it. They struggle toward normalcy. They suffer to exactly that degree that they are unable to appear normal to others, or to convince themselves that their aberration does not exist. These are true freaks, who appear, almost always, conventional and dull (281-2)”
Katherine Dunn, Geek Love
“What's bred in the bones, when you have bones, comes through. And they looked at her, watched her, wanted to squirt her full of baby juice.”
Katherine Dunn, Geek Love
“Dear daughter, I won't try to call my feeling for Arty love. Call it focus. My focus on Art was an ailment, noncommunicable, and, even to me all these years later, incomprehensible. Now I despise myself. But even so I remember, in hot floods, the way he slept, still as death, with his face washed flat, stony as a carved tomb and exquisite. His weakness and his ravening bitter needs were terrible, and beautiful, and irresistible as an earthquake. He scalded or smothered anyone he needed, but his needing and the hurt that it caused me were the most life I ever had. Remember what a poor thing I have always been and forgive me.

He saw no use for you and you interfered with his use of me. I sent you away to please him, to prove my dedication to him, and to prevent him from killing you...

My job was to come back [from the convent] directly, with nothing leaking from beneath my dark glasses, to give Arty his rubdown and then paint him for the next show, nodding cheerfully all the while, never showing anything but attentive care for his muscular wonderfulness. Because he could have killed you. He could have cut off the money that schooled and fed you. He could have erased you so entirely that I never would have had those letters and report cards and photos, or your crayon pictures, or the chance to spy on you, and to love you secretly when everything else was gone.”
Katherine Dunn, Geek Love
“– Мама, Элли больше нет. Ифи изменилась. Все изменилось. Это варенье из ежевики, готовка обедов на всю семью, которая давно уже не собирается за одним столом, торты на дни рождения Арти… Зачем это, мама? Перестань притворяться. Семьи больше нет.
Она ударила меня ложкой. Сильно, с размаху – прямо по уху. Фиолетово-черный сок забрызгал весь стол. Мама в ужасе уставилась на меня. Я тоже уставилась на нее, открыв рот. Потом развернулась и убежала.
Я пришла к дедушке и забралась на капот грузовика с генератором. Мама никогда в жизни меня не била. Это был первый и единственный раз, и я знала, что получила заслуженно. Также я знала, что мама уже давно выпала из реальности и никогда не поймет, почему это было заслуженно. Она ударила, не задумываясь. Это был рефлекторный, животный отклик на святотатство. Но я сама верила, что все плохо, что Арти отвернулся от нас, близнецы сломлены, Цыпа потерян, папа слаб и испуган, у мамы туманится сознание, и я осталась совсем одна – юная старуха, сидящая на руинах, глядя на то, как все рушится, и греясь в дыму этого погребального костра. Мне было так одиноко и грустно, и рядом не было никого, кто сумел бы меня утешить. Я ненавидела маму за то, что она не желает признать очевидное и разделить со мной горе. Наверное, в моем взрослеющем сердце еще теплилась детская надежда, что если мама откроет глаза и увидит, что́ происходит, она все исправит, починит, как сломанную игрушку, и все станет, как прежде.

Я сидела в фургоне совсем одна, забившись в свой шкафчик. Меня тошнило. Мутило так, что бросало то в жар, то в холод. Дверцы шкафчика были открыты, и я видела участок блестящего линолеума. Узор из оранжевых кирпичей. Мне хотелось, чтобы пол был голубой или серый – и охлаждал взгляд.”
Katherine Dunn, Geek Love
“And me all the while having to pee—coughing into the mike when my throat was tired and raw—eyes stinging and lips and chin crumpling in grief at his anger. The sweet tinkle of Electra on the bass and Iphy on the treble with Mama’s voice counting, “One and two and …” as the twins had their piano lesson inside the trailer. The gurgle and hum of the pumps that filtered my brother Arty’s “Aqua Boy” tank. And the dim round moon of baby Fortunato’s face peering at me from the dark of the risers above Papa.”
Katherine Dunn, Geek Love

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