Not the straightforward bites of an honest man


More sentences/near-sentences from the sentence ritual, as previously highlighted

  • My plan was to be a sinner, not for the sin itself but to smoke God out, to show me where he was shooting from, providing he or she or it or them was actually here and not on another plane or just a story.
  • I don’t think I have any edges, and I can’t tell if I am supposed to have any.
  • Whenever someone makes me uncomfortable, I try to economically exclude them from my life​.
  • I learned the basic chords of sexuality from the swimsuit issue.
  • The kind of story that’s just philosophical possibilities extruding from some kind of soul-machine, filmed from every angle in uncomfortably high resolution, the possibilities still slimy from whatever it is that happened inside that big machine.
  • I feel like a discoloration on a sash showing where a merit badge has been ripped off.
  • Dog-paddling on dry land.
  • His voice was so deep it felt like a small ghost tumbling in my inner ear.
  • Money and used bandages feel the same.
  • Crystalline weeds of lesser churches grew at the base of the invisible cathedral; the most perfect of those crystal spears was dedicated to closely observing the natural laws of money.
  • The old fat bull lowed, his voice battered by five decades of grilled meat and light beer.
  • ​Liberty is a fuzzy idea, but it’s “pursuit of happiness” that’s the real weasel phrase.
  • The comprehension was ravenous, like locusts, sucking up knowledge and leaving behind despair.
  • ​Some people just have a special gland for lying; normals can die of dishonesty, but the elect possess a node that eats sin.​
  • I raised a herd of middle-class families, and I live by brokering their tax revenue to the authorities.
  • From the slight elevation of the off-ramp, the sprawling city looked like the work of either a distracted god or a very busy people.
  • The road was a ghost river, only to be traversed in special cladding, and only at certain speeds.
  • The screech of interplanar distortion isn’t a dealbreaker, a lot of people work closely with ghosts on an everyday basis.
  • There is a glitch in the coding of males, regarding the sentiment “if you don’t like it, then tough luck,” and its deployment in hyper-inappropriate contexts.
  • Bohemian entrepreneurs invaded, wearing the disparate lifestyles of the past 50 years all at once like a costume.
  • I was still in the habit of treating money like rain, like an act of god that I could neither cause nor prevent, but felt I could propitiate with right thinking.


  • The lake sulks on the edge of the city, their relationship soured in the rich ways only available to those trapped together.
  • The sky looked like it had been mopped with dirty water, its only life a reflected creamsicle prairie of light pollution.
  • ​The fruit trees were turned inside out, their branches pulled earthward, deformed by their own productivity.​
  • On W 45th street, there is an art gallery exhibiting pictures of a fictional serial killer; on E 45th Street there’s a regular, single-serving, non-fictional murder.
  • The “business” of business school had started as a euphemism for the getting of money, but like many a load-bearing euphemism, heat and time had dappled the word with unexpected meanings and ritual.
  • We didn’t have a real priest to consecrate the host, so we put two AA batteries into a bowl of tortilla chips and sprayed holy water on the compound.
  • Some nostalgia is actually misfiled disappointment about how the present turned out.
  • One of those one dudes so old that they start to smell faintly of fried chicken.
  • We started out doomed; the trial was more just like double-checking that fate said what it said.
  • Beatles lyrics are mostly agreeable but not actually psychodynamic laws.
  • Honest self-dealing left in the fridge overnight to set into depression.
  • Trash on fire smells better than trash not on fire.
  • I will cluck my tongue so hard it’ll stop your heart, mister.
  • The economics of being a ghost are not so different from those of the living.
  • The old man died serenely in his rocking chair but not before thinking to himself “Thank God I abandoned my pursuit of sexual alchemy.”
  • His #1 concern, both as a baseball ghost and a regular ghost, was that this contract for reincarnation would just lead to more dying.
  • You can’t build a world around yourself, although you are allowed to try.
  • Try to rip pages out of your life like a notebook and you just wind up hurting yourself.
  • Fate is wrong at least half the time.​
  • The spirits that animate Meaning are kind enough to know when they need to punch someone in the dick.
  • Most things happens without intent.
  • Selfhood–beyond the literal temporal constraints of the particles of a brain–is a very perishable thing.
  • His teeth, more than regular teeth, looked like the crude wind instrument/weapon made of bones that they were.
  • She felt like cold water on a wound.
  • At first she seemed like one of those girls who was forever on the verge of tears; I later learned that there was something wrong with my eyes.
  • I didn’t say what the cup was going to overflow with.​
  • Bottom-shelf cabinetry has a habit of expressing the unsettled desperation of the lives that people with bottom-shelf cabinetry tend to have.
  • Ignore most problems and they go away; this extends to the problem of being alive.
  • Jury duty smells like cheap soap and feels like stale obligation
  • No one here is debating the artistic potential inherent in demolition derby; the issue has always been one of liability.​
  • Cars are drugs that you sit inside, instilling feelings of immortality while often providing the exact opposite.
  • The yaw between calmly letting the world go to shit and furtively speeding up that process.
  • I don’t think I’m asking all that much when I suggest that you annihilate the past and future.
  • ​Midsize Carnivore #1’s story​ has been lost to history, thanks in no small part to the efforts of Midsize Carnivore #2.
  • Stories are a good way of swapping time-acreage for postcard images of different lives, more satisfying and less annoyingly real.
  • ​The final version of his will stipulated a complex solar-powered harness that would keep his interred corpse rotating at a rate of one revolution every 24 hours.
  • The opposite of resurrection.
  • ​What are you supposed to wear when you set out to rob people as an act of moral theater?​
  • Houseplants are the sole and mute witnesses to some of the saddest shit imaginable.
  • Even the fruit in the endowed fruit bowl looked corporate and sullen.
  • Can’t two shitty, opposite things exist and have friction, without our living in the friction?
  • I don’t want to be your dog, I want to be any dog.
  • My resentments are more resilient than the shit they make space shuttles out of.
  • Clutching a bodega coffee, draped in the kind of suit they sell buy-one-get-one, earnestly deaf to a lot of life’s shittier nuances.
  • It is the nature of adult friendships to be slightly relieved when you are done hanging out with someone.
  • Injustice seemed more palatable before the invention of video cameras.
  • Sometimes I wonder which is more troublesome: the stuff between our ears, or all the other stuff.
  • Human decency is a cyclical trend, like hairstyles or polygamy
  • Catalog the insecurities, assign them in thematic bunchings to people around you, use these people as septic tanks for your fears.
  • I spend most of my time stroking my possessions to make sure they’re real.
  • I have processed all outstanding emotions and am prepared to briefly focus on imaginary people’s interior lives.
  • Home is a computer screen, mostly.
  • Sometimes I detest meaning.
  • I mistook a pile of irregular cardboard shards for a puzzle.
  • The great lie of detective fiction is that nearly every crime wants to be solved.
  • His everything felt like it had been left outside all night–clammy, its atoms drunk on sleep.
  • The fates transformed me into a garbage can to teach me some lesson but mostly life is the same.
  • I painted the word MESSINESS on my mind’s equivalent of a murder wall to help me remember.
  • Grotesque impatience is a hobby of mine.
  • There are truths that go beyond difficulty into a kind of active avoidance of comprehension; they not only bounce off your eyes but use them for a kick-turn.
  • Emotions have half-lives, and anybody who tells you otherwise is probably trouble.
  • Terry looked like a carnie, which is to say he gave the impression of being made entirely of neck muscles.
  • As a species, one of our main hobbies is lying to another, sometimes for profit, sometimes just to pass the time.
  • A penis never develops a thick skin, no matter how much you use it.
  • Dust to dust, but in that middle part we are also still dust.
  • The sound of an entire civilization staring at itself in the mirror, checking its hair, cringing at its own recorded voice.
  • Drag my soul kicking and screaming away from the well it likes to stare down.
  • In lieu of health insurance, employees will be provided with drugs that induce a mild sensation of immortality.
  • The absence of resistance is a poison.
  • Trust has to be watered and fed more than you think.


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