MARY PABST: We’re here, Max.

MAX PABST: No, not a literal place Mary.

He points to the painting beside the empty desk in the corner of the room.

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Roxy Music, “Lover”

"You could guess the nature of the relationship by anticipating the exact opposite of Flanagan’s depositions. “It was strictly sexual,” he would begrudgingly and superficially confide to the two macaroons at internal affairs who were interrogating him after the incident. “I did give her money, but I never saw her inside of the house.” It was inevitable that we were to know his lies, but what he was hoping was that we simply wouldn’t realize the extent of them. What he hadn’t surmised is how much we were inevitably going to read into the watery confessions of his opaque blue eyes with the mention of the lovely and voluptuous Veronica Pabst—for god’s sakes you could figure out the color and type of paint used on the wall of that room she was kept in by that scum-mouthed butcher’s son Pepe Valdez. Flanagan was hoping for some remorse, but there was little to be hoped for in the way of forgiveness. We had the deaths of a 16 year old prostitute and her 45 year old pimp to account for, and no known search warrants or necessary cause to back any of it up. Flanagan certainly had been in love, but there was no way of understanding the myths that perambulated and eventually enveloped the halls of the precinct. Flanagan was everything and so he was nothing. Didn’t even know she was pregnant—what a fucking putz.

"I had always taken a personal interest in these cases, the ones concerning young prostitutes, not out of any perversion, but rather out of genuine concern for the discovery of reason behind these lapses in reason. Flanagan may not have been to blame, but he certainly wasn’t talking, and he certainly hadn’t known of the baby. He wouldn’t really talk until we beat the sugary shit out of him. And that would take the time it took for Ol’ Shakes to peel an orange."

—Robert Smithsonian from From Heaven, In Deadly Arms

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"Take time to kill yourself with kindness. Every day. Kill yourself with kindness. Kill everything thing around you with it. Kill those around you with it. Take no prisoners. Take no enemies. Kill only your friends. The world is your friend. The world is not made of kindness. The universe is not kind. Friends are not kind. Kill them with it. Set yourself free. That is the only way to put up with this book. That is the only way you will one day pick it up and on another put it down. Like putting down your favorite dog. With kindness."

—Rory Simanelli-Crum, “How I Wrote This Book and Found A Way To Your Heart”

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Thomas Edison’s Crazy Boxing Cats

Shame was her currency. It gave her equity in a world that she felt forced her hand of youthful indifference. She was the old mangy cat knowingly left alone for the weekend and returned to as if snuggles and cutesy ‘mews’ were given course for the day. She shamelessly shamed everyone she saw. She would shame Arnold at the deli across the street into a free root beer every time that she stuck her red-bellied nose and deep set twinkling eyes inside. Ricky down fourth street at the bicycle store would inevitably be shamed into half-off chain lube with each day of mannered twitches from her matted yet light and hanging brown hair. She even shamed herself at least once a day, looking at the mirror into her apathetic eyes she would eventually curse the inscrutable energy of the world outside. In the face of indifference to herself and to the world that she so vehemently was the sole occupant of, she would give in to the recalcitrant and contrarian tone that kept her eyelashes subtly bobbing above the surface of life’s mercurial waters. I’m cute but not cute enough, she would say, as if she had any right to say it. She could shame the best of them, but nothing was as shameful as that last harrowing look of magnanimity she gave herself in the mirror before descending into the vagaries of her ornery persona for the day. She was a shameful emotional silo filled with petty allotments of affected personality. She was no one but her shame. It gave her the strength to be someone. Anyone.

—Diana Fink from The Smell Jar.

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