Drink my Distraction Juice (not from concentrate). It tastes like love, only not so focused on just one ingredient.
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Drink my Distraction Juice (not from concentrate). It tastes like love, only not so focused on just one ingredient.

-Jarod Kintz

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There is lovemaking that is bad for a person, just as there is eating that is bad. That boysenberry cream pie from the Thrift-E Mart may appear inviting, may, in fact, cause all nine hundred taste buds to carol from the tongue, but in the end, the sugars, the additives, the empty calories clog arteries, disrupt cells, generate fat, and rot teeth. Even potentially nourishing foods can be improperly prepared. There are wrong combinations and improper preparations in sex as well. Yes, one must prepare for a fuck--the way an enlightened priest prepares to celebrate mass, the way a great matador prepares for the ring: with intensification, with purification, with a conscious summoning of sacred power. And even that won't work if the ingredients are poorly matched: oysters are delectable, so are strawberries, but mashed together ... (?!) Every nutritious sexual recipe calls for at least a pinch of love, and the fucks that rate four-star rankings from both gourmets and health-food nuts use cupfuls. Not that sex should be regarded as therapeutic or to be taken for medicinal purposes--only a dullard would hang such a millstone around the nibbled neck of a lay--but to approach sex carelessly, shallowly, with detachment and without warmth is to dine night after night in erotic greasy spoons. In time, one's palate will become insensitive, one will suffer (without knowing it) emotional malnutrition, the skin of the soul will fester with scurvy, the teeth of the heart will decay. Neither duration nor proclamation of commitment is necessarily the measure--there are ephemeral explosions of passion between strangers that make more erotic sense than lengthy marriages, there are one-night stands in Jersey City more glorious than six-months affairs in Paris--but finally there is a commitment, however brief; a purity, however threatened; a vulnerability, however concealed; a generosity of spirit, however marbled with need; and honest caring, however singled by lust, that must be present if couplings are to be salubrious and not slow poison.

-Tom Robbins

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My son, you are just an infant now, but on that day when the world disrobes of its alluring cloak, it is then that I pray this letter is in your hands.Listen closely, my dear child, for I am more than that old man in the dusty portrait beside your bed. I was once a little boy in my mother’s arms and a babbling toddler on my father's lap.I played till the sun would set and climbed trees with ease and skill. Then I grew into a fine young man with shoulders broad and strong. My bones were firm and my limbs were straight; my hair was blacker than a raven's beak. I had a spring in my step and a lion's roar. I travelled the world, found love and married. Then off to war I bled in battle and danced with death.But today, vigor and grace have forsaken me and left me crippled.Listen closely, then, as I have lived not only all the years you have existed, but another forty more of my own.My son, We take this world for a permanent place; we assume our gains and triumphs will always be; that all that is dear to us will last forever.But my child, time is a patient hunter and a treacherous thief: it robs us of our loved ones and snatches up our glory. It crumbles mountains and turns stone to sand. So who are we to impede its path?No, everything and everyone we love will vanish, one day.So take time to appreciate the wee hours and seconds you have in this world. Your life is nothing but a sum of days so why take any day for granted? Don't despise evil people, they are here for a reason, too, for just as the gift salt offers to food, so do the worst of men allow us to savor the sweet, hidden flavor of true friendship.Dear boy, treat your elders with respect and shower them with gratitude; they are the keepers of hidden treasures and bridges to our past. Give meaning to your every goodbye and hold on to that parting embrace just a moment longer--you never know if it will be your last.Beware the temptation of riches and fame for both will abandon you faster than our own shadow deserts us at the approach of the setting sun. Cultivate seeds of knowledge in your soul and reap the harvest of good character.Above all, know why you have been placed on this floating blue sphere, swimming through space, for there is nothing more worthy of regret than a life lived void of this knowing.My son, dark days are upon you. This world will not leave you with tears unshed. It will squeeze you in its talons and lift you high, then drop you to plummet and shatter to bits . But when you lay there in pieces scattered and broken, gather yourself together and be whole once more. That is the secret of those who know.So let not my graying hairs and wrinkled skin deceive you that I do not understand this modern world. My life was filled with a thousand sacrifices that only I will ever know and a hundred gulps of poison I drank to be the father I wanted you to have.But, alas, such is the nature of this life that we will never truly know the struggles of our parents--not until that time arrives when a little hand--resembling our own--gently clutches our finger from its crib.My dear child, I fear that day when you will call hopelessly upon my lifeless corpse and no response shall come from me. I will be of no use to you then but I hope these words I leave behind will echo in your ears that day when I am no more. This life is but a blink in the eye of time, so cherish each moment dearly, my son.

-Shakieb Orgunwall

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AubadeI work all day, and get half-drunk at night. Waking at four to soundless dark, I stare. In time the curtain-edges will grow light. Till then I see what’s really always there: Unresting death, a whole day nearer now, Making all thought impossible but how And where and when I shall myself die. Arid interrogation: yet the dread Of dying, and being dead, Flashes afresh to hold and horrify. The mind blanks at the glare. Not in remorse —The good not done, the love not given, time Torn off unused—nor wretchedly because An only life can take so long to climb Clear of its wrong beginnings, and may never; But at the total emptiness for ever, The sure extinction that we travel to And shall be lost in always. Not to be here, Not to be anywhere, And soon; nothing more terrible, nothing more true. This is a special way of being afraid No trick dispels. Religion used to try, That vast moth-eaten musical brocade Created to pretend we never die, And specious stuff that says No rational being Can fear a thing it will not feel, not seeing That this is what we fear—no sight, no sound, No touch or taste or smell, nothing to think with, Nothing to love or link with, The anaesthetic from which none come round. And so it stays just on the edge of vision, A small unfocused blur, a standing chill That slows each impulse down to indecision. Most things may never happen: this one will, And realisation of it rages out In furnace-fear when we are caught without People or drink. Courage is no good: It means not scaring others. Being brave Lets no one off the grave. Death is no different whined at than withstood. Slowly light strengthens, and the room takes shape. It stands plain as a wardrobe, what we know, Have always known, know that we can’t escape, Yet can’t accept. One side will have to go. Meanwhile telephones crouch, getting ready to ring In locked-up offices, and all the uncaring Intricate rented world begins to rouse. The sky is white as clay, with no sun. Work has to be done. Postmen like doctors go from house to house.

-Philip Larkin

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Frank heard the glass of water thump on the stand that he now imagined might be beside the bed, which meant it was. Finally something firm to grasp, in his mind and with his hand. He reached out very slowly, as he didn’t want to risk tearing the gauze that was so precariously holding his vital organs together. He felt wood. His fingers slid shakily over the corners of the table, feeling their reality, their solidity. He tried to picture it in his head, all rough hewn and unpainted, but the white kept slipping in, even though he knew Mexicans rarely painted anything with a neutral color. Still, there it was, a whitewashed bed stand in his mind. He tried to overlook it, and reached up higher to find the glass cylinder full of what his body was screaming out for, water.That was why he felt so tight, he figured. His tissues and muscles had all dried up, and he needed to rehydrate them before even attempting to move. So at last, grasping the all important container, his fingers straining against its mighty heft, he slowly slipped it to and then off of the edge of the little table. Vast oceans of bluey refuge sloshed against their constraints, spilling their powerful waves over the side, across his sleeping hand, and onto the bed sheets below that were undoubtedly as white as Santa’s fucking beard.But the spill, the great cresting of the breakers over the levee walls, tremendous in its awesome power and glory, had only served to excite him, to intrigue him, the refreshment that the backside of his hand was lapping up osmotically served only to stoke the great thirst within him, and with God steadying his hand, he tipped his gauze laden head up, muscled the glass towards his mouth with veins rippling in his arms, and tipped it.It was not a perfect pour. Water splashed against his forehead, his eyes still clenched tightly in their death struggle against the white, as he had no idea where his mouth was at that point anyway. But he really didn’t give a shit where the life giving fluid went, for he had become a very gauzey sponge, and his tissues would reach their strange and parched tendrils across the entire room if they must to soak up the precious juices that would in turn dissolve their steely grip and allow him to rise from his low perch and sallie forth across the blue fields of agave that awaited a non-suicidal tourist’s itinerary, just outside the door he could not remember but which must surely be bolted to an opening that must surely be the gateway to the very room in which he must surely be attempting to drink.

-Thomas Alton

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I understand addiction now. I never did before, you know. How could a man (or a woman) do something so self-destructive, knowing that they’re hurting not only themselves, but the people they love? It seemed that it would be so incredibly easy for them to just not take that next drink. Just stop. It’s so simple, really. But as so often happens with me, my arrogance kept me from seeing the truth of the matter.I see it now though.Every day, I tell myself it will be the last. Every night, as I’m falling asleep in his bed, I tell myself that tomorrow I’ll book a flight to Paris, or Hawaii, or maybe New York. It doesn’t matter where I go, as long as it’s not here. I need to get away from Phoenix—away from him—before this goes even one step further.And then he touches me again, and my convictions disappear like smoke in the wind.This cannot end well. That’s the crux of the matter, Sweets. I’ve been down this road before—you know I have—and there’s only heartache at the end. There’s no happy ending waiting for me like there was for you and Matt. If I stay here with him, I will become restless and angry. It’s happening already, and I cannot stop it. I’m becoming bitter and terribly resentful. Before long, I will be intolerable, and eventually, he’ll leave me. But if I do what I have to do, what my very nature compels me to do, and move on, the end is no better. One way or another, he’ll be gone. Is it not wiser to end it now, Sweets, before it gets to that point? Is it not better to accept that this happiness I have is destined to self-destruct?Tomorrow I will leave. Tomorrow I will stop delaying the inevitable. Tomorrow I will quit lying to myself, and to him. Tomorrow.What about today, you ask? Today it’s already too late. He’ll be home soon, and I have dinner on the stove, and wine chilling in the fridge. And he will smile at me when he comes through the door, and I will pretend like this fragile, dangerous thing we have created between us can last forever.Just one last time, Sweets. Just one last fix. That’s all I need.And that is why I now understand addiction.

-Marie Sexton

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The letter had been crumpled up and tossed onto the grate. It had burned all around the edges, so the names at the top and bottom had gone up in smoke. But there was enough of the bold black scrawl to reveal that it had indeed been a love letter. And as Hannah read the singed and half-destroyed parchment, she was forced to turn away to hide the trembling of her hand. —should warn you that this letter will not be eloquent. However, it will be sincere, especially in light of the fact that you will never read it. I have felt these words like a weight in my chest, until I find myself amazed that a heart can go on beating under such a burden. I love you. I love you desperately, violently, tenderly, completely. I want you in ways that I know you would find shocking. My love, you don't belong with a man like me. In the past I've done things you wouldn't approve of, and I've done them ten times over. I have led a life of immoderate sin. As it turns out, I'm just as immoderate in love. Worse, in fact. I want to kiss every soft place of you, make you blush and faint, pleasure you until you weep, and dry every tear with my lips. If you only knew how I crave the taste of you. I want to take you in my hands and mouth and feast on you. I want to drink wine and honey from you. I want you under me. On your back. I'm sorry. You deserve more respect than that. But I can't stop thinking of it. Your arms and legs around me. Your mouth, open for my kisses. I need too much of you. A lifetime of nights spent between your thighs wouldn't be enough. I want to talk with you forever. I remember every word you've ever said to me. If only I could visit you as a foreigner goes into a new country, learn the language of you, wander past all borders into every private and secret place, I would stay forever. I would become a citizen of you. You would say it's too soon to feel this way. You would ask how I could be so certain. But some things can't be measured by time. Ask me an hour from now. Ask me a month from now. A year, ten years, a lifetime. The way I love you will outlast every calendar, clock, and every toll of every bell that will ever be cast. If only you—And there it stopped.

-Lisa Kleypas

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Inside a wool jacket the man had made a pocket for the treasure and from time to time he would jiggle the pocket, just to make sure that it was still there. And when on the train he rode to work he would jiggle it there also, but he would disguise his jiggling of the treasure on the train by devising a distraction. For example, the man would pretend to be profoundly interested in something outside the train, such as the little girl who seemed to be jumping high up on a trampoline, just high enough so that she could spy the man on the train, and in this way he really did become quite interested in what occurred outside the train, although he would still jiggle the treasure, if only out of habit. Also on the train he'd do a crossword puzzle and check his watch by rolling up his sleeve; when he did so he almost fell asleep. Antoine often felt his life to be more tedious with this treasure, because in order not to be overly noticed he had deemed it wise to fall into as much a routine as possible and do everything as casually as possible, and so, as a consequence, despite the fact that he hated his wife and daughter, he didn't leave them, he came home to them every night and he ate the creamed chicken that his wife would prepare for him, he would accept the large, fleshy hand that would push him around while he sat around in his house in an attempt to read or watch the weather, he took out the trash, he got up on time every morning and took a quick, cold shower, he shaved, he accepted the cold eggs and orange juice and coffee, he picked the newspaper off the patio and took it inside with him to read her the top headlines, and of course he went to the job.

-Justin Dobbs

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WITCHCRAFTPsychic Readings If you have a serious or urgent problem to resolve, whether it concerns Love, Money, Bad luck, Witchcraft, Curses or any other problem no matter how big or how small, or even if you just need some guidance in your life, then a on-line psychic reading done.*DO YOU THINK IS SOME ONE BECOMING A BURDEN ON YOU? ARE YOU FACED WITH NEGATIVITY?In witchcraft we use our concentration power and by saying certain rituals that MAY invoke our mind power and then we COULD achieve whatever we want. A rival could cause irreparable damage if not dealt with. If you feel someone is standing in the way of your happiness, let me help you try and neutralize them, to get them out of the picture. You need this if You feel you cannot renew a relationship until this person is cast out. They may be stealing your life away. You think you feel their negative energy even from great distances. They may be thinking evil, doing evil, and casting evil spells upon you. You could be quite vulnerable at the moment due to your frustration, sensitivity and aching heart. Sometimes witchcraft spells could be called for when everything else has failed.*Witchcraft Love SpellsThis spell could soften the heart of your loved one. Past disappointments and resentments may be dissolved, focusing the relationship on the love and friendship you have for one another. *Witchcraft Come Back My Love Nothing is worse than a loved one who won't listen to reason and refuses to come back to you. This spell is designed to try and make contact with that special person, possibly implanting the seeds of forgiveness, love and desire for you. *THE WITCHCRAFT BLACK CURSE SPELLSBecause it could bring about horrendous times for the person to whom the Black Curse is directed, please do not request this unless it is absolutely necessary.*Request the Black Curse if you think: · Someone’s evil is "intentionally" standing in the way of your life path, preventing you from achieving success and happiness. *· Someone with evil intentions has vowed to destroy you , whether it be by their direct or indirect actions. *· Someone is jealous of you and wants you to suffer emotionally, financially or otherwise.*· Someone is out to get you and it is only a matter of time before they get their wish, thus leaving you no choice but to act first.*If any or all of the above sounds familiar, this is your opportunity to try and make things right, to try and put your life back on its rightful course.

-Jarod Kintz

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In the course of my life I have had pre-pubescent ballerinas; emaciated duchesses, dolorous and forever tired, melomaniac and morphine-sodden; bankers' wives with eyes hollower than those of suburban streetwalkers; music-hall chorus girls who tip creosote into their Roederer when getting drunk...I have even had the awkward androgynes, the unsexed dishes of the day of the *tables d'hote* of Montmartre. Like any vulgar follower of fashion, like any member of the herd, I have made love to bony and improbably slender little girls, frightened and macabre, spiced with carbolic and peppered with chlorotic make-up.Like an imbecile, I have believed in the mouths of prey and sacrificial victims. Like a simpleton, I have believed in the large lewd eyes of a ragged heap of sickly little creatures: alcoholic and cynical shop girls and whores. The profundity of their eyes and the mystery of their mouths... the jewellers of some and the manicurists of others furnish them with *eaux de toilette*, with soaps and rouges. And Fanny the etheromaniac, rising every morning for a measured dose of cola and coca, does not put ether only on her handkerchief.It is all fakery and self-advertisement - *truquage and battage*, as their vile argot has it. Their phosphorescent rottenness, their emaciated fervour, their Lesbian blight, their shop-sign vices set up to arouse their clients, to excite the perversity of young and old men alike in the sickness of perverse tastes! All of it can sparkle and catch fire only at the hour when the gas is lit in the corridors of the music-halls and the crude nickel-plated decor of the bars. Beneath the cerise three-ply collars of the night-prowlers, as beneath the bulging silks of the cyclist, the whole seductive display of passionate pallor, of knowing depravity, of exhausted and sensual anaemia - all the charm of spicy flowers celebrated in the writings of Paul Bourget and Maurice Barres - is nothing but a role carefully learned and rehearsed a hundred times over. It is a chapter of the MANCHON DE FRANCINE read over and over again, swotted up and acted out by ingenious barnstormers, fully conscious of the squalid salacity of the male of the species, and knowledgeable in the means of starting up the broken-down engines of their customers.To think that I also have loved these maleficent and sick little beasts, these fake Primaveras, these discounted Jocondes, the whole hundred-franc stock-in-trade of Leonardos and Botticellis from the workshops of painters and the drinking-dens of aesthetes, these flowers mounted on a brass thread in Montparnasse and Levallois-Perret!And the odious and tiresome travesty - the corsetted torso slapped on top of heron's legs, painful to behold, the ugly features primed by boulevard boxes, the fake Dresden of Nina Grandiere retouched from a medicine bottle, complaining and spectral at the same time - of Mademoiselle Guilbert and her long black gloves!...Have I now had enough of the horror of this nightmare! How have I been able to tolerate it for so long?The fact is that I was then ignorant even of the nature of my sickness. It was latent in me, like a fire smouldering beneath the ashes. I have cherished it since... perhaps since early childhood, for it must always have been in me, although I did not know it!

-Jean Lorrain

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From an interview with Susie Bright:SB: You were recently reviewed by the New York Times. How do you think the mainstream media regards sex museums, schools and cultural centers these days? What's their spin versus your own observations?[Note: Here's the article Susie mentions: ]CQ: Lots of people have seen the little NY Times article, which was about an event we did, the Belle Bizarre Bazaar -- a holiday shopping fair where most of the vendors were sex workers selling sexy stuff. Proceeds went to our Exotic Dancers' Education Project, providing dancers with skills that will help them maximize their potential and choices. This event got into the Times despite the worries of its author, a journalist who'd been posted over by her editor. She thought the Times was way too conservative for the likes of us, which may be true, except they now have so many column inches to fill with distracting stuff that isn't about Judith Miller!The one thing the Times article does not do is present the spectrum of the Center for Sex & Culture's work, especially the academic and serious side of what we do. This, I think, points to the real answer to your question: mainstream media culture remains quite nervous and touchy about sex-related issues, especially those that take sex really seriously. A frivolous take (or a good, juicy, shocking angle) on a sex story works for the mainstream press: a sex-positive and serious take, not so much. When the San Francisco Chronicle did its article about us a year ago, the writer focused just on our porn collection. Now, we very much value that, but we also collect academic journals and sex education materials, and not a word about those! I think this is one really essential linchpin of sex-negative or erotophobic culture, that sex is only allowed to be either light or heavy, and when it's heavy, it's about really heavy issues like abuse. Recently I gave some quotes about something-or-other for a Cosmo story and the editors didn't want to use the term "sexologist" to describe me, saying that it wasn't a real word! You know, stuff like that from the Times would not be all that surprising, but Cosmo is now policing the language? Please!

-Jarod Kintz

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Ser? My lady?" said Podrick. "Is a broken man an outlaw?" "More or less," Brienne answered. Septon Meribald disagreed. "More less than more. There are many sorts of outlaws, just as there are many sorts of birds. A sand piper and a sea eagle both have wings, but they are not the same. The singers love to sing of good men forced to go outside the law to fight some wicked lord, but most outlaws are more like this ravening Hound than they are the lightning lord. They are evil men, driven by greed, sourced by malice, despising the gods and caring only for themselves. Broken men are more deserving of our pity, though they may be just as dangerous. Almost all are common born, simple folk who had never been more than a mile from the house they were born until the day some lord came around to take them off to war. Poorly shod and poorly clad, they march away beneath his banners, ofttimes with no better arms than a sickle or sharpened hoe, or a maul they made themselves by lashing a stone to a stick with stripes of hide. Brothers march with brothers, fathers with sons, friends with friends. They've heard the songs and stories, and go off with eager hearts, dreaming of the wonders they will see, of the glory and wealth they will win. War seems a fine adventure, greater than the most of them will ever know. "Then they get a taste of battle. For some, that one taste is enough to break them. Others may go on for years, until they lose count of all the battles they have fought in, but even a man who has survived a hundred fights can break on his hundred and first. Brothers watch brothers die, fathers lose their sons, and friends see their friends trying to hold their entrails in after being gutted by an axe. "They see the lord that led them there cut down, and some other lord shouts that they are his now. They take a wound, and when it is still half healed they take another. There is never enough to eat, their shoes fall to pieces from the marching, their clothes are torn and rotting, and half of them are shitting in their breeches from drinking bad water. "If they want new boots or a warmer cloak or maybe a rusted iron half helm, they need to take them from a corpse, and before long they are stealing from the living too, from the smallfolk whose lands they're fighting in, men very like the men they used to be. They slaughter their sheep and steal their chickens, and from there it's just a short step to carrying off their daughters too. And one day they look around and realize all their friends and kin are gone, that they are fighting beside strangers beneath a banner that they hardly recognize. They don't know where they are or how to get back home and the lord they're fighting for does not know their names, yet here he comes, shouting for them to form up, to make a line with their spears and scythes and sharpened hoes, to stand their ground. And the knights come down on them, faceless men clad all in steel, and the iron thunder of their charge seems to fill the world... And the man breaks. He turns and runs, or crawls off afterward over the corpses of the slain, or steals away in the black of night, and he finds someplace to hide. All thought of home is gone by then, and kings and lords and gods mean less to him than a haunch of spoiled meat that will let him live another day, or a skin of bad wine that might drown his fear for a few hours. the broken man lives from day to day, meal to meal, more beast than man. Lady Brienne is not wrong. In times like these, the traveler must beware of broken men, and fear them... but he should pity them as well.

-George R.R.

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The word God can mean whatever you believe it to mean, for me it is the conscious stream of life from which we all come, and to which we can stayconnected throughout our lives as a source of peace, wisdom, love, support, knowing, inspiration, vitality, security, balance, and inner strength.I think that awareness is paramount, because in awareness we gain understanding, which then enables us to regain our feeling of empowerment.We need to feel empowered to make our choices conciously, about how to deal with changes in life, rather than reacting in fear (which tends to make us blind and weak).If we are aware, we can be realistic yet postive, and we can properly focus our intentions.Awareness can be quite sensual (which can add to your sense of feeling empowered). Think about how your body moves as you live your life, how amazing it is; think about nature, observe the intricate beautiful details of natural thngs, and of things we create, and breathe deeply to soak it all in.. Focus on the taste of food, the feel of textures in cloth, the feel of you partner's hand in yours; smell the sea breeze, listen to the wind in the trees, witness the colours of the leaves, the children playing; and be thankful for this life we are experiencing - this life we can all help to keep wonderful. Feel the wonder of being alive flood into you anytime you want, by taking a deep breath and letting the experience of these things fill you, even just by remembering.We all have that same stream of life within us, so you are a part of everything. Each one of us has the power to make a difference to everything.Breathe in that vital connection to the life source and sensual beauty everywhere, Feel loved and strong.

-Jay Woodman

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Dear Max - You looked so beautiful today. I'm going to remember what you looked like forever.... And I hope you remember me the same way - clean, ha-ha. I'm glad our last time together was happy.But I'm leaving tonight, leaving the flock, and this time it's for good. I don't know if I'll ever see any of you again. The thing is, Max, that everyone is a little bit right. Added up all together, it makes this one big right.Dylan's a little bit right about how my being here might be putting the rest of you in danger. The threat might have been just about Dr. Hans, but we don't know that for sure. Angel is a little bit right about how splitting up the flock will help all of us survive. And the rest of the flock is a little bit right about how when you and I are together, we're focused on each other - we can't help it.The thing is, Maximum, I love you. I can't help but be focused on you when we're together. If you're in the room, I want to be next to you. If you're gone, I think about you. You're the one who I want to talk to. In a fight, I want you at my back. When we're together, the sun is shining. When we're apart, everything is in shades of gray.I hope you'll forgive me someday for turning our worlds into shades of gray - at least for a while....You're not at your best when you're focused on me. I mean, you're at your best Maxness, but not your best leaderness. I mostly need Maxness. The flock mostly needs leaderness. And Angel, if you're listening to this, it ain't you, sweetie. Not yet....At least for a couple more years, the flock needs a leader to survive, no matter how capable everyone thinks he or she is. The truth is that they do need a leader, and the truth is that you are the best leader. It's one of the things I love about you.But the more I thought about it, the more sure I got that this is the right thing to do. Maybe not for you, or for me, but for all of us together, our flock.Please don't try to find me. This is the hardest thing I've ever done in my life, besides wearing that suit today, and seeing you again will only make it harder. You'd ask me to come back, and I would, because I can't say no to you. But all the same problems would still be there, and I'd end up leaving again, and then we'd have to go through this all over again.Please make us only go through this once....I love you. I love your smile, your snarl, your grin, your face when you're sleeping. I love your hair streaming out behind you as we fly, with the sunlight making it shine, if it doesn't have too much mud or blood in it. I love seeing your wings spreading out, white and brown and tan and speckled, and the tiny, downy feathers right at the top of your shoulders. I love your eyes, whether they're cold or calculating or suspicious or laughing or warm, like when you look at me....You're the best warrior I know, the best leader. You're the most comforting mom we've ever had. You're the biggest goofball, the worst driver, and a truly lousy cook. You've kept us safe and provided for us, in good times and bad. You're my best friend, my first and only love, and the most beautiful girl I've ever seen, with wings or without....Tell you what, sweetie: If in twenty years we haven't expired yet, and the world is still more or less in one piece, I'll meet you at the top of that cliff where we first met the hawks and learned to fly with them. You know the one. Twenty years from today, if I'm alive, I'll be there, waiting for you. You can bet on it.Good-bye, my love.FangP.S. Tell everyone I sure will miss them

-James Patterson

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My dearest friend Abigail, These probably could be the last words I write to you and I may not live long enough to see your response but I truly have lived long enough to live forever in the hearts of my friends. I thought a lot about what I should write to you. I thought of giving you blessings and wishes for things of great value to happen to you in future; I thought of appreciating you for being the way you are; I thought to give sweet and lovely compliments for everything about you; I thought to write something in praise of your poems and prose; and I thought of extending my gratitude for being one of the very few sincerest friends I have ever had. But that is what all friends do and they only qualify to remain as a part of the bunch of our loosely connected memories and that's not what I can choose to be, I cannot choose to be lost somewhere in your memories. So I thought of something through which I hope you will remember me for a very long time. I decided to share some part of my story, of what led me here, the part we both have had in common. A past, which changed us and our perception of the world. A past, which shaped our future into an unknown yet exciting opportunity to revisit the lost thoughts and to break free from the libido of our lost dreams. A past, which questioned our whole past. My dear, when the moment of my past struck me, in its highest demonised form, I felt dead, like a dead-man walking in flesh without a soul, who had no reason to live any more. I no longer saw any meaning of life but then I saw no reason to die as well. I travelled to far away lands, running away from friends, family and everyone else and I confined myself to my thoughts, to my feelings and to myself. Hours, days, weeks and months passed and I waited for a moment of magic to happen, a turn of destiny, but nothing happened, nothing ever happens. I waited and I counted each moment of it, thinking about every moment of my life, the good and the bad ones. I then saw how powerful yet weak, bright yet dark, beautiful yet ugly, joyous yet grievous; is a one single moment. One moment makes the difference. Just a one moment. Such appears to be the extreme and undisputed power of a single moment. We live in a world of appearance, Abigail, where the reality lies beyond the appearances, and this is also only what appears to be such powerful when in actuality it is not. I realised that the power of the moment is not in the moment itself. The power, actually, is in us. Every single one of us has the power to make and shape our own moments. It is us who by feeling joyful, celebrate for a moment of success; and it is also us who by feeling saddened, cry and mourn over our losses. I, with all my heart and mind, now embrace this power which lies within us. I wish life offers you more time to make use of this power. Remember, we are our own griefs, my dear, we are our own happinesses and we are our own remedies.Take care!Love,Francis.Title: Letter to AbigailScene: "Death-bed"Chapter: The Road To Awe

-Huseyn Raza

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To my lovely starling, Maybe there are magical words that will make you understand, but if so, I do not know them. Words are your domain. I've always been better with pictures. I fear you think I am a monster. It's true I've disrupted many graves. The way I see it, the dead are dead. If, after their death, we can learn things from the about the human form - things that will increase the sum of human knowledge and the possibilities of art - what harm is that? After death, new life, new beauty. How can that be wrong? My friends and I have made use of some of the bodies as models. some we sell to surgeons who study them with the hopes of learning something about the frail mechanisms of the human body. I don't know exactly what Dottor de Gradi does in his workshop on the Rialto, and I was as surprised as you were to stumble on it. He couldn't - he wouldn't tell me if your friend's body ended up there. But he did assure me all of his work is focused solely on extending human life. I won't lie. I did it for the money as well. Don Loredan is holding a private exhibition in his palazzo tomorrow. The entry fee was quite steep but two of my paintings were accepted. This could be the beginning for me. I could find my own patrons. I could be more than just a peasant. Tommaso's assistant.So yes; a little for money. But mostly I did for the art.I don't expect these words to change how you feel. I simply want you not to see me as a monster. I don't want to be a monster. Not anymore. Not after meeting you. I know that we disrupted you dear friend's body, and for that I am deeply regretful. But if we had not done so, if I had not lingered in the San Domenico churchyard after standing guard for my friends, you and I might never have met. Meeting you is one thing I will never regret. I hope you like the painting. Consider tit a wedding gift. How stupid of me to let my heart go. It was a lovely fantasy while it lasted, though, wasn't it?Yours, Falco

-Fiona Paul

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