" I love you,' Buttercup said. 'I know this must come as something of a surprise to you, since all I've ever done is scorn you and degrade you and taunt you, but I have loved you for several hours now, and every second, more. I thought an hour ago that I loved you more than any woman has ever loved a man, but a half hour after that I knew that what I felt before was nothing compared to what I felt then. But ten minutes after that, I understood that my previous love was a puddle compared to the high seas before a storm. Your eyes are like that, did you know? Well they are. How many minutes ago was I? Twenty? Had I brought my feelings up to then? It doesn't matter.' Buttercup still could not look at him. The sun was rising behind her now; she could feel the heat on her back, and it gave her courage. 'I love you so much more now than twenty minutes ago that there cannot be comparison. I love you so much more now then when you opened your hovel door, there cannot be comparison. There is no room in my body for anything but you. My arms love you, my ears adore you, my knees shake with blind affection. My mind begs you to ask it something so it can obey. Do you want me to follow you for the rest of your days? I will do that. Do you want me to crawl? I will crawl. I will be quiet for you or sing for you, or if you are hungry, let me bring you food, or if you have thirst and nothing will quench it but Arabian wine, I will go to Araby, even though it is across the world, and bring a bottle back for your lunch. Anything there is that I can do for you, I will do for you; anything there is that I cannot do, I will learn to do. I know I cannot compete with the Countess in skills or wisdom or appeal, and I saw the way she looked at you. And I saw the way you looked at her. But remember, please, that she is old and has other interests, while I am seventeen and for me there is only you. Dearest Westley--I've never called you that before, have I?--Westley, Westley, Westley, Westley, Westley,--darling Westley, adored Westley, sweet perfect Westley, whisper that I have a chance to win your love.' And with that, she dared the bravest thing she'd ever done; she looked right into his eyes. "
" I felt the taste of mortality in my mouth, and at that moment I understood that I was not going to live forever. It takes a long time to learn that, but when you finally do, everything changes inside you, you can never be the same again. I was seventeen years old, and all of a sudden, without the slightest flicker of a doubt, I understood that my life was my own, that it belonged to me and no one else.I’m talking about freedom, Fogg. A sense of despair that becomes so great, so crushing, so catastrophic, that you have no choice but to be liberated by it. That’s the only choice, or else you crawl into a corner and die. "
" You sneaked into my cabin?”Annabeth rolled her eyes. “Percy, you’ll be seventeen in two months. You can’t seriously be worried about getting in trouble with Coach Hedge.”“Uh, have you seen his baseball bat?”“Besides, Seaweed Brain, I just thought we could take a walk. We haven’t had any time to be together alone. I want to show you something—my favorite place aboard the ship.”Percy’s pulse was still in overdrive, but it wasn’t from fear of getting in trouble. “Can I, you know, brush my teeth first?”“You'd better,” Annabeth said. “Because I’m not kissing you until you do. And brush your hair while you’re at it. "
" A week feels like a year when you’re seventeen and in love. A twenty minute drive might as well be an ocean. But we were together again and the whole world was rejoicing, even the gravel crunched melodiously under our feet as we danced onward through the night. "
" Pennsylvania gave Gosnell carte blanche for the next seventeen years. With every license extension and slipshod inspection, state health regulators sent a message: do what you like, because no matter what you do, we won’t bother you, and we don’t care whom you kill or injure along the way. "
" Don’t write with a pen. Ink tends to give the impression the words shouldn’t be changed.Write with what gives you the most sensual satisfaction.Write in a hard-covered notebook with green lined pages. Green is easy on the eyes. Blank white pages seems to challenge you to create the world before you start writing. It may be true that you, the modern poet, must make the world as you go, but why be reminded of it before you even have one word on the page?Don’t erase. Cross out rapidly and violently, never with slow consideration if you can help it.Start, as some smarty once said, in the middle of things.Play with syntax.Never want to say anything so strongly that you have to give up the option of finding something better – if you have to say it, you will.Read your poem aloud many times. If you don’t enjoy it every time, something may be wrong.If you ask a question, don’t answer it, or answer a question not asked, or defer. (If you can answer the question, to ask it is to waste time).Maximum sentence length: seventeen words.Minimum: One.Don’t be afraid to take emotional possession of words. If you don’t love a few words enough to own them, you will have to be very clever to write a good poem. "
" Arleen thanked Pana. Getting off the phone, she thanked Jesus. She smiled. When she smiled she looked like a different person. The press had loosened its grip. From landlords, she had heard eighty-nine nos but one yes. Jori accepted his mother’s high five. He and his brother would have to switch schools. Jori didn’t care. He switched schools all the time. Between seventh and eighth grades, he had attended five different schools—when he went at all. At the domestic-violence shelter alone, Jori had racked up seventeen consecutive absences. Arleen saw school as a higher-order need, something to worry about after she found a house. "
" The right thing to do is so easy to see when you're seventeen years old and don't have to make any big decisions. When you know that no matter what you do, someone will take care of you and fix everything. But when you're grown up, the world is not that black and white, and the right thing doesn't a tidy little arrow pointing to it. "
" If you imagine the 4,500-bilion-odd years of Earth's history compressed into a normal earthly day, then life begins very early, about 4 A.M., with the rise of the first simple, single-celled organisms, but then advances no further for the next sixteen hours. Not until almost 8:30 in the evening, with the day five-sixths over, has Earth anything to show the universe but a restless skin of microbes. Then, finally, the first sea plants appear, followed twenty minutes later by the first jellyfish and the enigmatic Ediacaran fauna first seen by Reginald Sprigg in Australia. At 9:04 P.M. trilobites swim onto the scene, followed more or less immediately by the shapely creatures of the Burgess Shale. Just before 10 P.M. plants begin to pop up on the land. Soon after, with less than two hours left in the day, the first land creatures follow. Thanks to ten minutes or so of balmy weather, by 10:24 the Earth is covered in the great carboniferous forests whose residues give us all our coal, and the first winged insects are evident. Dinosaurs plod onto the scene just before 11 P.M. and hold sway for about three-quarters of an hour. At twenty-one minutes to midnight they vanish and the age of mammals begins. Humans emerge one minute and seventeen seconds before midnight. The whole of our recorded history, on this scale, would be no more than a few seconds, a single human lifetime barely an instant. Throughout this greatly speeded-up day continents slide about and bang together at a clip that seems positively reckless. Mountains rise and melt away, ocean basins come and go, ice sheets advance and withdraw. And throughout the whole, about three times every minute, somewhere on the planet there is a flash-bulb pop of light marking the impact of a Manson-sized meteor or one even larger. It's a wonder that anything at all can survive in such a pummeled and unsettled environment. In fact, not many things do for long. "
" Who-who are you?" Seth asked, hesitantly."Wh-what do you want?" How else was was I supposed to reply? The words were out of my mouth before I could stop them.I mean, I'd only seen the movie like seventeen times. "I'm Luke Skywalker," I said. "I'm here to rescue you. "
" And I was all, "Don't be gross, you crustacious fuck. You pull that thing out and I'll pepper-spray you until you fry." (You have to be stern with weenie waggers--I've been exposed to on the bus over seventeen times, so I know.) "
" A woman’s magazine quiz:Question: You decide to do the dread deed and just as things are starting to get hot he comes, rolls over, and asks, “Was it good for you?”You:a. Say, “God, yes! That was the best seventeen seconds of my life”b. Say, “Sure, as good as it gets for me with a man.”c. Put a Certs in your navel and say, “That’s for you, Mr. Bunnyman. You can have it on your way back up, after the job is finished "
" When one turns seventeen and begins to experience that first period of real independence, one's senses are so alert, one's sentiments so finely attuned that every conversation, every look, every laugh may be writ indelibly upon one's memory. And the friends that one happens to make in those impressionable years? One will meet them forever after with a welling of affection. "
" What do you know of sacrifice? Need I tell you of York's dead . . . of Sandal Castle? My brother did survive the battle, his first. He was seventeen and he entreated them to spare his life. They cut his throat. Their heads were then impaled on York's Micklegate Bar to please the House of Lancaster, to please a harlot and a madman. She had my father's head crowned with straw and she left a spike between the two. . . . That one, she said, was for York's other son. "
" I'm so glad you're here, Anne,' said Miss Lavendar, nibbling at her candy. 'If you weren't I should be blue…very blue…almost navy blue. Dreams and make-believes are all very well in the daytime and the sunshine, but when dark and storm come they fail to satisfy. One wants real things then. But you don't know this…seventeen never knows it. At seventeen dreams do satisfy because you think the realities are waiting for you further on. "
" Is Jase already gonna marry you?” I start coughing again. “Uh, No. No, George. I’m only seventeen.” As if that’s the only reason we’re not engaged. “I’m this many.” George holds up four, slightly grubby fingers. “But Jase is seventeen and a half. You could. Then you could live in here with him. And have a big family.” Jase strides back into the room, of course, midway through this proposition. “George. Beat it. Discovery Channel is on.” George backs out of the room but not before saying, “His bed’s really comfortable. And he never pees in it. "