Famous Quotes & Sayings

Jerry Stahl Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 77 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Jerry Stahl.

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This is Hollywood's dirty little secret. It's not about making movies. Are you kidding? Forget that shit about "the Dream Factory." It's about manufacturing frustration. — Jerry Stahl

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This is what I think: If you had the nerve to live what you lived, you should have the nerve to write it. — Jerry Stahl

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There's no deodorant for desperation. — Jerry Stahl

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I don't really know how to do much else besides write. — Jerry Stahl

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Rumi will transform you, in ways you didn't know you needed transforming. — Jerry Stahl

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My life - and this hit so hard I nearly toppled over - my life was Apollo 13! Launched with high expectations and pathetically crashed. — Jerry Stahl

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This book, for me, is less an exercise in recall than exorcism. — Jerry Stahl

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There was a weird intimacy, sitting in a car together. Couples sat in cars. Cops and their partners. Strangers became unstrange, sharing a windshield view of the world. — Jerry Stahl

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It's not like I was an alkie or anything. Alcohol is for cleaning needles — Jerry Stahl

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The thing is, all my heroes were junkies. Lenny Bruce, Keith Richards, William Burroughs, Miles Davis, Hubert Selby, Jr ... These guys were cool. They were committed. They would not have been caught dead doing an ALF episode. — Jerry Stahl

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We can't live together," I remember screeching. "We're married. It's too corny! — Jerry Stahl

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Heroin spread that soft blanket over everything. But once the blanket was ripped off, it took a layer of skin with it, leaving nothing but nerve ends screaming in the breeze. — Jerry Stahl

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For me there was never a lot of glamor involved in being a junkie, it was about trying to hide the puke and bloodstains on my shirt. — Jerry Stahl

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The point is, everything, bad or good, boils back to the decade on the needle, and the years before that imbibing everything from cocaine to Romilar, pot to percs, LSD to liquid meth and a pharmacy in between: a lifetime spent altering the single niggling fact that to be alive means being conscious. More or less. — Jerry Stahl

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I always tell myself, when I remember the non-stop self-generated hell party that used to be my life, I wouldn't be here if I didn't go there. — Jerry Stahl

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I've always wanted to be a guy with a rec room. — Jerry Stahl

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It's not like I ever wanted to wake up and just be a grossly overpaid, self-loathing, can't-look-in-the-mirror-without-gagging TV writer. — Jerry Stahl

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The traditional dictionary definition of the difference is that an alcoholic will steal your wallet in a blackout, come to, and apologize for it. A junkie will steal your wallet and then help you look for it. But ultimately I think all addictions boil down to just not being able to be with yourself for any long degree of time. — Jerry Stahl

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I think there's a phenomenon of people who want to be around something that seems "dangerous." It makes them feel more real. — Jerry Stahl

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How do you write when you're not miserable? The solution, of course, is to make yourself miserable about not writing. — Jerry Stahl

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I didn't really start publishing books until I was 40 because I was busy being a McDonald's employee. So there's always a sense of trying to make up for lost time. — Jerry Stahl

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In my family, misery didn't just love company, it wanted hostages. — Jerry Stahl

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With enough rock in your system, you could hear every noise in the universe. — Jerry Stahl

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Nothing ever turns me on so much in a woman as unhappiness. — Jerry Stahl

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I wasn't sad after my father kissed the streetcar. If anything, it was a relief. Much as I missed him, his dying gave me an excuse to feel the way I already felt. Which was the way I felt right now, under the laundry room fluorescents: hollow, pissed off, wanting to be wherever I wasn't. Until I got there. Then I wanted to be somewhere else. — Jerry Stahl

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A waft of sweet hash drifted by, and I wanted to float after it like Wimpy levitating at the scent of a hamburger. — Jerry Stahl

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You can't really compare hells. But I suppose the hell of being strung out on another person's addictive behavior is its own special thing. — Jerry Stahl

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I know it sounds lame, but I have to dig the way you think, and I have to feel you get me. My whole fucking life, I pretended I could relate to chicks so I could get into their pants. Then once I got in, all I wanted was out again. — Jerry Stahl

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Still ... I would have hugged my mother if we were the kind of family who hugged. If touching her weren't impossible. If her subnightie waft was not so utterly, fatally repulsive. That's how much I loved her. — Jerry Stahl

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All my life I'd gone for women who were a little off. — Jerry Stahl

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You may think you don't want to throw your life away for mere fleeting euphoria. But, once you get a taste, it doesn't feel so mere.
From then on the planet becomes a waiting room. The rest of your life devolves to no more than the time between highs. — Jerry Stahl

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At 17, all I wanted was to be a famous junky. Like all my heroes. — Jerry Stahl

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Half the reason I turned into a writer is you didn't have to show up anywhere. You could work naked. — Jerry Stahl

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Tina hit that tingle in the back of his head, the fuse that usually stayed damp, the one that got lit on those rare occasions when he met a woman who actually scared him. It was sort of like sex, but harder to find. — Jerry Stahl

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Being a junkie, when you broke it down, was nothing more than a crazed day job. — Jerry Stahl

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I think that a lot of people are in love with stress. It's the dirty little secret of Western civilization. People often mistake stress for fuel ... to me, stress is just another bad drug that I don't want to do. — Jerry Stahl

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I think it's just too kinda juicy and compelling to imagine people in their private lives, but then half the time people's private lives are just so much more bizarre and Ted Haggard-like than you could ever imagine. It's almost hard to write fiction anymore. — Jerry Stahl

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I'm so dopesick, my tears taste like urine. It's as if the air itself were made of broken glass. I try to stop twitching. To stay still, to stop my very breath, let the pain stay inside. The slightest movement grinds tiny shards into my pores. Breathing is like gulping from a bag of claws. I want to die. Want to pass out. Want to stop ... this ... fucking ... feeling. — Jerry Stahl

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I need - and occasionally love - to write for the same reasons I always did: hard as writing is, it's generally easier than life. — Jerry Stahl

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Sometimes what I did five minutes ago scared the fuck out of me five minutes later. — Jerry Stahl

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I did not mean to sodomize Dick Cheney. — Jerry Stahl

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Not until you finally try to put down the stuff do you realize, with stinging clarity, precisely why you picked it up in the first place. All life, in this freshly nerve-flayed state, boils down to a choice of hells. The hell of being fucked-up on drugs or the hell of being fucked-up without them. — Jerry Stahl

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I always figured I myself would never be lucky enough to die, I'd just live on and on in this increasingly dreary spiral. — Jerry Stahl

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If you're here for four more years or four more weeks, you're here right now. I think when you're somewhere, you ought to be there. It's not about how long you stay in a place, it's about what you do while you're there, and when you go, is that place any better for your having been there? — Jerry Stahl

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What we craved was drugs. What we had was each other. — Jerry Stahl

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If I closed my eyes, I could almost count those soft hairs on the back of her neck. One day I'd even leaned forward, pretending to drop my pencil, and inhaled her until the top of my head started to steam. A scent of butterscotch wafted off of her, and it was all I could do not to plunge my face into her shag. — Jerry Stahl

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This is, I believe, what happens when people take their own lives. They're not killing themselves, they're killing the world. Either to spare it pain or to cause it some, depending. — Jerry Stahl

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To me, God is like this happy bus driver. — Jerry Stahl

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Pat Boone still didn't cover public cunt-licks in Tips for Teens, and there really wasn't anybody to ask. — Jerry Stahl

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Let me tell you something. Boring women get a bad rap. There's a lot to be said for boring women. — Jerry Stahl

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Did I get my picture in the yearbook under "Most Likely to Commit Suicide"? — Jerry Stahl

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Sometimes, it's like you know what people think: You know what they're thinking, and you know it's wrong. All you want to do if change their mind, but you can't. — Jerry Stahl

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I used to say, for me, writing was like walking a high wire, and heroin made me forget there was no net. Which is a fancy way of saying dope made me forget how shitty I felt for being on dope. — Jerry Stahl

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Death Anyway meant "What the hell, even Hemingway sucked on a shotgun ... " Death Anyway, when you came down to it, meant why in God's name would you want to be Pre-Law, Pre-Med, or Pre-Anything, when any microbe could see that just being alive was no more than Pre-Death.( ... ) That was the world, to me. If you showed up - if you did what they told you to do - you'd still end up with your skull in bloody gauze or your balls hanging from a branch. So why bother? Nothing mattered. Death anyway ... — Jerry Stahl

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Life can be lived as a temporary arrangement. Life is a temporary arrangement! But the longer you go without changing, the more obscure the likelihood you ever will. After enough time passes, the idea of another way of life grows even more misty. — Jerry Stahl

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The Adderall Diaries is phenomenal. With jittery finesse and a reformed tweaker's eye for detail, Stephen Elliott captures the terrifying, hilarious, heart-strangling reality of a life whose scorched-earth physical and psycho-emotional dimensions no one could have invented - they absolutely had to be lived. By all rights, the author should either be dead or chewing his fingers in a bus station. Instead, he may well have written the memoir of an entire generation. — Jerry Stahl

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If you're an asshole, you have an excuse for being an asshole because you're a junkie. But then once you give up the drugs, and you're still an asshole, that's problematic. — Jerry Stahl

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Junkies are liars. They have to be professionally. — Jerry Stahl

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I would, if one-armned and jonesing, doubtless have found a way to cook up a hearty spoon of Mexican tar and slam it with my toes. (I met a double amputee in San Francisco whose girlfriend slapped a bra strap around his throat and geezed him in the neck. Another triumph of the human spirit. But slap me if I get sentimental ... ) — Jerry Stahl

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The art and act of writing - speaking just for myself - involves getting your proverbial ass in the proverbial chair. — Jerry Stahl

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My own theory is that people are just so desperate for somebody they can feel better than, in America. Now that everyone's going broke and working 17 jobs - if they have one at all - at least they can look at these guys behind bars and think, "At least I get to wear my own clothes to work." — Jerry Stahl

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You need an entire drama to construct your life around to avoid living it. — Jerry Stahl

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Creativity is the opposite of TV. — Jerry Stahl

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This was the history of the world. Recovery and collapse, despair and relief. The dialectic of clean and dirty. Every time is worse than the time before. The bad things come, days and nights and days and nights get so unbelievably fucked up, unbelievably fast, but in the end
if there is an end
everybody's best self just slogs forward, one stagger, one fall, one day, one 'what the fuck just happened?' moment of oblivion and soul-broken joy at a time. All we have to do is not die. — Jerry Stahl

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Not doing something crude right off is about as close as a guy like me ever gets to class. — Jerry Stahl

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It feels like I went right from pubescent to senior citizen. But what are you going to do? I'm lucky I caught myself. I might have ended up the only man in the rest home who still thought Jack Kerouac was cool. — Jerry Stahl

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Opiates are, by their very nature, about forgetting. When you're in that narcotic haze, memory functions like some mutant projector, a hell-tuned Bell & Howard. As the film goes in one end, at the other end it's immediately eaten by some kind of acid, dissolving the second the events transpire. — Jerry Stahl

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People always ask, "What's the worst thing heroin drove you to do?". I always answer, "showing up on Maury. — Jerry Stahl

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I kept getting high to kill my shame at the fact that I kept getting high. — Jerry Stahl

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The obvious question: Was it better to die now or go on living ashamed of the fact that you were still alive? Why wasn't that on the SATs? Compare and constrast. — Jerry Stahl

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Happiness, to me, was no different than Mom's paprikalaced domino bars: something that looked sweet until you took a bite, and then made you want to vomit. — Jerry Stahl

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Mostly what I remember is the way things looked sometimes after I'd push down the plunger, sometimes when I got so high so fast I couldn't even take the needle out of my arm. I just sat back, head lolling on my shoulders like a balloon on a string, and everything, walls, carpet, couch cushion, my own hands, broke down to swirling molecules, reassembled as a million other things, and danced before my eyes before arranging themselves once more as reality. The endless cycle, that dance of molecules and their return to something solid, left me as drained as if I'd flown around the sun with veins for wings. — Jerry Stahl

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More and more, I'd been having this feelings of zeroness. Of HERE-I-AM-AND-IT-JUST-DOESN'T-MATTER. — Jerry Stahl

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Her skin felt smooth and firm. Her hair smelled faintly of motor oil. Her mouth tasted like coffee. She was absolutely real, and it was the sexiest combination on the planet. — Jerry Stahl

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He hadn't expected anyone so pretty, and it threw him. Tina had the Faye Dunaway thing. Faye before the surgery, when her cheekbones were still as sharp as can openers and she looked like a feral gazelle. — Jerry Stahl

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Jake La Botz is a creator of dark poetry and haunting song, the kind of music that gets in your bones and rides you for days, a sound and vision only those who've been to the bottom and clawed their way back up can generate. His midnight gifts evoke Hank Williams and Skip James as much as Tom Waits and Dylan. Not everybody will get this music - because not everybody is ready for the truth. — Jerry Stahl

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The second time I took acid, I watched myself in the mirror for nine hours. What I realized, when I stared, was that my face looked exactly the same when I cried as when I laughed. After awhile I couldn't tell which I was doing. Relief was just pain inside out. — Jerry Stahl