The GrownUp by Gillian Flynn

  • I stopped giving hand jobs because I was the best at it…You have to mentally prepare beforehand, and then you have to stop thinking and trust your body to take over. Basically, it’s like a golf swing.
  • I never worked holidays, because holiday hand jobs are sad for everyone.
  • I quit because when you give 23,546 hand jobs over a three-year period, carpal tunnel syndrome is a very real thing.
  • My mom was sly but lazy. I was much more ambitious. I had lots of stamina and no pride.
  • I was never ashamed. What I did was purely transactional: You made someone feel good and they gave you money. So you can see why the whole hand-job thing felt like a natural career progression.
  • A hand-job guy is a very different creature from a guy who wants a blow job or a guy who wants sex. Sure, for some men, a hand job is just a gateway sex act. But I had a lot of repeat customers: They will never want more than a hand job.
  • and then they’re distracted and the whole thing takes longer than anyone wants.
  • an inside joke is like a symbol of friendship without having to do the work required of an actual friendship.
  • To me, it’s a nice day’s work when you make a lot of people smile. I know that sounds too earnest, but it’s true. I mean, I would rather be a librarian, but I worry about the job security. Books may be temporary; dicks are forever.
  • The fortune-teller clients were almost all women, and the hand-job clients were obviously all men, so we ran the place like clockwork.
  • You didn’t want any orgasm yelps from the back when a lady was telling you how her marriage was coming apart. The new-puppy excuse only works once.
  • It was hard to feel sorry for them. I tried to because you don’t want your mystic, the keeper of your future, to roll her eyes at you. But I mean, come on. Big house in the city, husbands who didn’t beat them and helped with the kids, sometimes with careers but always with book clubs. And still they felt sad.
  • People want passion. People want a sense of purpose. And when they get those things, then they come back to you because you predicted their future, and it was good.
  • People in pain don’t generally sleep well. Insomniacs are exquisitely grateful for people to recognize their weariness.
  • They had to own a thousand books, easy. Thick, impressive, smart-people books. How do you keep a thousand books in one room and then call the room a den?
  • So the house had been a compromise: The husband wanted vintage, Susan wanted new, so they thought this outside/ inside split might settle things. But the Burkes ended up more resentful than satisfied. Millions of dollars later, and neither of them were happy. Money is wasted on the rich.
  • “I’ve been studying you. You’re interesting. You know something bad is going to happen, right? I’m curious.”
  • Robert hanged himself from a beam in his room. He had apparently dressed up for the occasion: he wore a blue Sunday suit, covered in his parents’ blood. It was still wet from drowning his little brother.
  • “Miles told me last night, quite calmly, that he was going to kill us,” she said. “And I actually worry… because… Wilkie…” She was crying again. “Oh, God.”
  • It’s just how she is. It’s how she makes her living: She defines and eliminates problems. She’s practical in an evil way.”
  • His kid is dead because he wanted a hand job. His wife was forced to defend her family and kill because he got a hand job. That horror and guilt—he’ll never be able to make it up to her. Which is the point.”
  • It’s not hard to find a kid that might look like me. Especially if you have a person who is willing to believe. A sucker. Like you.”
  • Because you know you’re not going to show up at the cops. I assume someone like you has a criminal record.”
  • “Let’s just remember that when you have two parents who hate each other and are always working or traveling and would like you out of their lives anyway, you can say a lot of things. You have a lot of room to work with. So you really don’t need to worry.
  • “Sleep tight,” Miles said. “Don’t leave in the night, or I’ll call the cops and go back to the kidnap story. I promise that’s the last time I’ll threaten you, I don’t want to be an asshole.

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