The Contortionist's Handbook - by Craig Clevenger

What they wear tells you what they want to show, and what they show tells you what they want to hide.

A person's life story is equal to what they have plus what they want most in the world, minus what they're actually willing to sacrifice for it.

The smartest thing that a smart person can do is keep those smarts hidden in plain sight.

She was everything I've ever come to hate: the authority of the State with the mind of a child fighting for sandbox territory. I could tell by her hands that her closest companion was her cat, which meant she had no husband, boyfriend or girlfriend. She hated any life more colorful than hers.

What did they want most, what had they settled for and what were they compensating with?

Guys who want to kick your ass don't know the look in the eyes of somebody who knows how to seriously hurt you or worse, and who doesn't have anything to lose from doing so. It's a look you see in the eyes of a stray dog. Not a look of aggression because aggression is personal. It's an assessment: Are you food? Are you a threat? The answers take half a second and if the answers are both no, then the dog keeps moving.

My paranoia is greater than the sum of its parts and, because of that, I am free to come and go.

You slam the car door, then remember your keys. The plane lifts off, you remember the coffeepot is still on. That wordless, bone-deep, quantum-second understanding where your whole body is shocked with cold static.