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New American Best Friend

Olivia Gatwood

Top 10 Best Quotes

“One more thing when they call you a bitch, say thank you. say thank you, very much.”

“They will tell you home is safe zone. No, bitch face is safe zone. Bitch face is home. Bitch face is cutting off the ladder, willing to burn in the apartment, if it means he can't get in.”

“ALTERNATE UNIVERSE IN WHICH I AM UNFAZED BY THE MEN WHO DO NOT LOVE ME when the businessman shoulder checks me in the airport, i do not apologize. instead, i write him an elegy on the back of a receipt and tuck it in his hand as i pass through the first class cabin. like a bee, he will die after stinging me. i am twenty-four and have never cried. once, a boy told me he doesn’t “believe in labels” so i embroidered the word chauvinist on the back of his favorite coat. a boy said he liked my hair the other way so i shaved my head instead of my pussy. while the boy isn’t calling back, i learn carpentry, build a desk, write a book at the desk. i taught myself to cum from counting ceiling tiles. the boy says he prefers blondes and i steam clean his clothes with bleach. the boy says i am not marriage material and i put gravel in his pepper grinder. the boy says period sex is disgusting and i slaughter a goat in his living room. the boy does not ask if he can choke me, so i pretend to die while he’s doing it. my mother says this is not the meaning of unfazed. when the boy says i curse too much to be pretty and i tattoo “cunt” on my inner lip, my mother calls this “being very fazed.” but left over from the other universe are hours and hours of waiting for him to kiss me and here, they are just hours. here, they are a bike ride across long island in june. here, they are a novel read in one sitting. here, they are arguments about god or a full night’s sleep. here, i hand an hour to the woman crying outside of the bar. i leave one on my best friend’s front porch, send my mother two in the mail. i do not slice his tires. i do not burn the photos. i do not write the letter. i do not beg. i do not ask for forgiveness. i do not hold my breath while he finishes. the man tells me he does not love me, and he does not love me. the man tells me who he is, and i listen. i have so much beautiful time.”

“It's easy to hurt someone who looks just like you, especially when you hate yourself.”

“The men re-tighten my bolts just for safe measure. The men open my car door, Ladies first. The men are always helping. One man asks how I reach the pedals. One man asks where my daddy is. One man opens his trunk and says, Bet you’re small enough to fit.”

“it’s just that i am not afraid of blood which is also part of being a girl. but being the only girl means making yourself lose when you’ve won too much so i bounce the coin off the rim of the shot glass and let johnny slice me open.”

“ODE TO THE WORD PUSSY I could devote my time to justifying your name by defending the feline. But what about the lioness, I might say, colossal queen of the animal kingdom, or even a house cat, twitching mouse caught in its claws, how could my body not be that? But”

“I am nine. We are bored and Karen is dying. We drove to Austin that summer so Sarah's dad- who described Karen as /the great and impossible love/ of his life, who taught us the word /lymphoma/ and then, the concept of the prefix, how it explains where the tumor lives- could say goodbye. The house is a rind spooned out by the onset of death, what's left in the medicine cabinet full of razors & we are hungry & alone & sitting on the living room floor where the light from a naked window slices the hardwood like a melon, brandishes each, individualfuzz on my scabbed calf a field of erect, yellow poppies & we have been alive as girls long enough to know to scowl at this reveal & what better time than now to practice removal. Once, I watched my mother skin a potato in six perfect strokes I remember this as Sarah teaches me to prop up my leg on the side of the tub and runs the blade along my thing, /See?/ she says, /Isn't that so much better?/ Before we left Albuquerque her father warned us, /She will have no hair/ a trait we have just begun to admire except, of course for the hair he is talking about we hold against our necks, that which will get us compliments or scouted in a mall, eventually cut off by our envious sisters while we sleep.”

“when they call you a bitch, say thank you. say thank you, very much.”

“ blush so pink like learn what your face is good for everyone is nauseous blush so pink like rash, infection so pink like itch and burn blush so pink like learn how to love quieter, circus girl it’s making us all sick.”

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Book Keywords:

bitches, olivia-gatwood, hair, patriarchy, cancer, new-american-best-friend, bitch, bitchiness, poetry, insults, thank-you

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