leave or give, especially by will after one's death
I, Theodore Finch, being of unsound mind, do hereby
bequeath all my earthly possessions to Charlie Donahue, Brenda Shank-Kravitz, and my sisters.
“Weirdo!” someone shouts. Amanda’s little group
a small number or amount
I let Violet help me over the wall and onto the concrete. From down below, there’s a
smattering of applause, not for me, but for Violet, the hero.
a noisy quarrel
I also have to behave myself, play well with others, refrain from throwing desks, as well as refrain from any “violent physical
many and different
“You’ve applied to UCLA, Stanford, Berkeley, the University of Florida, the University of Buenos Aires, Northern Caribbean University, and the National University of Singapore. This is a very
diverse list, but what happened to NYU?”
pay back for some expense incurred
Well, my brother was there when he set off the firecrackers, and he said before the police took him away, he was all “Unless you want to
reimburse me, I’ll wait for the finale”?
fill with sublime emotion
Inside the classroom, I take my seat, feeling infamous and invincible and twitchy and strangely
exhilarated, as if I just escaped, well, death.
a temporary condition of torment or suffering
The whole time I’ve been in Indiana, which is all my life—the
purgatory years, I call them—we’ve apparently lived just eleven miles away from the highest point in the state.
mentally upset over possible misfortune or danger
He sighs the sigh of a one-hundred-year-old man and gives me an
apprehensive, distrustful look.
not famous or acclaimed
Mr. Black goes on about how he wants us to feel free to choose the places that strike our fancy, no matter how
obscure or far away.
turn up, loosen, or remove earth
Our mission is to go there and see each one, take pictures, shoot video,
delve deep into their history, and tell him just what it is about these places that makes us proud to be a Hoosier.
compensate for or counterbalance
Having an account will make me look sociable and normal, and maybe work to
offset the whole meeting-on-the-verge-of-suicide situation, so that she’ll feel it’s safe to know me.
infected by an acute viral disease of the nervous system
Decca’s eyes gleam like the eyes of a small,
draw back, as with fear, pain, or embarrassment
The slightly blaming note in her voice makes me
cringe, and I get the urge to go back to my room again and stay there.
This means the grand, the small, the bizarre, the poetic, the beautiful, the ugly, the surprising. Just like life. But absolutely, unconditionally,
resolutely nothing ordinary.
disarrange or rumple; dishevel
He is damp and
tousled. His eyes are large and beautiful and bloodshot.
conclude by reasoning
He writes back immediately: Congratulations! I
deduce by your message that you’re alive!
a public declaration of intentions
On March 23, 1950, Italian poet Cesare Pavese wrote: “Love is truly the great
manifesto; the urge to be, to count for something, and, if death must come, to die valiantly, with acclamation—in short, to remain a memory."
intended to attract notice and impress others
Two matching SUVs are parked in the drive, shining as if their
pretentious mechanical lives depend on it.
blindly and obstinately attached to some creed or opinion
One of the great pleasures of my life is making comments like this, because having a gay son is my
bigoted prick of a father’s worst nightmare.
turn on a pivot
Without turning her face, she
swivels her eyes in my father’s direction.
an antiquity that has survived from the distant past
The “out” sounds like “oot,” a
relic of Dad’s Canadian upbringing.
lacking spirit or liveliness
Here’s more: “I feel a thousand capacities spring up in me. I am arch, gay,
languid, melancholy by turns.
be a mystery or bewildering to
stupefying—the very best thing I’ve ever seen with these two eyes—but before I can unhook myself from the stone railing and go to her, she opens her mouth, leaps into the air, and starts to scream.
marked by harshly abusive criticism
This time last year, I would have spoken up and agreed with them and then written a
scathing blog post about high school gossip.
pass from physical life
“If all else
perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be; and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the universe would turn to a mighty stranger.”
marked by keen caution and watchful prudence
Her eyes are cold and a little
wary, as if she’s afraid I might out her right here, right now.
walk leisurely and with no apparent aim
Brenda Shank-Kravitz stalks by, a bright-pink storm cloud. Charlie Donahue
a small part remaining after the main part no longer exists
remnant of the Violet who came Before. Normal teenage Violet. Violet Unremarkey-able.
the act of moving forward
“You know what I like about driving? The forward motion of it, the
propulsion of it, like you might go anywhere.”
But because he’s watching me, I
scrawl down a few things—location, date, time, a brief description of the place itself and the kids by the fence—and afterward, we spread the map out on the picnic table.
Decca, as usual, is eating like a small,
ravenous horse, and for once I’m doing my share of shoveling it in.
having self-possession upset; thrown into confusion
As we clear the plates, my mother looks as dazed and
disconcerted as she always does, only more so because she doesn’t have the first clue what to do with my sisters and me.
in constant agitation
I am still
seething by the time Ryan shows up, five minutes early.
done or made using whatever is available
In my wallet I find one more twenty, and when I get back to the trailers, I duck into the first one and drop the twenty and the change into the old register that sits on a kind of
disturb the composure of
She is now walking several feet ahead, pretending I don’t exist, but that’s okay, I’m used to it, and what she doesn’t know is that it doesn’t
make fine adjustments for optimal measuring
But the length of the rope has to be
calibrated in proportion to the weight of the person; otherwise there is nothing quick or easy about it.
a substance that is released
The rate of car exhaust suicides in the States has declined since the mid-sixties, when
emission controls were introduced.
robbery at gunpoint
Al Capone and the Dillinger gang always went there after some sort of
a piece of ground having specific characteristics
terrain is prettier here than in Bardett—hills and valleys and miles of trees, everything snow covered, like something out of Norman Rockwell.