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Some of you just have plain ol’ morbid curiosity, looking for a peek at a “day in the life,” in the same way you slow your vehicle at the site of an accident, hoping for a glimpse of a split forehead gushing blood or a limp body on a gurney, a dead hand dangling down.
I could be chatting you up in a neighborhood bar, or trimming the hedges next door, or sitting next to you on a jet from New York to Los Angeles, and you would never even notice me. Oh, in hindsight, sure, you might pick out something about me that seemed off. But in real time, when I’m standing right in front of you or sharing an armrest or seated across from you, I would make no impression on you. I would be a set of data collected and immediately discarded. I would seem, in a word, normal. And do you know why? No, you don’t know why. But I do. It’s why I’m so good at what I do. And why nobody will ever catch me.
Women wear clothes that hide their flaws. Men suck in their guts when those women walk by. Office workers turn the screen away from their game of solitaire when the boss strolls in. Lies, lies, lies.
You’re taught not to call someone who’s fat fat, or someone who’s stupid stupid. That’s wrong, we tell our kids. Don’t tell the truth if it’s going to hurt someone’s feelings.
You wouldn’t expect Beethoven to write the same symphony twice, would you? Or Tolstoy to pen the identical novel a second time?
He’s been with the Bureau since before the invention of electricity. The Dick tells us that Denny once worked on some arson cases, but I’d wager a mortgage payment that those cases took place back when you created fire by rubbing two sticks together so you could cook the stegosaurus you killed with a spear and dragged back to the cave.
Anyone can play quarterback badly, just like anyone can stick a knife into a couple of people or pull a trigger or hold someone down under water. But to be the best, to reach the pinnacle, requires self-denial, sacrifice, discipline, humility, and preparation.... You have to do more than simply want to win. Everybody wants to win, for goodness’ sake. But precious few of us are willing to prepare to win. You must do things that are difficult, unpleasant, painful. You must do today what nobody else will do, so tomorrow you can accomplish what others can’t.
I lied no more than I had to, and I locked myself down as little as possible.
lie no more than you have to. Because for that duration of time you’re with a target—be it two hours or two weeks—you’re going to have to live with that lie.
Mathematics was my first love. I used to play with numbers in my head. A teacher once told me that if you add any number’s digits and get a sum that is divisible by three, then that original number is divisible by three, too.
Note: See more examples in "Summary."
First, the complete lack of any proof of arson means he’s a brilliant arsonist. And now, the complete lack of any evidence of murder proves that he’s a brilliant murderer, too. What’s next? The complete lack of evidence that he’s an assassin from the planet Mars proves that he’s a brilliant Martian assassin. The lack of proof that he’s the Easter Bunny proves that the Easter Bunny is the most brilliant homicidal arsonist the world has ever seen!
I can see the longing in his eyes as he watches these breathless children run and shout and laugh. He wants to run and shout and laugh, too. But something is holding him back, keeping him planted in the corner. He feels like he doesn’t belong.
Heat from a fire will cause splits in the skin as the flames cause the outer layers to fry and peel off. After that, the thicker dermal layer begins to dehydrate, shrink, and split. This splitting occurs parallel to the muscle fibers, do you see that?”
Everyone around you has a sexual proclivity or a sadistic streak or some surrender to temptation that they bottle up inside, that they hide behind their Armani suits or fancy makeup or warm smiles or polite laughter. You don’t really know anybody in this world except, maybe, yourself.
You could be a faithful wife who would never cheat on your husband, but if he knew that you touched yourself in the shower while thinking of the grade-school principal or some movie star, his opinion of you would change, so you hide it.
But regardless of the room where it started, most people don’t die at the source of the fire. People run from a fire. They don’t run to the fire.
“A remark generally hurts in proportion to its truth.”
“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
“A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.”
“People are at their most honest when they are born and when they die.”
American Psychiatric Association. At the APA, remember: if you have a problem, we’ll invent a word for it. And that’s not all! Next, they’ll receive a copy of Dr. Sigmund Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams, featuring cathartic revelations on penis envy and castration anxiety and Oedipal desire. Let Dr. Freud solve your problem today! And if he can’t, worry not! He’ll just blame it on unresolved sexual feelings toward your mother.
Like we were just jagged puzzle pieces that made no sense alone, but together we fit perfectly. That’s what life’s supposed to be about for normal people, right? You find that other piece that matches yours, that completes yours, and you make the jags and the crevices fit, even if they don’t go in perfectly smoothly, even if they require a few adjustments. You don’t demand perfection. You make it work and appreciate the parts that fit instead of obsessing over the small angles that don’t.
I’m a girl standing in a tornado, pretending like it isn’t even windy, like I can compartmentalize every emotion, switch off my heart and divert every ounce of my energy into my brain, that I can be the girl who’s all about the data, all about the clues, all about the puzzle, and forget about anything that makes me human. I’ll have time to be human later. Later is one of my favorite words.
...there are enough cameras there to show us what the local ant population had for lunch.
“Fires don’t usually start in bedrooms. The vast majority of house fires start in kitchens. Others are caused by faulty gas lines in basements or laundry rooms. Some start with electrical wires that arc, often near heat sources, behind stereos and things like that. But bedrooms? It’s actually quite unusual.”
“You can’t have a rainbow without a storm, you can’t have a diamond without friction”?
“A criminal genius,” they said, “who has repeatedly fooled investigators and forensic experts.” Of course I did. My execution was flawless. And yet this criminal genius apparently wasn’t so genius after all, was he?
I want to give myself to you. I want to put myself in your hands, to open up every locked door inside me and reveal myself. I want you to be the one person in this world who knows everything about me. Don’t you see? This is what I’ve always wanted. This is all I’ve ever wanted.
“What’s that?” “It’s the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”
Note: Four states in the United States designate themselves commonwealths: KY, MA, PA and VA. But of course they are States no different than their peer States
I move like a terrified dog on my hands and knees toward a pillar on the interior wall of the stadium and embrace it like a loved one as the throng rushes past, stepping on my legs and ankles, tripping over me, until I pull in my legs against the swimming tide and ball into the fetal position.
I could not possibly care less about the outcome of this event, where grown men dress up in colorful gladiator costumes and try to carry a leather ball across a demarcated line—but I do care about how close the score is. If it’s what Books calls a “blowout,” then the fans might start to leave, and we’ll have to be ready for the exit of our subject a little earlier than planned.
I’d like to show you what happens when you mess with my life. No more Mister Nice Guy.
“He said you’ll never catch him,” she says. “He said he’s invisible.”
Maybe the trees are blocking us from seeing the forest.
“You should have drunk the cocoa,” she says. “This would’ve been easier.”
Mary shuffles backward away from him, like he’s radioactive.
“The patterns of the crimes. Individually, they were brilliantly disguised. But collectively, they showed a pattern.”
“For what it’s worth, I really am sorry.” He stops but doesn’t turn back. “It’s not worth anything,” he says. “Not anymore.”
I’ll always love you and always remember you, and that will have to be enough.
I’m inside all of you! The only difference is I don’t hide behind some mask, driving my SUV and sipping Starbucks at my kid’s soccer game. You’re just like me and you don’t even know it!
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More on the divisible by 3 rule:
A number is divisible by 3 if the sum of the digits is divisible by 3. e.g
Step 1: Add up the digits. 4 + 9 + 2 = 15
Step 2: Determine if 3 divides evenly into the sum of 15. Yes, 3 x 5 = 15. So 3 goes evenly into 15.
So 3 is a factor of 34,911. i.e. 492/3 = 164
Step 1: Add up the digits. 3 + 4 + 9 + 1 + 1 = 18
Step 2: Determine if 3 divides evenly into the sum of 18. Yes, 3 x 6 = 18. So 3 goes evenly into 18. So 3 is a factor of 34,911. i.e. 34,911/3 = 11,637
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