I told Augustus the broad outline of my miracle: diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer when I was thirteen. (I didn’t tell him that the diagnosis came three months after I got my first period. Like: Congratulations! You’re a woman. Now die.)
I was not interested in doing the plot of OEDIPUS in blackface. I did wonder, what would these people have been like if they hadn't been in that situation? . . . One could look at Oedipus, or at my character Augustus, as a cynical schemer who did everything because he was hungry for power. But that's just too easy. I'm more interested in how humans can embody conflicting goals and emotions.
Do you have a Wish?' he asked, referring to this organization, The Genie Foundation, which is in the business of granting sick kids one wish. 'No' I said. 'I used my Wish pre-Miracle.' 'What'd you do?' I sighed loudly. 'I was thirteen,' I said. 'Not Disney,' he said. I said nothing. 'You did not go to Disney World.' I said nothing. 'HAZEL GRACE!' he shouted. 'You did not use your one dying Wish to go to Disney World with your parents.' 'Also Epcot Center,' I mumbled. 'Oh, my God,' Augustus said. 'I can't believe I had a crush on a... Read more »
Much of my life had been devoted to trying not to cry in front of people who loved me, so I knew what Augustus was doing. You clench your teeth. You look up. You tell yourself that if they see you cry, it will hurt them, and you will be nothing but a Sadness in their lives, and you must not become a mere sadness, so you will not cry, and you say all of this to yourself while looking up at the ceiling, and then you swallow even though your throat does not want to close and you look... Read more »
I'm in love with you," he said quietly. "Augustus," I said. "I am," he said. He was staring at me, and I could see the corners of his eyes crinkling. "I'm in love with you, and I'm not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I'm in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we're all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will... Read more »