I belong in America more than South Africa. I can’t remember the feeling of living there anymore. It’s like it was in another life. That’s sad in a way. It is my country. It’s where I grew up. You don’t know what it’s like to have these negative feelings about your homeland. There are roots you can’t escape.
How can one person be more real than any other? Well, some people do hide and others seek. Maybe those who are in hiding - escaping encounters, avoiding surprises, protecting their property, ignoring their fantasies, restricting their feelings, sitting out the pan pipe hootchy-kootch of experience - maybe those people, people who won't talk to rednecks, or if they're rednecks won't talk to intellectuals, people who're afraid to get their shoes muddy or their noses wet, afraid to eat what they crave, afraid to drink Mexican water, afraid to bet a long shot to win, afraid to hitchhike, jaywalk, honky-tonk, cogitate, osculate, levitate, rock it, bop it, sock it, or bark at the moon, maybe such people are simply inauthentic, and maybe the jacklet humanist who says differently is due to have his tongue fried on the hot slabs of Liar's Hell. Some folks hide, and some folk's seek, and seeking, when it's mindless, neurotic, desperate, or pusillanimous can be a form of hiding. But there are folks who want to know and aren't afraid to look and won't turn tail should they find it - and if they never do, they'll have a good time anyway because nothing, neither the terrible truth nor the absence of it, is going to cheat them out of one honest breath of Earth's sweet gas.
I think people should know more of Africa in terms of its joie de vivre, its feeling for life. In spite of the images that one knows about Africa - the economic poverty, the corruption - there's a joy to living and a happiness in community, living together, in community life, which may be missing here in America.
I used to belong to a family unit, with a foster mom and dad and my little sister, Bean, but that's over and I don't want to talk about what happened , or how unfair it was. Not yet. The less said about that the better, because if there's one thing I learned from Ryter it's that you can't always be looking backward or something will hit you from the front.
I don't like you, Park. I think I live for you. I don't think I even breathe when we're not together. Which means when I see you on Monday morning, it's been like sixty hours since I've taken a breath. That's probably why I'm so crabby, and why I snap at you. All I do when we're apart is think about you, and all I do when we're together is panic. Because every second feels so important. And because I'm so out of control, I can't help myself. I'm not even mine anymore, I'm yours, and what if you decide that you don't want me? How could you want me like I want you?
In South Africa, they dig for diamonds. Tons of earth are moved to find a little pebble not as large as a little fingernail. The miners are looking for the diamonds, not the dirt. They are willing to lift all the dirt in order to find the jewels. In daily life, people forget this principle and become pessimists because there is more dirt than diamonds. When trouble comes, don’t be frightened by the negatives. Look for the positives and dig them out. They are so valuable it doesn't matter if you have to handle tons of dirt.
I'm not looking to get my old man out. But I think he can relax more instead of being here all the time. He needs his time away to do his fishing and hunting. He'll be 65 in October, his health is good but it will get to a point where he'll wonder how much more he wants to accomplish. There are some places he'd like to fish in South America and Africa that he can't because when it's their summer it's our winter [during basketball season]. We've got the continuity in place now. This has worked out really well.
No. You can't. And I can't do anything either, about my life, to change it, make it better, make me feel better about it. Like it better, make it work. But I can stop it. Shut it down, turn it off like the radio when there's nothing on I want to listen to. It's all I really have that belongs to me and I'm going to say what happens to it. And it's going to stop. And I'm going to stop it. So. Let's just have a good time.
I crave you, mi amor. More than I ever thought a man should a woman. Just when I think I can make it on my own, you say these things that call me home to you. I want to leave, I want to run and never look back, and I'm terrified. Terrified of the feelings that control me and the moments where I simply can't exist without you in my arms. I deserve a second chance. We deserve a second chance.
My issue is race. I feel black people nowadays have to conform to this one ideal. We all have to be the same. We all have to be hard and ghetto and listen to only one genre of music which would be Rap and R&B. And if one of us steps out of the mold we're not black anymore. Well, that's dumb. When did music determine your racial background? Or a musical instrument? I can't believe the dumb things people say when you're doing something different. I mean, it would be ok if music and how you dress and act actually determined your race, but the last time I checked it was your genes that determined your color. And I think anyone who chooses to believe in this fabrication is ignorant. Isn't this what the Civil Rights Movement was about, equality? Didn't Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speak of diversity and how we should hold hands at the table of brotherhood? Well how are you supposed to do this when we try to conform to this idea. Not conforming doesn't make you have less pride in your race but it's helping make a window of opportunities for your race. Well, as for me, I'm stepping out of the box and going forward to be who I am, and if people disagree, f**k them. I believe this will bring me closer to the goal that god ordained for me. And doing this doesn't mean I'm selling out my race, but it means I'm not selling out who I am.
I hope I’m being clear, I didn’t say I hate feminists, that would be weird. I said I hate feminist. I’m talking about the word.I have the privilege living my life inside of words and part of being a writer is creating entire universes, and that's beautiful, but part of being a writer is also living in the very smallest part of every word....But the word feminist, it doesn't sit with me, it doesn't add up. I want to talk about my problem that I have with it. ...Ist in it's meaning is also a problem for me. Because you can't be born an ist. It's not natural... So feminist includes the idea that believing men and women to be equal, believing all people to be people, is not a natural state. That we don't emerge assuming that everybody in the human race is a human, that the idea of equality is just an idea that's imposed on us. That we are indoctrinated with it, that it's an agenda......My problem with feminist is not the word. It's the question. "Are you now, or have you ever been, a feminist?" The great Katy Perry once said—I'm paraphrasing—"I'm not a feminist but I like it when women are strong."...Don't know why she feels the need to say the first part, but listening to the word and thinking about it, I realize I do understand. This question that lies before us is one that should lie behind us. The word is problematic for me because there's another word that we're missing......When you say racist, you are saying that is a negative thing. That is a line that we have crossed. Anything on the side of that line is shameful, is on the wrong side of history. And that is a line that we have crossed in terms of gender but we don't have the word for it......I start thinking about the fact that we have this word when we're thinking about race that says we have evolved beyond something and we don't really have this word for gender. Now you could argue sexism, but I'd say that's a little specific. People feel removed from sexism. ‘I'm not a sexist, but I'm not a feminist.' They think there's this fuzzy middle ground. There's no fuzzy middle ground. You either believe that women are people or you don't. It's that simple....You don’t have to hate someone to destroy them. You just have to not get it....My pitch is this word. ‘Genderist.’ I would like this word to become the new racist. I would like a word that says there was a shameful past before we realized that all people were created equal. And we are past that. And every evolved human being who is intelligent and educated and compassionate and to say I don't believe that is unacceptable. And Katy Perry won't say, "I'm not a feminist but I like strong women," she'll say, "I'm not a genderist but sometimes I like to dress up pretty." And that'll be fine....This is how we understand society. The word racism didn't end racism, it contextualized it in a way that we still haven't done with this issue. ...I say with gratitude but enormous sadness, we will never not be fighting. And I say to everybody on the other side of that line who believe that women are to be bought and trafficked or ignored...we will never not be fighting. We will go on, we will always work this issue until it doesn't need to be worked anymore....Is this idea of genderist going to do something? I don't know. I don't think that I can change the world. I just want to punch it up a little.
It's like Romeo & Juliet,' I say. 'You can't separate them. Otherwise, there would be no Shakespeare.' Silence. I decide to be more straightforward. I tell him, 'Nothing frightens me anymore. I am not even afraid to die.' Bussey's eyes, already wide open, grow even wider. My death is the last thing he needs. I have the strange feeling that there are two of me. One observes the conversation while the other does the talking. Everything is abnormal, especially this extreme calm that has taken me over. I try to explain to Bussey that if I decide to die, it will be without bitterness. I know I did everything I possibly could, so it will be respectful farewell. I will bow to life like an actor, who, having delivered his lines, bends deeply to his audience & retires. I tell Bussey that this decision has nothing to do with him, that it is entirely mine. I will choose either to live or to die, but I cannot allow myself to live in the in-between. I do not want to go through life like a ghost. 'Do you think you'll find Danny this way?' Bussey asks. My mind sifts through all available theories on the afterlife. It is as if this metaphysical question has become as real as the air we breathe. Buddhism teaches that life is an eternal cycle without beginning or end. I recall the metaphor: "Our individual lives are like waves produced from the great ocean that is the universe. The emergence of a wave is life, and its abatement is death. This rhythm repeats eternally." Finally I answer Bussey, 'No, I don't think so.' Bussey seems relieved, but I'm more panicky, because I had never thought that I could wind up alone. In my mind, whatever the odds, Danny & I were & would be together forever.
The depression belongs to all of us. I think of the family down the road whose mother was having a baby and they went around the neighborhood saying, "We're pregnant." I want to go around the neighborhood saying, "We're depressed." If my mum can't get out of bed in the morning, all of us feel the same. Her silence has become ours, and it's eating us alive.
More than anything, I felt the unfairness of it, the inarguable injustice of loving someonewho might have loved you back but can't due to deadness, and then I leaned forward, my forehead against the back of Takumi's headrest, and Icried, whimpering, and I didn't even feel sadness so much as pain.
Why Westerners are so obsessed with "saving" Africa, and why this obsession so often goes awry? Western countries should understand that Africa’s development chances and social possibilities remain heavily hindered due to its overall mediocre governance.Africa rising is still possible -- but first Africans need to understand that the power lies not just with the government, but the people. I do believe, that young Africans have the will to "CHANGE" Africa. They must engage their government in a positive manner on issues that matters -- I also realize that too many of the continent’s people are subject to the kinds of governments that favor ruling elites rather than ordinary villagers and townspeople. These kind of behavior trickles down growth.In Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe is the problem.In South Africa the Apartheid did some damage. The country still wrestles with significant racial issues that sometimes leads to the murder of its citizens.In Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya the world’s worst food crisis is being felt.In Libya the West sends a mixed messages that make the future for Libyans uncertain. In Nigeria oil is the biggest curse. In Liberia corruption had make it very hard for the country to even develop.Westerners should understand that their funding cannot fix the problems in Africa. African problems can be fixed by Africans. Charity gives but does not really transform. Transformation should come from the root, "African leadership." We have a PHD, Bachelors and even Master degree holders but still can't transform knowledge. Knowledge in any society should be the power of transformation. Africa does not need a savior and western funds, what Africa needs is a drive towards ownership of one's destiny. By creating a positive structural system that works for the majority. There should be needs in dealing with corruption, leadership and accountability.
I must have roamed dementedly about for a time in the streets. When I at last got back to my own place, Faustine was again there ahead of me, coiled torpid in the bed like a loathsome boa-constrictor. She was already in the never-never land where ghouls like her belonged. I covered her face with one of the pillows, pressed down upon it with the weight of my whole body, held it there until she should have been dead ten times over. Yet when I removed the pillow to look, the black of strangulation was missing from her face. She was still in that state of suspended animation that defied me, a taunting smile visible about her lips.I had a gun in my valise, from years before when I'd been on an engineering job in the jungles of Ecuador. I got it out, looked it over. It was still in good working order, although it only had one bullet left in it. That one would be enough. She wasn't going to escape me! I pressed the muzzle to her smooth white forehead, mid-center. "Die, damn you!" I growled, and pulled the trigger back. It exploded with a crash. A film of smoke hid her face from me for a minute. When it had cleared again, I looked.There was no bullet-hole in her skull!A black powder-smudge marked the point of contact. The gun dropped to the floor with a thud. That ineradicable smile still glimmered up at me, as if to say: "You see? You can't." I rubbed my finger over the black; the skin was unbroken underneath. A blank cartridge, that must have been it. I raised her head; there was a rent in the sheet under it. I probed through it with two fingers. I could feel the bullet lying imbedded down in the stuffing of the mattress.("Vampire's Honeymoon)
For several years, I had been bored. Not a whining, restless child's boredom (although I was not above that) but a dense, blanketing malaise. It seemed to me that there was nothing new to be discovered ever again. Our society was utterly, ruinously derivative (although the word derivative as a criticism is itself derivative). We were the first human beings who would never see anything for the first time. We stare at the wonders of the world, dull-eyed, underwhelmed. Mona Lisa, the Pyramids, the Empire State Building. Jungle animals on attack, ancient icebergs collapsing, volcanoes erupting. I can't recall a single amazing thing I have seen firsthand that I didn't immediately reference to a movie or TV show. A fucking commercial. You know the awful singsong of the blasé: Seeeen it. I've literally seen it all, and the worst thing, the thing that makes me want to blow my brains out, is: The secondhand experience is always better. The image is crisper, the view is keener, the camera angle and the soundtrack manipulate my emotions in a way reality can't anymore. I don't know that we are actually human at this point, those of us who are like most of us, who grew up with TV and movies and now the Internet. If we are betrayed, we know the words to say; when a loved one dies, we know the words to say. If we want to play the stud or the smart-ass or the fool, we know the words to say. We are all working from the same dog-eared script.It's a very difficult era in which to be a person, just a real, actual person, instead of a collection of personality traits selected from an endless Automat of characters. And if all of us are play-acting, there can be no such thing as a soul mate, because we don't have genuine souls.It had gotten to the point where it seemed like nothing matters, because I'm not a real person and neither is anyone else.I would have done anything to feel real again.
Yes, I am finally a match for Amy. The other morning I woke up next to her, and I studied the back of her skull. I tried to read her thoughts. For once I didn't feel like I was staring into the sun. I'm rising to my wife's level of madness. Because I can feel her changing me again: I was a callow boy, and then a man, good and bad. Now at last I'm the hero. I am the one to root for in the never-ending war story of our marriage. It's a story I can live with. Hell, at this point, I can't imagine my story without Amy. She is my forever antagonist.We are one long frightening climax.