Should I ask everyone the question that should not have been asked? Or should I turning up to the sky be answering the question that’s not been asked?
I should have asked why any room in the house was better than home to me when she entered it, and barren as a desert when she went out again—why I always noticed and remembered the little changes in her dress that I had noticed and remembered in no other woman’s before—why I saw her, heard her, and touched her (when we shook hands at night and morning) as I had never seen, heard, and touched any other woman in my life?
For her next birthday she'd asked for a telescope. Her mother had been alive then, and had suggested a pony, but her father had laughed and bought her a beautiful telescope, saying: "Of course she should watch the stars! Any girl who cannot identify the constellation of Orion just isn't paying attention!" And when she started asking him complicated questions, he took her along to lectures at the Royal Society, where it turned out that a nine-year-old girl who had blond hair and knew what the precession of the equinoxes was could ask hugely bearded famous scientists anything she liked. Who'd want a pony when you could have the whole universe?
Fallen. Who tracks our footsteps, I wonder? We who are the forgotten, the discounted and the ignored. When the path is failure, it is never willingly taken. The fallen. Why does my heart weep for them? Not them but us, for most assuredly I am counted among them. Slaves, serfs, nameless peasants and labourers, the blurred faces in the crowd—just a smear on memory, a scuffing of feet down the side passages of history.Can one stop, can one turn and force one’s eyes to pierce the gloom? And see the fallen? Can one ever see the fallen? And if so, what emotion is born in that moment?There were tears on his cheeks, dripping down onto his chafed hands. He knew the answer to that question, knife-sharp and driven deep, and the answer was…recognition.
Save your explanations, I got some questions for you first and you'd better answer them!' [slurred Hellian.] 'With what?' [Banaschar] sneered. 'Explanations?' 'No. Answers. There's a difference-' 'Really? How? What difference?' 'Explanations are what people use when they need to lie. Y'can always tell those,'cause those don't explain nothing and then they look at you like they just cleared things up when really they did the opposite and they know it and you know it and they know you know and you know they know that you know and they know you and you know them and maybe you go out for a pitcher later but who picks up the tab? That's what I want to know.' 'Right, and answers?' 'Answers is what I get when I ask questions. Answers is when you got no choice. I ask, you tell. I ask again, you tell some more. Then I break your fingers, 'cause I don't like what you're telling me, because those answers don't explain nothing!
What is he rudest question you can ask a woman? 'How old are you?' 'What do you weigh?' No, the worst question is 'How do you juggle it all?' people constantly ask me, with an accusatory look in their eyes. 'You're fucking it all up, aren't you?' their eyes say. My standard answer is that I have the same struggles as any working parent but with the good fortune of working my dream job.
But we left camp after a while and we was driving in a real spooky place cause all the roads up near camp are dark and in the woods and we had to drive for a while to get to a highway cause there was no street lights or anything and nothing but woods and my dad asked me if I had a good time and I told him I did, but that’s really a lie and I felt like telling him what it was like at that mean old camp, but I thought he’d get mad and tell me I’m making it up and I thought I’d tell him some other time like Febuary and cause I didn’t think he’d believe me anyway, but so I changed my mind and then I thought I should tell him now cause he’ll wonder howcome I never told him sooner, so when he said that’s a nasty gash and when he said what did I do, stumble on the trail and hit a big rock or something? I told him no and I told him that lots of bad things happened to me at camp and that I never want to go there again cause I hate it and I almost cried. But he said I always had a bibid emigination cause he’s sure it wasn’t that bad! And I don’t know about those big words either, but what he said made me kind of mad cause grownups always think they know what happened to you better than you do yourself.
Do I, then, belong to the heavens?Why, if not so, should the heavensFix me thus with their ceaseless blue stare,Luring me on, and my mind, higherEver higher, up into the sky,Drawing me ceaselessly upTo heights far, far above the human?Why, when balance has been strictly studiedAnd flight calculated with the best of reasonTill no aberrant element should, by rights, remain-Why, still, should the lust for ascensionSeem, in itself, so close to madness?Nothing is that can satify me;Earthly novelty is too soon dulled;I am drawn higher and higher, more unstable,Closer and closer to the sun's effulgence.Why do these rays of reason destroy me?Villages below and meandering streamsGrow tolerable as our distance grows.Why do they plead, approve, lure meWith promise that I may love the humanIf only it is seen, thus, from afar-Although the goal could never have been love, Nor, had it been, could I ever haveBelonged to the heavens?I have not envied the bird its freedomNor have I longed for the ease of Nature,Driven by naught save this strange yearningFor the higher, and the closer, to plunge myselfInto the deep sky's blue, so contraryTo all organic joys, so farFrom pleasures of superiority But higher, and higher,Dazzled, perhaps, by the dizzy incandescenceOf waxen wings.Or do I then Belong, after all, to the earth?Why, if not so, should the earthShow such swiftness to encompass my fall?Granting no space to think or feel,Why did the soft, indolent earth thusGreet me with the shock of steel plate?Did the soft earth thus turn to steelOnly to show me my own softness?That Nature might bring home to meThat to fall, not to fly, is in the order of things,More natural by far than that improbable passion?Is the blue of the sky then a dream?Was it devised by the earth, to which I belonged,On account of the fleeting, white-hot intoxicationAchieved for a moment by waxen wings?And did the heavens abet the plan to punish me?To punish me for not believing in myself Or for believing too much;Too earger to know where lay my allegianceOr vainly assuming that already I knew all;For wanting to fly offTo the unknownOr the known:Both of them a single, blue speck of an idea?
Character? I should have thought it needed a good deal of character to throw up a career after half an hour’s meditation, because you saw in another way of living a more intense significance. And it required still more character never to regret the sudden step. I wondered if Abraham really had made a hash of life. Is to do what you most want, to live under the conditions that please you, in peace with yourself, to make a hash of life; and is it success to be an eminent surgeon with ten thousand a year and a beautiful wife? I suppose it depends on what meaning you attach to life, the claim which you acknowledge to society, and the claim of the individual. But again I held my tongue, for who am I to argue with a knight?
He's asking a lot of questions, picking everybody's brain, trying to get a feel for everyone, ... He's very serious, very attentive to the details of each drill we did, stressing a high tempo and skating, and I assume that's something that's going to be stressed throughout training camp and the season.
My first question is- do you have a name?"A name? Yes.""Ah!" said the wolf. It wrote several extensive notes. "And what is that name?" "George.""I see," said the wolf. "And how long have you been George?""How long? As in, how long have I been alive?" "oh, were you here in some way before you were alive?" asked the wolf, interested."I...don't really know," said George. " I don't think so." "So you don't know if you were here? Or if you were here before your George-time? Is it possible for you to be here, bu not know it?""My what time? no, I mean, I was born, and then they just named me George." "So you are not George," said the wolf. George is just a name. A word. A propulsion of air modified by the flexing of throat parts." "Well, I am George, but...yes. Yes, and...no." "Is it possible that you became George at a later time, having been originally named that thing?" asked the wolf. " What if the naming had been different, would you still be George?" "I...yes?" "Really?" breathed the wolf in awe. "This is all so confusing." Yet he seemed very pleased with George's answers. " I don't know how you all do it. It seems so marvelously complex to simply...be.
I have been studying for forty years, which is to say forty wasted years; I teach others yet am ignorant of everything; this state of affairs fills my soul with so much humiliation and disgust that my life is intolerable. I was born in Time, I live in Time, and do not know what Time is. I find myself at a point between two eternities, as our wise men say, yet I have no conception of eternity. I am composed of matter, I think, but have never been able to discover what produces thought. I do not know whether or not I think with my head the same way that I hold things with my hands. Not only is the origin of my thought unknown to me, but the origin of my movements is equally hidden: I do not know why I exist. Yet every day people ask me questions on all these issues. I must give answers, yet have nothing worth saying, so I talk a great deal, and am confused and ashamed of myself afterwards for having spoken.
No problem," Gale replies. "I wake up ten times a night anyway.""To make sure Katniss is still here?" asks Peeta."Something like that,"..."That was funny, what Tigris said. About no one knowing what to do with her.""Well, WE never have,"..."She loves you, you know," says Peeta. "She as good as told me after they whipped you.""Don't believe it,"Gale answers. "The way she kissed you in the Quarter Quell...well she never kissed me like that.""It was just part of the show," Peeta tells him, although there's an edge of doubt in his voice."No, you won her over. Gave up everything for her. Maybe that's the only way to convince her you love her." There's a long pause. "I should have volunteered to take your place in the first Games. Protected her then.""You couldn't," says Peeta. "She'd never have forgiven you. You had to take care of her family. They matter more to her than her life."..."I wonder how she'll make up her mind.""Oh, that I do know." I can just catch Gale's last words through the layer of fur. "Katniss will pick whoever she thinks she can't survive without
By then I wasn't just asking questions; I was being changed by them. I was being changed by my prayers, which dwindled down nearer and nearer to silence, which weren't confrontations with God but with the difficulty--in my own mind, or in the human lot--of knowing what or how to pray. Lying awake at night, I could feel myself being changed--into what, I had no idea.
One thus gets an impression that civilization is something which was imposed on a resisting majority by a minority which understood how to obtain possession of the means to power and coercion. It is, of course, natural to assume that these difficulties are not inherent in the nature or civilization itself but are determined by the imperfections of the cultural forms which have so far been developed. And in fact it is not difficult to indicate those defects. While mankind has made continual advances in its control over nature and may expect to make still greater ones, it is not possible to establish with certainty that a similar advance has been made in the management of human affairs; and probably at all periods, just as now once again, many people have asked themselves whether what little civilization has thus acquired is indeed worth defending at all. One would think that a re-ordering of human relations should be possible, which would remove the sources of dissatisfaction with civilization by renouncing coercion and the suppression of the instincts, so that, undisturbed by internal discord, men might devote themselves to the acquisition of wealth and its enjoyment. That would be a golden age, but it is questionable if such a state of affairs can be realized. It seems rather that every civilization must be built upon coercion and renunciation of instinct; it does not even seem certain that if coercion were to cease the majority of human beings would be prepared to undertake to perform the work necessary for acquiring new wealth. One has, I think, to reckon with the fact that there are present in all men destructive, and therefore anti-social and anti-cultural, trends and that in a great number of people these are strong enough to determine their behavior in human society.
I believe he's been asked to testify today," I told Lennox, who'd continued to track Truman's progress through the room. "He's a member of the historical undead, Truman Capote, the author. He wrote Breakfast at Tiffany's and In Cold Blood."..."Hi, Truman, you're sitting next to me," I said, pulling out his chair. I figured after he'd asked me to suck on his cherry, we should be on a first-name basis.
Then I shall tell you the truthful answers to the questions you asked, about my own intentions and motivations. They are not so simple."...He cocked an eyebrow and his cobalt eyes took on a playful sparkle."If I were to avow that you are my immortal life's great passion, that I would give up immortality itself to be at your side and in your bed, you would not believe me, n'est-ce pas?
So what's your doll's name?" Boo asked me."Barbie," I said. "All their names are Barbie.""I see," she said. "Well, I'd think that would get boring, everyone having the samename."I thought about this, then said, "Okay, then her name is Sabrina.""Well, that's a very nice name," Boo said. I remember she was baking bread,kneading the doughbetween her thick fingers. "What does she do?""Do?" I said."Yes." She flipped the dough over and started in on it from the other side. "Whatdoes she do?""She goes out with Ken," I said."And what else?""She goes to parties," I said slowly. "And shopping.""Oh," Boo said, nodding."She can't work?""She doesn't have to work," I said."Why not?""Because she's Barbie.""I hate to tell you, Caitlin, but somebody has to make payments on that town houseand the Corvette,"Boo said cheerfully. "Unless Barbie has a lot of family money."I considered this while I put on Ken's pants.Boo started pushing the dough into a pan, smoothing it with her hand over the top."You know what Ithink, Caitlin?" Her voice was soft and nice, the way she always spoke to me."What?""I think your Barbie can go shopping, and go out with Ken, and also have aproductive and satisfyingcareer of her own." She opened the oven and slid in the bread pan, adjusting itsposition on the rack."But what can she do?" My mother didn't work and spent her time cleaning thehouse and going to PTA.I couldn't imagine Barbie, whose most casual outfit had sequins and go-go boots,doing s.uch things.Boo came over and plopped right down beside me. I always rememberher being on my level; she'd siton the edge of the sandbox, or lie across her bed with me and Cass as we listened tothe radio."Well," she said thoughtfully, picking up Ken and examining his perfect physique."What do you want todo when you grow up?"I remember this moment so well; I can still see Boo sitting there on the floor, cross-legged, holding myKen and watching my face as she tried to make me see that between my mother'sPTA and Boo'sstrange ways there was a middle ground that began here with my Barbie, Sab-rina,and led right to me."Well," I said abruptly, "I want to be in advertising." I have no idea where this camefrom."Advertising," Boo repeated, nodding. "Okay. Advertising it is. So Sabrina has to goto work every day,coming up with ideas for commercialsand things like that.""She works in an office," I went on. "Sometimes she has to work late.""Sure she does," Boo said. "It's hard to get ahead. Even if you're Barbie.""Because she wants to get promoted," I added. "So she can pay off the town house.And the Corvette.""Very responsible of her," Boo said."Can she be divorced?" I asked. "And famous for her commercialsand ideas?""She can be anything," Boo told me, and this is what I remember most, her freckledface so solemn, as ifshe knew she was the first to tell me. "And so can you.
You should stop by the shop. I'll make you up a special Welcome-To-Marietta chocolate basket for Samara. She'll love it."Of course. He should have thought of it himself. "She's got this salted caramel thing that will earn you major points," said Dawson. "the ladies love it.""I shouldn't say this in church." Sage looked down, and dropped her voice to a whisper. "But it's been called orgasmic."With that word, for a split second, everyone around him disappeared. Logan imagined putting a tiny square of rich, smooth candy onto Samara's tongue, watching her lips move as she savored it, kissing her, sharing the sweet, silky heat. What sound would she make when the flavor hit the back of her mouth? Would she moan? Would she ask for more? "It's a gift that keeps on giving," added Dawson, waggling his eyebrows.
I will not mention the name (and what bits of it I happen to give here appear in decorous disguise) of that man, that Franco-Hungarian writer... I would rather not dwell upon him at all, but I cannot help it— he is surging up from under my pen. Today one does not hear much about him; and this is good, for it proves that I was right in resisting his evil spell, right in experiencing a creepy chill down my spine whenever this or that new book of his touched my hand. The fame of his likes circulates briskly but soon grows heavy and stale; and as for history it will limit his life story to the dash between two dates. Lean and arrogant, with some poisonous pun ever ready to fork out and quiver at you, and with a strange look of expectancy in his dull brown veiled eyes, this false wag had, I daresay, an irresistible effect on small rodents. Having mastered the art of verbal invention to perfection, he particularly prided himself on being a weaver of words, a title he valued higher than that of a writer; personally, I never could understand what was the good of thinking up books, of penning things that had not really happened in some way or other; and I remember once saying to him as I braved the mockery of his encouraging nods that, were I a writer, I should allow only my heart to have imagination, and for the rest rely upon memory, that long-drawn sunset shadow of one’s personal truth.I had known his books before I knew him; a faint disgust was already replacing the aesthetic pleasure which I had suffered his first novel to give me. At the beginning of his career, it had been possible perhaps to distinguish some human landscape, some old garden, some dream- familiar disposition of trees through the stained glass of his prodigious prose... but with every new book the tints grew still more dense, the gules and purpure still more ominous; and today one can no longer see anything at all through that blazoned, ghastly rich glass, and it seems that were one to break it, nothing but a perfectly black void would face one’s shivering soul. But how dangerous he was in his prime, what venom he squirted, with what whips he lashed when provoked! The tornado of his passing satire left a barren waste where felled oaks lay in a row, and the dust still twisted, and the unfortunate author of some adverse review, howling with pain, spun like a top in the dust.