Two weeks until your cure” she says finally. “Sixteen days” I say, but in my head I’m counting: Seven days. Seven days until I’m free and away from all these people and their sliding superficial lives brushing past one another gliding, gliding, gliding from life to death. For them there’s hardly a change between the two.
Do you understand what I'm saying?"shouted Moist. "You can't just go around killing people!""Why Not? You Do." The golem lowered his arm."What?" snapped Moist. "I do not! Who told you that?""I Worked It Out. You Have Killed Two Point Three Three Eight People," said the golem calmly."I have never laid a finger on anyone in my life, Mr Pump. I may be–– all the things you know I am, but I am not a killer! I have never so much as drawn a sword!""No, You Have Not. But You Have Stolen, Embezzled, Defrauded And Swindled Without Discrimination, Mr Lipvig. You Have Ruined Businesses And Destroyed Jobs. When Banks Fail, It Is Seldom Bankers Who Starve. Your Actions Have Taken Money From Those Who Had Little Enough To Begin With. In A Myriad Small Ways You Have Hastened The Deaths Of Many. You Do Not Know Them. You Did Not See Them Bleed. But You Snatched Bread From Their Mouths And Tore Clothes From Their Backs. For Sport, Mr Lipvig. For Sport. For The Joy Of The Game.
Until two days ago what had driven him was the will to survive: deep, animal, full of rage—but always part of him had not cared at all whether he lived or died. Now he did care, and very deeply, and so for the first time in a long time he was afraid. To love life is, of course, a wonderful thing, but not on this day of all days.
Abe held my gaze a bit longer and then broke into an easy smile. ʺOf course, of course. This is a family gathering. A celebration. And look: hereʹs our newest member.ʺ Dimitri had joined us and wore black and white like my mother and me. He stood beside me, conspicuously not touching. ʺMr. Mazur,ʺ he said formally, nodding a greeting to both of them. ʺGuardian Hathaway.ʺ Dimitri was seven years older than me, but right then, facing my parents, he looked like he was sixteen and about to pick me up for a date. ʺAh, Belikov,ʺ said Abe, shaking Dimitriʹs hand. ʺIʹd been hoping weʹd run into each other. Iʹd really like to get to know you better. Maybe we can set aside some time to talk, learn more about life, love, et cetera. Do you like to hunt? You seem like a hunting man. Thatʹs what we should do sometime. I know a great spot in the woods. Far, far away. We could make a day of it. Iʹve certainly got a lot of questions Iʹd like to ask you. A lot of things Iʹd like to tell you too.ʺ I shot a panicked look at my mother, silently begging her to stop this. Abe had spent a good deal of time talking to Adrian when we dated, explaining in vivid and gruesome detail exactly how Abe expected his daughter to be treated. I did not want Abe taking Dimitri off alone into the wilderness, especially if firearms were involved. ʺActually,ʺ said my mom casually. ʺIʹd like to come along. I also have a number of questions—especially about when you two were back at St. Vladimirʹs.ʺ ʺDonʹt you guys have somewhere to be?ʺ I asked hastily. ʺWeʹre about to start.ʺ That, at least, was true. Nearly everyone was in formation, and the crowd was quieting. ʺOf course,ʺ said Abe. To my astonishment, he brushed a kiss over my forehead before stepping away. ʺIʹm glad youʹre back.ʺ Then, with a wink, he said to Dimitri: ʺLooking forward to our chat.ʺ ʺRun,ʺ I said when they were gone. ʺIf you slip out now, maybe they wonʹt notice. Go back to Siberia.""Actually," said Dimitri, "I'm pretty sure Abe would notice. Don't worry, Roza. I'm not afraid. I'll take whatever heat they give me over being with you. It's worth it.
We walk until there aren't more houses, all the way to the part of the beach where the current makes the waves come in then rush back out so that the two waves clash, water casting up like a geyser. We watch that for a while and then Scottie says, "I wish Mom was here." I'm thinking the exact same thought. That's how you know you love someone, I guess, when you can't experience anything without wishing the other person were there to see it, too. Every day I kept track of anecdotes, occurrences, and gossip, bullet-pointing the news in my head and even rehearsing my stories before telling them to Joanie in bed at night.
Sometimes I feel as though there are two me's, one coasting directly on top of the other: the superficial me, who nods when she's supposed to nod and says what she's supposed to say, and some other, deeper part, the part that worries and dreams... Most of the time they move along in sync and I hardly notice the split, but sometimes it feels as though I'm two whole different people and I could rip apart at any second.
We live in a modern society. Husbands and wives don'tgrow on trees, like in the old days. So wheredoes one find love? When you're sixteen it's easy, like being unleashed with a credit cardin a department store of kisses. There's the first kiss.The sloppy kiss. The peck.The sympathy kiss. The backseat smooch. The weshouldn't be doing this kiss. The but your lipstaste so good kiss. The bury me in an avalanche of tingles kiss.The I wish you'd quit smoking kiss.The I accept your apology, but you make me really madsometimes kiss. The I knowyour tongue like the back of my hand kiss. As you getolder, kisses become scarce. You'll be drivinghome and see a damaged kiss on the side of the road, with its purple thumb out. If youwere younger, you'd pull over, slide open the mouth'sred door just to see how it fits. Oh wheredoes one find love? If you rub two glances, you get a smile.Rub two smiles, you get a warm feeling.Rub two warm feelings and presto-you have a kiss. Now what? Don't invite the kiss overand answer the door in your underwear. It'll get suspiciousand stare at your toes. Don't water the kiss with whiskey. It'll turn bright pink and explode into a thousand luscious splinters, but in the morning it'll be ashamed and sneak out ofyour body without saying good-bye, and you'll remember that kiss forever by all the little cuts it lefton the inside of your mouth. You mustnurture the kiss. Turn out the lights. Notice how itilluminates the room. Hold it to your chestand wonder if the sand inside hourglasses comes from aspecial beach. Place it on the tongue's pillow, then look up the first recorded kiss in an encyclopedia: beneatha Babylonian olive tree in 1200 B.C.But one kiss levitates above all the others. Theintersection of function and desire. The I do kiss.The I'll love you through a brick wall kiss. Even when I'm dead, I'll swim through the Earth, like a mermaid of the soil, just to be next to your bones.
Tonight, two kids ask for an alms (they are asking for food) from me. In a moment I remembered the days I was starving, the days I lowered my pride and dignity just to ask something but in returned I was declined, those were one of my painful days. In an instant I wonder how many days did these kids suffer from those days, I mentioned. The starvation and humiliation that I was once experience won't amount anything from what they had experienced everyday. I don't want to regret anything so I smiled and said to them to join with me, they look so happy while approaching. I asked them what they want to eat but they said it's up to me, so to be fair I ordered the same meal for the three of us. While we were eating I felt this guilt inside of my heart, that something is lacking, that something is not enough. And I remembered a saying "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." I want to do more, more than filling up their hungry stomach but I don't know where to start. I will look forward to the day I know where to start.And as we're about to finish our meals, I prayed silently, "Lord God, please watch and guide them for me" and I heard them saying "Thank you, kuya (older brother)", no amount of anything that could explain the happiness I felt in that moment, I will never forget their smiles and as we part ways the only words I can barely say to them is, "Please be good."I'm posting it here because I know, no one knows me here in GoodReads and none of my friends in real life will find out what I did.I want to help people not because I have to but because I choose to.
When she says margarita she means daiquiri.When she says quixotic she means mercurial.And when she says, "I'll never speak to you again,"she means, "Put your arms around me from behindas I stand disconsolate at the window."He's supposed to know that.When a man loves a woman he is in New York and she is in Virginiaor he is in Boston, writing, and she is in New York, reading,or she is wearing a sweater and sunglasses in Balboa Park and he is raking leaves in Ithacaor he is driving to East Hampton and she is standing disconsolateat the window overlooking the baywhere a regatta of many-colored sails is going onwhile he is stuck in traffic on the Long Island Expressway.When a woman loves a man it is one ten in the morningshe is asleep he is watching the ball scores and eating pretzelsdrinking lemonadeand two hours later he wakes up and staggers into bedwhere she remains asleep and very warm.When she says tomorrow she means in three or four weeks.When she says, "We're talking about me now,"he stops talking. Her best friend comes over and says,"Did somebody die?"When a woman loves a man, they have goneto swim naked in the streamon a glorious July daywith the sound of the waterfall like a chuckleof water rushing over smooth rocks,and there is nothing alien in the universe.Ripe apples fall about them.What else can they do but eat?When he says, "Ours is a transitional era,""that's very original of you," she replies,dry as the martini he is sipping.They fight all the timeIt's funWhat do I owe you?Let's start with an apologyOk, I'm sorry, you dickhead.A sign is held up saying "Laughter."It's a silent picture."I've been fucked without a kiss," she says,"and you can quote me on that,"which sounds great in an English accent.One year they broke up seven times and threatened to do it another nine times.When a woman loves a man, she wants him to meet her at the airport in a foreign country with a jeep.When a man loves a woman he's there. He doesn't complain that she's two hours lateand there's nothing in the refrigerator.When a woman loves a man, she wants to stay awake.She's like a child cryingat nightfall because she didn't want the day to end.When a man loves a woman, he watches her sleep, thinking:as midnight to the moon is sleep to the beloved.A thousand fireflies wink at him.The frogs sound like the string sectionof the orchestra warming up.The stars dangle down like earrings the shape of grapes.
MY MOTHER GETS DRESSEDIt is impossible for my mother to do eventhe simplest things for herself anymoreso we do it together,get her dressed.I choose the clothes withoutzippers or buckles or straps,clothes that are simplebut elegant, and easy to get into.Otherwise, it's just like every other day.After bathing, getting dressed.The stockings go on first.This time, it's the new ones,the special ones with opaque black trianglesthat she's never worn before,bought just two weeks agoat her favorite department store.We start with the heavy, careful stuff of the right toesinto the stocking tipthen a smooth yank past the knob of her ankleand over her cool, smooth calfthen the other toecool ankle, smooth calfup the legsand the pantyhose is coaxed to her waist.You're doing great, Mom,I tell heras we ease her bodyagainst mine, rest her whole weight against meto slide her black dresswith the black empire collarover her headstruggle her fingers through the dark tunnel of the sleeve.I reach from the outsidedeep into the dark for her hand,grasp where I can't see for her touch.You've got to help me a little here, MomI tell herthen her fingertips touch mineand we work her fingers through the sleeve's mouthtogether, then we rest, her weight against mebefore threading the other fingers, wrist, forearm, elbow, bicepand now over the head.I gentle the black dress over her breasts,thighs, bring her makeup to her,put some color on her skin.Green for her eyes.Coral for her lips.I get her black hat.She's ready for her company.I tell the two women in simple, elegant suitswaiting outside the bedroom, come in.They tell me, She's beautiful.Yes, she is, I tell them.I leave as they carefullyzip her intothe black body bag.Three days later,I dream a large, greensuitcase arrives.When I unzip it,my mother is inside.Her dress matchesher eyeshadow, which matchesthe suitcaseperfectly. She's wearingcoral lipstick."I'm here," she says, smiling delightedly, wavingand I wake up.Four days later, she comes homein a plastic black boxthat is heavier than it looks.In the middle of a meadow,I learn a nakedmore than naked.I learn a new way to hugas I tighten my fistaround her body,my hand filled with her ashesand the small stones of bones.I squeeze her tightthen open my handand release herinto the smallest, hottest sun,a dandelion screaming yellow at the sky.
Eliot, huh?" she says. The thin fabric of her long T-shirt brushes my arm. "Is everyone in your family named for a famous symbolist poet?"No, I'm named for someone who was supposed to be in the Bible but isn't."No? What happened to him?"I glance over at her, the way the corner of her mouth turns up, half-smirk, half-smile. Her hair moves as she walks.He was called to be a disciple, but he had, you know, stuff to do."Stuff, like...polishing his sandals? Making lunch?"We keep walking, over the bridge across the lake, past the swings and the playground equipment, just walking.Exactly. And what about you, Calliope...is everyone in your family named after a...what is it? A keyboard? An organ?"It's a steam-powered piano. It's also the name of the Greek goddess of poetry. You should read stuff other than chemistry; you'd know these things." Her smirky smile again, her sleeve touching my arm.I feel like my skin has been removed, every nerve exposed. I open my mouth, and this comes out: "I think you are more goddess than piano." Stupid, stupid.But she laughs. "You know, that's the nicest thing anyone's said to me today."You don't see too many calliopes," I tell her.I'm Cal, actually. I mean, that's what I prefer."I meant the steam pianos...you don't see too many." She stops and looks at me, full-on, and right away I put it on the list of the best moments in my life.Until you said that, Eliot, I wasn't fully aware of the demise of the steam piano, so thank you. Really."I smirk at her and we both fight not to smile. "Okay, smart-ass," I say.