My in-ear Babelfish provides synopses of the passages rather than a running translation, but now and then the interpreter confesses, I'm sorry, but I have no idea what he just said. I'm not sure the author knew, either.
Old Father Timothy offers this advice to his younger readers, included for free in the price of this memoir: conduct your life in such a way that, when you train breaks down in the eve of you years, you have a warm dry car drive by a loved one - or a hired one, it matters not - to take you home.
Why care about other people's six-year-olds who'll never perform anything because they died when Israeli bulldozers or Hezbollah rockets destroyed their homes? They're not our kids. We're clever enough to be born where such things don't happen.
All minds pulse in a unique way, just as every lighthouse in the world has a unique signature. Some minds pulse consistently, some erratically. Some are lukewarm, some are hot. Some flare out, some are very nearly not there. Some stay on the fringe, like quasars.
Grin and bear it! Remember your heritage! You're a Japanese law-abiding straight! You grin and bear it until your Zimmer frame buckles and your drinking water is mercury oxide, and our whole country is one coast-to-coast parking lot.
This isn't lust. Lust wants, does the obvious, and pads back into the forest. Love is greedier. Love wants round-the-clock care; protection; rings, vows, joint accounts; scented candles on birthdays; life insurance. Babies. Love's a dictator.
Surely a program of incremental reforms, of cautious steps, is the wisest way to proceed? You show xtraordinary erudition for an eighth-stratum, Archivist. I wonder if you encountered this dictum first spoken by a twentieth-century statesman: An abyss cannot be crossed in two steps.
Clark Kent gives up his powers just to have sexual intercourse with Lois Lane in a glittery bed. Who'd make such a stupid swap? If you could fly? Deflect nuclear missiles into space? Turn back time by spinning the planet in reverse? Sexual intercourse can't be that good.
When I talk about my artist parents, people imagine a bohemian environment and think, 'Aha, so that's where he gets it from!' But we were as white, straight, and middle-class as the next family on our white, straight, middle-class housing estate.
Through the window I looked across the oil-black Tigris at the Green Zone, lit up like Disneyland in Dystopia. I thought about J.G. Ballard's novel High Rise, where a state-of-the-art London tower block is the vertical stage for civilization to unpeel itself until nothing but primal violence remains.
Four high school girls in, but one of them was completely, completely different. She pulsed, invisibly, like a quasar. I know that sounds stupid, but she did... She was listening to the music! She was afraid she'd scare the music away if she moved.