Showing off the nonsense side of life.
Dancingiseverything,” continued the Sheep Man. “Danceintip-topform. Dancesoitallkeepsspinning. Ifyoudothat, wemightbeabletodosomethingforyou. Yougottadance. Aslongasthemusicplays.
You look down in the mouth. You all right?”
“Lost a woman. “
“You’ll have others and lose them too.
Yes, but if you drink or gamble they think it’s a put-down of their love.”
“Get one who likes to drink, gamble, and fuck.”
“Who wants a woman like that?
Manny, what are you doing working in auto parts?”
“Resting. My ambition is handicapped by laziness.
The arguments were always the same. I understood it too well now — that great lovers were always men of leisure. I fucked better as a bum than as a puncher of timeclocks.
[…] I knew she was out there, and I knew there would be somebody else. Yet I had to let it happen, I had to let events take their own course.
You married, Manny?”
“Sometimes. But it never lasts.”
“What’s the problem?”
“A woman is a full-time job. You have to choose your profession.
Each day without solitude weakened me. I took no pride in my solitude; but I was dependent on it.
I ordered shrimp salad, onion rings, and a beer. The shrimp were straight out of the freezer, the onion rings soggy. Looking around the place, though, I failed to spot a single customer banging on a tray or complaining to a waitress. So I shut up and finished my food. Expect nothing, get nothing.
But didn’t you say you were satisfied with your life?”
“Word games,” I dismissed. “Every army needs a flag.
S’ppose you’re still mad?”
“Sure,” I said. “Though I guess anger won’t do much for me now, will it? Besides, I’m so blitzed, I still haven’t swallowed the reality of it. Later on, when it hits me, I might get furious. But by then, of course, I’ll be dead to this world.
No matter how hard my mind becomes, no matter how winter closes me, it is not for me to be sleeping with her. It is the Town that wants me to sleep with her. That is how they would claim my mind.
In time your mind will not matter. It will go, and with it all sense of loss, all sorrow. Nor will love matter. Only living will remain. Undisturbed, peaceful living. You are fond of the girl and I believe she is fond of you. Expect no more.
I have a thing about loosers. Flaws in oneself open you up to others with flaws.
This compact knife didn’t look like a lethal weapon, but it was obviously no dime-store toy. It was sharp enough to slice a person to pieces. The human fruit is always ripe for peeling.