“In the long run, all wrongs are righted, every minus is equalized with a plus, the columns are totaled and the totals are found correct. But that's in the long run. We must live in the short run and matters are often unjust there. The compensating for us of the universe makes all the accounts come out even, but they grind down the good as well as the wicked in the process.”
“It’s lucky no one else knows what our most secret thoughts are. We’d all be seen for the cunning, self-aggrandizing fools we are.”
“There is a means to every end. A root to any cause. Sometimes the root is more evil than any cause, though it's the cause that is usually most vilified.”
“Writing does for me what you got in that glass does for you. If I can write about it, I can understand it. And I can put it in the ground. That’s all I want to do.”
“I once read a book about a reporter written by a reporter who described the life as always running in front of a thresher. I thought it was the most accurate description I’d read.”
“His eyes strayed past us to the television. On the program they were now selling a glove with small rubber bristles on the palm for grooming pets. “I know what else you could use that for,” Adkins said. He made a masturbation motion with his hand and winked and smiled at Thompson. “That’s what they’re really selling that for, you know.”
“John Brooks.’ Immediately, I thought of the odds. First of just surviving in such a place, next of surviving and then becoming a cop. ‘Vertical ghettos, each one of them. Me and John used to say it was the only time when you had to take the elevator up when you were going to hell.’ I just nodded. This was out of my realm completely. ‘And that’s only if the elevators were working,’ he added. I realized that I never considered that Brooks might be a black man. There was no photo in the computer printouts and no reason to mention race in the stories. I had just assumed he was white and it was an assumption I would have to analyze later. At the moment, I was trying to figure out what Washington was trying to tell me by taking me here. Washington pulled into a lot next to one of the buildings. There were a couple of dumpsters coated with decades of graffiti slogans. There was a rusted basketball backboard but the rim was long gone. He put the car in park but left it running. I didn’t know if that was to keep the heat flowing or to allow us a quick getaway if needed. I saw a small group of teenagers in long coats, their faces as dark as the sky, scurry from the building closest to us, then cross a frozen courtyard and hustle into one of the other buildings. ‘At this point you’re wondering what the hell you’re doing here,’ Washington said then. ‘That’s okay, I understand. A white boy like you.’ Again I said nothing. I was letting him run out his line. ‘See that one, third on the right. That was our building. I was on fourteen with my grand-auntie and John lived with his mother on twelve, one below us. They didn’t have no thirteen, already enough bad luck ’round here. Neither of us had fathers. At least ones that showed up.’ I thought he wanted me to say something but I didn’t know what. I had no earthly idea what kind of struggle the two friends must have had to make it out of the tombstone of a building he had pointed at. I remained mute. ‘We were friends for life. Hell, he ended up marrying my first girlfriend, Edna. Then on the department, after we both made homicide and trained with senior detectives for a few years, we asked to be partnered. And damn, it got approved. Story about us in the”
“She had on a large blond wig, bright pink lipstick and enough makeup on her cheeks to frost a cupcake or”
“Death is my beat. I make my living from it. I forge my professional reputation on it. I treat it with the passion and precision of an undertaker--somber and sympathetic about it when I'm with the bereaved, a skilled craftsman with it when I'm alone.”
“With the money from the legal settlement, he hires a beautiful young woman from the local university to type for him as he orally composes the sentences. But soon he realizes she is editing and rewriting what he tells her before she even types it in. And what dawns on him is that she is the better writer. Soon he sits mute in the room while she writes. He only watches. He wants to kill her, strangle her with his hands. But he can’t move his hands to do it. He is in hell.”
“Some day perhaps our time will be known as the age of irony. Not the witty irony of the eighteenth century, but the stupid or malignant irony of a crude age of technological progress and cultural regression.”
“Le lapidi erano banali, parevano chiedere scusa ai defunti.”
“Over the course of several years, if I didn’t respect my brain’s need for sleep, my sensory systems experienced agonizing pain and I became psychologically and physically depleted.”
“I'd leave too, but i still had half a beer left. You can't just leave a beer like that. It's un-American”
“Was die Moralisten das Böse nannten, war in Wirklichkeit die Lebensregel.”
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