Uit: Me Talk Pretty One Day
„Anyone who watches even the slightest amount of TV is familiar with the scene: An agent knocks on the door of some seemingly ordinary home or office. The door opens, and the person holding the knob is asked to identify himself. The agent then says, “I’m going to ask you to come with me.”
They’re always remarkably calm, these agents. If asked “Why do I need to go anywhere with you?” they’ll straighten their shirt cuffs or idly brush stray hairs from the sleeves of their sport coats and say, “Oh, I think we both know why.”
The suspect then chooses between doing things the hard way and doing things the easy way, and the scene ends with either gunfire or the gentlemanly application of handcuffs. Occasionally it’s a case of mistaken identity, but most often the suspect knows exactly why he’s being taken. It seems he’s been expecting this to happen. The anticipation has ruled his life, and now, finally, the wait is over. You’re sometimes led to believe that this person is actually relieved, but I’ve never bought it. Though it probably has its moments, the average day spent in hiding is bound to beat the average day spent in prison. When it comes time to decide who gets the bottom bunk, I think anyone would agree that there’s a lot to be said for doing things the hard way.
The agent came for me during a geography lesson. She entered the room and nodded at my fifth-grade teacher, who stood frowning at a map of Europe. What would needle me later was the realization that this had all been prearranged. My capture had been scheduled to go down at exactly 2:30 on a Thursday afternoon. The agent would be wearing a dung-colored blazer over a red knit turtleneck, her heels sensibly low in case the suspect should attempt a quick getaway.
“David,” the teacher said, “this is Miss Samson, and she’d like you to go with her now.”
David Sedaris (Binghamton, 26 december 1956)
Uit: The Swan Thieves
„John ran through the list: a mood stabilizer, an antianxiety drug, and an antidepressant, all at good doses. I picked up a pen and pad from my desk.
John told me, and I wasn’t surprised. “Fortunately for us, he signed a release of information in the ER while he was still talking. We’ve also just gotten copies of records from a psychiatrist in North Carolina he saw about two years ago. Apparently the last time he saw anybody.”
“Does he have significant anxiety?”
“Well, he won’t talk about it, but I think he shows it. And this isn’t his first round of meds, according to the file. In fact, he arrived here with some Klonopin in a two-year-old bottle in his jacket. It probably wasn’t doing him much good without a mood stabilizer on board. We finally got hold of the wife in North Carolina — ex-wife, actually — and she told us some more about his past treatments.”
“Possibly. It’s hard to do a proper assessment, since he won’t talk. He hasn’t attempted anything here. He’s more like enraged. It’s like keeping a bear in a cage — a silent bear. But with this kind of presentation, I don’t want to just release him. He’s got to stay somewhere for a while, have someone figure out what’s really going on, and his meds will need fine-tuning. He did sign in voluntarily, and I bet he’ll go pretty willingly at this point. He doesn’t like it here.”
“So you think I can get him to talk?” It was our old joke, and John rose obligingly to it.
“Marlow, you could get a stone to talk.”
“Thanks for the compliment. And thanks especially for messing up my lunch break. Does he have insurance?”
“Some. The social worker is on that.”
“All right — have him brought out to Goldengrove. Tomorrow at two, with the files. I’ll check him in.”
Elizabeth Kostova (New London, 26 december 1964)
De Amerikaanse schrijver Henry Miller werd geboren op 26 december 1891 In New York. Zie ook mijn blog van 26 december 2006 en ook mijn blog van 26 december 2007 en ook mijn blog van 26 december 2008 en ook mijn blog van 26 december 2009.
Uit: The Colossus of Maroussi
“I got into my things and hurried to the restaurant near the fountain. The waiter seemed to expect me and stood ready to translate for me into that Iroquois English which the itinerant Greek has acquired in the course of his wanderings. I ordered some cold fish with the skin on it and a bottle of dark-red Cretan wine. While waiting to be served I noticed a man peering through the large plate-glass window; he walked away and came back again in a few minutes. Finally he made his mind up to walk in. He walked directly up to my table and addressed me — in English. Was I not Mr. Miller who had arrived by plane a few hours ago? I was. He begged leave to introduce himself. He was Mr. So-and-So, the British Vice-Consul at Herakleion. He had noticed that I was an American, a writer. He was always happy to make the acquaintance of an American. He paused for a moment, as if embarrassed, and then went on to say that his sole motive for introducing himself was to let me know that as long as I remained in Crete, I was to consider his humble services entirely at my disposal. He said that he was originally from Smyrna and that every Greek from Smyrna was eternally indebted to the American people. He said that there was no favour too great for me to ask of him.
x x“The natural reply was to ask him to sit down and share a meal with me, which I did. He explained that he would be unable to accept the honour as he was obliged to dine in the bosom of his family, but — would I do him the honor of taking a coffee with him and his wife at their home after dinner? As the representative of the great American people (not at all sure of the heroic role we had played in the great disaster at Smyrna) I most graciously accepted, rose, bowed, shook his hand and escorted him to the door where once again we exchanged polite thanks and mutual felicitations.
Henry Miller (26 december 1891 – 7 juni 1980)
De Duitse dichter Rainer Malkowski werd geboren op 26 december 1939 in Berlijn-Tempelhof. Zie ook mijn blog van 26 december 2006 en ook mijn blog van 26 december 2007 en ook mijn blog van 26 december 2008 en ook mijn blog van 26 december 2009.
Aus einem Knopf,
einem Kamm, dem drei Zähne fehlen,
aus einer Pellkartoffel
sollte sie zu machen sein: die Poesie.
Nicht als Trittbrettfahrerin
den großen Gegenständen.
Wie genau wir das Herz malen:
zwei zusammengewachsene Flügel.
bei jedem Aufruhr
in den Körperprovinzen.
und das ruhige,
hoch im Blauen.
Etwas von der Ruhe
dem der Nachmittag verging
über der Beobachtung
Auch Fabre wusste nicht,
was das ist: die Zeit.
Aber er ertrug es vielleicht
weil er so wenig
für sich selber brauchte.
Ein sehr beschäftigter alter Mann
auf einem Stück Provenceerde.
Was die Mühe lohnt,
mit blossem Auge erkennen.
Rainer Malkowski (26 december 1939 – 1 september 2003)