Not real can tell us about real.
A puff of airùwhuff!ùhits his ears, blows out the candle. He can't be bothered relighting it, because the bourbon is taking over. He'd rather stay in the dark. He can sense Oryx drifting towards him on her soft feathery wings. Any moment now she'll be with him. He sits crouched in the chair with his head down on the desk and his eyes closed, in a state of misery and peace.
They spent the first three years of school getting you to pretend stuff and then the rest of it marking you down if you did the same thing.
He feels the need to hear a human voiceùa fully human voice like his own. Sometimes he laughs like a hyena or roars like a lionùhis idea of a hyena his idea of a lion.
Once in a while, Jimmy would make up a word but he never once got caught out. ... He should have been pleased by his success with these verbal fabrications, but instead he was depressed by it. The memos telling him he'd done a good job meant nothing to him; all they proved was that no one was capable of appreciating how clever he had been. He came to understand why serial killers sent helpful clues to the police.
All it takes,ö said Crake, ôis the elimination of one generation. One generation of anything. Beetles, trees, microbes, scientists, speakers of French, whatever. Break the link in time between one generation and the next, and itÆs game over forever.
Those walls and bars are there for a reason,ö said Crake. ôNot to keep us out, but to keep them in. Mankind needs barriers in both cases.ö ôThem?ö ôNature and God.ö ôI thought you didnÆt believe in God,ö said Jimmy. ôI donÆt believe in Nature either,ö said Crake. ôOr not with a capital N.
He has to find more and better ways of occupying his time. His time, what a bankrupt idea, as if he's been given a box of time belonging to him alone, stuffed to the brim with hours and minutes that he can spend like money. Trouble is, the box has holes in it and the time is running out, no matter what he does with it.
Or heÆd watch the news: more plagues, more famines, more floods, more insect or microbe or small-mammal outbreaks, more droughts, more chickenshit boy-soldier wars in distant countries. Why was everything so much like itself?
All of this was understood, and if not condoned, at least pardoned.
We understand more than we know.
HeÆd developed a strangely tender feeling towards such words, as if they were children abandoned in the woods and it was his duty to rescue them.
Sex is like a drink, it's bad to start brooding about it too early in the day.
Anyway, maybe there weren't any solutions. Human society, corpses and rubble. It never learned, it made the same cretinous mistakes over and over, trading short-term gain for long-term pain.
When they're gone out of his head, these words, they'll be gone, everywhere, forever. As if they had never been.
If he wants to be an asshole, it's a free country. Millions before him have made the same life choice.
She had no images of this love. She could offer no anecdotes. It was a belief rather than a memory.
Arboreal, a fine word. Our arboreal ancestors, Crake used to say. Used to shit on their enemies from above while perched in trees. All planes and rockets and bombs are simply elaborations on that primate instinct.
Why hyphenate, why parenthesize, unless absolutely necessary?
It made him feel invisibleùnot that he wanted to feel anything else.
So this was the rest of his life. It felt like a party to which he'd been invited, but at an address he couldn't actually locate. Someone must be having fun at it, this life of his; only, right at the moment, it wasn't him.
At school, he enacted a major piece of treachery against his parents. His right hand was Evil Dad, and his left was Righteous Mom. Evil Dad blustered and theorized and dished out pompous bullshit. Righteous Mom complained and accused. In Righteous Mom's cosmology, Evil Dad was the sole source of hemmoroids, kleptomania, global conflict, bad breath, tectonic-plate fault lines, and clogged drains, as well as every migraine headache and menstrual cramp Righteous Mom had ever suffered.
Why is it he feels some line has been crossed, some boundary transgressed? How much is too much, how far is too far?
It was a question now, rather than a statement; a question with no answer.
The proper study of Mankind is Everything.
But the adjectives change,ö said Jimmy. ôNothingÆs worse than last yearÆs adjectives.
Women, and what went on under their collars. Hotness and coldness, coming and going in the strange musky flowery variable-weather country inside their clothes -- mysterious, important, uncontrollable. That was his father's take on things. But men's body temperatures were never dealt with; they were never even mentioned....
It was the thumbprints of human imperfection that used to move him, the flaws in the design: the lopsided smile, the wart next to the navel, the mole, the bruise. Was it consolation heÆd had in mind, kissing the wound to make it better?
The prospect of his future life stretched before him like a sentence; not a prison sentence but a long-winded sentence with a lot of unnecessary subordinate clauses, as he was soon in the habit of quipping during Happy Hour pickup time at the local campus bars and pubs. He couldnÆt say he was looking forward to it, this rest-of-his-life.
Even sex was no longer what it had once been, though he was still as addicted to it as ever. He felt jerked around by his own dick, as if the rest of him was merely an inconsequential knob that happened to be attached to one end of it. Maybe the thing would be happier if left to roam around on its own.
More Margaret Atwood Quotations (Based on Topics)
Love - Man - Time - Woman - Mind - Power - God - Nature - Body - Education - Life - Water - Future - Money & Wealth - Sex - Past - World - War & Peace - Death & Dying - View All Margaret Atwood Quotations
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