The Winter of Our Discontent
No one really knows about other human beings.
The best he can do is to suppose that they are like himself.
What happens is right for me,
whether or not it is good.
Any man of reaonable intelligence can make money if that's what he wants.
Mostly it's women or clothes or admiration he really wants and they deflect him.
The great artists of finance like Morgan and Rockefeller weren't deflected.They wanted and got money, just simple money. What they did with it afterward is another matter.
I've always felt they got scared of the ghost they raised
and tried to but it off.
Marullo was telling me the truth about business, business being the process of getting money. And Joey Morphy was telling it straight, and Mr. Baker and the drummer. They all told it straight.
Why did it revolt me and leave a taste like a spoiled egg?
Am I so good, or so kind, or so just? I don't think so.
Am I so proud? Well, there's some of that.
Am I lazy, too lazy to be involved? There's an awful lot of inactive kindness which is nothing but laziness, not wanting any trouble, confusion, or effort.
There are the eaters and the eaten. That's a good rule to start with.
Are the eaters more immoral than the eaten?
In the end all are eaten—all—gobbled up by the earth, even the fierest and the most crafty.
It has been my experience to put aside a decision for future pondering.
Then one day, fencing a piece of time to face the problem, I have found it already completed, solved, and the verdict taken.
This must happen to everyone, but I have no way of knowing that.
It's as though, in the dark and desolate caves of the mind, a faceless jury had met and decided.
This secret and sleepless area in me I have always thought of as black, deep, waveless water, a spawning place from which only a few forms ever rise to the surface.
Or maybe it's a great library where is recorded everything that has ever happened to living matter back to the first moment when it began to live.
"But what causes it? I liked him."
"Maybe an old memory. Maybe a return to the time of the pack when a sick or hurt member was a danger. Some animals and most fish tear down and eat a weakened brother."
"But I'm not an animal—or a fish."
"No, you're not. And perhaps that's why you find it foreign. But it's there. It's all there."
The words are meaningless except in terms of feeling.
Does anyone act as the result of thought
or does feeling stimulate action and sometimes thought implement it?
"But I did not say to her what I know: 'We will be rich soon, and you who handle poverty badly will handle riches equally badly.' And that is true. In poverty she is envious. In riches she may be a snob. Money does not change the sickness, only the symptoms."
There were many like Great-Aunt Deborah early in the last century,
islands of curiosity and knowledge.
Maybe it was being cut off from a world of peers that drove the few into books
or perhaps it was the endless waiting, sometimes three years, sometimes forever, for the ships to come home, that pushed them into the kind of books that filled our attic.
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