On what occasion do you lie, Pete?
Oh, well, that´s a tricky question… But to tell the truth, I consider lying a part of life, a part at least of the life that I live and, come to think about it, I think that what truly matters about the lies I usually deal with in my everyday life is to accomplish them in a way that´s credible enough so that i can use them as an alibi before any gullible jury or even before myself as the most gullible person of all.
What is your greatest fear, Pete?
Colleagues, relatives, friends… All that stuff…You know… To what extent can I rely on people that swarm about me, sometimes like annoying and burdensome bees, others like lovable beings I should be caring for. Besides, I think this question has something to do with the previous one. Living a life such as the one I live implies being the whole time on the alert for all the lies that are going on around me much as if I were myself a breeder of bees … Yeah… as if I were sort of involved in a lifelong selection of bees , some of them worth belonging to my particular beehive and others meant rather to be kept at bay or even merciless discarded. If, by any chance, i fail in this selection and a bee runs amok challenging the order of my honeycomb, be sure i´ll be damned for good. Be sure, also,that I wont´t be such a fool as to let any outlier trouble my goals.
What is it you most dislike, Pete?
People that don´t make it…Or, to carry on with the “bees” refrain , breeders of bees that just miss it and make a mess of the beehives they´are betting on, marring their life expectations instead of fulfilling them …People, in short, that don´t have the guts to acknowledge their failures in time and go on muddling through between lies and truth, creeping like weaklings, incapable of any decision, lousy unreliable fakes ready to sell you for a few bucks in the name of the first fashionable truth someone has planted on them for business sake.
But, you know, I myself run a business, which happens to be my life and I´m the best entrepreneur of my own self, the self-reliant promoter of my own precious being, the most beautiful queen bee, as it is, within the entire beehive. And I tell you what: I won´t let any other being ruin it or talk me into someone else´s beehive for that matter. No, I won´t surrender the freedom that grants me being the queen bee that easily. It´s time I make this clear to my wife: contrary to what she seems lately to believe, i´m no worker bee. And I don´t care any longer who she´s working for nor whose alien interests she ´s yielding to . The time has come for me to lie my way just one more time into success and get rid of her.
Tony Judt´s take on “modesty” (an extract from Tony Judt´s “Ill fares the land”) // Opinión de Tony Judt sobre “la modestia” (extracto del libro de Tony Judt “Algo va mal”)
“ (Modesty)…. a political quality whose virtues are overestimated. We need to apologize a little less for past shortcomings and speak more assertively of achievements. That these were always incomplete should not trouble us. If we have learned nothing else from the 20th century , we should at least have grasped that the more perfect the answer, the more terrifying its consequences.
Incremental improvements upon unsatisfactory circumstances are the best that we can hope for, and probably all we should seek”
“( La modestia)… una cualidad política cuyas virtudes se sobreestiman. Debemos disculparnos menos por nuestras carencias en el pasado y hablar con más convicción de nuestros logros. Que éstos siempre hayan sido incompletos no debería preocuparnos. Si del siglo XX hemos sido capaces de aprender algo, deberíamos al menos haber comprendido que cuánto más perfecta es una respuesta, tanto más terroríficas son sus consecuencias.
Mejoras graduales en relación a circunstancias no satisfactorias son lo mejor que debemos esperar y, probablemente, lo único a lo que debamos aspirar.”
Broke as she was after having been laid off from the bankruptcy court she worked for in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, her life and livelihood in general were not at their best. However, if she happened to find some dollars in her purse, Mary would give herself a treat and gulp down her throat one of the cucumbers that the handsome grocer used to pitch from his counter on market days.
She was just feeding her eyes on the green merchandise while walking nonchalantly along the grocer´s stand and bending over, at times, to look closer at the edible ítems that stood before her , when she finally decided and said in what it wasn´t meant to be a dubious manner:
“Good morning, Mr. grocer, i´d like the cucumber you´re holding in your hand. It looks fresh, nutritive, invigorating… The cucumber, I mean, not your manly hand…”
Blushing at Mary´s comment and pointing at the cucumber he was duly holding in his hand the grocer replied:
“I appreciate your taste, madam, but i´m afraid that this cucumber is somewhat out of season. I ´m just trying to plant it on someone for business sake. It´s actually my heart what really keeps on beating with the force of a youngster, its longing for love keeps my life from withering”
“The love for your wife, I guess” Mary said
“Not quite, madam, my dear wife passed away long ago. I´ve been mourning her unconsolably until the moment you showed up and asked me for the cucumber i´m touting and holding in my hand”
The picture showed his father and him. His father appears smiling and he, wearing an expression of complaint on his face. The photo was taken long ago during some Christmas holiday´s that he and his family had spent in some seashore beach resort in the Atlantic. Given that in his hometown it should have been raining at the time of the year when the photo was taken and given all the amusements that were available for them, kids, in that seashore beach resort he should rather have been smiling at the camera as his father was. Instead, he´s making a grimace that expresses grievance as if he were complaining at the vain effort to shake off his father´s embrace. Actually, if one looks closer at the picture, it is not an embrace but rather his father´s hands encroaching upon his hair what is going on at the moment of the shooting. His father, moreover, isn´t exactly stroking his hair, his hands are aiming, stroke upon stroke, at straighten it out, at “taming” his dear son´s hair, as he used to say back in those days, so that the hair remained properly combed back like the hair of some of the movie stars his father was so fond of.
It would certainly be an exaggeration to state that that expression of complaint on his face stood for any risk-taking worth the name, hard to trace any shadow of heroism at the twisted corners of the kid´s mouth. However, as he looked at the picture for the last time while he sat up in the sofa and walked up to the tv set to turn it off, he couldn´t help feeling a vague sense of pride taking hold of himself, as if at the time when the photo was shot, he were already fighting a war he was barely conscious of.