Hugh Laurie

{EN} The Gun Seller – Hugh Laurie

1. “Pain is an event. It happens to you, and you deal with it in whatever way you can.”

2. “Normally, words are sent from the brain towards the mouth, and somewhere along the line you take a moment to check them, see that they are actually the ones you ordered and that they’re nicely wrapped, before you bundle them on their way towards your palate and out into the fresh air. But when you’re caught up in the flow of things, the checking part of your mind can fall down on the job.”

3. “‘I mean, if you’re right,’ I said, ‘and personally I’m stuck in the middle of that “if” with a flat tyre and no spare – but if you’re right, what do you plan to do about it?”

4. “You’ve probably noticed on your travels that motorcyclists don’t wear seat-belts, which is both good and bad. Good because nobody wants to be tied to five hundred pounds of very hot metal when they’re sliding down the road. Bad because when the brakes are applied severely, the bike stops and the rider doesn’t. He carries on in a northerly direction until his genitals interface with the petrol tank and tears come to his eyes, preventing him from seeing the very thing he’s braking to try to avoid.”

5. “It was the sheer variety of the pain that stopped me from crying out. It came from so many places, spoke so many languages, wore so many dazzling varieties of ethnic costume, that for a full fifteen seconds I could only hang my jaw in amazement.”

6. “Ronnie was waiting for me in her car outside the gallery. It was a bright red TVR Griffith, with a five litre V8 engine, and an exhaust note that could have been heard in Peking. It fell some way short of being the ideal car for a discreet surveillance operation, but (a), I wasn’t in a position to quibble, and (b), there’s an undeniable pleasure in stepping into an open-top sports car driven by a beautiful woman. It feels like you’re climbing into a metaphor.”

7. “The dressing-table had a scattering of pots and brushes on it. Face-cream, hand-cream, nose-cream, eye-cream. I wondered for a moment how serious it would be if you ever got home drunk and accidentally put face-cream on your hands or hand-cream on your face.”

8. “Death and disaster are at our shoulders every second of our lives, trying to get at us. Missing, a lot of the time. A lot of miles on the motorway without a front wheel blow-out. A lot of viruses that slither through our bodies without snagging. A lot of pianos that fall a minute after we’ve passed. Or a month, it makes no difference.”

9. “There’s always something strangely thrilling about hearing a well-spoken woman swear.”

10. “‘We want different things. Men want to have sex with a woman. Then they want to have sex with another woman. And then another. Then they want to eat cornflakes and sleep for a while, and then they want to have sex with another woman, and another, until they die. Women,’ and I thought I’d better pick my words a little more carefully when describing a gender I didn’t belong to, ‘want a relationship. They may not get it, or they may sleep with a lot of men before they do get it, but ultimately that’s what they want. That’s the goal. Men don’t have goals. Natural ones. So they invent them, and put them at either end of a football pitch. And then they invent football. Or they pick fights, or try and get rich, or start wars, or come up with any number of daft bloody things to make up for the fact that they have no real goals.’”

11. “I found a cab eventually, and told the driver in fluent English that I wanted Wenceslas Square . This request, I now know, is phonically identical to the Czech phrase for ‘I am an air-brained tourist, please take everything I have’. The car was a Tatra, and the driver was a bastard; he drove fast and well, humming happily to himself, like a man who’s just won the pools.”

12. “So I settled into a comfortable march and did Prague One, which is the central district of the old city, in about two hours. Twenty-six churches, fourteen galleries and museums, an opera house – where the boy Mozart had staged his first-ever performance of Don Giovanni – eight theatres, and a McDonald’s. One of the above had a fifty-yard queue outside it.”

13. “They kept the tee-shirt for four days, and me for ten. I wasn’t allowed to shave or smoke, and eating was actively discouraged by whoever cooked the food.”

14. “Love is a word. A sound. Its association with a particular feeling is arbitrary, unmeasurable, and ultimately meaningless.”

15. “So we came back to the photographs, and we thought about what they might mean. We supposed and we postulated; we maybeed, and what-iffed, and how-aboutted;”

16. “Now why would a woman like Sarah Woolf want to get together with a man like Russell P Barnes? Why would she walk with him, laugh with him, make the beast with four buttocks with him?”

17. “Thou Shalt Not Kill, I’d always assumed, was top of the list. The Big One. Coveting neighbour’s asses, obviously, was a thing to avoid; likewise, committing adultery, not honouring thy father and thy mother, and bowing down before graven images. But Thou Shalt Not Kill. Now that is a Commandment. That’s the one everyone can remember, because it seems the rightest, the truest, the most absolute. The one that everyone forgets is the one about not bearing false witness against thy neighbour. It seems paltry by comparison to Thou Shalt Not Kill. Nit-picking. A parking offence.”

18. “They tore most of my clothes from my body, and left me looking like an opened Christmas present.”

Recenzie Traficantul de arme

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