One thought alone preoccupies the submerged mind of Empire: how not to end, how not to die, how to prolong its era. By day it pursues its enemies. It is cunning and ruthless, it sends its bloodhounds everywhere. By night it feeds on images of disaster: the sack of cities, the rape of populations, pyramids of bones, acres of desolation.
It became clearer and clearer to me that I had found a woman who possessed the strength and like-mindedness I’d been hoping to locate my entire adult life. ‘In marriage, choose someone you’re comfortable solving problems with’ was an aphorism I’d been acquainted with. I had long ago concocted my own turbocharged version, which better fit my own history and worldview. The blessing to be carefully preserved, I’d concluded, is a partner with whom you’re not only be able to endure a crisis but whose companionship you could continue to enjoy in spite of the crisis. It became apparent that I might have found exactly that.
ESAELP GNITTIPS ON
This mysterious decree would incite me to defy it and spit on the ground at once, but because the police were stationed two steps away in front of the Governor’s Mansion, I’d just stare at it uneasily instead. Now I began to fear that spit would suddenly climb out of my throat and land on the ground without my even willing it. But as I knew, spitting was mostly a habit of grown-ups of the same stock as those brainless, weak-willed, insolent children who were always being punished by my teacher. Yes, we would sometimes see people spitting on the streets, or hawking up phlegm because they had no tissues, but this didn’t happen often enough to merit a decree of this severity, even outside the Governor’s Manson. Later on, when I read about the Chinese spitting pots and discovered how commonplace spitting was in other parts of the world, I asked myself why they’d gone to such lengths to discourage spitting in Istanbul, where it had never been popular.