Monday, February 13, 2012

Hemingway's The Killers

The door of Henry’s lunch-room opened and two men came in. They sat down at the counter.
“What’s yours?” George asked them.
“I don’t know,” one of the men said, “What do you want to eat, Al?” -Hemingway, The Killers

Little side trip down around the village of Amarpurna, kicking around the dust and drinking down by the water in the fading light.
“Give me bacon and eggs,” said the other man. He was about the same size as Al. Their faces were different, but they were dressed like twins. -Hemingway

These adventures, these lost worlds, where do they all lead?
“Got anything to drink?” Al asked.
“Silver beer, bevo, ginger-ale,” George asked.
“I mean you got anything to drink?” -Hemingway

Reminds me of Hemingway, living for modern day adventure, running with the bulls, shooting the lite cigarettes out of men's mouths with a .22 caliber rifle at ten paces propped up on the bar.
“He’s dumb,” said Al. He turned to Nick. What’s your name?”
“Another bright boy,” Al said. “Ain’t he a bright boy, Max?” -Hemingway

Hemingway is the reason so many men go into teaching.  It's his style. His words.  But it's also his life.
“You ought to go to the movies more. The movies are fine for a bright boy like you.”
“What are you going to kill Ole Andreson for? What did he ever do to you?”
“He never had a chance to do anything to use. He never even seen us.” -Hemingway

Running off half-cocked into battle, living for today.
Max watched the mirror and the clock. The hands on the clock marked seven o’clock, and then five minutes past seven.
“Come on, Al,” said Max. “We better go. He’s not coming.” -Hemingway

That's the thing about Hemingway's characters I love, that even in the face of absolute danger, they don't flinch. 
Nick opened the door and went into the room. Ole Andreson was lying on the bed with all his clothes on. He had been a heavyweight prizefighter and he was too long for the bed. -Hemingway

Even in the most tense situations, they don't become emotional.  They don't cheat the moment, they accept death completely.  Matadors and soldiers, fishermen and pilots, thugs and old prizefighters.  The washed-ups and the has-beens.  All men are Hemingway characters.
He lay with his head on two pillows he did not look at Nick.
“What was it?” He asked.
“I was up at Henry’s,” Nick said, “and two fellows came in …and they said they were going to kill you.”  -Hemingway

Well... today was one of those beautiful days... I had men rowing boats at sundown and wooden bridge planks beneath my feet, young girls giggling at me as they rode past on rusty bicycles and monks to chat with while leaning on fence posts... I can share this with you, this adventure, this never ending road.
“There isn’t anything I can do about it,” Ole Andreson said.
“I’ll tell you want they were like.”
“I don’t want to know what they were like.”  -Hemingway

Knowing nothing of where it will take us.
“I can’t stand to think about him waiting in the room and knowing he’s going to get it. It’s too damned awful.”
“Well,” said George, “you better not think about it.”  -Hemingway

But I want you all to come, no matter where we go.

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