"The kind of people I know now don’t have barbecues, Mama. They stand up alone at nights in small rooms and eat cold weenies. My so-called friends are bums. Many of them are nothing but rats. They spread T.B. and use dirty language. They’re wife-beaters and window peepers and night crawlers and dope fiends. They have running sores on the backs of their hands that never heal. They peer up from cracks in the floor with their small red eyes and wait for chances."Ask me stuff
I feel like such a fool because I forgot that one of my favourite writers basically wrote a proto-Breaking Bad back in 2003 about trying to run a speed lab while writing his PhD.
Kurds are more phlegmatic, grim, quiet people than the average Wahhabi. I remember a great story from the early stages of the war, about a Kurdish fighter and an Arab jihadi sharing a position in a skirmish against Assad’s troops. The jihadi would yell, “Allahu Akbar!” every time he fired a shot, and the Kurd would wearily repeat, “They can’t hear you, you know.” It’s a real difference in style, in tone, born of the Kurds’ nightmarish recent history.
from the War Nerd’s latest, Syria: How to Open A Kurdish Front
The watching feeling is getting worse.
I am not an experiment.
I am not a stupid joke, or a trippy game, or an experiment. I will not go insane. Something bad is gonnae happen, though. I can feel it. It’s in the way that crisp bag has faded from the rain. I am not an experiment. If I keep saying it, I’ll start believing it. I have to try. I am not an experiment. It doesnae sound convincing. It sounds stupid.
Try it in German. Ich bin nicht eine experiment. My German’s shite. Inhale slowly to the count of four, look hard at the tip of my nose and try again. This time I go for an official BBC broadcaster circa-1940 accent.
Today, one finds one is not, in actual fact, a social experiment. One is a real person. This is real actual skin as seen containing the bodily organs of a real actual human being with a heart and soul and dreams.
It’s true that I came from real people once too, and they were a jolly old sort, with no naked psycho-ess in any way.
I, the young Miss Anais, understand wholly that I am just a human being that no one is interested in. No experiment. No outside fate. I am not that important, and that is just fine by me. I propose a stiff upper lip and onward Christian soldiers, quick-bloody-march! This is Anais Hendricks, telling the nation: to be me is really quite spiff-fucking-spoff, lashings of love, your devoted BBC broadcaster since 1938.
Anais Hendricks tries to convince herself that she is not being watched as part of a sinister experiment. From The Panopticon by Jenni Fagan.