Coup Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 1131 quotes )
In North Carolina, I stopped to gas up at a Humble Oil station, then walked around the corner to use the toilet. There were two doors and three signs. MEN was neatly stenciled over one door, LADIES over the other. The third sign was an arrow on a stick. It pointed toward the brush-covered slope behind the station. It said COLORED. Curious, I walked down the path, being careful to sidle at a couple of points where the oily, green-shading-to-maroon leaves of poison ivy were unmistakable... There was no facility. What I found at the end of the path was a narrow stream with a board laid across it on a couple of crumbling concrete posts... If I ever give you the idea that 1958's all Andy-n-Opie, remember the path, okay? The one lined with poison ivy. And the board over the stream.
[...] and as I walked, I tried to see the funny side. It wasn't easy, and I'm still not sure that I managed it properly, but it's just something I like to do when things aren't going well. Because what does it mean, to say that things aren't going well? Compared to what? You can say: compared to how things were going a couple of hours ago, or a couple of years ago. But that's not the point. If two cars are speeding towards a brick wall with no brakes, and one car hits the wall moments before the other, you can't spend those moments saying that the second car is much better off than the first.
Today each of you is the object of the other's reading, each reads in the other the unwritten story. Tomorrow, Reader and Other Reader, if you are together, if you lie down in the same bed like a settled couple, each will turn on the lamp at the side of the bed and sink into his or her book; two parallel readings will accompany the approach of sleep; first you, then you will turn out the light; returning from separated universes, you will find each other fleetingly in the darkness, where all separations are erased, before divergent dreams draw you again, one to one side, and one to the other. But do not wax ironic on this prospect of conjugal harmony: what happier image of a couple could you set against it?
Because, what does it mean, to say that things aren't going well? Compared to what? You can say: compared to how things were going a couple of hours ago, or a couple of years ago. But that's not the point. If two cars are speeding towards a brick wall with no brakes, and one car hits the wall moments before the other, you can't spend those moments saying that the second car is much better off than the first. 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. So unless we're going to get down on our knees and give thanks every time disaster misses, it makes no sense to moan when it strikes. Us, or anyone else. Because we're not comparing it with anything.
One must make allowances for a parental instinct that has been starving for twenty-five or thirty years. It is famished, it is crazed with hunger by that time, and will be entirely satisfied with anything that comes handy; its taste is atrophied, it can't tell mud cat from shad. A devil born to a young couple is measurably recognizable by them as a devil before long, but a devil adopted by an old couple is an angel to them, and remains so, through thick and thin.