“While I’m at it, silent movies weren’t silent either. They were shown along with live music. It’s a hard world for us pedants.” — Peter Adamson, “Back to Basics: Averroes on Reason and Religion,” History of Philosophy without any gaps (2013-11-10)
A new neighbour. Severe looking: every hair in place, intense eyes, thin lips politely turned up at the edges and tasteful quality clothing giving shape to a skin-covered skeleton (hiding cracks burns calories). The unkind face makes for unkind judgemental thoughts.
A single mother of her age buying a fairly large apartment implies financial independence. Not lawyer level money. Para-legal. Laws. She’s just the type to like spending her day with rule books.
And the legal profession is demanding. It’s a career that can be blamed for the lack of long-term relationships, responsible for letting time tick away and the reason for the bad choice of a father for the child.
A charming child, a goody two-shoes, repeating his scales every Sunday before bed, being taught the manners and mannerisms of a generation past. High School is going to be difficult.
Champagne bottles in the public bins. Noticed because teenagers don’t get drunk on expensive sparkling drinks.
The boy follows his mother. He picks up a stick, strikes three notes on the fence bars. The stick is back on ground before the mother can turn around. The timing perfect. Evaluation revisited: High School is going to be difficult for the mother.
Nominative determinism: Her name is Severine.
It’s Severine emptying the Champagne bottles. The discovery makes the frequency visible.
Back story re-imagined to accommodate the new facts: An expensive affectation to limit consumption; A history, if seen repeating, threatening the custody of her child. Poor kid.
“Unlimited power in the hands of limited people always leads to cruelty.” — David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas
“Anyone with gumption and a sharp mind will take the measure of two things: what’s said and what’s done.” — Seamus Heaney, Beowulf
“The egotist is never very good at laughing at himself, laughable though he often is.” — James Wood, The Irresponsible Self
“We are not always sure that those who advocate the truth are influenced by purer principles than their antagonists. Ambition, avarice, personal animosity, party opposition, and many other motives not more laudable than these, are apt to operate as well upon those who support as those who oppose the right side of a question.” — Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 1, Independent Journal (1787-10-27)