U Betrayed Me Quotes

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I throw my makeshift jai-namaz, my prayer rug, on the floor and I get on my knees, lower my forehead to the ground, my tears soaking through the sheet. I bow to the west. Then I remember I haven’t prayed for over fifteen years. I have long forgotten the words. But it doesn’t matter, I will utter those few words I still remember: La illaha ila Allah, Muhammad u rasul ullah. There’s no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger. I see now that Baba was wrong, there’s a God, there always had been. I see Him here, in the eyes of the people in this [hospital] corridor of desperation. This is the real house of God, this is where those who have lost God will find Him, not the white masjid with its bright diamond lights, and towering minarets. There’s a God, there has to be, and now I will pray, I will pray that He forgive that I have neglected Him all of these years, forgive that I have betrayed, lied, and sinned with impunity only to turn to Him now in my hour of need, I pray that He is as merciful, benevolent, and gracious as His book says He is. [...] I hear a whimpering and realize it is mine, my lips are salty with the tears trickling down my face. I feel the eyes of everyone in this corridor on me and still I bow to the west. I pray. I pray that my sins have not caught up with me the way I'd always feared they would.
Khaled Hosseini (The Kite Runner)
I used to think love was two people sucking on the same straw to see whose thirst was stronger, but then I whiffed the crushed walnuts of your nape, traced jackals in the snow-covered tombstones of your teeth. I used to think love was a non-stop saxophone solo in the lungs, till I hung with you like a pair of sneakers from a phone line, and you promised to always smell the rose in my kerosene. I used to think love was terminal pelvic ballet, till you let me jog beside while you pedaled all over hell on the menstrual bicycle, your tongue ripping through my prairie like a tornado of paper cuts. I used to think love was an old man smashing a mirror over his knee, till you helped me carry the barbell of my spirit back up the stairs after my car pirouetted in the desert. You are my history book. I used to not believe in fairy tales till I played the dunce in sheep’s clothing and felt how perfectly your foot fit in the glass slipper of my ass. But then duty wrapped its phone cord around my ankle and yanked me across the continent. And now there are three thousand miles between the u and s in esophagus. And being without you is like standing at a cement-filled wall with a roll of Yugoslavian nickels and making a wish. Some days I miss you so much I’d jump off the roof of your office building just to catch a glimpse of you on the way down. I wish we could trade left eyeballs, so we could always see what the other sees. But you’re here, I’m there, and we have only words, a nightly phone call - one chance to mix feelings into syllables and pour into the receiver, hope they don’t disassemble in that calculus of wire. And lately - with this whole war thing - the language machine supporting it - I feel betrayed by the alphabet, like they’re injecting strychnine into my vowels, infecting my consonants, naming attack helicopters after shattered Indian tribes: Apache, Blackhawk; and West Bank colonizers are settlers, so Sharon is Davey Crockett, and Arafat: Geronimo, and it’s the Wild West all over again. And I imagine Picasso looking in a mirror, decorating his face in war paint, washing his brushes in venom. And I think of Jenin in all that rubble, and I feel like a Cyclops with two eyes, like an anorexic with three mouths, like a scuba diver in quicksand, like a shark with plastic vampire teeth, like I’m the executioner’s fingernail trying to reason with the hand. And I don’t know how to speak love when the heart is a busted cup filling with spit and paste, and the only sexual fantasy I have is busting into the Pentagon with a bazooka-sized pen and blowing open the minds of generals. And I comfort myself with the thought that we’ll name our first child Jenin, and her middle name will be Terezin, and we’ll teach her how to glow in the dark, and how to swallow firecrackers, and to never neglect the first straw; because no one ever talks about the first straw, it’s always the last straw that gets all the attention, but by then it’s way too late.
Jeffrey McDaniel
But now, after the news of Barthelme’s death, this simple fact of presence or absence, which I had begun to recognize in a small way already, now became the single most important supplemental piece of information I felt I could know about a writer: more important than his age when he wrote a particular work, or his nationality, his sex (forgive the pronoun), political leanings, even whether he did or did not have, in someone’s opinion, any talent. Is he alive or dead? — just tell me that. The intellectual surface we offer to the dead has undergone a subtle change of texture and chemistry; a thousand particulars of delight and fellow-feeling and forbearance begin reformulating themselves the moment they cross the bar. The living are always potentially thinking about and doing just what we are doing: being pulled through a touchless car wash, watching a pony chew a carrot, noticing that orange scaffolding has gone up around some prominent church. The conclusions they draw we know to be conclusions drawn from how things are now. Indeed, for me, as a beginning novelist, all other living writers form a control group for whom the world is a placebo. The dead can be helpful, needless to say, but we can only guess sloppily about how they would react to this emergent particle of time, which is all the time we have. And when we do guess, we are unfair to them. Even when, as with Barthelme, the dead have died unexpectedly and relatively young, we give them their moment of solemnity and then quickly begin patronizing them biographically, talking about how they “delighted in” x or “poked fun at” y — phrases that by their very singsong cuteness betray how alien and childlike the shades now are to us. Posthumously their motives become ludicrously simple, their delights primitive and unvarying: all their emotions wear stage makeup, and we almost never flip their books across the room out of impatience with something they’ve said. We can’t really understand them anymore. Readers of the living are always, whether they know it or not, to some degree seeing the work through the living writer’s own eyes; feeling for him when he flubs, folding into their reactions to his early work constant subauditional speculations as to whether the writer himself would at this moment wince or nod with approval at some passage in it. But the dead can’t suffer embarrassment by some admission or mistake they have made. We sense this imperviousness and adjust our sympathies accordingly. Yet in other ways the dead gain by death. The level of autobiographical fidelity in their work is somehow less important, or, rather, extreme fidelity does not seem to harm, as it does with the living, our appreciation for the work. The living are “just” writing about their own lives; the dead are writing about their irretrievable lives, wow wow wow. Egotism, monomania, the delusional traits of Blake or Smart or that guy who painted the electrically schizophrenic cats are all engaging qualities in the dead.
Nicholson Baker (U and I)
I have heard Carlos say it a thousand times, “What a Country!” After the betrayal he has experienced, I don’t know how he ever forgave this country. ME: How did you ever forgive the U.S. for what they did to you and your countrymen? CARLOS: There is a big difference between the men (presidents) that come and go and the country itself. Take Cuba for example: I love that country and my countrymen even though I hate the dictatorship that currently rules and ruins that land. Today, my allegiance is to the United States. I may agree or disagree with the president of the day. That is part of what makes this country what it is. But no matter who is in office, the United States of America is still the greatest country in the world. No other place in the world provides for opportunity the way America does. As long as countries are run by mankind, I doubt there will ever be a perfect country. But the United States of America is the only place in the world I could have lived the dream I’ve lived. What a country!
Mitch Stephen (My Life and 1,000 Houses (Failing Forward to Financial Freedom))
As with the “You can prove anything with statistics” claim, I usually find that the people making these other irrational claims don’t even quite mean what they say, and their own choices will betray their stated beliefs. If you ask someone to enter a betting pool to guess the outcome of the number of heads in 12 coin tosses, even the person who claims odds can’t be assigned will prefer the numbers around or near six heads. The person who claims to accept no risk at all will still fly to Moscow using Aeroflot (an airline with a safety record worse than any U.S. carrier) to pick up a $1 million prize. In response to the skeptics of statistical models he met in his own profession, Paul Meehl proposed a variation on the game of Russian roulette.15 In his modified version there are two revolvers: one with one bullet and five empty chambers and one with five bullets and one empty chamber. Meehl then asks us to imagine that he is a “sadistic decision-theorist” running experiments in a detention camp. Meehl asks, “Which revolver would you choose under these circumstances? Whatever may be the detailed, rigorous, logical reconstruction of your reasoning processes, can you honestly say that you would let me pick the gun or that you would flip a coin to decide between them? Meehl summarized the responses: “I have asked quite a few persons this question, and I have not yet encountered anybody who alleged that he would just as soon play his single game of Russian roulette with the five-shell weapon.” Clearly, those who answered Meehl’s question didn’t really think probabilities were meaningless. As we shall see before the end of this chapter, Meehl’s hypothetical game is less “hypothetical” than you might think.
Douglas W. Hubbard (How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of "Intangibles" in Business)
Among American newspapers, the New York Times offered by far the best and most extensive coverage of the war in Angola, and it was the New York Times that first revealed the existence of a U.S. covert operation there. In a front-page article on September 25, Leslie Gelb wrote that “millions of dollars are being poured covertly into Portugal and Angola by East and West,” including the Soviet Union and the United States. (The Soviets, he hastened to say, were “far more” involved in both Portugal and Angola than the Americans.)60 The article provoked nothing but total silence. “It was, and still is, a mystery to me why the Gelb report had so little public impact in the United States when it was published,” Nathaniel Davis writes.61 The explanation is suggested by a stern editorial in the Washington Post that appeared two days after Gelb’s article. The editorial endorsed the covert operation in Portugal, but not that in Angola. “The operation there seems much closer to the questionable crudely anti-communist adventures that have so marred the CIA’s past,” it observed. But this was not the point. The point was that the secret had been betrayed: “The disclosures illuminate the strange new semi-public setting in which ‘secret’ operations must now be devised. . . . Some would consider this anticipation of exposure as a healthy deterrent or even as just retribution for past excesses. We find it deplorable. The United States still has, we believe, reason to conduct certain covert operations abroad—Portugal is an excellent example. It should not be necessary to point out that covert operations must be covert. ‘National security’ unquestionably has been overworked as a rationale for secrecy but it has not lost all validity.”62
Piero Gleijeses (Piero Gleijeses' International History of the Cold War in Southern Africa, Omnibus E-Book: Includes Conflicting Missions and Visions of Freedom)