学校 The College
How can I ever forget the beautiful campus in Africa?
The grounds were covered with dark green grass through which stretched a straight whitestone path both sides of the path were planted what I believed to be poinsettias. Now theflowers were surrounded by pinkish leaves instead of bright red ones as they should have med with light green edges，the leaves looked delicate and charming. Along the long pathI often took a stroll which would take me to a wide terrace，where 1 could watch theenchanting glow of sunset，and occasionally catch the sight of a train pulling and hooting onits way southward. On my way back I would pass by the laboratory and library building whoselarge French windows had soft curtains let fall to the floor. Just outside the windows kapokflowers glowed red in full bloom. A short way off stood the dining hall，where I found a treehearing snore-white blossoms so graceful and soft to the touch，Viewed together from thedistance, they were as beautiful as a bridal veil. Later I learned that it was a tree called daturawhich I had so often read about in hooks.
In the centre of the campus was a newly-built fan-shaped fountain. A number of Chinese taihurocks were arranged in it with a touch of artistry. And there was a story behind it.
In the courtyard of the house where Chinese teachers were living，there was also a similar butmuch smaller fountain looking like potted landscape. It was built by the Chinese teachers whohad come earlier in their spare time. They had graced it with water plants and goldfish apsout of a yearning for their homeland，they had even engraved on a taihu rock four Chinesecharacters:“Er Quan Ying Yue’meaning“two springs reflecting the moonlight.”These characterswere painted red and written in an ancient calligraphic style. The homesick Chinese teachersseemed to feel that at the sight of these characters，they could by a flight of the imaginationbring to their presence a native moon smiling beaming over the West Lake.
One day the president of the college carne to visit the Chinese teachers. Delighted by thebeauty of their fountain he asked them to design another one for the college. Thus in thecentre of the campus, in a field of green grass and colourful flowers appeared a new Chinesefountain spurting out water drops glistening in the sunlight.
If we look at the sky on a perfectly fine summer‘s day we shall find that the blue colour is the most pure and intense overhead, and when looking high up in a direction opposite to the sun. Near the horizon it is always less bright, while in the region immediately around the sun it is more or less yellow.
The reason of this is that near the horizon we look through a very great thickness of the lower atmosphere, which is full of the larger dust particles reflecting white light, and this diluter the pure blue of the higher atmosphere seen beyond,And in the vicinity of the sun a good deal of the blue light is reflected back into space by the finer dust, thus giving a yellowish tinge to that which reaches us reflected chiefly from the coarse dust of the lower atmosphere.
At sunset and sunrise, however, this last effect is greatly intensified, owing to the great thickness of the strata of air through which the light reaches us. The enormous amount of this dust is well shown by the fact that then only we can look full at the sun, even when the whole sky is free from clouds and there is no apparent mist. But the sun’s rays then reach us after having passed, first, through an enormous thickness of the higher strata of the air, the minute dust of which reflects most of the higher strata of the air, the minute dust of which reflects most of the blue rays away from us, leaving the complementary yellow light to pass on,Then, the somewhat coarser dust reflects the green rays, leaving a more orange-coloured light to pass on; and finally some of the yellow is reflected, leaving almost pure red. But owing to the constant presence of air currents, arranging both the dust and vapour in strata of varying extent and density ,and of high or low clouds which both absorb and reflect the light in varying degrees, we see produced all those wondrous combinations of tints and those gorgeous ever-changing colours which are a constant source of admiration and delight to all who have the advantage of an uninterrupted view to the west and who are accustomed to watch for those not infrequent exhibitions of nature’s kaleidoscopic colour painting.
With every change in the altitude of the sun the display changes its character; and most of all when it has sunk below the horizon, and owing to the more favourable angles a larger quantity of the coloured light is reflected toward us, Especially when there is a certain amount of cloud is this the case. These, so long as the sun was above the horizon, intercepted much of the light and colour, but when the great luminary has passed away from our direct vision, his light shines more directly on the under sides of all the clouds and air strata of different densities; a new and more brilliant light flushes the western sky, and a display of gorgeous ever-changing tints occurs which are at once the delight of the beholder and the despair of the artist.
And all this unsurpassable glory we owe to--dust!
Oil price rise fuels fears on inflation
International oil prices rose to a new record on Friday as US drivers took to the roads on their annual summer holiday.
The increase – to $75.78 a barrel – stoked fears that inflation could rise, leading share prices in the US and Europe lower
Analysts said the rise made it more likely that the US Federal Reserve and other central banks would increase interest rates, especially as pressure from high oil prices showed no sign of weakening soon.
伦敦曼氏金融(Man Financial)资深能源经纪人罗伯特·劳林(Robert Laughlin)表示：“人们在谈论(每桶)80美元的价位;坦率地说，这一价位可能很快就会达到。特别是如果未来两个月里墨西哥湾出现一次大飓风的话。”
Robert Laughlin, senior energy broker at Man Financial in London, said: “People are talking about $80 [a barrel]; quite frankly that looks like it could be hit sooner rather than later. Particularly if we get a large hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico over the next two months.”
Demand for petrol in the US, the world’s biggest consumer, has jumped to 9.6m barrels a day in the past four weeks. This has caused concern that refineries – still struggling after last year’s hurricanes shut down more than 10 per cent of US capacity – could struggle to keep up.
Refiners are updating their plants so that they can process heavy, sour crude oil, which is now increasingly in supply, as well as the light, sweet crude oil, whose volumes are dwindling as oil fields on which the world has come to rely run dry.
德勤咨询(Deloitte Consulting)高级独立能源顾问约瑟夫·斯坦尼斯拉夫(Joseph Stanislaw)说：“人们的担忧与夏季有关。消费者仍在驾车并使用汽油，而目前汽油的主要原料轻质油供应却不充裕。”
Joseph Stanislaw, senior independent energy adviser to Deloitte Consulting, said: “The fears are related to the summer time. Consumers are still driving and using petrol and the light crude oils that produce a higher proportion of petrol are not in abundant supply.”
The move by oil producers to develop heavy oil fields more quickly than new refinery units are being added was illustrated by Saudi Arabia this week. It cut the price of its heavier oil and raised the price of its light oil.
But high oil prices are also being caused by fears that geopolitical tensions could interrupt oil flows when the world has only a slim cushion of emergency supplies.
Chinese Undergraduates in the US
Each year, elite American universities and liberal arts colleges, such as Yale, Harvard, Columbia, Amherst and Wellesley, offer a number of scholarships to Chinese high school graduates to study in their undergraduate programs.
Four years ago, I received such a scholarship from Yale.
What are these Chinese undergrads like? Most come from middle-class families in the big urban centers of China.
The geographical distribution is highly skewed, with Shanghai and Beijing heavily over-represented.
Outside the main pool, a number of Yale students come from Changsha and Ningbo,swhereseach year American Yale graduates are sent to teach English.
The overwhelming majority of Chinese undergraduates in the US major in science, engineering or economics.
Many were academic superstars in their high schools - gold medallists in international academic Olympiads or prize winners in national academic contests.
Once on US campuses, many of them decide to make research a lifelong commitment.
Life outside the classroom constitutes an important part of college life.
At American universities the average student spends less than thirteen hours a week in class.
Many Chinese students use their spare time to pick up some extra pocket money.
At Yale, one of the most common campus jobs is washing dishes in the dining halls.
Virtually all Chinese undergraduates at Yale work part-time in the dining halls at some point in their college years.
As they grow in age and sophistication, they upgrade to better-paying and less stressful positions.
The more popular and interesting jobs include working as a computer assistant, math homework grader, investment office assistant and lab or research assistant.
The latter three often lead to stimulating summer jobs.
Student activities are another prominent feature of American college life.
Each week there are countless student-organized events of all sorts - athletic, artistic, cultural, political or social ( for fun).
New student organizations are constantly being created, and Chinese undergrads contribute to this ferment.
Sport looms much larger on US campuses than in China.
At Yale, intramural sports from soccer to water polo take place all year long; hence athletic talent is a real social asset.
One of the Chinese students at Yale several years ago was a versatile sportsman.
His athletic talents and enthusiastic participation in sporting events, combined with his other fine qualities, made him a popular figure in his residential college.
Not even as I shook and trembled uncontrollably in the trenches, did I forget your face. I would sit huddled into the wet mud, terrified, as the hails of bullets and mortars crashed down around me. I would clutch my rifle tightly to my heart, and think again of that very first day we met. I would cry out in fear, as the noise of war beat down around me. But, as I thought of you and saw you smiling back at me, everything around me would be become silent, and I would be with you again for a few precious moments, far from the death and destruction. It would not be until I opened my eyes once again, that I would see and hear the carnage of the war around me.
I cannot tell you how strong my love for you was back then, when I returned to you on leave in the September, feeling battered, bruised and fragile. We held each other so tight I thought we would burst. I asked you to marry me the very same day and I whooped with joy when you looked deep into my eyes and said "yes" to being my bride.
All you remember about your child being an infant is the incredible awe you felt about the precious miracle you created. You remember having plenty of time to bestow all your wisdom and knowledge. You thought your child would take all of your advice and make fewer mistakes, and be much smarter than you were. You wished for your child to hurry and grow up.
All you remember about your child being two is never using the restroom alone or getting to watch a movie without talking animals. You recall afternoons talking on the phone while crouching in the bedroom closet, and being convinced your child would be the first Ivy League college student to graduate wearing pullovers at the ceremony. You remember worrying about the bag of M＆M's melting in your pocket and ruining your good dress. You wished for your child to be more independent.
All you remember about your child being five is the first day of school and finally having the house to yourself. You remember joining the PTA and being elected president when you left a meeting to use the restroom. You remember being asked "Is Santa real?" and saying "yes" because he had to be for a little bit longer. You remember shaking the sofa cushions for loose change, so the toothfairy could come and take away your child's first lost tooth. You wished for your child to have all permanent teeth.
All you remember about your child being seven is the carpool schedule. You learned to apply makeup in two minutes and brush your teeth in the rearview mirror because the only time you had to yourself was when you were stopped at red lights. You considered painting your car yellow and posting a "taxi" sign on the lawn next to the garage door. You remember people staring at you, the few times you were out of the car, because you kept flexing your foot and making acceleration noises. You wished for the day your child would learn how to drive.
All you remember about your child being ten is managing the school fund-raisers. You sold wrapping paper for paint, T-shirts for new furniture, and magazine subscriptions for shade trees in the school playground. You remember storing a hundred cases of candy bars in the garage to sell so the school band could get new uniforms, and how they melted together on an unseasonably warm spring afternoon. You wished your child would grow out of playing an instrument.
All you remember about your child being twelve is sitting in the stands during baseball practice and hoping your child's team would strike out fast because you had more important things to do at home. The coach didn't understand how busy you were. You wished the baseball season would be over soon.
All you remember about your child being fourteen is being asked not to stop the car in front of the school in the morning. You had to drive two blocks further and unlock the doors without coming to a complete stop. You remember not getting to kiss your child goodbye or talking to him in front of his friends. You wished your child would be more mature.
All you remember about your child being sixteen is loud music and undecipherable lyrics screamed to a rhythmic beat. You wished for your child to grow up and leave home with the stereo.
All you remember about your child being eighteen is the day they were born and having all the time in the world.
And, as you walk through your quiet house, you wonder where they went and you wish your child hadn't grown up so fast.
Suppose you have everything; a good job, good health, good reputation, good relationships and lot of money to spend. But still there is something missing from your life. Guess what? The LOVE. It is not something which you should ignore. Life without love is just like body without soul.
Love gives meaning to life as without love life is meaningless. Lucky is the person who gets love and keeps the flames of love burning for ever. It is not a matter of days or months. Love is for life and life is for love.
Short term love encounters are not helpful at all. Be sincere with your body and soul. Indulge in serious life long loving relationship and live a healthy, happy and joyful life.
It is easy to fell in love but difficult to keep the flames of love burning. Before indulging in serious long term love relationships be sure that the person you love is also sincere with you. A selfish person can make your life miserable. If this is the case with you then try to get rid of that person as soon as possible.
Most people do not give importance to their love life as they give importance to their professional life. In most cases, people sacrifice their love life at the cost of their profession. This is a bad choice which ruins the whole life. A sensible balance between the two is necessary in order to enjoy life in its entirety. Do not deprive yourself of the love you need.
People part their ways after living together for years and years. Though this looks strange but is the obvious result of ignoring the genuine complaints and grievances of the other. Sometimes a sincere apology, gentle touch, or a friendly kiss is enough to put your love life on track. However, when deep differences develop between the two then professional consultation is necessary. Do everything to bring back love to your life, if it is lost.
In order to make the journey of life more exciting and enjoyable, you need a loving and caring person with whom you can share your values, dreams, fantasies, joys and jokes. In difficult times of anxiety, sorrow, distress or loss of near and dear ones this person should stand firm besides you and console you in every possible manner.
Love your life and love the person who is in your life. Keep the flames of love burning to live a great, great love life.
Discuss this article with your loved one and carefully listen what he/she says. This can give you a clue of his/her inner sentiments and the depth of love for you. Also avail this opportunity to renew your love life with a new passion and commitment.
True love is not a matter of giving, not a voice in the mouth, but a success in action.
Mother's day is coming, when I was for the present problems in the suds, a bold idea jumped out from my mind: "this mother's day, I want to use action to prove their love for mother!" To make sure that there are no mistakes and to raise hands in class. Even the high score on the computer test is my preparation.
Mother's day arrived, although I am "two cuffs", but the heart has already had very expensive gift. I mysteriously pull mother to a secluded place, index finger against the mouth, "hush" sound, mother don't talk, then head and patrol up in all directions, it's a secret agent. The mother looked at her with amusement. She asked, "what is it? It's the same as saying that the country is going to die." I ignored it, and I was satisfied with the detection, so I said happily, "happy mother's day, mommy!" I was a little disappointed to see my mother's reaction just "MMMM". But at the thought of my present, I was chuckling to myself. I opened my mouth and said, "my gift is: the computer test is the first in the class, the first in the whole grade is also possible, the people who are exempt from the exam say that if they also take the exam, they are not equal to me! Also, I have raised my hand recently, I think I have made progress! Last of all, there were seven consecutive pairs, and there were only four of them, and I was one of them! Mom listened and said, "this is the best gift I've ever received on mother's day!"
Sometimes, your results are more soothing to your mother than the sound of your material and mouth!
Both are so much related to each other． And both are so dissimilar！ What are the differences between friendship and love? Is platonic friendship possible between persons of opposite sex? Let us try and understand．
What is friendship? Why do we call a person our friend? When do we call someone a very good friend? If we care for a person， if we are always ready to help that person and if we share most of our thoughts with a person， they are our good friends． We can always count upon our good friends in an emergency． We are always sure that our friend will understand why we acted in a certain way． We need not explain anything to our very good friends． The friendship is so deep and the relationship is so intimate， that most of the things are automatically understood by our friends．
What about love? In a relationship of deep love， all the sharing that we discussed above are taken for granted． But love transcends all this． During love， we are attached with a particular person， while in friendship， one may have many friends． A loving relationship makes one so much attached to the other， that one gets pained if his/her beloved is hurt！ Love also involves a physical element． Friendship does not have that． This is a vital difference． Nature gives us love so that the specie can go forward． Nature does not give us friendship．
Your heart beats will never increase in anticipation of meeting your friend． You will not lie awake at night thinking about your friend． You will not feel totally lost， if you don't meet your friend for a few days． You will not have dreams in your eyes thinking about your friend． But in love， you will do all this and much more． Indeed， there is no comparison between love and friendship．
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,And still more, later flowers for the bees,Until they think warm days will never cease,For summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.
Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,Drows'd with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.
Where are the songs of spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too, While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breat whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.
Those who don’t follow the Disney empire that closely might not have heard of the company’s California Adventure theme park. If you’re one of those people, you probably didn’t hear about its grand opening six years ago, right next door to Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif. Obviously, there are a lot of people out there because Adventure Land isn’t doing that well and Disney has decided to pump $1.1 billion into overhauling the park. One way it’s looking to bring in more people: Building Cars Land, based on the popular animated film “Cars.”
A Temporary Solution
Danny Brava was a rich, handsome man. His millions gave him special class which demanded a high standard of behaviour, and prevented him from getting involved in conversations which didn’t lead anywhere and which he called p r o m i l l e conversations.
The serious expression he wore on his face was the result of calculation and self control, and without it he would probably not have got where he was: an office in the north of the city with thirty two employees where he was: an office in the north of the city with thirty two employees where he was: an office in the north of the city with thirty two employees and sixty clients, twenty of them heavy and to the point.
Even though he dealt with large sums of money he didn’t forget to be fair to his employees, and paid them high salaries. They, who were unable to pay him back in money, stayed overtime without financial compensation, and thus they also found a way to thank him for the lunches he subsidized at “Who’s Who”, on condition they didn’t exceed twenty-five shekel a dish, which was enough for tehina, pickles, a decent sized fillet steak and a cold drink.
Brava hated flattery. Anyone who dared to flatter him openly would be interrupted rudely with the question: What do you want?
Thus he forced his interlocutor to retreat to one of two corners: either to forgo any wish he might have had immediately and to withdraw into himself, or to say what he wanted immediately, short and to the point, without any frills.
The friend, although he was already quite careful, sometimes tripped up and flattered him, in which case he would choose the first alternative. He would keep quiet, let Brava feel the sharp, clear boundaries of his personality, and quickly change the subject. Only after talking of some marginal subject, not connected to Brava and his wealth, did he dare to speak of Danny’s difficult years from 1976 to 1981, how he had overcome his difficulties and learnt to turn them to his advantage, or else to ask him:
“Tell me, Danny, how did it go with those tractor guys today?”
Sometimes it would work, and Danny would cooperate with him. But when the attempt at flattery was too blatant things would get a little complicated. Danny would turn his eyes away from the friend and say something like:
“You stupid idiot, why don’t you shut up and leave me alone?”
Then the friend would shut up and rack his brains for a different subject. But Danny for the most part didn’t need to talk to anyone and certainly not to the friend, for Danny Brava, after all, had a firm personality of his own.
Evenings like this would end with the friend going limply home after he and Danny had not exchanged a single word, and after the friend had smoked half a packet of cigarettes and Danny not even one.
In the early years the friend would suffer agonies during the long silences, but after the third year he learnt to find himself special thoughts for these silences. Thoughts, since actual actions were out of the question. When Danny turned his eyes away from him, or stood up and went about his business, he would learn by heart the place of all the objects around him, so that next time he came to see Danny he would be able to tell by the changes what Danny had been doing in the meantime and who had been to visit him. When this amusement paled, he would stare without moving at a point on the white wall and try to force himself to think pleasant thoughts, about lakes in Switzerland, for instance, which he had never seen in his life.
With Brava too there had been developments over the years, and he permitted himself to retire to other rooms, to hold long telephone conversations, to cook himself light meals, to pour himself a drink. The more Brava isolated himself, the more difficult it became for the friend to exercise his imagination, and he searched urgently for new views, buildings, country landscapes. Always inanimate and always in daylight. If he failed to find any such picture he would simply count sheep, and sometimes he would ring the changes and count cows, or amuse himself and count snakes hiding in the rocks and waiting to pounce on innocent bathers on the sea shore.
At a certain stage in the evening, when Brava showed obvious signs of impatience, the friend would rise from his seat and say:
“Bye, I’m going.”
Danny would turn to look at him reflectively, and wave his big hand in farewell.
A moment before he reached the door he would shout after him good night, a salutation to which the friend never responded. He liked leaving the luxurious apartment with a slam of the door.
One Tuesday, exactly on the day when they showed the programme on television about what would happen to Tel Aviv if an atom bomb was dropped on it, the friend came late. Brava sat opposite the colour screen, drank beer, watched the programme and sniggered. It amused him to see the places long familiar to him being blown to smithereens. The explosion, said the usually smiling commentator, who was looking serious in honour of the programme, had been simulated by means of amazing and expensive technology, specially imported for the production of the programme from Japan, where they had shown a similar programme about Tokyo a few months before.
Danny felt safe. Perhaps because he knew that it was all special effects, and perhaps because he was so often out of town. Five times a year to New York, four times to professional conferences in the capitals of Europe, and four absolutely unavoidable times to Frankfurt, in order to invest the money which he didn’t want to leave in the banks in Israel.
The pathos in the voice of the commentator increase when he recited the figures of the damage to life and property which the bomb was likely to cause. After this, the programme began to repeat itself boringly, and Danny switched off the seat.
With one big gulp he finished the beer and threw the empty can out of the window. The can traveled eight floors and landed on the pavement. Sometimes Danny would throw things from the balcony which even if they hit someone on the head wouldn’t have done any great harm, certainly not fatal.
The friend, if he had been there now, would have burst into loud laughter, clapped his hands and run to hide behind the big plants on the balcony to see if the can had hit anyone, and to report back to Danny, looking at him with a smile from his seat.
Brava opened another can of beer, switched on the television and watched the end of the programme. As soon as it was over the telephone rang.
“What’s up?” said Danny, who was sure that it was the friend.
“Danny?” he heard his sister Tirza’s voice and was sorry he had answered the phone.
She asked him if he had watched the programme. “No,” he said, because he couldn’t stand members of his family knowing what he did. Especially not Tirza, who shot her mouth off to everyone after wards. She was divorced, and in past he had rescued her from the legal tangle between herself and her husband. He had paid for her lawyer, and she was grateful to him. Ever since she had felt obliged to phone her younger brother every day, and try to amuse him with all kinds of funny stories from her place of work. At the end of the conversation she would reveal an interest. Usually she wanted the male point of view on a new man she had met. This time she asked him about her ten year old son’s private tutor in arithmetic.
“Tell me, is it true what I think?” she asked. “That he’s trying to start with me? He put his hand on my shoulder when he saw me to the door, and left in there until the last minute. In other words, until I left. How can I be sure…”
Yes, he was definitely trying to come on to her, her brother interrupted her, maybe he was even in love with her, who knows? He thought of how transparent and boring his sister was and he wanted to be rid of her. Tirza said he was a real honey and put the phone down on the excuse of not wanting to stop him from watching the news on television.
Danny stood on the cool balcony and wiped the sweat which had collected on his forehead away with his fingers.
The lights of the meaningless city twinkled in the distance The place where he had chosen to live was perfect, in spite of the noise of the aeroplanes which he had learnt to live with. The airport even soothed him. It reminded him of his trips abroad, which he had missed for the past six months. A small civilian plane was about to take off for a destination inside the country. Brava looked at its shadow. The little plane took off, and on a momentary impulse Brava threw the half-full can of beer at it. The can did not hit the plane. On the long way down the liquid parted from its respectable.
The bus stop where the friend was supposed to get off was deserted. Danny went downstairs and leaned against the bus-stop pole. In the distance a figure approached. He decided not to bawl the friend out. But it wasn’t the friend at all. It was only Shmulik, a parasite and a donkey who lived at the expense of his parents, Danny’s neighbours.
“Hy, Danny,” said Shmulik.
“Hy,” Danny grunted.
Shmulik coughed and went on walking.
“Have you got a cigarette?” Danny called after him.
Shmulik offered him the white pack. After Danny pulled a cigarette from it Shmulik went on walking to his parents’ place, to squeeze a few more pennies out of them.
Brava smoked and remembered how once ha had come late to a date with the friend. It was in the winter of that year. He had a meeting with a good chance of half a million clear profit a year, and he didn’t want to miss it. For six hours he sat in his office opposite the customers, two fifty year old brothers with a coffee import company, and negotiated with them, while telling them witty jokes to reduce the tension.
While he mixed them cocktails in his office and described what they were made of, he worked out that in the light of what he had in front of him here it was no big deal if the friend waiter half an hour in the rain. A calculation that proved to be quite right.
When he got home the friend was wet. He was afraid to wait for Danny in the stairwell in case the neghbours got suspicious and called the police.
When he saw Danny his eyes expressed intense hatred. He was stinking too. And Brava felt a little disgusted by him. The two of them hurried up to the apartment because they couldn’t wait any longer. Nevertheless Danny asked the friend to take a shower. He well remembered the slap he gave the friend when he came out of the shower wearing the bathrobe he had brought back from Singapore.
“You’ve got big eyes,” he said and slapped him in the face.
The friend took the robe off indifferently.
The conscienceless Shmulik walked past Brava again. Brava ignored him, and Shmulik too pretended not to know Brava. After the quarter of an hour that he had allocated himself he went upstairs, took his car keys and drove at high speed to Bat-Yam.
“He’s not home,” said the friend’s mother.
Brava pushed her gently aside and saw the friend lying on the sofa, staring at the ceiling. He didn’t shift his gaze even when Danny approached him.
“Are you coming?” asked Danny.
The friend’s mother walked past them with a tub full of wet washing.
The friend smiled a forced smile.
Danny sat down on an armchair and sulked.
“Then give it to me,” he ordered angrily.
After a short silence the friend stretched out his hand and took a little plastic bag secured with an elastic band out of his pocket and threw it onto the table.
Brava snatched the bag and left. Passersby looked admiringly at his magnificent racing car.
At home he clumsily performed all the necessary operations and cursed the friend, who always did them while he himself looked on like a king and corrected him.
His mood improved beyond recognition. He lay on the sofa and floated.
After twenty minutes the friend knocked on the door. Brava, who was sunk in colourful hallucinations, didn’t hear the knocking. The friend was alarmed, because it occurred to him that Danny might have taken too much, and he went on knocking harder than before. After ten minutes of continuous knocking Danny realized that it wasn’t a passing train going choo-choo. He got up and approached the door.
“Who’s there?” he asked.
Outside the door the friend wondered whether to identify himself or not. Brava asked again, who’s there. The friend pressed the button for the lift. Brava moved slowly away from the door and lay down on the inviting sofa again. The friend heard the heavily receding footsteps. So Danny had managed by himself, he thought resentfully. The lift arrived and continued on its way without him.
He knocked on the door again. Brava grunted a tired who’s there without getting up.
The friend called: “Open up!”
Danny opened the door. The friend came in. Danny lay on the sofa in silence. The friend didn’t have the strength for these silences any longer and he tried to make conversation. He described something he had seen on the way.
“Don’t ask what an accident I saw on the way. A bus was driving down Herzl and turned right into Balfour. One second after it turned into Balfour a woman crossed the road. The bus didn’t see the woman. I think she saw it but she was too late to get out of the way. I heard her scream. It was terrible. I ran away. I can’t stand the sight of blood. I just can’t stand it. I ran as fast as I could to stop a taxi. The screams of the people in the bus and all that. It was ghastly, I’m telling you,” he concluded and looked at Danny.
Danny lay on the sofa with his eyes closed and muttered unintelligibly. On second thoughts the friend decided that he was singing. He tried in vain to guess what song it was. He longed to stroke Danny’s smooth cheek, but he didn’t dare approach him.
In the end, on an impulse, he sat down beside him. There was no room on the sofa for them both, and Danny got up and went to the kitchen. The friend wanted to take the transistor radio standing on the sideboard and smash it on the wall, but instead he followed Danny.
As soon as he reached the kitchen Danny emerged from it with his mouth full of food. The friend found himself in the kitchen, with Danny in the living room. After a moment in the kitchen the friend pulled his face and returned to the living room too. Danny sniggered. The friend sat on the armchair. Suddenly Danny got up and went to his room. He left the door half open on purpose. He sat on the edge of the bed and looked through the crack between the door and the doorpost at the hesitant profile of the friend. When he saw the friend stand up he laughed maliciously.
The friend knocked lightly on the half-open door.
“Who’s there?” asked Danny.
The friend cleared his throat.
“It’s me, darling, maybe you can give me a little money before I go?”
“How much do you need?” called Danny from the other side of the door.
“Do I know?” said the friend. “A thousand five hundred will be enough.”
“Take it from my coat pocket,” said Danny, “count seven hundred and fifty and take it.”
The friend lingered a moment and returned to the living room. He looked at Danny’s coat, which was lying on one of the armchairs, and took a neatly folded bundle of banknotes out of the pocket. He quickly counted five thousand and put them in his pocket. On the way out his eyes encountered those of a Japanese woman standing stuck to the wall. He ripped her from the wall and crumpled her up.
Because what is reality, said Brava mockingly to himself after he heard the door slam loudly behind the friend. What is it, if not someone telling you something, and afterwards he says to you, listen, that was a lie, and corrects himself, and a few minutes later he says again, listen, that was a lie too and corrects himself, and afterwards he says, sorry, that was a lie too. And so on endlessly until you don’t know what to think any more. Either you go mad or you become like me.
When I was growing up, I had an old neighbor named Dr. Gibbs. He didn't look like any doctor I'd ever known. He never yelled at us for playing in his yard. I remember him as someone who was a lot nicer than 1）circumstances warranted.
When Dr. Gibbs wasn't saving lives, he was planting trees. His house sat on ten acres, and his life's goal was to make it a forest.
The good doctor had some interesting theories concerning plant 2）husbandry. He came from the “No pain, no gain” school of 3）horticulture. He never watered his new trees, which flew in the face of conventional wisdom. Once I asked why. He said that watering plants spoiled them, and that if you water them, each successive tree generation will grow weaker and weaker. So you have to make things rough for them and 4）weed out the 5）weenie trees early on.
He talked about how watering trees made for shallow roots, and how trees that weren't watered had to grow deep roots in search of 6）moisture. I took him to mean that deep roots were to be treasured.
So he never watered his trees. He'd plant an oak and, instead of watering it every morning, he'd beat it with a rolled-up newspaper. Smack! Slap! Pow! I asked him why he did that, and he said it was to get the tree's attention.
Dr. Gibbs 7）went to glory a couple of years after I left home. 8）Every now and again, I walked by his house and looked at the trees that I'd watched him plant some twenty-five years ago. They're 9）granite strong now. Big and 10）robust. Those trees wake up in the morning and beat their chests and drink their 11）coffee black.
I planted a couple of trees a few years back. Carried water to them for a 12）solid summer. Sprayed them. Prayed over them. The whole nine 13）yards. Two years of 14）coddling has resulted in trees that expect to be 15）waited on hand and foot. Whenever a cold wind blows in, they tremble and chatter their branches. Sissy trees.
Funny things about those trees of Dr. Gibbs'. 16）Adversity and 17）deprivation seemed to benefit them in ways comfort and ease never could.
Every night before I go to bed, I check on my two sons. I stand over them and watch their little bodies, the rising and falling of life within. I often pray for them. Mostly I pray that their lives will be easy. But lately I've been thinking that it's time to change my prayer.
This change has to do with the inevitability of cold winds that hit us at the core. I know my children are going to encounter hardship, and I'm praying they won't be naive. There's always a cold wind blowing somewhere.
So I'm changing my prayer. Because life is tough, whether we want it to be or not. Too many times we pray for ease, but that's a prayer seldom met. What we need to do is pray for roots that reach deep into 18）the Eternal, so when the rains fall and the winds blow, we won't be 19）swept 20）asunder.
New Year"s Day
10...9...8... The lighted ball in New York"s Times Square(时代广场)starts picking up speed(加快速度). 7...6...5... It"s almost time. 4...3...2... Everyone holds their breath for the last few seconds. We"re about to jump that seemingly large but invisible gap that separates the years. 1...0... Happy New Year!
We made it. The old year, for better or worse, is gone for good. The new year has begun with fresh promise. Here"s our chance to start again, to do it right this time, to have another shot at just accomplishing what we resolve to. It"s time to shed that baggage from the year long gone and celebrate what can be in the 365 untouched days to come. Happy New Year!
We can trace the origins of a new year"s celebration back to the ancient Egyptians and Babylonians, at least 4,000 years ago. In Egypt, the Nile river signaled a new beginning for the farmers of the Nile as it flooded their land and enriched it with the silt(淤泥)needed to grow crops for the next year. This happened near the end of September.
The Babylonians held their festival in the spring, on March 23, to kick off the next cycle of planting and harvest. Symbolically, the king was stripped of his robes and sent away for a few days while the people whooped it up(庆祝). He then returned in all his finery(华丽的服饰)for a grand parade, and the normal activities of life would return for the new year.
So how did we get to January 1 as the start of the year? That date was picked by the Roman Emperor Julius Caesar when he established his own calendar in 46 BC. The Roman Senate had actually tried to make January 1 New Year"s Day in 153 BC, but it wasn"t until Caesar stretched out 47 BC for 445 days that the date we"re familiar with was synchronized(同步)with the sun. We"ve been on the Julian calendar ever since.
There must be something inside of us that needs to unload the accumulated results of fate and our own decisions and start anew. The Romans knew this. The month of January was named for their god, Janus, who is pictured with two heads. One looks forward, the other back, symbolizing a break between the old and new. The Greeks paraded a baby in a basket to represent the spirit of fertility. Christians adopted this symbol as the birth of the baby Jesus and continued what started as a pagan ritual. Today our New Year"s symbols are a newborn baby starting the next year and an old man winding up the last year.
Around the world, different cultures have their own traditions for welcoming the new year. The Japanese hang a rope of straw across the front of their houses to keep out evil spirits and bring happiness and good luck. They also have a good laugh as the year begins to get things started on a lucky note.
In West Bengal, in northern India, the people like to wear pink, red, purple and white flowers. Women favor yellow, the color of spring. Hindus(印度人)also leave shrines next to their beds so they can see beautiful objects when they wake up to the new year.
In Vancouver, British Columbia, Canadians enjoy the traditional polar bear swim. People of all ages don their swim suits and take the plunge, an event that is sure to get you started in the new year with eyes wide open.
A fairly new tradition that is starting to spread worldwide is a community celebration of the visual and performing arts on New Year"s Eve. Started in Boston in 1976, an organization called First Night promotes alcohol-free festivals in 186 American cities, 16 in Canada, plus Hastings, New Zealand and Greenwich, England. Typical experiences include ice sculptures, dancing, storytelling, theater, poetry, films and, at the stroke of midnight, an elaborate fireworks display.
Best wishes to you and your loved ones for a happy and prosperous New Year!