Difficult People


If he forgave us our faults, could we forgive him for seeing them?

She remembered her father as a great man, and perhaps he was. Her life would have been easier with a different memory.

No one had any use for them, for years, until wages sank. Then the people felt lucky and pleased, finding bosses eager to exploit them, taking their free time.

We didn’t kill him because chimes in his apartment sounded early in the morning. It was when we realized how pleased he was to be bringing beautiful music into our lives.

It is easy to place excessive faith in the possibility that someone in a position of authority might be hit by a bus, and that the replacement will be a better manager or more liable to bus accidents.




Looking at a homeless man lying on the sidewalk, you are not confused. You can see that this person was not well treated when he was young, and you can appreciate that from certain kinds of mistreatment there is no escape.

If you did her a favor, she would reply, “I owe you big time,” and shortly thereafter ask you for another favor.

The founding principle of the American economy: find other people to do the work for little or no money.

That they made mistakes and were afraid to admit them, this was merely human. That principles were then used as a smoke screen; this, too, was merely human.


snake question(c)

In decades past, I had hopes and ambition. Now, so that it will be quieter, I am waiting for most of the people to leave this restaurant.

What she really didn’t like about sex was that it could lead a man to become attached to her, and she to him.

Bande de vipères, ne sortant de l’ombre que pour sucer les derniers rayons de soleil. Band of vipers, only slipping out of the shadows to suck up the last rays of light.

It got to the point where, not knowing his colleagues’ names, after twenty years he had to retire.

Lonely, one becomes a tourist in one’s own town.


Top image

A standard 20-note Deagan Tower Chime System with dampers, circa 1927.


  1. If it’s a contest, I vote for (a)2; (b)2; and (c ) 5 — because they’re more than just clever. And if we’re ranking them, (for me) the last shall be first.

    • Interesting choices. I confess, however, that I can only half-see the cleverness distinction. That is, I can half see it, but some of the others seem equally unclever, and cleverness may be an essential characteristic of aphorisms. So that, for example, the “I owe you big time” line, for worse or better, escapes the genre. Btw: I have just started re-reading Walden, and for some reason a conjunction of that fact and your comment has put me in mind to do a Zeteo is Reading piece of one-liners from that book. “As if you could kill time without injuring eternity.” I don’t think this reflects my world view at all, at all; however, so well phrased! (Clever?) Best, Wm.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.