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Dave Eggers How We. Are Hungry
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How We Are Hungry is a gripping, lyrical and soulful collection of stories from the acclaimed author of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius.
17 февраля 2017 в 15:29 (текущая версия от 17 февраля 2017 в 15:29)
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How We Are Hungry is a gripping, lyrical and soulful collection of stories from the acclaimed author of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. Ranging from a doomed Irish setter’s tales of running and jumping (“After I Was Thrown in the River and Before I Drowned”) to a bitterly comic meditation on suicide and friendship (“Climbing to the Window, Pretending to Dance”), and from the Egyptian desert to the asphalt of Interstate 5, these stories are Eggers at his finest. By turns devastating, clear-eyed and funn — incredibly funny — this collection is a marvel.
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1 Dave Eggers
How We Are Hungry
I'D GONE TO EGYPT, as a courier, easy. I gave the package to a guy at the airport and was finished and free by noon on the first day. It was a bad time to be in Cairo, unwise at that juncture, with the poor state of relations between our nation and the entire region, but I did it anyway because, at that point in my life, if there was a window at all, however small and discouraged, I would—
I'd been having trouble thinking, finishing things.
2 Words like anxiety and depression seemed apt then, in that I wasn't interested in the things I was usually interested in, and couldn't finish a glass of milk without deliberation. But I didn't stop to ruminate or wallow. Diagnosis would have made it all less interesting.
I'd been a married man, twice; I'd been a man who turned forty among friends; I'd had pets, jobs in the foreign service, people working for me.
3 Years after all that, somewhere in May, I found myself in Egypt, against the advice of my government, with mild diarrhea and alone.
There was a new heat there, dry and suffocating and unfamiliar to me. I'd lived only in humid places — Cincinnati, Hartford — where the people I knew felt sorry for each other. Surviving in the Egyptian heat was invigorating, though — living under that sun made me lighter and stronger, made of platinum.
4 I'd dropped ten pounds in a few days but I felt good.
This was a few weeks after some terrorists had slaughtered seventy tourists at Luxor, and everyone was jittery. And I'd just been in New York, on the top of the Empire State Building, a few days after a guy opened fire there, killing one. I wasn't consciously following trouble around, but then what the hell was I doing—
On a Tuesday I was by the pyramids, walking, loving the dust, squinting; I'd just lost my second pair of sunglasses.
5 The hawkers who work the Gizeh plateau — really some of the least charming charmers the world owns — were trying to sell me anything — little scarab toys, Cheops keychains, plastic sandals. They spoke twenty words of a dozen languages, and tried me with German, Spanish, Italian, English. I said no, feigned muteness, got in the habit of just saying "Finland!" to them all, sure that they didn't know any Finnish, until a man offered me a horseback ride, in American English, hooking his r's obscenely.
6 They really were clever bastards. I'd already gotten a brief and expensive camel ride, which was worthless, and though I'd never ridden a horse past an amble and hadn't really wanted to, I followed him on foot.
"Through the desert," he said, leading me past a silver tourist bus, Swiss seniors unloading. I followed him. "We go get horse. We ride to the Red Pyramid," he said. I followed. "You have your horse yourself," he said, answering my last unspoken question.
7 I knew the Red Pyramid had just been reopened, or was about to be reopened, though I didn't know why they called it Red. I wanted to ride on a horse through the desert. I wanted to see if this man — slight, with brown teeth, wide-set eyes, a cop mustache — would try to kill me. There were plenty of Egyptians who would love to kill me, I was sure, and I was ready to engage in any way with someone who wanted me dead.
8 I was alone and reckless and both passive and quick to fury. It was a beautiful time, everything electric and hideous. In Egypt I was noticed, I was yelled at by some and embraced by others. One day I was given free sugarcane juice by a well-dressed man who lived under a bridge and wanted to teach at an American boarding school. I couldn't help him but he was sure I could, talking to me loudly by the juice bar, outside, in crowded Cairo, while others eyed me vacantly.
9 I was a star, a heathen, an enemy, a nothing.
At Gizeh I walked with the horse man — he had no smell— away from the tourists and buses, and down from the plateau. The hard sand went soft. We passed an ancient man in a cave below ground, and I was told to pay him baksheesh, a tip, because he was a "famous man" and the keeper of that cave. I gave him a dollar. The first man and I continued walking, for about a mile, and where the desert met a road he introduced me to his partner, a fat man, bursting from a threadbare shirt, who had two horses, both black, Arabian.
10 They helped me on the smaller of the two. The animal was alive everywhere, restless, its hair marshy with sweat. I didn't tell them that I'd only ridden once before, and that time at a roadside Fourth of July fair, walking around a track, half-drunk. I was trying to find dinosaur bones in Arizona— I thought, briefly, that I was an archeologist. I still don't know why I was made the way I am.
"Hesham," the horse man said, and jerked his thumb at his sternum.

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