Then he reached up and tore my shirtfront open. "Not much to see, is there?" I said, struggling to talk with a crushed windpipe. "I know, I know, they can fix things like that these days. Call me a feminist, but I think a woman's worth should be defined not by the size of her bust, but - " I rammed my fist up into his Adam's apple. He grunted and stumbled back. "- by the strength of her right hook.
I've got about ten things to say to you right now. But at least nine of them would make me sound like a psycho.' In spite of the seriousness of the situation, I nearly smiled. 'What's the tenth thing?' I asked his shirtfront. He paused, considering it. 'Never mind, ' he grumbled. 'That one would make me sound like a psycho, too.
You point your feet out too much when you walk, ' Will went on. He was busy polishing an apple on his shirtfront, and appeared not to notice Tessa glaring at him. 'Camille walks delicately. Like a faun in the woods. Not like a duck' 'I do not walk like a duck.' 'I like ducks, ' Jem observed diplomatically. 'Especially the ones in Hyde Park.
You point your feet out too much when you walk," Will went on. He was busy polishing an apple on his shirtfront, and appeared not to notice Tessa glaring at him. "Camille walks delicately. Like a faun in the woods. Not like a duck" "I do not walk like a duck." "I like ducks," Jem observed diplomatically. "Especially the ones in Hyde Park.
With his current mood, Elizabeth realized, she was going to have to make her own opening. Lifting her eyes to his enigmatic golden ones, she said quietly, 'Ian, have you ever wanted something very badly-something that was within your grasp-and yet you were afraid to reach out for it?' Surprised by her grave question and her use of his name, Ian tried to ignore the jealousy that had been eating at him all night. 'No, ' he said, scrupulously keeping the curtness from his voice as he gazed down at her alluring face. 'Why do you ask? Is there something you want?' Her gaze fell from his, and she nodded at his frilled white shirtfront. 'What is it you want?' 'You.
What actually happened was something absurdly simple and unspectacular: I stopped thinking. [... ] Reason and imagination and all mental chatter died down. For once, words really failed me. Past and future dropped away. I forgot who and what I was, my name, manhood, animalhood, all that could be called mine. It was as if I had been born that instant, brand new, mindless, innocent of all memories. There existed only the Now, that present moment and what was clearly given in it. To look was enough. And what I found was khaki trouserlegs terminating downwards in a pair of brown shoes, khaki sleeves terminating sideways in a pair of pink hands, and a khaki shirtfront terminating upwards in-absolutely nothing whatever! Certainly not in a head. It took me no time at all to notice that this nothing, this hole where a head should have been was no ordinary vacancy, no mere nothing. On the contrary, it was very much occupied. It was a vast emptiness vastly filled, a nothing that found room for everything-room for grass, trees, shadowy distant hills, and far above them snowpeaks like a row of angular clouds riding the blue sky. I had lost a head and gained a world.
Douglas E. Harding