March 28, 2005

“You’ve already shown me and I believe you.”

Posted in books tagged , at 2:22 pm by placeinthestars

So I’ve been rereading and rereading A Separate Peace, and it never ever fails to make me cry:

“Finny,” my voice broke but I went on, “Phineas, you wouldn’t be any good in the war, even if nothing had happened to your leg.”

A look of amazement fell over him. It scared me, but I knew what I said was important and right, and my voice found that full tone voices have when they are expressing something long-felt and long-understood and released at last. “They’d get you some place at the front and there’d be a lull in the fighting, and the next thing anyone knew you’d be over with the Germans or the Japs, asking if they’d like to field a baseball team against our side. You’d be sitting in one of their command posts, teaching them English. Yes, you’d get confused and borrow one of their uniforms, and you’d lend them one of yours. Sure, that’s just what would happen. You’d get things so scrambled up nobody would know who to fight any more. You’d make a mess, a terrible mess, Finny, out of the war.”

His face had been struggling to stay calm as he listened to me, but now he was crying but trying to control himself. “It was just some kind of blind impulse you had in the tree there, you didn’t know what you were doing. Was that it?”

“Yes, yes, that was it. Oh that was it, but how can you believe that? I can’t even make myself pretend that you could believe that.”

“I do, I think I can believe that. I’ve gotten awfully mad sometimes and almost forgotten what I was doing. I think I believe you, I think I can believe that. Then that was it. Something just seized you. It wasn’t anything you really felt against me, it wasn’t some kind of hate you’ve felt all along. It wasn’t anything personal.”

“No, I don’t know how to show you, how can I show you, Finny? Tell me how to show you. It was just some blind ignorance inside me, some crazy thing inside me, something blind, that’s all it was.”

He was nodding his head, his jaw tightening and his eyes closed on the tears. “I believe you. It’s okay because I understand and I believe you. You’ve already shown me and I believe you.”

*cries*

***

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