Suicide and
The Dark Diceman
Just by imagining the clump it seemed to me that I could hear whispers secret surges smell the beating of hot blood under wild unsecret flesh watching against red eye-lids the swine untethered in pairs rushing coupled into the sea

and he we must just stay awake and see evil done for a little while its not always

and i it doesnt have to be even that long for a man of courage

and he do you consider that courage

and i yes sir dont you

and he every man is the arbiter of his own virtues whether or not you consider it courageous is of more importance than the act itself than any act otherwise you could not be in earnest

and i you don't believe i am serious

and he i think you are too serious to give me any cause for alarm you wouldn't have felt driven to the expedient of telling me you have committed incest otherwise

and i i wasn't lying

and he you wanted to sublimate a piece of natural human folly into a horror and then exorcise it with truth

and i it was to isolate her out of the loud world so that it would have to flee us of necessity and then the sound of it would be as though it had never been

and he did you try to make her do it

and i i was afraid to i was afraid she might and then it wouldnt have done any good but if i could tell you we did it would have been so and then the others wouldnt be so and then the world would roar away

and he and now this other you are not lying now either but you are still blind to what is in yourself to that part of general truth the sequence of natural events and their causes which shadows every mans brow even benjys you are not thinking of finitude you are contemplating an apotheosis in which a temporary state of mind will become symmetrical above the flesh and aware both of itself and of the flesh it will not quite discard you will not even be dead

and i temporary

and he you cannot bear to think that someday it will no longer hurt you like this now were getting at it you seem to regard it merely as an experience that will whiten your hair overnight so to speak without altering your appearance at all you wont do it under these conditions it will be a gamble and the strange thing is that man who is conceived by accident and whose every breath is a fresh cast with dice already loaded against him will not face that final main which he knows before hand he has assuredly to face without essaying expedients ranging all the way from violence to petty chicanery that would not deceive a child until someday in very disgust he risks everything on a single blind turn of a card no man ever does that under the first fury of despair or remorse or bereavement he does it only when he has realized that even the despair or remorse or bereavement is not particularly important to the dark diceman

and i temporary

and he it is hard believing to think that a love or a sorrow is a bond purchased without design and which matures willynilly and is recalled without warning to be replaced by whatever issue the gods happen to be floating at the time no you will not do that until you come to believe that even she was not quite worth despair perhaps

and i i will never do that nobody knows what i know

and he i think youd better go on up to cambridge right away you might go up into maine for a month you can afford it if you are careful it might be a good thing watching pennies has healed more scars than jesus

and i suppose i realize what you believe i will realize up there next week or next month

and he then you will remember that for you to go to harvard has been your mothers dream since you were born and no compson has ever disappointed a lady

and I temporary it will be better for me for all of us

and he every man is the arbiter of his own virtues but let no man prescribe for another mans wellbeing

and i temporary

and he was the saddest word of all there is nothing else in the world its not despair until time its not even time until it was

--- From The Sound and the Fury
©1956 William Faulkner

Go Home     Subscribe to RALPH     Go Up