"I don't give a damn about power and money per se. Really, I don't. I may be a selfish bastard, but I'm incredibly cool about shit like that. I could be a Zen saint. The one thing I do have, though, is curiosity. I want to see what I can do out there in the big, tough world."
"And you have no use for 'ideals', I suppose?"
"None. Life doesn't require ideals. It requires standards of action."
"Tell me, Nagasawa," I asked, "what is the 'standard of action' in your life?"
"You'll laugh if I tell you," he said.
"No I won't."
"All right," he said. "To be a gentleman."
I didn't laugh, but I nearly fell off my chair. "To be a gentleman? A gentleman?"
"You heard me."
"What does it mean to be a gentleman? How do you define it?"
"A gentleman is someone who does not what he wants to do but what he should do."
"You're the weirdest guy I've ever met."
"You're the straightest guy I've ever met," he said. And he paid for us both. (NW 55-56)
Friday, December 10, 2010
at 12:30 PM