I was back to the tragedy of man, the eternal effort to fight forces and events that cannot be controlled. Sometimes, shit happens. If you are unlucky, like Santiago, shit happens more frequently.
It is easy when you are beaten, he thought. I never knew how easy it was. And what beat you, he thought.
‘Nothing,’ he said aloud. ‘I went out too far.’
Ernest Hemingway The Old Man and The Sea
I first read this book when I was about fourteen years of age. Not a prodigious reader, something that came out of the fact that I was a struggling reader – a dyslexic. With school then becoming a place of false hope, a victim of insidious bullying that threatened to break my young resolve, I visited the school library like one who would visit Lourdes. Somehow, just the act of pilgrimage could do it. I browsed the bookshelves in the hope of divine intervention. My normal choice was a history or geography book that gave me facts, packages of knowledge, small chunks that could be digested…
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