She leaned down and looked at his lifeless face and Leisel kissed her best friend, Rudy Steiner, soft and true on his lips. He tasted dusty and sweet. He tasted like regret in the shadows of trees and in the glow of the anarchist's suit collection. She kissed him long and soft, and when she pulled herself away, she touched his mouth with her fingers...She did not say goodbye. She was incapable, and after a few more minutes at his side, she was able to tear herself from the ground. It amazes me what humans can do, even when streams are flowing down their faces and they stagger on...
I wanted to explain that I am constantly overestimating and underestimating the human race - that rarely do I even simply estimate it. I wanted to ask her how the same thing could be so ugly and so glorious, and its words and stories so damning and brilliant...I AM HAUNTED BY HUMANS.
She walked down the basement steps. She saw an imaginary framed photo seep into the wall - a quiet-smiled secret. No more than a few meters, it was a long walk to the drop sheets and the assortment of paint cans that shielded Max Vandenburg. She removed the sheets closest to the wall until there was a small corridor to look through. The first part of him she saw was his shoulder, and through the slender gap, she slowly, painfully, inched her hand in until it rested there. His clothing was cool. He did not wake.She could feel his breathing and his shoulder moving up and down ever so slightly. For a while, she watched him. Then she sat and leaned back.Sleepy air seemed to have followed her.The scrawled words of practice stood magnificently on the wall by the stairs, jagged and childlike and sweet. They looked on as both the hidden Jew and the girl slept, hand to shoulder.They breathed.German and Jewish lungs.
The sky is blue today, Max, and there is a big long cloud, and it's stretched out, like a rope. At the end of it, the sun islike a yellow hole. . .
You might well ask just what the hell he was thinking. The answer is, probably nothing at all.He'd probably say he was exercising his God-given right to stupidity.