. . . if you train a dog to eat potatoes and then afterwards put a piece of meat in front of him, he'll snap at it, it's his nature. And if you give a man a little bit of authority he behaves just the same way, he snaps at it too. The things are precisely the same. In himself man is essentially a beast, only he butters it over like a slice of bread with a little decorum.
He is right. We aren't kids any more. We don't want to storm the world any more. We are fugitives. We flee from ourselves. From our lives. We were eighteen years old and began to love the world and existing; now we have to shoot at it. The first grenade that fell struck our hearts. . . We don't believe in anything any more; we believe in the war.
'One thing I still want to know,' Albert says, 'is if there would have been a war, if the Emperor had said no. If he had been the only one to say no, probably there would be a war, but if it were twenty, thirty people in the world who'd said no.'
'Probably,' I admit, 'but they did want it.'
'It's silly, when you think about it,' Albert goes further, 'we are here to defend our fatherland. But the French are also there to protect their fatherland. Who's in the right?'
'Maybe both,' I say without believing it.
'Yeah, maybe,' says Albert, and I can see that he'll drive me into a corner. 'But our professors and pastors and newspapers say that we're the only correct ones ... but the French professors and pastors and newspapers claim that only they're in the right, so how does that work out?'
'I believe that [the war] is more a kind of fever,' Albert says. 'Nobody really wants it, and suddenly it's there. We didn't want the war, and the other [countries] claim the same thing-- and in spite of that is half the world involved.'
My name is Gabrielle and I am twenty-eight years old. I began to self-injure at age fifteen -- so nearly thirteen years minus a two year period. This website is one about self-injury (self-harm), made to let self-injurers know that they are not alone and to help their friends and family learn more about self-injury and how it affects their loved one.