dark rooms of our souls
It's these cards, and the movies and the pop songs, they're to blame for all the lies and the heartache, everything.'"
"Are they? There are mediocre films, just like there are of everything else. But only the ones by the craftsmen really speak to you. The rest... well... all they do is magnify your own lies."
"Convenient. And what if your craftsman's idea of a bit of fun is to scoop out your neighbour's insides?"
"So difficult for me to judge on matters good and evil. Besides, there's the film, and there's you. I quit my job the day after I watched "The Kings of the Road." It spoke to me of people who live life all alone - on the road - spending years on a highway drifting between towns. Lives without meaning or shackles. And it struck me that that is the way of the world. Full of coincidences, and with no real purpose. Of brief, wondrous meetings; but also quicker farewells. We've convinced ourselves of the opposite. How unnatural is our world of unthinking allegiances - to flags, to anthems, to plans, to order, to morals, to each other. But that was me. The boy I watched it with wanted to know whether the screen had frozen up. See? There's the film, and there's you. All that the ruby does is to make you truer to yourself."
"What do you want me to do?"
"Give it back to me. Your client has rather different views to mine. Hers is a world of responsibility and achievement and billing rates. People being true to themselves would destroy that world, would shatter the name plates outside office doors. You've tasted a bit of what the ruby has to offer. It could do so much more for you... and for others."
"Look, there are rules I live by. I can't betray a client. What use are principles, if you're going to be selective about them? You either follow them all the time, or you have none at all. I can't abide a world without a Code."
"A code is for men without souls. If you really cared, you'd just do what feels right."
"I am sorry."
As I turned and walked back, I pulled the coat tight around me... and I don't remember whom I wore my hat like - if I wore it at all; I had to buy a new one the next day. Where could I have left it?