American Dreams, Lost and FoundBook - 1980
National characteristics, American.
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I would ride down the street and see working people and I'd begin to think: It's me or them. Those people want everything I have, that I worked for. As a matter of fact, I lucked into it. I glibbed into it. I conned my way into so much of this stuff just being facile . . . I believed that I deserved everything I had, and that if anybody else wanted it, they could go get it exactly the way I did. And that everybody else did want it. (Laughs.) So you get this defensive thing. It's us against them.
I'm getting back to the values I had before. I didn't exactly start out from sour milk, so I'm not that far away from the cream. I don't think I could ever stand being poor. I'm quick enough about my wits that I guess I never would be. I'll get enough, whatever "enough" is.
I work with kids in prison. Excluding dynamite, nothin's gonna improve them to any great degree . . . there's a hell of a lot of people I met in jail, and if you told me they're comin' home, I want to know where they're comin' to and stay away from that neighborhood.
I don't wanna win 'em all. I'm glad we lost some of 'em. If we'd a won 'em all, we'd a had nothin' to fight for . . . I want to live to be old, old old . . . I'm sixty years old, and I'm gonna live another sixty, and I'm gonna enjoy it like the first sixty years, and the last goddamn flicker of my life wwill be against somethin' and not for it. I'm gonna be challengin' all the way.
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