Thursday, October 27, 2011


"I asked him did he really love New York or was he just wearing the shirt. He smiled, like he was nervous. I could tell he didn't understand, which made me feel guilty for speaking English, for some reason. I pointed at his shirt. "Do? You? Really? Love? New York?" He said, "New York?" I said, "Your. Shirt." He looked at his shirt. I pointed at the N and said "New," and the Y and said "York." He looked confused or embarrassed, or surprised, or maybe even mad. I couldn't tell what he was feeling, because I couldn't speak the language of his feelings. "I not know was New York. In Chinese, ny means 'you.' Thought was 'I love you,'" It was then that I noticed the "I NY" poster on the wall, and the "I NY" flag over the door, and the "I NY" dishtowels, and the "I NY" lunchbox on the kitchen table. I asked him, "Well, then why do you love everybody so much?"

- Jonathon Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

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