My favorite anecdote in Martin Amis's Experience
is near the beginning and features his then five-year-old Spanish step-brother. They're having a party, and, this being Spain, the kid is allowed to try a little wine. But only mixed with plenty of water.
"Agua no! Agua no!" says the budding alcoholic, as he tries to negotiate as strong a drink as possible. No one is really paying attention; Amis is fascinated by the speed with which the kid's metabolism works. Within twenty minutes, he's helplessly drunk. Another twenty, and he's got the most appalling hangover. They put him in a dark room and Mom asks if he'd like some water. "Agua sí! Agua sí!" begs José piteously, as he clutches his little head.Max a une amoureuse
is similar, but with love instead of wine. Max is sweet on Juliette, but she's ignoring him. Marie, however, passes him a note in class and then contrives to end up holding his hand when they go to the swimming pool. "Only for safety reasons," she explains, not fooling anyone. Max likes the attention so much that he tries to talk Jérôme out of bombing the girls.
get it!" grins Jérôme nastily.
"It's not like that..." says Max, shame-faced, but still holds Marie's hand on the way back. Jérôme, however, steps up the pressure and excludes Max from the football game. He's found Max's weak spot! When it comes down it, girls aren't as important as football. On the way home, Max studiously avoids Marie. She's furious and sends over her best friend.
"Do you love her or are you breaking up?" asks the friend bluntly.
"I love her but I'm breaking up..." says Max, but rapidly discovers that this isn't an available option. Marie runs off in tears.
From "Je t'aime" to "C'est fini" in six hours. No wonder small kids need a lot of sleep.