Eva: Besides, when you grow up you’ll need a job, and then you’ll have to be able to read and write really well or no one will want to hire you.
Kevin: Dad doesn’t write. He drives around and takes pictures.
Eva: There are other jobs…
Kevin: What if I don’t want a job.
Eva: Then you’d have to go on welfare. The government would give you just a little money so you don’t starve, but not enough to do anything fun.
Kevin: What if I don’t want to do anything.
Eva: I bet you will. If you make your own money, you can go to movies and restaurants and even different countries, like Mommer used to.
Kevin: I think I want to go on welfare.
We Need To Talk About Kevin (Page 191) by Lionel Shriver
“It’s always the mother’s fault, ain’t it?’‘ she said softly, collecting her coat. ”That boy turn out bad cause his mama a drunk, or she a junkie. She let him run wild, she don’t teach him right from wrong. She never home when he back from school. Nobody ever say his daddy a drunk, or his daddy not home after school. And nobody ever say they some kids just damned mean. Don’t you believe that old guff. Don’t you let them saddle you with all that killing.“
Attention deficit disorder in a pig’s eye. Kevin was an able student when he bothered, and hadn’t been doodling, he’d been taking notes.
“Let’s see,” he said, and proceeded to check off successive elements of his list with his red crayon. “Spoiled. You’re rich. I’m not too sure what you think you’re doing without, but I bet you could afford it. Imperious. Pretty good description of that speech just now; if I was you, I wouldn’t order dessert, ‘cause you can bet the waiter’s gonna hawk a loogie in your raspberry sauce. Inarticulate? Lemme see … ” He searched the tablecloth, and read aloud, “It’s not that easy, or maybe it is easy, I don’t know. I don’t call that Shakespeare myself. Also seems to me I’m sitting across from the lady that goes on these long rants about 'reality TV’ when she’s never watched a single show. And that- one of your favorite words, Mumsey- is ignorant. Next: boasting. What was all that these-dumb fucks-suck-dead-moose-dick-and-I’m-so-much-cooler-than-them if it wasn’t showing off? Like somebody who thinks she’s got it right and nobody else does. Trusting … with no idea other people can’t stand them.” He underscored this one and then looked me in the eye with naked dislike. “Well. Far as I can tell, about the only the thing that keeps you and the other dumb-ass Americans from being peas in a pod is you’re not fat. And just because you’re skinny you act self-righteous-condescending- and superior. Maybe I’d rather have a big cow for a mother who at least didn’t think she was better than anybody else in the fucking country.”
I paid the bill. We wouldn’t conduct another mother-son outing until Claverack.
Page 279 (We Need To Talk About Kevin) by Lionel Shriver
I was confident that he could infer from a subtly exasperated quality in my voice when I burbled and cooed that burbling and cooing did not come naturally to me and that his precocious ear could isolate in that endless stream of placating blather an insidious, compulsive sarcasm.
[ get to know me meme | (2/5) favourite female characters | Eva Khatchadourian • We Need to Talk About Kevin ]
“What is that?” I asked. “What have you got there?”
With a small, crafty smile, he opened his palm, displaying his talisman with the shy pride of a boy with his prize shooting marble. I stood up so quickly that my chair clattered backward onto the floor. It isn’t often that when you look at an object, it looks back.
“Don’t you ever pull that out again,” I said hoarsely. “If you do, I will never come back here. Not ever. Do you hear me?”
I think he knew I meant it. Which gave him a powerful amulet to ward off these ostensibly pestilential visits from Mumsey. The fact that Celia’s glass eye has remained out of my sight since can only mean, I suppose, that, on balance, he’s glad I come.
Americans are fat, inarticulate, and ignorant.They’re demanding, imperious, and spoiled. They’re self-righteous and superior about their precious democracy, and condescending toward other nationalities because they think they’ve got it right—never mind that half the adult population doesn’t vote. And they’re boastful, too. Believe it or not, in Europe it isn’t considered acceptable to foist on new acquaintances right off the bat that you went to Harvard and you own a big house and what it cost and which celebrities come to dinner. And Americans never pick up, either, that in some places it’s considered crass to share your taste for anal sex with someone at a cocktail party you’ve known for five minutes—since the whole concept of privacy here has fallen by the wayside. That’s because Americans are trusting to a fault, innocent in a way that makes you stupid. Worst of all, they have no idea that the rest of the world can’t stand them.
Eva Khatchadourian, We Need To Talk About Kevin (via Lionel Shriver)
My mother goes somewhere else. My mother sleeps in a different bed. My mother eats different food. My mother comes home. My mother sleeps at home. My mother eats at home.
My mother tells other people to go somewhere else. Other people sleep in a different bed. Other people eat different food. Other people come home. Other people sleep at home. Other people eat at home. My mother is rich.
‘Meet My Mother’ - Kevin Khatchadourian (We Need To Talk About Kevin)
What possessed us? We were so happy! Why, then, did we take the stake of all we had and place it all on this outrageous gamble of having a child? Of course you consider the very putting of that question profane. Although the infertile are entitled to sour grapes, it’s against the rules, isn’t it, to actually have a baby and spend any time at all on that banished parallel life in which you didn’t. But a Pandoran perversity draws me to prize open what is forbidden. I have an imagination, and I like to dare myself. I knew this about myself in advance, too: that I was just the sort of woman who had the capacity, however ghastly, to rue even so unretractable a matter as a person. But then, Kevin didn’t regard other people’s existence as unretractable, did he?