Zeno’s Conscience: quotes (5)

Lack of talent for business was a point of resemblance between him and me, but there were no others; I can say that, of the two of us, I represented strength, and he weakness. What I have already recorded in these notebooks proves that I possess and always have possessed – perhaps my supreme misfortune – an impetuous drive toward the future. All my dreams of stability and strength can be defined only in those terms. My father knew nothing of all this. He lived in perfect harmony with the way he was made, and I must believe that he never exerted any effort to improve. He would smoke all day and, after Mamma’s death, when he could not sleep, also at night. He drank a fair amount, too, like a gentleman, in the evening, at supper, so that he could be sure of finding sleep readily the moment he laid his head on the pillow. But, to hear him, smoking and alcohol were good medicines.