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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

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Chapter 4 Ownlife

Winston sat at the table and opened his diary. He thought of his parents. He was, he thought, about ten or eleven years old when his mother disappeared. She was a tall, silent woman with lovely fair hair. He could not remember his father so well. He was dark and thin and always wore dark clothes. They had both been vaporized in the 1950s. His thoughts moved to other women and he started writing in the diary:

It was three years ago. It was on a dark evening, in a narrow side street near one of the big railway stations. She had a young face with thick make-up. I liked the make-up. The whiteness and the bright red lips. No woman in the Party wore make-up. There was nobody else in the street and no telescreens. She said two dollars. I . . . It was too difficult to continue. Winston wanted to hit his head against the wall, to kick the table over and throw the diary through the window - anything to stop the memory of that night.

It was, of course, illegal to pay a woman for sex. But the punishment was about five years in a work camp, not death. The Party knew it happened. Some prole women sold themselves for a bottle of gin and the Party didn’t worry much about that. The Party wanted to stop love and pleasure in sex, not sex itself. A request to marry would be refused if a man and a woman found each other attractive. Sex, to the Party, was only necessary to make children.

He thought of Katherine, his wife. Winston had been married.

He was probably still married; if his wife was dead, nobody had told him. They had lived together for about fifteen months, nine, ten, eleven years ago. Katherine was a tall, fair-haired girl who moved well. She had an interesting face, until you found out that there was almost nothing behind it. She believed everything the Party said. She had sex only because it was her duty to try and have children. When no children came, they agreed to separate.

Every two or three years since then, Winston had found a prole woman who had agreed to have sex for money. But he wanted his own woman. He finished the story in his diary:

When I saw her in the light she was quite an old woman. She had no teeth at all. But I had sex with her.

He had written it down at last, but it did not help. He still wanted to shout and scream.

He had walked several kilometres. It was the second time in three weeks that he had missed an evening at the Party Members’

Club. This was not a good idea; your attendance at the Club was carefully checked. A Party member had no free time and was never alone except in bed. It was dangerous to do anything alone, even go for a walk. There was a word for it in Newspeak: ownlife, it was called, meaning separation from everybody else.

He was walking in a prole area near a building that had, in the past, been an important railway station. The houses were small and dirty and reminded him of rat-holes. There were hundreds of people in the streets: pretty young girls, young men chasing the girls, fat old women - the pretty girls in ten years time. Dirty children with no shoes ran through the mud.

The people looked at him strangely. The blue overalls of the Party were an unusual sight in a street like this. It was unwise to be seen in such places, unless you had a definite reason to be there. The Thought Police would stop you if they saw you.

Suddenly everybody was shouting and screaming and running back into their rat-hole houses. A man in a black suit ran past Winston and pointed at the sky.

‘Bomb,’ he shouted. ‘Up there! Bomb!’

Winston threw himself to the ground. The proles were usually right when they warned you that a bomb was falling. When he stood up, he was covered with bits of glass from the nearest window. He continued walking. The bomb had destroyed a group of houses two hundred metres up the street and in front of him he saw a human hand, cut off at the wrist. He kicked it to the side of the road and turned right, away from the crowd.

He was in a narrow street with a few dark little shops among the houses. He seemed to know the place. Of course! He was standing outside the shop where he had bought the diary. He was afraid, suddenly. He had been mad to buy the diary, and he had promised himself he would never come near this place again. But he noticed that the shop was still open, although it was nearly twenty-one hours. He would be safer inside than standing there doing nothing outside, so he went in. If anyone asked, he could say he was trying to buy a razor blade.

The owner had just lit a hanging oil lamp which smelled unclean but friendly. He was a small, gentle-looking man of about sixty with a long nose and thick glasses. His hair was almost white but the rest of his face looked surprisingly young.

He looked like a writer, or perhaps a musician. His voice was soft and he didn’t speak like a prole.

‘I recognized you when you were outside,’ he said immediately.

‘You’re the gentleman who bought the diary. There’s beautiful paper in that diary. No paper like that has been made for - oh, I’d say fifty years.’ He looked at Winston over the top of his glasses. ‘Is there anything special I can do for you? Or did you just want to look round?’

‘I was . . . er . . . passing,’ said Winston. ‘And I just came in. I don’t want to buy anything.’

‘Well, that’s all right,’ said the shop owner, ‘because I haven’t got much to sell you.’ He looked round the shop sadly. ‘Don’t tell anyone I said so, but it’s difficult to get old things these days. And when you can get them nobody wants them. ‘The old man’s shop was full of things, but they were all cheap and dirty and useless.

‘There’s another room upstairs that you could look at,’ he said.

Winston followed the man upstairs. The room was a bedroom with furniture in it. There was a bed under the window, taking nearly a quarter of the room.

‘We lived here for thirty years until my wife died,’ said the old man sadly. ‘ I ‘ m selling the furniture, slowly. That’s a beautiful bed, but perhaps it would be too big for you?’

Winston thought he could probably rent the room for a few dollars a week, if he dared to. It would be so peaceful to live as people used to live in the past, with no voice talking to you, nobody watching you …

‘There’s no telescreen’, he said.

‘Ah!’ said the old man. ‘I never had one. Too expensive.’

There was a picture on the wall. It showed a London church that used to be famous, in the days when churches were famous and people still went to them. Winston did not buy the picture, but he stayed in the room talking to the old man whose name, he discovered, was Charrington.

Even when he left he was still thinking about renting the room. But then, as he stepped into the street, his heart turned to ice. A woman in blue overalls was walking towards him, not ten metres away. It was the girl with dark hair, the one in the Young People’s League. The girl must be following him. Even if she was not in the Thought Police, she must be a spy.

The Thought Police would come for him one night. They always came at night and they always caught you. And before they killed you, before you asked them on your knees to forgive you for your thoughtcrime, there would be a lot of pain.

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