Peeta, I say lightly. You said at the interview you’d had a crush on me forever. When did forever start?Oh, let’s see. I guess the first day of school. We were five. You had on a red plaid dress and your hair... it was in two braids instead of one. My father pointed you out when we were waiting to line up, Peeta says.Your father? Why? I ask.He said, ‘See that little girl? I wanted to marry her mother, but she ran off with a coal miner,’ Peeta says.What? You’re making that up! I exclaim.No, true story, Peeta says. And I said, ‘A coal miner? Why did she want a coal miner if she could’ve had you?’ And he said, ‘Because when he sings... even the birds stop to listen.’That’s true. They do. I mean, they did, I say. I’m stunned and surprisingly moved, thinking of the baker telling this to Peeta. It strikes me that my own reluctance to sing, my own dismissal of music might not really be that I think it’s a waste of time. It might be because it reminds me too much of my father.So that day, in music assembly, the teacher asked who knew the valley song. Your hand shot right up in the air. She stood you up on a stool and had you sing it for us. And I swear, every bird outside the windows fell silent, Peeta says.Oh, please, I say, laughing.No, it happened. And right when your song ended, I knew—just like your mother—I was a goner, Peeta says. Then for the next eleven years, I tried to work up the nerve to talk to you.Without success, I add.Without success. So, in a way, my name being drawn in the reaping was a real piece of luck, says Peeta. For a moment, I’m almost foolishly happy and then confusion sweeps over me. Because we’re supposed to be making up this stuff, playing at being in love not actually being in love. But Peeta’s story has a ring of truth to it. That part about my father and the birds. And I did sing the first day of school, although I don’t remember the song. And that red plaid dress... there was one, a hand-me-down to Prim that got washed to rags after my father’s death.It would explain another thing, too. Why Peeta took a beating to give me the bread on that awful hollow day. So, if those details are true... could it all be true?You have a... remarkable memory, I say haltingly. I remember everything about you, says Peeta, tucking a loose strand of hair behind my ear. You’re the one who wasn’t paying attention.I am now, I say.Well, I don’t have much competition here, he says. I want to draw away, to close those shutters again, but I know I can’t. It’s as if I can hear Haymitch whispering in my ear, Say it! Say it!I swallow hard and get the words out. You don’t have much competition anywhere. And this time, it’s me who leans in.
Suzanne Collins
It’s not the drug that causes the junkie it’s the laws that causes the junkie because of course the drug laws means that he can’t go and get help because he is afraid of being arrested. He also can’t have a normal life because the war on drugs has made drugs so expensive and has made drug contracts unenforceable which means they can only be enforced through criminal violence. It becomes so profitable to sell drugs to addicts that the drug dealers have every incentive to get people addicted by offering free samples and to concentrate their drug to the highest possible dose to provoke the greatest amount of addiction as possible.Overall it is a completely staggering and completely satanic human calamity. It is the new gulag and in some ways much more brutal than the soviet gulag. In the soviet gulags there was not a huge prison rape problem and in this situation your life could be destroyed through no fault of your own through sometimes, no involvement of your own and the people who end up in the drug culture are walled off and separated as a whole and thrown into this demonic, incredibly dangerous, underworld were the quality of the drugs can’t be verified. Were contracts can’t be enforced except through breaking peoples kneecaps and the price of drugs would often led them to a life of crime.People say well, I became a drug addict and I lost my house, family and my job and all that. It’s not because you became a drug addict but, because there is a war on drugs which meant that you had to pay so much for the drugs that you lost your house because you couldn't go and find help or substitutes and ended up losing your job. It’s all nonsense. The government can’t keep drugs out of prisons for heaven’s sakes. The war on drugs is not designed to be won. Its designed to continue so that the government can get the profits of drug running both directly through the CIA and other drug runners that are affiliated or through bribes and having the power of terrorizing the population. To frame someone for murder is pretty hard but to palm a packet of cocaine and say that you found it in their car is pretty damn easy and the government loves having that power. -Stefan Molyneux
Stefan Molyneux