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Chapter 15: From Zero Learning to Learning Zero

That is one of the problems with language: it is very good, very adequate, in communicating the ordinary things of life; the higher you move, the more inadequate it becomes.

Cohen met Levy for the first time in years. “How are things, Levy?” he asked his old friend. “I hear you got very rich here in America.”

“I can’t complain,” the other replied. “I got a house and garden in the country, an automobile, a wife, ten children, and money in the bank.”

Cohen, nettled, tried to soften the hurt of his friend’s success. “Well,” he said, “after all, in a day what can you do that I can’t? We both eat, sleep and drink. What else is there in life?”

“Aaah,” said Levy, “you call your life living? In the morning I get up, have a fine breakfast, a good Perfecto cigar. Then I lay on my verandah. After that I play a round of golf and come back with a healthy appetite for lunch. When I finish I have another Perfecto and lay down on my verandah again. I come to supper with an appetite like a wolf. After supper I smoke a good long cigar, lay on my verandah again, and at night go to the theater, the opera, whatever I like.”

“That’s wonderful! And you don’t do no work?” said Cohen, marveling.

On his return home, he told his wife of the encounter. “You know who I met today?” he announced. “Levy, who came over on the ship with me. Is that man rich! He’s got a house and garden in the country, an automobile, a wife, ten children.”

Mrs Cohen interrupted, “What is his wife’s name?”

“I don’t know,” said her husband, “but I think it is Verandah.”

Enough for today.