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    #1

    Need some help in understanding the text

    A little bit of background information for the text.
    - The speaker was reincarnated 2000 years after his death by the angel.
    - The speaker was a friend of Jesus.
    - The angel made the speaker write down his own tale.

    =====================================

    On the hill where he pulled me from the dust, the angel said, "You will see many strange things. Do not be afraid. You have a holy mission and I will protect you."

    Smug bastard. Had I known what he would do to me I would have hit him again. Even now he lies on the bed across the room, watching pictures move on a screen, eating the sticky sweet called Snickers, while I scratch out my tale on this soft-as-silk paper that reads Hyatt Regency, St. Louis at the top. Words, words, words, a million million words circle in my head like hawks, waiting to dive onto the page to rend and tear the only two words I want to write.

    Why me?

    < source : http://www.chrismoore.com/books/lamb/excerpt/ >
    =====================================

    Ok. The part that I don't understand is in blue and red.
    The speaker calls the angel smug bastard. He is disgusted with the angel, right?
    And he says that even now the angel is being lazy and having a good time(bed, TV, Snickers),
    while he is trying to write a tale.

    The while clause(about what the speaker is doing) should have a bad thing in contrast to what the angel is doing, right?

    But the speaker says that the paper is soft as silk which is not bad thing at all.
    'Scratch out' means 'to write' so there is nothing especially bad, either, right?
    The only thing that the speaker can complain seems to be the fact that the angel didn't even give him any note and he should write the tale on the 'FREE' paper provided by the hotel. But again, it is soft-as-silk.

    So I wonder what is the complaint of the speaker???


    Thanks in advance.

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    #2

    Re: Need some help in understanding the text

    I don't know why you think the "while" clause has to be about something "bad."

    He is contrasting the angel's action to his own. The angel is lounging about, having a good time, while he has to work hard at writing.

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    #3

    Re: Need some help in understanding the text

    I feel that the contrast between 'even now' clause(what the angel is doing) and 'while' clause(what the speaker is doing) is a little bit weak because of 'while' part. The speaker works hard at writing, for sure. But I don't know why the speaker weakens the contrast by saying that the paper is soft-as-silk which is good.


    Let me give you some example..
    - You were dating your girl friend while I was doing a lot of easy homework.
    - You were having fun while I was dating a boring man eating a delicious dinner.

    If it would make a sharp contrast, 'easy' and 'delicous' should be taken out, right? Sure, the homework might be easy and the dinner might be delicious. In that case, isn't it better to say like "You were having fun while I was dating a boring man. But anyway the dinner was delicious."


    In my previous posting I had asked if the speaker implies that the angel had said something like "the paper is soft as silk..." and he tries to mock the angel by saying 'soft-as-silk'. I thought the speaker wants to show the sobbishness or the smugness of the angel. Other than that, I couldn't understand why the speaker says 'soft-ask-silk' weakening the contrast.


    I'm not sure I made myself clear with my imperfect English.
    Thanks.

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    #4

    Re: Need some help in understanding the text

    I don't think the softness of the paper really helps alleviate the task of writing. But you do have a point that "soft-as-silk" doesn't seem to really belong there.

    Unless the author was merely trying to point out that he was in a fancy hotel.

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    #5

    Re: Need some help in understanding the text

    Thanks SoothingDave!

    But you do have a point that "soft-as-silk" doesn't seem to really belong there.
    Unless the author was merely trying to point out that he was in a fancy hotel.


    I think this is the answer that I needed the most.
    And this is what I couldn't get to know on my own even with the help of dictionaries.

    After reading your answer, I start to understand the whole text and why the author used the word 'soft-as-silk'.

    Thanks again and have a good day!

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