The Great Manœuvres
(If you find out « Mômmanh », « existence », « need of existence », please go to chapiter 2 to learn more...)
From now on I knew what the expression “to have someone under your skin” meant. Seen from a window of “My Love”, the operation seduction had gone off perfectly as far as the apotheosis which we had just lived. She held her man : “- I have caught you right away.” she told me.
Immediately she began, in the morning, the second phase of her plan. Doesn't one say “strike while the iron is hot”? Jeanne undertook to shape me to her liking.
Let us see what brought about the first scene? After all it does not matter: it was only the first of a long series of battles broken by some happy truces. So much the worse if I relate without any order. But I owe you some more explanations.
Jeanne, in order to seduce me, used the same strategy of love as Don Juan: she had lied brazenly. Fortunately! Fortunately, her aim was not the same as that of those tireless collectors of female trophies, those love thieves who are always “in want”.
I know if there are any female Don Juans, but in any case, my Jeanne was no one. Fortunately! She had lied to me, of course. But when her carnal body of a fairy, offered to me unhesitatingly, all vibrant with sea waves, had said: “Yes! Yes!”, she could not cheat.
Of course, she had embarked us on this marvellous journey as stowaways, but she was used to buy on credit and she was convinced that we would later find the money to pay our trip fare. This time she was right to obey her impatience because if we had to wait for our disagreements to fade away before embarking, we would still be besides the quay. Or rather, our ways would have been separate.
Well, where were we?... After our nuptial in the Alps, under God's watchful look, nothing less! - with the snowy tops, the impetuous torrents of pure water, the high pensive firs, the grass so green and fresh of the pastures, as witnesses, Mômmanh embodied in wild nature blessing the love of her children, after the mouths first, then our bodies all quivering under the divine caress had sealed the pact of eternal union, our clasped souls excited, after we had put our clothes back as the custom required, without knowing what we were doing, then the time of bitter revelation and disenchantment could begin.
The first disillusion fell on me like a stone hurled in the window by a friendly neighbour.
With my van, we had gone together to take fresh supplies to a group of campers. We took again the way to go for about fifteen kilometres, to recognize the site of the nearest camp. It was the moment which Jeanne chose to start what turned out, for me, the beginning of her metamorphosis.
“- I am not coming.
I tumbled down. As when one is given a brutal shock, I did not feel any pain, on the spot. Besides, since it wasn't a physical wound, it was possible not to believe it: I only had to close my eyes for an instant, and my Jeanne would materialise again, the pretty flower of the suburb which I loved, the young and beautiful comrade; the other, the vile witch, would end up by dissolving itself in the pure sky of the Alps.
This evoked the image of my mother, she who raged during many a domestic quarrel when, to my eyes, she transformed herself in a spiteful bad-tempered witch to torment the good man my father. I had sworn never to marry such a dragon: I'd rather become a monk (A red monk, of course).
No! It was not possible for Jeanne to become what I abhorred. Her delightful mouth so finely chiselled, her delicate honey mouth made for kisses could not belch out such insane talk! That sublime door, which if need be was used for food deliveries, that sublime door with tender red lips was made to utter soft words and beautiful speeches, songs and laughs, burning kisses, but not those disgusting things. Ah well, listen: the worst has not come yet!
“- Are you ill, dear? In that case I will take you quickly to the Centre and I will take you to the doctor as soon as possible.”
My mother had often been seriously ill, each time for a longer period, each time more seriously ill, till she finally died before the age assigned by nature. She was asthmatic. Being unable to overcome the illness which deprived her of her strength, she decided to give in to it: like this she found in it a refuge and a weapon in her struggle against my father. But my Jeanne couldn't be like them. In fact:
“- I am not sick, idiot!... Stop taking me for your mother will you! You are flabby like a slug, my gosh! You need three days of reflection before you decide to lift a little finger. Fortunately I am not sick because you would give me the time to die before getting to the doctor. But how could I let myself be seduced by such a good for nothing? I must be blind. Turn back and take me to the Centre. You will take up your day dreaming and your dribbling delirium afterwards. Let's go! On our way! Stop looking at me like a fried whiting.”
Although I was a progressive as the communists and their sympathisers defined themselves as such, I was not prepared to bear the breaker of the feminist putsch. I was the less so that, in this revolution, Jeanne was at least ten years ahead.
I told myself: “She is intelligent, certainly, but like all women, she is whimsical, capricious, prone to follow any fantasy. This is often charming, and it is also the source of good funny moments which enliven our existence: sometimes it even gives us, surely, good ideas: yes, this fanciful functioning of the mind leads the thought on to unusual tracks which she would not have been able to discover by following the roads marked out, and it happens that some uncommon roads can be fruitful. All right! (With myself. ) But we have now played too much. Myself, the man with sharp intelligence, I must take my responsibilities.”
“- Darling, I see well that you are eager to go back to the Centre, doubtlessly because you feel a little tired. But...
And to my great surprise, she got off, slammed the door and, while she was at it, without turning back, started her long march at a very rapid pace. My surprise quickly turned to consternation. When I lifted my eyes up, asking myself if I was going to call her, she had already vanished. Quickly I made half a turn and went in pursuit of her. Alas!... Alas the road was deserted.
Besides, if I had seen her, what would I have done?... I believe well that I would have taken her hand to feel her sweet warmth and check if the “current” was still getting through. - The current? But yes, let's see! You know it well! It is the delightful quiver which runs all over the skin when two lovers touch each other. Then I would have taken her in my arms and hugged her for a long time, delicately; I would have caressed her and kissed her till the peace in our two bodies was reunited. Then I would have carted her gently as far as the Centre, just as she had asked me to do insistently.
When my tongue hanging out, alone and thirsty in the desert, she was the spring I no longer believed to be near. She had quenched my thirst: how good that water had been! And behold she transformed herself into a coarse pile of stinking muddy pebbles. That was not simply possible. It was necessary to be impossible as I could no longer do without my spring from now on.
And then, I have a confession to make: my vanity could not bear having been so badly wronged.
Therefore, if only I had seen her, I would not have said anything, putting of for later the delicate enterprise that consisted in “reasoning” with her so that a similar misadventure would never happen. It was unthinkable that, in a love like ours, between two exceptional lovers there could be certain trails of strength. The reason had to come to the bottom of all our disagreements.
Ah yes! As she had put it so brutally: I was a “fool”.
I had to admit that she was not along the way...
I clung to the hope of recapturing her on the way back, after having located the site of my next camp. I had great difficulty accomplishing my work. Finally, I could take the way back. On the passenger seat, quite close to me, there was a painful emptiness. From time to time, I had a look, hoping to find it occupied, that the bad dream was over.
But I had to get a grip on myself so as not to lose definitely my chances by overturning my van in the ditch. I was driving slowly, intensely scanning the road as well as its verges with the violent hope of discovering the gracious silhouette of my carnal fairy and knowing relief in her arms.
I saw nobody except for a hitch-hiker: he couldn't have known that his presence there in such a moment was uncalled for and that he insulted me severely when I passed by. I had an unusual reaction quite completely: I lowered my window and stopped at a good distance to hurl a series of vile insults more or less. Then I let out the clutch abruptly making the tyres screech. But that blind anger did not bring me any relief.
The sun, in good shape, was playing with greyish white clouds, massive like rocks. The golden silver platinum light, and the shadows streamed on the mountain sides, the woods, the pastures, the rocks, cascading as far as the river buried down in the valley. But the divine carpet dealer however can pack up again his gear with him. Jeanne was not there, nature was dead. Besides, I don't know why I made this picture for you since I was in no condition to see it.
At the camp, I parked the van anywhere, without even closing the door, and I ferreted everywhere discreetly as I did not want her to see me or notice my distress. It was she who had given one stroke of axe which cut each in half!... I was hoping also to see her suffering as much as I: like this, I would be sure that she loved me. But I did not want to do the first step and come like a beaten dog, sweeping away ground with foul grovelling, at my mistress's feet.
Yes, evidently she had to do the first step. On condition that she still loved me? What a test! But I would not welcome her like a triumphant victor. No, I will not give her a frozen look and I will not tell her: “Ah there you are! Ah well, the little stuck up things like you do not interest me. Consider yourself lucky not to have been slapped and go and wait for me in your tent. I will call you if I decide to carry on with you. Otherwise, you would have to find a fag: that is all you need.” It would be enough to make the first step, and I will welcome her with open arms. Later on, I will find other means to assert my natural and kind authority.
On seconds thoughts, a quarter of a step will be sufficient...
While waiting, I rummaged about, but did not see her anywhere. I wanted to see her so very much, if only in a shadow theatre, about which I started to hallucinate: “Wasn't that she, at the end of the road, behind the service building? Or else down there, between the big tents of the “Red Army” and the “Resistence”?
So, renouncing to discretion, and trying hard to render my voice normal to ask the cook, the manager, the supervisors,- in brief - everyone I came across: “Have you seen Jeanne? Have you seen Jeanne? Ah! You don't know where is Jeanne?” And each time the reply was: “No. No! No!” like so many club blows on my head already afflicted with a turbulent migraine.
In such situations, my “demon” attacks always. He comes back in full strength, he whom I believed to have chased away for good. Just as he does in such cases, he presented himself as the indispensable friend who would bring a solution to my problem. My resistance was swept aside. I was going down a steep and slippery slope, carried away by the whirlwind of my passion, and my efforts to clutch the bushes seemed ridiculous. I abandoned myself to my tormentor who would not take long to suffocate me.
What happens when a desire is so strong that it becomes a high expectation?
What are the risks of spoiling the children?
You have not forgotten the strange illness which had handicapped me to the extent of blocking my road to love. The theory which I had put together and the applications which I had derived of it to safeguard myself are disputable, but the sort of madness of which I suffered is not. It is no longer a theory, it is a testimony.
Ah well, I shall take up again the explanations which I have given you because they deserve to be clarified and deepened. Judge them yourself.
Let us suppose that in our childhood, when our being is formed within the family, let us suppose that a great pleasure is never denied to us, not even calculated. In our existence, that great pleasure soon becomes an essential element, then indispensable. Impossible to do without it. It eclipses the others. Our nervous system learns by heart the circuits which lead to its fulfilment. We cover them incessantly to repeat the pleasure demanded, like a laboratory rat repeats indefinitely the gestures that bring it his favourite threat. We have become dependent, slaves.
Those circuits of the nervous system which lead to the satisfaction of pleasure which has become high expectation, the more complex and the deeper their imprint is in our memory, the more difficult it would be to avoid them. The hope of being cured will move back.
A great pleasure that has never been denied to the spoilt child creates a lifelong dependence, a cancer of the existence. How many adults are handicapped because of their parents' faults?
Let us suppose, later on, to satisfy that cursed high expectation, we believe to discover a means which is not hoped for, the latter would transform itself in a consuming passion, a hard drug occupying the first place in our existence, when that is not all the space. That demon becomes our poisoned consolation: the compulsory reply to all stress of some importance. Even if one had victoriously fought against it, it remains lurking in the secret place of his soul and it comes forth as soon as a great anxiety overwhelms us, like charlatans who extort like this every last penny from the desperate ones.
To take only one example, the high expectation in question can be that of physical well-being. To achieve it, you have a big choice of means: bulimia, excessive sport, any drug... Usually, one settles on one alone.
For me, my high expectation of a spoilt child, was to want to be lord of everything, and the drug supposed to please me was the repeated endless attempt of understanding everything. Behold therefore that demon which I believed dead and which haunted me again, lord of house.
As a start, it appealed to pedagogy.
Yes, I had studied pedagogy at the Teacher's Training College. I had not understood much, but they managed to instil in me the belief that still persists: developed properly, this applied science would work miracles; there would be no more academic failure and all the delinquents as well as the deviants would be led on the way of reason.
It was almost as if I had believed that medicine could cure all the ailments and render man immortal. From time to time, a pedagogist sometimes self-declared, believes to have found the magic formulas of good teaching; as a result he tries to found a chapel of which he is the high priest. After which, beware of the unbelievers!... With that belief in a supreme pedagogy, there follows that public opinion tends to consider the mediocre teachings responsible for the scholastic failures. In the same way, the Jews and the lepers of the Middle Ages were accused of bringing the plague: since God was good, he could not send that scourge without reason, it was necessary to find some sinners responsible and they were found.
But let us come back to my “Malin” the vampire of thought. My naive belief in Holy Pedagogy was only the mask behind which he was advancing. He did his work. Beneath his influence, I wanted to understand perfectly this Jeanne whom I had just met, in order to bring her back to reason. As for me, it did not take me long to lose the little reason I had left.
How to obtain the good dose of self-confidence which allows you to act in the best of ways?
Yes, you know that Mômmanh appeals to our conscience to serve her as guide out of darkness. In other words, she relies on our intelligence to find the appropriate answer irrespective of the stress. If we have an exaggerated confidence in the solutions which our mind proposes, if therefore we suffer from an excessive assurance, so much the worse for us, Mômmanh believes our answers and orders their application immediately; the accidents will be our share. On the contrary if we do not have faith in any of the proposed answers, Mômmanh cannot give any coherent answers; so much the worse for us, this time still, we are doomed to the accidents.
You know consequently that the incarnation of Mômmanh in my being, which from now on I shall call “my Mômmanh” had assumed an errant form: she wanted me to be God, thanks to a perfect knowledge of everything. It is impossible, surely that I knew it. Therefore, when my demon, that metamorphosis of my Mômmanh, was in command, no response to stress seemed worthy of confidence to her and he could only order faltering actions, not to say contradictory ones. Besides, that state of vulnerability generated fits of panic.
So if I had to talk, I stammered, if it was a question of writing, I trembled, if I had to walk, I stumbled, and so on.
Like Mr. Sequin's goat, I fought, but in the small hours, the fight was far from over. I wanted to win at all costs, to have the chance of saving our love and find again the way to eternity amongst the immortal stars. Jeanne had just returned to the Centre, but I succeeded in avoiding her all day long: above all I did not want her to see me in that state!
She found me, in the evening when I was still in a crisis. My overpowering demon was not the well-mannered type who withdraws when he feels indiscreet. I tried hard to suppress it with all my strength, it remained to destroy me. I opened my mouth like a fish out of water, but I believe surely that no sound came out of it. Jeanne came towards me, inexorably, tender, smiling and saying: “Well my Georges, what happened to you?” Stammering, mumbling, stuttering even a little, I managed to emit out of my mouth an amount of gibberish of which here is an approximate translation:
“I do not feel well. I will come to you tomorrow when things will be better. Tomorrow!... I beg of you!... I shall explain to you.
Since you are well-mannered, my friend, you know that you have to leave us now: even the writers have a right to intimacy.
In this way, our first quarrel came to an end. I appreciated with great joy the fact that I was loved in spite of the strange evil which was crippling me too often: that relieved me of enormous weights. I swore to recover definitely. I was feeling my strength tenfold by love and “Malin” remained lurking, prudently, at the frontier of my conscience, waiting for its hour.
Taken care of, consoled and encouraged, loved in the arms of my tender nurse, I abandoned myself to happiness.
Thus, watch strong and formidable strapping fellows ruining themselves in the bosoms of their sweethearts and becoming once again helpless little infants. Human nature is very surprising: don't you think so? Ah well, things were even stranger; during those hours of my distress, the birds were silent and nature was in mourning.
Ah yes! Believe me if you can.
Now that I had found my love again,the birds started to chirp again. Once more, the fresh and crystalline water of the torrent fell in cascade and bounced amidst the rocks. The mountain was joyous and her breath was emitting very subtle and tonic perfumes. What magnanimous painter, what genius of nature was painting all day long those landscapes which were telling us: “Don't look for heaven: it's here.” The divine symphony orchestrated by Mômmanh was welcoming us again and, once more, we were feeling our hearts beating together bosom against bosom.
Nowhere near the oppressive heads of department, the jealous colleagues which give you a trip-up, far from the forms in quadruplicate, the hierarchic way and the internal regulation, far away from the noise of the pneumatic drill, the traffic jams, the bills to pay, the flu, the toothaches, without counting hunger in the world and the threats of war...
So I was not being over fussy! Therefore, I did not ask for any explanations from Jeanne about our quarrel. Besides, since I was temporarily broken down, I would have been incapable of giving her the advice which she needed very badly.
However, I knew that the happy days were only a truce. I had to leave soon the Garden of Eden to take up my human adventure; so much so that I had to leave the bosom of my beloved one to become again head of the family, because I was convinced that it was up to me to take up the reins of the household. I was overcoming my mental handicap and I was making use of pedagogy to lead Jeanne to follow the right way, that which I would have traced after having heard her opinion.
You understand that I could not envisage acting otherwise. According to the convictions I had then, the roots of which had developed during centuries and centuries, it would have been a great cowardice to obey my beloved one. Not only would I have lost my freedom, but I would have placed my love in danger of extinction. I could not leave the reins of our household to Jeanne, in as much as the pilot of a plane cannot abandon the commands of his plane to his favourite hostess.
Thus we started again to weave the happiness underneath the slight wound. I was hoping that we were going to stay for some more weeks on our cosy cloud; I was counting on it all the more because our real holidays were approaching and we were going to spend them together in Austria.
Do you find me quite naive? Ah yes. A brutal landing was preparing itself.
The day came when our bawling youngsters, a tear in their eye for some of them, made their way again to Paris, accompanied by their group leaders. When, with the other comrades, we had folded our tents and placed all the material in the only building of the camp, we bid farewell to all, friends and not, and we went up into our pumpkin transformed into a car looking more like a horse-drawn coach. We had about fifteen days left to discover some new places, and we did not want to lose not even a fraction.
What happened afterwards?
Indeed, although I now remember that period vaguely, I will never be able to talk about it, my memories being so confused. I could not understand anything there!
That started like this.
The seats of the old Deudeuch being dirty and even torn out of sheer use, I had wrapped up with travelling rugs of very bright colours, worthy of my princess. Now Jeanne had taken off one of her overcoats to cover her shoulders with it. Moreover, she had ruffled hair and she dressed carelessly, and this gave her the air of a neglected gypsy. Such a metamorphosis would have been enough to prevent me from seeing the landscape, but there was more there: in no time at all, the decaying fairy had spread all her belongings and part of mine anywhere in the car and she had already covered everything with some papers, depressing sight enhanced by the skin of a clean banana.
“- My dear, why don't you tidy your belongings. This mess is lousy. And then, why are you dressed up like this? One would say that you look like an old witch half asleep, who has just left her straw mattress. I prefer you when you are happy. Hey, love?”
She spent the rest of the day without opening her mouth. And when at last she consented to talk, it was to send me a shower of abuses. I spent a first sleepless night. Before she woke up, having found nothing better to do, I decided to delay matters. Besides, Jeanne made herself attractive and loving again. But the disorder had worsened: she was therefore the mess.
This first truce was quite short. Apparently, my temporary surrender was to no avail. The annoyances, the quarrels, the anger had to follow a very rapid rhythm. Therefore, don't be surprised if I do not speak of Austria: I have not seen much of it.
During most of the day, I was too busy looking for our love which did not stop slipping through our hands to vanish in certain inaccessible places. In order to have a chance of finding it again, I had to accomplish certain acrobatics some of which some seemed against nature, that is to say that many were against my convictions which neither I, nor anybody had ever pointed out, and much less contested, since they seemed so obvious to form part of the laws of nature, in as much as breathing, nourishing oneself, blowing one's nose, refusing the insults, express myself freely... Thus, not only I had to accept that our things were spread everywhere in a permanent disorder, but equally, that my opinions were squashed by contempt and bad faith, that our itinerary which had been prepared for a long time had been brutally changed to follow “a small secondary road on the map” and that half of my savings vanished in one single night in a luxury hotel, and what else still ?... The unbearable annoyances followed, giving rise to never ending quarrels during which we hurt ourselves always more deeply.
What sorrow do two Siamese twins feel when they cannot put up with each other any longer!...
I make one, then two, then three concessions, then an unlimited amount of renunciations to important aspects of myself, I sometimes go as far as betraying my duties, such was the price to pay to have a chance to recapture our escaping love. And when by chance we would find it, quickly we would shut the door of our intimacy, so airtight like an eggshell.
Alas! Very soon we would start to tear ourselves apart in our empty shell.
Love, even that of crooks nourishes itself on beautiful and good substances: ours had to treat itself, increase and strengthen itself because Austria was offering it delicious meals. Instead of that, being sick, it was refusing the food and it was declining from day to day. We would not have had to choose a sumptuous setting for that episode of our life. It was a mess. We should have gone to another part to be torn apart: a field of beetroots, or even a waste land filled with rubbish would have suited us. Besides, we would soon have to do this wasted voyage again.
Luckily, it rained heavily during our journey: that took away a little part of responsibility.
In fact, I did not understand anything there. So, you must not expect me to enlighten you! I have nothing to propose to you except to do yourself that which I was compelled to do during that hazy period: to struggle obstinately in the fog, pulled by the hope that by means of light, the remedies to heal my painful ailments would be found.
I did not understand anything there but Jeanne had changed into another person, whom, very often, I hated. But for some moments, she was becoming the wonderful fairy with whom I wanted to set forth for eternity. So we were in love. However, those holidays of the Garden of Eden had been granted to us in an increasingly tight-fisted manner.
So much the worse. The important thing wasn't that the miracle became rarer, and rarer, but that it was still happening. It was a sign: since love sometimes was succeeding in taking the upper hand, it was always alive.
Why is the orgasm of love a product of the natural selection?
I have said all too well “Miracle” and I maintain it, above all if you find that I am exaggerating. In the act of love, when the flesh finds itself and then the bodies give themselves to each other, at the moment where fusion of bodies takes place in a sparkling flame of love, it's there when the miracle takes place.
Do you know about the mother of life, Mômmanh who watches over and quivers all along the space and in infinite time, as well as amongst the billions and billions of stars and in the slightest grain of pollen or in the most trivial molecule of water? Do you know our tireless Mômmanh, she who always watches over, who never dozes off, she who wants to see the toad, the doe and the lotus live eternally? Ah well, when she perceives this duo of sincere love, she recognizes the powerful father of life and of existence whom she loves so much. So, amidst the waves of happiness which she has felt at the great moments of her conquest over existence, she chooses the best and she sends them to us : the birth of the stars, the opening of life, it's blooming in the ocean...
That is the ecstasy, the “Miracle”.
Therefore, when once again, the “Great Voyage” had been granted to us, I was seeing the sign that our love was once more escaping from a nightmare: we had not “screwed up”, we had “made love”.
Why is the deceived lover the last one to perceive it?
Yet, the moments of ecstasy could have well been nothing else but false. Oh yes! Jeanne who had seduced me could have been nothing but a swindler. In the personality of a good red fairy whom I loved, could it be that she had nothing true but beauty, youth and the feminine sex? And even the love which she had for me, since at the moment of fusion of the bodies, Mômmanh no longer allows women to cheat.
I could have asked that question: “The true Jeanne, isn't she simply the woman, loving for sure, but for me hateful, who poisons my existence?” But I never asked myself this question. At least, not yet: it takes much more for me to lose my faith.
Let us suppose that a man, having consecrated all his life to win one of the best places in heaven, arrives at the last moment of his last hour, nailed to his dead-bed, and that the last breath of his conscience reveals to him that horror : there is neither hell nor paradise !... For his soul and his body, everything is over... Does he go, in a supreme spasm, to vomit all that to which he has consecrated the best part of his life?
Most probably the answer is no.
Every time that he feels stressed, man entrusts his intelligence to find him an appropriate answer. It is almost the same: that's life.
There happens that stress is a desire at the same time important and very strong: desire of love, desire of a child, desire of glory, desire of eternal love... In this case, led by Mômmanh, my ego orders a profound research: “What sort of means approximately sure was my environment offering me to allow me to satisfy my desire?” Intelligence must find him the best answers possible and their reliability to a vital importance.
This search could last for some years and cost some very great efforts. Also, when she has arrived to her time limit, it is difficult to conceive that she starts it over again. Therefore, her answers are recorded like articles of faith, like an ideology, except that, this time, the phenomenon is not collective.
Here is explained why the deceived husband is always the last to discover the infidelity of his beloved spouse, and reciprocally.
The origin of a great deal of consuming passions or vices: the game, avarice, jealousy.
The process is upset when the desire is so strong that it becomes a demand. I have evoked that insanity in a moment while talking of spoilt children and of my own madness. There are also other demands even disabling, which do not attract spoilt children, even if education has given them birth. Certain parents, for example, instil in their child the absolute need to succeed brilliantly in his studies, going sometimes as far as driving them to suicide. Will you say that those unlucky children are spoiled?
Here are some more examples. Do you know a sure method to assure your immortality? To guarantee your health? Or your fortune? Or your love's fidelity?... No, surely: in any undertaking there are always some risks of failure. So, the unhappy one who refuses his risks becomes a slave of his demands. He can never acquire the serenity which gives him reasonable self confidence, since nothing can bring him such confidence. He is condemned to look always for more reliable means to calm his insatiable thirst, his passion which will destroy him.
Never enjoying peace, never enjoying freedom: always in anguish, day and night.
Does he demand fortune? He is a miser. Is it the luxury he cannot do without? It's probably a big-time gambler.
Does he want to have all the love of his better half? And behold a jealous person. His existence has become unbearable. He can renounce to it, or proceed towards madness. Luckily, I had seen my mother's life transformed into hell because of this slavery and I did the impossible to avoid it.
How far is the Buddhists' control of desire healthy?
Here is how Buddhism, which has the “control of desire” as its primary objective, helps men to live: it relieves them of their demands.
I realised that we had left a dying person at the doors of paradise, some paragraphs above. We now can set him free. If his faith answers the desire to live for ever and if it rests on solid rational principles, our dying person will take his last step believing he is entering paradise. But if instead of a simple desire, he has a demand, doubt will have tormented him all through his life and this torment will redouble itself at the moment of death. It is only later that he will finally experience peace.
I came across a situation comparable to mine; I still had the time to correct my mistake and to reshape my life which, in spite of everything, toned down markedly the pressing character of my desire. I was hooked so strongly to the love of my dreams, to my fairy of peaks that the reality of the new Jeanne did not manage to impose itself on me.
The exquisite naivety about which I have spoken to you at the very beginning strengthened my blindness. Since a beautiful girl was a fairy, a perfect being, she could not be neither silly, nor crafty, nor naughty, nor sick. Not even mortal.
Luckily enough, Jeanne could not refrain herself from exaggerating as she normally did.
On her request, I had lovingly and for a long time prepared the itinerary of our voyage: she threw it in the dustbin and drove us at the will of her fantasy, “free, she said, and no longer chained like bloody fools to a stupid programme.”
During our wandering, she happened to vanish for a whole afternoon, without warning: she reappeared in the evening at the camping where I was strolling in the rain, in the company of a handsome young man who invited us to dinner. During all the meal, she embraced him with sweet looks, then she did not withdraw her hand when he pressed it for a long time in his, finally, she said that she intended to follow him while I was going to put away the tent, but seeing my expression, she gave it up.
I could not close an eye all night long, while she slept peacefully, huddled against me. The heat of the waves emitted by her body could have told me that she still loved me, but I did not know yet how to translate that language. The following day, when I had told her what was tormenting me; she accused me of being a jealous pervert. The scene lasted all day and however, in the evening, love was still holding me chained.
Then Jeanne started to treat me as if I had been her bastard and she a sadistic teacher. All right, she did not beat me with a stick on my nose: she was doing worse. For whole days I had to follow her as if she held me on the lead, and I was ignoring all our time-table, supposing that there was one. If I dared to ask what she needed me for, she shouted at me furiously: “Poor coward, look at you far away from your niche, hey! You are scared stiff and that gives you the impression that you are walking on nails, you wretched person! Well, I am free! You only have to follow me, as long I still put up with you. Let's go! Wake up and go ahead. And then close your mouth; otherwise you are going to swallow some flies.”
The episodes were linked to a mind numbing rhythm, all the more tiresome the ones as well as the others.
“- Jeanne, the tank is dry. I am going to top it up.
One evening when she had slept without warning me, as usual, I found the tent bolted on the inside. I dared to call her and ask her very politely to open for me: “Ah! There you are! And you kindly wake me up just when I was dreaming of Gérard Philippe. Instead of my handsome knight, it's the head of a nightmare that comes to harass me once again. Well no! It's my night of rest. Go to sleep in your car, my bloke...”
It was for me another sleepless night. I spent it tearing away the rope which was still tying me to Jeanne. At the beginning the image of the sweet fairy that had taken me in her arms and offered me her body emitting lights from its pores was imposing itself very frequently. That vision towards which I was stretching my arms while sighing was being over imposed by another vision, that of a virago who had just chucked me out.
What exceptional resources do we have to face the immediate dangers?
Since I did not understand anything there, my demon of which you know, did not fail to come and propose his services kindly, but I crushed his mouth with a blow of my heel. When my existence is in immediate danger, my Mômmanh mobilises all unsuspected forces to send it back to its niche.
Little by little, I became capable of telling myself: “The true Jeanne is that witch a hundred times worse than your mother. Forget the other. Since you could light up the love of a beautiful girl, you will soon find another one. There are at least billions of them on earth, and you only, will not find the one you are looking for?... Come on then!... Rather ten times not one!... Open your eyes well in order not to miss her. And try to read well in her eyes the call of the ocean if it's found there.”
The used seats of the Deudeuch linked together with the humidity of a rainy night had broken my body and my bones. In the early morning, it was painful to stretch myself. It was still raining. I understood in a new way the expression “not to feel well”: my senses perceived the surroundings with an unusual acuteness, but it seemed to me that the messages which they were sending me had a strange taste, as if a different body not mine had sent them. “I was no longer feeling well” my own body: it would have been wise of me to rest a little before taking up the road again. I glued my ear to the tent and I listened: Jeanne was sleeping peacefully. That was my resentment, I was careful not to wake up the dragon. Since I was not suffering any longer after my decision had been taken, I considered it useless to provoke a new fit of anger.
I had the opportunity of finding a youth hostel already opened the sweet warmth of which linked to a copious breakfast cheered me up. I was going to look for Jeanne. When we were seated, I said to her.
“- How is it that you have slept well? Don't our fights make you suffer?
She swallowed her breakfast and left quickly. I did not even see that she was pale, oh how much! She dedicated an excessively long time to her personal hygiene and I didn't guess that she needed to be on her own to cry. Afterwards she started to sort out her belongings with frenzy, something which she practically never did before. Therefore, I was not surprised that she had done that work in a very illogical way, mixing the dry with the wet, the dirty with the clean, and her things with mine. She did the luggages three times, always with the same ardour which resembled rage.
I was feeling myself like a prisoner just completely relieved
of his shackles. It was necessary for me to learn again how to move freely. I did not hate Jeanne any more, because one has to love in order to hate. So tell me, how on earth could I become aware of the suffering she was concealing in such a staunch manner?
It is much later that I understood. At the holiday camp of Montchauvin, the red fairy of the suburb had given me what could render me a mad lover; little did she care whether it was true or fake. Later, when she believed that I was well attached, she undertook the taming: it was necessary for me to submit myself to her will. But, in keeping with her character, my fairy having removed her make-up did not do things by halves: in big bucketfuls of ice water, she had done training excessively enough to sober up any man who is drunk with love.
Then, since Jeanne, swept away by her too great a momentum had rendered herself rejected, she had nearly stifled my love and it was not too painful for me to bid her farewell after our arrival. However, she had quickly become again charming. I feared falling again into her nets. I wasn't going to visit neither her family, nor her glorious and proletarian red suburban city: Vieuvy-sur-Seine.
After having left her, and her luggages, at the door of her block of apartments, I started back on my way. These idiotic lines came back to me:
They were crying out to me. I started to declaim them at the top of my voice. That did me a world of good.
In spite of a strong tempest which was pouring bucketfuls of water on my windscreen and which left me guessing now and then the route, I drove Nouvelle Deudeuch as far as my house, at the heart of the hedged farmland
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