The First Signs of the War
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(If you find out « Mômmanh », « existence », « need of existence », please go to chapiter 2 to learn more...)
Jeanne was ravished to be pregnant. Her gracious silhouette of a dancer developed an excessive roundness which stretched the skin of the tummy which ended up resembling an enormous balloon.
She became like a pumpkin with a small head attached and her sweet legs of a dancer seemed then too fragile to carry such a weight. You know how caring she is to render herself beautiful at any time: oh well, until the birth of our baby, she accepted without the slightest regret the temporary sacrifice of her beauty.
After some months of pregnancy, her tummy started getting round just right but, as usual, it was necessary to go ahead with the events.
“- I am pregnant up to my eyes, she said. Do you realise that I chose you to be the father of my child?
- Surely! That I realise. The reciprocity is true, don't forget it: I have chosen you as the mother of my children.
- Are you quite sure that you have chosen? You are so much in a hurry to sow your half-seed that you would have placed it in any open flower. You are lucky that “Myself”, I chose you. Try to remain at the same level... Oh! He has kicked me with his feet, the little rascal. There you are my dear, feel it, my dear, put your hand there... Not here, no, there! Do you feel how he moves?
- Oh yes! I have felt it. But let us come to what you have just said. You have chosen me. I have chosen you. In order to avoid the repetition, why not admit that we have recognised each other mutually? What?
- Man begs for, the woman disposes. All the men, at least all those who are not ignoble and stupid brutes, nearly all men, therefore, beg for the permission to make love to all the women whom they meet, no matter how little they are “screwable”. They even go as far as paying for it! Women, no: they want to meet, among all those thirsty ones, the one they love. And then, they invite him to make love seriously. This is what you are like, you men, slaves of your ridiculous tip of flesh which does not deserve not even the nickname of willy.
- What? To start with, I am not “the men”; I am Georges, your adorable spouse.
- My dear, let us not waste time to discuss the angels' sex. We have a baby on the way. Oh! Provided he is normal!
- Again! One can say that that fear is obsessing you. But finally, why the devil would he be abnormal? I have never had such an idea.
- Ah! You are a man! If sometimes you thought of other things rather than yourself, you would have discovered a long time ago that abnormal babies, are born just the same here, there, and it is necessary to bring them up.
- If he is an abnormal child, we will bring him up as best as we can. And then, I will always be with you, whatever happens.
- Oh well! If you say so, you who are so prudent usually! At last will you be gentle with me, tell me? Even when the baby will be born, will you remain gentle? Oh! Yes, you will be. You are a kind man, you... I chose you because of that... And for other reasons, naturally.
- Oh! Have you chosen me? Truly, you are keen!... But! Surely that I will remain kind after the birth as I am now! Why must I change?
- Because a lot of men are like this. When their “Little Bird” is quite satisfied, they neglect the beautiful one who imprudently has given herself. She finds herself with a ghost of a lover, a memory, a child whom she must bring up on her own.
- You really have funny ideas... Besides, even I surely, I chose you. What a waste if it had been differently. These months of ember and ice which we have lived together, we have dedicated them, you and I, I and you, to transplant together our existences, like flesh which is too often torn up. Was that to make it seem better so that you fall in my plate, well done, like an exquisite lobster, my love?
And you remember how I drooled in Austria.
- Oh? And me, then?
- Well. Oh well, in spite of that, I chose you for life, and even beyond that. And if we have to drool again, I shall continue to fight so that we can finally manage to understand each other.
- You know, the dirty tricks played by men, there have been many and many that I feel very disgusted. And still, I fear that I am not enough. A man can quite well marry a girl for the little comfort she gives him, he tells her he loves her, and once she is his domestic slave closed in the cage, courts the other beauties, his true loves, like in the good old times when the legitimate bride was called “Little housewife”.
- Even at the times when that caricature of married life was tolerated, she existed more often in the jokes than in reality. In any case, if you doubt me to that extent, why did you marry me?
- Because you are all the same: even if, on the big day, your appearance is angelic, in the shadow, your subconscious of dominating evil prepares his wicked attacks.
- Dear! Oh dear! Dear!... If you negotiate directly with my subconscious, me, I am forcibly excluded from the discussion. You cannot come to an agreement to lead it in full light, so that I can finally settle my explanation with that cheating.
- Difficult! You know it. But I will do whatever possible.
- Thank you, my dear. Tell me, even women have a subconscious!... The faults which you see in mine are perhaps concealed in yours. It is perhaps you who are playing the comedy of love “to exploit me better, my child”.
- How is that?
- Because a woman is not made like a man.
- Because you are no longer our equal?...
- Equality does not mean identity : did I marry an idiot ?
- I hope not! Well, I agree: I have made a mistake. So do you want me to explain myself?
- She can make love without love, and if in that game she does not risk a pregnancy, it will only be a deception without importance. In that case, she puts her body at the disposition of a lover like whores do, and she simulates, more or less, the pleasure. In reality, she does not feel anything, if it is not a certain boredom or rather some disgust.
If she were a man, she would find pleasure just the same. Only, she is a woman, and that gift is denied to her.
- Here is a good moment which I learned, thanks to you. And so?”
Which are the specifities of the feminine sexuality?
Here, I must make you swallow a little theory. “Come on! A spoon for dad. A spoon for mum. A spoon for little Jesus.”
Consider what follows.
The rapists are always men. The clients of prostitution are practically always men. The old rich men who marry a “young girl” are practically always men.
How do you explain these facts? I believe I know.
Women do not feel the orgasm in the absence of shared love. So they cannot therefore steal or buy the pleasures of love.
Along the course of her obstinate walk towards existence, a conquest which we call evolution, Mômmanh has selected four gifts of the woman : to be able to recognise men of a certain standing, show them the way with her beauty, give them children and, finally, being unable to taste the supreme reward unless love appears to be to them present.
And now, let us find our lovers.
“- When we make love you are very attentive to my pleasure, and it is because we have had the right, very often, to the grand trip. But if we happen to remain systematically on the border, for a long period, you will ask me what happened to me. So?... If I were no longer loving, you will not fail to notice it : my body will not answer any longer to yours, neither to the warmth nor to the shuddering waves of happiness which we confuse, and much less through the final fusion in the form of fireworks. My body will be nearly as lifeless as an inflatable doll. Here is the reason why my love cannot be a deception.
- How can you be certain that I will be aware of it?
- I am sure because that has already happened. It has happened to me that I gave myself to you without being loving and you have asked me why I was elsewhere.
- Maybe... And is the reciprocity not true?
- Since you are a man, you can take your pleasure with me without loving me. So, by which signs can I know if you love me?
- It is more difficult, I admit. But do you show yourself so suspicious that you hardly risk deceiving yourself?
- Tell me, I have not understood well in what consists that feminine particularity...
- Don't render yourself more stupid than usual. After all, perhaps do you want a demonstration?
- Oh yes! With pleasure.
- With pleasure: at least, I hope... So? You must well admit that men are pigs!
- If you want, but it is necessary to believe in my love because I am at a loss what to say.
- Is it quite true? Horrible liar whom I adore. Oh well, I believe you... Hold on! Here you are for the pain that I have inflicted upon you!”
Why do women have the key to paradise?
Oh yes: Mômmanh has entrusted to women the key to paradise. Perhaps she had some good reasons for that.
So it is up to you to find the present she gave me. Weren't there the nectar and that ambrosia on which the gods of the Olympus delighted themselves, and which fed their immortality? I don't know, because since the end of ancient times, those products have become absolutely impossible to find. But, my frustration was not wasted and I was not in the frame of mind to taste the authentic pleasure of love. That image of a man who sent back the beloved mirror, I judged it detestable and so false, in the same way as it applied itself to me. I continued therefore to hunt down the misunderstanding which was separating us one from the other. And, since the washing had started, I went to put in all our dirty linen.
You know that, if I had been less naive, if I could have seen the future road in which we were committed, I would have run away on all fours. And I would have returned sheepishly, because our baby was due in some months time: it was too late to retreat. And now, in spite of the horror of what happened, “if I had to do it, I would go that way again”. So, it was better that the future was hidden from us.
I revived the discussion, by saying a silent prayer so that it would not lead to a violent dispute, as this had happened too often.
“- You make an afflicting image out of me. How is it possible, so, that you love me? And besides, do you really love me?”
How can I pose such a question? Every time that her body, melted in mine, it had sent me certain waves of warmth, which filled me, I had known, by means of evidence, that she loved me. So?
Exactly: it is not every time the fourteenth of July. Sometimes, the feast was classified as lamentable: we had only copulated and that act had taken a nasty aspect. In my younger days I could follow more or less such a disgusting meal. At last, and above all, there was worse than the holidays in Austria: there were some periods where she seemed to hate me.
You are not surprised, therefore, while seeing me put in doubt Jeanne's love and that even more because she had already lied to me plenty of times.
Now, I see and I am surprised. Now, I know that she said the truth.
I am not imagining that love, that construction made of living materials, is a perpetual building site where part of the work is set up while another one shattered. For whoever knows, it is already a difficult conquest: so imagine what it was like for us, naïve pioneers of the new love, who bloomed in the twentieth century.
Besides my ignorance of that time, my distrust was nourished by the memory of the Austrian nightmare which I had not stomached. Jeanne struggled just the same to convince me.
“- Shall we see, Georges? My word! But you have not understood anything from what I have just explained to you. That ultimate ecstasy which the sex technicians call “orgasm”, that supreme happiness, ah well, we women, we cannot experience it if two conditions are not fulfilled: the first is that we love our lover, the second that we believe to be loved. For us, women, that pleasure without equal can only be the fruit of complete love, that which it takes two to construct! And which gives birth to the irresistible yearning of fusion.
You understand that it is very important for us to know if our man is truly loving!... Tell me “man”, how many men, how many seducers disguised as suitors try to deceive a poor lover, by making her believe that she is the woman of their life, “to screw her up better, my child” !... Do they know what evil they do, those thieves of paradise?”
When that happens, the deceived woman has the feeling of having failed in her mission: she has taken a fake for a diamond. Suddenly, she loses confidence in her aptitude to judge men, a trust which she will find very painful to gain again. As expected, the price that she had to pay is the deprivation of the pleasure of love.”
Jeanne moved on.
“- So?... You who boast of having your thought open to the slightest current of air, how can you doubt my sincerity?
- It is true. I am quite compelled to believe you; if however, what you have explained to me is entirely true. No! Oh no! Don't get upset!...
But why the devil are you so stubborn in fearing that I am one of those thieves of pleasure ? It is quite true that I am only a man, dirt therefore, compared to a woman, and therefore, shame and sadness overwhelm me if I wreck like this the beautiful love which will make me move mountains...
- There you are ! If you believe you are amazing me!... It is no use hurting your back by lifting too heavy a mountain: I have already told you that I believe you.
- And you have realised that I am gentle... Well... Oh... Oh well...
- What else! Oh! Refrain from beating about the bush, it makes me nervous.
- By the way, you yourself you have not always been, gentle! Words which are even much stronger came to my thoughts, sometimes. What happened to us in Austria? Can you say it to me now?
- Oh no! Poor idiot, you want me truly to get angry!... Ah well. So much the worse! It is necessary that I say it to you some day...”
So, anger set in as suddenly as it had come along and Jeanne tried to explain to me what I had not yet succeeded to understand: some of the elements of her behaviour which I consider bizarre or unbearable. At the outcome of the conversation, I believed that finally I knew of her all that from time to time, was demolishing our love and, surely, I believed also in having the means to eliminate that poison.
How far I was from the explanation!
She feared and hated men as much as she was ready to love them. Not everything, surely, above all after having validated for her life love at first sight, which implied a mutual trust. That she loved men so much in spite of the repulsive image which she had of the greatest number amongst them: that should have surprised me. Ah well, no. I made the best of that inclination promising delightful things and, contrary to my habits, I did not even try to understand.
While I reflected upon it, it seemed to me that in her head she had enough beautiful images of men without a blemish to hope to find someone to love and that, on the other hand, nature as well as the human family had made her a woman. She therefore had a great need for men. Yes, she was entirely feminine!...
Can we infringe a natural law?
What do I understand by that ?... Our human intelligence, thus performing, allows us to invent all sorts of answers for the desire of existence: works, constructions, habits, ideologies, social organizations, arts, studies... Each one of us is the conscience of his Mômmanh, and she trusts us blindly for such a long time that our work will not contradict one of her rules which her expe rience has taught her, a natural rule. For example, if a man discovered that from now on he has all the possibility to walk on his hands, he will embark in a way against nature and Mômmanh will contest violently his decision.
“- Man who is so intelligent cannot be at the same time so stupid, you say to me.
- He has tried hard obstinately to shackle love.”
Having said that, it is probable that Mômmanh has chosen some behaviour which was of a certain quality at their time and which, now, are perhaps faults. In this case, if we are aware of all the process, the replacement of the absolute characteristic by that modern one will be easy.
Difference between the biological acquisitions and the cultural acquisitions.
Those means of existence invented by man are taught to children, passing like this from generation to generation. They constitute our cultural characters. It is like this that the femininity has numerous cultural aspects such as the rings in the nose, the giraffe's neck, the Islamic veil, the little Chinese feet, the excision. .
Which are the five gifts of the woman?
As regards my Jeanne, at first, I will not speak about that cultural femininity but about the other, primordial, that quasi-infinite expe rience which our Mômmanh has chosen for us: the natural femininity.
It is about, above all, the four gifts I have introduced to you. You can add a fifth which has its importance. It contains everything one needs for the success of the feminine loving sensuality : the grain and the sweetness of the skin, the firmness of the flesh, the sensibility of the breasts, the curve of the buttocks, without forgetting, of course, the holy of holies... We must call the English to the rescue to name that quality. It is sex appeal. A woman who possesses it is sexy.
Mômmanh continues to trust us in spite of all the bad tricks which we have played on her: it is that she is far from being infallible. Can't it be in the attribution of beauty to females, alongside with the masterpieces, you see the quantity of the flops, the unlucky ones which one calls “fatty”, “dry haricots”, “big horse” or “Normandy cow” !...
She is even mistaken, sometimes, in the distribution of sexual attributes. At the will of her fantasy, she goes as far as gifting some unlucky ones with masculine traits: the shoulders of a docker, the voice of a howling bull, a pirate's beard and also the big teeth of a bear.
Ah well, what luck! With my Jeanne, Mômmanh made only coherent choices: my well-beloved was entirely a woman, feminine right to the bottom of her mother of pearl toenails.
The breasts, there you are! Nothing astonishing if it is the first example which comes to my mind. It will not take you long to know the reason why. Therefore, let us take the case of the breasts.
They have received from Mômmanh three missions: to breastfeed the babies, to embellish women, and contribute to the pleasure of love by increasing the pleasure of the lovers.
To start with, see the quantity of aberrations that they carry. How many men have received them by mistake, to say the least under the form of well advanced outlines? How many women don't have anything or have too little? How many others would like them to be in the normal place, situated better to cast a spell on men, and not rejected to isolation, near the armpits, or feigning to want to heave up on the shoulders of the unlucky ones ?...
Let us think of their erotic function: normally, they must contribute in a courageous manner to lead the lovers to the happy final harmony, when the trumpets of glory are blown.
Here is how that happens, most often, with experienced lovers. The eyes of the beautiful one contain some promises such that the lover plunges, all dressed, in their ocean. There follow some kisses and the first embrace. Then, the breasts take over.
The beautiful breast with generous curves, full and perfect, the beautiful breasts tender and exciting like innocent white doves, the two fawns, all surprised at seeing the hunter, invite him to lay down the arms.
Man feels the need to touch, to caress, to envelope in his protective hands the two goblins: with that contact, a wave of beneficial heat covers the attentive bodies which, now, want to experience the follow up. The breasts stand out calling for caresses and kisses: then it is the whole female body which calls for burning caresses.
Right from that instant, it is enough for the lover to be on the watch out for the calling of his beloved one in order to answer as best he can: she will lead him to the apotheosis.
When on top of the sweet hills where they had dozed off, the two breasts stand out as if to inspect the horizon, a signal resounds in the body of the lovers: “Let us love each other! Oh yes! There is nothing better!”
When you know that a woman cannot know the real wish if she is not convinced that love is not truly there, you understand the big importance of that signal. If the lover is not too uncouth, he realises then that he is loved, since she has invited him to make love and not to screw.
The swelling of the breasts: how should you call that phenomenon? Must we have to say that it is the first of the female erections? It is too technical. Perhaps, as a minimum, we could use that vocabulary when the machines will make love. In the meantime, let us look for another way to express ourselves.
The signal which those two strong little breasts give out, I understand them better by comparing them to what happened when my grandfather made the whistle of his steam engine roar.
My ancestor was a grain thrashing contractor in those heroic days when a steam engine turned a cereal thrashing machine. Every morning, with some wood and coal, he had to feed a blaze in the heart of the machine for a long time to produce steam under pressure: the result was not evident, because he often had some leakages or other technical misfortunes. Moreover, when the pressure was not sufficient, the sharp roaring of the steam whistle was a signal for all the peasants of the surroundings, accustomed to the hard work of thrashing, which was at the same time a celebration.
It was the signal that the day was truly going to start and my grand father, an old man of unusual enthusiasm, went about with his favourite oath: “Good Blue”. If he replaced “God” by “Blue”, it was not at all out of ignorance, but because he did not want to sin by violating that injunction of the Church: “You must not invoke the name of the Lord in vain! “ Being a good Christian who he was therefore he exclaimed: “Good Blue of the Good Blue!... A hundred thousand carts of Good Blues! Come on, boys! All hands on deck! We are going thrashing!...”
Like this, as much as the strong breast stands out, that triumphant signal was saying: “Come along! The feast can start!”
But why the hell did I speak of the breasts? Is it a sexual obsession linked to the senescence? I would like to get on... Oh yes! I am there: it was to show you how feminine was my Jeanne. It seems that the breasts are not at all capable to play, that important erotic role. Ah well have you seen? She had really feminine breasts, very much alive, such as I could not ask for anything better. And, on that territory of femininity, she never failed in her promises: she was a woman: she revealed herself a woman afterwards, every time that she invented a new quality: she is still a woman, she will remain a woman until her last day and even in the other world which the future would graciously grant her.
“- What? You find I did too much of it. May you know that for my Jeanne, there is never too much of it.”
Do you want other examples?
You will never come to rummage in the motor of her car by assuming an inspired air: besides she does not even know how to open the hood. If the chain of the bike has jumped, rather than pushing down her hands, she will prefer throwing the vehicle in the ditch. Her feminine beauty, which she studies and reinvents unceasingly with so much love, she does not want to be soiled with dirty oil.
In another life, would she like to drive a bus or a lorry? It is necessary to fulfil many conditions, and I believe that that will never happen. To start with, it is necessary that she will be exempted from the handling and the maintenance, activities which are a threat to beauty. Then, the rear view mirror must allow my Jeanne to see all of herself and clearly. The profile of the vehicle will be matching with the elegant silhouette of the mistress of the premises. The piloting cabin will be at the same time intimate and spacious: the décor, will conform to the good taste of the lady of the castle, and will be renewed as often as she desires. Evidently, the photos of her wonderful children will be there in a good place, as well as that of her beloved one and, perhaps of herself, and that of her good grandmother. An extremely reliable system of automatic piloting must assure the running of the vehicle. Like this, the driver can take care of the most important tasks: welcome in the piloting lounge the most interesting clients and discuss with them the best way to lead her life, her indispensable social activity which certain ignorant people, with a scornful tone, call chattering.
Therefore, for that time, and although she operates only by feeling, Mômmanh has well succeeded in her feminine ideal. I had every right to feel fulfilled, I who loved women so much.
And the cultural femininity, which generates history, did it succeed equally?... Ah well, no!... Very often even, I have thought that she was irreparably spoilt. It is true that I was not capable of understanding the process which had led my well beloved into fearing men and, sometimes even hating them.
What cultural acquisitions of the child favour his studies?
The little man learns the existence in his family, principally besides god, his “Father”, and his goddess, his “Mother”. He learns a great deal at a tender age. It is there that the structures of his thought are formed, and it will be very difficult, nearly impossible to modify them afterwards. If the tastes and the necessary steps for the formation of a cultivated thought are not acquired yet so, the child cannot succeed in his long studies.
But, the failures in the education of my beautiful one were elsewhere.
It was in her family that Jeanne learned to distrust men as well as to love them.
Her grandparents were Spanish immigrants. They had come to France after the First World War, to escape the great poverty which they had in their country. (I cannot speak about the misery, because the great pride of that people forbids me from using that term. ) They decided rapidly to found a line in our country, and France became their homeland. Following a tradition that they had not dreamt of questioning, they had many children of whom some died.
The will that they put into becoming French could not forbid them from keeping certain values and certain Spanish customs. It was their cultural heritage of which, very often, they were not aware, being to such an extent part and parcel of them, a little like their faith and their pituary gland.
All that, in your childhood, you have integrated, whether good or bad, or even still like having a normal behaviour, do you believe you can do without it? Even if you make use of all your will power, it is impossible. In the first place, you will not manage to get rid of an accent! So, those precious know-how's and those deep attachments, acquired during youth, both during the moments of wonder as well as in those of fear, and which are like grafted in your being, all those veins of your soul, even if you accept to bleed to eliminate them, they are there for the whole life. As Maurice says, “One can never redo himself.”, whatever the learned pedagogues of our times say about it. (Maurice is a happy vagabond who sometimes came “for a drink” to our house, and whom Estelle loved to quote as an intellectual guide. )
All this to tell you that Jeanne's grandparents had Spanish roots which were still very strong, and fresh. Her mother, Paloma, pushed that way just as well by the will of her parents rather than by the necessity to integrate herself, discovered the French way of living at her neighbours, to start with, then in the street, and finally at school. In truth, she was quite often led to choose between the two cultures.
On the French side, she liked the status of the woman right away, so much so that her mother secretly praised her. Later on, the communist party had to strengthen that choice, because it needed to be a hundred times more equalitarian than our bourgeoisie republic.
If Paloma's mother, tied by her origins, was incapable of accompanying her daughter in that emancipation, she was aware of the benefits derived from it, certainly confused, but with sufficient force to encourage her daughter to take advantage of them. Such a point of view was in tolerable to her husband Mr. Gomez: it is because she took advantage of his absence to indoctrinate Paloma: “Oh my girl, above all, don't have ten children like me: what a lot of suffering!... And then, you know: to be free, you have to earn money. Like this, if your husband is unbearable, you can go away...” She said that in Spanish, the language of her heart.
As far as the good husband was concerned, the status of the woman in the Spanish tradition seemed like a sacred value to him. That his wife or his daughters could depart seriously from it was unacceptable for him.
Why is the foreigner attached to his cultural origins?
However, his wife's sole and his were both originating from the same Spanish mould. But you know that our Mômmanh, the one who watches over our human nature, favours our ego every time that it is possible. Now, the status of the two sexes in France seemed, with regards to the Spaniards, advantageous for the women and de -spoilt for men. Therefore, by being equally attached to their values of origin, when they were faced by the problem of French feminine emancipation, father Gomez showed himself intransigent while his wife was rather more flexible.
What had to happen materialised itself.
The little Paloma had to help her mother in the housework, which was quite heavy at that time when linen was hand washed. Her brothers not only were exempted from those works which would have dishonoured them, but during mealtimes, they sat at table like little men, and their sister had to serve them. She did not have the right to hang about after school, neither to play in the road. Evidently, her brothers had all the freedom.
It was them who had to be good students in the French school, to integrate well in the new homeland and to have a good position later on, not to be manipulated in the building trade, like their father. They had to become gentlemen, in that beautiful country. Unfortunately, neither the daily begging of the mother, nor the grand theatrical scenes which the father sometimes made, in one of his outbursts of anger whose shouting and the terrifying oaths were the joy of all the district, neither the severe thrashing which was followed by a series of terrible warnings, nothing had the lasting effect which everybody was waiting for besides the wounds, bumps and rarely sometimes the torn clothes, the brothers brought from school mediocre grading and the reproaches of the teachers.
Paloma was the eldest of the Gomez children. If she had been a boy, being the father's deputy and on condition that he would assume the responsibilities linked to the right of the eldest, she would have had the right to particular attentions. But she was only a girl, and her place as the first born, besides the pride of helping her mother, cost her only a lot of ungrateful household tasks.
At the same time, little by little, she became aware of the walk of French women towards equality, she discovered in herself some qualities equivalent to those of her brothers. So she wanted, with all her strength, to realize herself fully. It was not only through a selfish desire to improve her personal situation. It was also out of generosity: since women had qualities hidden for many thousands of years, like buried treasures, it was necessary to release them so that humanity would benefit.
Paloma had inherited some of the great concern for being respected, the honour to which the Spanish are so tied; she called it dignity. She modified the conditions like this: “The woman worthy of that name has to prove that she too is as capable as a man and, consequently, demands the same rights for herself.”
Like this, she set about studying whole heartedly and that even more because the public school was the best place to discover the new femininity which her mother should not teach her. At the same time, she learned what later on, would assure her a good position of an emancipated woman. And why couldn't she become a civil servant? Perhaps even a head?... In all respects, she could well show them what a determined girl was capable of.
All proud and happy, on returning to their poor house, she brought back her good scholastic grades. Her unjust parents would have seen, it would not take them long to discover, at last, that evidence: their daughter was as capable as her brothers. So, she would be their equal: like them, one could also sometimes ask her for advice. Like them, she would have had the freedom to go out in the streets of the district. She could even, in the near future, be considered by her adorable father, for what she truly was: the eldest of the family, conscious of her responsibilities and quite set on assuming them.
But irrespective of the good grades and the congratulations of the teachers, the compliments of the parents were late in arriving, with the exception, of her mother, who had a feeling of great pride fearfully hidden.
One summer evening, while the long holidays were approaching, the school headmistress, Madame Lépagneul in person, paid a visit to the Gomez family. She roughly said the following to them: “Your Paloma is an excellent student. Not only is she gifted, but she is hard working, diligent, and lovable, to top it all, and there is no loss in that. It should not be allowed to let these qualities be lost. Allow her to continue her studies in the higher course of my school; she will prepare herself for the competitive exam of the entrance to the Ecole Normale d'Institutrices and she will become a teacher, then a school headmistress, like me. Rest assured that her studies will not cost you anything.”
In front of that loving and nevertheless energetic woman, Paloma's grandfather behaved like a peasant in front of a queen: because he respected humbly in her a notable person, an authority of the country which had welcomed him. But, after she left the house, he became again the head of the family, intransigent, and unwilling to share his power.
And, to everybody's surprise, the lightning struck on the Gomez family: the father, who had remained too Spanish, cursed his favourite child because she had become too French and was not suitable for a respectable girl.
He started by finding that he was too poor to allow his children to continue their studies, even though the costs were not high; if one of the boys showed good dispositions, on condition that each and everybody in the family did an effort to help him, perhaps one could pay sufficient years of schooling so that he would become a “Gentleman”; but it was not a question that one would do so many efforts to educate a girl. Not only, would it be like casting pearls in front of swine, but, surely, she would then become like the French, if not worse, those French who, nearly all of them, are bad mannered, they don't keep to their place, and dishonouring their family, they are nothing but whores, those women who sleep with anyone like the dogs, and who do not know not even the fathers of their bastards.
No! A Gomez will never tolerate such an abominable thing. Besides, to avoid all the danger of that sort, on the way to school, Paloma will be from now on accompanied by her brothers, on her way there and back. And it was necessary that everybody should keep an eye on her so that she would not escape from her house to go and linger on in the streets infested by louts.
In Paloma the anger increased and started to erupt like a Mediterranean river reduced to a trickle of water hidden under the stones under the effect of a sudden storm, transforms itself brutally in a furious devastating torrent. And her much beloved father was changed into an enemy she wanted to trample on. While swallowing her sobbing, she shouted that “Yes, she will continue her studies!” that “Surely yes! She would become a school teacher!” that “She would go out in the street all alone, whenever she wanted !” that “No! She did not want above all her stupid brothers to protect her, because she would be ashamed of such a company...”
A couple of bitter slaps on the face interrupted her before she buried herself in the small garden howling to all the neighbourhood that her father was only an old idiot, the most stupid and the most nasty of all France, that “None of her friends had such a bloody fool of a father like him, luckily enough for them !”, that She would prefer to loiter about the streets rather than continue to live in such a family...
Jeanne's terrible grandfather became as pale as death before the reddish hue of an uncontrollable rage lit up his cheeks. All the family rushed to calm him. When he could finally talk, it was the most terrifying oaths which came out first. I cannot repeat it to you because I will hurt uselessly some pious Christians; whatever is possible for me to say, is that he pretended to defecate on a holy character, extremely venerated and implored by the believers; I suppose that such an odious treatment with regards to a highly venerated one in Heavens was given to him out of vengeance, which he had well deserved for not having spared the head of the Gomez family the misfortune of having such a creature as a daughter.
Everybody awaited the verdict. It did not take long to come. Since Paloma was bringing shame on the family, she herself would be humiliated. Like this, she would never yearn to start again to become an unworthy young girl whom nobody would want to marry, not even an old hunchbacked gangster. Because, if one let her be, she would not take long to be wretched like a bitch on heat which drags behind her all the dogs of the district.
Paloma was only twelve years old and she did not bother at all to find a lover; however, the young girl's shape started to stand out through all the childish clothes which were too tight. Above all, she had magnificent jet black shiny hair, fine hair, flexible and long which rippled like the waves of the sea always on the move, big sombre eyes bordering on intelligent curiosity, already intrepid, the outline of an adult face which would not take long to reveal itself serious, friendly, mocking and, above all energetic: such were the principles making up a beauty still free in the garden of childhood...
(-“How do I know it, since I was not there? - Because somebody has related it to me, by Jove!”)
This is what Jeanne's grandfather did to save the honour of his family.
He announced that he was going, on the field, to shave Paloma's hair and that she would go like that to school, exhibiting her shame. Neither the children's protests nor the begging of his wife changed his determination; on the contrary, they persuaded him that all the family was contaminated by the bad French influence and that it was necessary to act very quickly. Such was his power that each member of the family, whether he liked it or not, came to help him to shear poor Paloma. While biting her lips, she swallowed her sobbing. Her eyes, seemed, like blazes. Her hair was burnt.
Her mother gave her a scarf to cover her shaven skull and it is like this that she went to school. Luckily, the long holidays were near. Some wicked school mates took the opportunity to try and torment her.
Which are the two means of improving his social level? The good? And the bad?
Nothing surprising. You know that Mômmanh has chosen for us a wish for existence organised in six elements. One of the six is the bond with the others.
In that element, the place occupied by our “myself” in the heart of the others is very important. She has different names according to its positive aspects (esteem, notoriety, glory... ) or negative (rejection, shame, opprobrium... ). Just as, in a family, each child jealous of his brothers and sisters tries to occupy the first place in his parents' love, in society, everybody wants to reach a high level in the heart of the others.
There are two ways in which to reach that high level. The most evident consists in raising oneself even by means of actions of a certain quality which please the others. The other is without nobility: instead of raising oneself, he wants to lower down the others, by tripping them for example.
The first means, generous, enriches existence: it is a vector of life. The second, strictly selfish, impoverishes the existence: it is a vector of death.
Therefore, those few selfish schoolmates whom we can call “pests” pretended that the “shorn” one was so dirty that she had caught lice, perhaps even scabies or some other disgusting infection. They wanted to “treat” her: “Dirty Spaniard!... Paloma Lice-Lice!... Spanish scabies”, but the side of the kind ones was very strong in silencing them.
During the holidays, her hair grew enough so that she did not need to hide it under the scarf. Therefore, she did not suffer much from what should have been a big humiliation. No, it is not there that she's been hurt, marked for life!...
She had just lost her father: such was at least the feeling that she had for a long time.
That man so strong, so generous, so handsome, such a rock, a family pillar, that model of a man without whom she did not know how to live, that adorable father,- “But at last ! What am I saying? It was much more than that: the Unique Man, Dad... the only man of the earth, had just exploded like a soap bubble, leaving in her heart only a sorrowful emptiness.”
And he whom she had just discovered, the nasty man who kept the place of her “Dear Father”,... she hated him.
“- Have I exaggerated, you'd tell me? - Hardly, believe me. The Gomez family, doubtlessly because of their Spanish roots, adore exaggerating.”
After that memorable evening, the Gomez father did not miss one single opportunity to humiliate his daughter publicly, principally in front of her brothers. She had to serve them at table, stand beside them while they ate sitting, and wash the crockery all by herself. She was the idiot, the fool, the slob, the stupid, the debauched, the shame of the family. After the end of the compulsory schooling, at the age of thirteen, having obtained, in spite of the negative blows, the famous Certificate of the End of the Primary Studies, she went to work to help her family survive. At sixteen years of age, she had a lover and her father compelled her to marry quickly.
How could she love that evil father who was set about causing the unhappiness of his daughter? How, could she be so stupid, as to admire for such a long time that evil man?
Bad! Bad! Bad!... And however, luckily enough, she could not forget the “Father” of her childhood. Here is why, all her life, her heart like a Norwegian omelette, all her life, Paloma was condemned to hate men as much as she loved them.
It is like this that from time to time and in an unjustified manner, Paloma started to pour a torrent of insults on her husband, Louis, that good man who is Jeanne's step-father.
You see that great guy, wearing his eternal cap which served to dress his skull as well as to protect it from bad weather. He has left his overall at the factory, to put on more suitable clothes, nearly elegant. Since he has no meeting today, exceptionally he soon goes back home in his suburban house. It is Louis, Paloma's husband.
Louis is the head of a workshop in a big enterprise, shop-steward, and sympathiser of the “Party”, which did not prevent him from having a vast culture as well as various competences, at the same time being a loving spouse and a responsible father of the family. I will speak to you of his faults another time: they are minor. Louis receives the respect and the sympathy of nearly everyone.
All those qualities did not prevent Paloma from pushing him down lower than the ground and to persevere on him by shuffling furiously on him like a doormat, in the figurative sense, of course, because he is rather strong to make her fall by a flick. Her voice marked by a deep contempt, she let her man know that he is a good for nothing, a “wet blanket”, an idiot who does not know how to distinguish between an iron and a roasted chick, a wimp which flattens itself in front of all those who assume a commanding tone, a stupid who trips in his own feet while walking, and, to conclude all, a sack of shit with an appalling stench. Such sessions of humiliation, more frequently in public, take place brutally, like a summer storm, with that difference that there were no warning signs close by. In that case, the Grand Louis scratches a little bit his skull beneath the cap, the attitude of one taken aback, and then he seems to understand something and returns to his business, indifferent to the storm which is raging.
Ah well, that abnormality in behaviour, my Jeanne had inherited from her mother. The legacy had not been made in front of a notary, but in the complicity which, from time to time, united mother and daughter. Jeanne learned that as a ritual which seemed important to her although she did not know the reasons: perhaps her mother did not want to destroy the beautiful image, which Jeanne had of her grandfather. It is because even my well beloved spouse practised the sessions of public humiliation on her husband, your servant, but uniquely in mitigated versions. Besides, she only did them in the presence of her family, at the time of reunions, like those Christians whose faith has faded, who forget the duty of assisting for mass every Sunday for such a long time that they remain distant from their parents.
With that element of her cultural heritage, Jeanne had already a good reason to mistrust the masculine sex. There was another, the fruit of a personal test which should have inspired her with a definite aversion in the meeting with her male complement. Luckily enough, she has known how to find the means of her cure. But, fearing probably to hurt our love, she has never dared to entrust me with what she went through that summer evening, of her eighteenth birthday. I incidentally learned it through the gossiping of Claire, one of her childhood friends.
Following in her mother's example, Jeanne wanted the same freedom like boys, and even more. One had tried however to put her on guard against the dangers which the defenceless young girls have to watch out for: she had only heard the nuisances to make her return amongst “the well behaved girls”.
For some reasons which I will not tell you, because I feel you are impatient, she who still ignored the happiness of being my Jeanne, the poor one, had no wish to celebrate her eighteen years; eighteen years which seemed to her leading towards distress. After having shared in her family the birthday cake, she had gone out alone to the cinema.
She had seen Brigitte Bardot, the bold star of the time, who dared show the erotic beauties of her body as well as the rewards, promised to those who knew how to conquer her. She dared provoke the sexual desire in men to seduce them better. To those for whom the erotic games still seemed dirty and diabolic, those exquisite effronteries said that carnal love was a feast. But that was not a revelation for Jeanne: she had already loved, with her thought as well as with her flesh. Alas, her lover had left her for another, before leaving for the War of Algiers. Therefore, the film did not answer the worries of the moment.
Moreover the heroin, not only accepted to be considered like an idiot, but she believed that it was right; little did it matter, provided she attracted men at her feet, keeping them on the lead like Pekinese, and leading them to satisfy all her whims, very often ruinous. Jeanne did not want above all to play the role of the “Ravishing Idiot”, even with the compensations which a luxury doll receives.
Night was falling. The shortest way to go back home crossed the “zone”, those uninhabited lands of which I have already spoken. Jeanne had gone out like a boy of her age and also as free as a boy, she chose the shortest way. She was not going to let herself be accompanied like the retrograded girls! At the same time that night was falling, observing that half wild territory where she had played so often in her childhood, she remembered how it was full of beautiful hiding places where even the smartest parents would not discover you.
So, just a little later, she thought that a girl runs more risks than a boy when she ventures like this alone and far away from any help.
Suddenly she was overcome by fear and started to run.
She heard some quick, numerous, steps and a fit of panic overwhelmed her. But already three men surrounded her with their arms stretched forth. A big brutal hand fell on her lips before she uttered a sound. She tried hard to recall all her energies to try, in all ways, to escape from such brutes, they gagged her quickly then, amongst the three of them, they carried her easily, like a sack of potatoes, as far as the hollow covered with wild grass spread in the middle of an entanglement of bushes and brambles; it was there, formerly, one of her favourite hiding places, where she related the most beautiful stories.
And I, I will not relate the rape.
When that was over, one of the criminals, the one who seemed to be the leader removed the gag of the poor victim: “There you are. You are a big girl now, for good. Say thank you to the gentlemen.” But Jeanne started to vomit. There followed a series of violent words which roughly meant:
“- Hi boys. One has come across a crazy girl, started the leader.
- On my word of honour, she is completely crazy, that woman, replied one of the accomplices.
- Completely mad, retorted the other. She has loved it however.”
It is then that the leader of the criminals took things in hand.
“- But it's true that she loved it. Is it true that you liked it? Hey! My slut. Are you going to answer? Good God!...
- Dirty filth ! replied Jeanne who was overtaken suddenly by a wave of anger. You are not a man. You are no longer a beast: no beast would do such things. You are a sack of excrements.
- Fortunately for you that you have done me some good: that renders me patient. Is it not true, perhaps, that you have looked for it, slut? Walking all alone in the zone, you were looking for trouble, hey! But say, Good God! that you loved it ! You were horny, slut, and you were burning to such an extent that it took three like us to satisfy you! Isn't it true, perhaps?
- How could you also be so stupid? You, a real bastard, doing me good? You have calf's flab in your skull, to think such a thing!
- Be careful about your words, you slut! I am running short of patience. You did me some good, I tell you!... See ?... Even if I had proposed to do that again, at my house, from time to time, but gently this time, and with great comfort. True ! You could have become my darling, if you were not such a crazy girl.”
From where does the tendency to take our desires for reality come? How do you fight it back?
As I have already told you, for the questions which the existential anxiety poses, we only find most frequently some approximate answers which we must believe: it is because we have a tendency to take our wishes for realities.
Another law leads us in the same direction. In the realisation of the existence, if the altruism commanded by the ideology is a priority, the selfishness, the “myself-here-now” is our “darling”. Although it seems attainable to a slight extent, we grant it preference. When the altruist says: “No, you must not steal money from your grandmother.” the selfish replies: “She does not need it.”. And our three rapists, when one tells them that they are criminals, they answer that they are, on the contrary, benefactors.
In order that the fault caused to somebody else does not appear evident, the selfish persuades himself that he is right. It is in this sense that he takes his desire for reality. The culture is a means to counter that fault: when one is well read in everything, it becomes difficult to hide the consequences of his acts.
“- You did me no good! Do you understand, you big itinerant waste? Being three on a single girl, you have hurt me a good deal, little dirty beasts and great cowards which you are. Like some little queer depraved who ganged in three to beat up a kid at the corner of the wood.
- You do not want to say thanks to dad, impolite? I don't give a damn! In any case, I've had you, my slut! You saw how I stripped you off! I fucked you as best as I could, my pretty one. It is good, believe me: you have enough for your life! Ah yes, your little buttocks are mine, now: it has been so well lined with my impact that all your life will remain like that! And all your life he will demand it of you. Ah yes, you can believe me, my little slut. There you are! Here is my number. You can call me when you are craving...”
One of the accomplices interrupted abruptly.
“- Hey! Shut up! Bloody idiot! Do you want her to hand us to the police?...”
“- No? But it is not true. Do you believe in such idle talk? But that date of Cro-Magnon! You have never left your wood, poor retrograded child.
- Eh! Sweetly...
- Ah yes! I have screwed you well, so I have possessed you. You still believe that nonsense, poor half witted one! You have not possessed anything at all, do you understand!... Can an atom of truth go into your poor silly head?... First of all, what you call my “my buttocks”, in fact, it is the proper place, luckily, to make love and to conceive babies. It is there where you have placed your filthy stick. It is there that you have fucked. You understand when I use that sort of word? As if you have shitted in a chapel. Particularly a filthy old man: you have seen it easily. But, after all, that place can be washed just like any other. Since you don't know what it is like “to make love”, since you are too much of a non-entity to understand, you would have done better to fuck on the basin of the boys' toilets. You may be a wretch who found nothing to please girls, but not a criminal in this case.”
How three false ideas on sexuality cause havoc. They have a historic origin.
Along the course of its strong struggle for existence, man has cogitated a lot to satisfy his important needs. He has nearly always found some answers, which were adapted to his times. But, of course, his contemporaries did not want to do again the steps which had led to those temporary solutions: they have been satisfied with the formulas. The latter, since they touch our continuation, have become articles of faith transmitted from generation to generation, more and more detached from reality, and strong in spite of everything.
They have had to perpetuate themselves in that way, the three false ideas which we have just seen in action: “coitus is dirty, the adulterous woman is definitely filthy, and masturbation is a shameful feebleness”. Let us see the second.
There was a time, some thousands of years ago, where men understood like this the phenomenon of reproduction: “Woman is the earth, man buried his semen there.” On that wrong basis, it was logic to suppose that the grains which had not yet blossomed could awake, be it by giving a baby, or be it by contributing to it. The husband who wanted to generate his own descendants had to therefore watch over rigidly that his spouse came to him still a virgin and had to be kept away from other men. Failing which, she risked giving him bastards instead of the proper descendance. It was in this case that she was filthy. And it is that last conviction, detached from its distant origins but anchored in the heads, like a virus, which continued to cause damage.
“She has failed, therefore she is filthy, and so she is a whore.”
The third virus, under its innocent air, does some damage as well. Man produces a superabundance of sperms and he feels the need to dispose of it. If the masturbation is forbidden, for a long time because he has not found a consenting lover, he has to suffer the ever increasing pressure of the unfulfilled need. Will there be less rapes ?... incests ?... degrading sexual trafficking ?... if the solitary relief was no longer considered as a destructive vice of virility and even of health, if it was no longer shameful ?
Let us go back to Jeanne, still in the hands of the rapists. Anger leads her to take enormous risks: the leader of the wretched trio loses patience. He repeats to the poor girl.
“- Have you finished saying stupid things?
- No, I have not started. But I can always try. All that I wish for now, you see...
- It is that!... You have been gentle, just the same. So, make a wish.
- All that is wish for now is to see you three die with your throat open in a ditch of shit.
- Hi pals! What does she want, the slut?
- She is asking for more.
- Do you believe? It may be that, but she is too much of a filthy swine. A good hiding is what she needs.
- Come on guys, take it easy! I have a wonderful idea: we are going to have fun, you will see! Dédé, pass me your can of beer...”
Jeanne did not wait to see what was going to happen. Escaping from her executioners, she jumped across the brambles and she started to shout, out of terror and anger. Then, behold a miracle! Some human voices made an echo and a party of revellers who was passing over there came to the rescue. I need not tell you that the three torturers, the ravagers of love, had already escaped.
“- How? You might tell me, that particularly despicable rape has not traumatised her for life? - Oh well, no. She found the means to come out of it.”
How to look for their origin to get rid of the embarrassing beliefs.
Some beliefs have been born in the distant past, as an outcome of deep reflections which seemed quite completely pertinent. The law hardened them like rocks, then time fossilised them and now, they poison our existence. Ah well, the fiction-theory which I call Mômmanh gives us the means to get to the bottom of them.
Like in psychoanalysis, it is enough to relive their history by means of thought. So, in the light of modern knowledge, their absurdities become evident. Then the fossils start to crumble before falling in dust.
But my Jeanne did not know Mômmanh yet. And then, luckily enough, to eliminate the after effects of a rape, she had other remedies.
First of all, she had studied passionately the process of male reproduction: the superstition concerning a supposed defilement was diminished however. Afterwards, her communist education had taught her this: rape is surely deplorable, but like the theory of “The Struggle of the Classes” cannot be explained, the lasting trauma that it causes often is only in the imagination. Finally, and above all, my Jeanne had already expe rienced love: carried away by her impulsive nature, she had felt more strongly than others the delights which Mômmanh lavishes on us on that occasion. She wanted to find that happiness again and the despicable dirt of those three brutes was not going to forbid her from doing so.
In any case, it was not the rape which traumatised her most, but the fact that she had been attacked by same beings like her. Her great trust in human beings found itself shattered even more, particularly in what concerns the category of the “adult male”. To start with, she decided not to venture alone in the dangerous places and a series of nightmares came back to remind her very often how that wise decision was imperative: like this, she instilled it deeply in her head.
During some months, the act which we poetry engineers, I want to say “the psychologists”, qualify as sexual, the “sexual act” therefore, seemed repulsive to her, linked as it was to the memory of the violence inflicted upon her by those three criminals. Every time that she met a healthy man,- and there are plenty of them- , she saw the mask of the three brutes placing itself on her face. But she managed rather rapidly to remove it, that mask of a nightmare. Soon, she was capable again, when limited opportunities presented themselves, to experience a blossoming sexuality, as the sexologists well define it, quite useful to avoid myself the repetitions.
So, and even after a despicable rape, the still strong memories of the ancestral taboos can stop the formidable momentum which sweep it away. It is necessary to sweep aside those misleading troublemakers from loving in our times, and they were so: they vanished like the crust of an old wound finally turned into a scar eliminated, by the new and healthy flesh. As soon as the moment had arrived, my beloved gained the happiness of making love, better than before.
And now, my dear friend reader, do you want to do me a favour? Will you remind me what the aim of the long digression was? Ah! Yes! I remember: Jeanne had started to explain to me why, from time to time, she ill-treated me without apparent reasons.
“- Our baby will soon be there, she said to me, he must find a peaceful hearth, to develop well.
- That is what I think. So, there must be no quarrels in the household.
- No more quarrels in the household. Otherwise, hardly has he arrived, he will have already an obsession: clearing off the camp! And finding other parents!
- What a horror! So, you will no longer look for me to humiliate me even in front of the family?
- No, I will do everything possible so that it will not happen any longer. Besides, you perhaps don't know it, but after a quarrel, I am sorry and I give you a little treat so that you will pardon me.
- Since you say it to me, I believe I remember now, those treats. If I did not mention them, first of all I am waiting for other things.
- And what then?
- Some excuses by Jove.
- Some excuses! That, never!...
Never!... Do you understand me ?...”
For that time, I had the wisdom not to push the discussion any further. I was hoping that, later on, the favourable moment for a resolution of the conflict would come. Luckily enough, I could not then appreciate the stretch of the events which we had to face before arriving there, because I could have lacked courage and it seemed to me that I would not have lived, passing on that land like a soap bubble, except that the last one, that vanity bubble, doubtlessly does not suffer, even at the moment as it bursts.
Besides, even if the way in which she made me know it was detestable, wasn't Jeanne right on the subject matter, by judging that I was not worth of the trust? Remember the way in which I conceived existence as a couple!...
How do revolutionaries and their heirs struggle so long before applying the new principles integrally.
1789: “Freedom, Equality, Fraternity”. Two centuries later, it had not yet been integrally realised.
When a revolution takes place, that is to say a substitution of an ideology in power, it never happens that the people and the material means are entirely ready: to start with, one must satisfy himself with a demi-revolution. Equality, for example, which Jeanne and I had to contend with, like two dogs who wanted to fight over a bone, ah well, it was impossible to realise it right away. One had to wait for the lower class to be one over by the taste for studies, that he has the means to go to school, that he picks up the habit of controlling his ediles rather than trusting them blindly, that women were freed from the multiple pregnancies and other subjections, and I stop there, because I can fill ten pages like this...
It is like this that in 1968, the gap between the revolutionary promises and the daily life was particularly striking. For whom?... For the young ones evidently, at the age when they reject the security of the family life belts and they take the plunge on their own in the tumult of existence. Naturally they start by making an inventory of the fixtures. In that year, an important updating seemed necessary to them, a revision which their elders, engulfed in their traditions, could not understand.
In 1968 therefore, the young ones made the inventory of the promises which had not been kept, those of the eighty-nine as well as the revolutionary ideas adopted after: the sexual freedom, the emancipation of women, the existential freedom, the equality of opportunities, the equality in front of justice, the control of powers by the people... That made a sacred ramdam. De Gaulle never recovered from it.
Our generation has preceded that of the sixty-eight. It did not have the same worries. However, at least on the important project of the female emancipation, Jeanne had taken advantage.
All this to tell you that, my Jeanne so badly loved, as well as that too dear myself, we had a long way ahead of us before realising a crude attempt of the new love. But love, which, after all, is a fusion of two existences, isn't it always new, always to be invented, everyday, as one goes along governing our life and carried away on the river of “Time”? Yes, surely, but we ignore it: otherwise, the misfortune could perhaps have passed its way.
Africa had to participate in the following stage of our search while we proceeded tentatively and stumbled. The Ministry for Cooperation had proposed a post in Upper-Volta, a place which afterwards chose the name itself and which we now call “ Burkina Faso”. I ignored the existence of the Republic of Upper-Volta. After having consulted the atlas and an encyclopaedia, I informed Jeanne of the good news. She accepted right away.
However, I felt curious that she only prepared a simple suitcase, nothing else as if we were going on vacation for a few days. Taking my desires for realities, I attributed that fact to the proverbial inconsequences of women, incapable of elaborating a future plan and to hang on to it, because reflection is repulsive to them: they are like this without defence in front of the events which surprise and jostle them. Luckily enough, the men are there. Dear Jeanne, so fragile! I loved her twice as much for it. Ah yes, happy idiot, I was even more stupid than now.