If only I had met Molly sooner, when it was still possible to choose one road rather than another! Before that bitch Musyne and that little turd Lola crimped my enthusiasm! But it was too late to start being young again. I didn't believe in it any more! We grow old so quickly and, what's more, irremediably. You can tell by the way you start loving your misery in spite of yourself. Nature is stronger than we are, no two ways about it. She tries us in one particular mould, and we're never able to throw it off. I had started out as the restless type. Little by little, without realizing it, you begin to take your role and fate seriously, and, before you know it, it's too late to change. You're a hundred per cent restless, and it's set that way for good.
One fine day you decide to talk less and less about the things you care most about, and when you have to say something, it costs you an effort . . . You’re good and sick of hearing yourself talk . . . you abridge . . . You give up … For thirty years you’ve been talking . . . You don’t care about being right anymore. You even lose your desire to keep hold of the small place you’d reserved yourself among the pleasures of life . . . You’re fed up … From that time on you’re content to eat a little something, cadge a little warmth, and sleep as much as possible on the road to nowhere. To rekindle your interest, you’d have to think up some new grimaces to put on in the presence of others . . . But you no longer have the strength to renew your repertory. You stammer. Sure, you still look for excuses for hanging around with the boys, but death is there too, stinking, right beside you, it’s there the whole time, less mysterious than a game of poker. The only thing you continue to value is petty regrets, like not finding time to run out to Bois-Colombes to see your uncle while he was still alive, the one whose little song died forever one afternoon in February. That horrible little regret is all we have left of life, we’ve vomited up the rest along the way, with a good deal of effort and misery. We’re nothing now but an old lamppost with memories on a street where hardly anyone passes anymore.
Să trăieşti fără abţibilduri, ce jale! Viaţa e o clasă unde pedagog e plictisul, e aici tot timpul ca să te pândească, trebuie să te prefaci cu orice chip că te ocupi cu ceva pasionant, altrminteri vine la tine şi-ţi haleşte creierul. O zi, care să nu fie nimic altceva decât o simplă durată de douăzeci şi patru de ore, nu-i de tolerat. Ci trebuie să fie o lungă plăcere aproape insuportabilă, un coit prelungit, asta trebuie să fie o zi, fie că vrei, fie că nu. Şi-ţi vin şi idei scârboase în timp ce eşti zăpăcit de necesitate, când în fiecare din secundele tale se înghesuie o dorinţă după mii de alte lucruri, şi după altundeva.
That was the end of the dialogue, because, I remember distinctly, he barely had time to say “What about the bread?” That was all. After that there was nothing but flame and noise. The kind of noise you wouldn’t have thought possible. Our eyes, ears, nose, and mouth were so full of that noise I thought it was all over and I’d turned into noise and flame myself.After a while the flame went away, the noise stayed in my head, and my arms and legs trembled as if somebody were shaking me from behind. My limbs seemed to be leaving me, but then in the end they stayed on. The smoke stung my eyes for a long time, and the prickly smell of powder and sulphur hung on, strong enough to kill all the fleas and bedbugs in the whole world.
Cuando te detienes a observar, por ejemplo, el modo como se forman y profieren las palabras, no resisten nuestras frases al desastre de su baboso decorado. Es más complicado y más penoso que la defecación, nuestro esfuerzo mecánico de la conversación. Esa corola de carne abotargada, la boca que se agita silbando, aspira y se debate, lanza toda clase de sonidos viscosos a través de la hedionda barrera de la caries dental, ¡qué castigo! Y, sin embargo, eso es lo que nos exhortan a transponer en ideal. Es difícil. Puesto que no somos sino recintos de tripas tibias y a medio pudrir, siempre tendremos dificultades con el sentimiento. Enamorarse no es nada, permanecer juntos es lo difícil. La basura, en cambio, no pretende durar ni crecer. En ese sentido, somos mucho más desgraciados que la mierda, ese empeño de perseverar en nuestro estado constituye la increíble tortura.
Could I, I thought, be the last coward on earth? How terrifying!… All alone with two million stark-raving heroic madmen, armed to the eyeballs? With and without helmets, without horses, on motorcycles, bellowing, in cars, screeching, shooting, plotting, flying, kneeling, digging, taking cover, bounding over trails, sputtering, shut up on earth as if it were a loony bin, ready to demolish everything on it, Germany, France, whole continents, everything that breathes, destroy, destroy, madder than mad dogs, worshipping their madness (which dogs don’t), a hundred, a thousand times madder than a thousand dogs, and a lot more vicious! A pretty mess we were in! No doubt about it, this crusade I’d let myself in for was the apocalypse.
Serais-je donc le seul lâche sur la terre ? pensais-je. Et avec quel effroi !… Perdu parmi deux millions de fous héroïques et déchaînés et armés jusqu'aux cheveux ? Avec casques, sans casques, sans chevaux, sur motos, hurlants, en autos, sifflants, tirailleurs, comploteurs, volants, à genoux, creusant, se défilant, caracolant dans les sentiers, pétaradant, enfermés sur la terre comme dans un cabanon, pour y tout détruire, Allemagne, France et Continents, tout ce qui respire, détruire, plus enragés que les chiens, adorant leur rage (ce que les chiens ne font pas), cent, mille fois plus enragés que mille chiens et tellement plus vicieux ! Nous étions jolis ! Décidément, je le concevais, je m'étais embarqué dans une croisade apocalyptique.