(If you find out "Mômmanh", "existence", "need of existence", please go to chapiter 2 to learn more...)
Did she come from the fairy tales, this magic belief, which still clings on to my being and to my enduring roots and which I shall be careful from now on not to destroy because after all it brought me happiness, a conviction which however has cost me a lot of sentimental disappointments and which has prevented me from enjoying love before an advanced age and led me into dissipating my plentiful energy in the wombs of those women in Dakar who introduced their trade:“I'm selling my behind”, which, at last, if I had not been careful enough, would certainly have landed me into even more solitary relief still more filthy, masturbation or fantastical aphrodisiacal dreaming?
As far back as I can remember I have always seen the beautiful creatures of the opposite sex, adolescents, young girls or women, as fairies. Yes, “fairies” is the word which is closest to my vision of feminine beauties. In other times without hesitation, I would have called them “divine”. Nowadays, I do not dare believe that beauty is the essence of divine. And yet?
So, since women seemed to me the heralds of the marvellous supernatural, how could, I, a mere human kneaded with mud and cripple with imperfections, have been able to shake off my coating of which I am made, and fly towards the infinite and drink the milk of the immortals? To be welcome on the bosom of a fairy, I could see only one way: practice the only magic of which I am capable, that of the Word. Having like this, created valiantly my part of immortality, by means of beautiful language, I would have gained a place in the harem of the eternal women.
However, I wasn't completely a fool, unless I still am. Women are made of flesh, just like you and I: I know this well and usually feel it. However, from time to time one of them escapes the common lot. On seeing her, any idea of a spot on the face, of a wound, of an illness, of aging seemed inappropriate. Still worse: such an idea has the appearance of a blasphemy.
The one that has just appeared is beautiful and I would follow her everywhere. But her beauty is so precious to my eyes, that I feel unworthy to have her, even for a moment. That's all.
To the beauties I dreamt of, I wrote exalted letters. The divine words should have made them pine for new bliss which I alone could bestow upon them. At least one of these fairies, the least “silly” I thought sometimes because I was not very bright at that time - should have heard my song and felt the irresistible need to drink from its source. Together we should have stretched on a carpet of moss, amidst violets, near the fountain, caressed by the gentle rays of the sun, our guest, and lulled by the birdsongs. There, she would reveal to me all the splendours which the common mortal must not see and, together, we would have sailed for the great mystery, a voyage without return where everything would have been given to us, the definitive instant when we would take flight from the unbarred human prisons and discover that the infinite universe has been given to us, against all the odds and in spite of the mortal imperfections that afflict our terrestrial life.
Alas! It was not to be. Worse still! If all beauty was of a divine nature especially when possessed by a woman, my friends would have only a really vague conscience, an unsteady and pale outline of a conscience, my friends who, between us, heaved lack of respect - or ignorance - till they called them “tarts, bitches” or still old bags, my friends all the same obtained in spite of everything and sometimes easily what I desired so much; they screwed up! while I continued to sigh between two crisis of epistolary delirium. When they wanted to be gentle, they called me “Poet” and they gave me good advice about how to achieve my goals, and at other time, discouraged in their helpful task by my bad will of obstinate dreamer, they attached a mocking nickname; “Pouette-Pouette!...”
In that case as in the other, I had not gone a long way. It also happened that they made of their amorous feats such realistic stories where the marvellous element found itself massacred by the nauseating traits of the type: “She screws well... but how she smells, that bitch!”
Now, I believe that they also realized the supernatural character of beauty. However, they weren't prepared to think of carnal love as a sacrament. The old monstrous belief, according to which coitus is dangerously impure, still eroded, but there persisted the idea that nevertheless it was a filthy act. Now, you know that men, as opposed to women, don't need to be in love in order to feel a violent desire; you also know that they are tortured by the quasi-permanent urge to spurt their semen in any vagina granted that its owner belongs to the great mass of “screwables”. This is why the old superstition suited my friends fine. In fact, the act of coitus, being disgusting, couldn't be associated with love, so pure. Therefore, there was no need to cultivate this delicate plant to start screwing. It is also possible that some had felt their conquest tested in respect a love which risked snapping them.
In that case, if they sullied like this with filth, it was to elude it better.
Be it as it may, that method still disgusts me. Because it happens to me, yes, to look for a complementary love. But to start with the necessity of not betraying Jeanne, there are so many conditions to fulfil that I still have not managed to “consume” a relationship. While waiting, I make do with the delicious garden peaches. Well. To hell with greed! In any case, I don't intend to steal some moments of eternal happiness from a beauty pretending to give her what she expects from a lover.
What taste can stolen love have? In any case, I don't want to try it.
When an immaterial beauty dazzles me - immaterial certainly, but endowed with two warm heaving breasts, the rump of a frisky filly and generous lips -, when I am damned for her, when the full power of the divine breath cannot liven her up in my dreams and when like a sewer's rat I cannot glimpse the slightest chance of sitting in her coach, I tell myself: “If the nature of beauty is indeed divine, the poor girl who is endowed by it is only like me, a frail human being vulnerable to the dental caries and to diarrhoea, whose soul woven with imperfections struggles in the swamp of existence like mine and looks for a branch to clutch at.” Mate, this divinity over there is not a goddess: she is the daughter of a man, her tastes are human, she feeds on poor little human things. I, like anyone else, I can bring her some, if I want to.
Gifted with that confidence in myself, I could begin her conquest. Who knows? Perhaps I will have my chances. But I leave it at that, because I have my life which is already too crammed.
It is also true that, the more beautiful a woman is the more she is wooed. Among the crowd of men pressing at her feet, she will probably find the ideal, man, endowed with all the qualities (and faults!) which she is looking for. My chances seemed really slender. And yet, my condition could be worse.
Suppose that... - I forgot to warn you: considering my reader as my equal and my friend, I am on familiar terms with him - therefore, suppose that a superior race did exist, like the Nazis wanted to establish: many beauties would give preference to them. Could it be in this way that the Neanderthal man disappeared from our planet, replaced by the Modern Man, that is, by “ourselves”? Until the palaeontologists find the clue to the riddle I could risk this hypothesis, no less fanciful than the others.
Having said this, I feel similar to some rather ugly girls among their rare suitors, they choose the least mediocre or so they give up. But I hadn't yet acquired that half-wisdom and that is fortunate.
Besides, even if I had only eyes for the immortal ones, it seems to me that although I was not more successful with the others, that they were only pretty or rather without beauty or grace, or still, by a cruel quirk of fate, overwhelmed by ugliness: they all waved me aside with indifference. Faced with the success of my friends, I was at the same time angry, disappointed and perplexed.
After reflecting over and over again, I made up my mind to act on the advice of the Bible, for once, although in the eyes of my parish priest I had become a non-believer. I remembered the astonishing words, taken from St Luke's Gospel: “You must not worry during your life about what you are going to eat, neither for your body about what you are going to wear... Look at the crows: they neither sow nor harvest, they do not have neither a storeroom nor an attic, and God nourishes them... Moreover, look for his kingdom and it will be given to you as well.”...
In its literal meaning, this parable incites to sloth; and also leads one to understand that God can clothe us as he does for the birds. Yet I couldn't believe that its author was a fool. Moreover I translated it my way. The part I liked was: “it will be given to you as well”, and I understood it as “If you do all that is necessary to gain immortality, one day or another the immortals will recognize it.” Because for me, the kingdom of God was on earth rather than in some ever more hypothetical heavens. I preferred that formula to the certainly well-balanced but which leaves little space for hope, “Do what you must, come what may.”
And this is how I made up my mind from now on to become “a good man”. Dear reader, you know like me that it is not easy. Hope helped me to advance little by little just the same.
I must tell you that it was not my excited poems that turned the beauties away from me but two serious faults. First of all, a great dose of shyness; because they were fairies, and I thought I didn't stand a chance to seduce them, whenever I found myself in their company, I was always losing self-confidence and beginning to stammer like a stupid person. To that handicap, I had added another, still more effective: not only did I seem like an idiot but my mind was always elsewhere, in dark regions where nobody could join me. Like this therefore, quite often I was only the shadow of a rather sinister man.
How had I come to this? In the same way one becomes a gambler, an alcoholic or a drug addict: insensibly.
Spoiled by my success at school, I always wanted more. It was thus that the crazy idea of mastering everything by thought had crossed my mind. Everything, Everything, Everything!... An insane wish which became madness after transforming itself into a compulsion. Thus I wanted to understand everything and, to do this I was always carried away beyond the frontiers of reasonable thought. In that desolate no man's land I felt as if I were sailing a rough sea. As soon as I tried to get back to the coast and to the land of man, an undercurrent dragged me back into the open sea. Those years of exile in wild land, have nevertheless yielded something precious I will now tell you about very soon. It is a fabulous character which my sick mind has laboriously brought up from the dark depths where she struggled against a nasty octopus: it is my great friend Mômmanh.
“All this is quite confusing, you might tell me. - Don't be afraid, everything will clarify itself. Soon I will explain that strange illness when I would have introduced to you my dear Mômmanh I will tell you how she contributed to give me that poisoned present.”
Thank you, Mômmanh.
For the time being, understand that that type of madness of which I was suffering, estranged every girl looking for love. Therefore, when I made up my mind to become “a good man” I braced myself to dispel the demon which had grabbed hold of my mind. At first, despite my efforts they left me exhausted, and I only managed very partially. That “very little” was however enough to render me accessible.
Do I have to spell it out that I had plenty of illusions at the time? I still believed that the beauties, possessors of their mortal coils, offered them only to the deserving ones: conquering them by the infinite, the best. Beauty, like the face of God, can only be associated with goodness, which protects each existence to the banks of space and time. One more misadventure would perhaps have enlightened me, but I must believe that I still distrusted that revelation at the time.
Having gone into the trouble of having my front teeth fixed, going to the hairdresser and having dressed neatly, a young lady showed interest in me. She let me know that she was ready at least; to walk some way in my company and that she would have had the pleasure to offer me an embarkation ticket to the stars. Never had I been so close to achieving my ends. At last I was going to screw! My goodness!
But why then, good God! Why did I let slip my intentions to go to Africa to take civilization to the poor blacks who lived in darkness?
She replied to me: “I am not a nun of a charitable institution”. While I was under the double effect of surprise and annoyance, she had offered me her lips and I refused them. However, had she known that, in the Third World, the French overseas development workers spent most of the time in a life of luxury, the pretty girl would have followed me and I wouldn't have had a story to relate.
In any case, a pretty girl was interested in me: I concluded I was on the right track. I kept striving to become “a good man” and soon enough I was rewarded for it. My Love fell from the clouds like lightning.
I still haven 't overcome it.
After that day, My Love made me suffer many disillusions. In spite of everything, my mind has not lost totally the original conviction. I don't believe any longer in Father Christmas nor in the god of my parents, in the infallibility of Saint Lenin, or of his cousin Saint Mao. No, luckily, I have lost faith in all that. But I still believe that the female beauty is of divine essence, a flash of inspiration in the bear garden we struggle in, an angel guiding us towards eternity.
You think that I get carried away? That my mind blows bubbles in the air which glisten for a brief moment before dissolving in the sunlight?
Is that what you think ?
So, the time has come to introduce Mômmanh to you.