MY LOVE OF THE YEAR 2000 - Georges Reveillac - Living Existence
 
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Chapter 4: Alléluia

Alleluia

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(If you find out "Mômmanh", "existence", "need of existence", please go to chapiter 2 to learn more...)

 

 What are the conditions of a great love? 

 

There are plenty of us who feel the illusory certainty of having finally met the “Unique”. It is probably a trick, another one, which Mômmanh plays on us. She must have inscribed this in our genetic code: “If you meet a being of the opposite sex which you like immensely, you will feel for him from now on an attachment as strong as for your father and mother.” Now, aren't father and mother quite unique in this world? No?...

A long time ago, in her memory, Mômmanh discovered the benefits of sexual reproduction. She let it have a place of honour, very near to her, endowing it plentifully with both desire and pleasure at the same time.

Recently, in her human memory, Mômmanh realised that even when it has nothing to do with reproduction, love is beneficial. So, she installed it in an ideal position and endowed it as if it were the dearest of her children. She gives the most beautiful gifts to those lovers whose existential qualities complement each other.

First, they should have the same values, that is to say the same objectives pulling their life forward. The moral values come first, but there are also the others. In this way one couple would contribute to culture and another one to horse breeding. Assuming this is to be the case, it is not necessary that they have the same tastes. If two lovers adore arts, for example, one can love the baroque and the other the classical style, one painting and the other music, the important thing being to help and complement each other as best as they can. If they both appreciate the good cuisine, one can like preparing the dishes and the other washing the dishes, one can love jam and the other cheese. It is necessary therefore that both of them have the best aptitudes and that their preferred roles should complement each other harmoniously, the way Mômmanh has conceived them: one nourishes the future baby in her womb, the other protects them.

Love is like a trade. No! Not of the type “I am selling my behind”. A sort of exchange where, rather than swap, one shares essential assets. Each shows to the other what they have brought and the two candidates negotiate for a long time: “- It is not enough. - I don't like this at all. - Add this and that thing...”. When each one is satisfied of the deal, love, which by then has gone to their heads to the point of overwhelming them, begins to strengthen the ties forged between the two. Soon enough these ties will become too strong that it will be very difficult and painful to break them.

So, the time has come to proceed to the first signature of the contract. For practical purposes, it is better to do that in a good bed. It is there where Mômmanh gives her present, when the lovers feel an outburst of joy. A spray of joyous sparks is produced inside them! It goes reaching for the stars. They are under the impression that they are delivered from their wretched “Myself”, melted one into the other at first, then together into the moving universe. Can they have joined Mômmanh? Perhaps have they found a window one which Buddhists call “the nirvana”?

What chances has he of establishing a love contract, he who has nothing to swap? And in what one offers the beloved, it is necessary that the concern to please the other outshines the concern of himself. This is how love elevates men.

 

 Why is the pleasure of love inscribed in our heredity? 

 

Increase my strength thanks to my other half, elevate myself through desire: here are the two perfect ways of enriching my existence. Mômmanh knows it well, she who grants sublime reward to sincere lovers.

What probability is there for two hearts in search of love to discover right away that they complement each other best. None. Even you are right in thinking that the negotiations of love will inevitably be prolonged and punctuated with crisis. Besides, very often, they are broken off prematurely. How could I believe that we were a chosen couple on the verge of joyfully climbing the heavens without even stopping to take our breath?

Ah well, can you bear to hear for a short while this symphony of the happy idiot?

I wanted to leave for Black Africa. Discover there another world, mysterious, new, simple, amidst an exotic and intact nature, an admiring grateful, friendly... world where I would bring progress in return for a very comfortable salary. Thanks to what I learned about the benefits of education and the equality of men, we were going to achieve remarkable feats in Africa. Ah but!

Ah well, Jeanne had the same intentions. She had waited to meet me to fulfil them. Many years later, I learned that she had never thought of expatriating before I talked to her about it.

We kept on knitting together our two existences: the agreement was perfect, the more delightful the more our beings melted into a happy couple.

I had been thinking of the big rustic house we were to buy later on, in the country, in the middle of a large park, not too far from the sea and close to a town steeped in history, a town of reasonable size so long as its centre of culture was well equipped with necessary facilities. There, our children would grow up harmoniously, nurtured by nature, culture and freedom. There, at our home, our friends would be warmly welcome thanks to my charming wife who would do the housework, shopping, and cooking. Our material comfort being thus assured, I would devote myself to filling the leisure of our guests generously: I would offer them games and excursions, I would start gripping discussions on the dialectic materialism, for example. I would direct the experience and together we would weave some unforgettable moments. The big house in the countryside will be the estate where our group, like the club of the Jacobins, would apply itself to rebuild a world of our liking.

Perhaps I would also do the washing, at times.

Ah well! You have guessed; of course Jeanne had been dreaming of such a country-house life without servants. It was marvellous!

Each stage of our mutual exploration this brought an unexpected revelation and the fusion of our beings went on, sparkling like a diamond, a delight, subtle, delicate, elegant, strong, perfumed, tonic,... exquisite! in a word. Ah! The good times!...

I am greedy. And I was hoping to become by dint of practice a refined and happy gourmet. The method was simple: for years on end, I would taste and compare the exquisite savours that I had not been able to treat myself to so far. By sheer determination, as time went by, the sensitivity of my taste buds grew sharper. And the moment would come when a beautiful culinary orchestration would carry me with emotion as far as the paradise of gourmets. Thus, when your soul has finally opened up to the music, a symphony of Mozart brings tears of joy to your eyes. Thus you will find yourself drifting in the starlit infinite ocean like the blue seaweed. Won't you?...

That put in current language: “To have one's head in the clouds”.

However, I did not envisage at all learning to cook, which, in my mind nowadays, has been improper: to each his role! Heaven had just sent me the cook. Therefore I was expecting my love to prepare tasty dishes; surely, because of her diets she could hardly taste them, but I would tenderly praise them, and even in public. Hold on! As regards this, a childhood memory has come back to me.

My grandfather was angry at my kind grandmother and, out of the window, he threw her evening meal into the mud of the yard: a bowlful of soup. Bread soaked into a lard stock served with garden vegetables: it was this same peasant soup which he used to eat twice a day; but, that evening, according to what he was saying was certainly an exaggeration, it was revolting. Well, that would not take place in my house.

That my loved cooked for me seemed as natural as breathing and, besides, Jeanne showed a lot of enthusiasm at this idea. Hold on! She even knew how to make my mouth water when describing her specialities, certainly delicious, but whose name I have forgotten, even though its mere mention makes my mouth water. Whereas I did not ask her for anything, she had promised to treat me to that dish which had to be doubly delicious, because prepared with love and on wood fire.

I hope to have the opportunity one day to taste it.

She shared all my tastes, approved all my plans. I loved her more and more until the moment when she told me: “But so, I'll have him always breathing down my neck!” I don't know why, despite all my love, that perspective gave me fits of anguish. I told Jeanne about it, and it made her laugh.

“- Locked up for life, the two of us alone, in a bubble, warming ourselves by the fire of our love? But soon there would be no more fire to burn!
- Closely knit one to the other like Siamese twins? No, love must not be a disability.
- Oh! What horror!... Tell me, George dear, you will never be far away from me will you?... that I can call you if I need you.
- I will do anything possible, Jeanne dear.
- Tell me, George, you will not take advantage to go and chase girls, hey? You promise me that, George? Besides, if one of those silly geese tries to pick on my man, I will skin her!...
- Then I shall have to bring you oranges in prison, my dear...”

Petanque ranked first among the activities which I wanted to practise without Jeanne. At the time, that game was part of a series of leisure activities where the presence of a woman was inconvenient: the bar, the sports events, the tierce well sprayed, hunting and fishing... A “good” woman wasn't supposed to drag in male company, and then she had quite enough to do at home. Therefore, from time to time, I would go for a game of petanque with friends as keen as I am. I would not fail to report to Jeanne honestly, the good throws which I would have succeeded or missed, as a marksman, as a checker or as a strategist: she would know how to appreciate.

I also contemplated going fishing. Like the intrepid hunter of the prehistoric time, I would brave the dangers of wild nature while, in the warm hut, my staunch companion would watch over our little ones. And I would bring home triumphantly a basketful of wriggling fish and throw it at her feet. - On second thoughts, it seemed to me I had better not throw it. And I would be happy therefore to just put it down. - and while my Jeanne would be busy gutting, washing, cooking the product of my fishing, our laboriously earned food, I would be gladdening her heart with the exploits worthy of Ulysses, letting her know how I, “Sly Fox”, thanks to an intimate knowledge of nature combined with a lot of slyness, I could have succeeded in bringing back big catches. And there once again, she would know how to appreciate it. Certainly she would not wear a collier of the teeth of my most beautiful pike, but she would at least recognise in me a fine fisherman and a friend of nature.

I also wanted to reserve a lot of time for my intellectual research as well as, every now and then, hours on end to walk cogitating reciprocally. You cannot have forgotten that I had made it my mission to do the world all over again?

While I would be occupied with my personal activities, Jeanne would be able to devote herself to hers. In the first place she would take care of her body and of her beauty, and I approved of it unconditionally. She would like this attend various places: the gym, the swimming pool, the hairdresser and the beauty salons, boutiques and shops... I discovered that that daily artistic creation is time-consuming and requires a lot of money: it is the price to pay for the evening star to go on shining and I accepted it with all my heart, on condition that she did not encroach on the time devoted to priority activities.

As for the rest, except, of course, for the occasional visit to a painting exhibition, Jeanne did not have other personal passions to satisfy. While I would be away, she would be watching over the brood and preparing a welcoming nest for my return.

At the holiday camp, remember, she was the administrator and I the driver. We spent a lot of time together, in the delivery van, on the mountain roads. Did the grand scenery inspire us? It seems so. We talked a lot, making our existences flow one towards the other like two streams.

It is like this that some of the fields where our common tastes lay, were explored: the trips, the cinema, reading, music, lectures, life sciences, gardening... We did not risk boring each other! Ah yes, even gardening! If she did not like ruining her beautiful hands by working the land, at least she would appreciate the pretty flowers that I would be growing, and she would be delighted to peel the vegetables of the garden.

I told her about my family, my friends and she did the same: there still, our understanding was perfect. Our two existences fitted exactly, like two parts of a torn portrait. It is impossible: I should have known better and be suspicious. What do you think?... I was literally ravished.

Yes. This is exactly how, from the top of my twenty five immature years, I was living Love. And now when the excess of maturity drags me to the grave, our love is no longer the awakening from a dream. Alas, time and again it had been threatened, scratched, brutally hurt, but it is still alive, standing firmly on its roots like a garden which one revived on the rubble of a battle field. There is a tomb in this garden. The price of our mistakes is heavy: we shall never finish paying it.

You know one must not go waging war without a good preparation: ah well, the same goes for love, especially when one must have children.

During those long breaks of those summer days we used to love climbing up to some high mountain pasture, on the edge of a forest, along a small mountain torrent where it formed a sparkling cascade. Here I took an icy shower that irritated all my muscles and compelled me to run a little on the slope: thus I satisfied the desire which overcame me and my boundless energy. Calmed down, in great shape, I had just stretched out in the sun, in the thick grass of the pasture, close to the marvellous peak of the flesh.

I learned from her pretty mouth from where only pearls and kisses could come out - Not lies in any case! - I learned that which I had been doubting a little but which nobody, besides my mother, went in to the trouble of telling me. I can well repeat it here where false modesty is out of place: I am very intelligent!

That is not evident and only a subtle mind can notice it. In fact, before speaking, I look for a long time for my words, so long that my interlocutors, run out of patience, express themselves instead of me or change the subject. You have understood that one rarely lets me speak. Under that deceitful guise, Jeanne had immediately been able to perceive my immense intellectual qualities and told me so straight forward, taking spontaneously in our couple the place which I judged as naturally hers: she would ask for my advice as if I were a benevolent teacher and she would wisely put into practice my enlightened opinion. Ah! A sly minx. She had known how to discover the best in myself. How I loved her!

At the touch of her tender skin, I felt warm waves of happiness which radiated all over my body. Some parts were more sensitive than others. She told me that she felt the same thing and I asked her:

“- Does an electric heater have the same feeling when the current is switched on?
- To know it, it is necessary to teach it to speak.”
she answered smilingly.

Ah but! What a wonder? What have I done to deserve this?

She revealed yet another thing, this time, I ignored completely. Ah yes: I am brave. I could hardly believe it. There still, it is not evident. It is a quality that one shows in the face of danger. I was not even convinced that she was right: so much worse, I accepted the compliment wishing never to be put to the test or, at least, not in the presence of my queen. Alas! It is a dog's life! I was going to be given notice to honour uncovered cheques.

One evening at the holiday centre, one of our guests had broken a leg and it was necessary to call an ambulance. The telephone box, amidst the chalets of the peasants, was watched over by two sheep dogs who were growling and baring their frightening teeth. If I had been alone I would have jumped at the steering wheel of the van to go down as far as the valley along the winding road which you are already familiar with; there, in the big village of Bellua, I could have phoned in complete safety.

But “She” was there.

So, I took a deep breath and took a step towards the threatening fate. I put on a determined air which, however, revealed itself to be a little stumbling and I compelled my mind to concentrate on that blasted telephone conversation. I refrained from talking: for if the semi-darkness concealed my trembling, she could not muffle my quavering voice. And “She” was there!“She” would draw near, “She” would have discovered everything! A stumbling walk, trembling hands and a quivering voice: my count had been correct! “Farewell, my beautiful one! And you, pathetic! Go and join that herd of creeps!”

Had that been a miracle, that evening, to help the scoundrel I was? In any case, it is certain that, like the lions of Daniel, the two Cerberuses that had appointed themselves guardians in the telephone box of Montchauvin lay at my feet. And the great adventure continued. I still tremble about it.

So do I say: “Thanks my God? Perhaps... led by an old habit”. Maurice, one of my favourite uncles likes to quote. “A smile from you and I can do the impossible!...” Rather, I should have said: “Thanks, love, you who makes us perform astonishing feats.”

With the same insight Jeanne discovered again that I was a born artist, that my taste was most reliable, and that I possessed many other treasures that I was not aware of: gentleness, patience, endurance, generosity, tenacity,... All delivered in bulk because we do not have the time to do a complete and detailed inventory.

But how could I stomach such a cramming of compliments? And in raptures, too! You find me stinking of pretensions: ah well no, rest assured. I knew well that I had not acquired in my short experience of a young man, all the qualities Jeanne attributed to me. But I believed, and I believe even more firmly, that man has superior possibilities to what one commonly admits. I was far from having embellished those talents to embellish our existence: but, to get there, couldn't I see life ahead of me and the strength which Jeanne's encouragement would give me?

In my exciting plans, I had neglected at least an important factor: time, the short time of which we dispose. But, aren't you there to continue your conquests?

My immense knowledge grafted on a great intelligence, my methodical, rigorous and open mind, my moral sense enhanced by generosity, my energy and my strong will: these treasures of my personality made of me only a guide. I would be a revered as well as a beloved leader. We shall discuss everything, of course, but the decision would always be up to me as well, as control of its execution. I found this constitution of our future family empire very wise indeed. But yes! it was still like this at that time!

However, I had studied at the Teacher's Training College and practised Marxism: those two schools held as natural the equality of man and woman, but it is necessary to believe that I had not understood everything. perhaps I have already said to you, at the Teacher's Training College, in the final year, I had studied in a mixed class, which was then an exception. Competing with girls, I could notice that they were as intelligent as boys. I still recall the conversation that seemed to me scholarly and being all enriched in imagination, in poetry and humour. The world which took scope beneath a new day was rich in promises. These conversations are delightful moments.

In spite of everything, like most men up till then, I believed that a woman should never “wear pants”. I was convinced that despite their intelligence, the girls had a capricious character, certainly charming, but that barred them the access to high responsibility. Therefore Jeanne would be the wise wife I have been waiting for. Although untidy, absent minded, impulsive, often clumsy, she committed herself whole-heartedly not to let down her beloved husband: my sensible advises together with the strength of our love must bring this too human a part of her being to become worthy of me.

“And I saw that that was good.”
(These words, in the Bible, are attributed to God when he contemplates the fruits of his creation. )

Yes, you are right to laugh.

 

Besides, Jeanne did not take long to give me the proof of her good will. I had an old Deudeuch which reached 85 km/h on that stretch, and even 90 or 95 with a back strong wind blowing in the sails. I was proud and I was keen on it. , I had had the intention of turning it into a pick-up car luckily, because I did not have the means to treat myself to another - and I was well convinced that the beauties who did not know how to appreciate it would be immediately discarded.

I used to find that her swaying sometimes surprising were a game in full harmony with the beautiful curves of our planet, surges of tenderness towards the landscape of some sort. Likewise, her figure of a peasant without pretensions who goes to the market and her modest behaviour were well designed, in my opinion, not to offend nature. As to her nonchalance, it allowed me all the leisure to observe the landscape without being hindered by the effort to pedal imposed by my preceding vehicle or the extreme attention which the racing cars of today demand.

The Deudeuch took us out for a ride on holidays. But why on earth did I want to persuade myself and convince my beauty that it was the best car of the world? Why did I go so far as to want to ride it up the mountains?

Here we are: having gone down a jeep path into the pastures, a really very straight path, we had flaunted our love in the mountain. The sun, the sharp air, and the tenderness of nature had done her good: it had continued blooming. It was time to go back. Deudeuch, in spite of all her courage, couldn't go back up the slope. Thanks to Jeanne, I didn't have any complexes. The car was an automatic clutch model: the engine running I went into the first gear, put on the hand brake, and I told Jeanne to sit at the wheel while I pushed behind. She did not know how to drive, but I could carry out a few simple gestures which I showed her: accelerate all the way, release the hand brake, hold the wheel.

The operation began well and I believed that it was going to succeed: Jeanne accelerated thoroughly, I pushed with all my strength, and the car advanced metre by metre, slowly up the hill. It is then that my love had an inspiration! It is necessary that you know it: when she is overcome by it, she acts immediately. - She suddenly went down from the car to help me push her! Deudeuch moved back quickly knocking me over without much attention; she managed on its own a superb half-turn, then it slalomed breathtakingly in the pasture and, without hesitating any longer, resolutely headed for the invisible valley faster and faster before planting itself far from us in a majestic fir tree that nodded its head as a sign of astonishment.

Then a great silence followed.

It was at that moment, in that sunlit nature which had regained its peace, that irresistible sobs burst out watered by a torrent of tears. Some cows taken aback came to see, then having given up understanding, went on grazing, an occupation whose importance left no doubt.

Now that I understand how much I was lured, stricken, picked up, tied and dragged by my Love in her lair, I know that those sobs were not part of a stratagem: they were true!

Jeanne doubled up in the grass, careless of her beauty. Through the sobs, the tears and the stray hairs which fell on her mouth, she belched out noisily a stream of words which I listened to piously, like a priest of Delphi listening to Pythia. Here is an approximately faithful translation: “It is always the same. I mess up whatever I undertake to do, George! I will never have children. I will kill them, clumsy as I am! Oh I want to die! No. don't touch me. You do not know anything. Leave me. I want to die...”

Oh dear! Jeanne's distress was too strong to penetrate my thick skinned vanity. I who believed myself capable of controlling everything thanks to my enlightened mind, there I did not understand anything of that apparently serious crises. I was distraught...

Now, I think I know what scared Jeanne to such an extent. But the moment has not yet come, I shall explain it later on.

So, my beloved one was overcome by a crisis of self-confidence, and as she did not want to leave it up to anyone, not even myself, to manage her own affairs, it was a tragedy. All the more so since, in order to carry out certain sinister plans cleverly concealed in her disguise of a submissive woman, she must have the qualities of a leader. Fortunately, with her, if the tragedies are severe, they never last long: they are swept away by anger like wrecks by the raging waves of a tempest. This is her natural defence to pull herself out from the dizziness of anxiety.

 

  Is the anger in a character hereditary? 

 

Ah yes, whatever the demon to fight against, Jeanne received in her biological heritage, a double edged weapon to defend herself. On one hand it is a quality, on the other hand it is a fault which Mômmanh pours into each one of us, but in variable doses. It is an extraordinary resource to face up discouraging situations.

Ah yes, you have guessed it, it is anger which gives us a tenfold strength but risks being dangerous.

Jeanne has had to receive a big ladleful of this irascible elixir and pass again in front of the water to have a second helping of it.

But at that time, I ignored all that. As for Jeanne, she knew that the time of anger had not yet come. Her “Man” was not sufficiently hooked for her to risk losing him by frightening him.

What did she do that day to contain her anger? I don't know anything, but in any case she managed. Later on, I would regard this event as evidence of her aptitude to control herself in case of necessity, which would be of use to us several times.

I believe she channelled that suppressed anger simply towards an increase of tears which I had the pleasure to wipe away, all the while shamelessly displaying hypocrite compassion. My beloved had her shortcomings (“so much the better!”) but firmly guided by her adored master, she would from now on succeed in her life.

Willingly, Jeanne promised me that from now on, rather than yield to an impulse like the one which had just killed Deudeuch, she would follow to the letter my instructions. She could not forgive herself for having acted like a child. She even promised to offer us a new car, more beautiful, so as to be forgiven. On one hand, I refused her offer, on the other hand that the broken one could have been for us the ideal car, and that above all I did not want one which was “more beautiful”. She agreed.

Ah! The happy times when she always agreed!

Deudeuch had perished on the altar of our love: I accepted willingly the sacrifice. When Jeanne's beauty emerged from the mess and started to shine, we went down hand in hand towards the wreck, towards the big fir which had found again its serenity.

Deudeuch had hugged tightly the trunk, its front wheels apart, its bonnet blown off, its cloth torn; broken down as far as the intact steering wheel, she embraced without modesty that majestic tranquil father. The scrap iron warm from the mechanical effort which we had asked of her was still vibrating, doubtlessly excited after that crazy escapade, or else terrified after our cowardly desertion.

We spent a lot of time looking for the little belongings which were hidden in the wood, beneath the pine needles. We found some chanterelles, but these did not make up for the loss of a pair of glasses, a bunch of keys, and a camera and other trinklets. Then, without any regrets, we simply abandoned the shell of the Deudeuch, dumped in its private cemetery, from now on doomed to nourish the great firs while decomposing a mixture of oil, of plastic, of broken glass and other varying food, whether that modern alimentation was to their liking or not.

Damaging the landscape and environmental pollution? These ideas did not occur to our minds, and yet we were not irresponsible. The harnessing of dragons without a coachman that is the world open market has not been yet launched in full gallop. It was gathering speed. It was not poisoning the atmosphere with its burning sulphurous breath; it was not tearing the earth with its claws yet; it wasn't defecating its mountains of poisonous waste over the children of Mômmanh, guests of the living earth. No, it contented itself with bringing us presents which we accepted without worrying our minds. Our tiny wreck lost in the wild immensity which the Alps were at the time seemed to us to be no more than a fly's dropping on the palace of Versailles.

Deudeuch was dead: long live Deudeuch! We decided to pool our resources and buy another one, second hand, of course. Jeanne had difficulty to make her contribution. My love managed her budget in a funny way: while I counted my savings she counted her debts. I wanted to play the part of the grand prince, but she was keen to pay her part in full. In order to do this, she borrowed once more from her good grandmother.

The new Deudeuch was well on the way to being spoilt but like the majority of the French at that time we were not rich. Irrespective of the fact that it was scrawny, that didn't prevent us from taking walks in the mountain, sometimes on the French side, sometimes on the Swiss side, and even on the Italian slopes. With the exception of people, everything spoke the same language, even the cows. We had to lose the Deudeuch at Geneva, having out of negligence both of us forgotten to notice the name of the street where we had parked it: it took us three hours of searching, on foot of course, before we finally found it. Fortunately, it was in the middle of summer and there was no snow to camouflage it.

It is true that we had otherwise important and exciting occupations. There was no end to the exploration of the extent of our love. Thanks to Jeanne's clever lies and to my naïve inexperience, it kept growing stronger and assumed an insolent vigour: we felt a certain pity for the poor ordinary humans, pitiful disabled who had remained on earth.

Certainly I found it marvellous, but absolutely normal that such a love should light up my life. I had prepared it, looked for it, waited for it. No, I was not at all afraid of melting in that fire. In the contact with nature and men, along the routes and mountain paths, along the edge of the torrents, at the foot of glaciers, in boutiques and even when clearing customs, at leisure as well as at work. “SHE” was there! After each new and welcome little secret, I could even touch her, kiss her, feel our bodies enter into ecstatic communion. With rapture, we could go on for ever revealing ourselves to each other. That was good: each piece added to the understanding of each other was a note in the divine symphony which was being composed.

“This does not exist!” you are telling me? But yes! I am not exaggerating.

With our two beings, with our two faces mirrored in each other, we formed a new invulnerable creature, delighted to have been born, delighted to be living and shouting it from the rooftops. There are always strangers moved by the happiness of the young lovers who would bless them by a benign smile: that did not fail. They were good people, those who were gladdened by the joy of others. Hail to them.

How could I guess that that new double faced creature into which I had melted concealed, beneath skilful make-up, incompatibilities, unbearable malformations that later on would cause a lot of suffering. I can see now that Jeanne was right: it was worthwhile that I ignore them, before being bound by passion, I would perhaps have run away and would have had no story to tell you. Ah yes! if that story is not really exemplary, I believe that it could be useful to you.

 

When, so bouncing across the Alps the tender jerks of our peaceful Deudeuch, our motor donkey, we had finished the inventory of our agreements, since surely there were no discords, when we arrived at the frontiers of that exciting exploration and we had penetrated as far as the sources of the soul the certainty that we were made for each other, when we had understood that love had made us grow and that it would always rescue us from the mire towards the celestial gardens, so naturally our bodies looked out for each other to initial the contract.

It was much better than at the notary...

“Besides you had already made love.” you might say. It is true, but up till then, we had been trying to establish an agreement. This time, it was a matter of nuptials.

 

 Difference between love and sexuality 

 

When a couple of lovers have carefully matched their bodies and their souls, when they imprint in their flesh the fusion of their existences, Mômmanh gives them the present of love: an unheard of pleasure. “Yes, I have already said it to you, but believe me, it is worth stressing it.”

Between having it off and that pleasure, there is the same difference as relieving one's bladder and discovering America.

And yet, if she had achieved its ends, the Christian education of my childhood would have prevented me from enjoying this gift fully. I don't know for which reason the Church considered the act of love as filth capable of sending us burning in hell. She did not have a word to refer to it, except when she wanted to spit its disgust on that unspeakable act: “lust, fornication, sin of the flesh” were still common words. Since the Church had not found another means of conceiving children and as it had to follow the instruction “Increase and multiply”, the odious act became a duty within the framework of marriage, but only in that framework, and surely when one wanted to give life.

Since the priests had covered with despicable dirt the taboo act and since a powerful instinct, far more ancient than “Our Holy Mother the Church”, called them to “sin”, the peasants of my village had grown to love the “dirtiness” : at threshing feasts or at wedding parties, the salacious stories those which now you call “dirty jokes” and which go with the dessert were quite frequently repulsive, yet everyone revelled in them, even the women. As for the children, they organised themselves to translate clearly the filth.

The poets had started to wash this stain off my soul. Jeanne finished the cleaning. She managed to teach me that the act of love is beautiful, that it must be beautiful, that it couldn't be love when it's filthy.

Therefore you who are looking for a big love, remember: the “big bang” is only granted to true lovers.

If you want, go over a childhood memory: in the family car, you have slipped in the driver's seat. You stretch your too short legs in vain and your head too low: your legs can hardly brush against the pedals and if your look can see a patch of sky over the dashboard. Turning the wheel, handling the gear roughly, you reproduce with skill dad's (or mum's) gesture. You do “Vroum! Vroumm!...” and “Tuutt! Tuutt”, you insult a stranger who does not know that the road belongs to you, you talk to your passenger: “- 85 average on a national most winding road: not bad, no?... - Not so fast, my dear, look at the sunset on the blue mountains. Aaah! Watch out!...” So proceed your imaginary journey and you are in a hurry to be big enough to drive “for real”.

Ah well, you would find a similar experience if you try to make love without love, except that you will be ashamed as you are no longer a child. As for the moaning of pleasure, one must content himself with the sound effects.

It is because we have often been deprived of fireworks, when we were torn apart by conflicting ideas. In that case, each time we tried to cheat the Apple of the Garden of Eden, our distress socket takes off; our bodies were only cold and clammy flesh, matter without soul, rather revolting.

Contrarily, it happened that a quarrel which appeared real was only purely formal: in that case the miracle took place and we knew like this that our love was in good health.

The best moment took place in the middle of nature, in a beautiful summer in our mountains, on a grass carpet with small vivid flowers. Mômmanh had sent her witnesses over: the big trees, the birds, the animals hidden, the flowers, the cascading stream whose diamonds launched flowers of sparks, as well as the snowy tops of the Alps from where it seemed to us that a kindly eye was observing us.

 

 
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