For the first time in a long time I thought about Maman.
I felt as if I understood why at the end of her life she had taken a ‘fiancé,’ why she had played at beginning again. Even there, in that home where lives were fading out, evening was a kind of wistful respite.
So close to death, Maman must have felt free then and ready to live it all again. Nobody, nobody had the right to cry over her. And I felt ready to live it all again too.
As if the blind rage had washed me clean, rid me of hope; for the first time, in that night alive with signs and stars, I opened myself to the gentle indifference of the world.
Finding it so much like myself — so like a brother, really — I felt I had been happy and that I was happy again.
For everything to be consummated, for me to feel less alone, I had only to wish that there be a large crowd of spectators the day of my execution and that they greet me with cries of hate.
From Albert Camus’ L’Etranger (1942)