Birth of a Frenchman (1992) | Feature | Chicago Reader

Birth of a Frenchman (1992) 

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I remember one time I was walking with him in the park. I think it was going very well for him at that time in his life. He had just won the special prize for speacial achievements in special activity in his special field of activities. And he is in love with one woman and she loves him too. And at home one beautiful child. And they live in one beautiful home somewhere in some beautiful place somewhere. And at this time I remember I became very frightened of him because I thought he was going to hurt me with the beautiful things of his life. Things were not going well for me at that time in my life....But he did not speak to me of these things. He spoke of other things. Abstract things. Things beyond the horizon. Very important things. But not things that touched his life....And he said, "I am sorry about this." And he looked very tired. And then the next series of actions that he did were so completely strange and miraculous to me that today even I can never forget them. Tears began to come from his eyes and stretch down his face, but his face remained unaware of this. It has no opinion about these tears....His face is very relaxed. The tears keep coming. But he has no opinion about them....And the man said, "I'm afraid to love my life. Perhaps this woman is chained to me with this child. Perhaps not. Perhaps this home will be destroyed. Perhaps not. I do not agonize about these things. But I know that any good thing can disappear. I am too weak to live in a terrible life. And I am too weak to live in a good life. I cannot touch my life. I cannot touch my life. It is away from me. It is happier without me. That's all. I am not strong enough to love my good life." And then he curled up on the bench and fell asleep. It was so tender....And I remember thinking, "How dare he! What a monster!"

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