Wednesday, February 5, 2020

the last book I ever read (Virginie Despentes's Vernon Subutex 1: A Novel, excerpt ten)

from Vernon Subutex 1: A Novel by Virginie Despentes (translated by Frank Wynne):

Seeing that he will not be persuaded, she makes him promise to wait. She dashes to the Société Générale outside the park gates and takes out a hundred euros. It is all she has until the beginning of next month. She will make do. She does not want to spend tonight wondering whether he is sleeping on the streets, what with the weather being so cold. She wishes she could find the words to convince him to go with her, to let her take care of him. She remembers this feeling—wanting to help someone who turns away.

But already she can imagine redoing the little room where she does the ironing, so that he could move in and she could help him with the official red tape. She is not afraid of waiting in line in offices, of filling in forms. She can do something for him. She needs this as much as he does. To be useful for something.

When she comes back, the bench is empty. She is distraught. She wanders the park looking for him. She encounters people out walking who stare at her in alarm. She knows that she looks like a madwoman. She is used to it.

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