‘Always worth more than what I write.’ –Roland Barthes


Finally I went to 104, still musing, alarmed by the grim power of this corner of Paris, passing in front of the hotel Royal-Aboukir (what a name!). All this was like some disinherited New York neighborhood, on the smaller Parisian scale. At dinner (a good risotto, but the beef, of course, not cooked at all), I felt comfortable with friends: A. C., Philippe Roger, Patricia, and a young woman, Frédérique, who was wearing a rather formal gown, its unusual shade of blue soothing; she didn’t say much, but she was there , and I thought that such attentive and marginal presences were necessary to the good economy of a party. (…)

In the taxi on the way home, storm and heavy rain. I hang around the house (eating some toast and feta), then, telling myself I must lose the habit of calculating my pleasures (or my deflections), I leave the house again and go see the new porno film at Le Dragon: as always—and perhaps even more so than usual—dreadful. I dare not cruise my neighbor, though I probably could (idiotic fear of being rejected). Downstairs into the back room; I always regret this sordid episode afterward, each time suffering the same sense of abandonment.

{ Roland Barthes, Incidents, 1979 | Continue reading }