Love lasts three years book

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Start by marking “Holiday in a Coma & Love Lasts Three Years” as Want to Read: One night in a Parisian nightclub and the aftermath of a marriage provide the stories for these two novels by Frederic Beigbeder, award-winning author of ‘Windows on the World’. Quotes from Holiday in a. In 'Love Lasts Three Years', our hero Marc has just been divorced and – shallow opportunist that he is – has decided to write a book about it. Marc Marronier comes of age whilst exploring his professed belief that 'love lasts only three years'. Despite the wit worth any effort. Find similar books Profile.

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Love Lasts Three Years Book

Love Lasts Three Years is a French-Belgian comedy film written and directed by Frédéric Find sources: "Love Lasts Three Years" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (February ) (Learn how and when to remove this. The bad news: youve started to write a new book. II A Festive Divorce . All it takes is for you to realize suddenly that love lasts three years. Its the kind of. Holiday in a Coma & Love Lasts Three Years: two novels by Frédéric Beigbeder To read e-books on the BookShout App, download it on: iPhone/iPad.

Translated by Jesse Stuart I speak with the authority of failure. Its true! Its plain and clear! You have to tell it like it is. Youre in love, and then youre not. Prface Frdric Beigbeder est crivain, critique littraire, et ralisateur franais. Il a obtenu en le prix Interailli pour Windows on the World et en , le prix Renaudot pour son livre Un roman franais. Lamour dure trois ans est avant tout lhistoire dun homme qui, tel un Sisyphe romantique, sefforce de donner du sens lune des motions les plus profondes de notre existence, quand les donnes biochimiques et statistiques indiquent que lamour nest quun combat perdu davance.

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A young man asks the woman he loves to marry him. Hes scared shitless, its cute, he blushes, he sweats, he stutters, and she, her eyes light up, she laughs nervously, makes him repeat the question. As soon as shes said yes, suddenly an unending list of obligations falls on top of them, family dinners and lunches, seating arrangements, dress fitting, reprimanding, its forbidden to burp or fart around the in-laws, stand up straight, smile, smile, its an unending nightmare and its only the beginning: next, youll see, everything is arranged to ensure they detest one another.

The truth is far more disappointing. The truth is always more disappointing, thats why everybody lies. The truth is the photo of another woman accidentally discovered in my travel bag in Rio de Janeiro Brazil , on New Years Eve. The truth is that love begins a soppy romance and ends up sopping down the drain. Anne was looking for her hairbrush and wound up disheveled by a Polaroid of a woman accompanied by several love letters that werent from her.

At the Rio airport, Anne dumped me. She wanted to go back to Paris without me. I wasnt in a position to argue. She was sobbing in disbelief. The shock of someone who in twenty seconds has lost everything. She was an adorable little girl who in a single moment has discovered that life is dreadful and that her marriage was falling apart.

She was unaware of everything around her, the airport, the line, the notice board, everything had disappeared, except me, her tormentor.

Its unbelievable how much I regret now not having taken her in my arms. But Id have been so ashamed should my tears not cease to flow, and 25 everyone was looking at me. Its always rather embarrassing to be a dick in public. Instead of asking for her forgiveness, I said: Hurry up, youre going to miss your plane. Just thinking about it now, my upper lip starts to tremble once again. Her face was imploring, sad, glazed over, hateful, defeated, anxious, disappointed, innocent, proud, scornful, and all the while her eyes looked so blue.

Ill never forget the look on her face as she discovered how it feels to hurt. Ill have to learn how to live with all this guilt on my conscience. People pity those who suffer but not those who do wrong. Just deal with it like a man, bro. Youre the one who didnt keep your promises. Remember the end of Adolphe: The great question in life is the suffering we cause, and the most ingenious metaphysics doesnt justify the man who has broken the heart that loved him.

Later, I dragged myself around Copacabana, alone, my heart broken; I drank, twenty caipirinhas, I felt like shit, unfair and monstrous.

I was like some kind of cold fish. Divine punishment. Knelt down on the sand, the deafening drumming of the samba in my ears, I too began to rain. There are days when falling asleep would be a luxury. To fall asleep, just to wake up from this nightmare.

To imagine that none of this had ever happened. To press Command-Z on your life. Because its yourself you really ruin, when you make someone else suffer. Millions of Brazilians dressed in white, in the rain, on the beach. Huge fireworks before the Mridien. We were throwing white flowers into the waves as we prayed for our wishes to come true. I tossed a bouquet into a wave, wishing with all my heart that everything would just work out. I dont know what happened: my flowers must have been ugly, or the gods absent.

In any case, my wish was never granted. What kind of filth have we become to think that its not a serious act? Anne believed in me. She promised me her love, with God and, more importantly, the French Republic as her witness.

I signed a pact promising to always take care of her and to raise our children. And I screwed her over. Shes the one who filed for divorce: a kind of poetic justice, given that Im the one who asked for her hand in marriage. Well not bear children and thank God for their sake. Im a traitor and a coward, which wouldnt make for a very good family man. I plead guiltyif only to stop feeling riddled with guilt. Why does no one come to a divorce?

At my marriage, I was surrounded by all my friends. But the day of my divorce, I am unbelievably alone. No witnesses, no bridesmaids, no family, no wasted friends to pat me on the back. Id have preferred that someone throw something at me, at least rice, I dont know, rotten tomatoes for example. This sort of projectile is commonplace as you leave the Palais de Justice, after all.

Where are all the friends that, happy to stuff themselves with hors d'oeuvres at my reception, now avoid me, when it should be the other way 28 around: shouldnt you get married alone, and divorce with the support of all your friends? Ive heard that certain Anglican ministers see to it that divorce ceremonies are amicable occasions, with a blessing of the divorced couple and a solemn renouncement of the marriage vows.

Father, I give you this ring as a sign that my marriage is over. I think they may be on to something. The Pope should look into this idea: it would bring people to church, and plus, reselling the wedding bands would bring in more money than the quest for the holy grail, wouldnt it?

Its definitely worth looking into, I think to myself as the judge attempts to reconcile us. He asks me and Anne if were sure we wanted to get divorced. He talks to us like were four-year olds. I want to tell him that no, actually, we came here to play tennis. Then I think about it and realize he saw right through us: we are four-year olds.

Divorce is a mental abortion. In place of the good war that we deserved, this kind of disaster a lot like losing your mother or father, finding yourself paralyzed after a car crash, or losing your house after getting fired because your boss is a dick is the only thing teaching us how to be men. What if adultery has made me an adult? We pretend not to care about divorce, but the time will come when you realize youve gone from Sleeping Beauty to We will never grow old together.

Farewell fond memories, we 29 must abandon the adorable nicknames weve given one another, burn the photos from our honeymoon, turn off the radio when you hear that song we used to hum together. Certain phrases leave you beside yourself: What should I wear?

Youll find yourself crying inexplicably every time you witness a couple reunited at the airport. And even the Song of Songs becomes unbearable: Your cheeks are beautiful like a morning dove, your neck like a string of jewels You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride; you have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace.

The last time we see each other, itll be in the presence of a smiling lawyer who will be, just to top it all off, 8 months pregnant. Well kiss one another on the cheek like old friends. Well go out for coffee together as if the world hadnt just fallen apart on us.

Around us, people will go on living. Well chat playfully then, when we leave, as if its no big deal, thatll be it. See you later will be the final lie. Heres how it goes: youre 20, youre fucking around, and when you wake up youre Its over: never again will your age begin with a two. You should come to terms now with the fact that youre ten years older than you were ten years ago, and ten pounds heavier than you were last year.

How many years do you have left? The average life expectancy grants you 42 more if youre a man, 50 if youre a woman. But that doesnt take into account the illnesses, your hair falling out, turning senile, the spots on your hands.

No one asks themselves these questions: Have we gotten enough out of life? Should we have lived differently? Are we with the right person, in the right place? Whats the world offering us? From life until death, we live our lives on autopilot, and it takes a kind of superhuman courage to deviate from that course.

At 20, I thought I knew everything. At 30, I realized I knew nothing. I had just spent ten years learning everything I needed to know, only to have to unlearn it. You should always be suspicious of perfect couples: they get too much pleasure out of being beautiful, they force themselves to smile, as if modeling in an ad for a new film in the Cannes Film Festival.

The problem with getting married out of love is that it sets the bar too high. The only surprising thing that could happen to a married couple in love would be a catastrophe. What else? Lifes over.

Youre already in paradise before youve even lived. Youll live until the end of your days in the same perfect film, with the same perfect cast. Its unbearable. When you have everything too soon, you end up hoping for a disaster, just to be liberated. A catastrophe to find relief. Ive spent a long time confessing that I only got married for the sake of others, that marriage isnt something you do for yourself.

You get married to piss off your friends or to please your parents, often both, sometimes the other way around. These days, nine out of ten preppy-ass marriages are little more than an obligatory rite of passage, a social event allowing your parents to send out invitations. Sometimes, your prospective inlaws may check to see that their future son-in-law is listed in the Whos Who, have the engagement ring weighed to calculate the carats and insist on selling the photos to the Sunday paper.

But thats a worst-case scenario. You get married for the same reasons you graduate from college or get your drivers license: to fit into the same mold, to 32 be normal, normal, NORMAL, at any cost.

If you cant be better than everyone else, its best to be like everyone else, for fear of ending up inferior. And its the perfect way to sabotage true love. And yet middle-class moralists are not the only ones endorsing marriage: its the focus of a massive act of collective brainwashing: advertisers, film-makers, journalists, and even novelists, all endeavoring to convince every little girl that what she really wants is a big white dress and a ring on her finger, when she otherwise would never have thought twice about it.

True Love, yeswith its ups and its down, of course they would have dreamed of love, otherwise whats the point of living? But Marriage, the institution-that-turns-love-to-shit, the ball and chain of endless love and lifelong commitment Maupassant : never.

In an ideal world, twenty year-old girls would never be attracted to such an artificial concept. They would long for sincerity, for passion, for unconditional lovenot some guy in a rented tuxedo.

They would wait for the Man who could offer her a lifetime of surprises, not the Man who could download her Ikea furniture. They would let naturewhich is to say desiretake its course. Unfortunately, their frustrated mothers wish them to know the unhappiness they have known, and sadly the daughters themselves have spent their days watching endless soap operas. And so they wait for their Prince Charming, a pathetic marketing concept destined to turn lively girls into bitter, disil- 33 lusioned old women, when all it would take is a single imperfect man to make them happy.

Of course, the aristocracy will tell you that things are different nowadays, the times have changed, but take the word of a frustrated victim: never has the intimidation been more aggressive than in our era of illusory freedom.

Every day, conjugal totalitarianism continues to perpetuate the same misery, generation after generation. This bullshit is propagated in the name of spurious and outdated principles, in order to pass on time after time a heritage of pain and hypocrisy. Ruining lives remains the favorite pastime of venerable old French families, and its a game about which they know a thing or two. Theyve had practice. Yes, even today you can write: Families, I hate you.

I hate you all the more because I didnt rebel until it was much too late. Deep down, I was fine with it in a sense. I was a common redneck, descended from country bums from the Barn, proud as a peacock to be marrying Anne, my alabaster aristocrat.

I was irresponsible, smug, naive, stupid. And Im paying for it now. I deserve this mess. I was like everyone else, like you reading this now, convinced I was the exception to the rule. Of course I was immune to the inevitable unhappiness, we would pass between the cracks unscathed.

Failure was something that happened to others.

L'Amour dure trois ans

Then one day, the love was gone and I woke up with a start. Until that day, Id been forcing my- 34 self to play the happily married man. But I had been lying to myself for too long to not begin one day to lie to someone else. People get married like they go to MacDonalds. Then they change the channel. How are you supposed to live your entire life with the same person in the age of widespread channel surfing?

In a time when celebrities, politicians, fashions, gender, and religions have never been so interchangeable? Why would love be any exception to our cultural schizophrenia? And where does this bizarre obsession come from, anywaydevoting oneself to being happy at all costs with a single person? The majority of animal species are polygamous. As for extraterrestrials, dont even get me started: the Galactic Charter has long forbidden monogamy on all planets of type B Marriage is caviar at every meal: a stomachache from what you adore, until youre nauseous.

Go on, youll have a bit more, wont you? Whats that? Youve had enough? Why, you found it delicious not long ago, whats the matter with you?

Come on, you naughty boy! An American researcher recently demonstrated that infidelity has an evolutionary basis. Infidelity, according to this renowned researcher, is a genetically programmedmmed strategy to promote the survival of the species. I can imagine the scene playing out: My love, I didnt cheat on you for pleasure: it was for the survival of the species, would you believe it! You might not give a damn about it, but somebody has to worry about the survival of the species!

If you think Im amused! Im never satisfied: when Im attracted to a girl, I want to fall in love with her; once Im in love with her, I want to kiss her; once Ive kissed her, I want to sleep with her; once Ive slept with her, I want to move in with her; once I move in with her, I want to marry her; once Ive married her, I meet another girl Im attracted to. Man is a perpetually unsatisfied animal, hesitating between a variety of frustrations.

If women really wanted to fuck with men, they would continually turn them down, leaving the men to spend their lives chasing after them.

When youre in love, the only question left is: at what point do you begin to lie? Are you still just as happy to come home, only to find the same person waiting for you? When you tell her I love you, do you really mean it? There will surelyits inevi- 37 tablebe a moment when you realize that youre faking it.

Or else your I love you wont feel the same. Personally, what did me in was shaving. I used to shave every day so as not to scratch Anne when Id kiss her good night. And then, one nightshe was already asleep Id been out late with some friends, in the pathetic way men are wont to do when theyre married and then, I didnt shave.

I thought it was no big deal, she was asleep, she wouldnt even notice. Yet in fact it represented the end of our love. Anyone whos gotten divorced has read Dan Francks La Sparation. Ill never forget how moved I felt from the first scene: the man realizes that his wife no longer loves him when he takes her hand and she pulls away.

He tries to take her hand again, but again she pulls away. I said to myself, what a bitch! How could she be so cruel? Its not so hard, after all, to hold your husbands hand, fuck! Until, one day, the same thing happened to me. I found myself pushing back Annes hand again and again. She would tenderly reach for my hand or my arm, or else shed place her hand on my thigh, and you know what I saw? A flabby, white hand, with the consistency of a latex glove.

I shuddered with disgust. It was as if she had stuck an octopus onto my leg. I felt riddled with guilt, my God, how did things turn out like this?

I had become the bitch in Dan Francks novel! She wouldnt stop twisting her fingers around my hand. I tried to contain myself, but I couldnt hold back a tiny grimace at the feeling of her pale flesh. Id get up suddenly, saying I had 38 to pee, but in reality I just had to get away from that hand. But then Id have second thoughts, overcome with guilt, and Id gaze at that hand that I had once loved.

That hand that I had asked for in marriage before God. The hand that, three years ago, Id have given anything to hold. Suddenly I felt nothing but hatred for myself, pity for her, indifference, then an insufferable longing to just burst out and cry. And I pulled that limp octopus to my heart and kissed it with bitter sadness.

You know youve fallen out of love when you realize you cant turn back. And thats how it happens: its water under the bridge; youve already broken up, without even knowing it. What are you sulking about? I just remember having responded: Because love lasts three years.

Apparently, that did the trick: the guy wandered off. Now I say it all the time, it works great. If ever Im looking down and someone asks me why, I automatically respond: Because love lasts three years.

I think it sounds dope. In factI think it would even make a good title for a book. Love lasts three years. Even if youve been married 40 years, deep down you know that its true. You know well the sacrifice youve made; the moment you decided to give up everything. The fateful day you stopped being afraid.

Its not easy to hear that love lasts three years. Its like a magic trick you fuck up, or being awoken by your alarm in the middle of an erotic dream. But we have to shatter the illusion of eternal lovethe cornerstone of modern civilization, the fount of human misery. People always say that after a while, passion becomes something else, more enduring and beautiful. That this something else is Love with a capital L, a less exciting feeling, of course, but also more mature.

Just to be clear: I dont give a fuck about this something else, and if thats what Love is, Im fine leaving it to the boring, the discouraged, the mature, holed up in their sentimental comfort. My love has a lowercase l but at least it soars; it may not last long but it least you can feel when it fades.

Their something else that theyd like to off as love seems invented just to appease them, as they reassure themselves that theres no better option. They remind me of people who scratch the paint off expensive cars because they cant afford one themselves. An apocalyptic end to the evening. Feel like ending it with a bullet in my chest.

Around 5 in the morning I call Adeline H, to give you an idea what a shit show I was. It was her home phone. She answers: Hello? Who is this? Her voice sounds rough. I woke her up. Why didnt she just let the answering machine get it? I dont know what to say to her. Um, sorry to wake you up I just wanted to say hey I hang up. Seated, motionless, my head in my hands, I hesitate between a bottle of Valium and just hanging myself. And why not both? I dont have any rope, but a few 41 Paul Smith ties strung together should do the trick.

English designers always use durable materials. Good thing I picked out an apartment with exposed piping. Now just to stand up on the chair, like this, then to toss back the glass of Coke mixed with ground-up muscle relaxants. Then you slide your head into the noose, and when at last you fall asleeplogically, its to never again wake up.

You open one eye, then the other, you have a double headacheone because of the hangover, but another from the lump on your forehead thats swelling rapidly.

Its past noon, and you feel like an idiot with this tangle of ties wrapped around your neck, sprawled out at the foot of an overturned chair and the cleaning lady standing above you. Hey, Carmelita Was I Was I asleep long? You move please sir, need to vaccum, please sir? Im astounded by my own psychic capabilities.

Poor thing. You want all the girls to look at you, and now youre all depressed because of a silly divorce. Should have thought about that earlier. Now I have nothing but my misery to keep me company. What a waste of timetrying to kill yourself, when youre already dead.

Suicidal people are truly unbearable. Anne gave me my freedom, and now look at meresenting her for it. I resent her for leaving me to face myself alone. I resent her for letting me start all over again. I resent her for making me face up to my responsibilities. I resent her for making me write this paragraph. I used to suffer because I felt trapped, and now I hate my 43 life because Im free.

So this is what its like to be an adult, then: to build sand castles only to knock them down, and repeat the operation, again and again, when in fact you know quite well the ocean would wash them away anyways?

My eyelids are heavy as nightfall. Ive grown old this year. At what point do you admit that youre old? When it takes three days for you to get over a hangover.

When you cant manage even to kill yourself. When you get wayyy too excited upon meeting younger people. Their enthusiasm pisses you off; their youthful illusions wear you out. Youre old when the night before, you said to a girl born in Oh, 76? I remember, that was the year of the heat wave. With no nails left to bite, I decide to go out for a bite to eat. Nobody could ever hold that against Anne and me: we believed in love, to the bottom of our hearts.

We hurtled ourselves, heads lowered, into the reinforced concrete muleta dangled before us. Dont you laughnobody makes fun of Don Quijote, and he tilted at windmills like a crazy old man. For a long time, my only goal in life was to self-destruct.

Then, one day, I wanted to be happy. Its awful, Im ashamed to admit it, please forgive me: I once had this plebeian desire to be happy. What Ive since learned is that this is the surest path to self-destruction. Evidently Im a consistent person at heart, without even intending to be.

I dont know why I agreed to this dinner at Jean-Georges place. Im still not hungry. Ive always been proud to say that I wait until Im hungry to eat. It has a certain elegance: to eat when youre hungry, to drink when youre thirsty, to fuck when youre horny. But fine, Im not going to wait until I starve to death to see my friends. Surely Jean-Georges had invited the same group of sublime malades that I consider my best friends.

You change the subject to outwit misery. I was wrong. Jean-Georges is alone.

Holiday in a coma ; and, Love lasts three years : two novels

He wants to talk. He grabs me by the scruff of the neck and shakes me like a parking meter that swallows your money then refuses to print your receipt. Last night, I asked why you were sulking around everywhere and you told me love lasts three years.

You think Im fucking around or what? You think youre a character in one of your books? I can tell you your divorce has got nothing to do with that!

So are you going to cut the bullshit and fucking talk to me or not? Otherwise what good am I? I lower my gaze to hide the fact that my eyes are welling up with tears.

I pretend to have a cold so I can sniffle. I mutter timidly: Uh Stop it. Who is it?

Related Post: HALO LAST LIGHT PDF

Do I know her? And then, my voice low, my heart heavy, my foot in my mouth, I confess at last: Her names Alice. So there you have it: Marc and Alice got married three years ago. The problem isthey didnt get married to each other. Marc married Anne, and Alice married Antoine.

Thats just the way it is: life sees to it that everything is complicatedor maybe we seek out complications ourselves? It was the photo of Alice that Anne discovered in Rio. A ravishing Polaroid of Alice in a bikini on a beach in Italy, near Rome. In Fregene, to be precise.

Alice and I had an extramarital affair. Thats how the most beautiful romantic passions are referred to these days. People die of love every day for extramarital affairs.

Theyre often women you see in the street. They have a way of blending in, because theyre hiding something; but from time to time youll see them crying senselessly while watching some dreadful soap opera, or smiling in a magnificent kind of way in the metro and thenthen youll know what I mean.

Oftentimes the situation is lopsided: a single woman loves a married man, he doesnt want to leave his wife, its awful, contemptible, uninspired.

In our case, Alice and I were both married when we met. The 47 equilibrium was practically perfect. But I was the first to crack: I got divorced, while Alice had no intention of doing so. Why would she leave her husband for a lunatic who cries from the rooftops that love lasts three years? I should have said to her that I didnt really believe itbut Id be lying. Now, Im sick of lying. Im sick of leading this double life. Polygamy is perfectly legal in France, provided youre an adept liar. Having multiple lovers isnt exactly rocket science.

All it takes is a little imagination, and a lot of organization. I know plenty of guys in France who have had a harem of women, in the middle of Each night they choose which one theyll call, and whats worst is that this chosen one just comes running. This requires that you be both diplomat and hypocritewhich amounts more or less to the same thing. But Im fed up of this. I cant bear it anymore. Im already schizophrenic in my professional life, and I refuse to be so in my personal life.

L'Amour dure trois ans () - Rotten Tomatoes

I think it would be wonderful to only have to do one thing at a time, for once. The outcome: alone once again. Love is a magnificent catastrophe: to know that youre charging towards a brick wall, and accelerate nonetheless; to run to your downfall with a smile on your face; to wait inquisitively for the moment when everything goes to shit. Love is the only disappointment prescribed in advance, the only tragedy you can see coming and yet each time come back for more.

I 48 said all that to Alice before I got on my knees and begged her to run off with me. In vain. The strongest kind of love is unrequited. Id have preferred to never have realized this, but its the truth: nothing could be worse than to love someone who doesnt love you backand at the same time its the most beautiful thing thats ever happened to me.

To love someone who loves you back is just narcissism. But to love someone who doesnt love you backnow thats true love. I was waiting for some kind of test, an experience, a profound realization that would be able to transform me: unfortunately, I got all that I wanted and more. I love a girl who doesnt love me, and I no longer love the one that does.

Women are for me a means to detest myself. Fan-Chiang asked: What is love? The master says: To value the effort above the reward may be called love. Confucius Thanks, you swindling Asian, but personally I wouldnt mind a bit of reward as well.

In the meantime, Ive been deserted. Ever since Alice found out my wife left me, shes become 50 scared, and beat a hasty retreat.

No more phone calls, no more voicemails left on answering machine , no more hotel room numbers on the Bi-Bop answering machine3. Im like a clingy mistress waiting for her married lover to remember her tight little ass. Having always preferred broad, open avenues, suddenly I find myself haunting the backstreets. A single question torments me incessantly and sums up my entire existence: Which is worse: to make love without loving, or to love without making love? I feel like Tintins dog Snowy in the midst of an existential crisis, with a little angel on one shoulder telling him to do good, and a little demon on the other ordering him to do bad.

Me, Ive got a cherub wanting me to get back with my wife, and a devil insisting that I sleep with Alice. My head is a never-ending talk show between the two in front of a live studio audience me. Id have preferred that the devil order me to fuck my wife. Bi-Bop and the Memophone were inventions of France Telecom destined exclusively to promote adultery, so as to excuse themselves for all the snitches enabled by the redial button, and the number of drug deals made possible by their pagers.

When Alice came into my life it was somewhat surprising, kind of like if someone from the cast of Sex in the City turned up on Friends. To describe Alice, Ill get straight to the point: shes an ostrich. Like this flightless bird, shes tall, wild, and hides at the first sign of danger.

Her never-ending slender legs two in number support a sensual body bearing stuck-up fruits of the same number. Long, black hair runs across her face, which is as intense as it is gentle. Her body seems to have been designed with the express purpose of unsettling the lives of happily married men.

Thats about the only thing that differentiates her from an ostrich aside from the fact that she doesnt lay twopound eggs. I remember the first time we met, at my grandmothers funeral. Id come without my wife, who understandably found such family gatherings boringhaving to deal with your own family is bad enough without having to worry about your hus52 bands.

Besides, I was the one who insisted that, wherever she was now, my grandmother was hardly likely to realize if she didnt come. I dont know, I must have had a feeling that something big was about to happen. Everyone in the church was looking at my grandfather to see if he was crying.

But the priest had a secret weapon: he invoked grandma and grandpas fifty years of marriage. My grandfathers eyeand he was a retired colonel, no lessbegan to well up with tears.

As soon as the first tear slid down his cheek, it was as if the floodgates had opened; the entire family began to sob, staring in stunned silence at the coffin. It seemed impossible that grandma could be inside. It wasnt until she was dead that I realized how much I appreciated her. Jesus Christwhen I wasnt walking out on those I loved, they were dropping dead.

I began to sob hysterically, for Im a rather sensitive guy. When I was able to see through the tears, I noticed this cute brunette observing me. Alice had seen me cry. I dont know if it was the emotion, or the strangeness of the situation, but I suddenly felt intensely attracted to this mysterious apparition wearing a tight black sweater.

Later on, Alice admitted that she had found me very handsome: lets chalk up that error of judgment to her overactive maternal instinct. All that mattered was that my attraction to her was reciprocatedshe wanted to console me, that much was clear.

This incident taught me that the best thing to do at a funeral is to fall in love. She introduced me to her husband, Antoine, a nice guymaybe too nice. As she was kissing my tear-streaked cheeks, she realized that Id realized that shed noticed that Id noticed that she was looking at me the way I was looking at her.

Ill always remember the first thing I said to her: Your face has excellent bone structure. I had the opportunity to study it in detail. She was a young woman of 27, beautiful yet organic. The quivering of her eyelashes. A sulky laugh that makes your heart leap in your ribcage that all of a sudden feels too small.

She was a marvel of sideways glances, her windswept hair, the curvature of the small of her back, the glistening of her magnificent teeth. She was Claudia Cardinale in The Leopard. Betty Page stretched out to She was tenderly wild, serenely flirtatious, shamelessly reticent. A friend, an enemy. How had I never met her before? What was the point of knowing so many people if I didnt know her? It was cold in the churchyard. You know where this is going: yes, her nipples were getting hard beneath her tight black sweater.

Her breasts were erect in unisonwhat symmetry! The purity of her expression belied the sensuality of her body. Precisely my type: there are few things I enjoy more than the contradiction between the face of an angel and the body of a whore. I have a thing for dichotomies. Not just an ostrich, she was a lightning rod, inciting electrifying infatuation at first sight.

Have you been to the Basque country? I asked her. No, but Ive heard its pretty.