Waterlily in her Left Lung

“THE MANAGEMENT gave Colin plenty of money – but it was too late. Everyday he had to go and see people. They gave him a list and he had to bring bad tidings a day before they were going to happen.

Everyday he went out into the crowded streets or into society. He went up and down thousands of stairs. Nobody was pleased to see him. They threw pots and pans at his head, drove fierce harsh words through his ears, and then kicked him out of their doors. He got well paid for this and pleased the management. For once he kept his job. It was the only thing he could do well – get himself kicked out.

He was harrowed by fatigue which stiffened his knees and hollowed his cheeks. His eyes saw only the ugliness of people. He went on telling them terrible things that were going to happen. He went on being chased away by sticks, stones, blood, tears and curses.

He went up the steps, along the corridor and knocked, taking another step back almost immediately. People knew as soon as they saw his big black helmet so they treated him badly, but Colin couldn’t complain as he was being paid to do it. The door opened. He said his piece and went away. A heavy block of wood hit him in the back of the neck.

He looked at the next name on the list and saw that it was his own. Then he threw down his helmet and he walked home slowly with his heart as heavy as lead, for he knew that by tomorrow Chloe would be dead.”

Boris Vian, Froth on a Daydream

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