Living One’s Lies

What with the disheveled look! Well:
I dreamt a dream, my dear ladyè,
Such dreams are effing good.
I dreamt my fridge was filled with white first,
and my bed with Modiano.
Having spent the night with Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano (France, 1945) won the 2014 Nobel Prize for Literature. Shortly after the news broke, I went to my local bookstore and bought his perhaps most famous, but for that not his best, novel Dora Bruder. After I had finished Dora Bruder I read in a mere two weeks every other novel that Modiano had written until then. I travel to Paris about twice a year, mostly on a steamer or a sailing yacht, sometimes in the luxury carriage of an overnight train. When in Paris I always walk one or more of the routes that I think I can reconstruct from a Modiano novel. And I always hope that I will run into Patrick Modiano doing his daily shopping, or that he is looking down at me from an apartment in one of the classical apartment buildings symmetrically arranged at either side of a street in a quiet neighborhood.

I have never met Modiano. But I do spend nights with him. It happens in my dreams, and the encounters are none the worse for that. When I dream I’m with Patrick Modiano, we have great sex. This is what happened last night, and I rose rosy cheeked, warm and whole. And I thought (not for the first time) if I can do the remainder of life dreaming, fantasizing, fabricating, fibbing and lying my way through it, not caring, not harming either (and that includes the environment), then what am I complaining about? Then what has anyone to complain about me?

My friends have asked me numerous times to stop lying. I won’t. I will lie if I need to, if I want to. So they cannot take my word for anything. So what? They can trust me to be good to them, that I will not harm them, that I would sooner kill myself than cause suffering to anyone. But I’m under no obligation to be truthful, just as no one else has a right to truthfulness. To live one’s life fictitiously, to turn one’s life into a complete and comprehensive lie, is one’s personal fundamental human right.

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