Uit:Climax (Vertaald door William Rodarmor)
“You looked distracted,” she said a little later. Feigning surprise, he put on a smile, as if to indicate that she was wrong: No, no, of course not. After all, he couldn’t very well admit to her that he had imagined the three of them in bed together, and that in his fantasy the third person looked like Sofia, the young Polish woman she’d introduced him to a few days before.
This wasn’t the first time that he’d fantasized about other women while making love to Pauline. (He would close his eyes, as if afraid of being caught in the act of infidelity, and let the film play under his eyelids.) Besides, he probably wasn’t the only person ever to seek fresh stimulation in more or less fictional images. He vividly remembered the period when the world was excitement without release (those long years of adolescence when he looked at girls but couldn’t approach them), but now he dreaded the reverse, to be locked in a world of release without excitement (being in a couple).
After two years of living together, he sometimes wondered if he and Pauline had reached the frontier of that peacefully settled world. No wonder his fantasy life was coming to the rescue of his daily lot. On the other hand, that he would include Pauline in the script was surprising. For better or for worse, she incarnated the antithesis of debauchery for him.
He asked himself the question somberly that morning, while making coffee: would he like to go to bed with Pauline and another woman? The idea, which had excited him a moment earlier, now seemed unpleasant and crude.
Here, a parallel with the Polish plumber must be drawn.
For the previous month, an anti-European PR campaign in all the French media had been stigmatizing the Polish plumber, making him symbolically responsible for unemployment in France. How could you fight him? He worked hard and cost much less. It was scandalous! It was unfair competition! Remember, the European Union had been built around the Franco-German couple. These were two countries who felt powerful, and by and large they got along pretty well. But weren’t they taking a fatal risk, it was suggested, by blindly rushing into the endless process of enlarging the European Union?
Let’s be even more concrete: if France and Germany welcome Poland into their bed, should they be surprised if Poland, which has a talent for plumbing, upsets their mutual balance?”
Florian Zeller (Parijs, 28 juni 1979)