some attention to me, to take me out of my hell, to find me a place in Paris, however humble it maybe. Not one of them answers me. I would never have believed in so much indifference, in so much ingratitude.
And this forces me to cling more tightly to what I have left,—my memories and the past. Memories in which, in spite of everything, joy dominates suffering; a past which renews my hope that all is not over with me, and that it is not true that an accidental fall means irreparable ruin. That is why, alone in my room, while, on the other side of my partition, Marianne's snoring represents to me the distressing present, I try to drown this ridiculous sound in the sound of my old-time joys, and I passionately scrutinize this past, in order to reconstruct from its scattered bits the illusion of a future.
This very day, October 6, is a date full of recollections. During the five years that have elapsed since the tragedy which I now desire to relate, all the details have remained deep-rooted within me. There is a dead boy in this tragedy, a poor little dead boy, sweet and pretty, whom I killed by giving him too many caresses and too many joys, by giving him too much of life. And during the five years since he died,—died of me,—this will be the first time that I have not gone, on the sixth of October, to cover his grave with the