“Mother died today. Or maybe it was yesterday, I don’t know.” she read in a soft voice while his head lay in her lap. She held a paperback of Camus’s L’Étranger in one hand and used the other to play with his messy hair. Like always, he stared outside the window, chasing the stars, and seducing Lenore. Occasionally, up above in the summer sky, some broken clouds covered his mademoiselle, disrupting his evil act of seduction that she despised to her core. Every time it happened, she could notice him looking up at her face, at her lips, into her eyes. And each time his gaze kissed the surface of her face, she fell for him again, with more intensity, more passion. And just like that, by not even trying, he made her heart skip beats.
It was a chillier than usual night of Algerian summer. The night was intoxicating but quiet. She felt a strange serenity in the atmosphere that she had never felt before. Despite his indifference, his disinterest, himself being lost in thought, despite the absurdity he always talked about, she felt happy. Her lover’s head was in her lap, what else could she ask for?
She couldn’t recall how many times she had read Camus’s works to him. He was obsessed. Absurdism was his religion, Camus his prophet, and L’Étranger his scripture. She never understood what was so absurd about life. She had always found it beautiful. She had always found meaning in small things.
Admiring each strand of his hair, she got lost in thought and stopped reading. A couple of moments passed, and when she looked down at his face expecting his gaze to graze her lips again, she noticed he was fast asleep, and deep in his sleep, he looked like an infant. Moonlight shimmered on his face. It looked heavenly, breathtakingly beautiful, giving her butterflies. She kissed his forehead. She sat there, with his head in her lap, for hours. A million thoughts came and went through her mind. Thoughts from her past, thoughts about him, about Camus and his work. She could never understand Camus’s work before. But that night was different for her. It was a night of revelation. Sitting there, she realized how absurd it was. How absurd her life was. She had left her country, learned French, and moved to Algeria, for what? For a man who was so disconnected, disinterested, and so indifferent to the universe that he could never understand what love meant let aside being able to love her back. But despite the absurdity, she felt happy and content. It didn’t make any sense to her. How could she still be happy? She realized her ability to become happy despite everything was the embodiment of Camus’s work. She was already living his philosophy, she just didn’t know before. She was Sisyphus, rolling the boulder uphill, not caring about a damn thing, not giving a fuck.
— from the archives…