Waking in the morning, I would see the day ahead from behind closed like a dark sea, an infinite, irremissibly frozen sea.
Sometimes I woke up in the middle of the night without even opening my eyes. I would keep them shut and put my hand on Edmondsson’s arm. I would ask her to console me. Softly, she would ask, Console you for what? Console me, I would say. But for what? she would say. Console me, I would say (console, not comfort).
‘But when I thought more deeply, and after I had found the cause for all our distress, I wanted to discover its reason. I found out there was a valid one, which consists in the natural distress of our weak and mortal condition, and so miserable that nothing can console us, when we think it over’ (Pascal, Pensées).
After my nap I would not get up at once. No, I preferred to wait. Sooner or later the force would come that would enable me to move without consciousness of my body, with the ease of gestures that have not been premeditated.
– Toussaint, The Bathroom (tr. N. Amphoux and P. de Angelis)