Unhappiness did not swoop down on you

Unhappiness did not swoop down on you, it insinuated itself almost ingratiatingly. It impregnated your life, your movements, the hours you keep, your room. It took possession of the cracks in the ceiling, of the lines in your face in the cracked mirror, of the pack of cards. It slipped furtively into the dripping tap on the landing, it echoed with the quarter-hour chimes from the bell of Saint-Roch. The snare was that feeling which, on occasion, came close to exhilaration, that arrogance: you thought the city was all you needed, its stones and its streets, the crowds that carried you along. You thought you needed only a stall in some local cinema, you thought you only needed your room, your lair, your burrow.

— Georges Perec, The Man Who Sleeps/A Man Asleep

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