Sean Singer

Albert Camus

At thirty, a man should have himself well in hand, know the exact number of his defects and what he is. And above all accept these things.

At thirty, Augustine described the world as a “mighty but not infinite sponge” in the immeasurable sea of God. But is there no answer for tuberculosis and the pleural aeronautics weighing down the right hand? Imagine the trenches, the bursting plumes of lemon fire.

Camus did the hucklebuck—not on the field, but the yard. He was the RUA goalie. Under the geraniums the sand swept with olive heat towards the heated pond, for the grape harvest, which propelled into the wind with purple absorption.

Do not speak. Do not hear. Can you not hear? The mute and the deaf-mute communicate with paralysis, as electricity ceases to flow, as water ceases to pour. We defecate on the landing, but encrapulate ourselves in the room, though there’s no heat and the sink is filled with a red sweater like a ballooning heart. Are you fucking listening? I’m eight years old and the only one at home who can read.

After a meal of apricots, sea bream, and mullets, Camus poured a tall glass of anisette, a drink which “rolled off the tongue like the piss of baby Jesus.”

Wa. Wo. Water. Hater. Words. Worms. Harms. Marne.

Augustine, in 397: I told endless lies to my tutors, my masters, and my parents: all for the love of games, the craving for stage shows, and a restlessness to do what I saw done in these shows.

Camus, in 1959: The little bit of morality I possess I learned on the soccer field and on the stage, which will forever be my two universities.

One of the laws of paleontology is that an animal which must protect itself with thick armor is degenerate. Among the lawns of Oran there is this animal. Protect your animal as if it were yourself, with its concrete pineapple body, among the withered leaves.

From Burley, Virginia and the Orient, the withered leaf is pounded and blended. It is cut, sorted with blades, and homogeneous. The bale of acetate has been envied along the boulevards. The star-shaped filament has fused the air with fire—the crave kind. The paper is fused with food-grade glue. The rip of the match brings fire and the lips bring the breath through the paper.

On momentary acts and long-term projects: Driving to Paris is more of an action than turning the ignition key. Playing soccer is more of an action than kicking the ball. Soccer is the sum total of a number of kicks, puts, throws, and catches. Likewise, hatred is the sum total of a number of momentary repugnances for something we hate.

Winds, cars, films, juicy fig women, Berber orthography, quays of the Pont des Arts, chromium-plate cars, visible keyboard of ribs, Kabylie Muslims, blood-cough in Mustapha....

The Facel Vega appeared in the second version of The Killers, starring Lee Marvin, Angie Dickinson, and Ronald Reagan. Two movie versions were made of Hemingway’s short story, one in 1946, and the other in 1964. These films bookend the noir which Camus emulated. So that’s what the upturned collar is about.

Obscure information. Who the fuck are you? Humphrey Bogart? Friend of the Berber herdsman? Fuck your gospely windy sermonizing like a piper.

Camus’s childhood nicknames: “mosquito,” “boche,” or “short-ass.” Lice flowered in the folds of his djellaba. The teacher whacked him with a ruler nicknamed the “Barley Sugar.”

The acid smell of seringas and magnolias shaded the foam-rubber ball being swept along its way by a warmly awful wind. The sirocco is a southeast to southwest wind originating in the hot, dry air masses over Algeria, flowing northward into the south-central Mediterranean basin. Unlike its cousin-winds, the bora and the mistral, the sirocco can build gradually over a 36 hour period. It can last for 12 hours and cause 6-9 foot seas. The sirocco occurs in the warm core of a cyclone. It floats over the Gulf of Genoa and draws desert air into its warm center, moving over the Adriatic Sea, decreasing frequency as it moves north.

Fuck you all. I’m leaving your circle. I’m leaving the café. I’m going to buy the New York Herald Tribune. Did you see the article on all the gin joints in the world? Interesting nose. Fog tonight on the Zuider Zee. Whatever you say. I’m going anyway.

The Facel Vega (Forge et Ateliers de Construction d’Euro et de Loire) had a Chrysler V8 engine, a top speed of 135 m.p.h., and was produced in France between 1957 and 1961. Approximately 2900 were built—all stylish and fast. The HK500 out-performed the Ferrari 250GT in acceleration 0-60 mph, speed over a one-kilometer distance, and fuel economy. At the time it was claimed to be the fastest production car in the world. Its most remarkable feature were four, rear-hinged doors with no central or ‘B’ pillar, known as “suicide doors.” Fewer than 100 Facel Vegas survive.

January 4, 1960: When the plane trees blur by the window their gnarled surfaces are not merely plane trees. They’re a mechanism in your eye, alighting through the wind like white jet. And the jade among the crowns is that place by which you’ve come.

As the rage builds and constructs itself along the lines of memory, you feel your foot press on the gas. And the heft of the shift knob moving like a backwards L into fifth gear as the trees make a broom noise through the wind.

There’s a place through your rage beyond which you cannot see, and this is the destination. As if a terrific magnet pulled the course of anger from the past till now, so the car twists along the road as the white line becomes a solid track into the horizon which dangles its pit-like eye.

But what the dust means in its language is a middle sea, where you are angry—at the ill world and yourself: the body’s judgment is as good as the mind’s, and the body shrinks from annihilation.

Augustine said: Love, and do what you like.