Adonis Diaries

“I was virgin to horror when I signed up…”

Posted on: September 13, 2009

“I was virgin to horror when I signed up…” (September 11, 2009)


            It is Arthur’s fault. I was minding my own business. Arthur insisted on inviting me for a cup of espresso.  He was saying “People in Paris give the impression of being busy; in fact they go for walks from morning to evening. When the weather is not appropriate for walks, when it is too cold or too hot, you never see them on the streets or anywhere. They are in their homes drinking coffee. They say it is the century of speed, of great changes; where are they? People keep admiring one another; that is all.”  And then he said “I don’t like politics. If my country asks me to shed my blood then I will be ready. The French race is a good one.” I retorted “You are wrong. This supposed race is a collection of miserable people in transit who were hunted by hunger, cholera, and the cold and happened to settle here: they could not cross the sea.” Arthur said “Our forefathers were better than us and we owe them respect.”  I replied “We have never changed. We do not change our socks, our masters, or opinions. We are born loyal; free soldiers of talking chimps, and hero for the entire world. King Misery clamp down on us when we do not prove to be sensible.”  Arthur said “There is still love”.  I vehemently replied “Love is the infinite accessible only for poodles.  I have composed a poem titled Wings in Gold.

            A God counting the minutes and the pennies,

            A God desperate, sensual, and growling like a pig.

            A pig with gold wings that keeps falling everywhere,

            Stomach up, and ready to be caressed.

            It is He our Master. Let’s hug him.


            It happened that a Colonel mounted on a white horse was heading a regiment in front of the Café. People were throwing rice and flowers on them.  I followed this regiment until it started raining and people vanished from around this exhibition. I had second thought to leave the regiment but once you are caught in then there is no escape and I was stuck as war recruit or volunteer.

            Once you are in then you get used to your new life.  They made me ride horses for two months and then they demanded that I start walking. One morning, the orderly of the Colonel borrowed the Colonel horse and never showed up.  We are walking on the road and I saw two black dots at the end of the road.  They were firing at us; I realized they are Germans who have been firing at us for some time; they are evidently lousy shots. My Colonel must have known why these Germans were shooting at us; possibly the Germans knew also; I didn’t know anything. I have nothing against Germans: I studied with German kids with shifty pale blue eyes like the wolves. We drank sugary beer; but to end up firing at me! This is not nice.

            The Colonel resumed his walks, head high, as if nothing the matter.  And then one of the bullets scraped my head. In these kinds of stories there is nothing to do but to flee. I never in my life felt so useless; a universal joke.

            I was 20 of age and wandering in the countryside.  I was virgin in my passions and surely pretty virgin in matters of horrors. Farms were deserted as if the owners did not want to disturb our journey in and around their homes and lands. We sort of owned everything in the land, fruit trees, chariots, cows, and even a chained dog. I always hated the countryside.  When the bullets harassed me I swore that, I may got to be a hundred, I will never set foot on any kind of countryside. I got to thinking “If the residents were here then maybe we would not be shooting at one another”.


            Then it dawned on me.  My Colonel is an idiot; he is a monster and worst than a dog; he could not imagine his death; he lacks imagination; he cannot visualize death.  There must be millions of idiot officers; that is why this imbecile of a war is going on. Am I the only coward in this world amid thousands of “heroic” kids wearing their metal outfits and behaving more enraged than dogs?


            I am more scared of our soldiers and officers than the enemy; more of us were shot and court marshaled by our own army than by the enemy; our officers always want to make example of courage! I don’t want to die my face in the mud, crap, and blood.  I don’t want to die in this desolate, dark, and cold environment.  I want to die differently. Am I not free to choose how I want to die too?


Note: This topic was selected from the first pages of the French novel “Journey at the end of the night” (Voyage au bout de la nuit) by Louis-Ferdinand Celine.

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September 2009

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