Tuesday, July 6

Eurydice. Heurtebise! Will you explain this miracle?

Heurtebise. What miracle?

Eurydice. You're not going to tell me you haven't noticed anything, and that it is natural to remain suspended in midair instead of falling, when a chair is taken from under you?

Heurtebise. Suspended in midair?

Eurydice. You needn't make out you are surprised, because I saw you. You stayed in midair. You stayed there two feet above the floor, with only emptiness round you.

Heurtebise. You really do surprise me.

Eurydice. You remained a good minute between heaven and earth.

Heurtebise. Impossible.

Eurydice. Exactly. That's why you owe me an explanation.

Heurtebise. You mean to say that I stayed without a support between the ceiling and the floor?

Eurydice. Don't tell a lie, Heurtebise! I saw you, I saw you with my own eyes. I had the greatest difficulty in stifling a cry. In this madhouse, you were my last refuge, you were the only person who didn't frighten me, in your presence I regained my balance. It's all very well living with a horse that talks, but a friend who floats in the air becomes of necessity an object of suspicion. Don't come near me. At the moment even your glistening back gives me gooseflesh. Explain yourself, Heurtebise! I am listening.

Heurtebise. I have no need to defend myself. Either I am dreaming or you have dreamt.

Eurydice. Yes, such things do happen in dreams, but neither of us was asleep.

Heurtebise. You must have been the dupe of the mirage between my windowpanes and yours. Things do lie at times. At the fair I saw a naked woman walking along the ceiling.

Eurydice. This was nothing to do with a machine. It was beautiful and outrageous. For the space of a second I saw you as outrageous as an accident and as beautiful as a rainbow. You were the cry of a man who falls from a window, and you were the silence of the stars. You frighten me. I'm too frank not to tell you. If you do not wish to answer me, you needn't, but our relationship can never be the same. I thought you were simple, but you are complex. I thought you were of my race, but you are of the race of the horse.

-- Jean Cocteau Orphée (The play)
Tr. Carl Wildman

Jean Cocteau