Jacques Prevert

despair is sitting on a bench

In a square on a bench there is a man who calls to you when you pass. He has binoculars, and an old gray suit. He smokes a cigarillo, he is seated and he calls to you when you pass. Or he simply gestures to you. Don’t look at him, don’t listen to him, just pass on by. Go on as if you didn’t see him as if you didn’t hear him. If you look at him, if you listen to him, he gestures to you and nothing, no one can stop you from going to sit next to him. Then he looks at you and smiles and you suffer horribly and the man continues to smile and you smile the same smile exactly. The more you smile the more you suffer horribly. The more you suffer the more you smile irreparably. And you stay there sitting motionless smiling on the bench. Children play right by you, passersby pass by tranquilly, birds fly away leaving a tree for another, and you stay there on the bench and you know, you know that you will never play anymore like those children, you know that you will never pass by anymore tranquilly like those passersby, that you will never again fly away leave a tree for another like those birds.

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