Sunday, October 15, 2006

Gregoire Bouillier's mother

conceived him during a threesome and told him this made him a mutant (the essay is in the Times Magazine this week, translated by Violaine Huisman and Lorin Stein):

[W]hen my mother met my father, she was 16. He was 18. It was 1956, and they were at a dance party on the outskirts of Paris. My father was playing drums in a little jazz band; my mother helped him with the dishes; within a year they were married and my brother was born.

Two months later my father was called up for his military service, which at the time was mandatory in France. It wasn’t a good moment to be doing your patriotic duty. Thanks to what was not yet called the Algerian War, my father would spend three years in uniform instead of the usual 18 months. He was stationed at Tizi Ouzou, the capital of Great Kabylia, where, according to him, nothing much ever happened.

Being separated so soon from her husband came as a blow to my mother. Before anyone knew what was going on, she took matters into her own hands: she left the baby with her in-laws and went off to Algeria to find the man she loved. For a 17-year-old girl, in those days, this showed real spirit.

When she arrived, my parents leapt into each other’s arms. Not just each other’s either. One of the internists at the Tizi Ouzou hospital fell under my mother’s spell, which was powerful; soon he was joining them in bed. I was conceived during one of their threesomes.

“You are a love child,” my mother used to tell me when I was little. I never knew quite what this meant, though the sound of it made me uneasy. When she revealed (much later, and under questioning) the circumstances surrounding my conception, she passed along something she claimed to have read in a magazine: that when two men ejaculate into a woman’s vagina, their sperm, instead of competing, team up to fertilize the ovum, and they create a mutant. At the time, I didn’t dare ask what kind of mutant she was talking about. Something like one of the Fantastic Four? Possibly the Thing?

Seriously, it's like something out of a Houellebecq novel; I've been meaning to read The Mystery Guest, but this rather clinches it....

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