The Mystery Guest: An Account by Grégoire Bouillier (2004)
translated from the French by Lorin Stein
Farrar, Giroux & Straus (2006)
Since I’d always hated turtlenecks worn as undershirts and despised the men who wore them as the lowest kind of pseudo-sportsmen with, as they say, the lamest kind of collar, I started wearing turtlenecks as undershirts the moment she left. Basically, I never took them off. No doubt this was magical thinking on my part (if I never took them off, nothing would ever take off on me); at any rate, these turtleneck-undershirts erupted in my life without my noticing until it was too late and I was under their curse. You could even say they’d inflicted themselves on me, so that now I hardly remembered the wind on my neck, which is the very feeling of freedom itself. But if that was the price I had to pay, I told myself, so be it. We brick ourselves up in prisons of our own devising, we spend our lives losing touch with ourselves, disappearing behind what negates us.