Today, while walking through the gardens of Luxembourg, two misfortunes have occurred simultaneously: a sudden storm has broken out and I came across Monsieur de Charlus. I thought he would not remember me, but he immediately pointed to me with his outstretched arm and exclaimed: “You!” I became paralyzed. I didn’t know whether to run or to pretend I was a statue. I chose this last. But, still, he came towards me with great strides swinging his cane and roaring with laughter at my pretence. Such undisguised disbelief made me angry and decided me to persist in my pretense. Furthermore, so there could be no doubt that I was a statue, I internalized my status as a statue. I no longer pretended: I was one of the many statues that dot the Luxembourg Gardens, and nothing and no one could persuade me otherwise. How do you persuade a block of stone? I was not aware of anything! I neither reasoned nor heard or saw or felt anything anymore. I have no idea what that damn Charlus told me if he told me something. I don’t know whether he kept laughing or acknowledged his mistake and retired embarrassed to have addressed a statue. I do not know anything about what happened around me from the moment I decided to become a stone statue. At last I had found my true vocation: that of statue of the Luxembourg Gardens! I don’t know how much time passed by. As far as my conscience is concerned, it could be hours, days, months and even years. I just know that, when I got out of my lethargy, I was in the morgue covered with a sheet, and a couple of men in white coats commented that I had probably been struck by lightning.