If my carefree life was already boring enough when I could move, imagine now that I am confined at home, convalescing from dislocations in both ankles. My friend Block comes to visit me from time to time and makes conversation. However, no matter how hard I try, tadpoles’ metamorphosis bores me dreadfully. If I paid any attention to his words, I would end up convinced that tadpoles are at the top of the evolutionary chain and we humans are just a subspecies. So I just look through him nodding from time to time. My imagination is elsewhere: in the gardens of the Luxembourg, in the salon of Madame de Villeparisis, at the Café de la Paix, having an aperitif with Gilberte… However, now, when I let my imagination fly, I am very alert. I always feel a crouching danger. That danger materialized on the same night that I was supposed to attend Mme de Guermantes’ dinner. As I looked across the balcony at the bustle of the street, my mind wandered, and I imagined that I was present at that dinner. In fact I occupied a place of honor next to the Duchess. We were seven guests, but everyone’s attention was focused on me. Everyone was waiting for my response to a high-profile comment that a dinner guest had let out. So I was forced to think of an adequate response worthy of Socrates or Valentin the boneless. But when I was about to verbalized it, only a long beep came out of my mouth. Like the whistle of a steam locomotive but still more acute. All those present were stunned, and I most of all. And when I quickly concocted in my mind a plausible excuse for my weird behavior (that I had accidentally stepped on my tonsils), a sibilant, snakelike noise came out of my mouth, and thereupon I dropped my head into a huge bowl of whipped cream that was ready to be served.