Read an Excerpt: Adultery by Paulo Coelho
I go off to work and again see the neighbor polishing his car. Wasn't he doing that yesterday?
Unable to resist, I go over and ask him why.
'It wasn't quite perfect,' he says, but only after having said 'Good morning,' asking about the family, and noticing what a pretty dress I'm wearing.
I look at the car. It's an Audione of Geneva's nicknames is, after all, Audiland. It looks perfect, but he shows me one or two places where it isn't as shiny as it should be.
I draw out the conversation and end up asking what he thinks people are looking for in life.
'Oh, that's easy enough. Being able to pay their bills. Buying a house like yours or mine. Having a garden full of trees. Having your children or grandchildren over for Sunday lunch. Traveling the world once you've retired.'
Is that what people want from life? Is it really? There's something very wrong with this world, and it isn't just the wars going on in Asia or the Middle East.
Before I go to the newspaper, I have to interview Jacob, my ex-boyfriend from high school. Not even that cheers me up. I really am losing interest in things.
I LISTEN to facts about government policy that I didn't even want to know. I ask a few awkward questions, which he deftly dodges. He's a year younger than me, but he looks five years older. I keep this thought to myself. Of course, it's good to see him again, although he hasn't yet asked me what's happened in my life since we each went our own way after graduation. He's entirely focused on himself, his career, and his future, while I find myself staring foolishly back at the past as if I were still the adolescent who, despite the braces on my teeth, was the envy of all the other girls. After a while, I stop listening and go on autopilot. Always the same script, the same promises- reducing taxes, combating crime, keeping the French (the so-called cross-border workers who are taking jobs that Swiss workers could fill) out. Year after year, the issues are the same and the problems continue unresolved because no one really cares. After twenty minutes of conversation, I start to wonder if my lack of interest is due to my strange state of mind. No. There is nothing more tedious than interviewing politicians. It would have been better if I'd been sent to cover some crime or another. Murderers are much more real.
Compared to representatives of the people anywhere else on the planet, ours are the least interesting and the most insipid. No one wants to know about their private lives. Only two things create a scandal here: corruption and drugs. Then it takes on gigantic proportions and gets wall-to-wall coverage because there's absolutely nothing else of interest in the newspapers.