Amidst all these surrounding massifs to which athletes come the woman realizes that there is no stable centre in her life, not even a recreation centre where a life of recreation might be waiting. The family can do good. But it expects to eat good food too. And to bag the quarry on feast days. The loved ones are so fond of Mother. There they all sit, together, blissful. The woman talks to her son (bacon infested with the maggots of love) and fills him with her all-pervasive low and tender shrieking. She is concerned about him. Protects him with her soft weapons. Every day he seems to die a little more, the older he becomes. The son takes no pleasure in Mother’s griping and promptly demands a present. Brief transactions such as these, transactions involving toys or sports equipment, are their way of trying to communicate. Lovingly she flings herself on her son, but even as a torrent she simply flows away, to be heard somewhere far beneath him, in the depths. And she has only this one child. Her husband comes home in from the office and instantly she hugs her body in tight so that the Man’s senses will not scent a bit of what they fancy. Music sounds forth, straight out of the baroque era and the record player. Imperative: to resemble the full-colour holiday snaps as closely as possible. Not to change, from one year to the next. There isn’t a single truthful word in this child, I swear; all he wants is to be off skiing, you take it from me.