The Strangess

by Aimee Ault

Mersault’s mother died today. Or yesterday maybe, I don’t know. He didn’t really tell me; I wish he had. I want to know everything there is to know about someone and yet retain my personal independence and style. I am Marie Cardona. I am that foolish bimbo you may remember from Albert Camus’s The Stranger. As a reader, you probably noticed that Mersault’s description of me was so emotionally vague, that he had no feelings for me whatsoever. I am here to redeem myself in this personal account of my relationship with Mersault. In fact, by the time you finish reading this story, you will see why Meursault was my dream man and understand that we were destined to walk off together into the sunset, the hot blinding sunset--yes that same one that tempted my soon-to-be husband to allegedly murder an Arab.

It was a sweltering summer day when I met Meursault in Algiers. We were at the public beach. The way he was sexually attracted to me helped me understand that it was love at first touch! I was shy around him, mostly because I had a dark secret. He commented, while resting his head on my stomach, that he could feel my heartbeat on his neck. With any more speculation, I realized he would soon learn the deep and painful truth about me, Marie Cardona. My heart was in my stomach--and I’m not even speaking figuratively!

At the time, I was unaware of what kind of man Meursault was. All I knew was that Meursault loved me. How did I reach this conclusion? Well, I realized that: a) He was really great in bed. b) He didn’t abuse me. c) He wasn’t really averse to anything I suggested. But when I looked into his hollow eyes and saw nothing, I knew that the only way he would ever be happy would be if we were to wed. When I discussed it with him, he seemed sort of indifferent to the idea. I was kinda bummed out. But it was okay. He just fondled my breasts some more and soon I was back to my normal annoyingly optimistic self!

We went with some pimp friend of his to a beach house. It was quite okay in all. I enjoyed talking to the wife of Raymond’s friend Masson. We giggled about how fun it is to submit to every want and need of our husband figures--loads of quality time bonding over Betty Friedan Feminine Mystique kinda stuff. Things were going swell until the boys came back. Raymond was injured by one of those dirty Arabs. Tears welled up in my eyes. Oh, I am so emotional during that time of the month! As much as I wanted Meursault to stay, so I could whine to him for a few more hours, he left again. Being the caring girlfriend that I am, I didn’t pay any heed to the fact that he was heading back towards the beach. I really love Meursault! Have I told you that already?

Later, down the beach, I could see Meursault’s handsome figure, slumped over, dragging his empty body towards the bungalow. And then the news spread to me. I didn’t even have something close to a rudimentary understanding of his motives.

It doesn’t matter.”

Life is precious! Life is beautiful! My heart is a frail object that has no understanding of ideals outside of my own! How can something not matter? Every little detail has significance!

I stopped visiting Meursault in prison. His hands were so far away in that room. He could never touch me with his words the way he touched me with his hand. I thought I loved him, but then I learned that I have the same definition of love as a giddy superficial teenage girl. I caught the eye of an alluring Arab who was soon to get out of prison. I didn’t tell Meursault about it, but I soon fell in love with this man. He told me he had a friend who died recently. I said, “How sad!” and then we made love in the beautiful Algerian weather. I couldn’t remember when Meursault was to be executed, so I missed seeing it. I stayed home with my new Arab boyfriend and smoked cigars. I said to one of my girlfriends that day, “Meursault died today. Or yesterday maybe, I don’t know.” It doesn’t really matter.

I wrote this as retelling of Albert Camus's The Stranger for my AP English class. Of course, I made up the ending because we don't really know what happened to Marie, but I thought it would add humor and a bit of irony to my story.

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