From the window I could see the moon. Crouching as I scrubbed, I smiled softly at the moon. The moon pretended not to see me. At that same moment, I became convinced that somewhere another sad and pitiful girl was doing the wash and smiling softly at this very moon. She was definitely smiling. There she was now, a suffering girl, quietly doing the wash by the back door late at night, in a house at the summit of a mountain in the distant countryside. And there, on the back streets of Paris, in the corridor of a squalid flat, a girl just my age was furtively laundering her things, and smiling at this same moon—I hadn't the slightest doubt, I could see her as clearly as if through a telescope, in distinct and vivid color in my mind. Nobody in the world understood our suffering. In time, when we became adults, we might look back on this pain and loneliness as a funny thing, perfectly ordinary, but—but how were we expected to get by, to get through this interminable period of time until that point when we were adults? There was no one to teach us how. Was there nothing to do but leave us alone, like we had the measles? But people died from the measles, or went blind. You couldn't just leave them alone. Some of us, in our daily depressions and rages, were apt to stray, to become corrupted, irreparably so, and then our lives would be forever in disorder. There were even some who would resolve to kill themselves. And when that happened, everyone would say, Oh, if only she had lived a little longer she would have known, if she were a little more grown up she would have figured it out. How saddened they would all be. But if those people were to think about it from our perspective, and see how we had tried to endure despite how terribly painful it all was, and how we had even tried to listen carefully, as hard as we could, to what the world might have to say, they would see that, in the end, the same bland lessons were always being repeated over and over, you know, well, merely to appease us. And they would see how we always experienced the same embarrassment of being ignored. It's not as though we only care about the present. If you were to point to a faraway mountain and say, If you can make it there, it's a pretty good view, I'd see that there's not an ounce of untruth to what you tell us. But when you say, Well, bear with it just a little longer, if you can make it to the top of that mountain, you'll have done it, you are ignoring the fact that we are suffering from a terrible stomachache—right now. Surely one of you is mistaken to let us go on this way. You're the one who is to blame.