Lewis, danger, and spontaneity.

from Les Mandarins by Simone de Beauvoir fiction ~1 min read

'You don't care much for Felton, do you?' Lewis asked me one day.

'It's just that I have nothing to say to him nor he to me,' I replied. I looked at Lewis curiously. 'Why are all your best friends pickpockets, or drug addicts, or pimps?'

Lewis shrugged his shoulders. 'I find them more interesting than other people.'

'But you, haven't you ever been tempted to take dope?'

'Oh, no!' he replied quickly. 'You know how I am: I love everything that's dangerous - but from a distance.'

He was joking, but he was speaking the truth. Whatever was immoderate, unreasonable, or dangerous fascinated him, but he had made up his mind to live moderately, reasonably, and without taking risks. It was that contradiction which so often made him restless and hesitant, and, sadly, I wondered whether it didn't figure in his attitude towards me. Lewis had fallen in love with me spontaneously, rashly; was he now blaming himself for it? At any rate, I could no longer hide it from myself: he had changed in the past few weeks.

—Simone de Beauvoir, Les Mandarins, p. -1