He raises them, rotisseries them, and sells them at farmer’s markets, among other places. This photo he places ahead of his cash register and it was the reason I chose to purchase from him rather than others.
It tells me that there’s pride in his work. Honest, clean, hard work that has been kneaded into him since a child. The photo also tells me that there’s love for his work (even though he does have to slaughter them eventually); all things I am drawn to on a day when I myself woke feeling purposeless.
It was warming to see someone appear as the exact opposite.
His name is Jean Christophe and he lives in Brie-Comte-Robert.
Crystal blue eyes. A warm smile. Charming everyone in line.
I picked up some patates as well, and gloated when he swooshed them around and made a little show of things for me. Gloated because he had not done this for any of the many others before me.
He complimented me on my lipstick (thank you, Stilla) and when I asked his name, so that I could write about him, he offered his telephone number in case I had more questions for him.
“Can I live on your farm, help you raise chickens, slaughter them hallal-styles, and eat them and patates forever?” I wanted to ask.
Two things I noticed and appreciated – first, he asked for a pen and paper to give me his name and number. Though I had paper, I didn’t have a pen and wish I had let him take one from his neighbour. I would have liked to see his handwriting. Second, he took a very long time to type this information out onto my mobile. I very much appreciate that his preference is pen, and that he is clearly not a man who types types types on any mobile device. Certainly he is tethered in other ways, but not in the hell of constant and instant virtual realities.
Chatting with him put a smile on my face. For the next couple of hours as I walked through the city smelling sexy of rotisserie chicken & patates, I imagined a life on a poultry farm in a small French town.
Today, I am grateful for:
1. Farmers. You are too often taken for granted. Thank you for all of your hard work; thank you for keeping us fed.
2. When Jean Christophe dropped a glove while we were speaking, I had barely moved for it when he immediately put a hand out as he bent to grab it himself, no bullshit and authority changing the tone of his voice as he said “Rester exactement comme vous êtes.” It’s that French chivalry I touched on last I was here, and it is a welcome welcome very welcome change of pace.
3. A body almost fully healed, but for a little cough still.
Paris | March 2, 2019