One: Beginning of Summer, 2004
It’s Sunday, the day Chantal comes to the cafe to buy bread. She does this every Sunday, promptly at 8. I also come to the cafe on Sundays, not to buy bread, but to wait for Chantal. Each Sunday, five of them now, I sit and sip a demitasse and pick at a half-eaten croissant on the plate in front of me as I wait and watch for her to come in.
At first it was only about Chantal. It’s still about Chantal, but this Sunday thing has become something more for me. Blending in with the other Sunday people who come and go and linger at small tables around me as I wait for her, I feel free. Free to be an anonymous girl surrounded by strangers, freed from being myself, able to be anyone, and no one, for a few hours.
I feel safe here, too. The terracotta floor under my feet, solid as the earth it’s named for, comforts me, like a warm embrace. Sunlight slashes through the tall windows and crashes onto it, running off at angles in disregard for the floor’s repetitive squares, and still it remains, unchanged, unchanging. So different from my life.
I imagine I’m a solitary figure bathed in light, a wood nymph in the forest, yet grounded on the unmovable reddish-brown earth. A daydream that feels real. I wish it was.
My solitary reverie is broken when, at last, Chantal comes in at the time she always does and goes directly to the counter. She’s tall and lean, her long tawny hair, down to her waist in back and half wrapped around her like a flag or a cape, sets off her almost painfully fair face. Her body is as loose as her hair, lithe and supple like a cat’s as she leans forward into the counter to collect her bread.
I watch without being able to stop myself as she takes the crusty loaf in her hands and brings it to her nose, sniffing in its freshness. And then my heart stops as she turns toward me, squints her green, almond-shaped eyes in my direction, and cracks a smile so subtle only I can see it. This has become part of the Sunday ritual, too, a kind of dance of looks and glances and smiles between Chantal and me.
Chantal is more like a lover than a mother to me. And more of a mother than my real mother. She is neither, in reality, but these are the roles I mentally assign to her. She is my employer, my muse, my madam. More than anything, she is my friend. Well, as much of a friend as a sophisticated 30-something woman who runs a high-class whore house in Paris can be to a half-educated teenage runaway from god only knows where.
“For a coffee, oui, but breakfast, non. After last night my stomach would not take it, I’m afraid.”
Last night. I understand without having to say so.
Chantal sets her wrapped bread on the table and sits down beside me, so close I can feel her warmth. It’s what I’ve come to expect. I’m sure she wants me, well, that’s what I wonder, anyway, but she doesn’t touch me. I think she just wants to be close. My lover, my mother. Neither. My heart stops again as I look into those eyes, so close, next to me, looking into my eyes. So close to my own eyes.
Chantal’s eyes are green, like I said. Green, like mine. Except my one eye, the right one, that’s half green and half gold, the outcome of a genetic split somewhere in my hazy ancestry. I call it my golden eye. Sounds like it could be a James Bond movie. You know. The name’s Bond. James Bond. You’re the girl with the golden eye, aren’t you? Yup, that’s me.
No matter. Chantal sits beside me, and I don’t know how she can be so awake and look so good after those Saturday nights. But she is, and she does. I’m still waking up, even with the petits noirs, little blacks, as the French call them, I’ve been sipping, and I was sent home long before Chantal threw the last customer out and got to bed. She seems to be one of those people who doesn’t need to sleep, who is always awake and on queue.
Chantal orders her macchiato and directs her attention back to me.
“You did well, chérie. The customers like you. You are the happy little bird in the drab cage.”
“Customers.” Such a neutral word. Even I have come to use it. “Johns” is more like it. But somehow that word doesn’t seem to fit Chantal or her establishment, which is anything but a drab cage to me.
“Happy little bird.” Happy isn’t a word I usually associate with myself. It jars me almost as much as those green eyes, which seem to see inside me. All I can do is blush, which embarrasses me.
“Will you come this afternoon, chérie?”
“Do you want me to, Chantal? Do you need me?”
“Chérie, I would have you there every day and every night, if I could. But I have some special customers coming today, and I am sure they would find you to be a joy.”
Until now, Sunday has been one of my two days off. The other is Wednesday, when I have an extra session at the cooking school. I don’t feel pressured, but I can’t refuse Chantal’s request. Not after all the kindnesses she has shown me.
I’m proud of my French, as haltingly as it comes to me. And I will be happy to be there. What else might I do on a Sunday afternoon in Paris? Practice making soufflés in my small apartment? Lay about on the grass in some languid park somewhere while couples grope each other in the shade of linden trees? Wonder what Sid is up to, if he’s still alive in some third-world hell hole where’s he’s gone to? Sure, Chantal, I’ll be there. Bien sûr.
If you’re wondering who Sid is, since I mentioned him, he’s my so-called boyfriend. Well, that’s a poor word for what Sid is. He’s my pimp, my abductor, my protector, my rapist, my lover, my abuser, my owner, my daddy. He’s the one who put me in Paris, paid for my culinary school, got me my apartment – all right, it’s his apartment, too, when he’s in town – and set me up with Chantal. It’s just easier to call him my boyfriend than try to explain all that. Some boyfriend.
When he’s not using me as his partner in crime, Sid is off doing what Sid does. Which is traffic narcotics from country to country, and sometimes more than narcotics. Guns. Girls. Whatever tickles his fancy and fills his wallet. It didn’t take me long to figure out what Sid was about.
I don’t really give a fuck about the drugs and stuff. They’re not my thing, but they’re somebody’s thing, so who am I to judge? I’m pretty messed-up myself, so I don’t think I have a right to say what someone else is into is any worse. Never been a pot to call a kettle black. My aunt, my Aunt Carol who is an American like me but lives in South Africa, would say something like that. “Look at the pot who’s calling the kettle black.” That’s something my Aunt Carol would say. She’d say that about me sometimes, though I don’t think she was right and I’ve always tried not to be that pot. I’m more the kettle.
Getting back to the point, I’m happy to go to Chantal’s this afternoon if it helps her out. She’s been such a sweetheart to me. Une chérie, as she would say.
Chantal finishes her macchiato and is on her feet. She reaches down and gives me a double cheek kiss before clasping the fresh bread to her breasts like she’s holding a lover.
I’m not ready to go, and I sigh watching Chantal make for the door. It’s like only she’s in focus and everyone around her is a blur. I’m sure I see her aura.
My lover, my mother. Neither.
Once Chantal is out the door and back on the street I realize I wish I hadn’t thought about Sid. I’m happy when he’s not around, happy to forget him, if even for just a little while. Mostly I’m happy to be away from the abuse I’m so often the recipient of. I guess that’s the right word for it. Abuse. Even if I take it from him, sometimes even get off on it. But that’s another story.
My thoughts turn to Aunt Carol. It’s the beginning of winter there, cold unlike the welcome late June warmth of Paris, and she’s probably curled up in front of the stone fireplace, engulfed in clouds of Marlboro smoke. I wonder if she’s thinking about me, thinking about her little Lizzie, as she affectionately calls me. Remembering is always painful to me. It’s not like I wanted to hurt my aunt. I love her too much to do that. It’s just me. There are some things you just have to do, you just have to. You know? Even when they hurt the people you care about, the people who care about you.
That’s how it was with me. Running away with Sid. I just had to get away from home. Away from my parents. My awful parents. At least that’s how they seemed to me. It wasn’t Aunt Carol at all. She’s the only person in the world who really understands me. So she probably understands why I did it. But I know it still hurt her. Especially the lies I told her. Yeah, I lied to her. Still do. But what else could I do? Can I do?
That’s kind of what I’ve come to wonder about Sid, too. Or, more exactly, about staying with Sid. If I decide to leave him, and I can think of lots of reasons why that’s a good idea, what else could I do, and where can I go? And I wonder what Sid would do, how many pieces I’d wind up in, and anyone I cared about, if I did leave him. That’s the scariest part. I know all too well what Sid is capable of.
I don’t like these thoughts. Hate them, really. It’s so hard for me to face my personal demons when they come out of their hiding places. But there they are, when I least expect them. Like this morning. It would have been perfect otherwise. Damn.
Most Sundays I can sit here for hours, enjoying the quiet solitude Sunday mornings give me, sipping a small coffee and picking at a croissant, feeling safe with the terracotta floor beneath my feet. I’ll stay awhile longer today, too, but then I need to get back to the apartment to shower and prepare for my afternoon at Chantal’s. To be her happy little bird, there to please her special customers.
It’s a little before 2 when I’m at Chantal’s door. It’s a nondescript wooden door, just another anonymous portal to another Paris apartment. Chantal keeps a low profile to avoid problems with the neighbors and the authorities. Inside is another story, though, and like I said, to me it’s anything but a drab birdcage.
Chantal greets me at the door and takes both my hands in hers and gives me another of those double cheek kisses that are the French way.
“I am so thankful you could come today, chérie.”
Her smile always melts my heart. It’s such a warm smile, and Chantal has the kind of lips that you just know are made to make someone feel good. It’s hard to take my eyes from them.
“It’s my pleasure, Chantal. I’m happy to be here for you. And what else would I do today?”
I smile at Chantal’s gentle mocking, but really I’m serious. Maybe I am more the bird in the cage than she realizes.
During all this Chantal looks deeply into my eyes, searching it seems for something inside me, something perhaps that even I don’t know is there. When she does this it leaves me breathless. That’s when I feel the lover in her coming out, the lover searching for that glimmer in my eyes that would be her invitation to touch, to go further, to cross that unspoken line between us. I don’t suppose she finds it this time, and besides, her visitors will be here soon.
“Come now, chérie, and prepare yourself for the customers.”
There is not much to prepare, really. My role is pretty simple. I’m the girl at the piano, the girl who amuses the customers with her piano playing when they’re not being entertained by Chantal’s other girls, in the ways the other girls know to entertain them. I’m that little bird at the piano off to one side of Chantal’s spacious living room, the deep crimson of plush sofas and decorations of the room designed to stimulate the senses, my piano playing intended to calm them.
Oh, and there is one other little detail you should know. I’m naked when I play the piano.
So as you can imagine, preparation is easy. I step behind the screen Chantal has set up not far from the piano and I slip out of my short summer dress. Even at 16, my breasts are too small to justify wearing a bra. I’m not a big fan of underwear in general, so there aren’t any panties to drop, either. I just slip off my dress, draping it over the top of the screen, and slip out of my street shoes so I can slip into the classy little Cinderella-like crystal heels Chantal has me wear, and I’m good to go, smooth all over and naked as the day I was born.
The piano bench is thoughtfully padded in the same crimson plush covering the sofas, so I can just park my bare bottom on it and not have to suffer warming it up. Actually, that bench is one of the real perks of the job, it feels so good under me, and it tickles and soothes all the right places.
How I came to be a naked piano player in an upscale Paris whore house is kind of a long story. The short version is, Sid had me take piano lessons while we were still in Southern California, mainly to keep me from getting bored when he went off on his little business trips, as he calls them. I had something of a talent for it, and before long I was really doing pretty well. Now I can read music, and some tunes I know by heart and don’t need the music to play.
Sid knew Chantal from his previous trips to Paris – he didn’t need to tell me he was one of her customers – so when he relocated me over here to attend culinary school he set me up with her. Chantal had just the job for me, that’s what she told Sid once she learned of my piano-playing ability. That was good enough for him, didn’t matter what it was, even if it was different than he probably imagined it would be.
So here I am, sitting bare-ass naked on a plush crimson bench at Chantal’s baby grand piano – it’s a really nice piano, a delicious honey-brown color, polished to an eye-hurting shine, and always kept in tune – on a Sunday afternoon in Paris, doing a few warm-up numbers while waiting for the first visitors to arrive. Sometimes you just never know what life holds in store for you.
Chantal has a hands-off rule that applies only to me. The men are welcome to look, but they’re not allowed to touch. Honestly, I wouldn’t mind amusing them in other ways than just tickling the ivory. I’m not exactly innocent, not after all I’ve been through in my life, and I could use the extra cash. And a little diversion. But Chantal says I’m still too young and she doesn’t want trouble with the authorities. Maybe later, when I’m a little older, but not now. The mother part coming out, I suppose. But whatever the source, I respect Chantal’s wishes.
One thing that never ceases to amaze me is how grown men, men that have come to a place with the specific purpose of getting laid, can sit next to a naked teenage girl, a girl they’re devouring with their eyes and probably would lay down and fuck in a heartbeat, can keep their hands to themselves when that’s expected of them. They’re often naked themselves, sometimes even erect, sitting so close their thigh is touching mine, we could be playing a duet we’re so close, and sometimes we do, but they’re the perfect gentlemen to me.
Now that’s not all of the customers, of course. Some men can’t be content with just looking and have to push the boundaries, but a quick brush of my shoulder and a firm “Non, monsieur,” is usually enough for them to withdraw their hand from my breast or my thigh, whatever little beachhead of flesh they sought to claim. And when it isn’t, there is Chantal to deal with. She’s the ultimate arbiter of when someone has overstepped the limits, and she runs a tight little parlor, I’ll tell you that. And as for the occasional woman who frequents Chantal’s, well, they’re all kissy and huggy and are a lot more all over me than any of the men, though Chantal usually cuts them slack on the look-but-don’t-touch thing. She understands.
Anyway, that’s my job at Chantal’s, and what I’m doing here this particular Sunday afternoon. And most other afternoons and evenings when I’m in Paris. Beats some of the other things Sid might have set me up with, that’s for sure. Chantal pays me well, too, and there are always good tips from the customers. Paris is an expensive city and the money comes in handy. No complaints. It might not be something I’ll put on my resume, but playing the piano in the nude has its perks.
I’m in the middle of the second movement of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata and really getting into it, swaying my body as my fingers swirl across the keys, when the first customers arrive. Chantal, her face all smiles but her voice low and serious, greets them at the door with more of those double kisses. She knows these men, as they know her, and that’s obvious from the familiar tone of their banter. I catch a look at the men, two of them, out of the corner of my eye, and they look a tad more than middle-aged, well dressed, a cut to their hair that says they are used to being coiffed, a touch of gray on the sides. I’m guessing businessmen. Or corporate executives. Or maybe politicians.
Two of the other girls are immediately on them, serving them up kir royales on silver trays. The girls are circumspect, their eyes lowered so they don’t challenge the men, and if truth be told they’re wearing a whole lot more than I am, even as scantily clad as they are in their ice-blue bustiers and lacy panties and muted turquoise garter belts with sheer bluish stockings. That’s Chantal. Every little detail matters to her.
I catch one of the men looking in my direction, pretending he’s not, like men think girls don’t notice when they look at us. He leans over and whispers something in Chantal’s ear. I can see her smile, and shake her head. She says something back to the man I can’t hear. But I know she’s thanking him for the compliment while explaining the “look-but-don’t-touch” rule that applies to me. I’ve already earned my pay for the evening and things haven’t even gotten started yet.
When she turns away from the man, Chantal looks in my direction and gives me another of those subtle smiles that only I can see. I turn back to the keys, futilely trying to conceal the blush that spreads across my cheeks.
There are more knocks at the door and more men arrive. Seven in total now, which is a pretty good number for Chantal’s intimate soirées. The men all have that same look about them, all dressed in dark business clothes, all well tended to. My initial assessment stands: Business men, executives, or politicians. Maybe some of each. I’m hearing a mix of French and English, American English it seems, so this must be an international group. They’ve all been served kir royales, which they hold in their hands, and I’ve caught more furtive glances cast in my direction. I’m playing Mozart now, and I’d be lying if I said I don’t love those furtive looks. I have to be careful I don’t stain the crimson plush under me. Sometimes I do anyway. That’s how much I love them. Chantal’s clientele are the kind of guys a girl doesn’t mind being ogled by.
The other girls are chatting the men up. I know the men are assessing the girls and they’ll be pairing up soon, at least for the first go-around. The financial arrangements are never discussed. They’ve all been taken care of already. The girls are well compensated, and of course the tips will be generous. No one goes home unhappy or even the least unsatisfied from Chantal’s soirées.
I glance out a window at the late afternoon Paris light, soft and gray, betraying the moisture in the air, and somehow this seems incongruous to me. It should be night, the lights glowing through the trees, maybe a gentle rain falling, as men and women prepare to join their bodies, as matter-of-factly as they might attend the opera or hail a taxi. But no, it’s still daylight, barely 3 on a Sunday afternoon, and while those couples grapple under the linden trees across the city, Chantal’s customers and her girls perform a seemingly choreographed ritual to see who winds up in bed with whom, what the pairing of bodies will be. And then, like when the music stops in a game of musical chairs, they all switch up again for the next round. And the one after that.
I don’t even try to guess the pairings. I’ve come to learn that there really is no accounting for taste. I mean, I’m a perfect example of that. I could probably have pretty much any boy or man I want, or any girl, for that matter, and I wound up picking Sid. Not just picking him, but going obsessive crazy over him until I got him. Go figure that one. Proves that mating is more than just a matter of compatibility. Sometimes it’s the incompatibilities that count. Or, like with Sid and me, just meeting the right misfit to match your own misfit self.
Okay, I’m getting carried away here. These pairings today will just be for awhile, an hour or two, maybe three, and then everyone goes back to where they started and no one has to worry about what the other looks like over cereal in the morning or who takes out the garbage or what anyone’s bad habits are, what dark places they have in their hearts or minds or hidden away in their closets.
I finish that piece and shuffle the music and start in on Try It On the Piano by Irving Berlin. Time for something light, and I like the tease in the title. The men notice the change and more eyes, and now some smiles, turn in my direction.
Kir royales are set down and the first pairs of couples start toward the bedrooms, as well as one threesome as two men accompany one of the girls out of the salon. Things are pretty free-form at Chantal’s, and it’s an all-you-can-eat buffet of mix and match. Before the evening is over there will be couplings going on right there in the parlor, and as long as no one gets rowdy or breaks the house rules, it’s all good.
The man who first asked about me comes over and sits beside me. He’s still fully dressed, which makes me feel even more naked than I am, if that’s possible. He smiles at me, but abides by the rules. I can tell he’s enamored with me. His eyes tell the whole story as they pore over me. Poor fellow.
“Comment vous appellez-vous, mademoiselle?”
“Je m’appelle Rosie, monsieur. Et vous?”
My fingers continue moving over the keys, not taking my eyes from them.
He detects my accent and replies in English, his own French accent showing through.
“Ah, so you are not French. English?”
“American. Part, anyway.”
“Ah, I see. Je m’appelle Roger. And I am pleased to make your acquaintance, Mademoiselle Rosie.”
He pronounces my name “Hrozie,” his own “Hrojzay,” in that throaty French way, that way I find irresistible, that gets me to stain the crimson plush of the piano bench. He’s not bad looking, this Roger, this “Hrojzay.” But I know the rules and keep playing. Yes, poor fellow.
I see Chantal looking in our direction from across the room, those almond-shaped eyes of hers squinted, yet another of those ever-so-subtle smiles on her lips. It’s going to be an interesting afternoon.
Monday starts out differently than Sunday. It’s 8 again, but now I’m in my white cooking outfit, ready for a half-day of learning to be a pastry chef, standing for the morning line-up in the gleaming stainless steel kitchen of the culinary school. My afternoon and early evening at Chantal’s is a not quite distant, though fond, memory, not diminished by the moment, before the evening was done, when Roger surreptitiously slipped me his phone number on a scrap of paper. I wonder if the fellow knows what he’d be getting himself into with me. I’m sure not.
Anyway, here I am, ready for yet another side of my existence. There was a TV show once, I think back in the 1950s, called I Led Three Lives. Heh. That dude had nothing on me. If I had only three lives to live I might be able to make sense of it all. No such luck.
Sid had to pull some strings to get me into this school. They don’t take students under 18, but he made it seem like I was some sort of prodigy and would have my own three-star Michelin restaurant by the time I was 18. Or at least two-star. Right. Well, I am pretty good, I won’t deny it, but who knows what else Sid said or did, or what it cost him, or who owed him what favor, to get me in. Whatever, he did, and here I am, in culinary school in the heart of Montparnasse, dressed all in white like the Pillsbury dough boy at 8 on a Monday morning.
Our instructor is a bit gruff, as one expects an accomplished chef to be. Gruff might be an understatement. He can be kind of a bear when he’s in his moods. But he’s taken a liking to me. That’s pretty obvious to all the other students, most of whom aren’t too crazy about the idea and even less about me being so young there in the class. But I’ve done my best to ingratiate myself to chef and it’s too bad if they don’t like it. I mean, we’re getting ready for the real world, aren’t we? So suck it up, boys and girls.
There are half a dozen of us in the class, and we’re busy learning how to make fruit tarts and macarons and stuff with pâte à choux and puff pastry and fancy-ass gateaux and cookies and all sorts of other things. And also learning how to pair different desserts with various wines and liqueurs. It’s pretty neat, actually, and I’m learning a lot. It’s probably the best thing Sid ever did for me, putting me in this school, other than letting me run away with him in the first place.
Some days we watch demonstrations, and then on the other days we get to practice making what we saw in the demos. And every now and then we go out in the field to see what some of the city’s better restaurants and pâtisseries are doing. Those are fun days, though I’m always left with my mouth watering looking at all the yummy goodies.
That’s one thing about French women. I don’t get it. They can sit and eat these enormous creamy pastries, but they never seem to get fat. I think it must be genetic. Me, I don’t have that problem, I always stay so small, but most American women would mutate into cows eating things like that.
Anyway, today is a demonstration day, and chef launches into a fury of eggs and butter and flour and stirring and whipping and gesticulating, all while explaining what he’s doing in English that is so heavily accented I can barely understand what he’s saying. It’s kind of funny, really, looking around the kitchen at the furrowed brows and confused looks. I’m not the only one who can’t understand him, and the others have the same problem, regardless what country they’re from, what their native language is. Luckily we also get the demos in written form, in both French and English, so we can figure things out later and then practice what we’ve learned.
The morning passes pretty quickly and it’s past noon when my mind wanders into the later afternoon, back to Chantal’s. I wonder who’ll be there this afternoon, who’ll want to sit with me, drink in my naked body with the kir royales as I play those tunes, and if they’ll be as well behaved as Roger. If I’ll get another scrap of paper with another phone number scrawled on it shoved into my hand.
My favorite was a phone number written on a 100 euro note. That one I saved. The number, I mean. I spent the euros. I’m a romantic, sure, but not that much of a romantic. Not a hundred euros romantic. I haven’t called the man, who wasn’t bad looking, really, and I haven’t seen him back since. He was from Italy. If I ever need to get away, if Sid gets to be too much, that’s a number I might need. I don’t think I’d mind going to Italy. And at the rate things are going with Sid, that day could come sooner than later. Before I never would have thought to leave Sid. Now, well, I don’t know. Maybe. Nothing is so clear cut any more like it used to be.
Anyway, finally the day’s lesson is over and we all pick up our stuff and head for the door. But chef calls me over before I reach it.
“Rosie” – he says it with that same French breathiness, “Hrozie,” like when Roger said my name – “I need you to help me with something” – it comes out “somezing” – “in the cooler, s’il vous plaît.”
Okay, odd request, but who am I to argue?
I follow chef into the walk-in cooler, just off the kitchen, and no sooner is the door closed than he turns around and plants both arms on either side of my head, his hands on the cooler walls, trapping me in place.
“Rosie, you are a very special student, and you have a very bright future in this business.”
I’m struggling to decipher his accent, but whatever he’s saying, yadda-yadda, it doesn’t require trapping me as he has. That’s a different message. No simultaneous translation needed.
I don’t have a lover, father thing with chef like the lover, mother thing I have with Chantal. I’ve worked at ingratiating myself to him, sure, but that’s been more of a professional thing, a way to get on his good side. I can’t say I’ve had the hots for chef, but I can’t say I didn’t, either. Just never really thought about it, which is kind of not like me.
Seems chef has, though. It’s taken him five weeks to get around to it, and I must be a tasty little pastry to him as he plants his lips on mine. It comes as something of a surprise, or it would, if anything much surprised me anymore. Which it doesn’t. I guess I should have seen it coming, chef being as nice to me as he’s been. He being the middle-aged authority figure, me being the little bright-eyed waif of a student. Like I said, we’re getting ready for the real world, and I suppose this is as much a part of the real world as anything.
The cooler isn’t what you might consider a suitable place for a conjugal interlude, but when you’re a chef putting the make on a young culinary student, it’s as good a place as any. Better than some of the places I’ve done the deed, thanks to Sid. It’s a good thing chef likes doing it standing up, doggie style, since as it turns out that’s what works best in a walk-in.
Now before you get the idea that I’m some sort of nymphomaniac and all I do is fuck and tease men and let Sid and his friends have their way with me, not that I have much choice about that, let me say that these things seem to find me more than me going looking for them. Do I like sex? Sure I do. Don’t most teenagers? Not that I’m your typical teenager, I’ll be first to admit. But I can appreciate a good screw, when it comes.
When you’re a teenager sex hasn’t gotten all tangled up with marriage and having kids and being responsible and car pools and cheating and do we do it with the lights on or the lights off, and all the rest of it that really doesn’t have anything to do with sex, with just the act and the feel-good part of it, but people think it does. And then things like today happen. I’m just minding my sweet business, figuring out how to make some new pastry item, and someone like chef comes along and lures me into the walk-in for a little toss among the mushrooms and Brussels sprouts and fillets. Do you think I’m going to say no? Well, sometimes I might. Really I might. Like I do at Chantal’s. Today just isn’t one of those times.
Anyway, that was our practice session for the day. Somehow I have the feeling we’re going to have more practice sessions like this one, chef and me, whipping up some new confections in the cooler. I don’t think they’re in the official curriculum, but I have to say it was a pretty good lesson. I wonder if we’ll be tutoyer-ing now. I suppose not. At least not outside the cooler. That would be too obvious.
It hasn’t been too bad for a Monday, and I still have Chantal’s to look forward to.