Souls and stars

Pub date February 9, 2010
WriterL.E. Leone
SectionCheap Eats

CHEAP EATS Dear Earl Butter,

I have accidentally fallen into the hands of hippies. They come from Pleiades, which is not a planet but a star cluster. How cool is that?

I used to love to be able to say, "I come from San Francisco." Suddenly it seems boring. Still, I bet we have better Mexican food than they do on Pleiades. Or in the Pleiades. (Not sure how to say this. I’ll have to ask.)

Other important points to remember are the number seven, some thing (or place or person or pizza joint) called "the Source," and that the universe is pure love. Like every other believer in reincarnation I have met, these ones claim to be "old souls."

I asked what I always ask: if time doesn’t really exist, as they also claim, how can one soul be any older than another?

They look at me like I’m a very young soul — which I would rather be, between me and you, because your face isn’t wrinkly yet and you sleep better. But technically I haven’t figured out yet about soul, meaning I don’t believe I exactly have one.

As for the universe being pure love … all I can say is I miss the smell of chicken shit and the feel of cold, dead, free-range chicken hearts in my small white hands. Not to mention the livers, and the taste of liver. And the fresh scallops we cut still pulsing from their shells and fried in butter with garlic. I miss these things, and love.

It was hard to be in Paris, too, without a heart. My brother-in-law’s brother and his girlfriend were immediate sympaticos, but they had to go to work, and so I wandered the streets and museums in almost utter amazement and disbelief — mostly that I was alone, but also the architecture and art.

I should have never left Paris, like I should have never left the chicken farm before that. But here I am in the South of France, which reminds me of Northern California, except substitute olive trees for vineyards. Jean Gene the Frenchman, who met me here, is traveling with a German disaster of his own. She’s more depressed than I am, in spite of being an old soul from the Pleiades, and her German accent is not good for me.

Back at the car after a day of hiking and sitting on cliffs high over the Mediterranean Sea, she offered me her hand and said, "Let’s make a pact. We each give it six more months, and then kill ourselves."

I just looked at her like she was from some other planet, or star cluster. "I only have one life," I said, finally. "For me, suicide is not an option."

She seemed surprised. Nevertheless, she’s a very good driver. Today we went to visit an obscure half-ruined chapel in the mountains called Notre Dame de Oeufs, or Our Lady of Eggs. No lie. People light candles and leave eggs there. The hippies said some prayers. I looked at the eggs.

Dearest Dani,

That is great. I should stop saying so much great stuff about Joel, but here is one thing. He will eat lunch with you if you are in a pinch. We went to Schmidt’s. It is right near Joel’s office. It is a little pricey for me for lunch, but I enjoyed myself nevertheless. We had lunch for $10 each.

We each got the grilled sausage. Joel got the kielbasa, which I am familiar with from my childhood and from Timmy Binko. And I got the smoked wild boar.

Modest size plates with a good-sized sausage, delicious potato salad, and sauerkraut, sweet and hot mustards, absolutely great! We both picked the wrong day to go, because neither of us could have a beer, but they’ve got a beer list longer than the menu. We were both dying to have one. Plenty of other stuff on the menu, and chalkboards of specials. This place is dark and elegant, but simple. And what I enjoyed most was that it was quiet. If there was music playing, I didn’t hear any, and I found this very refreshing.


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