Rose Reiss & Jean Bolze (Papi) by April Reiss

Rose Reiss & Jean Bolze (Papi) by April Reiss

From: SAGReiss

Date: 6 January 2010

Subject: Papi's Mother's Cookbook

We cut the Three Kings' cake, and Chantal was the unwilling queen, although she claimed I cheated, even though I didn't manage to do that proficiently for my own daughter. There were only the two of us & the bakers. Fortunately Chantal & I are mostly unemployed. We talked about food & sex, the proverbial subjects that interest everyone, at least in France, including Papi (ne 1929), who contributed his ideas about sorrel, which I had brought up, and which he claimed caused him to shit in his pants in 1963, since he couldn't make it to the river in time to poo, and then opened a cupboard to take out his mother's cookbook, which the baker's wife dated at 1889, and I placed in Paris. It wasn't really very impressive, aside from its physical age, as compared for example to Ginette or the Joy of Cooking. Brillat-Savarin was also mentioned. I read aloud the recipe for blanquette de veau, but there was no talk of carrots or celery, and only a vague reference to bechamel (white sauce), which they may have assumed everyone knew how to make. In any event it was two good hours of time at the end of this man's life, and in the middle of ours. What is wrong with that?

16 August 2009, Les Vans, Ardèche, France
Click for Portrait Gallery.

From: SAGReiss

Date: 6 January 2010

Subject: Do not go gently

Attached: dylan_thomas_do_not_go_gentle.mp3

I think we're losing Papi. I asked him not to die, but that's what he says he wants. I'm stopping in every evening, but not many other people are, Chantal (who loves him & hates him like an old wife), maybe the baker & his wife tonight. I told him that he was the memory of Les Vans, and he proved it by telling me some insane story of what happened on 2 June 1952, which I said proved my point, since he apparently thought it important enough to mention the anecdote. I told him that if he dies, he'll take too many other people with him. He didn't understand. I said he would take with him the memory of everyone who's already been forgotten by everyone else. We'll replay the Three Kings' cake episode in two hours for Papi's benefit with the neighborhood people. He's spending the afternoon at a funeral, but he seemed in a better mood than yesterday, maybe because it isn't his funeral. Some of these old people are tough motherfuckers. I remember Alonzo, whom I don't think Nichelle ever met, an old drunk in the Syracuse ghetto. He may have died at the bar for all I know. Well, no, someone would have told me if he had died in the saddle. I think I'm painting C the G into a corner. Damien wouldn't let me press charges for the health book, claiming it wasn't exactly against the law, even when I suggested that she had stolen what belongs to Rose. I didn't insist, and he gave me a big Christmas present. He told me that C the G had seen a replacement doctor in Joyeuse, so it was pretty easy to find out who my next victim is, if she won't fess up on Saturday morning, when I'm meeting her at ten o'clock. I've already forwarded C the G's telephone message to the gendarmerie, in which she says she was "at the doctor's in an emergency" at six o'clock in the evening on Friday 4 December. Rose had already been absent from school for two weeks with bronchitis, so it was hardly an emergency. She went to the doctor's, and solicited a prescription for antibiotics, to give herself an alibi. The cover-up, you cunt. No luck with the mayor so far, but Marie's father told me it was a good idea, so I will insist, since the mayor is technically the magistrate of his jurisdiction. The Procurer will take his calls. He will not answer my e-mail. On the other hand, some badly paid underling at the ministry of health did answer my e-mail to the minister, on paper of course (CC to the local Order of Doctors) just to make things more efficient. It don't matter what these people say. It's the letterhead that counts. Like the Purloined Letter, like the fatal words of Phedre, it don't matter what's said, nor by whom, nor to whom, but the utterance matters, and cannot be undone.

Rose & SAGReiss & Belle par Lucile Thoron Rose Reiss & Salami (piglet) by SAGReiss Rose Reiss & Jean Bolze (Papi) by April Reiss
Rose Reiss & Jackie by SAGReiss Rose Reiss by SAGReiss
The Rose Album