At Madeleine’s

30 March 2019

I was born and raised in the suburbs of Paris, still in the suburbs. AT
30 years old I met a Vendéenne.

At first I come on vacation, at my parents-in-law’s
Saint-Julien-des-Landes. From a suburb of 65,000 inhabitants of all
horizons I go to a village of 1,000 souls all Catholics. A 30
meters from the pavilion there is a nightmare. In Vendée, there are as many
Calvary squats in the Paris region. Saint-Julien looks like
any village in the area, as my father-in-law explains
who like the people of the countryside has the wisdom of people close to the
earth, the true meaning of things in life. “You have three addresses to
to know: to save your soul, there is the church, to lose it there is
coffee and for everything else you go to Madeleine “, the only trade of the
village: the bread, the stamps, the newspapers, the cigarettes, the
gas bottles, light bulbs, there is everything. in Paris there is
Samaritan, here is Madeleine.

One day, decided to buy Le Canard chained, here I am at home
Madeleine. A gray facade of grime, a door that squeaks when I
grows. Quickly, because it’s very small, I inspect the place. Sure
my right a wall covered with advertising posters, Puy-du-Fou and
other parks to visit in the department. In front of me an old counter
in wood behind which hangs the cigarette rack. Just a
left a newspaper stand, I make it turn, no duck
chained but just behind the turnstile, a dead one. In the room
to eat, sitting at the big table, a dead woman, a real dead woman. She is
wearing a lilac quilted dressing gown, the same color as her
hair strands. I came to buy a newspaper and I’m screened in
the fourth dimension. it reminds me of this phone conversation
with a great-uncle, also dead. I kept telling myself that this
was not possible, but he kept talking as if nothing
was. When he hung up, my mother asked who it was. I have it
said it was the great uncle who was dead. “Fool, it’s his wife who is
dead. “But this is a real dead girl, I can imagine Madeleine very well.
pass the feather duster to remove the cobwebs that hang around
of her just before the opening. It’s not Halloween and Madeleine does not
does not seem to be the type to make this kind of joke to his customers. So
as incredible as it may seem, it’s a dead woman, sitting there,
I do not know how long. I did not fall asleep while reading
a Stephen King, so I’m in real life and there’s a dead three
meters of me sitting at the table waiting maybe we serve him the
breakfast. I turn around to see if access to the
exit is clear, on the other hand to check if the outdoor landscape
looks like the one I know, if it’s the same as before I enter
in the shop. I tell myself that it does not prove anything. I’m looking at Madeleine,
unruffled behind his counter. I want to ask her if she has
aware of what is going on behind his back; that there is a death at
she. I do not dare. And if it was she, the high priestess of this
macabre ceremony. Suddenly the dead woman reaches out, catches a cup
that she raises, it could just as well be a fake. I tell myself that I
am in the presence of death in person. I want to scream, to scream
that my time has not arrived yet, that there must be an error of
planning, that I do not want to die now. Madeleine is clearing herself
throat. I grab a newspaper at random, pay it and get out of the store.

Back at my in-laws, I do not say anything about what I just
live. Instead I complain that I have not found my journal.
I remember very well that my stepfather has one of his outings
memorable: “Here we may not have a Duck chained, but we have
duck branleuses! ”

Kups, 50 years old

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