MY BROTHER’S OYSTERS


It is 6pm and, again, it is snowing on Paris. The snow flakes are thick and melt as soon as they hit the pavement. I cross the street and the wind hits my chest like a heart attack and yet I have on a thick sweater covered by a leather jacket. My face no longer exists, I know it is there but I cannot feel it to the touch. My finger tips have a life of their own, they tingle.
No, I am not crying, that’s the look I have when I meet the cold. I just find it difficult to smile.

I head to the drug store for my brother.  He tried, he did his best to hold it for the past two days but this morning he woke up with a fever. The cold is pernicious and anchored his body to the stage that only medicine can free him. He already acquired cold habits; he blows his nose in tissues, coughs with a deep cavernous sound and pronounces words with mainly the consonant B and some distorted vowels.
“I hab a bold.”
“And you do, I can tell.”  

Though, while walking, my head rings from his words when I was about to leave the house. “Id woub be bood to eat oysters.  It is bull of bitamin and bood for bold.”
“I didn’t know oysters have good vitamins to fight cold but I know that we shouldn’t go out this evening if you’re sick.”

Yesterday, my brother’s friends ask us to join them this evening to eat oysters. My brother doesn’t like oysters he looooves them.
I am not too sure of the reason for my brother to get well so quick. I think it is foremost to eat oysters this evening. He wants to feel better for the moment, eat oysters and then go back to bed to cure his left over cold.
“Is it raining?”
“No! It’s snowing.”
“Again!”
“Yes! And could I have some Actifed and some Fervex.”
“Is it for a child or an adult?”
“Adult, please.”

I am back home and give the magic potion together with a spoon, water and a glass to my brother who is now in bed.  Don’t be confused, Fervex comes in powder form and drunk with water. The spoon is to twirl the Fervex powder with the water in a glass so it dissolves uniformly.  Don’t feel bad, I did not know about Fervex until my brother asks for it.

Anyway, it is 7:30pm and my brother has taken a shower.  He has a robe on and from the bathroom’s door looks at me in the kitchen. “We are leabing in hab an hour.”

The car is covered with a layer of three inches snow, the tires water-sky on slush and lucky, Paris is almost deserted on a Saturday night.

“La Criée” is a nice restaurant, they have more than one with the same name, and their specialty is sea food.  My brother’s friends Pascal, Alain, José and Jean-Paul are seated at the back waiting for us. I introduce myself and we carry on a nice conversation.

We order four plates of oysters and two others something else as a starter.  Before the food is served my brother excuse himself to go to the restroom.

The oysters are on the table served on a bed of crushed ices and designed half lemons and under the large plate stand; special sauces, two types of bread and butter.

These slimy odd-looking mollusks are eaten live from their shells.
I take one, squeeze a dash of lemon and with a small fork remove it from its nacre housing and put it in my mouth then swallow a sip of the lemony sea water from its shell.  No, I will not tell you if I chewed the oyster or not but that stuff is good.

We finish our oysters and my brother comes back from his emergency. He eats the first one and complains;
“Dib you libe your oysters.”
 “Oooh yes!” was the reply in unison.
“Hmm, ok …. Dib you finb dem kinb of bat?”
“Oooh no, not fat at all!” Then he eats his last one and takes back his sick look.

The lad is so sick that he does not order anything else and seats quietly the evening.
The rest of us follow-up with a main course and I select moule marinière and we drink a fantastic crisp and light German white wine.

I really hope that my brother enjoyed his oysters as much as I enjoyed my evening.  My brother wants to go home.  The lad is really sick.

Patrick-Bernard

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One response to “MY BROTHER’S OYSTERS

  1. I pray and hope your brother gets better.
    Un cordial saludo.

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