This hen thing provides as much excitement as you can get living in the middle of nowhere, but I know it’s only exciting to me, so you have my promise that I won’t barrage you with hen updates – no one needs a blow-by-blow account of what I stick in the hen. This reassurance is brought to you by the fact that we went grocery shopping yesterday, and I can now report that there’s 155.00 euro in the hen. Okay, I’m done bragging about it. I just think it’s a good idea to stash things away. I never used to be like this. It probably began out of paranoia when I moved here and a bunch of things vanished in the shipping.
The other day, Callaghan and I were upstairs in la bergerie (a building for the shelter of sheep. We have the building, but not the sheep), looking for the long screws we’d bought specifically for the shower fixture in the house. We diligently searched the entire place until our fingers turned blue with cold. It’s colder in la bergerie than it is outside… I mean, meat freezer cold! Just before giving up, it occurred to us to peek inside the beat-up old antique metal dentist cabinet that Callaghan accidentally got from a dentist office in Antibes. (Yes, by accident. It’s long story.)
I’d always thought there was something creepy about this dentist cabinet. The cabinet’s wide, shallow drawers had come filled with all sorts of little instruments and drills – dentistry’s accoutrements of bygone times – that Callaghan had removed for use on various projects. It could be, we thought, that the missing screws had made their way into those empty drawers at some point. Ghostly, pain-inflicting screws, I couldn’t help but think. I peered over Callaghan’s shoulder with a bit of trepidation; it wouldn’t have surprised me if the dentist cabinet turned out to hold supernatural properties, transforming everyday objects into tiny medieval torture instruments. Contents of its drawers were not to be trusted.
Callaghan pulled open the top rusty drawer and found… six boxes of Nespresso capsules, cold and forgotten.
For Callaghan, it was like one of those cheesy fantasy movie scenes where someone opens the treasure chest or caldron or whatever and soft golden streams of light emerge to illuminate his face with the warm glow of unexpected wealth and knowledge. Here we’d been out of Nespresso for a month, and a haunted, cold dentist cabinet yawns open to reveal this stash. It was marvelous. For a person who lives and dies by coffee, Nespresso is crack. It had been heart-breaking to see Callaghan standing in the kitchen looking mournfully at the Nespresso machine as it started to collect dust from disuse.
So the next time we’re in need of something that can only be obtained via mail order because there’s no specialized boutique in Rhône-Alpes, we’ll look in la bergerie. That dentist cabinet seems to be a larger version of the hen, except I always know exactly what the hen holds. I guess this is why the dentist cabinet is more compelling. It’s one thing to stash things away for future use, but another thing entirely to stash it away, forget about it, and find it again, completely by accident and just when you need it the most.
I think I’ll let Callaghan make those discoveries himself, though. I’ll watch the pretty hen. He can watch the creepy dentist cabinet. Sounds like a fair deal to me.