We have returned to Arcachon, and while the girls are swimming, I have moved out of the sun, into one of the many cafe’s along the boardwalk. It’s a rather nice location, but finding the right spot to rest is a bit of a pain. To maximize space, the tables along the boardwalk are pressed tightly together in front of each cafe, and since I wanted to find some shade, my options were limited.
I have settled at Le Thiers Arcachon, which is a nice restaurant right next to the pier in the center of the boardwalk. I have been joined by six oysters, who would normally plan to simply share my company, totally unaware of the nefarious ends I have in store for them, assisted by my companion, le verre vin rouge.
Mussels are actually the seasonal favorite dish out here, and actually in most areas of France that we have found. A bucket of Mussels with a side of pomme frites for 13-15 euros seems to be the standard serving, and you can hear the constant clicking of shells together and they are picked clean and discarded by locals and tourists alike.
Four of my companions remain. I can sense their fear and unease as they must begin to understand that their compatriots were not sent away likely, and may never be returning. The sound of a glass crashing to the ground has distracted them, for the moment. I must play my hand carefully here, as if they become aware of their fate the whole street could become alarmed at their screams. Vin rouge keeps them in line.
The smell of the beach here is particularly clean. Most folks love to visit the shore and breathe in the "deep smell of the sea". Of course, the sea itself has no actual smell. That smell is rotting stuff on the beach, and it is only through association with fun and sun that people like the odor. Here the beaches are clean, and you smell the cooking food, light salt in the air, and only a hint of fish and oysters.
Speaking of which I attempt to thin the herd by one more, but he puts up a struggle. no quick, clean death for him, I am forced to put him down hard, and make an example for the others. I am now forced to rule by fear. But let them fear me, I do not care, I do what is best and let the chips fall where they may. History will vindicate my actions, of that I am sure.
As cloudy as it has been in Bordeaux, it is clear here, the clouds seem to fly past, giving us good, warm skies with only wisps of clouds floating past. The red canopy over my table gives a rose glow as the clouds pass, then subsides as more float in front of the sun. It is quite a pleasant effect. Really the best aspect about taking the time to write on location like this is that it forces you to actually notice what is about. It is far too easy to run from sight to sight, or to lose track of the great scenery around you as you try to find a operational public toilet, (which is quite a feat in and of itself).
No more struggles from my compatriots now, just a sad march to their fate. I almost pity them in their complacence, but to pity them would only bring them a respect they ill deserve. This is their lot in life, and they must face it alone. I have separated the two remaining oysters, as I do not want them together and plotting against me in desperation. it is well known that Oysters are most dangerous when backed into a corner. Le verre vin rouge has been of little help of late, I am afraid I shall have to finish him off too, and look for a replacement. Good help is hard to find.
We are approaching the end of the lunch hour (which lasts 5 hours) and people are packing up. Finding a place to eat between 3:00 and 7:00 can be quite troublesome. I picked this location partially because the sign out front said Service Non-Stop (or something like that in French). However, I suspect that they just pull the sign inside when they get tired.
The view of the beach from this location is not bad, I can see where the family is resting, but no not have as good a view of the topless women as I had last time. Since most of the women appeared to be the "before" shots from the series Nip/Tuck, that really isn’t too disappointing. It really goes without saying that those women who are worth looking at topless have little desire to go out as such. Likely they feel no need to show off. It rather makes sense, after all, why don’t you see The Herbfarm advertising themselves widely? Because they don’t have too.
The waitress has appeared, and with a smile, tried to rescue the remaining oyster off of my table. She was probably paid off in pearls by members of this oyster’s family, these waitstaff types have no moral backbone. I fended her off with dirty looks and that little cocktail fork, an epic battle indeed. In restitution for her insolence I demanded another glass of wine to replace the one that I was forced to "liquidate". I cannot be held responsible for my actions when my hand is constantly forced by others.
Some kind of bachelor party or other excuse for men in drag with tambourines is marching past now, playing a flute. Perhaps this is penance for some sin, or what the French do instead of paying parking fines. I do not know, nor do I care to. it is exactly this type of degenerate behavior that we expect from people who are exposed to too much sun. I guess the French have their Californians too.
I am alone. The cafe has emptied. Behind the oyster bar, a man is looming with a shucking knife that seems suspiciously sharp. The man sweeping the floor is speaking into a little microphone in his collar. I must look to my own preservation now. To cover any hint of my crime I tear open the silver package of the rince doigts (refreshing towel), giving me the air of innocence and a pleasant lemon scent. I have a new waitress now, she has come to take the bill and she seems oblivious to the events that have transpired here today. Perhaps madness drove the other waitress away, perhaps her shift ended, who can say? Who can say…