One week until Paris! Well, one week til I leave for Nice, and then two days after that I leave for Paris. I have really reached my limit of being in isolation. I know this because I’ve started online shopping. Well, okay, I haven’t actually bought anything yet, but I’ve drooled a lot.
I also have done lots of escaping into the world of Harry Potter. Willa and I have been listening to the seventh book on tape, or on iPod I guess, while we cook, and it’s really invaded my real world. Willa and I recently became full nerds when we wrote a rap song about Harry. I guess wrap: wizard rap. It’s great, and as soon as we get the music video up on youtube, I will let you know. We also have created a Harry Potter fan club headquarters. Valerie moved to her own apartment, and Willa took her bedroom. So we turned Willa’s old bedroom into a living room. Her bed and pillows has become a couch, and we turned a sort of shelf into a coffee table. And we’ve made lots of posters and signs and hung them all over. One says “Potter Fan Club, Long Live the Chosen One.” Having this area of our own is actually really nice. There’s a sort of freedom in the privacy it gives us. Most of what we do in this room is just watch trashy American television (there are some free downloads on iTunes) and drink tea.
We continue to cook two meals a day from scratch, as well as work in the garden. Yesterday we started gathering wood for the winter.
There are three dogs here, and two of them have been pregnant. One of them had her puppies probably the day before yesterday, and last night I found them with their mother. The mother dog is very sweet and trusting, and she let me pick up her puppies without any sort of nervous reaction. Of course, they were adorable. But Claude had been saying ever since it was obvious that the dogs were pregnant that he would have to drown the puppies. He doesn’t have the money to get his dogs fixed, or the money or will to have any more dogs. All the farmers around here get rid of their newborn dogs and cats. So this morning, I unhappily told Claude where I had found the puppies with their mother, knowing exactly what would happen next. It seems crueler to me to let all the puppies live and have them starve to death than to kill them quickly and keep the population in check. But after Claude took them, their mother started frantically looking everywhere for her puppies, shacking and panting and whining imploringly, especially to me, I think because I was the one who found her with them. All day, she’s been acting just like a mother of any species who can’t find her children. The only thing that could make the situation worse is laughing at it, and that’s exactly what Claude has done. He keeps making jokes to the poor dog herself about how her puppies took a nice swim today and how she’s better off without children to bother her. It makes me want to throw up. And he thinks he’s being cute, or showing how manly he is because he can laugh at killing things. Frankly, I think it’s just redneck. It’s a trait that I have seen in other people who live close to the land like this. Not everyone, of course, but some people with a similar lifestyle have Claude’s same attitude of needing to show their toughness and their disregard for anything “city people” think is pretty or sacred. It’s as though he’s showing how he can kill puppies without a second thought to prove his paysan-ness. But somehow I don’t find it tough or paysan to laugh at a mother whose babies have just been killed, even if that mother is not human. Maybe I’m being too hard on Claude. He made it clear that he doesn’t like to have to kill puppies. But I just don’t think the way of dealing with mercy killing is by being flippant. The real icing on top of the cake was when the dog found her dead puppies in the garbage and tried to take them back and hide them in the house. And I feel responsible because I was the one who told Claude she had puppies. But I don’t know what else I could have done; he was bound to find out at some point. So all in all, it hasn’t been a great day.