#106. The Epicure

There’s an epicerie downtown I frequent. Well, frequented. I don’t think I’ll be back there again. Ever since I moved here, I’ve gone there for lunch, picked up an orangina and a croque monsieur, and ate it at the counter. The owner’s a real epicure, one of those hardcore French gourmet. Listen, Sandy, I know you wouldn’t have asked unless you were interested, but this isn’t really in your usual line, and Monsieur Boyer is a friend of mine. Don’t go telling anyone this shit.
Anyways, a couple weeks ago he smiles at me when I come in and tells me he’s got something special and he wants to share it with me. He says he’s got a couple ortolan smuggled in from a farm up north that raises the damn things in secret. An ortolan is like a finch or a bunting. But what the French do to them is just sick.
They keep them in the dark and force feed them oats and millet. Once they’re fucking huge, they drown them in column-still brandy and leave them there until they cook them whole. You put it in your mouth until only the beak is out and then you bite down and eat it whole. Eyes, organs, all of it. The bones splinter and slash your gums and tongue, but that’s part of it. It adds this salty, coppery taste.
Monsieur Boyer put my head under the tablecloth before he served me. He says it’s how you do it, so you can hide from god. I couldn’t see anything, all I could do what feel him push it into my mouth, taste it, and chew.
The next morning, I coughed up what looks like a human eye. Monsieur Boyer was gone and nobody has seen him since.
Jesus Sandy, What the fuck did I eat?

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