Okay, my friend Gauthier a.k.a. Long Long a.k.a. the big boar has wanted to write me a dedication (or rather a small novel) to show his friendship, thus, as he’s a literary man, I’ve let him a page here…

Enjoy your reading!

 

« Get in, Jesus! We were waiting for you. Leave your shoes and sit down. » The first time should be like every other time. A swearword on the door, a second in the corridor, the last ones of rosary the time to give a kiss like Louise, Sandrine and Coralie. There was nothing ambiguous about the welcome. The reception was unambiguous. You were welcome. But you shouldn’t have fucked up too much. Maybe the table was cluttered with fresh noodles and morning apples. We’d pulled out the stool for you. Hervé was being yelled at for all sorts of good reasons that Eloi wanted to justify. In the furnace, the roast did what it had to do. It smelled good. It was loud. The damasiniers in the orchard seemed to be peeping out of the windows at the life they were feeding on. Here everybody loved each other.

Brandies come from this terroir. Shaped by the earth, the peoples, their harshness. Their infinite tenderness. They awaken memories in your mouth that modesty silences. Only fruits announce the color. Pear, quince, plum, cherry. Each shape has contours and tints of this Ajoulot hinterland that an almost sinuous road separates from just about everything. The country has a rebellious topography. We’re no longer in the plains. We feel that we are rising. Mont-Terri isn’t very far. The first fruit trees invite you to look up. These branches, then this chapel with its proud bell tower, and the aptly named Saint. A stone fountain before to arrive. Finally, the barn with the smells of old oak. Light rains down there, even in the barrels that we put down in the dark. Sheltered from the most curious. Waiting for something better. Soon what has been patiently cultivated, harvested, cleaned, will be taken to the Alembics to be shared.

Here the division is worth its weight in gold. As luck, these liquers have a collective sense. It’s almost better for your health but above all it prevents you from complaining too much. Or at least the humanity around helps to overcome the pain. We cry about a lot of things. Brandy is a liquer which has matured. It carries within it our old regrets. Together, he and we, we stick close to each other. We’d like to see that fucking dining table with its noodles and its beautiful people again. We go down the drain with the fiol. With a bit of courage, we let go of the names of those we miss, and we still venture to say « that’s fucked up ».

Hervé, without confessing himself, he has everything in mind when he leaves the works definitively. He has something of castaway: he doesn’t have a port but hopes. He’s mostly bored. He often dreams of that small corner of the sky that saw him grow up and where the ground keeps the memory of everyone and himself. He takes a step to the side which proves to be decisive. He goes back up to the village with convictions that are so many promises. Everything inside cries out this desire to see the orchard, the damassinier, the dining table again. And then this bell tower that calls out to him. He will miss almost nothing. What he still needs will come naturally.

He is trying to reconcile this barely recovered past with a present that he must recreate. He falls down on a strange machine at the bottom of a funny stalemate. It makes you wonder which one was waiting for the other. At the first smell, the air is filled with familiar perfumes. He perceives the invisible in this distillery, the sister of alchemy, which hides from our eyes in copper tubes with golden reflections, something that only true nostalgics are capable of envisaging. Just like him, she seems to break with what saw her birth before coming back to it. Irremediably. But ethereal. She’ll be this missing piece. The cord to yesterday and the springboard to tomorrow.

Hervé became a alembic the day where his father inserted in his child’s hand a handful of small yellow plums in their Courtemautruy orchard.

The story is on your taste buds.

 

– Gauthier a.k.a. Le Long