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Day 68: Be A Man.

My boss who I have named in my head, Tom Hanks had invited me to a little going away dinner to say thank you for my time at his company and to wish me luck with my future. We went to Maison de l'Aubrac in the 8th for steak, red wine and aligot; a heavily purée of mashed potatoes and cheese that you might as well slather on your outer thigh because that's surely where it'll end up. Tonight, I was going to eat like a real man. I'm pounding my chest right now. 

The restaurant decor is raw, like a ranch somewhere in the back countryside of France with somewhat disturbing portraits of farmers posing with their live cattle. Tom Hanks couldn't resist commenting on which livestock was going to taste the best leading me to express my distaste for seeing images of my food; back when it was alive. He retaliated that 'they'; as in the cows, should be happy that they got a picture taken immortalizing their lives in a Parisian restaurant. 'Before being slaughtered.' I added. He then rubbed his hands together asking what looked good on the menu. I stared at him, I'm sure that's what 'they' are or were happy about, their glamour shots. I smiled, I'm going to miss Tom Hanks.

After the wine came, we took our first sip and the brief silence inspired Tom Hanks to give me his review of Aurélien whom he had met last week. "He has a delicate handshake," he said. "And his shoes were too white." 

Just as our tender slices of sizzling, bloody Sirloin came wafting to the table, Monsieur Flâneur's childhood best friend of 25 years, Jacques walked in with his new girlfriend. I had not seen Jacques since the surprise birthday party I threw for MF in February which was a few weeks before he had broken up with me. Our eyes met and he came over to the table to say hello. I got up and nixed the Parisien double kiss and gave him an American style hug which always throws people off a bit but he got on board and reciprocated. He asked me how everything was while he affectionately held my hand. I always liked Jacques, he was my favorite friend of MF, so I didn't take his concern as condescending. I was honest and said that things had been just going alright and that I was going back to the States to regroup and recharge for a few weeks and was unsure about my return. He nodded his head knowingly. I then introduced him to Tom Hanks who I could sense was ready to eat leading me to wrap up the conversation. Jacques had told me to e-mail or call him whenever I wanted and that there was no reason that we couldn't keep in contact. I thanked him and wished him a Bon Appétit and smiled warmly at his girlfriend before they ventured off to their table. 

As Jacques had walked away and Tom Hanks had already started on slicing into his steak "Now there's a guy with a good handshake." he said while pointing his knife in the direction of Jacque's table. "A real businessman." He then contemplated what he said and looked left and then right before adding "But he sort of looks like Mr. Bean." Again, I'm going to miss Tom Hanks.

Maison de l'Aubrac
37, rue Marbeuf
75008 Paris

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