The Scent of Dignity

Please, please, you’ve come this far, let us have a drink.

Yes, we will drink, and this old man will tell you about, ha, “the resistance”.

I have seen your movies, you know. I have seen your Hollywood take on “the resistance”. Educational, I found them. I, for instance, did not know we all had hats and never shaved. Silly, not to shave, as it gives you a wonderful excuse to keep your razor sharp.

Oh yes, we all shaved quite frequently, back then. Quite frequently, to the point where we just had to carry a razor everywhere. Keep it handy, you understand.

Ah, and here are our drinks.

Mm.

Yes, let me tell you about…well, we didn’t call it “the resistance”. We simply called it life. It seems a melodramatic thing to say, but ah, secretly it is very practical. No? Well, who would go around calling their life and work “resistance”? Fools, is who.

And the fools, they did not last long.

No, the men, and of course, women, who your Hollywood calls “the resistance” were quiet people. The fire in their bellies…and that is one thing your Hollywood captured, was our fire…the fire in their bellies did not come out their mouths. They were careful to keep it out of their eyes. One never knew who would try to put the fire out, yes?

But the fire was there, and it showed in their actions. It takes something hot in the blood to stay…ah, appropriately quiet, and to also be appropriately active, when the situation calls for either.

I will give you an example…let us see, let us see…ah. You see Mr. L’Olonnais, sitting over there at his mushroom stand. Yes? You see he is quiet, a little sad, but he has a certain…something about him. Perhaps you think it is the smell. He smells as if he is damp, even when he is not.

That, young friend, is the smell of dignity. The smell of a man who lived life in those times…and kept his razor sharp indeed. Oh yes.

Another drink, then?

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Josh Hechinger is a future writing superstar/cautionary tale. He lives in Pennsylvania.

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