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April 21, 2013



Unlikely but true, she was a Barrons Top 100 Female Money Manager who also saw dead people, a fact she pretty much kept under wraps.

She looked like Mary Martin’s Peter Pan, kept her blond hair cut to 1″ in length, did competitive swimming in the 60-65 year old age group, and did 2 hours of Hot Yoga on Sunday mornings to unwind.

She traveled widely, was fluent in French, and a good golfer. Because she loved people and took chances, she was often thrown in with people who were not her kind. The time in a village in France when she’d chosen to spend the night in the guest room of a farmhouse, the only other occupants being the farmer, his wife, and their 16 year old son. Their immediate attraction was something a Barron’s Top 100 could probably handle, but what about Lucien?


Lucien had very large hands, so large in fact that he wondered if they’d been stretched by using them from the age of 3 to pull up turnips and endive, strap leather leads on the solid work horses. Later on when he was studying genetics he learned his hands were the hands his genes said were his hands.

His eyes were a heavenly blue and heavily lidded, so along with his long rumpled brown hair he looked like it was always daybreak between the sheets. He didn’t have to do a thing to attract lovelies; he was a whole lot of honey unto himself.


In her pretty good French she and the family enjoyed a stew of beef, red wine, turnips, and onions over thick buttered noodles followed by a salad, then cheese, nuts, and more wine. Her French got better as she drank. There was the misunderstanding about a French idiom.

She translated it as “There is a mouse in every hole in this house”. Since she was terrified by mice, rats, any rodent, she screamed as she jumped up out of her chair. The family looked at her like she was crazy since the idiom actually translated to “there is always food for a visitor” When it was all explained they laughed until they cried. From that moment on Lucien called her “ma petite souris”.


She was drunk when she climbed into the big lumpy bed and drunk still when he joined her. At 5am he woke up and gave his little mouse a final neck lick and nibble, adding a soft tiny kiss goodby before beginning his chores. She thrilled here and she thrilled there, little electric charges going off in places that she thought had been shut down.


Lucien it turns out had much more on his mind than soil and toil. He was an outstanding student and the French government pretty much lifted him up off the family farm and set him down in Paris. He was a kind man and a good scientist. The things he wondered about were DNA, RNA, nucleo-this, and nucleo-that. He found that chemicals in a happy environment grew lovely connections. When he moved the petri dishes to a hostile setting they became sick. So he reasoned and then proved over a lifetime that humans, made up of these exact same chemicals, became well, then sick, then well again depending on their environments. His research was tagged in the popular press as The Happiness Genes.


It was his nature to be kind and generous but when he grew older he appreciated what a gift it was to share these things. He sometimes thought of the night in the farmhouse with the charming petite mouse 40 years his senior and wondered if he’d made the chemicals inside the petri dish of her skin happy. He had.

  1. Daniel Robinowitz permalink

    Very interesting–where do your idea’s come from? Are/were you Lucien’s significant other?

    Dan Robinowitz

    • Don’t I wish there was a real Lucien! Fantasy from start to finish. Where do my ideas come from? Usually out of thin air when I’m least expecting them. Sometimes they wake me up at night and insist on being written down.
      Thanks for reading cuz. That NYTimes article you sent on stuffed artichokes is still on the brain. I would love to drive over to Langensteins and pick one up and eat the whole thing because what’s 5000 calories on any given day!

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