Thife

  My name is Christian Richelieu. In general, the name is good, both last name and first name are well-known (the last name is the same as the French noble Duke Richelieu, the name is Christian in English, meaning Christian.-Annotation), but the last name and first name are important to my life Neither had a big impact.
  I don’t believe in a savior, this is actually self-evident. Some people believe that the Savior can save us from loneliness and despair. If it were not for the unfortunate, I would be amused by this belief. I have seen sad faces on the street, full of longing for salvation, sincere and true, so I didn’t laugh.
  The cardinal (referring to the first Duke of Richelieu of the French Bourbon dynasty with the same surname as the protagonist, and a former cardinal.-Annotation) is at least as French as me. He is a politician and a pragmatist, and he does not hesitate to seek solace in this world. Maybe he found it, who knows? However, he was a great defender first, and then a sinner who violated moral standards one after another, and I was neither.
  I just ignored the code of ethics.
  There is so much to say about my name, my name is more interesting than looks. I’m just plain looking, it fits my career well, it’s an advantage, and there’s nothing more to say.
  ******
  I was a little boy when I first started as a pickpocket, and the man who taught me the craft was Moses Marcant. Moses was born in Algiers and was a Frenchman living in Algeria. He moved to Paris as soon as the war ended, and lived with my parents in a run-down apartment building near Place Italia (located in the 13th arrondissement of Paris). in. He was in his old age when he taught me the craft, and his stature was rickety. He smelled of patchouli perfume, gave out a smell of garlic when he hiccups, and had a dirty ceramic pipe in his mouth, often muttering to himself.
  Moses lived above us. I used to see him drag his feet upstairs in the stairwell, his body was full of smoke, and his mouth was muttering words that others didn’t understand, mixed with Arabic and French. My parents are still young and my grandparents are no longer alive. I learned through Moses that it is difficult for young people like me to understand the aging of old people. Whether indoors or outdoors, he wears a shabby crimson Turkish Fez hat.
  I must be fifteen or six years old when Moses liked me. He suffered from cataracts, which led to loss of vision and arthritis, which caused physical disability. But he is a good teacher, careful and strict. I seem to be critical of the actions of others from time to time. This is because Moses taught me that in this world abandoned by God and man, the meaning of life comes from being proud of my work. He tirelessly promotes this creed, and I agree with it.
  People who did my job at that time respected this craft. In jargon, we call ourselves pickpockets, which means “thief who picks things out”. We taunted our heads when we recognized our counterparts on the street. We are polite. At that time, the civilized world had not yet begun to decline, and even pickpockets were proud of their industry. They rely on hard work to acquire skills and must be self-disciplined. Joining this industry requires full dedication, which is a necessary price. To be honest, we treat our industry as an art.
  At the beginning, Moses asked me to practice in his apartment. I played truant day after day, learning pickpocketing tricks through mannequins, which were made of old suits stuffed with blankets. Later, Moses wore a very handsome red velvet jacket that I had never seen him wearing before. It smelled of musty and camphor, so I could practice on him. This exercise is tedious and demanding. Moses was very strict. He twisted my ears when I lost my mind. “Learn to concentrate!” He scolded me, “Controlling the mind means controlling the destiny.” Of course it is difficult. The mind of a teenager is like a wild horse. But I tried my best. As the days passed, my ears didn’t hurt so much. The idea of ​​controlling my destiny attracted me. Even though it has been so long, I am still interested in this idea.
  Six months later, Moses began to let me practice in public places. He insisted that I steal his wallet from subways, shopping malls, and street corners. In the end he allowed me to fight and called this my baptism.
  At the Saint-Lazare train station, I picked up the wallet of a huge man at the peak of the crowd. The man was catching a train, and Moses stood in front of him. He tripped and cursed. I helped him up, but he pushed me away angrily. I went to the men’s bathroom and opened my wallet. There were six hundred francs, a faded photo of his wife, the phone numbers of several prostitutes, listed according to their prices, and a box of condoms. Except for the wallet and photos, I left the rest. But his wife is not ugly, with golden curly hair and a melancholy smile.
  That was a long time ago. I will be 63 years old next month. Although pickpocketing is laborious, it is not like manual labor and conflicting office work. It will not consume my will. If I want to, I can withdraw from the pickpocketing industry today. I plan carefully with my money, and I’m definitely better than others in this regard.
  It must take a long time to tell the story of my life. And like everyone else, most of my life has been dull. I was married, but after a dispute arose, I divorced. Both of my children are now grown up and lead a well-deserved life. I will visit them, but they have their own business to be busy. I live in an apartment, have been betrayed in love, and have done bad things myself. I am very selfish. I am on holiday by the sea, paying attention to my weight, eating fish, not meat, and taking a walk in the Luxembourg Gardens to exercise. Gravity has performed its duties as usual, and my waist often hurts. I have a problem with my prostate, which is very common at my age. I live alone, but I have a grumbling mistress and a few friends. I like to drink good wine and listen to music. I live a quiet life. I don’t expect much from others, so I have never been disappointed. So, as I just said, almost every aspect of my life is ordinary.
  The interesting thing is the work, which is my job. There is no doubt that my work seems romantic to some extent. There is no boss and no fixed working hours. Have plenty of time to think or daydream. Relying on the mind to eat is full of challenges. Although the above is true, it is still a job, my profession, my business. Like other businesses, there are many requirements in my business. I never let myself forget this. People who forget this become lazy, pickpocketing habitually, go to jail, and self-destruct.
  However, people are curious about my business and want to know the details, the more exotic the better. I heard that the person who was stolen was actually ecstatic and would brag about his misfortune. But like other jobs, strange things only happen occasionally, and the rest of the days are prolonged and flat, even monotonous.
  So how can I describe my career objectively? Perhaps retelling three anecdotes that I am happy to review is the easiest way. Each anecdote uniquely describes my career, and each one describes my actions better than others.