Each delivery is unique, as is each customer. Such as in the Third Arrondissement. There’s the elderly Francesca with cataracts and her dog Javier. In the Fifth, there’s Alex, who is never not cooking. In the Fifteenth, there’s that house full of artists and plumbers, always spending their pay in two days on exotic nights and sausages. And there’s Dougie in the Ninth, Roberto’s favorite errand, who once chased off an ex-boyfriend with a nunchuku. Roberto would criss-cross the city, always on call, with his trademark white helmet and knapsack, astride his buzzing steed, sometimes visiting the same client several times in a week, sometimes not seeing a client for months, but always it was an interesting affair, each transaction a miniature drama, a miniature practice of capitalism, a miniature nightmare of logistics.
Today, Roberto’s moped took him to a part of Paris who would have rather avoided. It was here in Montemartre that he had had his closest call with the uniformed services, and since that day he had shifted his operation such that it was now entirely through go-betweens. But when his phone buzzed awake that morning and Roberto saw the offer, he scooted out the door, his heart in his pocket.
Roberto wasn’t sure why this was, but he always parked in the same parking spot in Montemarte, a little corner across from a toy store and a magazine shop. No matter the crowds or the traffic, the spot would be open to him, as if reserved just for low lives.