"it's a mystery" Sebastian said, pulling the steaming potato casserole out of the oven, to the relief of the others "How we can live and love and learn all of our lives, only to find that everything we are has come full circle."
He sat the dish on the counter, a dull thud echoed. "Just last night, I was reading my son a story. The Lorax, actually. It occurred to me, laying there in bed with him, that my own father used to read this same story to me. In that moment, I felt like I was three people. I was me as a child, listening eagerly for the next line to be spoken. I was myself, pacing through the words, careful not to trip. And at the same time, I was my father, feeling the same feelings he felt as he read to his little boy."
Slowly, carefully, thick slices were layed on plates. Everyone, standing still, quiet, as David ran around with a bottle of wine. He went around and he poured and poured and poured.
"You know..." Sebastian continued "This recipe, right now? It was my fathers. Passed down from his father. It's funny how little things like this outlive us. As if a thread is strung through us, tugging us along the same path, only in different times".
Everyone sat down. The plates had never before looked more full. They ate with an eagerness found only in times of great famine, or great loss.
He baked because it was one of the few things he could do. No mockery or snide comments ever accompanied his gooey cinnamon buns or crisp pies. They were things he could rely on. They would come out of the oven to greet him warmly, and they would fill(more) him with sweet acceptance he could find nowhere else in his life.
They were his company. His friends. They would whisper sweet nothings in his ear.
"We will never leave you."
"We will never harm you."
"Smother you in sickly syrup till you cough."
On rainy days he would walk to school alone. Once his white t-shirt soaked through, and, like his kindred savory goods, his rolls displayed themselves for the general public.
He baked because he was heartlessly knighted the "Dough Boy". His destiny presented itself like slow, sizzling irony - and who was he to object?
Sifting self loathing through years of rejection he'd garnish with salty tears - his goods always turned out perfect.
Baked? No, I would say he cooked. Baking takes patience, faith in rising yeast and the ability to mix things together into a paste without questioning why. Baking requires you to add everything together at the same time. You can't leave an egg out, no, you must substitute it's(more) properties with something else. It isn't all about taste, about spices, about mood. Its about chemistry. Necessary chemistry.
He made pasta salad, fried rice, egg scrambles with bacon: meals in which all the pieces could be seen, and plucked out if you didn't like them. Piled in a corner on the edge of your plate and covered neatly with a crumpled napkin. He liked this option, especially when it came to feeding many people. It was an easy way out.
I find baking therapeutic. There are fewer options. There is warmth. There is a whole that can't be divided so easily. Maybe this is why we didn't make it, and why my house was covered in bread and muffins the month after he moved across the country. Bread is heavier than olives and cheese. It stays put on the counter, and basks in the sun coming through the window. (less)
(Blonde female with corporate look, french manicure, very white teeth): "Look at this folks! He baked thirty-nine, that's right, THIRTY NINE in just 3 days!"
(Clapping, oohing and ahhing. Camera pans over display of 39 on very clean granite countertop).
(Brunette male with button-up (more)sport-shirt, moderate neck hair sprouting out of top button, khakis and brown belt): "That's right, and it was EASY, Pam! With the Godco Cosmic Cake-o-Matic, YOU can make as many planets as you want!"