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Christmas Cake from Cornwall

Christmas Cake from Cornwall by Ramones Karaoke, flickr

He liked the feel of her in his hands, like risen dough he mashes down and forms again when he is on the job as a pastry chef. She is large, so much larger than most women he has seen, and so fair.

Secretly, to his family and friends she was his big cinnamon, that is what he called her, using a synechdoche in which a part represents a whole, in this case, the sweet smell of her and kindness representing her oversized sweet yeast bun type body. He was no small creature himself and when he met her and slept with her, he felt a kind of echoing satisfaction in his bones, through his blood and flesh.

He brought to her sweet confectionary: chocolate covered strawberries, cheese cake, chocolate ganache, banana bread, baklava, cream cheese iced red velvet. He loved to watch her consume his offerings with abandon, to observe her big red glossed lips, her cheeks smooth and creamy, her plump, baby like fingers shoveling in bites of his creations.

And yet. There were times when he felt it might be more appropriate for her to wait. Why did she always have to eat a piece of what he brought her on the selfsame day? What was wrong with her that she didn’t have the restraint to put something in the freezer, to wait for an occasion to bring out and share it later at an event?

He wasn’t sure what event he had in mind exactly. She was clearly on her own, divorced, hanging out in coffee shops while he worked all night, jabbering with musicians and reading her poetry and sending him pictures on her phone. She had her little white dog and her adult son at times. She was no longer a socialite but a burnt out star.

Still, she could have used some restraint.

But she clearly loved him: “Dear Charles, you are the best, the most brilliant! The night we spent was beyond compare. Remember that waiter? hahaha! You made short work of him, my beautiful god!” This is the kind of thing she would text to him by phone and he would erase it with one click of his generous strong finger, preferring instead to talk to her the next day on his way home from work.

For the holidays, he made her a huge Christmas cheesecake, topped with a strawberry swirl glaze, red and green candies, a yellow chiffon cake side dyed with a green checkerboard pattern of tiny green trees. He had to work on Christmas Eve but stopped by to give her the cake and wish her well.

Her face was tear stained when she opened the door, he could see that. Her son had preferred to stay with his father for the night. And she was alone.

She took the cake from him and set it on the counter. She embraced him in thanks. She insisted he sit down for a moment. She had made coffee.

She took the cake from the box and placed it on a silver stand and exclaimed over it and kissed him again.

He sipped her coffee, she knew how to make it just the way he liked, straight, smooth, and dark.

And yet, she took a silver cake cutter, a holdover from a different life, and sliced right through the heart of his cake, the artfully swirled puree, the tenderly created trees.

That plump, baby hand on the silver server, the lifting of a piece right from the Christmas heart of it all and the ungracious plopping of it onto a plate, the insertion of a large bite right into her fat face.

He couldn’t take it anymore.

He told her he had to leave.

In the crisp and biting air, alone on the front step, he knew: On the morrow, he would be free.



You may also enjoy my Christmas story “Santa Baby” published in the UK journal Use Your Words: here.

You may also enjoy reading my story “Cocoa Beach Christmas,” here.

“Santa Baby” is racier, while “Cocoa Beach Christmas” is most definitely rated G.

Thank you for reading and Merry Christmas!