The Cake of Regret, Drudgery, and Satisfaction
My tongue ran across the slick, smooth surface. A slightly bitter taste was mingling with sweetness—creamy textured perfection. At midnight, with all sleeping soundly in their darkened rooms, there was no one but Big Dog to watch me lick that thing clean, getting it on my nose and across my chin.
Big Dog with a crack in the road that very much makes me think of a crack in the top of a cake.
Big Dog, being a beast of practicality, lost interest and went to stick his snout in the garbage can to fish out a butter wrapper. He carried if off gingerly between his jaws, settling down onto the floor to lick it well beyond clean. He and I were at one in the kitchen, at opposite poles, but both getting what we wanted.
To think I had been berating that cake batter an hour earlier.
I was a scarecrow in need of a good staking. In the absence of my stake my body had gone all floppy, with legs and arms haphazardly splayed across the couch. Too tired, I moaned. The children are asleep, I should be asleep. Why? Why did you do this to yourself?
Forty-Eight Hours Earlier
It’s almost autumn equinox time. Oh how fun it will be to invite my best friend, and a couple of the neighborhood ladies over. We will have a nice quiet little celebration of the passage of the year.
Twenty-Four Hours Earlier
It is a party, after all. I might as well invite more people – make it a real party. I will just invite a few more, but don’t want to leave anyone out…
Back to Eleven O’clock
Why did you invite everyone? Why do you do this to yourself every year? Yes, it is fun. But you could have been lounging on this couch all night, you fool. Now you’ve got to make that damn cake.
“I put the beer in the fridge,” my husband announced as he saw me entering the kitchen. Earlier in the evening he had carefully examined the bottle of Guinness sitting on the counter. I reminded him that I had bought it specifically for the autumn equinox tradition of the pain-in-the-ass Guinness chocolate cake, which is interspersed with pumpkin cake layers. Two cakes to make in one sleepy, pre-equinox night.
Of course you did, I smirked to myself. My husband is a disciplined man. He only allows himself a certain number of beers in the house per week. Once they are gone, he is out…unless he happens to get very lucky. I decided I had better get a move on, as I only needed two cups of beer, and I knew he’d be back before too long looking lustily at that over-sized beer bottle.
A random picture of Big, because I take a lot of nighttime pictures of him and not a lot of nighttime cakes.
There is something beautiful about the way beer seems to eat butter as they meld together in a pan. Two unlikely friends, unaware that they are meant for each other. And then you make a threesome with the cocoa whisked in, and all parties are just one big gooey mess of togetherness.
“Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Alright,” I set to work. “Each spoonful sprinkled in with love,” I said dryly, as I stood on my tired scarecrow legs.
It’s just the way cake baking goes—one minute you begrudge the first baker to ever create a thing requiring the careful measuring of each sprinkle of flour, and the next you are gleefully wrapping your tongue around a beater coated in batter goodness (while your husband is happily swigging the Guinness leftovers.)
Who cares, I’m going to sleep.
Yay to me for writing consistently for 8 days, although my heart was not in this last one. Now I get to party, after a very long sleep.