CLEO ASABRE-HOLT – BAKERY BLUES
Please let it be 1am. Even 3am.
But hopefully 11pm.
So I still have time in bed far away
enough from my alarm clock going off not to stress
I am a Baker. Bakeries open for…
The early breakfaster.
This means 4:30am wake up, even on Sundays.
Woefully, my frequenters are pretentious
University of Nottingham Students,
With voices of eloquence exaggerated, of
“Had to be up for an 11am.
lecture today and it was so ridiculous.”
“Where’s all the pan au chocolats?”
“Oh, cookies are on offer? I love oat and raisin.
They’re like 70p. I’m literally going to buy them all.”
Oh my god. Please do not take them all.
Because I don’t wana have to spend
the next few hours of my day baking more.
I hear her parasitic fingertips crinkling
paper bags. Squeezing the goods insides.
I feel violated.
But it’s not time for that yet,
I’m cosied up in bed.
Phone lights up before I pick it up,
The sound gross to me ears
- Does impression of alarm –
Why haven’t I got round
to changing that “Playtime Tone”
on my iPhone yet?
Out of bed; cold.
Porridge. Dressed. Goodbye
2 miles across The Forest,
through Hyson Green,
past creepy block of flats,
A couple of guys ask,
“You gona give me one round the back love?”
Comforting dog walker I’ve only ever seen once appears.
I feel all right.
Down Denman Street Central
He swiftly crumbles…
my stomach rumbles insecure again.
Keep going and arrive at work before time.
About 5:55. Always early so I wait, patient.
*Pause: Clock watching on the stage*
Manager late but unlocks doors and I am inside.
Turn to my right;
Take note of the brown paper ‘A’ ‘B’ & ’C’ bread bags.
A’s, the smallest, for the batons and Ciabatta’s.
C’s the largest for this cumbersome looking “Pave” thing
But mostly I use the B’s because the breads fit in neat.
Snug and attractive.
I guess the bread bags kind of remind me of women’s breasts.
And that my B’s are more than adequate.
I mentally and physically phase out
In solitary with my little oven
this is how it goes in a corporate bakery.
I guess. Until…
“I’m gona get two chocolate croissants –
Like the big dog that I am,”
Chortles through the wicker baskets
as crap out of my arsehole on a particularly bad day of IBS.
I am no longer in my space of serenity.
“Are the TTD cookies
made with an alcohol free recipe.”
– Are you joking…?
“Do you know where I can find the organic eggs?”
I gesture *seriously?!*
“Give me warm croissants.”
“You best bin wearin’ gloves.”
This Guy! He is insulting me man and
I want to break him in half
Dunk him in my tea just to drown
out the sound of him bothering me.
Sadly, the saliva in my mouth
flocks back down my throat,
swallowing what I want
to say and politely relays:
“It’s against store policy to wear gloves good sir.
One carries more germs that way.
Rest assured I am doing all I can
to guarantee my cleanliness.”
I want to slap myself in the face for that pretence.
Deflated, I recoil from shop floor back to my enclosure
and feel I have been personally attacked by what I notice next…
A half eaten apple core left hanging about.
Just hanging about next to my muffins.
Take note of the pronoun in use here:
MY- a form of the possessive case of I.
Because I am crazy possessive of my products man.
And it riles me up when people just take the pecan out of me.
So the apple core right,
Hanging about, chillin’, casual you know.
Like that is normal or something.
The bakery sometimes feels like an anxiety simulator.
I have broken down in this box room before,
crying my eyes out like, “What am I doing??”
With my life? With my loaves?
Jesus Christ, thank God for that.
6pm, it’s time to go home.