All day in the bakery I listen to stories. I know the danger of living distracted. I recognize the contradiction of working divided, my hands in the dough and my mind far away, when I’m trying to build a business deeply rooted in place and time. But oh, the days are long and hard, and the kitchen is an unfriendly space, and I’ve always loved being read to.
When I was a child my parents took turns reading to me before sleep. I was hungry for stories. “Keep reading,” I pleaded when they closed the book for the night. “Keep reading!” I ordered, imperious, spoiled, desperate to hear what happened next, even when I could barely keep my eyes open, even when I’d heard the story two or six or a dozen times before, even when I almost knew it by heart.
Twenty five years later and though the books are now audio files downloaded from the library, not spine-cracked paper, and I’m standing in the commissary kitchen, not tucked into a trundle bed, not much has changed. I’m tired from my scratchy eyes to the aching soles of my feet and it’s hours past dinner time, but still I fuss with one more task, kneeling to scrub that far grungy corner under the sink or squaring up the rolling racks just so. I’ve checked the burners and turned off the hood. My bike is leaning by the back door, panniers packed. Outside the sky is darkening, and if I hurry I might catch pastel end of sunset. But oh, I want so badly to hear what happens next, even when home and dinner are waiting, even when I’ve listened to the book two or six or a dozen times before, even when I almost know it by heart.
Owner | Baker
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