Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Baguettes by james bezerra.

By James Bezerra

A man named Carl Leonard went to the grocery store where he bought a loaf of French bread which he took home, planning to eat some of it with dinner and maybe make a sandwich with the rest, for lunch the next day. When he got home however, he realized that he wasn’t very hungry, but was very tired, so he went to sleep on the sofa and when he woke up the next day the bread had dried out and he couldn’t make a sandwich and had to throw the whole thing away.

A man named Enrico Cavasello went to the very same grocery store the very next day and ended up having the almost the very same experience with the French bread. Only somewhat different.

A woman named Laura Cleo went to the grocery store and put some French Bread in her cart, but then thought about the very few other things that she needed to buy and realized that she didn’t need a whole cart and started to feel as though people would look at her – in a judging sort of way - if she had an entire cart with only a couple things in it, so she put the French bread back and put the cart back and picked up one of those plastic baskets and she filled it up with the very few things that she needed to get for her pasta dinner, but she forgot to go back to get French bread – because in her mind she had already gotten it – and she didn’t realize her mistake until she had gotten home and made her pasta and sat down at the table to eat. Laura did not usually swear, but she looked down into her bowl of pasta and said, “Fuck.”

Laura’s father, who was named Carl Cleo, went to the grocery store because he needed to pick up some cheese for the wine and cheese party that was about to begin at his home. He had asked his wife – who was Laura’s stepmother and not her real mother – to go and pick up a variety of cheeses that afternoon, but she had failed to do so and so now he was in a rush. As he tossed several bricks of cheese - of varying consistencies and flavors – into his basket - he always used baskets as opposed to carts, because they were more efficient – he realized that his wife had probably not purchased any bread either. Probably also, she had neglected to get wine. He rushed around the store and loaded his basket down with bottles of wine, but he forgot to go to the bakery for bread. So when he arrived back home and realized that he had no bread for his wine and cheese party, he was enraged, but his wife – Laura’s stepmother, who had been Laura’s best friend in high school – put her hand on his shoulder and then pressed a thick baguette of bread into his hand. “This I remembered,” she said.

Since he had not been able to use any of the bread that he bought, Carl Leonard went back to the grocery store the next day, after work. There was woman already at the bread area. She was wearing a little business-causal skirt that he liked and she was squeezing the French bread. She was squeezing all of it. Every long loaf. Carl admired her slender fingers as she did this; as she squeezed them all. Then – suddenly remembering that no one would ever love him - Carl said, “Could you not touch all of them?” Then he reached past her and grabbed one of the few remaining un-groped loaves. He went home, but was too upset to make dinner. He shoved the bread into his refrigerator; thinking that that might keep it fresh. He went to bed, frustrated. The refrigerator did not keep the bread fresh and so it was both cold and dry the next morning. He threw it out again.

Laura had spent the day thinking about how she had made such a mistake at the grocery store the day before. She realized that she had let herself become overcome by her hurried emotions and her desire to be efficient. She decided – while eating her microwaved, left-over pasta in the breakroom at work – that she would take her time that afternoon. So when she went to the grocery store, she spent a nice, long, contemplative time standing in front of the bread. She discovered that she liked the way that it felt as she felt it. She liked that it was spongy and rigid. She liked the way that she had to squeeze down hard at first, but that then she could feel it soften under the pressure of her fingers. As Laura was there, touching the bread, a man reached roughly around her and said, “Could you not touch all of them?” The man grabbed a baguette and rushed off. Laura, who did not usually swear, turned and looked after the man as he absconded off toward the registers and she screamed, “FUCK!” after him.

The man named Enrico Cavasello was in the grocery store because there were few things that he loved more than a nice big plate of bread and cheese and salami. Other things that he loved very much include dry red wine, wearing button down shirts unbuttoned down to reveal the treasure of his lustrously silken black chest hair, his own moustache, and women is business-casual dress wear. He was just placing a wedge of creamy brie into his basket when he heard a woman call to him form across the store, over near the bread, where he was planning on going anyway. “FUCK!” she called to him. When he arrived there – his cart stocked full of cheese and wine – she was staring off, incensed, toward the registers. “Miss,” he said to her, “I have no idea what has happened to you, but sometimes I find it soothing to squeeze the bread until I calm down. Do this with me.” The woman looked at him. She was ensorcelled by him, and his chest hair, which looked like a smooth and shimmering puppy. Together they chose a loaf of French bread and they went back to his apartment, but they opened the wine first and never got to the French bread. The next day he had to throw it out because it had gone stale.

On the third day, the man named Carl Leonard went to the grocery store after work. He bought French bread without incident. He was so hungry that he ate it, alone, in his car in the parking lot.


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