Not My Beautiful Cake

David Byrne from Talking Heads in a very ill-fitting and white suit.

He was wearing a department store suit. While he had the trouser legs hemmed and left uncuffed, the attire would have benefitted from additional tailoring. In lieu of that, he could have selected a suit that fit him better.

That wasn’t something he saw. The suit wasn’t too big. It wasn’t too small. It was the right shade of corporate steel-navy. It was buy-one get-one for half price, so it was a value purchase, too. The label on the inside pocket was printed with a name he heard before, or at least a name that sounded like one he knew. It could be a designer’s name. It was definitely not an Italian name.

His wife didn’t see it either. Although the two of them were on the fussy side, the fussiness didn’t extend to the hang of fabric.

His hair was thinning, but was holding onto its off brown color. Off brown in that it was not black, but it didn’t have the warmth a shade of fawn would have. It was a bit steely, without being gray, like the color of his department store suit with less blue.

He couldn’t see the hairless spot at the back of his head. He was ambiently aware that there was less hair there, but he believed there was some. There was actually a barren spot reminiscent of a secret marshy spot, where all the grasses grow long and somewhat willowy around a water-filled hollow. Except the water here was exposed skin.

His gait was like a flat half-skip. His body jangled jauntily as he stepped but his feet barely left the ground. He balanced a huge plastic cake carrier on his left hand. The bottom of the container was dark blue. There was no cake left, but some icing clung to the inside of the dome and was joined by some chocolate flavored crumbs stuck to the edge and along the bottom.

He randomly baked, mostly cakes, mostly from a box, and brought the goods to share at his office. He’d always add something special to the cake, to make it his own like the coaches tell contestants covering Whitney Houston on a singing show. This time he added instant espresso crystals to the Duncan Hines mix for a mocha-flavor. It was his idea. He thought it was very special and very creative. His colleagues thought it made the cake taste bitter and a little burnt. The double coating of frosting was a counterbalance, but they would have eaten it anyway.

He hurried in his half-skip to the escalator and disappeared down the tunnel to the train that would take him home.

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