The feeling that grabs you by the cupcakes.
I was hyperventilating, my arms waving frantic at imaginary fruit flies as I looked down at the puddle dripping bigger and bigger in front of me. My feet were stomping the floor below me like a crazed winemaker. Suddenly I reached a moment of stillness with a hint of calm that can only be likened to a soufflé fresh out of the oven. I was on the fine line between rationality and implosion. I chose implosion at the sight of it bleeding out all over my dining room table.
In a matter of minutes my life was ending. I could feel the sorrow pour down my cheeks in droplets of salt tears. I saw the correlations, Carthage was burnt, razed and salted to curse the very earth it was built on, my tears fell in salt pools around one of the biggest accidents that ever befell my soul. All I could do was look at the oozing and festering. I was helpless and decided to turn my back as the life was pouring out of its open wound. I threw the knife out of my hand and decided to hide in my closet. As long as I couldn’t see it, it didn’t happen.
Inside my dark cave I pulled out my hair whilst lying in a bundle that must have resembled a baby rocking to and fro in a pot of chocolate. The initial shock finally fell away like a rolling pin thrown down a very steep hill, now it was just anguish and guilt that was bubbling up and out. I became a human pot of butter forgotten on the stove, I was fizzling and bubbling and my shades of yellow were beginning to disintegrate into a very unappealing, congealed and oily mess. I was a child whose gingerbread man’s head was bitten off by a mean sibling. I was a man deserted on an island and on the brink of insanity after living off cold, unflavoured fish. I was mom who lost her baby in a grocery store after staring too long at the freshly baked loaves. I was frantic and whatever taste of normalcy I had left was melting away like a pork belly roasting on a roaring fire.
I began to sweat odours of onion and cheese from the stuffy closet, but I couldn’t make my feet stand under me. All the love and attention and time. For what? An accident of bad timing? I did all I could to save it, dammit. The whole episode ran over and over again in my head like a roll of never-ending puff-pastry. If I didn’t stab it so hard with the steak knife, would it have ended differently? If I kept it locked up just a little longer, would it still be alive right now? It was so young, so young! My mind was a mess of tangled noodles as I tied the knot of grief and guilt ever tighter.
A few hours later I walked at the head of the funeral march back to the dining room as executioner and undertaker. Bracing myself for the dreaded table that signified its final resting place, I turned white as I saw it disappeared from where I stabbed it but a short while ago.
“Babe, this chocolate tart is delicious,” my boyfriend said between a mouthful of pie peeking through the door, crumbs flying from his stuffed mouth. “I hope you don’t mind but I saw it sliced on the table and it was a bit runny so I stuck it in the freezer for a bit. I thought you might have forgotten it out here.” I took a bite of the slice that came out slightly odd-shaped from melting and re-setting, and yes, it was delicious.
Dear Reader, Cake fever is a chronic condition where sufferers form inappropriate relationships with baked goods that lead to mental incapacitation should those goods not come out quite as expected. Know your facts, be kind to all irrational souls (and the families of those) suffering from Cake Fever.