Divinity and meringue

I put the poor darling in the cozy aperture behind the confessional, where they used to hide priests or Jews or maybe it was women accused of witchcraft. Anyway, there is an aperture there where a tired, scared, worried, overwrought man, woman or child might be tucked away quietly and given a cup of tea to settle down from whatever it was that startled them.

Surprising how many struggles there are in each and every life. Imagine them lined up end to end, the dominoes of human struggle reaching into the distant past, moving away into the future, a regular Doppler of worries. Money, sex, power, hunger. Picture our poor people right now, malnourished, obese, undereducated, overstimulated, and imagine their troubles, if you can. Or if you’d rather, the troubles of a queer jester in a king’s court in a renaissance time, clever and secretive and bold and headstrong, hiding his juice, his sweet wicked dreams from pope and papa alike. Or imagine the startled response of the dancer to a fall, a broken leg, a shortened femur, a lost career. My imagined dancer lost her career and went into sales instead, selling fiesta ware and revere ware and that rabbit wine opener in the kitchen department of a large department store in a city in the Midwest, where she was from originally but had not intended to return until the leg shattered, until her stained glass sunlit wishes sank, tired and disappointed, and then nothing.

Surprising how many struggles there are in each and every life. Imagine them lined up again and I see the snake, the venom, the secretions that come from the apple, the tree of knowledge, the rich tart taste of temptation making my mouth water even now as I sit and hand cups of tea and Kleenex to this overwrought woman who is sitting in my aperture, in my gentle little Church of the Divinity and Meringue, where I’ve been selling specialty candies, crème brulees and books from independent presses ever since I cashed in my retirement fund to make sweets instead of deadlines . Occasionally I make savories as well, perfectly ripe tomatoes and avocadoes stuffed with surprising flavors or decorated like edible Mr. Potato Heads, hair made of sprouts or carrot ribbons, and these are mobbed at the counter every time.

The pews are a great place to sit with tea and comforts, whether these are sweets or crumpets or little meaty bites. The church is a recreation of a 13th century cathedral, planted without ceremony in the middle of this pragmatic city between a strip mall and an Octopus car wash. I get a lot of customers who come in while their car is riding through the tropical rainforest next door, but not often weeping women who need to hide behind the confessional. When I first opened the shop, I put the cash register on the pulpit, where it dominated and distracted, and then moved it into the confessional, a silly whimsy on my part, but it was just the right size and gave customers time for quiet reflection and privacy, while they chose the baked good that spoke to them most tenderly, most forgivingly.

It is surprising to me how many struggles there are in each life, lined up like sad shoes in a clearance rack, like hams hanging in a butcher shop, like children standing in line in their kindergarten class, like men and women waiting for to pay for their pastry, to make their confession, to climb into their clean car with the fresh pine scent and drive away from here to somewhere else.


1 Response to “Divinity and meringue”

  1. 1 Lollyloo January 6, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    Tasty. And moving.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 52 other followers

Blog Stats

  • 165,470 hits



January 2010
« Dec   Feb »

%d bloggers like this: