She baked an angel food cake for the dinner party, which means it’s as white as is possible in cake except golden on the outside and you have to cut it with a serrated knife. It’s funny to eat because you can kind of tear it, unlike most cakes. It stretches a little. It’s a little supernatural, like an angel.
I was watching her with her boyfriend because I admire them and am trying to make them an example in my life of good love being possible. Toward the end of the cake everyone was talking and a couple of people were seeing if they could eat the live edible flowers that she’d put on the cake for decoration. A fairy cake. She told a story about making the cake. There wasn’t a lot left. Everyone was eating the ends of their pieces in different ways, and because of the stretchy texture there were more methods than usual, and no crumbs at all.
Really funny cake.
I tried to imagine making the cake, same as I often tried to imagine love. I would never make a cake. So it’s down to, say, less than a quarter of the cake and the boyfriend reaches across the table—it’s a big table that no one else would be able to reach across, he just has really long arms, and he takes the serrated knife, but when he cuts at the cake he doesn’t do the sawing action, he just presses down, which defeats the point of a serrated knife. The cake squishes as he cuts it in half; it was only a piece of itself already, clinging to its imaginary axis, and now it’s not even a wedge—it’s pushed down like you can push down the nose on your face—and then he takes his piece with his hands and I watch the last piece of cake to see if it’ll spring back up but it doesn’t, it’s just squished on one side like someone stepped on it.
But here’s what I don’t understand, is how all through it she’s just chatting with the dinner guests and it’s like he’s done nothing at all. She’s not looking at him like “You squished the cake!” and she’s not looking at him like “He loves the cake so much he couldn’t help himself,” and he doesn’t seem to be thinking “Only I can squish the cake!” Or is he?
I never know how to read people.
But here’s what else: watching the round cake disappear, watching the people trying to make the most of their pieces, people coveting the cake on one hand and reminding themselves on the other that this will not be the last cake. But will it be the last? I look at their love and I feel like this could be the very last piece of it on earth, and just look at it.