Leftovers

Originally published on Hobart Pulp

I start working in the bakery because I think of it as romantic. I count each sugared donut while composing hypothetical letters to past lovers half-invented, half-remembered.

Last night was nice. Not remarkable, but pleasant in its stillness and companionship. I’m writing to you to tell you that it’s over. I’ve noticed our dates are getting shorter and conversations more serious.  We only ever meet once a month. Those jeans you own are too tight and I’m not waiting while you lazily peel them off. I don’t like the shape of your left eyebrow, it’s menacing.

The donut is misshapen. There’s no hole in the centre, instead a fine congealed layer like a web of skin between fingers. I throw it in the reject pile to be counted later. Every member of staff here is on autopilot, disengaged. The dead, undone and making pastries. No one is permitted take home unsold stock. If you’re caught with confectionary after you’ve clocked off, even the remnants of an imperfect batch that never made it to the resplendent limelight of the shop floor, you’ll be fired. I’ve learned that acts of rebellion are few and far between in the supermarket, a place of prodigious apathy.  Those are the rules. Everyone obeys them.

It’s very simple to push people away. It’s the logical decision. I’m sure you don’t understand what it means to be alone. I only sleep for a few hours during the day and dream in creative ways about the destruction of everything I love. I watch friends leave one by one. I’ve realised that the nature of all things is fleeting. Nothing is ours for keeps. 

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