I wake up: It’s dark.
I drive in the dark.
There are no lights on inside. The bakery smells like dough. And I take my gloves off and toss them on the table by the door. I usually make a round of the kitchen just to see what’s gone on in the last 20 hours of operation. It’s dark outside. It’s always dark out there. It’s always dark until right before the bread is ready. I bake bread for the sun to rise.
There’s a heap of croissant dough in a trash can: it was mixed wrong. Three Chocolatines are abandoned on the cooling rack, they were never dipped after bake out. That’s why it’s dark. The sun knows there’s no bread. I pass on to the refrigerator door. Luther posted theses on a church door, we post our worlds on the cold metal of a cooler. “Please, please, please don’t leave the cakes on the counter” pleads one note. Another simply says: “Josh Rocks”. The well known scrawl of another gives specifications for a particular order and adds “if you don’t get this note, let me know.” I open the door. It’s dark in there too.
I wander down to the dish pit. It’s seen better days. I firmly believe in the existence of only one dishwasher. He is the only one I’ve ever seen actually washing dishes. There are rumours of others. I say bosh. I arrive at 4am. I arrive when it’s dark. I arrive before the bread. If there are such things as “other dishwashers” they most certainly do not wash dishes. They play with dishes. I look at the scene, and I imagine a score of fifteen year old boys with toothy grins flinging plastic containers and mixing bowls with glee. Tomato sauce coats one wall and just above me there is a small stack of dishes acting as though they had been washed and left to dry. I don’t even have to look a second time. It’s a trap. The mythical “dish players” only wash dishes that can be stacked and arranged in such a way as to create lethal weapons.
The ovens are dark. They are empty and cold. I turn them on. There are four. I don’t always turn them on. About half of the time I forget. Then the bread has to wait for the ovens. Then the sun waits for the ovens and the bread. But I’ll make the bread.
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