I can't recall what prompted it, but on Friday I was thinking about Baker's Delight's Twisted Delights. This made me search my journal for references to Twisted Delights and led to the discovery that they have been mentioned six times in the past. This ranks them the informal number one of all the Baker's Delight product mentioned in my journal (Choc Mud Scones came second). I can't remember where I was going with this, but I believe this paragraph so far has justified you reading so far. Everything else now can be considered bonus.
Struck with the desire for a Twisted Delight at 3pm on a slow Friday in the home office I immediately decided to put on my runners and my bike shorts and run the several kilometres of hills between me and the nearest Baker's Delight.
"This is what the old me would have done!" I thought, suffering from the echoes of reading too much about my own life from early 2005 - a time period where I ate many Twisted Delights apparently and also jogged a lot. I stood up to look for a bum bag to hold my cash while I ran and the sliding into grooves of several of my body's joints reminded me that the new me had jogged once this year and a Twisted Delight wasn't worth dying for. Seeing that on Monday I had to drop my car off for a service in town I would buy one on the walk back to the house, and then burn some of the 1307 calories in it on the return walk to my car after lunch.
After arriving at the counter and asking for a Twisted Delight - noting with sadness that the six year absence of Jalapeno and Green Tomato Twisted Delight continued - I ordered a Spinach and Feta Twisted Delight. After I ordered the lady noted that I could get a large wholemeal loaf for only $2 extra. I greedily accepted! That was mistake number one. I barely lingered long enough for her to stamp my new loyalty card before I high tailed it out of there with a loaf under each arm.
You see, not a lot of people know this - even the ones who read all my short stories from 2003 and may have noticed they all involved bread - but I had a problem. I used to be addicted to bread. A Breadaholic. I know that, when you look at me, you don't say:
'That dude has a bread problem. He looks like he eats way too much bread.'
And I don't, not anymore. But it's something I have to work hard on every single day. And sometimes it gets the better of me. Like yesterday. My Twisted Delight was for lunch. Why, when I arrived home at 9am, did I decide to bring it to the study with me instead of leave it in the kitchen? Did I just want it to sit next to me to be looked at while I began my days work? This was mistake number two. With great predictability - within hours of breakfast - I was pulling apart the cable tie and inhaling the sweet, freshly baked aroma of my lunch. Well, my morning tea. With no self control I began pulling apart chunks of bread Viking style and funneling them into my mouth. By 11am it was gone.
After this I felt guilty. And full. Mainly both. For the next few hours I avoided eye contact with myself, I nervously fingered my AA Six Year Medallion which I for some reason bought off eBay for eight dollars a couple of years ago, then threw it into a desk drawer and slammed that shut. I did a little bit of work and replied to a few emails. 3pm came and I was both hungry and bloated. I elected to have a low carb meal and ate a tin of tuna.
I rinsed it out and put it in the recycling bin.
Time was spinning.
I walked from room to room. The walls were closing in.
The phone rang.
It was the mechanic, my car was ready to pick up he said. He told me to come in anytime. I tied up my shoes, dug out my earphones and was about to leave.
"It's a long walk" said the voice.
'No.' I said. 'You're back. You can't be back.'
"You need some energy for that walk, Brad." said the voice. "Eat some bread, Brad. Just a little. C'mon Brad. Just a little bit of Bread."
I walked into the kitchen like there were chains on my feet. I stood in front of the bench. I looked down at mistake number four.
Hot Cross Buns - Mocha - 8 pack.
Fingers trembling I peeled open the bagging and tore a hot cross bun free. I microwaved it for 20 seconds. I was already so pathetic that I couldn't wait two minutes for the griller to heat up. The microwave chimed. I pulled out my bread. It was hot, chocolate melted onto my fingers. I ate it, it was good. It was so good. I walked down the hill like I was floating on a gentle breeze. Soon I was parking outside my house and heading straight back to the kitchen.
I ate three hot cross buns in all that afternoon. I did not care that it was close to dinner time. I only stopped because I had to pick Vanessa up from work. She told me about her day. She told me she had a surprise for me as a reward for collecting her from work.
She bought me fresh banana bread.
We got home and she unwrapped it. It smelt so good, but my stomach moaned at the abuse. I had to eat it, I didn't want her to know that while she'd been away I'd been sitting in a dark room eating bread alone. I ate every crumb and the voice was happy, so happy. It was good. I don't remember the rest of the evening.
I woke up this morning in a pool of sweat with crumbs coming out of every pore. I stumbled into the kitchen and found the pack of mocha hot cross buns and three were left. Summoning all my willpower I dragged the bag to the bathroom and flushed each one down the pipes. As the last one disappeared and a lone chocolate chip floated to the surface of the bowl I sat back, plonking myself on the cool tiles as I cried out with languid anguish. Then I stood up and started work. The worst was behind me, a relapse, but that's all it was. I didn't eat any bread the rest of the day. This evening I realised the chicken breast we had defrosting for dinner was losing its race against time and I went for a quick trip to the supermarket.
My shopping list:
- BBQ Chicken
- NO BREAD
I was driving back home in the twilight and for the first time today I heard the voice again.
"Brad, you should have bought some more hot cross buns."
'No, voice!' I said sternly. 'That will not be happening.'
"Too late," it said. "It did happen."
I looked down at the groceries, the mocha hot cross buns were on top, so as not to get squashed.
'No!' I said. 'I vowed! No more bread! NO MORE BREAD!'
"Relax." said the voice. "You can have your vows and have your bread."
'No.' I cried, palms slapping the steering wheel in a fit. 'My vow is useless. "No Bread." I can't even say it any more.'
"Lie," the voice urged. "Lie to yourself.
'"No Bread."' I tried to say. 'No... You've made the words useless. Hollow.'
"A Mochary," he whispered.