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Bakery school

published: 2010-09-01

I ask “who’s there?” and a voice explains that he is from the Bakery School and he has baked cookies with caramel in them for a test. Would I like to try some?
Oh goody, I think as images spill into my mind’s eye of a young, rozy-cheeked boy wearing a white cook’s hat and holding out a basket of warm cookies. Freshly baked. And I’d eat one immediately and compliment him. And say that he is talented.

“How much do they cost?” I say and he tells me two euros for a pack of five. Home made cookies. With caramel, he repeats. I love caramel, I tell him and run downstairs with four euros.

I pull the door open and my suddenly my laugh feels stupid as I find myself looking at a shoe-box. In them the cookies I recognize from the supermarket, but then packed in plastic sandwich bags, stacks of five. A small knot in each of them. His cheeks are rozy, indeed. But he wears a tattered leather jacket. He has a crew-cut. He chews gum. His smile is one of surprise.The joke is on me.
I give him two euros instead of four, and take the cookies without a word. They sit on my table, untouched. There is no Bakery School in this area. I wish there was.

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