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two muffins and a carton of milk

published: 2011-11-17

“Just a second!” hollers the baker’s assistant from the back.

“Take your time,” says the client.

The assistant emerges, she is fixing her apron.

“It’s so bloody cold in here, I needed an extra sweater.”

The client says, “you’re right. It is cold in here,” and “how are you otherwise?”

The assistant’s cheeks are flushed.

“Fine,” she says and doesn’t seem to believe herself. “Fine. So what can I do for you this morning?”

“Two blueberry muffins please.”

“All right then, two muffins.”
There’s a short silence after which the assistant asks, “and how are you?”


“It’s easier that way isn’t it?”

“It certainly is.”

“So it’s been a bad year for you too then?”

“Yes, yes it has been.”

“Well I’m happy a new year is coming up soon, we can finally close off on this one.”

“You’d hope so. But you know the saying, don’t you? Things get worse before they get better.”

“At least it’s insightful.”

“It is.”

In the brief moment of silence after the assistant has put the muffins in a bag and on the counter, they finally look at each other and smile.

“Not anything related to health, I hope?” asks the client as she reaches out for the bag and therefore has an excuse to look away.

“Oh no, thank god no. A lot of friends have had health-issues though. We’re at that age when things get serious.”

“So it’s true then, things could always be worse.”

“Yes, count those blessings, right? Anything else for you today?”

“A carton of milk please.

“At least I have a job, these days you’re lucky to have a job.”

“At least you have a job. Well then, have a nice day.”

“You too.”

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