An Average Individual is saved from Monday morning suicide when she sets foot in a boulangerie
5th November 2016
Mornings can be evil. Destroyers of inner peace.
Because of the defunct snooze button, there’s no returning to the dream with religious fundamentalists and Colin Farrell, so you are forced to face your day. Plus it’s a Monday. Medieval Monday. It’s there, every single week, to suck the soul out of you.
Plaster a responsible face on you before you go to work. Staple a smile.
In the bathroom, the mirror shows you a reality that even makeup can’t fix and the shower still drips. Thoughts of all the unfinished and unfixed things hurtle by, a pleasant morning reminder that you too are unfinished. You unhook the kids from their beds. Point at their wardrobe. Tell them to stop pinching each other because pain is bad. Monday morning clouds hover over all three of you at the breakfast table where everything is semi-stale. You sigh a yes, it’s ok for Little Sister to be Queen and Big Brother King, but of different realms, because otherwise that would be incest, and incest is wrong.
Laces tied, coats on, out the door. It’s autumn in Lyon and the wind bites. You walk up the road. Noses redden already. Whines commence.
Prodded by a supernatural force, your feet take you into a bakery. You pull the kids in too. They must vacuum stress at the sliding doors because whatever you feel inside is butter-baked and dreamy. Even brother and sister have stopped pinching each other. Eyes are on the chouquettes with their constellations of sugar chunks, on the pain au chocolat, yelling gooey darkness, on the punk-pink tarte au praline. Stuff shines. Crunched coffee beans and frothed-up milk waft your way.
“Have you got something fit for a Queen and a King?” you ask the Baker. You’re smiling, for God’s sake. The kids look up at him, eyes big.
“Ah, you’ll have to wait for the Galette des Rois for that,” he replies. “But how about these?”
The handul of chouquettes zoom into their little mouths and they manage to mumble a “merci”.
“Deux euros cinquante, s’il vous plaît” says the Baker. His hand is soft as you pop a note inside.
“See,” says Big Brother, “they don’t call it a Galette des Reines, do they?”
Hamster-cheeked, Little Sister looks up at him.
“And you know why?” he asks.
“Because Queens are rubbish.”
“No they’re not,” she says, fishing out sugar chunks with her tongue.
“Yes they are.”
The Baker folds his arms over his chest, smiles. “Bon lundi, hein?”
And you reply the same, have a nice Monday, because for just a moment you really mean it.
“No, they’re not.”