So Ax and I went to the big market near us that has a bakery with cakes full of chemicals that have cool decorations, and taste good the way junk food tastes good, ie: sort of not good, yet also incredibly tasty at the same time. We gazed into the cake display, for quite a while, and Ax identified the cakes that he thought various people in his life would like. “Mike would like that big one. Parker would like that one. No, that one.”
Earlier in the day we had been at the zoo, and he’d given similar focused attention to the birds in the aviary and the snakes in the Eww pavilion. “Look at that one!” Now it was chem cakes.
I had no intention of buying a cake from this bakery. There is an independent bakery downtown that uses real ingredients that we will ultimately order cakes from, even though it means driving and even though the helicopter decoration will not be as glowingly vibrant as the chem cake one would be and even though it will cost more. It will taste incredible and I won’t have as much of that pesky “I’m poisoning everyone” feeling, which is worth paying for, to me.
So we’re in the market, and I’ve gotten us organic raspberries and non-organic whipped cream because they didn’t have any and I decided what the heck even though I’m pretty strict on organic-only for dairy normally. Anyway so we’ve got our treat and we’re heading to the check out when Ax sees a plastic package of red, white, and blue frosted mini-cupcakes. With sprinkles.
He and I do the “can I have/no you can’t have” song and dance and get in line. Then something, something large, hits me and I’m thinking, “I want to be the fun one, I don’t want to be the enforcer right now.” So I go and I get the package of cupcakes. It’s no one’s birthday. It’s just Sunday. It’s everything wrong. “We get those?” Ax squeals, wide eyed. “Yes,” I say. “Yea!!!” He says, and jumps up and down. And we’re in line, all happy, kind of, and then I see that I know the guy standing behind us.
“Hi!” I say. “Hi!” He says. I see that he has a bunch of chard and a bottle of ponzu sauce in his basket. From the looks of him that’s about all he’s eaten between workouts for the last several years. I remember eating chard regularly. I remember feeling lean and fit.
I lay out our berries, cupcakes, and bottle of whipped cream on the conveyor belt and smile with embarrassment. We go home and eat the poison treats. Not a ton, but more than I get to if I want to feel the way I want to feel. Cake time, meet chard time. It’s time.