The Baker, The Butcher and The Brewer, Part One: The Baker 24
Serial Fiction Novel
Like the Old Masters depicting fictitious scenes, he also had a contemporary literary source. A giant boulder against a tiny rabbit, he thought. Fighting to death among giant watermelons! He smiled walking to the breakfast table.
‘Smile is good. What is the occasion?’ Greeted Archibald.
‘Wolves, watermelons, broken eggs, baby rabbits, salty water and onions in the fire.’
‘I like onions.’ He answered absentmindedly.
‘Russian painting, isn’t it?’ Inquired the Baker about the mural size picture on the wall.
‘Indeed, how could you tell?’
‘One can tell the Russian art by its winter tones of stone cold beauty. And pine trees!’
‘My experience agrees with that. How do you feel about painting today? I know artists! And I know some days just don’t agree with them.’
‘My work today already has a name a concept and a deep socio-philosophical meaning fermented, distilled, filtered and bottled inside my head.’ He responded sharply.
‘What would that name be?’ Archibald seemed amused.
‘Onions in the fire.’ He uttered with casual excitement in-between two bites on the bread. ‘The onion will be glorified, elevated beyond food but a symbol. People will believe in onions instead of in potatoes.’ The Baker was amusing himself.
‘I believe in cilantro rather than in onions. I believe it’s green and delicious.’ A voice broke out from behind as the wooden floorboards started squeaking. Archibald’s father, Nestor, joined the conversation.
Even though he looked older than God, he had a youthful voice and stride. He wore simple, practical clothes but very high quality. His pockets were always fool of that dreamy tobacco blend. His pipe never seemed to leave his hand even when he was eating. He was clumsy with it. Another guy with a pipe, thought the Baker. Later he found out that Archibald’s father didn’t smoke. It was an act directed by Archibald so the he can relate to them. (Pipes reminded him of his grandfathered and comforted him.)
‘Do you like cilantro?’ He went on.
‘I do, but I never took it very close to heart.’ He went on eating.
‘That’s alright, onions and cilantro get along pretty well in a salad and in the pan. The most curious fact I have noticed about nutrition is about vitamins. When you consume a large amount of fruits and vegetables your color perception changes. You start seeing everything with a keener eye. The world and all its colored shapes are brighter and illuminated with a layer of shine. Naturally the change is subtle, you have to poses keen senses. But it is most beautiful and rewarding when it strikes you. The best way to notice for yourself is after a vitamin deficiency. After a heavy drinking night perhaps. Then you can clearly observe the transition from dullness of grey shades to bright and vivid colors.’
‘Don’t mind my father his philosophical concepts are ingenious in a context of his publications but on the breakfast table they are just vegetables.’ Laughed Archibald.
‘I find them delicious.’ Flattered the Baker.
‘No flattery on the breakfast table!’ Grinned Nestor.
‘Well I will take this bottle of water and go spill my mind into the world.’ He managed.
‘Empty your heart, boy!’ He wasn’t sure who of the two said that for he was turning the corner already.
He entered the roomy studio improvised for him. It opened on one side to wide veranda overlooking the village and the mountain. He could see the round flat rock. It was poetic. Distractively poetic.
He took the little crumbled paper with the narrative of his dream and read it a few times. He had been waiting for this moment to come but when it was finally there his mind was not. He noticed a pipe on the table and a little pouch with tobacco. He picked the pipe, packed it and lit it. It was massive but surprisingly light, he could hold it with his teeth like it wasn’t there. The first time he inhaled it was blissful. That was not ordinary cigarette or anything he had imagined existed. It was medium heavy but smooth with flavors of dried berries, chocolate, toffee with a brandy like finish. He didn’t even realize how he laid a canvas on the floor and started mixing paints almost subconsciously. He didn’t need to read his dream again, it floated in front of his eyes like a cloud full of wonders.
more by PETER ODEON
Photograph from DFC