The air was delicious: warm and sweet, soft and moist. The radio would murmur benignly in the corner of the kitchen. On the hour every hour, he’d turn it up to catch the latest news. It always seemed to me to be exactly the same as the hour before. As though nothing happened while we were in there together. In between, he’d sing along tunelessly to the songs. Changing the words so they were about me. Making me laugh despite myself.
I can see the room now, don’t even have to close my eyes. Every available surface is strewn with detritus. Oven trays, cooling racks, cake tins. All cast aside without regard after use. Stacking up and toppling over. The thin metallic clang when one slid to the floor. He’d laugh and balance it back on the top of the pile, no less precariously than before. There’s flour everywhere. All over the table, the floor, even the walls. Sugar too. I revel in its tacky grittiness across the cool linoleum. Between the toes of my bare feet. He baked the way he did everything, with utter abandon.
All of this I remember. Most of all, however, I remember his hands. So huge my own would disappear inside them entirely. I can hear now the dry, papery swish of flour-dusted skin across flour-dusted skin. I can see, too, the haloes of brightest white appear on his skin around my fingertips when I dig them in with all my might.