I had it all. Softened butter. Yolks separated from whites. Ground cardamom. Rosewater. Thick, fatty, smooth tahini, and a cup for measuring. When it came time to include that last ingredient, I simply chose to refrain. I suppose what stands before you is representative of the fact that things do not always go as we intend them to.
It reminds me a bit of my life when I befriended the person for whom I baked this cake. She doesn’t know it. The bird you see in the pictures is now where it belongs: with her.
We knew each other years ago. I can remember the day we met for the second time. It was just after Bowie died. I came straight from practicing Ashtanga. I wore the same black dress every day. I brought a square of yellow cake with chocolate buttercream. We later baked the recipe again-in circle form, with sprinkles-to celebrate my 27th birthday.
That day, though, Minneapolis was as cold as ever. I don’t know why I went, honestly. I had just moved back to this city I had once called home. The in-between time. So much had been taken. My heart hurt.
I felt a horrible blast of frozen air when the door opened. I saw her silhouette first. I got out of line. She laughed, and I let her hug me. That was a thing I wasn’t doing then. People-hugging.
I remember the toilet paper selection in the bathrooms at Five Watt. I remember what we talked about. I remember the sweater she was wearing, which she both lost and found months later. I remember her hand resting on my shoulder when I gave a teeny glimpse into the weeks prior. I remember wondering if I’d see her again when I left.
To the person I am thinking of: Mitch Hedburg once said, I wanted to buy a candle holder, but the store didn’t have one. So I got a cake. You are the cake the universe delivered to me when I needed a candle holder. You arrived in a form I didn’t anticipate at a time when nothing was as I had planned, and I am lucky for it.
Your laugh is contagious. Your compassion is heartfelt. Your honesty invites honesty. You inspire me. You are the best friend. You are loved.