The bread’s gone missing. When it’s not sitting on the acacia board, waiting for action, it’s chilling on the middle shelf of the fridge, in its very own drawstring ‘fresher for longer’ linen bag, super-seeded, with several slices left. But it isn’t.
I don’t remember finishing it or throwing bits of it to the birds and my last visitor left two weeks ago, so I can’t blame her. Things generally stay where they’re put – it’s one of the pleasant and hygienic aspects of living alone……
Check the other shelves in the fridge, then the freezer. Maybe I made the slices into sandwiches for a travel lunch or two or transformed them into toast. Find several other items I’d forgotten I’d ever bought – seafood sauce, stock cubes – but no sign of the bread. Open a few cupboards – impressed by the number of herbal teas -even peek in the recycling bin.
If it’s in the washing machine or deep in a drawer or under the sink, it’s the beginning of the End. Never mind the loaf, it’s my mind that’s gone astray.
Then again, I know I’m catching a train to town tomorrow, and why. I can complete a corner of a crossword and keep clean and tidy most of the time. No slippers in the street. I don’t leave cakes out in the rain, though I did put a pack of mushrooms out in the sun the other day, to absorb more vitamin D…
Read somewhere that if you call up an image of the missing article, it can hasten its retrieval. An image duly arrives – but it doesn’t help, because it’s the wrong loaf.
This one’s an artisan affair with knobs on, fig and walnut, wholegrain – seen in a local bakery on June 24th. A well-heeled, slightly nervous-looking woman was pointing to it. ‘Do you fancy this, Chloe, for a change?’ A younger one radiated rage. ‘Does it really matter, Mum, after what you’ve done?’ One of those family fall-outs from the Brexit vote….
Read somewhere else that losing or mislaying things is good for the soul: lessons in letting go and non-attachment to the material world – but I haven’t evolved that far and there’s so much to be said for hanging on –
This is getting silly. It’s only half a loaf, after all. Just one of those domestic migrations with invisible tracks – like socks or specs. An unaccountable absence. Lucky to have a loaf to lose. My mother is still standing in our council kitchen, frowning at the food left on my plate. Have I quite forgotten the starving millions..? as another teenage diet bites the dust.
Stop looking. Buy some bagels. Put the kettle on and take out the milk. At least that’s where I’ve left it. Make a cup of coffee, like a normal person.
A few days later, I reach into one of the vegetable drawers at the bottom of the fridge, for another linen bag, with a picture of onions on it. The cloth feels softer, squarer than usual. And inside it is – the prodigal loaf! The end of all my exploring….
Unfortunately, the onions have vanished.