Food should not be cheap, and foods should not be free. Not be free of salt, of fat, of gluten, of sugar. Inasmuch as music be free of sound, language be of words, day be of light, or love be of passion.
For Michael Kubiak and Sal LoGiudice of United Bakery, 1944 to 2005.
In the good old days, we couldn’t wait to get rid of today. We wanted tomorrow; but we needed yesterday. We buried our expectations, our desires, our dreams in the future like gold bugs, chancing on surprise value. We look back now, and recognize a cemetery. Empty coffins of hope, marbled sepulchers of endeavor—embroidered upon the landscapes of our lifetimes; we put it all on a pedestal, even though we live below sea level.
Instead of looking up, we looked in the eyes, where the ears meet the pupils. We had a foot in the grave, tethering ourselves in good old days, in their traditions, their opera, their tragedies. Hyperbolic time, superlative furniture of our desire—Odysseus would wilt in front of our conflicts! Our intrigues! Our comedies! He would baulk in fear at the paper tigers we slayed. The precision that he used to dispatch suitors and escape sirens, we used to bake bread, to turn lathes, to raise families.
Because they are old, they are epic. Because they are epic, they are good. They are days, our days; our flesh, our scars. And nothing will change them, nothing will take good days away. Not even our memories.