Chocolate Cake

He unwrapped the squatting piece of black cake with an antiquated kind of possessive finesse. The cake was his; this was his right.

“No wonder this cake is always fresh; it’s entombed in chocolate,” he remarked to his companion, who also happened to be the proprietor of the establishment, who nodded reservedly at everything he said, and who did not say, dubiously: “ ‘entombed?’ ”

There might be something other than assent between them, but this wasn’t strictly a conversation. He did not need conversation and never had. Reciprocity never having been available to him, he simply imbued others with what he needed. For example, he had provided the investment to start this coffee shop. Thus the cake was doubly his, and he offered another slice of it to his necessarily diplomatic companion, who declined, and who was in fact disgusted by the cake. The pleasure it gave was too openly displayed. So openly that it had a ring of self-deceiving theater.

“This is the best chocolate cake I have ever had,” he said, “are you sure you don’t want a slice?”

“No, thanks. I’ll be sure to pass that along to the chef,” the proprietor smiled.

A long string of unrelated musings began from the cake-eater. He enjoyed the sound and rhythm of his thoughts out loud. While he mused he ate lasciviously yet neatly, never allowing the cake to taste. Rather, he tasted the cake.

7 February 2012