Memories of Little Nothings in Your Bread
Imagine all the things you remember about people that they don't even remember about themselves. You catalogue the mundane because you are human. Idiosyncrasies—from your uncle's lint-picking habit—to moments in passing—like that time a toddler gave you a single wink on the city bus---become fodder for your mind. Your memory brims with multiple trivialities that, when packed and patted together, form loaves and, over time, a bakery of substantial thoughts.
This is how stories are born: Your subconscious walks into this bakery, peruses the loaves, grabs the ones it fancies at that particular time, places said loaves on a dolly cart, and wheels the cart out to the front counter. From there, your subconscious slices, decorates, and displays the loaves however it wishes. Day by day, the bakery's display case changes.
Stories are the bread of life, meaning they are all the same in that sense, yet no two loaves are identical. One is wheat; one is pumpkin. Another has icing or chocolate chips. Some are round; others, more rectangular. The expression on your young love's face when you first kissed him and the shape of his ears hum in one loaf. The texture of your mother's hand and what she did or didn't do to celebrate your birthday hum in another. These facts, on their own, may or may not tell a story. But if you take a bite of that young love loaf and then a bite of that mother loaf, you may suddenly taste the narrative that weaves those facts together on your tongue.
We reserve certain loaves for special occasions, while the majority of them are just the loaves of everyday. There are dramatic loaves that speak of trauma, anger, and longing. Then there are more mellow loaves.
Sometimes we need to remember the sound of our first grade teacher's voice, so we take a bite from the loaf that reminds us. That same loaf might put a picture of that teacher's favorite sweater in our heads, too. We might be several loaves in before we remember how that teacher used to pull us into her lap at recess and let us cry into her soft chest after the other children had thrown spiky seed pods at us. Her name was Miss Mitchell and her neck felt like suede and she always sat with us at lunch and she always gave little Gemma Hall milk money because Gemma's family was so poor and---
Some loaves are very filling, while other loaves will never, ever fill you up.
Come Halloween, the bakery's display case glows with touches of orange, yellow, and black. At Christmastime, that same case sparkles with sugar crystals and festive stakes in red, green, and gold. Normally, though, the case shows a spectrum of browns.
Yes, some loaves are more delicious than others, but your bakery must carry every shape and flavor to satisfy your cravings. And if not your cravings, your sanity.