"This has been mostly a sheep day, and of course studies have been interrupted." John Muir

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

"I am the bread of life."

When I was in college, I started to make sourdough bread. I was a little crazy about it. Everyday, I made one big loaf of bread, and I did this for several months. Needless to say, in my apartment we had more bread than I or more roommates could eat, so I gave away a lot of bread to friends. At this time, I worked in a small library that hardly anyone ever visited. So, I would have friends come to the library to pick up their bread. Once, a friend of mine came to the library to get her bread, but before leaving she told me a story about her life.

It was just the two of us in the little, dark library, and my friend immediately started breaking hunks off the loaf of bread and shared them with me. As we ate the fresh and chewy bread, she told me this story. A year before, she had been driving alone at night in the winter in Montana. There had recently been snow, and the temperatures were well below freezing. On a small and mostly deserted road, she was traveling from one point to the next. —I can't remember why she was out there. Well, in any case, her car died, and she was too far out to try to walk anywhere. She figured her best option was to wait in the car. It was dark and very, very cold. She climbed into the back seat and covered herself with all the clothes she was carrying in her suitcase. After several hours had passed, my friend began to get extremely cold. She began to have dark thoughts; in fact, she was quite sure that she was going to freeze to death. She did all she could to stay awake, to keep moving her limbs, to try to stay alive. In the end, a car passed and picked her up and saved her. When she told me the story, her eyes still looked scared and amazed that she was alive. Through the whole story, we had been slowly eating the bread together.

4 Comments:

Blogger pinknest said...

this reminds me of a raymond carver story called "a small good thing." have you read it? if not, you must. it's one of my favorites.

11:24 AM

 
Blogger Brett said...

I have read it, but it's been a long time. Something to do with a bakery?

9:09 AM

 
Blogger RogueHistorian said...

Check out the archives at Bitey's Castle. He has a couple of flash cartoons about people being alone on empty roads at night.

10:22 AM

 
Blogger pinknest said...

yeah, a baker keeps calling a woman to pick up her son's birthday cake. but her son was in an accident and she becomes traumatized by the phone calls.

10:34 AM

 

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