July 26, 2011

Smiling Cake

Waiting on line Sunday morning at the popular breakfast pastry counter at Haven, a Lenox, Massachusetts bakery café, I couldn’t believe my eyes—and ran to the car to get my camera. There, on the cake stand, under a glass dome was a coffee cake, striated with cinnamon streusel.  Looking at me on the golden buttery outer wedge, was a man with a smile.  Primitive and minimalist in detail à la Picasso. Yet bold in expression. He looked like the kind of guy who really wanted to be liked.

Like Lawrence Weschler, who collects and categorizes visual convergences, I always see turtles in clouds, silhouettes on the mottled bathroom ceiling, George Washington as a wicker chair, the Shroud of Turin and Alfred Hitchcock’s profile in our twin childrens’ ultrasounds, but now, a smiling man in a wedge of cinnamon coffee cake?

It was enough for me to just behold the special phenomenon (or omen?)—photograph it, but not buy it.  Such a friendly, approachable, almost wistful smile, with a head of tight cinnamon curls.  Who would dare eat him?



July 2011