Friday, March 21, 2008

Untitled (Glüton)

Glüton lived above a bakery by choice. The smell of bread - the flour in making the bread, the yeast flowing through the bread and into the air, the heat of the oven wafting a smell that could only be described as golden – was Glüton’s earliest memory. This choice could also be explained by Glüton’s girth: he would never be told he could walk through a picket fence, or that, like many supermodels, he looked like two gnat bites on a strand of spaghetti. Large was a term invented to describe Glüton’s mouth, not his waistline. Fat was just one ingredient in his physical make-up, not his belly. Glüton was a man around town. He would fill up the tub and then turn on the water.

It was said by his friends, which Glüton had few, that the crumbs that would fall from his mouth in one sitting amounted to a feast that the local orphanage should consider collecting. His habit was not unlike others his size: three square meals a day, with a good number of round meals inserted in-between.

Glüton was particular and passionate in his choice of diet, but not a snob. He would just as easily compliment the clerk at the local Quickie-Mart on his wise choice of stocking the best in preservative-laden cake products, as he would the chef at Le Gardin in his choice to use animal fat in some dishes and vegetable fat in others for the subtle nuances each produced. Glüton knew his food.

Holidays were particularly pleasant for Glüton. Although not many friends would drop off goodies at Christmas, or include him in their Thanksgiving or Christmas feasts, Glüton took care of himself. Ironically, it was the day after Halloween the Day of the Dead, when the accident happened.

Glüton had done his usual shopping for trick-or-treaters, knowing full well that not many children would knock at his out of the way door, in an out of the way part of town, which was out of the way. Just the same, he was prepared. Glüton had purchased bags of small candy bars in bulk, caramel apples by the bushel, and a discounted 55-gallon drum of apple cider.
By midnight, he had consumed half of the candy bars, which amounted to 77 12-ounce bags of Snickers, Milky Way, and Butterfinger bars. He also had put a dent into the gross of candy apples, polishing off 88 of the 144 orbs of gooey pleasure. Only the apple cider was still in good shape: 45 gallons remained. Unfortunately, Glüton had developed a craving halfway through the goodies – around 9:30 P.M. – and had ordered several combination pizzas with extra cheese, a dozen orders of hot wings, and 10 2-liter bottles of assorted soft drinks. He was feeling a little uncomfortable, yes, but there was still several hours to go before the bakers downstairs would have their fresh baked bread and pastries ready to go. He would need to pace himself for the next few hours.

It was around 3 A.M. when it happened. Glüton knew it was 3 A.M. because the smell of the fresh baking bread had started to rise through the floor and vents of his apartment. He heard the creak of something like wood breaking slightly underneath where he sat. He suddenly was sinking into the floor. Before he could move out of the loveseat he used as a chair, he was falling. That was the last thing he really remembered.

The oven was a total wreck. It would have to be replaced, not only from the damage caused by Glüton’s fall, but because of what Glüton left behind. He had fallen straight through the oven onto the hot baking bread. Surrounded by all that bread, Glüton couldn’t concentrate on saving himself from the 375-degree temperature, or the burning hot bread racks that were now searing his skin and releasing his fat. Glüton sizzled like bacon; the heat was slowly rendering him into loaf of human bread. The grease from his girth dripped into the oven and oozed out onto the bakery floor, all of which he was oblivious to. He stuffed one loaf of golden bread into his mouth after another, it was all like a dream to Glüton, and perhaps it was. He may have been dozing between eating and drinking when the floor gave way. It wasn’t long until the heat had been absorbed, the grease began to congeal, and Glüton was no more.

He would have wanted it that way: going out like the bread he loved, baked at 375-degrees until golden brown.

Copyright 2007 Fear Knocks Press

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