My crazy friend JM organized the night with my book club. We attended last year, when the speaker was Alexandra Fuller, also lovely and amazing. I'm not sure if there was cake last year, but apparently I wasn't going through some sort of crack-addict-like phase with chocolate, so I was mentally present at that event. I blame Halloween and all of those Reese's Peanut Butter Cups that got me on the sugar binge. Let me break it down my thought process tonight for you:
We arrive at the event. Upon checking in, JM and I immediately search out the bar and get ourselves a $5 dixie cup of bad house white wine. We find our table, "The Hot Chicks Book Club", but honestly none of us is especially comfortable with that name. We decide we need a new name. My vote is for "Cheap and Easy Book Club" or "Braless Brainiacs" or "Slap My Bestseller and Call Me Oprah Book Club". Maybe "Is That Twilight In Your Pocket or Are You Happy To See Me Book Club". We'll work on it. The voices dwindle away, because I see this:
Sweet Jesus, is that double fudge?
I found myself saying aloud, "Does anyone else want to start dinner with this cake?" and a few people chuckled and I was all, "No, I'm serious, who is starting with this cake?" But no one took a bite and the salads came out, so I dutifully ate my salad like a good girl, thinking "how much spinach can I eat before I don't want that cake?"
The wait staff is taking away everyone else's plates with a polite amount of salad left on it, but I'm scooping up every last shred because HELLO! It's strawberry vinagrette dressing! Then they put a plate of beans and chicken in front of me, which is fine, but I'm staring at that cake. Is it dense? Is it moist? Will it be fluffy? Is that frosting cream cheese? Why didn't they put raspberries on it? I bet raspberries would be good.
I shove aside my half eaten chicken, and get a good hot cup of coffee with cream prepared. The coffee is the cake foreplay. Other people start taking bites, and the speakers have begun. The attention is turned away from the table and no one can see me savoring this delicious cake. It is quite fudgy and dense, and goes perfectly with my coffee and that little dab of whipped cream next to it. I see the Virgin Mary in my cake. I cry a little.
Once my cake is gone and I have licked my fork and then the plate, I try to focus on the speaker. She grew up in India in a wealthy family with servants, and her father was to pick a bridegroom for her and...WHA??? Look how many people at my table did not finish their cake! Why? Why would they deny themselves the sheer pleasure that is cake? It is here, already baked and frosted and cut by someone else, and then arranged so nicely on this plate with the fudge drizzles and the dab of whipped cream! Someone took the time to make this nice for you! It's almost insulting not to eat it. And it would make me feel better about myself if you did eat it.
The author attended the Iowa Writer's Workshop in Iowa City. I wonder if she ate her cake? If she saw half-eaten pieces of cake laying around her table, would she be tempted to ask her tablemates if she could just take one tiny bite of that delicious cake? It shouldn't be wasted. Maya Angelou loved a section of Ms. Muhkarjee's book "Jasmine", and I'm thinking Maya Angelou supports cake. She seems like such a deeply happy and satisfied person, which only people who really appreciate and support the eating of cake can achieve.
The author finished. She was good, I know she was, but Damn, so was that frigging cake! I took JM home, got home myself, and told Current Husband about the cake. He wondered why I didn't smuggle any home for him, and I thought, "This is it. This is why I love CH. He appreciates a good cake." We are like Avatar, but instead of saying 'I See You', we say 'Let's Have Dessert'.
I will tell you that as I am typing this, George the Superpet is sleeping on his chair behind me, and he is farting up a storm, which is sort of killing my cake memories. I should take a vial of liquid Purina Dog Chow with me at all times so I can make an emergency intervention in case there is ever a cake this distracting at an event where I need to pay attention.
My next author stalker night definitely needs to involve The Barefoot Contessa and a latte. I going to bed now to dream about cake. But first, I will take a Prilosec, because you can't do the crime if you can't do the time. Sweet dreams, cupcakes.