She hides one eye behind a torrent of thick, globulous, dyed hair. Teeth like an antique piano, I fantasise about their tune. Lame, I know. But then, I’m the guy who hovers around the beans, the peas and the tinned fish; with my squeaky trainers and leather trenchcoat; too big for my shoulders and too hot for a July afternoon. All for a glimpse, or maybe for nothing. The security guards follow me, pushing the products forward, making everything neat, making sure the labels match. I put my hands in my pockets and pretend I am cocking a pistol. I don’t know how; I just watch too many films, and I’ve practised the noise using the spit on my tongue.
I dream of being fondled inappropriately, because I’m too shy to make the first move, and too male to ever find the experience distressing. Sweat runs down my arms and tickles my fingers. The air fills with fresh bread and sweet donuts. My high-necked roll collar itches against shaving rash.
She always smiles. Looking down into the glass cabinet, then looking up. Curling that clotted curtain of hair over one ear. She’s always happy to see me.
The Girl On The Bakery opens a gusher, without any warning. I stand powerless. The same smile, the same look, and then a plunge into her own arm with scissors from her pocket. Two of the staff immediately rush to her aid. The rest are sprinting to save the daily bread.