there’s a lot of layers in this story
There comes a time when you stop trying to bake the largest cake on record and instead attempt to bake a cake that can be seen from space.
Thus it was with Lucy.
After a time all of the ingredients were proved for free from various sponsors, the size of the growing cake had attracted a lot of publicity, and a nice engineer from the local college was helping with advice on what ingredients to add to certain layers to improve the cake’s structural integrity.
The cake grew and grew. To immense dimensions.
Lucy politely declined the offer to appear in a video with a rap musician who wanted to shoot I Like Big Bundts (And I Cannot Lie), not because she didn’t appreciate rap music, but because her cake was clearly not a bundt.
Likewise she did not accept invitations to appear on any of the shows on the cooking channels, feeling her project needed her undivided attention. She couldn’t bear to leave the heat of her own sprawling kitchen.
Given the story of Hansel and Gretel it was not completely unexpected that some of the children who had come for a tour felt a bit uneasy, but the visits went off without a hitch.
Recently Lucy had a dream in which she installed an elevator in the cake which allowed her to move up and down within the layers much more quickly. The absurdity of it let her know she was on the right path.
Her line of baking accessories, which she named Yinyang, were very profitable, but the manufacturer refused to make a signature baking pan the size of a football field.
She only agreed to interviews because she hoped one day someone would ask her about such requests. If she was crazy.
No one ever did.
Reporters would however ask her how big it needed to get before she would start considering icing. She would just smile and say “Still a ways to go.” When pressed at why she started baking the cake in the first place, she replied “Alfred Hitchcock once said “A lot of movies are about life, mine are like a slice of cake” as if that answered the question.
Not to be outdone, the reporter offered up a quote from Mehek Bassi that she had come upon while prepping for the interview; “Life is a cake and love is the icing on top of it. Without love, it becomes difficult to swallow life.”
Lucy laughed good-naturedly and said “That’s a good one. I think, in the end, I’ll know when, if ever, it’s time to start icing.” She paused for dramatic effect. “I don’t need it to make sense. I don’t want it to make sense.”
With that she turned, put on her mining helmet with the light in front, and re-entered her cake.
The tectonic layers of our lives rest so tightly one on top of the other that we always come up against earlier events in later ones, not as matter that has been fully formed and pushed aside, but absolutely present and alive. I understand this. Nonetheless, I sometimes find it hard to bear.
— Bernhard Schlink