The cookies are done. They sit in piping hot rounds, reeking of cinnamon and butter and loving mixing. The crisp of the baking paper, the rustle of the heat as it cools and crackles through the mixture, settling back into the searing black tray, causing the edges of the biscuits to curl upwards as though to escape from the blistering heat. Is there anything more loving than baking? A pain-staking, wondrous activity, precise measuring and slapdash rolling, peeking through hot oven doors and wiping of floured hands on a starchy apron. Sometimes all you need to pull you out of a bad day is that flow, the gorgeous concentration that goes into lining a cake tin, the closed eyed, somewhat hedonistic act of rolling cookie dough with your fingers, or reaching for a fistful of flour and feeling cool white dust all the way up to your wrist.
Does it matter? What we fill this world with while we’re here? Some people say life’s a bitch and then you die, and for some I guess maybe it is like that. But what about the good parts? What about all the beauty? The leaves surrounding you on an autumn walk to work, new soft leather boots snapping decisively on the pavement. Listening to a secret song on your iPod, everybody around you oblivious to the thumping bass line that has you restraining your jiggling feet and smiling to yourself in glorious anticipation of the night to come. The afternoon sun streaming through a kitchen window, lighting the dust motes revolving lazily in the hot air, the happy smell of baking permeating the empty room.
The infinite possibilities, the love that might await you just around the next corner, the thought that whether you catch the 10.15 bus or miss it could subsequently affect your entire life – and the idea that we never know. We never know who just passed us in their car, that they have a music collection identical to ours, or that they also harbour a secret Hello Kitty obsession. We don’t know that the red-haired woman with the high ponytail that we pass on the way to lunch everyday works at the exact company we have been trying to get into for months and months. And we don’t even know that the man who lives in the apartment two floors down is the perfect match for our desperately lonely best friend. There are so many opportunities and potentials that swirl around us everyday, all we have to do is reach out and catch them. But how can we, if we are so oblivious? Maybe we need to open our eyes, and take another look at everything.