Breakfast in bed
Tick, tock, tick, tock. The blue shade of the darkest before dawn has creeped in, rendering the room unrecognizeable to anybody, but John just lay there in bed, watching, waiting for the shade to turn golden. It was still cold out, and a light frost has formed on the balcony doors.
Easing off the bed, he checked his watch on the bedside table. Nearly 5. Time to get a move on. Giddy is not something he would describe his feeling right now. His mind raced to the night before, the moment they kissed. He remembered her scent. That first sensation. She smelled like lavender cookies, he smiled to himself as he prepared for his task that lays ahead.
The streets were serene this time of day, or night, whichever you look at it. John walked out onto the sidewalk, hearing the trams in the distance. Right, he thought to himself. Enough time to make the 5:32 to Kreis 1. As he waited by the bench, wrapped up in his woolen pullover, the pigeons cooing soothingly at his feet. It was his habit to feed them bread, but not at this hour. It has been awhile since he stood at this bench at this hour. But sleep has not deprived him of what he felt now, what he could sense. The pigeons were part of the faint symphony he could hear. The rustling of the leaves. The street cleaners humming at the corner, their machine ridding the gutters of the previous day's activities. The buildings stood out, and as the sun broke its shell into daylight, the colors on the facade came sharp into view. This is a beautiful place, he thought.
The rumbling of the tram has not taken him out of his reverie, for this morning he had a purpose. He sat by the window, wanting to take in all that will pass and stage a show for his own amusement. The old lady taking her dog our for a walk. A lonely man wrapped up in his own troubles, or what seems to be the cold. A discarded cup rolling on the sidewalk as the light breeze from the tram disturbed its peace. Everything now is illuminated by the shafts of sunrise, and life begins.
After getting off the warm tram, he walked briskly across the street. He could smell it now. The sweet smell that pervades at this corner every morning, but never able to indulge in what produces it. As he turned the corner, the door was already open, with a few people milling about. Patiently he stood in line, enjoying the aroma. The bread was what got sane people out of their warm beds. It's the bread that gave you reason to stay out all night. It was the baguette that affirmed that everything is right. The baker stuffed two in John's bag, and the warmth radiated into his being. After picking up a couple of bottles of preserves, he entered the cold morning anew and walked a few blocks to his right, into the cobble stoned pedestrian area. Approaching the steps, he pressed the button briefly. It was too soon while wondering if anybody else is awake that the intercom came to life.
"Morgen," it cracked with a sleepy female voice. "kann ich hilfe?"
"John" he replied. He felt a minute pang of guilt, but disappeared when the buzzer unlocked the door.
He walked silently up two flights, then came upon her door. He was able to glance at Jessika as she walked towards the kitchen. Dressed in a light robe, her curly hair still having the remnants of sleep, she started the coffee maker. John eased into the apartment, and lay down the bread on the kitchen table.
"That smells divine," she said. "How are you?"
"Good, thanks." John replied, as he busied himself with a tray. "You?"
"Shift starts at 7. Sheisse. Bea is too sick to go to work today, so I have to cover for her." Jessika takes a deep long sip of her coffee. "But all is well with you, I see."
John gives a small sheepish smile. The glorious crunch of the baguette gives as he slices them and arranges on a plate, along with the preserves. Mushroom omelet, fresh pressed orangensaft and a white rose completed the tray. With a copy of the Zurcher Zeitung, he gives Jessika a smile and walks toward the far door of the apartment. She sleeps with the door slightly ajar, he noticed. Nudging the door slowly, he walks into her room. He stood there for one purposeful moment, understanding the reason why he is here. She lay there curled beneath the duvet her wavy tresses just laying on the edge of the bed like golden waterfalls. The trickling sunrise made it look more...surreal, he thought.
Alexandra felt the sleep slowly fading way, giving way to a presence that felt familiar. She stirred, adjusting her duvet. Then daintily lifting a sliver of her hair, she slowly opened her eyes. And she knew who it was, but did not expect John. But was a pleasant unexpectedness, and of course, she was not ready for it. She adjusted again the duvet.
"So sorry," John said as he turned around, "Didn't know you slept in the nude"
"Don't be silly," she whispered in her husky voice that John could not get over "It's more comfortable" And then with a slight twitch of her lips, "Want to join me?"
John turned slowly back, and while carefully balancing the tray, knelt and kissed her on the forehead.
"Ooooh, frustuck!" she said."Fur mich?"
John propped her up on the pillows, Alexandra keeping the duvet covers up to were it mattered, at least for the meantime, she thought.
He lay the tray across her, and sat on her bedside.
As the sun rose slowly, John and Alexandra spent the next two hours over breakfast in bed, talking. Laughing. They told stories like they were old friends. They debated like political opponents. It was there that it has begun for both of them, on that cold spring morning.
Baguette in the morning
4 C flour
1 tbsp dry active yeast
2 tsp salt
2 C warm water
Sift together flour and salt into a bowl
In a another bowl, mix water and yeast annd let stand until creamy, about 7 minutes
Mix half of the flour mixture into the yeast. Distribute until all flour has moistened.
Slowly add the rest of the flour
Knead 10 minutes on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about ten minutes
Place in bowl, cover with a damp kitchen towel, and let rise until doubled, about one hour
Preheat oven to 450F
Punch dough down, and knead for 2 more minutes.
Divide dough into three
Roll into baguettes and place on a tray
Brush with egg white, and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes
Place a small bowl of water in the oven.
Bake baguette for 25 minutes until golden. Remove bowl of water 15 minutes into the baking time.
Serve warm and sinfully crusty with butter and preserves.
What led to this? What happens after breakfast?