In Search of a Lost Cause

From time to time, I bump into Proustians. You know the type, right? The ones who have eaten loads of madeleines and keep having involuntary memories of their idyllic childhoods reading Proust and eating madeleines.

I always want to tell them to bugger off. But I can’t. Since my mouth is full, too, of some halcyon pastry, sweet with a remembrance of things past.

Although my pastry is a Welshcake, littered with raisins and dusted in sugar. And my memories are of getting beaten up on those wild and terrible streets of Wales. And then getting beaten up some more. And not over love or an allegiance to some vague and fleeting desire, but beaten up because I went to the wrong school, wore the wrong shoes, and read the wrong messages in a flippant gesture.

God, how I would love to taste the sweet forgetting of something that melts on the tongue.

But I’ll take my Welshcakes and all their grit and salt and lumps of butter and the pastry rolled out to within an inch of their griddled life.

And, anyway, the memory of a flattened Welshcake sizzling on the griddle and sifted with sugar is so much better than the memory of great big cakes stuffed into my mouth, my ears, my eyes, making me blind to all kinds of tarts and scones and biscuits, making me see only the true ruling class of cupcakes, iced and sitting happily in their frilly parchment liners.

I am at least left with a delicious memory of golden brown knuckles pounding my face into the pavement and leaving me with little oven-size tears.

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