7 February, 2017 Longshot Island
There is a tiny bakery at the end of our lane. They call it Aunt Sue’s. I adore their fruit tarts, but the sugar levels in my blood tend to gallop at the mere sight of them. So I’m allowed to eat one fruit tart but once a year. I pick a day sometime in November, and Marge runs down to the bakery for me. Before and after that I don’t touch a grain of sugar. Can’t afford to, really. They say if my blood gets any sweeter, my kidneys will pack up and leave for Oshkosh. Permanently. Wherever that is.
This year I picked the 29th of Nov. As planned, Marge was waiting outside the bakery in time to see the round-headed store boy raise the shutters. As for me, my day began long before that. At 3:23 AM precisely, I came fully awake and lay very still on my back doing the countdown before the treasured tart would fill my mouth and infuse my senses. All seven of them. Marge lay beside me snoring gently. I didn’t want to wake her. I wanted to marinade undisturbed in the delightful anticipation of what was to come later that morning. Even Marge’s familiar presence would have jarred at that moment.