Consolidating my archived emails, I came across some that were labeled Bakery Bleu. Ah yes, the first bakery I ever worked at, the one described in my novel, Notes from Nadir. The one where I met Gordon, the owner and baker. A quick Google search revealed that things had changed since that interview back on a beautiful warm and sunny April day. No longer was the bakery there—it had vanished.
Here’s an excerpt from Chapter 19 ~ The Boss of Bakery Bleu
Upon entering the bakery, I noticed a bin of unwrapped baguettes on the counter. I saw a variety of rolls and sweet rolls on the shelves, and behind the man who stood at the counter, were rows of different kinds of breads.
I met Gordon, a tall auburn haired man bordering on pudginess. He wore a navy polo shirt with the golden-brown Bakery Bleu logo [a pair of crossed breadsticks] above one of his manboobs. He shook my hand and sat down across from me so he could see both me and all the baked goodies to the north.
“Do tell me about yourself,” he said in a hearty voice. His accent wasn’t local, that’s for sure. He sounded English. Of course, I didn’t think he wanted to know about my personal history but about how valuable I’d be as a minimum wage slave, I mean, employee. I smiled, and for once, I wasn’t unhappy about sitting across from the man even though he could only offer a part time job. I pulled out a pale blue resume and handed it to him. He nodded and looked at it. I knew he was probably surprised when he saw the word Dreamweaver on the bottom where I listed a few web related things.
“You had your own business,” he studied that piece of paper atop the black table. “You lived in Los Angeles…what’re you doing here?”
Much as I want to, I couldn’t avoid that question. The man was scrutinizing me now. I looked at his dark eyes, then down at the table. “Cheap rent. I live with my mom.”
He had a genuine, hearty laugh. It sounded so wonderful after not hearing much of it that year. And I laughed out loud myself. It was true, that cliché about laughter being healthy.
“I did too when I first moved here from London.”
“Not London, Kentucky?”
He smiled broadly and I was feeling more comfortable with this man I had just met. “England.” He replied, though I knew the answer and he knew I knew that he was from across the pond.
“The people are so boring here,” I said. Oops, not the kind of thing to say in a job interview, especially as I was applying for a job where I’d be waiting on those boring people. But this didn’t really feel like one. “I didn’t say that,” I said.
He leaned forward a bit, covered his ears and replied, “I didn’t hear that!”
God, we were like teenagers on a first date.
He began speaking of the duties. The first date was over; it was a real job interview. He went over them: waiting on customers, taking calls, helping out with orders, mopping up… “It’s not General Motors,” he said. “We’ve all got to pull together.”
Like team spirit? I thought, but left that unsaid.
He complained about how slow business was. And the customers’ taste in bread. “The baguettes are too hard!” he mocked, using a higher pitched voice. He shook his head and in his sexily deep voice said, “I lived in France for eight years. A baguette is CRISP. Here they think it’s burned. I offered to sell them dough if they want soft baguettes.”
I chuckled at that image.
“Look, I only have one important question for you…” he paused with the drama of a stage actor.