cupcakeI’m typing this on Daniel’s laptop, from the basement. If you need to find either of us, that’s where we are. With the door locked. We are not leaving the basement until either the smell of baking goes away or we run out of cigarettes, in which case, Daniel has volunteered to make like a leopard printed ninja and run to the store. We have a secret knock for when he comes back – we worked it out a couple hours ago.

Do you know what happens when two bakers fight? It’s an avalanche of cupcakes that starts somewhere around 4am.

Jaquelyn and Skipper Jane have been at it since the stupid hours of the morning. and by, “it,” I mean baking. And to think this started peacefully over lemon bars. Jeebus! And right after writing group, so there was plenty of warmup.

We were having lemon bars – Jaquelyn (not to be confused with Jackie, wife of Jack, in portrait on the basement wall. She’s looking at me now.) made them, and they were FANTASTIC. Skipper Jane agreed, I agreed, Daniel agreed, Will licked the plate. Our Small Person hugged Jaquelyn and thanked her politely before bedtime, even.

So Skipper Jane starts talking about her date on Friday with Byron, and Jaquelyn is just dying to know what Byron looks like, right? But Skipper doesn’t want Jaquelyn to see a picture of him for some reason, and then Jaquelyn starts pressing. Skipper won’t answer. Jaquelyn starts pressing for a last name so she can Google him. By the time Skipper Jane gives in, she’s pissed, Will is uncomfortable, Daniel has changed his clothes three times, and I’ve had a martini – a whole one. And then Jaquelyn finds Byron’s Facebook page, and there are pictures. Lots of pictures.

My dog! He could be a magazine model. A dirty magizine model! Byron? That sweet guy who slouches and wears t-shirts with Pokemon on them? The guy who explained why Skipper Jane’s couch wouldn’t fit up the stairwell in our three-decker by using some kind of quantum thermonuclear trigonometry* and then took the arms off the couch after calculations with a slide rule**? Darling Byron who cuddles puppies?*** Well let me tell you! Boyfriend takes some really hot self portraits in the mirror with a digicam held out to the side. Also, omg, he has some nice ink hiding under that Pikachu tee!****

Which was when Jaquelyn insisted that she meet Byron in person – to approve of him, of course.

And then Skipper Jane asked Jaquelyn if she had designs on her boyfriend.

Which Jaquelyn adamantly denied. But Skipper Jane didn’t believe her.

And I had another martini. Ok, I had two. It was stressful, ok! Daniel rinsed out the cocktail shaker, Will carried me piggyback up to bed, and sometime around four, I awoke to the smell of cake and the pitter-patter of disturbed lady feet up and down the stairs. Skipper Jane lives on the third floor. Daniel, who is hosting Jaquelyn at the moment while her place is being remodeled, lives on the first floor. We live on the second floor and Will snores like a madman, while I sleep light. Combine the traffic in the hallway with the dulcet strains of Will’s motorcycle singalong, and, well, I’ve been up since the wee hours of WTF o’clock in the morning.

I found Daniel in the basement around five, watching Breakfast at Tiffany’s, in a spotted dressing gown. Skipper and Jaquelyn are still at it, but now the conversation has moved from, “Get near my boyfriend and I’ll – I’ll – I don’t know what the hell I’ll do but you won’t like it!” and “Oh, yeh? Oh, yeh??” to “I swear I don’t want your boyfriend – I’m rooting for you, Skipper Jane!” and “These would be really good with a raspberry filling, don’t you think? Ooo! Let’s try it!”

Dude. There is over a gross of cupcakes down here – we counted! One hundred and sixty seven, to be precise. The basement cannot possibly hold any more cupcakes, and neither Daniel nor I can ingest any more of them either or we will both be ill. The smell of cake batter has become cloying. We are not opening the door.

And we can hear them out there with their cake pans and their aprons. We can hear them…

***

*I made that up. Just now. All I know is that whatever math he was using, I never took that in college. Couldn’t we have just said, “The couch arms are too wide for the turn on second floor stairwell,” or, “Rats, we can’t make this fit,” and called it a day?
**”Just like a calculator,” my feathered butt – it’s magical and mysterious! Someone really needs to teach me how to use one of those. It looks fucking COOL.
***I haven’t actually ever witnessed him cuddling puppies. But I’m sure that he does – he has that kind of sweet little boy face.
****Are Pikachu and Lisa Simpson related, do you think?

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