I smelled donuts this morning and recalled the summer my older sister got a job as a night baker for the bakery up on the town square.
Hannah was in high school; I was in middle school. When she got the job making donuts and rolls through the night, I thought there had never been a cooler thing to happen to anyone, ever. A job that took place at night? A job making donuts? I didn’t even know donuts were made. I thought they just appeared in a box. How was a donut made? Did she get to eat some as she went? Hannah would be able to tell me.
Many times that summer I would get up at 4am and go down to the backyard. I’d lay back in the hammock and look up at the pre-dawn sky and wait for Hannah to come home. The small bakery was just up on the square, which meant it was roughly three blocks from the hammock. Before too long, Hannah would open the gate and she would be so stoked that I got up to meet her. She’d lay on the hammock with me and we’d talk about all kinds of things. She smelled amazing because smelled like donuts.
Those days are so far away, now. We all know being home is a fraught thing. Here’s the bakery where Hannah worked and the place where the hammock used to swing; there’s the familiar creak and groan on the eighth and ninth step of the staircase; there’s the place where the armoire used to be. A lot of people who live far from their childhood home don’t go back nearly as often as I do; I come back at least twice a year to tape TV; this means I have an ongoing relationship with my hometown past but I also see changes as they occur.
Last month, my mother bought the old movie theater on the square. It’s right next to the bakery. More on that tomorrow. Will we all smell like film?