Breadscent by JL Bogenschneider

I went to sleep to the sad sigh of the last train and woke up to the breadscent from the bakery below. Already things require clarification: sleep took place in my lover’s bed, which itself is in a flat situated above a bakery that opens early to draw in the a.m. commuters and I’m not ashamed of my use of that word, no. The breadscent comes from that which is baked on the premises, so it might be assumed that the last train leaves around eleven, with the first batch of bread beginning to arome around six and so further points must be clarified: the night before was a Saturday, so you know the last train left closer to midnight than anything, but people still commute at the weekend, so the six a.m. start still sounds right. Which means I had six straight hours of undisturbed sleep, although who shares a bed with another person and doesn’t wake up once, so perhaps more detail is needed: Saturday night into Sunday, you might assume I’d been out drinking, or other things even and slept so heavily the zeds from said lover failed to penetrate my dreams, although in this case you’d be wrong, because my lover wasn’t there – not before or after – and I had been drinking, but not so much as to be a total inebriate, although certainly so much as to have made my way to their flat late on a Saturday night. So what you know now is I have a lover to whose flat I have free access to use as a convenient stopover whenever I like, except you’d be wrong, inasmuch as I do have a lover, but to whose flat I don’t have free access, only know where the hider key is and it was far from convenient given my own and personal home is ten miles east of theirs and no agreement exists – tacit or otherwise – that would permit me to use it as a crashpad anytime, so I’m here without their knowledge – without their partner’s knowledge – because I’m in possession of the knowledge they’re out of town this weekend, together, which means the first weekend in many that we haven’t been together and it’s this absence that has drawn me – half-drunk on sours, half on love – to the place they share, which is also their life, stumbling around their home, dislodging knick-knacks and snick-snacking from the fridge – wondering if they’ll notice the missing slice of ham? The cheese block with teeth-marks? – peeing in their toilet (and who used it last?) and rubbing my face with their soft towels (and who used them last?) and slipping – finally – into the bed, where I derivatively toss and unoriginally turn whilst pressing my face to each pillow in order to find Their scent but impossible because it’s forever intermingled with the Other’s and anyway, also impossible to decide whose side I’d rather be on: Theirs – the better to be closer to them – or the Other’s – the better to pretend it might be me – and so in the end it’s a compromise in which no-one wins when I lay in the middle and when I do wake to the breadscent I’m upside-down, half-out of the bed with my face hung over the floor and drooltangle staining the sheets and as the first train pulls out of the station there’s a rattle at the door that could be the wind, or it could be the post, or the beginning and after of all else.


JL Bogenschneider and have had work featured in a number of print and online journals,including 404 Ink, minor literature[s], Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Necessary Fiction, PANK and Ambit. @bourgnetstogner