ON SERVING A BROKEN CAKE TO MY GOOD FRIEND ON HER 27TH BIRTHDAY

I can’t even work myself up to embarrassed. If anything, I’m bashful. (Bashful is less serious than embarrassed. It’s flirty, blushing, eyes darting up from that downcast glance, smiling.) See, I know that lady straight up doesn’t give a fuck. She once ate hot cookies off my floor.

We spend a lot of time telling each other not to feel guilty. It’s the foundation of our friendship. Don’t feel guilty about every last slight. Don’t feel guilty about the things you can’t control. Don’t feel guilty about being who you are.

And the broken cake, honest to god, isn’t some kind of passive-aggression. I did a little kid thing, a dumb thing, trying to get the cake out of the pan. It’s not always easy to get a cake out of a pan! And it broke. I made two 13×9 Pyrexes, and they both broke.

My boyfriend wanted to make the mess into cake balls, but that would destroy the texture. This cake is light like pillows or clouds or angel farts. It floats out of your hand.

I decided to just ice it together as best I could. I made cream cheese frosting for the outside, and mixed it with homemade jam for the inside. When the cracks in the top looked sad, I dusted them with purple sugar.

It’s a sloppy cake, for a girl whose nights of being sloppy drunk are fewer and farther between.

She’s 27. Getting married this year. Starting a new job, too. And fixing up her first house. Some days she can’t have happy hour because she has to do grown-up things.

The cake got drunk before the party did.

The cake got drunk before the party did.

I brought it to the party because I knew that people would eat it with their hands. They furtively swiped at the frosting and grabbed the fallen chunks off the foiled cookie sheet.

It was a massive cake for a not-so-massive party. The birthday girl got to take a good chunk home. She texted me this morning to say “…May have licked all the icing off before (my fiancé) woke up.”

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