Author: Chloe Markham
I got given the end of the bread recently, friend.
Yeah, in a cafe. I’ve not been to a cafe in bloody ages, but the other day I ventured out with a friend.
Obviously I ordered the most expensive brunch item on the menu. Smashed avocado on toast with the works. I made a comment about the name – sounds like there was a bit of violence done to the avo – but no one laughed…
I wait patiently. Worrying about touching my chair, my face, have I got enough hand sanitiser to last me to the end of this meal. Wondering why no one laughed at my joke.
And out she comes. Bearing what was probably going to be the best meal I’ve had in months. I was excited.
She gently lays the plate in front of me. Avo, salad, feta. Yes yes yes yes yessssss.
But then I noticed: the single slice of toast they gave me was the end of the bread.
Now, there’s only two ends of the bread. You probably know that, friend, you’re smart.
And maybe these guys ran out of bread? They’re probably really struggling, like all businesses (except Zoom, amiright?!) and were forced to serve me the end of the bread. They probably didn’t have an option, did they?
I ate it. I’m not one to make a fuss, especially right now. There’s no way. And it wasn’t bad, considering.
But then when ruminating on it later, I decided it was a bit of a poor show.
The end of the bread at my house is the bit I eat while the proper bread gets toasted or slapped about a bit ready for some epic toppings. Or maybe I’m desperate and I’ve nothing else in. It’ll do. I’ll scrape the mould off with a spoon and get on with my day.
So that’s what the end of the bread represents to me. To probably a lot of other people, too, I’d say. (Edit: After originally sending this story as an email, I’ve since discovered there’s a big end-of-the-bread fan club out there. I now look at the end a bit more kindly.)
But, I wanted this email to be a reminder to you, friend, and myself, that everyone in 2020 is just doing the very bloody best they can with what’s probably the shittest hand they’ve been dealt in a long while. Maybe ever.
So, I’ve retracted my previous decision of getting fired up, deciding never to show my face there again to allow space for a little compassion.
So, to the cafe who served me the end of the bread: I’m sorry you had to do that. I’m sorry I thought worse of you for doing that. Because I’m sure you were just doing your very best in some pretty crappy times.
Maybe we can all give everyone a bit of a break right now. It’s fucking chaos out there. The world just needs us all to be a bit more empathetic. A bit more compassionate. The world needs a little more love (from a safe distance though, yeah?).
So let’s love and leave the rest behind.
And it turns out I don’t really mind the end of the bread. I’ve decided it’s all in the toppings.
So here’s to loving for no reason at all, and all the jazziest toppings.
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