Thursday, May 07, 2009

69 Looking for the lost bagel

I remember bagels from a long time ago, I remember fresh bagels made by obsessed individuals, the bagels were large, not like the ones you find sometimes, they had a unique texture, firm yet yielding, golden, whisper thin surface punctured easily to rich depths, I remember how these bagels toasted, absorbing humble butter and lofty lox with equal ease, these memories come to me most frequently in the lands without bagels, there are such places, and I confess I imagine the people who live there are less happy because they have not known their own bagels, only the lucky adventures of risk takers and madmen on vacation have bagel experiences to share. I know the yeasty aroma of a good bagel, It's sometimes a long wait and sometimes extreme measures need to be made but when there's a rumour of a good bagel place in town, I invariably find myself there on the flimsiest of pretenses. I remember the great bagel drought of 2004, a local place had finally started serving bagels, uninspired affairs yet undeniably bagels, I had sunk so low as to import frozen bagels in individually packaged bags, they were not the same yet suggested their referents enough that I could use my imagination and my memories to take me closer. Imagine my joy when I found a local place that served bagels! Regrettably, it was not to last and after only a few weeks, the deliveries of bagels had stopped, the supplier had disappeared. After several inquiries and longer and more elaborate explanations by the proprietors I was finally told they honestly had no idea when they would next get a bagel delivery. 

I was crushed. So as the year dragged out and the one after that, I gave up on bagels entirely for a time, life took on a grim aspect. Everything became serious. I began to worry that I might have tasted my last bagel. Nothing so tragic as the death of hope, I kept myself from that final frontier by an immense effort of concentration and no small measure of luck. However, the sun had set on my bagel life, it seemed; my kingdom for a bagel! No one took up my offer. I surrendered to circumstance and strove to find drops of happiness in club sandwiches and crostini but they could not compare to the flood of the prime source, the ne plus ultra, the sui generis, the bagel, zen icon and gourmand's satisfaction indivisible, yet you could eat it!

Last week everything changed, the sunrise came charging back into my life. Yes! Bagels had returned to my city, the politics keeping them out had lost! I sit before  you now satisfied by the second bagel in a week available locally! Yes! I have found it! The thing itself! The philosopher's Stone!

It's a bagel!

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