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Greg Bardsley

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desire

Huffin’ & pantin’ & moo-moos

About 17 years ago, when I was fresh out of college and at my first daily newspaper, an older, morbidly obese woman would periodically saunter into the newsroom — always huffing and panting, and always wearing a floral moo-moo dress.

She was nice enough, except for her unwanted shoulder rubbing.

What would happen was, I’d be on deadline, finishing yet another story on mosquito abatement, when she’d approach from behind and start rubbing. The first time it happened, I was paralyzed — shocked beyond movement. The second time, I gritted my teeth, cringed and hunched up my shoulders, waiting for it to end.

“You like that?” she huffed in my ear.

“Um, thanks.” Still cringing. Shoulders still hunched. “Well, better get back to work.”

She panted closer, whispering in her husky voice. “Well, I’m just doing what I wish someone would do to me.”

All these years later, that line is still a favorite around my house, especially after a long day. The kids are finally asleep after another evening of unleashing boyish aggression throughout the household. Everyone’s bones are aching. Everyone is exhausted. Everyone just wants to veg on the couch. But you muster the energy to massage your spouse’s shoulders for a moment, and he or she sighs in relief, eyes closed, totally exhausted, thanking you profusely, which is when you say in a husky voice under your breath, “Well, I’m just doing what I wish someone would do to me.”

Good times.

Damn, I want it bad

I can’t get it out of my mind.

The thought of it hits me at all hours — in the dark of the night, at high noon, at dusk and even at the break of dawn. It burrows to the center of my brain, where it releases wave after wave of want and desire. I stare into space, my right eyebrow arched just so, and lick my lips. And I think about it over and over and over. My brain, my body, my mouth, my soul — they all want it bad. Real bad. And I’ve got to have it.

I’ve got to have one of those cinnamon rolls at Pilgrim Kitchen.

It all started when my youngest son Dylan and I enjoyed a special father-and-son weekend during the holiday break. Dylan’s No. 1 request for the weekend had been quite simple — “donuts.” Suffice it to say we had some donuts.

One of the joints we hit up was Pilgrim Kitchen in Belmont. Talk about a wonderful little slice of authenticity. This is a place where you can sit down with a ceramic cup of coffee and eat a donut off a real plate. What’s more, the donuts and other baked treats there are sublime — we’re talking hardcore, serious quality you rarely find in donuts these days.

As luck would have it, I got addicted to their cinnamon rolls. The first time I had one, my eyelids fluttered. I hummed happily. My mind floated. I think I may have even swayed back and forth. Dylan held his giant powdered donut as if it were a glowing chalice offered to the gods, his fingers under the treat, not around it, his cheeks caked in powered sugar. I smiled, he hunched his shoulders and giggled.

Suffice it to say, we returned a few times during my break.

Now, I’m back to work, the boys are back in school, and I can’t stop thinking of Pilgrim Kitchen — specifically, getting my hands on their cinnamon rolls.

It got me to thinking, Hell, I just love my baked goods. Case in point: I also happen to be lusting for cornbread muffins with just a bit of butter and honey on top. We had some with dinner the other night, and I’m telling you, it was unbelievable.

But at some point, I must resist. I’m 40, not 25. My metabolism doesn’t crank at the frenzied pace it once did. My gut is at a critical point — either I pull back now, or I risk seeing it expand for years to come. What’s more, my arteries don’t need this.

So send me white light. Send me the white light of resistance and self-control. Send me balance and moderation. I need it. Because right now, I want it. I want that cinnamon roll, and I want it bad.

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