I pop in to see Bakerman after work to cheer him up and to check on how sick he really is. Het is not going well at all, temperature running high and a vague expression on his face. His body and his entire being is clearing his energy field of all the negativity that has accumulated. What I am about to hear is going to call the beginning of a brand-new era in our lives.
“Oh hi,” I greet him as I bustle into his bakery atelier. “My conf call turned out to be postponed. And I’m a bit late.”
“Better than never,” Bakerman smiles meekly, happy to see me.
“So my mother, positive evolution?” I ask him cutting straight to the chase.
“I am going to have a slice of cake and a big cup of tea now,” Bakerman skuttles around his workplace slowly gathering deliciously smelling items. “Do you want some?”
“Yesss please. Chocolate cake?” I am looking around at all the tempting things he has concocted. “Wim is going to start a blog too now. Fun huh.”
“I don’t know,” Bakerman has his back to me as he is shaking and trying carefully to prepare two big mugs of fresh tea. “My job is to help you look at alternatives instead of a single point of view that may or may not be correct.”
“Mmmm lost me,” I sigh as I take a big bite of the chocolate creamy cake he just placed in front of me. “Great cake though.”
“What was the whole reading for your mom?” Bakerman turns to face me now holding out a hot steamy mug of tea. I accept his offer quickly afraid he might spill half of the hot brew in his clumsy sickness.
“She’s financially well off but can’t see it,” I start recounting what the story of my wild unknown tarot cards. “She reaps what she sows with me and my brother. Too much in control. A big change is coming, sudden. And she’ll be upset. But it’s a blessing in disguise. In two years she will meet a new love interest. I told her to do AirBnB for extra income. Or English conversation. Or cake workshops. How to make a blue cake for instance. Hope renewed. Connect to the force within.”
“Was she not an accountant or something?” Bakerman asks as he slowly stirs his tea with a small dainty spoon.
“No she was an administrative assistant at the army,” I tell him. That translates into less than a secretary. “She liked to pretend she was very important.”
“Oh,” Bakerman shrugs as he takes a first sip of his tea.
“And she liked to copy the military,” I could go on forever on details regarding my mother. “She said she never saved for her pension. Can anybody really be so reckless?”
“Yes sure,” Bakerman nods at me unblinkingly.
“She says she only has one income,” I go over the inconsistencies with my best friend. “Does this mean my brother doesn’t contribute to paying the costs of living at home?”
“Of course not,” Bakerman laughs. “Your mother should have put him in a special nursing home years ago.”
“Haha,” I enjoy a good laugh. “Yes she should. I think he only works part time. Lazy sod.”
“The best way to treat your brother is to get him help in finding a job and keeping it then throw him out,” Bakerman eyes me coolly from his puffy red face.
“My mother will never throw him out,” I shake my head looking down at the tea mug resting in my lap. “I told her she should get him to move on. But always excuses.”
“She knows he can’t survive on his own,” Bakerman mocks.
“Yup,” I sigh.
“Make sure you teach your kids the value in achievement,” Bakerman warns me.
“I do all the time,” I smile back at him. “And they do chores.”
“Discipline is very good for kids,” Bakerman confirms.
“Yes I dont want morons like my brother,” I pull a funny face as I think of that genetic failure.
“Does he know he is the village idiot in Turnpoint Mountains?” Bakerman hears all the gossip in town as people come and go in his bakery. “There is another one very similar in Emelo Woods too. Guy is 40 and never worked a day in his life. Lived at home from birth.”
“I don’t think so,” I go on thinking deeply. My mother would have said something if it were the case. “Some call him ‘bambi’. My mother thinks that’s endearing somehow.”
“You should tell him,” Bakerman urges me. his fever clearly rising inside of him. “The whole village knows about him and laughs at him.”
“The village thinks he’s a little old man,” I tell him about the rumours I have heard. “They think he’s my mom’s boyfriend. Nobody believes me when I tell them he’s my brother. They laugh when I say he’s my younger brother. Incredible.”
“It was suggested once that I should offer free treatment for him,” Bakerman is holding my gaze. I remember him offering to talk to my brother last year, but that was the other brother.
“Yes you should,” I push him a little. I’m starting to wonder how much of the fever is actually doing the talking.
“No,” Bakerman shakes his head resolutely. “Incest cases are not my thing.”
“How is he involved in incest?” I am shocked to my core. Is there a simple way to talk to a man delirious with fever? “You mean with my mother? Now it is weird how they live together. Go on vacation together.”
“Who knows the truth,” Bakerman shrugs. “Such is the rumour.”
“Sleep in same bed on vacation,” I go over the weird evidence accumulating under my unbelieving eyes. “It is the rumour, I know. But it can’t be true.”
“Why not? I had a case like this long ago,” Bakerman remembers sourly. “Father and son were fighting all the time. Fist fighting and father couldn’t figure it out. Son was fucking mother and became possessive. Mother preferred fucking son. Son is now living in a mental institution as he is screwed up from this. Both parents are dead now. He has been a basket case for years. Hated having to submit a report to the authorities.”
“Oh my that sounds bad,” I shake my head. I know I can’t cope with even hearing about such things. I’d rather live in my peaceful little world, without drama and terrible stories only my birth family could come up with. “I couldn’t cope with cases like that.”
“Yes,” Bakerman nods solemnly. “Who is your brothers father?”
“I can’t even read the newspaper without getting upset,” my head is spinning now and I’ve lost track of the plot. Are we talking about my brother in the UK and the abuse he put up with from Graham? Or my brother here in Belgium? “My stepdad? Fwa-fwaaah.”
“Yes I know,” Bakerman nods mysteriously.
“Frank is his real name,” I go on. “He looks the spitting image of him.”
“Is he in touch with your brother?” Bakerman asks inquisitively.
“Yes but not often now,” I tell him only what I have heard. “He’s drinking again. And very involved with his new Philippino wife and her lot. He never bothers with me and my kids. Sometimes my brothers but not often.”
“Sounds good,” Bakerman smiles.
“Does it?” I pull up my eyebrow at him.
“You don’t need the added aggravation,” Bakerman points out.
“I don’t,” I sigh.
“Your brother just needs to meet a bitch like his mother and he will be off,” Bakerman lets me know it will all be okay.
“Hasn’t happened yet,” I point out the obvious flaw in his statement. “Don’t think he ever will.”
“There must be loads of them in Belgium,” Bakerman has told me before that there are a million more fish in the sea.
“Mother won’t allow it,” I snort. “There are. But what, come home, be quiet for mom?”
“I understand my elder sister is also crazy,” Bakerman reveals part of his story. “She has a boyfriend who is 30 years her junior. He is a paid companion. A gigolo I guess. Fat and useless. Worked six months in his life so far. Yet she hangs onto him as though butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth. Maybe women go crazy when they hit menopause or 60. Maybe they think it will dry up. Even a dog that likes to lick is an option.”
“But he’s her son!” I am starting to feel defensive now. I hate horrible talk and even though I don’t like the lot of them, I won’t stand for nasty talk. “I don’t understand this. I want my children to live full lives. Adventures of their own. Not extensions of myself. Ugh my mom has cats. This is all very dirty, very scary and not healthy.”
“Ah but your autism is different from hers,” Bakerman continues in the same monotone voice. “She see things as possessions. If she can’t own you then you are the problem.”
“I am the problem,” I repeat for myself. “Oh dear, that’s psychopathic.”
“If you blog this please make up names and cities that protect your family,” Bakerman looks at me alarmed.
“Haha,” I laugh as I can’t for the life of me imagine to ever repeat what I have just heard. “Yes true. Like which names? Tweedledum is pretty good.”
“Sure it’s always the same pattern,” Bakerman nods. “Your mother needs to own everyone she is close to. The concept if love is very distant to her. Sex equals love.”
“And the Old-Woman-in-a-Shoe,” I burst out in hysterics now. This conversation has clearly gotten under my skin.
“Yes something like that,” Bakerman is eyeing me with growing concern.
“Ugh disgusting,” I curl my nose. “Now I know where my weird behaviour comes from.”
“Yes,” Bakerman confirms.
“Or how I thought I had to do,” I go on seeing the light. “And it never felt right. So she is doing it with him. Yuk disgusting.”
“My next point. You can change it,” Bakerman always offers options.
“That will never stop,” I give up before I have even started. “I can? That’s the death card. How?”
“Yes you can change your behaviour only,” Bakerman explains the rules to me.
“Ah but I’m fine,” I say firmly. “How do I save my mother and my brother?”
“Fiona you must not put your filters in when reading tarot,” Bakerman scolds me. “You don’t know what’s in her future. You can’t.”
“What do you mean?” I ask him desperately.
“You can’t save them only they can,” Bakerman looks at me with sorry eyes. “You can help them achieve the desire to change.”
“So my blog will expose them and force them to change?” I ponder as anxiety creeps further up my spine.
“No it will just bring a new law suite,” Bakerman sighs looking into his empty tea mug.
“Public shaming does work,” I speak up. “Will it? Even if I talk about Tweedledum?”
“You need proof,” Bakerman puts his cup down and moves over in a conspiratorial fashion. “Have a few mini bugs placed in their house and record them for a month. Then you will have evidence.”
“Okay sounds fun,” I wink at him. “I’ll get their place bugged next time I’m in there. Or get the kids to do it. Or I know people who know people.”
“I am going shopping now,” Bakerman gets up slowly. “You could just ask her to clarify the rumour which she will deny but might think about.”
“Ok will do,” I say reluctantly as I can’t see myself ever having this conversation ever again.
“Ok have fun,” Bakerman waves after me as I make my way out of his atelier, back into the fresh spring air outside. I will always marvel at Bakerman’s ability to match his coaching strategies to each client for maximum success. His fever seems to have left together with the negativity he just spun out. I could almost visually see him releasing it all as he exhaled. I inhale the fresh spring air and take in the fresh energy of the sun, allowing it to light the way to a brand-new era.
* Disclaimer : Any resemblance between the fictional characters in this story and any persons, living or dead, is a miracle by chance more than by choice.