The hardest part of Buddy’s day, was locking up the bakery at night, and going home to his wife and children. As he locked the door to Carlo’s Bakery, he stared at his own reflection in the glass, shadowed by the flawlessly iced cakes in the window, smiling at him through drop-lines and sugar roses. Buddy sighed and pressed his doughy face against the glass, his head filled the memory of frying his signature cannoli’s, their shells crisped to perfection. As Buddy filled each cannoli with vanilla cream, he felt the hole in his heart being filled up too, with the very same vanilla cream.
Buddy thought back to the days’ events. Ralph had been confiding in Buddy about his feelings for Juan; how he thought Juan was he hottest dish in Hoboken. He nodded along politely, but Buddy knew nothing could be hotter than a freshly filled Victoria sponge: so sweet and creamy.
He relished the opportunity to be the star of his own TV show. He felt as though he was doing his father proud. But at the same time, he was tired of the cameras in his face, tired of hiding his true feelings, tired of never being alone in a room with a three-tier pound cake. Oh, how he missed those days. Sometimes he wished he could remove his father’s rolling pin shotgun from his bottom draw, and take out the producer and all his cameramen. But he would resist. He would resist for the slim chance that one day, the world might accept his passion for baking. Buddy would often think these thought as he walked home at night, dusting flour from the rolling pin: heirloom of the Valastro family.
Delivering was always especially difficult for Buddy, that’s why he usually employed others to do it for him. But as his fame increased, and Sketch became more and more useless, the demand for him to accompany his creations upon delivery to the customers became too much. Now Buddy has to watch, every time that cruel knife would cut through the supple layers of sponge and buttercream, and every time he would feel that knife as though it were cutting into the deep layers of his own skin. This emotional bond with each and every one of his cakes, left him broken like the sugar twists on his greatest failure: The Chandelier Cake.
As Buddy was reminded of the moment he let go of the rope, and saw his cake-child crash to the ground, splintering into a million delicious pieces, he would often escape the buzz of any party to cry alone in the back of the delivery van, sobbing into the empty darkness. Buddy had mastered the art of hiding the pain in his voice as he spoke the words ‘lets eat some cake.’ The crowd’s cheers affirming his acting prowess. The pain never lessened.
Buddy would distract himself with the daily dramas of being an Italian family man. He often took his children to the shop with him to teach them the art of baking, or argue with his nasally sisters; their voices stinging his ears. He loved his family but he loved his bakery more. His wife would tell him to lay off the cake, that he was becoming soft around the edges.
“But Lisa,” he would say. “Nothing is softer than a thick slice of tiramisu.”
Lisa would laugh, but Buddy knew that she would never truly understand.
The kitchen at home smelt like pasta and freshly cooked garlic bread, but it was nothing compared to the aromatic victory of the perfect tray bake: so soft, so moist, steaming fresh from the bakery ovens. Buddy hoped that maybe one day his family could just be enough for him, or that they would accept his dedication and devotion to his confectionary goods.
Sometimes, Buddy thought he loved cake too much. But after all, he was the Cake Boss.