Less than two weeks from the Body Show Benefit, and over on Nora Robertson's website, she's included an excerpt from the story I'll be reading, along with a graphic I put together in a frenzy of frosting and photoshopping, to commemorate the upcoming event. [The next voice you hear will be Nora's...]
A woman decides to jump naked out of a cake to surprise her husband for their anniversary, and quickly ends up baking hundreds of sheet cakes. Gigi Little’s writing has appeared in the anthologies Portland Noir and The Pacific Northwest Reader, and she has written and illustrated two children’s picture books, Wright Vs. Wrong and The Magical Trunk. She works as In-Store Merchandising and Promotions Coordinator for Powell’s, and before moving to Portland, she spent fifteen years in the circus. To hear more of this story, check out Gigi at the Body Show Benefit, Nov. 3rd, door at 7PM, 7:30-9:30PM, $5-15 donation.
I never thought I’d be the kind of person who’d like frosting a cake in the nude. But, oh, I do. First is the smell of the sugar all around. Then there’s the way it feels. Trust me, if you think running a knife along frosting is kind of sensual, try doing it with nothing but air against your skin.
I say cake, but actually this is one of those giant novelty cakes a girl hides in and then jumps out of in a pink teddy. Or in my case, naked. Naked because today is our fifth wedding anniversary, and I don’t just want to celebrate, I don’t just want to give Andy a little surprise. I want to make an exceptional gesture.
That’s what he called it when he bought me that dress, the red one that cost like five hundred dollars. He could have bought me the sweater I asked for, but he wanted to make an exceptional gesture. So, this year, I’m doing something special for him. Something classy. I’ve got a bottle of thirty dollar champagne and the table in the corner is set with silver and candles. I constructed this cake all by myself—could have rented it from a costume shop, but then it might not have even had real frosting and definitely would not have been an exceptional gesture—at least not nearly exceptional enough.
Almost seems like I should open the champagne and have a tiny toast before Andy gets here. Because, if I do say so, this cake looks great. Well, mostly it looks like I frosted the washing machine. I tried to make it round, but somehow it came out with corners. Oh, it’s way wider than a washing machine and goes all the way up to my chin, so even if it’s not completely cakelike, at least it’s enormous. Guess it’s also kind of lopsided. But as soon as I decorate it with rosettes, it’ll be perfect.
I take the knife across the living room to the table. Balance it butt-end on the edge so the icing won’t get all over the tablecloth. The bottle is hard and a little wet—I twist the cork, let it pop, and wow—I never noticed before, but opening champagne is sort of suggestive of something. I don’t want to smudge the crystal glasses, so I swig right from the bottle. Shimmery crisp. A different sort of sensual from the soft of the frosting knife, different from the chill air on my skin. It’s an icy prickle of sexy in my mouth, so I’ve got to take another swig.
Frosting a cake naked does take some restraint. If you’re not careful, you might end up wanting to roll your body all over that smooth, lovely frosting. So I step back. Just in case. Andy’s not due for another fifteen minutes at least, but who can say when he’s driving all the way from Seattle. That’s the real reason I’ve got my clothes off. The minute I hear his key in the lock, I’m taking a nose dive into that cake. The thought that he could show up any second makes a tingle like champagne in my stomach. Makes me want more. So I go and pour myself exactly half a glass and take it back the couple steps to the cake. Then I drink it down in one go. Which feels a little excessive, but I have to keep my hands free for my work.
Usually these big novelty cakes are made out of wire and cardboard or something, but mine is an exceptional gesture. Andy always says I go overboard when I get excited, but this time he’s going to have to admit it’s worth it. How can a woman hope to be sexy jumping out of a cake made out of wire and cardboard? If you want to be sexy, you want to go real all the way. And what could be sexier than cake?