I had been to the Christmas market, busy people were milling
around everywhere carrying bags of shopping, most of them didnt appear to
be particularly full of the joys of the season. To be perfectly honest I
wasnt feeling very joyful myself. I had tried to get to a stall selling
rather pretty Christmas decorations but the crush was too great and the people
around me were getting frustrated and bad tempered.
It all got a bit too much for me so I decided to divert into the
town and ended up sitting in the upstairs room of a café in a quiet
arcade. It was called The cake of your dreams. There was only one
other person in there, a small man sitting in the corner nursing a coffee,
newspaper spread out on the table. On the other side of the room was a large
mirror taking up most of the wall, I could see the reflection of the man in the
The waiter came and took my order, A coffee and a cake to
cheer me up please. I said.
You need cheering up at Christmas? he asked.
Its supposed to be a time of joy! Why are you sad?
Now this wasnt the usual kind of conversation I had with
waiters but he seemed genuinely concerned so I humoured him.
Oh well, you know its just that I cant really
get into the swing of it all, Ive been worried about work, my
relationships are all a bit shambolic and Im just not feeling the spirit
of Christmas this year.
But if you dont enjoy Christmas then those around
you wont enjoy it either, you will seem like a little cloud of gloom and
people will avoid you. This will make you feel worse! Joy is infectious, joy
Well yes, but what have I got to be joyful about really..
I mean.. um. What?
I cant tell you that but there must be something,
theres this cake for a start!
How he had managed to produce the cake and coffee out of nowhere
I didnt understand but there it was, all soft and lovely. It looked like
the best cake ever.
I thanked him and started on the cake. It was delicious. As I
chomped away I began to reflect upon the state of my life. Things werent
that bad really, I was healthy, I had a nice home..
Just then there was a clatter and I looked up to see a girl I
hadnt noticed before, she was sitting in the window on the other side of
the room, she had dropped her bag and all its contents were rolling around the
floor. I went over to help.
As we chased after all her bits and pieces we started to talk
and she told me about her worries and I told her about mine, but at no time did
it feel like a moaning session, just two people chatting. It was lovely. I felt
a lot better.
Eventually I remembered my cake and coffee and went back to my
table to retrieve it. The coffee was cold and the cake had gone a bit dry, I
didnt realise wed chatted for so long.
I turned to return to my new friend and found myself looking at
the mirror, not the other half of the room but the same room reflected. There
was the man in the corner, still nursing his single coffee.
I felt truly deflated, it must have been a daydream. I could
have been truly joyful this Christmas if Id really met a girl like that.
Maybe I could meet a girl like that if I adopted a bit more of a
positive attitude? Just then the waiter returned.
Did the cake improve your spirits he inquired.
Well, it certainly gave me an idea.. I must have dropped
off for a moment and dreamt I went through there I pointed to the mirror.
I expected the waiter to give me a What are you talking about? kind
of look but instead he just smiled.
Its a nice place to go. But I think you need to find
your joy in the real world. Keep your eyes and ears open.. especially if you
visit our other café by the cathedral.
I thanked him, paid the bill and left. I didnt know there
was another café like that by the cathedral but, as I was adopting a
more positive attitude I thought I would go and see. As I rounded the corner I
saw the place, it looked that same but it wasnt called The cake of
your dreams, this one was called The cake of Joy. These
people certainly had a high opinion of their cakes!
The downstairs was crowded so, as before, I went upstairs. As I
reached the top I heard a familiar noise and a lipstick rolled towards me.
Ah, there you are! I said, which may have been an
odd greeting to a stranger, but it broke the ice and we enjoyed a coffee and
another cake together.
Since then, with my new positive attitude, things just got
better and better.
And of course we had the best Christmas ever!