To Make Vegan Blueberry Muffins by Emily Ann Hoffman
I found myself staring at him again. A glazed-eye stare, not like a predatory stare, but a soft focus stare. I don’t think it would’ve been weird if he looked up and caught me watching him, I’m pretty sure I had that day-dream look, like maybe I wasn’t even looking at him at all. But I was. And I wish he would look up.
When I thought about him catching me I felt a blush haunt my cheeks. I imagined the jolt I’d feel as his gaze would catch me mid-fantasy, forcing my daydream and reality to collide for a brief instant. But he was busy with a customer, so I looked back at my laptop. The application I was attempting to fill out didn’t entice me in the slightest.
I was sitting in a vegan cafe pretending to apply to jobs. I’m not vegan and I don’t drink coffee, but they had free wifi and really good muffins. And this man, this beautiful man, was a barista. I’d noticed him when I first went there a couple months ago, but it was kind of an inconsequential observation. Like, “hey, this place has great muffins and free wifi and some pretty, behind-the-counter, eye-candy.” It wasn’t until recently that I became infatuated.
It happened suddenly, this Monday, when he spoke to me to take my order. A shock of recognition made me flush from head-to-toe. He had the same long, thin dreadlocks pulled back in a rubber band. The same gruff facial hair crowned a beautiful set of plump, pink, lips. His eyes were that chocolatey brown, his teeth straight and white. His voice wasn’t as deep and he didn’t have any tattoos, (that I could see), but I think I preferred him without the ink. Saturday night my sister and I had gotten very high and baked blueberry muffins. I told her about the vegan cafe with the great muffins.
“Are you going vegan?” She asked me.
“No, no. I just like the place. And vegan baked goods are sometimes better, I think.”
“Oh yeah, when they’re really moist.”
“Yes they’re so moist.”
We licked batter off our baking utensils as we watched the oven timer counting down.
“Oh, we should watch the new Munchies video!”
My sister sat up with the idea, baking spoon raised in proclamation. She grabbed the laptop and dragged it towards her, not caring about the dusting of flour on the counter. She pulled up “How To: Make Vegan Blueberry Muffins with Waka Flocka Flame.”
“I love him!” I gasped.
“Is he vegan now?”
“Yeah I guess so. I meant to send this to you the other night.”
I really did love Waka Flocka Flame. Not for his music, his music was whatever, I was just horribly attracted to him. I saw him perform once in college and had had no idea what he looked like beforehand. When he walked out on stage I felt my stomach lurch. He was so tall and had a surprisingly calm demeanor. When he spoke, his voice rolled like gravel in his throat and down my spine.
We watched the video. The joint we’d smoked earlier smoldered warmly behind my eyes as I hypnotically followed Waka and Raury baking. When Waka spoke to the camera my stomach melted like butter and pooled between my pubis. I didn’t realize I found veganism so attractive. Maybe it’s because I knew Waka wasn’t a feminist: caring about his body and animal rights seemed like the next best thing. It made him seem sensitive.
“Do you think vegans eat pussy?”
That night I had a dream he licked vegan muffin batter off of my thighs. His tongue was bright pink. His strong hands, caked in flour and coconut oil, firmly cupped my ass as he brought his full lips to hover just shy of my labia. Slowly, he began to whisper into my lips, singing “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You,” the Lauryn Hill version. His deep voice murmured “oh pretty baby” over and over again as I tried not to squirm with desire. I could feel his warm breath tickling my rosy flesh. He laughed a quiet, low laugh, watching my hunger rolling inside me, sweating out the small of my back.
Taking his sweet time, he moved one of his hands to my knee and crept it slowly, slowly, up my thigh. As he moved up my leg I could feel the caked flour crumbling off his fingers. It mixed with my sweat and the batter he had missed and the saliva he had left behind. He paused to pinch a blueberry between his fingers. It burst, spraying crimson flecks of juice on my legs. He pressed it into my skin, finger painting.
I was spread open like dough, rolled flat, waiting to be cut, shaped, molded into whatever he wanted. I moaned desperately, awaiting my fate. He smiled before moving in to press his juicy lips against mine. He licked my tender flesh, medium rare. I dripped with juices and he drank me in, pushing his tongue inside for more. Deftly, he slid two fingers inside me and then slipped them into my mouth. Before I realized what was happening my tongue was lapping at our concoction. I scraped the flour and coconut oil off his fingers with my teeth and recognized the marinade as my own.
When I saw the barista Monday morning, the dream came flooding back to me. I stared at him dumbly as he offered me my usual order. Without a word, I handed him exact change and sat down burning. There he was, my vegan dreamboat, in the flesh. So I sat there all week, watching him handle the baked goods, tuck a stray lock behind his ear, smile at the customers, check his phone. In my head, his hands were always covered in batter. He left a powdery mark on everything he touched. His feet crushed blueberries as he walked, leaving a deep, berry-red trail. My work lay abandoned, shining weakly at me from my laptop. My reverie was interrupted by another customer asking if I knew what the wifi password was.
“Yeah.” I sighed, annoyed. “‘stopanimalcruelty’, all one word. No capitals.”
I wasn’t hot anymore, just bothered. I became aware of the cool, sticky, sweat that had pooled in my armpits and underwear. Actually, my underwear felt flooded. I got up to use the bathroom.
I pulled down my pants and saw a scarlet mess gleaming up at me. I hadn’t looked at my menstrual calendar in a while, I was unprepared. But at least I knew why I had been so horny recently. I tried mopping myself up with their cheap, 1-ply, toilet paper but it wasn’t good enough.
The blood had already soaked through my underwear, my pants would definitely go soon too. I imagined myself walking out of the cafe in slow-mo. Blood covering my hands. Blood dripping between my legs. All the vegans glaring at me angrily, wondering what animal I had just been cruel to.
“Oh, it’s just my uterus,” I’d sigh.
Maybe I’d stick my bloody finger in someone’s muffin. Mash the moist pastry into the table, smear it between my legs to absorb the blood.
A knock at the door jolted me out of my daydream. A drop of blood hit the clear toilet water, swirling crimson against porcelain white.
“Just a second!” I called, my voice cracking.
“Oh, sorry,” came the muffled reply from behind the door.
But I recognized the voice. It was the barista. Without thinking, I opened the door a crack and peaked my head out.
“Sorry, sorry, take your time.”
He held up his hands, flustered. They were caked in sugar. He noticed my stare.
“I just need to wash my hands, I spilled the sugar.”
Moving impulsively, I opened the door wider, letting him see my own mess. He stared wide-eyed at the scene: my pants around my ankles, a ribbon of blood dripping down my leg, crimson against porcelain white.
“You can come in,” I said. “I need to wash up too.”
He stepped in quickly, shoving the door closed with his hip, so no one else would see my abysmal state. We surveyed each other’s messes silently. The bathroom was small. There wasn’t much space between us. My ankles were tied by my pants so I could barely move.
In an instant, he reached out and tucked a sugary hand under my shirt to grab my waist. I could feel the sweet crystals scratching and melting into my skin. I grabbed ahold of his wrist as he slowly lowered himself to his knees, worshipping at my sacrificial altar. He pressed his nose into my pubic hair, sticky with batter, and I sucked sugar from his thumb. His lips parted. I dripped a drop of blood onto his outstretched, vegan tongue.
About the Author:
Emily Ann Hoffman is an award-winning animator, filmmaker, artist and writer based out of Brooklyn, NY. She is currently a 2017 Sundance Ignite Fellow, awarded for her short film Ok, Call Me Back, (also awarded Best Experimental Film at the National Film Festival for Talented Youth and an official selection of the LA Film Festival 2017), as well as a screenwriting mentee with the Sundance Institute's Feature Film Program. She has recently emerged from an Emerging Artist Fellowship at the Jacob Burns Film Center where she wrote, animated and directed a short film Nevada, currently in post-production. Emily enjoys telling sex-positive stories from a female perspective. She evaluates the nuanced facets of desire through comedy and metaphor. She graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2015.
For more about Emily: ehoffmanportfolio.com & @emilyannimation