Williams Bakery

The bread factory next to the UO campus shut down earlier this year after the land was purchased by the University. I used to live near the bakery and pass it on my way to 7-11, usually at about 3:00 in the morning. It smelled like industrial bread, white and soggy instead of golden and crisp.

I imagine the last run of bread. It's the usual graveyard crew. In a final batch of white bread, the foreman scraps the last loaf. They send the rest through the cutting and bagging machine and load them up on plastic pallets. They gather around, not in the break room but out on the floor. The manager takes jars of jelly and peanut butter out of a 7-11 bag and spreads about half a dozen sandwiches. "Cheers," they say without raising the sandwiches, and they all take a bite. Surely they are breaking some kind of health code. They silently agree that the sandwiches aren't very good. They clock out, say goodbyes, and walk out at 3:00 in the morning. It's raining and the streets are orange from sodium vapor streetlamps.

Update: 7-11 doesn't sell jars of jam, only Smuckers squeeze bottles. My imagination is suitably amended.

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