Susan starred down at her sugar-free vanilla non-fat latte with two Splenda and she giggled to herself. As she dipped her coffee pinwheel cookie in her latte she heard a voice across the very small table ask her a question, “What made you laugh just now?” At first she was surprised and then she remembered. She was on a date. “Oh, I was just thinking about how ridiculous it is that I’m dipping these fattening little cookies into this supposedly non-fat drink.”

He chuckled a little, “That is pretty weird. Can I say something to you?” He was sipping his Chai tea and trying fairly hard to act very wise in the background of it. She smiled and leaned a little closer as she tried to remember his name. He continued, “You seem like someone I could curl up with on the couch.” She thought he thought he was cunning and it amused her. She supposed she wanted the same thing anyway. He was pretty cute to start with. “Yeah, I was thinking the same thing about you.” She invited him over for tomorrow night to watch a movie. After all, she didn’t want him to think she was fast. She giggled at herself and didn’t kiss him goodnight. She figured that she might as well let the tension build until later.

Susan was in bed and with a man. She was amused and he had been too. She was with him, but she might as well have been alone. She like the personal contact, but it was no more than that, personal. She didn’t want to use him so she faced him and gave him a look as if she was really truly happy. She felt as if she was in a movie.

Then he spoke and it ruined it. “Have you ever been in love?” She lost her composure for a second and then quickly recovered. “Yes, and I still am.” She couldn’t be dishonest after what they just did. He replied, “Mine was a lawyer, how about yours?” “He’s impulsive, sweet, creative, the only person I really feel knows me, and very married. Very.” She turned her back on him and hoped it didn’t hurt his feelings as she began to cry. Susan felt him shift uncomfortably in the sheets behind her. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to make you upset.”

She worked on getting herself under control and sat there in that stunned state. “I never committed adultery with him you know. No, I was too far above that. He doesn’t know anything and I can never tell him. It’s like an invisible knife that twists in my side every hour. It hurts me.” She realized that she was talking to herself again and that the man was not in the room, although he thought he was.

He brought her coffee and she starred into it. She was naked, and not just physically. For once, she didn’t care. There was no sucking in her stomach, no hunching over, just sitting here sipping her coffee. She looked in his face for the first time. “What’s your name?” “Adam, what’s yours?” “My name is Susan and I’m afraid….Adam, that I’m not myself today and I apologize.”

“I don’t know you that well Susan, well probably not at all but I would say that you’re more yourself than I have seen you, therefore it is time for me to take my leave.” As he went towards the door she said, “Adam, thank you for understanding.”

The door shut and she dreamed of wartenberg pinwheels, the pinwheels that brought her amusement, for those where the cookies that the man she loved placed on her plate, where she laughs, and they shared everything including the cookies. His eyes echoed in her mind.

“The Turning Coffee Pinwheels”*

Ingredients: 1 cup of whole-wheat flour, 2/3 of a cup of all-purpose flour, 2 tsps of non-fat milk, 1 tsp of baking powder, 2 tsps instant coffee granules, 1/8 tsp of salt, 1/4 cup of sugar, 1/4 cup of Splenda, and 1/2 cup of margarine softened.

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1) Mix the flours, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Beat in a 1/4 cup of margarine with 1/8 cup of Splenda, and 1/8 cup of sugar with an electric mixer at medium speed until creamy. Mix in half of the dry ingredients. In the remaining dry mixture beat the remaining margarine, sugar, and Splenda until creamy. Mix in the coffee mixture.

2) Roll out both doughs on a floured surface into rectangles 1/4 inch thick. Brush the plain dough with the milk. Top with the coffee dough and roll up tightly from a long side. Pinch seams to seal. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

3) Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter two cookie sheets with cooking spray. Slice the dough 1/4 inch thick and place 1 inch apart on the cookie sheet. Bake for about 12 minutes or until golden. Transfer to the wire racks to cool.

4) Enjoy with a delicious cup of the coffee of your choice.