Breakfast I

Posted on June 1, 2009


It was cold and windy and my hair was blowing out of place, but it didn’t matter because every sensation was welcomed. Everything was new to me, and all of the angst and hatred I had in me seemed to have evaporated throughout the night. I looked at the people around me with fresh eyes, void of suspicion. I smiled at a blond girl that was ugly. She smiled back.

Meal hall was empty, but I found Adam sitting in the green-room with a plate full of hard boiled eggs. He was carefully removing every fragment of the shells using the tip of a toenail cutter knife. He didn’t look up at me when I sat down, he just worked away on his eggs.

“Good morning,” I said cheerfully.

“Hey,” he said.

“Just eggs? No coffee? No toast? It’s bacon day. No bacon?” I said and placed a hash brown into my maw.

“No,” Adam said and proceeded to de-yolk one of the eggs and pepper the white of it. I began to sense something was wrong. Adam was never this introspective, especially on bacon day.

“What’s wrong?” I said.

“That girl from last night,” he said and looked up at me. His eyes were tired and outlined with purple. He looked sad and desperate and it felt like one of those moments when you are supposed to stand up, stop everything and give a god-damned hug. Instead, I placed five strips of bacon atop a napkin and proceeded to squeeze out the grease.

“What about her?” I asked.

“She’s…she’s just so wonderful. Sasha. Last night I walked her home and she told me about her thesis. She’s writing a thesis on a student here at school. She says she is looking to define someone’s essence. She said that she had sensed my essence during the meditation and she wants to write it about me.”

“I see,” I said, not seeing. “So what’s the matter then?”

“Do you realize what this means? She is going to be studying me as a creature, as an insect. I am going to be her little project for the year. God, she is so beautiful and amazing and smart. She is really everything I have ever dreamed of in a woman.”

“Isn’t it ‘dreamt?” I asked.

“I don’t know. Stay on topic, Frank.”

“I don’t really understand what’s going on though. You have a beautiful girl who is going to get to know you in a very intimate way. She’s writing a paper on you. So what?”

“So what if I don’t have any essence? What if- at the end of the year I’m left with a definitive thesis on the nature of my being that concludes that I am like- a piece of shit.”

I had never heard Adam talk like this before. It wasn’t like him to cower or confess fears. He was my sounding board for ideas, he was the wise man I brought everything to. If he was balonga, then what was I?
I decided to change the subject.

“Just let it go. If you don’t like where it’s going you can pull out of it at any time.”

“That’s just the thing. I can’t! I would be fucking her over…and she can’t be fucked over, she’s a former coke head. Ex-coke heads become coke heads when you destroy their non-narcotic passions. If I get too deep into this, and pull out- she will lose it.”

Adam had begun to stack balls of hardened egg yolk into a small pyramid on his plate. He used his fork to construct an eggshell moat around his monument and then let salt rain down upon it all. We sat in silence as he did this, it was kind of beautiful.

“Why don’t you just tell her you aren’t the man for the job?” I asked.

“Absolutely not,” he said and looked up at me. He pointed the tip of the salt shaker in my direction and little flecks of salt tumbled my way.

“If I tell her that then I lose every single opportunity of screwing her. So it’s a catch-22. I can’t quit because I think I might love this girl and I can’t stay because I am afraid of knowing just what the hell my essence is.”

Posted in: June 2009