The Symbolic Nature of Breakfast

Holy crap, I’ve missed you.  Sometimes, there’s just a little bit too much life and a little too little control.  And in advance, I’m sorry, it’s the best I’ve got.  I could be writing about how on the show Criminal Minds, I was watching an episode where flight 420 crash landed in Colorado.  It’s on Netflix  That made me laugh. Flying from Pittsburgh to Phoenix.  It’s brilliant writing, because of the whole significance of the 420 movement, and its’ centrality to Colorado, legalizing marijuana.  But not only that.  The geographies are amusing, also because the first letters would be PCP, and I don’t think the writers of A Thousand Suns were indeliberate about that.  My favorite part of it was that the plane crash was a work of fiction, and no one actually died.  I hate the news, because it’s grim and gritty and real life and death.  It doesn’t entertain me at all.

I WAS home last night trying to detox myself from the shit nature of yesterday.  The only good thing that happened wasn’t good:  I did the dishes before I had to go to work.  Thereafter, work just generally sucked ass.  After work it was coaxing the kids to do anything while doing it myself because it has to get done.  Then I did one of two required social gatherings for the week, basically trying not to interact too much with anyone.  Finally, Mrs M. made me run an errand that really shouldn’t have been necessary.  Sure, honey, I’ll go undo what you shouldn’t have done in the first place.

So I fixed it.  And while fixing it, I decided I should write about

The Symbolic Nature of Breakfast.

Breakfast is symbolic to me, and not just because I almost never seem to make it. = Breakfast is revered by some, as the most important meal of the day, including WebMD.  I don’t eat breakfast usually, settling for a cup or two of coffee, and waiting until lunch.  In the morning, I usually wake up irritable and nauseous.  Oh wait.  I’m irritable and nauseous more than just in the morning.  Nausea can come any time of day or night.  I get the whole pitching, yawing stomach, belching, thinking whether I’m going to puke, any time of the day.  And irritable?  I start out at a slightly irritated level, a kind of baseline. Then add having to face family, chores no one else seems to be willing to help with, traffic, work, more fucking traffic, and then home.  Add to that the idiots on the news:  politics, pedophiles, perpetrators, and occasionally, physicians, and my stress and irritation levels are pretty well set, and then set off.  Mrs M loves the news, I swear, she turns it on and then ignores it, maybe tuning in for weather and traffic, while I sit being traumatized by the shitty way people treat each other in the world and the gleeful or fucking bright and cheery way the news people talk about that.  But that’s not   breakfast’s fault.  I actually love breakfast, it’s just that in the morning I don’t want anything because of the nausea, exacerbated by the nauseating news, the sinus drainage, the sneezing fit, the urge to go to the bathroom that comes just in time to make me late, or almost late, for work, that hits me every day when I have to go to work, and never when I don’t have to.  Breakfast, to me, is a symbol of my control over life.

For that realization, I understand why I love breakfast, when I can manage to make time for it.  Waffles, or pancakes, or biscuits, eggs cooked almost any way, those breakfast meats, maybe some fruit preserves on toast, coffee, juice…  If I wasn’t already nauseated this morning I might be hungry.  Western Europe does it right.  There’s something called English Breakfast, and Scotland and Ireland have something like it. Go on and click that, and look at those images. It’s amazing, except for the black “pudding” or “sausage.”  Ew.  I just don’t like anything done with blood, that’s gross.  You can call that anything you want, and I still won’t like it. But aside from that, an English breakfast is beautiful and looks delicious.  That would take some time to eat.  A lot of time for me.  I’m a slow eater.

On any given workday, I have a cup of coffee.  It’s black and bitter and delicious if I’m awake enough to taste it.  Today I ground the Kenya, it’s the best bean in the world, but my stomach is literally spasming for some reason, I’ll call it a symptom of some mild stress.  I got through the sneezing, I think, but I still have the sinus drainage.  I guess I had a small margin of control this morning because I was awake and alert enough to want the good coffee and not the normal everyday crap.  I might get hungry around 10 or 10:30 but usually by that time I’m in the workday and don’t get a break long enough for much.  So I might eat a bagel or have a yogurt.  Again, symbolic of my lack of control over life.  The less control, the smaller breakfast.  Breakfast is a literal metaphor.

Most days it’s the daily crap because if I have to get to work I’ve usually struggled to get up, get the wife and kids shoved out the door, maybe get a chore or two or three done, and then run my own ass out to work.  There’s no time to enjoy anything, and then, traffic, and then, work.  Hooray!  (?)

They try, in the fast food world, to offer people control.  If you have money you can grab anything from a breakfast sandwich or croissant to a full breakfast with pancakes, to go.  I admit, that although I can’t eat french fries, I love hash browns.  So if it’s a leisurely kind of day, but I’m forced to go somewhere, if Mrs. M arm twists me to go somewhere, like to visit the in-laws, I get a whim and want that sausage and egg biscuit, or even the “big breakfast” that includes pancakes.  I ask Mrs. M to drive, so I can eat.  And sip my coffee slowly.

On a weekend, Sundays I might have a cinnamon roll with my coffee, because I want to go to church and don’t have time for more, but it’s sweet.  On a Saturday, though, I want the time and control to have the big breakfast, and I’m usually the cook.  So either eggs or waffles or pancakes or biscuits and home made gravy or preserves.  Control.  Sweet, delicious control.  I have time to relax and eat at a nice leisurely pace and enjoy everything that’s good about breakfast.  Maybe even grits.

When I go out to eat, once in a very blue moon, so blue it’s purple (not just because that’s my favourite colour, but because it’s how rare that happens), if there’s breakfast on the menu I’ll order that.  Again, it’s a demonstration of my control over life.  I have a little extra money, life is good enough I can actually go out to eat, for fuck’s sake, and then I have the time to sit and enjoy breakfast and maybe a pleasant conversation.

If I had the money and time, I might never miss breakfast.  I might have an English breakfast in England.  Naaah!  Who am I kidding?  I hate traveling.  It’s too stressful.  I wonder how long it would take after getting there before I relaxed enough to eat breakfast. If you can eat breakfast, have something for me.  Sit there a while if you can.  Look out at the sunrise, and enjoy the leisure.  Appreciate the small measure of your control over your life.  Maybe, for breakfast dessert, have a fruit cocktail.  With some whipped cream, because whipped cream represents the ultimate, decadent, fully awesome, control over one’s life.

I need to get to work.

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