I’d give my left kidney for a piece of bacon right now. My wife is making breakfast as we speak, I can smell it in the other room—and hear it, too.
Long ago, I didn’t think our morning meals were anything fancy—now I know they are. Though it’s no thanks to me. She makes everything from scratch: biscuits, sausage gravy, hash browns, even jam. I do my part to help. I watch television for us both.
To be fair, I do buy our eggs. I get them from my pal who raises chickens. I can’t eat Winn Dixie eggs—if you grew up like some of us did, then you’ll know supermarket eggs taste a lot like toddler snot.
She’s off work the next few days, it feels like a long weekend. She’ll stay in her pajamas, and I’ll putter around. We don’t say much around the house.
“You hear about Sister So-And-So getting married?” I might say.
“Yep,” she’ll remark. “Her new husband is a real piece of…”
You get the idea.
She might watch murder mysteries on the sofa. Or: wander into my office while I’m working. She’ll tell me she’s unsure of what we’re having for supper. And we will discuss this subject at least forty times per day.
“You want pizza tonight?” I’ll ask.
“No, I wanna eat at home,” she’ll say.
“Fine, but I don’t want beans again, I’m sick of beans.”
And then I get a black eye.
My friend died last week. It happened in his car, in a parking lot. They found him sitting in the front seat with a to-go box on his lap. Nobody saw it coming. A heart attack.
He sat there a full day until his car idled itself out of gas. He was a good man with a nice wife. No kids. We drank together some. I called him my cousin, he called me, Red.
His wife told me, “Our house feels empty now. I miss little things that I never paid attention to. I’ve been eating breakfast alone all week. That’s hard.”
Look, I’m no dummy. I know one day the one who sleeps beside me will kick the oxygen habit. Or maybe it’ll be me who goes first. God. I don’t want to think about it.
Still, I can’t help but believe that ambition doesn’t amount to a hill of beans in this life. Neither does money, or whatever-the-hell else it is people get so lost looking for.
Honey, if you’re reading this, I’m not writing to say I love you—though God knows, I do.
It’s more than that.
I love eating breakfast with you.