The eyebrow ridge (minus eyebrows) crushing down on my brain. The parched tongue, the raspy throat. Hazy, sitting at breakfast alone in my small college town. The older couple next to me-- retired professors likely-- discuss housecleaning and later Hans Blix and Mozart's requiem. They know the waitress, know the proprietor, know every single person who passes by.
"This is not New York City," I think to myself. They order "the regular," as the entire young cast of "Peter Pan" sits down for brunch. I order a hangover cure: coffee, water, and sausage/egg/cheese on a bagel.
I had been nervous about coming here. 10 years it's been, and I feel lost, feel scared I have nothing to show for it. I bite into my breakfast sandwich, the cheese dripping grease onto my paper plate. I savor a sausage bite and try to remember if I was a vegetarian when I graduated. In NYC, I don't allow myself breakfasts like this; in NYC, I am never hungover like this.
Chewing slowly and enjoying the silent comraderie of this place, I become pensive, but also I ease up on myself, forgive myself for not knowing exactly where I am going, for having mixed feelings about where I have been. This town, this school, perhaps even this cast of "Peter Pan," they are forgiving and nurturing. They always focused on my best qualities, always encouraged a brand of self deprecation that says: hey, I may be screwing up right now, but I have brains and a lotta potential. These people, they take me as I am.
One toasted sesame bagel
2 breakfast sausage links
shredded yellow cheddar cheese
Fry up sausages in a pan, cutting them into pieces as you go
Lower the heat a little
Add two beaten eggs, and later, the handful of grated cheese
Stir slowly, until eggs start to come to the consistency you like
Scoop out onto toasted bagel
Cut in half with a big knife