Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Breakfast In A Normal World
I had to go to town this morning to get some blood drawn for basic lab stuff and afterwards, I took myself to a Waffle House for breakfast, which is something I hardly ever do. For me, breakfast is almost always a small bowl of fibrous flakes of one sort or another with a piece of fruit cut up on them and some soy milk poured over. But I was feeling pretty good and wanted to celebrate that and it had been a fasting blood test and I was hungry.
It was late for breakfast and early for lunch so there were plenty of tables and I sat down at one with my newspaper and the waitress came over right away, complaining before she got her pad out about being tired, but not bitterly, just matter-of-fact, I'm tired, getting up at six is rough, etc.
I nodded in understanding, then gave her my order and read my paper and it was so nice there, in the Waffle House, being surrounded by other humans, eating their breakfasts and drinking their coffee, everyone using their table manners and their inside voices. The Waffle House is sort of the level playing field of the country, like the watering hole in the forest. Weary travelers of all types come in for the eggs and grits and coffee and juice and the grilled cheese sandwiches, rich and poor alike, The Waffle House is always there just waiting for you by the interstate; easy off, come on in, have a seat, fill you up, send you on your way, have a nice day.
I ate my breakfast and it was good, the way it always is. Nothing fancy or free-range or organic or rain-forest friendly or whole grained about it. Just plain food but all the more enjoyable for that somehow if you don't eat it regularly. Reminds me of how my kids used to love the white bread at my mother's house, it was so soft and easy to eat, nothing like the whole wheat I forced down their poor little throats day-in and day-out.
I finished up and left a good tip because it is rough, getting up at six, to go stand on your feet and serve heavy plates of American food to hungry people for eight hours a day. Plus, she was a good waitress, my waitress, and got my order just right and asked me several times if I needed anything else, although I never did.
It was lovely, that half hour or so, feeling so normal, feeling like everyone else seems to feel, just a regular woman in a Waffle House with the sun shining on her, eating a breakfast, reading a newspaper, the juke box playing some good tunes but not so loudly that it interfered with anyone's conversation, anyone's thoughts.
I always get raisin toast at the Waffle House and they bring you apple butter when you order the raisin toast.
It was especially good today, not burnt in the least, but nicely toasted, like the cook had paid attention, and I appreciated that, I surely did, because it's not always that way.
So when it's just right, the raisin toast, you need to appreciate it.
And I did. I appreciated every bite.