Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Freud, My Dad and Scrambled Eggs

I lay back on the analyst’s couch.  The discussion resumes.  In a thick, German accent he revisits the question, “Why breakfast?”  I don’t think it's only me.  There’s something deep and archetypal about it.  Perhaps it's the eggs.  

Symbolic; I suppose.  Reaching back to childhood I equate quick breakfasts ---Frosted Flakes, Cap'n Crunch, cold cereals and hot cereals--with school days.  Summer days and weekends tantalized with morning cartoons and full breakfasts; eggs, bacon, fresh melon; peaches and bread-with spreads of butter, peanut butter, marmalade and jellies.  Years later I would add coffee to the list---the smell, the heat, the senses coming awake.

The doctor taps his pipe against the table and mutters, “Der pater.”  Father; yes.  In the early days before the screaming fights and the long absences dad would come into the kitchen to cook.  I remember scrambled eggs with other ingredients; sausages and salami; flavorful but different than mom ever made.  Bathrobe on; which was dressed-up for dad on a Saturday, he scrambled eggs. Mom percolated coffee and set out the table.  My sister and I sat at the table waiting to be served.

The analyst inhales; adjusts his pipe.  A clock ticks in the background.  “So---you were served,” he says--both statement and question.  So we were.  That may well be the crux of breakfast’s hold on me.  The good breakfasts I’ve had have all been served.  I’ve enjoyed them in repose; most often in community with others.  I’m being served.  I’m ordering what I want.  Extra bacon or absurd amounts of butter and syrup-even pure maple!.  All mine.  Id, ego and Sabbath rolled together like a crepe.  The alarm sounds.  Reflection ends. I go on my way--- thinking about breakfast and planning my next Sabbath rest.

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