While out in the hallway walking my bag of trash down to the chute, I caught a whiff of someone cooking eggs and bacon. It was well after midnight. At that moment it struck me that eggs are fundamentally a “lonely” food. That is: quick, uncomplicated, and great if you’re on a bit of a budget. When you live alone you don’t have to think of things like “proper” dinners, but you do have to get bang for your buck. Eggs. It smelled good and I imagined the person doing the frying was probably drunk. I thought I’d like to be drunk too.
I opened the fridge to grab a beer and looked at the empty compartment permanently labeled “Eggs.” I haven’t kept eggs of the “farm fresh” variety since I’ve been alone. In fact, it was on the very first shopping trip after the separation that I replaced the real thing with a carton of vitamin-infused egg substitute. My brand of choice is something called “Better‘n Eggs.” Sounds almost wholesome doesn’t it? It’s got a real down-home ring.
Despite its bucolic branding, Better‘n Eggs is a peculiar substance. Who would even think of it? I mean, in addition to their convenience and affordability, eggs are a nutritionally sound, basically perfect food. Even their lore is solid – universally held as a powerful symbol of purity, fertility, birth, and rebirth. Who would want to substitute that?
Then I remembered why I stopped buying nature’s version in the first place. They’re fragile and they go bad. They were never meant to be consumed. Eggs were intended, by divine design, to be the vehicle in which development is fostered. They are supposed to hatch into new life, not be farmed, harvested, cooked, masticated, and digested. Jesus.
But at least their existence is natural, even if their role as human sustenance is suspect and their shelf-life is limited. These cartons of whatever-the-fuck will still be here with the Twinkies and cockroaches after the apocalypse. I realized that as I have neither snack cakes nor pests in my kitchen, the Better‘n Eggs will have to serve as evidence of my time on this planet to whomever does the digging. Oh, well.
I took a bottle of beer from the full compartment permanently labeled "Crisper" and half-laughed at the word "crisper" for no apparent reason. But before I closed the fridge door, I remembered it was well after midnight and I hadn't taken my medication. I grabbed my handful of pills from the daily dispenser and my eyes went right to the tablet of Premarin. Ha! The ultimate egg substitute.
“Expiration date, my ass,” I said out loud to the empty apartment. Down the hatch.