Hotel eggs and writing

The egg. Such a grand device. I can imagine that many writers have waxed every which way about the wondrous object. The idea of the egg’s simplicity nudged me again a few mornings ago when I had breakfast with Nancy Barry, who also taught the week-long session at the Iowa Summer Writers Festival (we were two of a dozen writers/teachers). Nancy and I looked at the menu, did the math, and decided on the breakfast buffet, where eggs were a choice. I had wanted an egg for a few weeks.

I lifted the silver roll-top and aimed for a portion of egg — that “hello, aren’t you happy-go-lucky to be alive enjoying another day?” yellow that even the most wan, over-produced egg can remind us about. I aimed the silver serving spoon for a section that had not been overlaid with suspicious zigzags of a “ha! my orange is brighter than your yellow any day” cheese, that orange that can always dominate yellow, but not in a battery-powered megaphone kind of way. I returned to my table and took bite number one. Pleasant, in the way hotel eggs can be: warm, cooked, functional, an egg-fix. Bite number two: lump. Buried in the eggs like needles in haystacks, which would be one of the meanest ever surprises for the unsuspecting lamb nuzzling its soft little mouth around for food, was a lump of ham. And, of course, they kept appearing.

Egg=protein and so much more. Prepared well, a simple and divine flavor. Adding more protein — two kinds — is the kind of excess that surrounds us. Since everything reminds me of writing, I have to add that early drafts can suffer from this kind of overload. TMITS [Too much information too soon.] We readers want to savor the flavors. Note for revising: recall the lowly, common, simple, ever-so-perfect egg. Readers may want to feast on its beauty, its eggness, before learning about the cheese, ham, pastry, yogurt, fruit, coffee, lunch, dinner, lightning, thunder, and the rest.


About Carolyn

I live in Washington, D.C., write, teach, try to eat the requisite fruits and veggies daily, and avoid caffeine after 2 pm. I wonder about things a lot -- like why "pretty" means "pretty" and "not so much" and if I can ever perfect the single-portion, no-knead, daily baguette and how many people realize that Beau Brummel had a lot to do with our desire to bathe daily -- those of us who do in fact "take the daily."
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