Eggs and Existentialism
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Eggs and Existentialism

Food for thought on life's purpose and Granny Smith apples

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Photo by Free-Photos at Pixabay

According to my Kellogg's Mini-Wheats, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It says so on TV, so it's beyond a doubt accurate, and while some might treat these ads with some skepticism, I think the mantra does a whole lot to explain my exceptional mediocrity. The truth is, I lied; I have no bowl of Mini-Wheats or Wheaties or chocolate-chip Cookie Crisps to plunge my flimsy plastic spoon into, and my lack of sweet-frosting fiber is an excellent excuse for the everyday ineptitude I continually exude in my full-hearted, foolhardy attempts at life.

More often than not I skimp on the skim milk and cereal that start many people's mornings, yet the emptiness of my stomach around sunup originates not from the emptiness of my fridge nor the emptiness of my wallet, and as I often achieve my daily dose of dairy in the later afternoon, neither is it a symptom of lactose intolerance. Rather, my consistent lack of curd stems from a simple lack of care for the cream of the cow before the clock's struck noon, and this absence of ante-meridiem eating is not confined to cereal consumption, for in a similar vein, a dish of eggs and sausages or a platter of pancakes and waffles are seldom sought after.

When I first open my eyes, look at the clock, and curse my circadian rhythm for a 4 a.m. wake up (seriously?), the last thing I want to do is eat. So I pray for Michael Stipe's forgiveness, hope he grants me some REM, and fall back asleep. Then when I wake up again at 10 a.m. (or 6 a.m. if I caught the bald-headed bandleader on a bad day), once again, I don't want to eat. I'm hungry, but there's no appetite. Food? Now? No way. Therefore, I fast through breakfast and starve until the sun's high in the sky since everything edible is too heavy and hard to enjoy when I've only just begun to get moving. It's unhealthy for sure, but there's worse ways to burden my body and I can't shake the habit, so it's always a while after I woke before I eat egg whites and yolk.

Oddly enough, hurrying to and fro and having a plethora of places to be cause me to break the pattern and snag an apple to snack on, and when I have no obligations and am free to do as I please, my sustenance abstinence is often at its highest. Knowing I have to eat now or never (or wait however many hours until I'm no longer engaged) is enough motivation for me to grab a Granny Smith for the road, but though I may take the fruit, it's a whole other battle to take the bite; once my teeth sink in, so do the thoughts: the realization this doesn't taste all that great, the wondering why I wanted one in the first place, and the ceaseless curiosity of who Granny Smith really is. Alas, I'm forced to choose whether to continue to consume a now unappealing apple or waste a perfectly fine piece of produce. Sometimes I finish what I started, and other times I leave the fruit to oxidize away into a gushy brown mush. Either way, it's a most shameful end to a sad situation, and worst of all, my intel on Granny Smith's identity remains abysmal at best.

Lazily lounging about isn't much better though, as it just cuts out the moral quandary and its accompanying food for thought; there's no urgent nutrient necessity, and as such I procrastinate on my acquiescence of apples until passing on produce might soon lead to passing out. With a now-or-never mentality akin to those during busy days and a slight inclination for survival over the apple-less alternative, I choose to consume and feast upon that red sphere of succulence—despite my distaste and dislike for the taste with each bite—and soon enough my existence is ensured and the axis of crux has been entirely eaten, leaving the core and nothing more. I bet you've never read a dramatic description of digesting a Honeycrisp, but I wrote one, and I bet you never want to read it again.

Apple theatrics aside, I used to enjoy eating at a usual degree, but recently chomping down on a sandwich or slurping up some spaghetti feels almost like a chore; the taste can be pretty pleasant and the presentation at a restaurant may look a little neat, but having to swallow and ingest all of the entree is sadly no longer my cup of tea (on an unrelated note, neither is tea). Honestly, I'd rather just stare at it, and lamely enough, that's what I've been doing. Here's my exciting play-by-play: force a few bites here and there, move your fork around a bit, get distracted by the fly dangerously close to your friend's mouth, flick your hand to shoo it away, and explain what just happened so nobody thinks you're a weird guy who practices his tennis backhand at the table; chew a little, chat a lot, attempt the side vegetables, realize it was basil, and then try to play if off cool; everyone will be done with their meals, you order a to-go box for the food you'll leave in your fridge for a week, yet in your defense, it's better to waste overpriced macaroni than other people's minutes; calculate 10%, multiply it by two to figure out the tip, exit Craig's Diner, and end scene.

Obviously that's an overdone exaggeration for an unpremeditated and occasional event, and this is an unnecessary explanation in itself, but nevertheless, I can't seem to enjoy eating anymore. Don't get me wrong; grabbing a meal with your buds is a veritable good time, and I've taken a stab at cooking and baking, and both can be a blast, but the part where you partake in mouth munching and crunching can't claim the title of evening's highlight. Ingesting Covatappi isn't inherently gross, and there's no weird food aversion going on here; I've just become completely indifferent to the task of consumption. Nowadays, getting nutrients to me is like refueling a car: you're going to wait until the tank's on low and maybe an hour more, and then you'll finally pull over to pump some gasoline at 7-11 (note: if you're thinking of drinking gasoline, you may have misunderstood this analogy).

Yet there's one main way where the car comparison fails: unlike your motorized vehicle, which runs the same regardless of whether it has three gallons or one, holding off on your foodstuffs can take a toll on your performance. While you don't need to produce the horsepower of a Mustang, and although a Red Delicious won't always live up to its name, you've got to be full to spur yourself along and make your day's work fruitful, for skipping the snacking leads to a slow and sluggish time suck of a Tuesday. You need some electrolyte energy to jump start your day to get productive, and even if you're taking a break, procrastinating is a lot more fun when your stomach's packing protein.

So guess what? I've been munching more apples, snacking on my sandwiches, and slurping up some spaghetti, and though I might not often be in the mood for muffins, macaroons, or minestrone, the mediocrity caused by stomach-starved stupidity is my fault alone. If the fridge is full, I should be, too, so I'm eating my eggs earlier whether I enjoy it or endure it. If you are what you eat, I better hurry up and be a bagel, because the life of a spherical bread roll beats not eating anything and becoming nothing at all.

Folks, if you're in some way like me and not a fan of foodstuff consumption, do yourself a favor and have an apple anyway. You're in charge of yourself and control what you do, so go ahead and make that change. Until your taste buds return, complete this chore, and some where down the line, you'll actually want to grab a Granny Smith snack. An apple a day keeps the doctor away and granola parfaits keep the hunger at bay, so when your stomach growls, don't try to fight it; pick up the apple and just simply bite it.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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