Dear Poached Eggs,
I have a few words for you regarding the incident at that nice bistro in the South End this afternoon. Now, I don’t know how much you know about me, so, in the spirit of fairness, I’ll give you a little background info. I am not, by nature, an egg eater.
Sure, I cook eggs, because my family likes them, and you guys are pretty easy to whip up on short notice. Scrambled and in the form of an omelet are the least repulsive formats, even ingestible in a pinch with enough cheese and pepper, while sunny-side up, over easy, and soft- and hard-boiled are not at all appealing. But never, in all the years I have been able to choose my own food, have I ever entertained the notion of eating you, the poached egg.
So I am writing to express my anger at being tricked into eating you today. Sydney and Claire and I had to wait a few minutes to be seated at the restaurant, and during that time, you sashayed past me, sitting pretty on your plates at the hips of all those hot young waiters and waitresses. The people who ordered you were all fairly well dressed, and seemed to be engaged in stimulating conversations—surely they knew what they were doing. I found myself wanting to get me some of that leisurely-brunch vibe.
Once seated and browsing the menu, my eyes kept gravitating back to the Benedicts section and the various options therein: on toasted Parisian baguette, with ham (yum, ham is good!), or spinach (healthy!), or crabmeat and asparagus (decadence!), topped with blood-orange hollandaise (sounds fancy!). I had no choice but to order you, and was tickled with myself for doing so when you arrived, all tarted up with the orange sauce and cracked black pepper, a mouthwatering stash of crabmeat tucked beneath you. “Here’s to new adventures!” I said to Sydney and Claire. They’re eleven, so they rolled their eyes at me.
Perhaps it was the conversation that distracted me—Claire was contemplating calling it quits with her boyfriend, Ben Dibble, who apparently has a number of faults, the most obvious being that his name is “Bendable.” I could see how that would be a problem in the sixth grade.
Or it could have been the way I stared out the window, daydreaming of owning a brownstone in that beautiful neighborhood so close to downtown, and turning the attic into a studio, with high south-facing windows, and lots of pencils and paper and paints and canvases and a darkroom in the corner and a typewriter and a sewing machine and a stereo and an espresso machine and a mattress on the floor with a white duvet for afternoon naps. I was lost in thought and you took advantage of that, somehow forcing me to eat every last bit of you.
It didn’t take long for me to feel betrayed (Benedict indeed!). Not the Darjeeling tea, not the side of grapes, not even the postmeal Altoid could get the feeling of your slick, white, gelatinous goop off of my tongue. Not to mention the taste of your runny yellow center, which can only be described as eggy. Horribly eggy. And it was with lightning speed that you made your way to the pit of my stomach; oh, how I could feel you sloshing around in there as we walked back to the car, and then firming up again while we were stuck in traffic on Storrow Drive. I’m furious at the way you coated my insides for the rest of the day.
I won’t be eating you ever again.