It’s a peculiar feeling leading a double life such as mine. I often find myself staring in the mirror wondering which person I’m looking at: the daytime omelet chef or the nighttime one. Then I look at a clock and know right away.
It’s no coincidence I’m a Gemini. The cosmic twins inside me, so restless and impish, craving such disparate adventures, never feel content making omelets at just one place. Living with this duality helps me to understand those struggling with split personalities, although I don’t have the luxury of taking medication like they do because either way I’ll still have jobs at two different omelet places.
In a way, I’m like two sides of a coin, one side that makes omelets during the day, the other that makes them at night at a different place. A coin that’s tossed into the air not unlike a small, inedible, monetary omelet. Heads or tails, I’m about to make somebody some eggs.
My story is not an unfamiliar one. Just think of an instance when you found out that a talented actor also sings beautifully, and has a whole other side to his life that no one knew about. Or when you discovered that your accountant plays jazz on the weekends. Or that your dentist runs an underground S&M club, and his fingers in your mouth never taste quite the same again.
In those precious moments every evening when I change out of my chef’s coat and into my other chef’s coat, the metamorphosis from one “me” to the next begins. From caterpillar to butterfly. From Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde. From Vicki Lawrence to the sassy matriarch on Mama’s Family.
I’d be lying if I said my first few night-omelets had perfect folds or that their fillings were tucked as neatly as I’d like. That’s like asking a National League pitcher to step up to the plate and hit a home run, then make everyone on the team omelets. I’ve got different sets of pans with different hot spots to contend with, white paper hat-heights with wildly different clearances, and fillings in completely different sections of my stations, meaning some innocent vegetarian will probably end up with a mouth full of ham cubes. Muscle memory’s a bitch.
The morning me is out in the open for the world to see. A showman. A showman who knows that people aren’t just there to eat brunch, they’re there to be entertained. To feel there’s some magic left in the world. I’m like Tom Cruise in Cocktail: the eggs are the booze, and Elizabeth Shue is every Bloody Mary-soaked hornball in that dining room locked in on my apron bulge.
When the sun sets, my world changes. My mind changes. My body changes. Like a werewolf whose murderous paws know their way around a whisk, the nighttime me is mysterious, solitary, relegated to the kitchen to serve a late night clientele who are looking for an omelet and nothing more. No flips, no showboating, just an emotionless, empty vessel slingin’ embryo.
In the end, I have to chuckle at the irony of it all. At the similarities I share with the very dish that I spend sixteen hours a day preparing. We’re birds of a feather who started out exactly the same. I, as an egg in my mother’s ovaries. They, as eggs in their mothers’ avian oviducts. And while they would go on to become delicious omelets, I would become a boy, who would one day become a man, who’s life would splinter into two lives on unique omelet-centric journeys.