The Classic


The eggs and the bacon and the toast and the beans and the potato hash and the little $1.75 dollop of guacamole had no visible borders on his plate. The server laid down one solid mass in front of him, the individual parts that made up his breakfast that were listed as separate, distinct items on the menu, were here just one big compound word, one chunk of text in a nearly illegible font. The beans seeped into the hash, the eggs blanketed the bacon. It reminded him of learning human anatomy in school. The teacher made the class look at a diagram and name the illustrated organs within a thin-lined human frame. Lungs, heart, kidneys, liver, brain, intestines of varying sizes. They were all neatly contained in the human. In the drawing each organ had a few centimetres of breathing room between it and its neighbour; some real estate of its own inside the body. That was comforting to him as a child. It made him think of the human body as a purposefully neat and organized place, like the rows upon rows of houses with buffers of green grass and white fences in the new suburbs going up around the outskirts of the city or the eggs sitting cozy in the protective pocket of their styrofoam carton in the fridge. He thought the human body ran with this type of order for years until he watched a man get cut open from navel to sternum on TV. The doctors performing the surgery pulling open the fatty flesh until the lights above them illuminated the glistening, pulsing piles of brown and reddish-brown meat inside of the man. There was no order in there, just one pile of meat slopped on top of another. He poked at his mound of breakfast and started to eat.