Distance, however, separates us from the plated chicklet before us. Much like our pork and beef, whose cuts are dressed up in plastic wrap covered Styrofoam plates (which old women reuse as "plastic plates," a behavior which I have always found disturbingly dangerous -- flirting with bacteria on its home turf, without the possibility of giving it an incorrect digit when it boldly asks for our number. No, it now knows where we live.) to disguise their lineage, linking them too closely with us. No one recognizes it as mammalian, when it is all dressed up with a someplace to go that is our dinner plate. So too, with the scrambling, the egg is lost in a whirl of reproductive destruction in a hot frying pan. Although, be reassured, none of those Uniform Dozens are capable of growing anything; anything, that is, other than your gut.
One learns early about reproduction growing up on a farm. I knew that the Red Dot in the egg yolk, the Rooster's bloody signature stating that He Was There, was what made the egg grow into the chick. I knew this before I knew what a sperm or egg really was. And, I knew that grocery store eggs didn't have this signature. Our rooster, evidently, didn't service those hens. I thought, "how lucky those hens are!" Roosters aren't known for their skills in the straw. It is more like watching a cooped gang rape.
Yes, those commercial hens were lucky, free range or not.
Sometimes, we'd miss some eggs. The hens would get their bird-brains set upon going "broody" and they'd nest away clutches of their hopes. But, those dreams of motherhood had to be broken. A broody hen stops laying eggs. On a farm selling these eggs, this is not good.
And, sometimes, we wouldn't catch the eggs soon enough. The hen had already sat for awhile. Her instincts are strong. Her wings want to shelter and to gather her young. Her warmth had incubated beginnings of birth. But, in the gathering basket they would go, and we would keep these Loved Ones in the farmhouse, not wanting to sell a surprise. That excitement was reserved for our breakfasts. I remember several occasions, cracking open an egg, and instead of a sunny yolk, finding a half-formed fetus. On such occasions, the breakfast menu was always quickly changed to cereal.
A few days ago now, I acknowledged something to myself. I admitted to myself where I have been. That though, is the stuff of a different post...another day...
This self realization prompted me to buy eggs. Protein. Non-vegetable matter. "Real" food. For my health, or lack thereof.
It took quite a bit of effort though, for me to reach for those eggs. But, love made me do it.
Yes, love...and in its true form, we see people's needs. We learn to read their language and we answer back as best we can; often, using vocabulary foreign to our native tongue. Love watches, waits, and learns to answer in kind. It knows the little things that matter. It tries new things, and it does old ones with understanding that they mean something in translation.
Love makes us do things. Crazy things. And sometimes, love makes us do damned sensible ones.
This egg situation was the latter. "Try some eggs," my mother said, "They are easy to digest." A logical point you have there mother, I thought. What is a first-food when growing? What is a gentle food after sickness? Eggs.
I reached. I bought. I cooked.
This translates as, I love my mother.
My status on Tuesday night, on that Universal Snooping Device that is Facebook, was: "determinedly scrambling eggs." I was determined that I was going to teach my stomach a thing or two about digestion. And, I was going to start with eggs.
They were delicious. I have had them every night since.
Tonight though, I faced my fears of finding evidence of a Red Dotted Signature grown up, head on. I hard-boiled.
I bravely ate...
~ Two eggs, hard-boiled ~
White ceylon pepper