Before my oldest sister got married, I used to wake her up every morning before going to work to have my breakfast prepared for me. This might sound too eastern to you, but she has always woken up with me. She’d make tea, some sandwich or scrambled eggs, and then comes my favorite part, where she’d actually sit with me to eat.
After she was cast in wedlock, both of her sisters failed to replace her in that kind of favor. Sometimes, it’s the only thing I miss about her. It never took us more than 30 minutes, but seeing her sleepy face, talking with her, or sometimes just having her present when we’re both so fatigued we can’t talk, was one of the best things happening to me. Sometimes she’d be too tired to wake up; that’s when she mumbles from under a quilt or a pillow, telling me to go away. When I return from work on a day she misses, she’d always ask about what I ate, and whether I ate, and she’d actually feel sad she couldn’t wake up with me that day.
I am pampered that way. I have other crap happening in my life, but I would have never given up on spending special time with my closest sister. And as habit had it, I never miss breakfast. It is my most essential meal, and the very few number of times I had to run before grabbing a bite, are recorded in the history of my worst days.
And, this is not what I want to talk about. I don’t know what’s wrong with my post introductions lately.
Back in May I had acquired the habit of buying coffee from a cafe in my office’s compound every day. One breezy morning I had entered the air conditioned place and beckoned to the guy with a smile to let him prepare my Macchiato. A gentle sound then made an impression on my ears, inside a suffocated TV news anchor’s voice, and as I turned to my left, by the glass pane of the coffee house, a girl was having breakfast, alone. Although this was months ago, but I remember every detail about that 30 second scene.
She was preoccupied with her meal in a manner that seemed to be urged by some appointment. I believe she was in her late twenties. The booth was so small and too exposed, she was dressed so casually, and I am not sure, but I think a certain, imperceptible glance had escaped from her eyes towards my person, which she followed by what I like to remember as a proud blush.
Don’t get me wrong. The likes of these encounters are my definition of beauty. However, the sensation that had summoned itself in my heart that morning was not one of admiration towards her as much as pensiveness (not pity) over her apparent loneliness. In a parallel universe, I would have flown unto that cold booth, told her that she shouldn’t have breakfast alone, sat down with her to drink my coffee, and maybe tried to make her laugh, or smile, instead of that unsettled self-consciousness proudly blushing itself away at the annoying observers amongst which I must have appeared to her.
But well, I am not in a parallel universe. Not that I don’t care about how she’d feel, but I hold more love to what the sight of her evoked in me, and how I wanted to act in return. I always want to act things that would only mean well in parallel universes. Maybe in a peculiar sense I was missing my sister so much I begrudged such raids loneliness has on innocent breakfasts. Maybe I remembered that one time when my sister had actually burst into tears in front of my speechless, stunned face, completely ruining my morning hour, and making me wonder at the riddle that’s the world of women. Maybe my uselessness then was somehow trying to get compensated for with that sweet lady.
One of the reasons why I want to get married is breakfast. Morning smiles, and light conversations about nothing and everything. Orange juice, or maybe tea. A cheese roll, or a pancake. Disheveled hair on a sleepy face. Or maybe her silent presence? watching me eat. Or even sad, tired tears, that I have to be present for. And then a goodbye kiss before a dreadful work day, no?
Whatever you do, my friend, don’t have breakfast alone. Breakfasts aren’t made for that.
Have it with someone you love.
Even if it’s only in your head, like I do these days..