Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Eggs, Sunny Side Up

September 28 is my father's birthday. It's been a very long time since I got to wish him a Happy Birthday and, though I always made sure to call him to do just that when he was alive, the fact is there were sometimes long stretches of silence between us. The fact is, also, that I loved him the best I could and he loved me the best he could, too.

I miss him, even though I can easily conjure up his voice and what he would likely say about most things. I miss the smell of him—bay rum, gin and tobacco.  I miss him so deeply my body vibrates from the pain of it, even though it has been almost 20 years since he died.

Here's a memory from the night JFK was assassinated, a major event for the country and for my family, though we didn't know it at the time: 
My dad made eggs and bacon for dinner that night, serving it up to Bobby, John and me in the kitchen. When my father fried an egg, the edges came out frilly and crisp, brown lace trimming the ivory whites; I poked at the yoke with the tines of my fork and spread the yellow-orange over the whites and onto the plate where it would mingle with the droplets of bacon fat, so I could sop it up with the crusts of buttered toast. I loved the way all the flavors came together in the final bites, and I adored the way the sweet taste of the orange juice he squeezed from real oranges settled on the salty slick in my mouth before washing it away completely. 

I really miss eggs like that. No matter how hard I try, they never turn out quite the same.