After the tumultuous end to a night of rain and thunder, the light reared its head over the sky’s surface, heat waves drying the soaked, dew ridden grass. A mist lay in the air over the city; for the excess rainwater had nowhere else to go. The sun bloomed out of the horizon until the previous storm was forgiven. So now the birds arrived at my windowsill, perky and loudmouthed, to send message that the world had not ended, for no one had been slaughtered, and the day would persist as usual. Hearing this, I rose to my feet. And lurking through my home like a fog on the river, I saw it to be true. The world had not ended, for no one had been slaughtered, and so it seemed the day would persist as usual. Fading out of sleep, I became aligned with reality. A tiny man was rattling the inside of my rib cage with a tin can. So my feet leapt down the stairs and fled to the kitchen.
Now today was a big day, of course. The world had not ended, for no one had been slaughtered, but the day was to persist as usual. And on a day as usual as this, creativity flatlined. So, I thought I’d make a plate of scrambled eggs. My mother used to make scrambled eggs on a sunrise stovetop dancing to Whitney Houston. Her skin shined when the light burst through the kitchen window in shards, making its way through the crevices between the blinds. And how I’d love to come downstairs to see my mother basking in the sharded light, dancing to Whitney Houston, making eggs on that sunrise stovetop, with her blood in my veins and my next meal in her hands. And so she would teach me how to make these scrambled eggs, my mother.
“Crack the egg,” she said, “Don’t crack it too hard, you’ll make a mess. Don’t crack it too soft. You’ll have to crack and crack and re-crack until you end up with eggshells in your scrambled eggs.”
And she said this like the worst mistake I ever could make was ending up with an eggshell in my scrambled eggs. And I wish it was. But in all my years I’d never tasted a shell in my scrambled eggs. And I think I should. Because I’ve seen many shells in the scrambled egged mess I’ve lived. It would only seem befitting that I should taste as many eggshells as I’ve dropped. And so I’ll drop an eggshell for the lonely lunch table kids. I’ll drop an eggshell for the girl who doesn’t speak English in an American school. I’ll drop one for the couch potato and one for the life of the party. I’ll drop one for the strawberry swing, playground leaps from the peak of Mt. Everest, ending in a gashed knee and a call home. I’ll drop one for the words that made my mother cry, which made those scrambled eggs singe my tongue and scratch at my throat. I’ll drop one because I was the one who said those words, on a night where not even the stars shone on that sunrise stovetop, and it didn’t see light for months. I’ll drop an eggshell for the lost keys and stolen bikes. Smooth, olive oil skin on satin sheets while the world outside is ending in rain and thunder. And I’ll drop an eggshell for the fights I lost at the bus stop. Because nothing was more surreal to me than the realization that there are some things you just have no control over.
So I cooked these scrambled eggs, and something gave me hope that I could be for someone what my mother was for me. And that there’ll come a day when I’ll have a stove top of my very own, with eggs from my refrigerator, and someone whose bloods runs through my veins, whose next meal lies in my hands. On that day I’ll dance to Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Jackson 5, and maybe even throw in some Whitney Houston.
Ian is a student writer based in New Orleans.
Follow Ian on Instagram: @benesosaaa