#796: To the Breakfast-Eaters

May 29th, 2017

Her hair was as radioactively blue as the pile of berries on her pancakes was red.

She sat at a table for four alone at the bustling Andersonville breakfast spot. She smiled wan but warm at the server when he brought her the massive pile of pancakes, whipped cream, berry compote and streusel crumbs.

Then she delicately picked up a fork with her right hand and, as a slow, peaceful smile lit on her face, she picked at the pile of warmth and fluff. She picked at a book with her left.

Aesthetically, she was well in the geeky punk poet zone. Electric shock blue hair fluffed down only as far as her neck. No makeup, but a septum piercing nose ring. She wore a light, flowy sundress and a sun-yellow cardigan layered over the top. The combined effect of outfit, hair and ring made her look like a ’50s housewife in a coloring book completed by a kid who doesn’t like rules.

I was at the breakfast spot because I was running errands and wanted sausages. I wolfed my eggs, picked through my own book and ran off to try and get my stuff moved before the next cloudburst.

She sat alone reading with a pile of pancakes, gently smiling every second. No friends to gab with, no phone to beep and buzz her into connection. A table for four held by pancakes and a feminist novel was her plan for an alternately sunny and rainy day in Andersonville.

So here’s to the breakfast-eaters. Here’s to the people whose dining companions come with folios.

It’s a short story today because of Memorial and picnics. I know the Civil War funeral’s going on up at Rosehill today. I know frisbees, bags and barbecues are going on elsewhere.

But let’s take a moment to consider a blue-haired poet punk ’50s housewife with book, flapjack and fork, and a little calm smile that meant alone with words and compote was exactly where she wanted to be.

Some thoughts on holidays

You know you’re curious about that Civil War funeral

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You are currently reading #796: To the Breakfast-Eaters by Paul Dailing at 1,001 Chicago Afternoons.

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