Of Brûléed Grapefruits and Men

February 17th, 2014, 8pm

It was 14.4°C with overcast. The breeze was light.

The two older gentlemen were sitting and chatting near us. It was hard to tell what their relationship was, they can’t have known each other that long by the types of things they were talking about. The types of stories they were telling weren’t of the “remember when we did that” type, they were more of the type that explained the types of things they did in the past, things that close friends would have already known by now.

No matter the length or nature of their relationship, it was abundantly clear that they had lived full lives. They’d lived in and traveled to far-flung places, raised successful children, owned important cars and talked in great detail about the history of hi-fi systems. Had I been 25-40 years older, I imagined that these would be the men I’d be hanging out with. I imagined getting up, going for a walk, then heading over to have breakfast with my buddy. That’s the life, man.

Returning my attention to my breakfast companion, I realized I hadn’t decided what I was going to eat. Here I am at one of my favorite breakfast places (or favorite restaurants, full-stop), and I didn’t know what I wanted. What would these cool old guys eat? If I wanted my life to be like theirs, why not start now? Having mostly eavesdropped on their conversation without actually looking at the two men, I decided to steal a quick glance at their food while I pretended to look at my menu.

Oatmeal. Fucking oatmeal. Is that what I have to look forward to?

Screw that.

“Brûléed Grapefruit, two poached eggs and the house-cured pastrami, please.”

Jack, ola and Christine said thanks.

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Albert Ocampo

First he jumped, then he looked.

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