The Remainder: All That’s Left — Excerpt 2


Hold back for your own benefit,
or collapse with anxiety.
It’s your choice.

I’ll take the skillet with monterey jack cheese
melted on the mushrooms,
taken for granted by Mr. Poached Eggs over there.
Who puts poached eggs in a skillet anyway?
Where are we, Paris? Where’s his personal chef,
and what’s his extension? I could use a snack.

There are few things in this world that would stop me from devouring a meal at midday. I don’t normally have a large breakfast, never has been my style. I sacrifice spontaneity through the morning hours for a massive course of gorging through sandwiches, potato chips and beer.

Now a poached egg,
on the other hand,
just makes me think that Napoleon had an appetite for something delicate, and mandated that all the cooks from across the land prepare such a breakfast treat for him if he were to stop by on his way through town.

POACHED IN BUTTER. CHOPPED SCALLIONS ON TOP. SPRINKLE THE SALT WITH THE PEPPER. THERE, IT’S DONE. LEAVE ME TO MY MEAL.

Dictating a meal is much easier than making it, which leaves the evolution of the human race to the carnival barkers and auctioneers out there, those heroic individuals destined to push things around with the power of their words, at times completely overpowering the lives of all around them. Do they mind? Of course they’ve given it some thought. But by damn, are you gonna earn a livin’ or aren’t ya?

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