A Dispatch from D.D. Jolly

by D.D. Jolly, the Dostoevsky of Champagne Dilemmas

Despair Makes Breakfast

D.D. Jolly here, Despair to my friends.  The damndest thing happened to me this morning.  Woke up with a scorching hangover, as did you, I’m sure.  Attribute mine to J.W. Black and Macbeth before bedtime.  There are some instructive mnemonics about liquor. Liquor than beer, have no fear.  Beer than liquor, never sicker.  Rye in the afternoon, come up to my room.  Champagne before five, why am I alive, etc.  There are no guidelines for mixing liquors and literature.
It’s dangerous business, this reading business is.  The mind, the original heavy machinery, is falling down the rabbit hole or staring across the harbor at the green blinking light or avoiding the landlady on the stairs and you go and send a shipment of Dr. McGillicuddy’s over the blood-brain barrier.  No wonder your morning ablution feels like death from a thousand cuts and you dreamt that you killed the Lindbergh baby.  It’s shocking that there are no rules for reading and drinking.  Even darts has rules.  One might say that Man is the animal that makes rules.  We invent rules for pointless activities, like golf and banking.  We invent rules we have no intention of obeying, like golf and banking.  I wonder if the government keeps annual statistics on how many comas are caused by Jagermeister and The Critique of Pure Reason and how many infidelities flower over cheap wine and the memoirs of Casanova.  Yes, it’s a dangerous business, this reading business is.  I shall spend my golden years penning sage advice to the Young on matters Civil and Moral, once I conclude my experiments. 
Last night my sleep was troubled by a dream of former lovers, enemies and other sketchy characters gathered at a Monty Python and the Holy Grail themed hotel for a haggis festival while my friend the Commodore and I tried to weave past the conventioneers to get somewhere else, I don’t know where.  This is the trouble with dreams.  So often one is in a rush, but honestly, what could the next place offer to improve upon this?  In real life, we would have parked ourselves at the hotel bar and goaded a lass into a chat with the Commodore, while speaking loudly in our Sean Connery voices until ordered to leave. 
The point is Despair was vulnerable when she trundled into the kitchen to make breakfast.  Despair is a hothouse flower before her coffee.  I uttered a prayer of thanks to the programmable coffee pot and poured myself a cup.  I cracked an egg into a pan, shrieked, collapsed on the floor and curled into a ball.  My consort was sure to be awoken by my scream.  Any moment he will arrive, machete aloft, to slay the marauders who lay in wait for the coffee to brew before sacking the house.  A snore told me “you are alone with your fear.”  I raised my head and peeped into the fry pan.  The egg had two egg yolks.  I stood up slowly, took a swig of coffee, and cracked another egg.  One yolk.  This is a puzzle.  First of all, how am I supposed to log my calories?  Does this count as two eggs or three?  And then there are the others.  I opened the refrigerator and looked at eight eggs seated in their compartment like smug passengers on a tour bus.  Imagine the torment of a guide squiring history professors along the Freedom Trail and know the psychic space I occupied.  I thought I had mastered the egg-human relationship, but I was wrong. 
I took the egg tray out of the refrigerator and set it on the counter.  I held one up to the light, but no good.  We serve brown eggs in the Jolly household.  Brown eggs are local eggs and local eggs are fresh.  (A question to those of you from points east, west, south and north of me: how do you cope with the glare of white eggs, or do you enjoy reenacting the tableau of Paul struck blind on the road to Damascus?)  I stared at the eight gloating eggs.  God only know what’s inside these things.  I thought of the terrible uncertainty of future breakfasts, at least until the carton was finished. 
Oh, no.  This ends now.  I must break you all.  You shall know my wrath.  None shall be spared.
What the hell are you doing?  My tardy protector walked into the kitchen.
Who are you talking to?
No one.
Did you call me?
I thought I heard something.
Would you like a frittata?
I’m not that hungry.
I am really in the mood to make a frittata.  I’m going to make one.  Have some if you want.
Despair: 1    Eggs: 0

Next installment: Despair Visits the Magazine Rack.

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