Depression Recipe 1 – John Larson

Making breakfast is the decisive act. I find that if I don’t make breakfast the day leaves me behind. Time goes on without me and I find myself looking at a microwave clock reading 4:40 in the afternoon. No breakfast. No food. My mouth is dry and my teeth are not brushed. A hard day. This is a day I hope my brain will never let me remember. Nothing happens. I eat two brown sugar pop tarts at 5 PM. I eat two more at 3 AM. The first two pop tarts are toasted. It’s so hard to feel alone. Like there is nothing ahead of you. The second two are not toasted. By this point I’m not seeing why anybody does anything. I’m eating cold pop tarts on the floor by the light of my computer. When I wake up at 6:30 and make myself breakfast the next day, I still feel like I did the day before. But I’m awake and my body is moving. You need to be decisive when this happens. I direct my body to the stove, the refrigerator. I cook my breakfast carefully. I put a slice of bread in the toaster. I tend to favor those with seeds and oats in the crust. More wholesome, somehow. I’m not sure they have a taste. I take some neutral oil and pour a generous amount in a small pan. At least a couple of tablespoons. It will feel like a lot but don’t be afraid. Heat over a medium flame. When the oil starts to shimmer, break two eggs in the pan. I’ve been using my mornings to work on cracking them open one handed. Now the fun part is you tilt the pan toward you so all the extra oil pools on one side. Take a spoon and start gently splashing the oil over the top of the egg. Splash and drizzle the oil on the yolk as well as the white. If the oil is hot enough, the whites should begin expanding and expanding until they resemble a cartoon cloud. This may only take 30 seconds. In less than a minute the eggs should be done. This is how they make them on the street in some places in southeast Asia. I like watching long unnarrated videos of people in foreign countries on YouTube. I saw a woman doing this in Bangkok and thought it was a much more exciting way to fry an egg than how I usually do it. Put the cloud-like egg on the toast. Give it some salt and pepper. At this point you should not feel like you did the day before, when you ate four pop tarts. You should have forgotten that day in its specific intensity. Breaking the yolk with my fork, I can only remember the day before as a physical potentiality. Your brain knows to be careful with days like those the way your body knows to be careful when you walk on a roof. The thing about the cartoon cloud egg whites is that once you take them off the heat they deflate. What’s left are the impressions of expansion, expansion and contraction. Chefs call these impressions “craters.” I’m inoculated with dread, and black, and I feel bruised this morning. I’m chewing my food and I’m remembering the cartoon clouds.