Eggs for Dinner



I am on a week-long husband holiday.  I get to sleep in the middle of the bed, use up all of the hot water in the shower, and eat whatever I want for dinner.  It’s like being back in college but with a house, a full-time job and responsibilities and without the drinking or late night pizza.  So not quite as fun.   

After work, I head out for a jog around the neighborhood.  Flashing lights draw my attention towards a work crew of sunburned men.  They look tired and dirty as they take down a power line with an end of the day carelessness that motivates me to run a little faster. Somehow getting electrocuted and spending the rest of my husband holiday in the hospital is not how I plan to spend this time.

Once home, I peel off my sweaty running shirt and drape it over the back of the couch.  I can be a slob during my holiday week, but it doesn’t suit me.  The thought of a perspiration soaked shirt on the furniture makes my skin crawl.  Some people can’t stand spiders and beg for their death or removal, others get queasy at the sight of blood. Me, its dirty socks and laundry where it doesn’t belong. I can’t handle it regardless of if I’m on a husband vacation or not.  I retrieve the shirt and carry it back to the bedroom to dry and makes its way to the laundry basket.   

Now the cats need feeding and so do I.  The thought of sampling their expensive kibble briefly crosses my mind.  Its nutritionally balanced and even boasts of nutra-bits; whatever those might be, the whole shebang would be nourishing and so easy to prepare.  However, the smell is too disgusting and the greasy, crummy residue left on my fingers after scooping out a serving is too gross to give more time to this as a possibility for dinner. 

Instead of cat food, I go in for my old stand-by.  Eggs.  It’s been a long time since eggs were a main staple for dinner and the poor nutrition years comes rushing back.  Scrambled, hard boiled, sunny side up, fried, burned, omletted, more often with a piece of shell than not, eggs got me through the lean, mean years and taste almost as good now as they did then.  Survival food, it’s much better when eaten out of preference than necessity.

Counting down the days until my “vacation” is over because I’m sick of eating eggs, taking long luxurious showers, and sleeping alone in the middle of our big bed.   

the price of eggs


A quick Google search revealed that I was headed to decent house in a nice ‘hood.

Four bedrooms, three bathrooms, and an in-ground swimming pool.

I breathed a sigh of relief and assumed that bedbugs, wild dogs, armed men and drunken neighbors would not present as issues.

A woman met me at the door and a gust of cold air slipped past her slender figure.

Wispy strands of gray hair escaped from her long pony tail.

She pushed a strand back from her face with a weathered hand. Her nails were short and black with dirt, meant for function not fashion.

“Come in.”

Not a woman of many words, I thought, and followed her inside.

She ushered me through a dark, cluttered living room. She led me to a mostly cleared off table with a few letters and papers.

“Please sit.”

As I sat, I took a quick glance around the house.

Green, winding plants were crowded on stands in front of the living room window.

A large bag of chicken feed leaned against a recliner. The seat of the chair was filled with boxes, hangers, a lamp and shoes. Books, binders and craft supplies were stacked on the kitchen counter. An empty bucket and rope, gloves and three boxes of plastic wrap were piled by the sliding glass door.

“I am sorry for mess,” she spoke with a heavy accent.

“My kids move out and leave me with all this. I have no chair to sit in. What I do with all this?” she asked in exasperation and threw her hands up.

“I will get paperwork,” the woman said. She walked to a filing cabinet and started rifling through the contents. I took the opportunity to look for the swimming pool.

Stacks of wood and an old grill were haphazardly placed in the backyard, where the grass was even higher than in the front yard.  A little beyond that was the pool, as promised by Google, filled with a black sludgy water.  I later learned it was reserved for the ducks, not swimming. Silly me.

Suddenly, a reddish brown creature charged towards the sliding glass door in an exaggerated waddle.

I shrieked, forgetting the glass door between us.

The woman stopped looking through her files and giggled like a little girl.

“My chickens have to say hi.”

She laughed in delight at my shock.

“Very curious girls,” she said and craned her neck around the corner.

More chickens gathered outside of the sliding glass door, fussing and discussing the stranger.

“That reminds me, I have something for you.”

She made her way back towards the kitchen and came back with a half a dozen eggs.

“For you.”

That night, it was announced on the news that there was a possible outbreak of avian flu in urban backyard chickens.

“Wake up you idiots! Whatever made you think that money was so valuable?”
-Kurt Vonnegut