Every Saturday morning
you’ll find me
and a bagel, toasted as tan as is safe by toaster standards, spread with reg’lar ol’ cream cheese from Noah’s.
No need for special ‘structions, other than the gentle reminder to “toast her well” and “hey, I really like cream cheese.”
Thankfully, they know me by now.
This is how I begin my two favorite days of the week. And when I told a friend that this is my much-delighted breakfast, that this is a sunny spot in all my many Seattle Saturday mornings, she paused.
“I’m so glad to hear you like bagels. I always feel a little guilty eating them.”
I thought on it for a moment and I realized,
You know, I eat well. If I were to scan my memory of yesterday and the day before and then even the day before that, I’d find the most beautiful food. Fruits and vegetables and things that conjure the words ‘fresh’ and ‘wholesome.’ My memories of what I ate, of what I drank, would come to me in flashes of food pornography.
I don’t make bagels the exception. I don’t want bagels to feel like a high-er-light than the rest of the mornings in my week- the mornings where I sit at my kitchen table cross-legged in mismatched pajamas, a pot of tea and a bowl of steaming banana oatmeal before me.
That oatmeal is, after all, an outright joy to eat with a dripping spoonful of peanut butter.
Bagels are lovable because I’m not buttering and biting them by the baker’s dozen. I keep them special. Because bagels, like spaghetti and meatballs with my parents and popcorn at the movies, taste best when they’re eaten in context. They’d become mundane if I paid no mind to when or where or why or how often I was eating them. Everything would. The beautiful part about those doughy o’s, and any food that I eat, is that I appreciate them most on Saturday mornings in my favorite coffee shop up the street.
I sit, my special seat by the window where the sun casts her sideways glance, and I sip hot, milky coffee and eat that bagel, fluffy-middled and generously spread with regular cream cheese.
I look out the window. I linger on the chew. I lick the cream cheese that has melted and made its way onto my thumb. I put it down and pick the coffee back up. Wash each bite down before beginning again.
I taste the bagel.
I feel fifteen minutes of delicious and warm and toasty.
And then, when I’m done I pause and think
gracious that was good.
goodness that was gracious.
And then I write. I put that bagel to work upstairs in my mind. She helps me pen two books for Random House.
A few hours later I move on with my Saturday and my wide open weekend, happy that I had my favorite breakfast on my favorite day, in my favorite corner of Seattle.
I don’t regret things
I feel satisfied
I don’t wish I had another and oh just one more and hey- can I get another?
Two and three never taste as sweet as one
I don’t pause to consider what I might have eaten, what more I could have had, how any plan of healthy eating has been ruined before noon.
This balance is what my life is about
I feel happy with how delicious and satisfying my day began.
Because I know
I’ll be there next Saturday, with my coffee, with my bagel, with my big morning hair.
What’s your weekend breakfast?