“…this guy goes to a psychiatrist and says, ‘Doc, my brother’s crazy; he thinks he’s a chicken.’ And the doctor says, ‘Well, why don’t you turn him in?’ The guy says “I would, but I need the eggs.”
Alvy “Max” Singer (Woody Allen), in Annie Hall
“I’ll have the All-American Slam,” I said, not yet looking up, distracted by some newspaper headline I’ve long since forgotten. “How do you want your eggs?” she asked, the lilt of her voice compelling me to meet her eyes — sea green pools, inviting, the kind that should come with a warning sign “Dangerous Currents. Swim at your risk.” In the fraction of a second that followed I dreamed a complete future of intense love making and long lazy afternoons working crossword puzzles together. “Over,” pause, “easy” I managed, eyes locked to hers, searching for a sign, for anything beyond a simple breakfast-ordering exchange. Her smile that followed gave it, along with the rope pulling me into those seductive pools.
The next morning I woke before she did, and made us breakfast, scrambled eggs and toast. As I brought the plate to the bedroom, her eyes, just opening in the faint morning light were calm, the storm of last night’s love-making a comfortable memory. “This is how I want my eggs,” I whispered, “In bed, next to you. Always” The eggs were forgotten, cooling as the storm rose yet again.
In the days that followed, we rarely left my apartment, venturing out only to forage for provisions to sustain us. But as raging fires sometimes do, it burned itself out, and we realized in the embers that a sustaining emotional bond was not going to grow to replace the waning physical need. We parted friends but have lost contact over the years.
Alvy Singer goes on to explain that the egg joke captures how he feels about relationships, “They’re totally irrational…but, I guess we keep going through it because, most of us need the eggs.”
Realism? Cynicism? Symbiosis.
I guess we do need the eggs, but different kinds at different phases of life.
Copyright © Thomas Ward 2017