Breakfast in mid Novermber at age 7
The pancake syrup was running down into the eggs and sausage. My dad and his brother were talking while I was looking at the orange pulp clinging to the wet glass of the Denny’s cup and wondering why the orange juice tasted so bad after the syrup. Like after toothpaste. My dad buttered every pancake, lifting the top one to get the one underneath with a pass of the knife.
Outside, through the scratched up plastic face of the gratified newspaper box, the Chronicle cover was showing a concrete wall covered in spray paint colors, the rebar bent where it was coming through the ragged edge of a pick hammer hole.
Three men on bar stools at the counter drank coffee and read the paper, holding it out in front of them as tents. It would be funny, I thought, if they were all reading the same page. The men reached for their coffee without looking, feeling around blind, upsetting a fork, and then turning the mug until they found the handle. The steam rose slightly grey.
So, my uncle said, does Danny know the historic events that’re taking place in the world right now?
My dad shook his head. He had a mustache then and was I think, still wearing the yellow sweat shirt from the night shift in the freezer. No, he said. My eggs ran, and the line of yellow yolk twisted a little into the syrup.
It’s an important time, my uncle said and then they said nothing.
So? I said, impatient I think. What’s happening? Later my dad would look for a new world map and say he wondered how I was going to learn geography when the names and lines were always changing.