The Varieties of Delicious Experience
February 25, 2014
I loathe to go out for breakfast (or brunch) because I never order the right thing. If I choose the baked eggs and vegetable hash, it turns out I really wanted waffles. If I decadently decide on something with chocolate, the apple dish proves more promising. Tea should have been coffee and a mimosa would be better off grapefruit juice.
At home, where a local “hen egg” costs 35 cents instead of $7, I have no such qualms and hesitations. Sometimes it’s oatmeal and sometimes it’s leftover soup, but mostly it’s toast.
The best butter this side of the Atlantic is the Vermont Creamery Cultured Butter with Sea Salt. The best vehicle for butter is cinnamon raisin bread. And buckwheat crêpes. And enveloped into puff pastry. Since this is real life and not mathematics (or grammar), we’re allowed to use superlatives generously.
Since I can make up my mind at home, it seemed pragmatic to invite a guest who notoriously could not. I haven’t read much of William James (1842–1910), but I have read his brother and I hear good things. William James gave us “plasticity of the mind,” “the stream of thought,” and “one great blooming, buzzing confusion.” Any thinker today owes him a firm handshake and maybe some toast and coffee.
While we might have discussed our commonalities as former Parisian residents, amateur painters, and persons who have never held a real job, instead we talked about physics. James was a proponent of the pluralistic universe, and now seemed delighted to hear that in parallel universes every possible option is concurrently realized. The answer is always yes and no, which is very convenient when you aren’t quite sure.
In this universe, I offered James a second slice of toast. Without a blink of hesitation he helped himself.
(Many special thanks to my sister for both the bread and butter knives. Her blog can be found here.)