Christmas Breakfast


It is the dining table, no hanging lamp but a track of wire upon which the lights are screwed and electrified. They are little flying saucers in brushed aluminum. My dining room and kitchen are a combination of birch wood cabinet doors, white high-gloss cabinets, and light gray-blue walls.

The window is whitened by the canvas drapes that hang a foot from the ceiling to the floor. A top sirloin steak is cooking. The oil snaps, the scent of pepper radiates. I am not supposed to be eating it. I am a heart patient. You should have seen Christmas Breakfast, the Mimosas, and the Vanilla Crown Royal, not to mention the biscuits and gravy, eggs, melon, and sausages. 

The house breathes, I guess. I let the air in through a bedroom window. It’s winter, Christmas Day, and I always leave that window open no matter how cold. I need oxygen. It is still only 11:34PM. But I am usually up until 4AM.

I don’t do taverns. I am not a drinker. I am intimidated by bars. Besides, our country is only 200 years old. I am on the West Coast. My condo changes every day almost. I am remodeling. I painted a molding white. It’s first coat. It sucks it and wants more. The steak is resting.

I prefer the cinema to an old drink. I would rather have catharsis than sleepiness. I know you would think that without sex, a man would prefer to eat and drink, but I intellectualize. It’s been so long without love that I see a woman as just another person. Dressed up for her own sake. What interest would she have in me? At this age, what interest would I have in her? We are like broken tanks on the battle field. Neither of us moves. We just look across at our bodies somewhat accepting of the facts. It’s over. We’ve had our campaign. I feel like a criminal for having no feelings for her and for those that I do have feelings, it feels like a crime too. Women are jail bait at every age. You feel confined to them or you seem to abuse them. Money does not break down the wall. I assume it ultimately leaves you defeated. Worthless. After all, any dominate being that takes advantage of another ends up spiritually bankrupt, because the world ultimately deals in the truth. This is the currency. Ask Donald Trump. How long he lasted? 

Yes, I am resting. I had my steak, which was mostly gristle. The smell still permeates the air. There are small specks of grease on my glasses. There are pieces of meat that get between my teeth. I am thinking about dental floss.

Currently, I am not obeying anyone, but that will change when I get to work.

I long for the coffee shop before work. It’s winter, as I said. I walked outside in my socks at a friend’s and I could feel the dampness of the cement. The chill. Even the dog would not go swimming, but she did drink the water. The sun was out. It was like she was on a movie set. The light was radiant. Oh, but I said that didn’t I? The sun radiates as does the pepper apparently. 

A “meet-up.” I remember those. Every event was a veiled desire to get laid, to find love and live happily-ever after. But, money and time always get in the way: “So, what do you do for a living?” “I am a dragon fly, I fly around and eat mosquitos.” I can’t really tell them what I actually do. I am in sanitation. I pick up garbage. Who wants to boast about a man who picks up other peoples’ trash? Besides, I smell like garbage. You can’t get it out. It’s like garlic. It sticks with you. I do have great, big brutish arms that women, who have met me in passing, admire; but I am too hairy. My whole body is covered in sprouted Chia seeds. I look like an ape. I brush a long strand of loose hair back with my glove when I am lifting the container via the arm of the garbage truck. I realize I contradict my sleeping habits. I get up at 5AM and head to the facility to get my truck.

Summer days are sweaty and smelly like sour swill. But, I have been on dates that involved strolls along the beach. When we get to that question, everything changes. I get the look of immediate disconnection. That question, that question. I am the Philistine, even though it’s obvious I am not “Guided by materialism nor disdainful of intellectual or artistic values,” (Merriam-Webster).

I don’t spend much time in the bath although I probably should. I am not feeling the situation, nor of stilling pain. I am way beyond that. I have two children who live with my divorced wife. I give them most of my paycheck. There are two options: Work or death.

So, yes, I guess you could say we are in agreement. I am on an empty train alone “In continued and deadly enmity.”

I imagine park benches, except where I live there are: “Black Crowned Night Heron, Great Blue Herons, California Brown Pelicans as well as White Pelicans, Mallard Ducks, Cormorants, Snowy Egrets, Great Egrets, Cranes, Forester Terns, Canadian Geese, and Coots” to name a few, ( They tend to leave evidence. The city-dwellers aren’t necessarily rich. The gardens are often rugged. You hear those birds or the passing traffic. All walks of life are passing.

I feel like I have no connection to anyone. It’s not funny. There are two parts to me, the realist and the optimist. Each part gets along, like roommates in a small apartment and I have to get up by five if I want to make it to work.

Response to:


  1. This is beautiful prose-poetry, Mario! I like how you have written it with your characteristic gift for observation of details. The artwork with the “flying saucers in brushed aluminum” provides the perfect prompt and scenery to start and develop your story. I think the story takes the same colors and nuances of the picture: bluish, grey, and those of the violet hour.
    They are the expression of sadness, loneliness, disillusionment and profound melancholy as they show the passing of time and life’s twilight. The crepuscular light is double: the first person narrator’s life (a sort of alter ego of yours?), and our current world’s. I really like how you express all this and also the poem “Deuce” that has inspired you. I am touched by everything: the poem and your creation.

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