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Arts Vanity Issue: Infinite Zest- A Review of My Breakfast

J. Thomas Westbrook

Coruscating. Outré. Insouciant. Chrysostomatic. Sumptuous. Sublime.

These are all words I found in a thesaurus. What do they have to do with my breakfast? Probably a lot.

Consider the orange.

Imagine digging a solitary fingernail into the densely packed orange rind; slowly unraveling the paradigmatic peel with eager, trembling fingers; pulling a long, tenuous strand of fibrous shell around the circumference of the globe in a neverending loop; extracting the juicy, sensitive sphere from the tangled remains of its once-cohesive covering; carelessly dropping the now-unnecessary remnant of the peel, its protective duties now at an end, into an unsympathetic repository of cast-off matter and waste; returning one’s attention to the plump, naked fruit, artistically selecting a segment of the whole, now no longer whole, to pluck nimbly with dexterous thumb and arching forefinger; leaving the seed-bearing roundness suddenly hollow, empty and incomplete; raising the selected section up to the level of curious, penetrating vision; scrutinizing with fascinated gaze the glistening wetness oozing out from the meltingly tender piece which sparkles orange and gold in the rays of sunlight coruscating through the dust of the still morning air; inhaling briefly the smell of aromatic citrus wafting into the breathy passages of the nose; then dropping the succulent slice down from the exalted level of vision to the range of the predatory mouth; opening the entrance of that merciless cave, lined as it is with toothy stalactites and stalagmites; depositing the innocent sacrifice of pre-pubescent marmalade; exploring with tantalized tongue that soft, yielding bundle of gushing fluid; closing decidedly the crushing jaws down around that beautiful blossom in a delicate, sucking caress; and triumphantly tasting the explosion of sweet nectar swirling and spiraling unrestrained toward the throat.

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But what a surprise! It’s a clementine, not an orange! What a brilliant subversion of expectations!

But rather than rest on his well-earned laurels from that stunning subversion, the breakfast’s auteur—a word I use here because I’m not allowed to use the first person in a review—took things still further. For alongside these tasty clementines was served, not milk, not coffee, not tea, not even water, but a glass of orange juice.

Imagine that! Orange and clementine mixing in the mouth! The line between the two begins to blur. Where does the orange end and the clementine begin? Probably at the glass that the orange juice is held in, except at one point when I spilled some of the juice on my shirt.

But the true intentionality of the meal only becomes clear when it is properly recontextualized in a big wooden chair sitting in the snowy mountains. Tropical fruit mingled with bitter cold? Bits of orange peel dropped in pure white snow? I don’t know what to make of all this, but it sounds profound, so I’m just going to leave it at that.

I will conclude with some words of wisdom that I heard my friend’s boyfriend who studies philosophy say one time when he was really drunk.

Deconstruction. Post-conceptual. Transcendental. Aesthetic. Sublimation.

—J. Thomas Westbrook is the incoming blog exec. Before breakfast, he was a deterministically caused being.

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