By: Sydney Xiong
Monday morning in Chicago is gray but rarely bleak, and never quiet. The sound of vehicle
horns, bustling crowds, and traffic signify people returning to their busy lives of work after a
weekend’s rest. To those who live in cities, these hustling sounds can strangely provide comfort.
And somewhere in the middle of this rush, a man wakes up to his alarm. Mind still foggy from
sleep, he brushes his teeth and showers half-heartedly, before dressing for work, still mildly
dreading starting a new week.
But what he never dreads is his breakfast consisting simply of toast and marmalade. He put
his toast into the toaster and looked into his cupboard filled with various flavors. He paused for a moment to decide on which flavor, then reached in and pulled out a classic orange marmalade.
When the toast was ready, the man took it out on a plate and grabbed a butter knife from the
drawers. As he sat down, he reached for the jar and twisted open the cap, releasing the bittersweet, fruity aroma of orange zest. He dug the butterknife deep into the jar and pulled out a pile of marmalade and began to smother it all over the crispy toast until a thick layer covering both the toast and his fingers. The jam’s tangy, sweet and sticky flavors swirled on his tongue as he licked it off his finger. He held up his bread and watched the excess marmalade drip on the plate, as he gazed at the toast in anticipation as if it was a masterpiece he worked so hard to finish. He bit into his breakfast. The crunch of the toast contrasted with the jelly-like texture of the marmalade on top and was mixed into one as he chewed on it.
He took a few more bites and before he knew it, there was no more toast on his hands.
Slightly disappointed, he brushes the crumbs off his fingers and takes his plate to the sink. Though one toast is never enough, he never ate seconds, as the high sugar content in his beloved marmalade could lead to health problems if he ate too much.
As he washes his plate, the fogginess in his brain is now completely gone and the dread of
starting a new week is diminishing. Some people drink coffee in the morning to wake up, and some wait it out. But for the man obsessed with marmalade, a simple marmalade toast for breakfast is the ideal way to begin his busy day ahead.