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Essay: Half-Done Bacon

Every morning my father fixes his own breakfast.  When I arrive at the kitchen table, he is already standing at the stove in a white apron, taking orders.

“Anyone want bacon?” he asks.  “Eggs?”

My brother and I always refuse, not liking Dad’s undercooked bacon or the way he makes the eggs.  He calls them “scrambled” but he just cracks them on the grill and stirs them around a little—leaving jiggly patches of raw egg whites.

“I’ll have one piece of bacon,” Mom says and puts it on top of her toast.

My brother pours out some Cheerios while I grab the Raisin Bran.  And for a few minutes we’re all at the table together.  I watch my father cleaning his plate with evident pleasure and I wonder how he can eat the same thing every day? 

Sometimes our family goes out for breakfast at a local diner but Dad never changes his menu.  The waitress calls him the man who likes “half-done bacon.”

Now, all these years later, I stand at the stove remembering Dad in his white apron—offering to make breakfast as long as you’re having what he’s having.

And I wish I had sometimes taken him up on his offer, found a way to eat his bacon and eggs, found a way to say thank you.