I’m here to review not just the restaurants, but also the dysfunction, the dystopia. I feel I’m as much a reporter of the end of the world as I am the end-all brunch spots. Had I been so long in the suck of modern apocalypse that I never had an honest-to-goodness good time?
If food is alive, what food does food eat to stay alive? If food is alive, is it still morally acceptable, kosher even, for humans to eat that food? Is a live cookie the whole of the thing, or is it the sum of its live dough and live chocolate chips? Does a cake’s life begin from scratch, from the first cracked egg, the first swish of the wooden spoon, or is it somewhere in the oven when the baking powder dances with the flour and rises up to life?
“When my mother cooked us pasta for dinner, she spent hours, sometimes the whole day, making sure the sauce and the vegetables or meats were perfect, but never once made her own pasta from scratch, ‘because it took too much time.’ I never understood this about her, until she finally explained it to me one day. ‘It’s the sauce that has to be perfect,’ she said. ‘It’s the pasta’s job to get the sauce to your mouth. In a perfect world the pasta would be perfect too, but it’s not a perfect world, so all the pasta has to do is be not terrible.’ To me, the music is the sauce, and opera is the pasta that gets the sauce to your mouth.”
Who cares who’s right or wrong, when the whole city, and maybe even the whole world, had completely collapsed, or whatever, all around them? What ideas are worth fighting for when there’s no world left to enjoy those ideas in? Anyway, Earl had an okay OKCupid date to make.
I therefore give you my last boon: You will grow up happy, but a little poor. This will teach you the value of wealth. I will surround you with great teachers. They will be far more complex, far more interesting, and above all far sadder, than you will ever be. You will be boring compared to them, John Mallory, but their stories will inevitably end, and yours will go on. You will be just down-on-your-luck enough, just unremarkable enough, and just white enough, to grow up with enough self-confidence to achieve literally any crazy idea you come up with.
All things considered, especially in this rough economy, they were all very lucky they even had jobs.