Obsessions: Breakfast

My preference is to get up really early and have that time to myself. I’ve had to do a wheat bagel at various airports. If someone is telling me a travel story, urging me to visit, let’s say, Serbia, the first thing I picture is me having coffee in a hotel restaurant in Belgrade. It gives me a moment to think. When I am away from home, I have some reliable options, as substitutes for Grape-Nuts and blueberries. I mean the timing and the content of my own breakfast. 17,  Comedy
To receive the LARB Quarterly Journal, become a member  or  donate here. Do I have enough blueberries in the refrigerator? Oatmeal is always a good one. All food-service establishments will be open at 5:00 a.m. Sometimes I think it’s all I ever want in life. Even convenience stores are putting some effort into offering a version of specialty coffee. I don’t like the idea of being distracted from getting that food and coffee down. ¤
Fred Armisen is an American actor, comedian, screenwriter, and musician. I think these places put so much work into their dinners and nightlife that breakfast is an afterthought to them. packaging. For me, it’s ideally this: Grape-Nuts cereal with almond milk and blueberries, and two cups of strong coffee. That’s when I understand wanting to be a dictator. That’s one of my favorite things about seeing the world move into the future. That’s when my brain works best. They assume that everyone is going to want to sleep late. I imagine wearing a little jacket because it’s so early that it’s still chilly. I wrote most of this in the morning, after I had my breakfast. Even after landing and going through customs and checking in, it’s only the next day, in front of my breakfast, that I’ve said (quietly, out loud), “Wow. I also think I’m a little self-conscious about what I look like when I eat. I resent it. The kind of place where everything is centered on relaxation and spas. I put an exclamation after that because isn’t that what it’s like? Toast with peanut butter is pretty filling. I think about my breakfast the night before. How much time will I have in the morning? MARCH 26, 2018

This piece appears in the LARB Print Quarterly Journal: No. Just as a buffer for people arriving at six. And of course, always the strongest coffee. They really know their customers. That would be one of my first enacted laws. “We’re not open yet” will no longer exist. Where it’s made to look like a paper bag that someone stamped the label on by hand. And breakfast tacos! I’ve never understood work-related breakfast meetings. ¤
I am obsessed with breakfast. I am not kidding when I say this: I just washed blueberries in a little strainer and put them in the refrigerator for tomorrow. That’s never a problem to find. Five. I have become wary of balmy, tropical resorts. Starbucks usually has a simple little container of that. I need at least an hour. I see the world through the eyes of breakfast. Eyes down, focused. I don’t mean the history or art of breakfast cuisine in general. Did I grind enough coffee? That is the most exotic part of traveling, to me. I resent having to walk so far to find the building with the restaurant, and there have been many times where I was met in the morning with “we’re not open yet.” Nothing makes me angrier than those words. I’m in Iceland.”
Sometimes it’s not as easy to find the right kind of place, destination-wise. That’s a warning sign to me. If I’m shopping for coffee by the pound, I really am a sucker for that D.I.Y. I have often made sure to eat before a breakfast meeting. They always seem to have long, winding pathways to get from one villa to another. Breakfast is when I feel the most like I’m in a foreign country. Even if it’s fake, that’s what I reach for. Breakfast tacos! Once I’ve accomplished this part of the morning, I feel like I’ve already won the day.