PROMPT: Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.
As I saw the circle of liquid gold surrounded in opalescent white flip through the air and land with a soft yet audible sizzle, I knew I had made it. I could fend for myself out there in the “real world.” I was a man.
Of course this was not a one step journey to adulthood. Many challenges and achievements paved the way for this one, such as compiling a clean cold cut sandwich or decoding the mysterious markings on the microwave. Each of these labors, with its own specific challenges, was surpassed only with the most Herculean efforts. The sandwich especially, it needs layers and layers of meticulously stacked components, the structural integrity of the sandwich depending on the precision with which the layers are pieced together. Yet, I was sure that this golden circle, sizzling and steaming in front of me, was the crowning achievement. It was the pinnacle of my childhood that would elevate me from the grasp of adolescence into adulthood. It was the egg over easy.
The egg over easy requires patience, confidence, and conviction. To make an egg over easy one must first make an egg sunny side up then flip it without crushing the fragile yolk. Fail to wait long enough for it to cook and the egg will tear. Hesitate during the flip and the egg will tear. The finesse and meticulous motion needed to make this masterpiece of pre-birth chicken is all but impossible for a child, and until today was impossible for me. “Why don’t you just make fried eggs? Or even scrambled?” my parents asked in their frustration as I went through eggs by the dozen. Alas, fried and scrambled eggs were the peasantry of the poultry-egg universe and I had my eyes set on something more ambitious. They did not realize the depth of my resolve. I could not settle for anything less than over easy. It would have been easier for me to quit, I would have saved many pennies, but it’s not like me to quit on my dreams, however lofty. I was determined to do more than the average egg preparer. I was determined to be more.
This was it. I stretched for the final egg within arm’s reach of the counter where I stood. If I failed once more I would have to venture across the kitchen and scour the farthest corners of the second shelf of my fridge for more. All my previous training from the last thirty minutes flashed through my mind as I prepared for this gargantuan challenge. As I donned my fireproof gauntlets, my apron body armor, and wielded my frying pan, I became a warrior ready for battle. The egg hit the pan with a sizzle and a pop. I watched anxiously as the egg white stuck to the pan. Thoughts raced through my head, Is it burning? Did I forget to butter the pan? Is the fire too hot?, but my worries were for nothing. Everything was running smoothly. I swirled the egg around the pan as I prepared to flip. Eyes focused. The tension in the air was tangible. An imaginary crowd gasped in anticipation.
The egg landed safely, the fragile yolk intact. After a few more minutes I slid this perfection onto a plate. I had been relentless and now I was victorious. If I was a hero, the egg was my nemesis and I had conquered it. My training, hard work, and dedication had paid off, so now I could feast. I know that, despite the momentous occasion, this was only the first step into my new adult life. There may even be future challenges that rival the difficulty of making this egg. However, I’m sure the skills of persistence and determination I gained by taking on the mighty task will prepare me for anything. Maybe even something poached or deviled.