.




__(place)
NEW YORK

I walked to Egg alone. Egg was airy in appearance and the food promised to be simple. Like the name, pleasant and balanced in the geography of its letters, Egg was equal parts comfort and modernity. I was half soaked, having only just bought the cheap umbrella few blocks away. It took me 10 minutes to choose. The color. I was wearing blue denim everything and I thought a purple umbrella would make a nice clash. I went with bright red. Waiting for my table, I felt uneasy and extravagant knowing that I would have one whole table to myself while behind me groups of hungry friends, families, lovers waited in line, in the rain. Jim Fallon goes by Jimmy, like the television talk-show host was just ahead of me also waiting for a table for one. In perhaps what is common in New York City, he offered that we sit together at his tiny table, the scale of which intimated a familiarity Jimmy and I did not share. I didn't even know his name then, but I said yes, fearing I would seem provincial if I even hinted at how odd this offer was. Maybe this was the answer to my issue with extravagance. I got to know Jimmy after we were seated. Half American, half Japanese. Born in Germany. 50 years old. Moved to new York in the early nineties. Lives on the upper west side. In his words, could pass for Cuban and Italian. Works on Wall Street. Took the train across the river to give one dish another try. This time he would ask for 3 eggs, not 2. I was expecting only brief exchanges of niceties. Instead, Jimmy told me his thoughts on affirmative action before we even ordered our food. Soon enough, because Jimmy told me, I knew that if the government got it right, Harvard and Yale would be 70 percent Asian and the Black student population would dwindle by 90 percent. Jimmy believes in a woman's right to choose what happens to her body. He thinks the coffee served to me in a French press is liberal coffee. Also prostitution should be legal. And taxed. Such matters hardly seem to me like interesting subjects for conversation. I said very little. I may have nodded here and there, raised an eyebrow or two, mostly focused on the simple food and the liberalness of the coffee which later Jimmy offered to pay for. As we walked away from Egg, he going back to Manhattan and I on my way to the airport, under my red umbrella I let myself thoroughly absorb the strangeness of the Jimmy situation.