τὸ δαιμόνιον scrambles my eggs
“Ain’t nobody gonna stand between me an’ that hat, mister — surely — not you.” Face contorted with hatred and contempt, says Jimmy Cagney (Lieutenant Commander Morton, ship’s captain) to Lieutenant (junior grade) Doug Roberts (Henry Fonda) in the movie Mister Roberts as Cagney holds up the commander’s hat
that’s the coveted object and goal of his driving Navy ambition. Linda and I saw the movie at the Ritz Theatre, it would have been 1955, likely during college summer vacation.
The hats, I know about the hats. Mine was summer 1971, the happy day the admiral promoted me from hat
to my hat with scrambled eggs. Navy terms, from junior officer to senior officer. And there was a time, ten years earlier than that, when I wanted and, rather arrogantly I suppose, expected another, The Hat, before I was done. I let that strange ambition go in November 1969, the first night at sea, underway for our deployment to WestPac.
Demons come in dreams, don’t they. Yep, still messing with me. Saturday/Sunday night a dream so real I couldn’t bear to wake up from it, and then grief. Again Monday/Tuesday, again, last night. τὸ δαιμόνιον. Surely the supper of tabasco gumbo with okra, chicken, sausage and oysters isn’t leaving the demon's cell bars ajar to escape from its cave and wander my unconscious subconscious. Occasional anxiety dreams, but I’m not anxious. Well, not consciously. But last night just as I was dressing for my Navy retirement ceremony, that was 1Feb 1978, it appeared, τὸ δαιμόνιον, handed me a uniform coat with four stripes, then handed me The Hat
and said I could skip the four stripes and start wearing The Hat right now if instead of retiring I’d stay four more years. I decided not. Then it said it had prepared breakfast for me, a huge feast of scrambled eggs. Scrambled soft as I love eggs and as only Linda can scramble. Serving my plate, I started eating the eggs. One bite, only to find them not deliciously soft-scrambled, but dry and hard, which I cannot stand. And τὸ δαιμόνιον said it was too late to change my mind because I’d already served my plate and taken a bite.
Care to figure that one out? I don’t. Nor the one from Saturday/Sunday.
“At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, and the burden on my heart rolled away …”
Dandelion. Gardenia. What are the words to that psalm again?
Morning has broken --