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The Nostalgia of a Broken Egg
The egg perched himself on the wall, sitting contentedly, until suddenly, that famous vertigo overtook him, the ground rushed towards his face-
Splat! Pieces of shell flew off in all directions, and the poor guts and innards of this unsteady fellow congealed into a yellow mass. The egg, you could say, was dead meat.
“When Humpty Dumpy broke/ All that left was his yolk/ It was sticky and yellow and wiggled like Jell-O/ If you gave it the teensiest poke.”
A breeze came through the window where I sat, and in the midst of these words, I felt the sensation of drifting away on the zephyr of my childhood…
“What shall we read today?” My mum inquires innocently.
“Hump-ty Dump-ty!” Nothing but the misfortune of the egg could mollify this four-year-old. I was already in my burrow of blankets, alert and ready for the greatest adventure I knew.
“When Humpty Dumpty broke…”
… I stood in front of a huge blender, and there were all the king’s horses and all the king’s men, plus a royal mole. The dramatic tones of my mum’s voice were bringing the characters off the page, in all of their excitement over… omelets.
Even as the clock struck ten, and the warmth of my bed lured me into a deep sleep, the very thought of Humpty Dumpty, the sheer intrigue of consuming this renowned character, was too overwhelming. I listened on, as my mum squeaked,
“Omelets with worms… and beetles!”
Ten years later, the same intense fascination, mixed with utter revulsion, was still there.
Wait! What were they doing?
“So they poured him into the blender…”
Oh, how the four-year-old within wished to scream at the text, telling them that they forgot the lid! Even though I’d read this a thousand times, fear and alarm gripped me to the core. Around me, the figures of the royal court were cackling with glee, the mole ready with his worms.
“And they turned it on...”
I sprang up from the text, and saw my biology book laying on my foot. I realized that I had actually been yelling at the page, and in all my anxiety, I’d managed to knock over some books. I picked the biology book up. I contemplated it: it was straight facts and numbers, with no room left over for imagination. It was unwieldy, dull. I realized that this biology book was the point of no return, a departure from the ebullient imagination of a four-year-old. A wave of nostalgia crept over me. As I surveyed the little pictures in Humpty Dumpty, a small shiver of trepidation came through me again.
I picked it up again from page 1, with Humpty Dumpty tumbling down to the ground. I was tumbling down an epochal rabbit’s hole, content with not returning for a long time. After all, I still had to put on the lid.