A few weeks ago today, E.S., having finished his psychiatric residency
in Hell at Beth Israel hospital, began his new job as an attending psychiatrist at a city hospital. To support him, I decided to wake up early on his first day and cook him breakfast; when I asked him the day before what he wanted, he suggested that oatmeal and scrambled eggs would be delicious. I asked him when he would be going to work, and he said he thought he’d leave the house at around 8:30.
The next morning, at 7:30, I was in the kitchen boiling water for the oatmeal (I scorn instant oatmeal and use only steel-cut oats, which take me about 45 minutes or so to prepare on the stove) when E.S. came downstairs, attired for work. I was concerned, since he doesn’t usually dress in the morning until shortly before leaving the house. Then we had the following conversation:
FAUSTUS: Wait, when are you leaving?
E.S.: In about half an hour.
FAUSTUS: But—but—I won’t be able to finish your oatmeal before then!
E.S.: I guess not. Obviously I need to find a boyfriend who loves me more.
E.S.: No, just kidding. I’m leaving at 8:30.
FAUSTUS: Oh, my God. You were lying to me.
E.S.: I was motivating you.
FAUSTUS: With lies.
E.S.: It’s a currency you’re familiar with.
The only thing that kept me from dumping the oatmeal on his head was the fact that I really like oatmeal.