I-Land is where memories and experiences turn into short stories, personal journal entries and narration in first person, part memoir, part fiction, exploring topics such as the relation between humans and the societies they live in.

The True Colors Of An Express Breakfast: The Juices

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[Previously on The True Colors Of An Express Breakfast: You prefer something cooler. Something equally potent but colorful and zingy. Which brings us to the OJ . . .]

The orange juice! Fragrant, refreshing citrus miracle, full of vitamins, minerals and acid, ingredients perfectly suited to destroy the tenacious bacon with. Ideal for a hot and demanding day, the breakfast of champions, and not much of a strain on your digestive system. Not only does the juice on offer help with digestion, aiding your stomach to break down all the food items on the menu, it also provides you with a healthy dose of minerals such as zinc and magnesium, even iron, which it gathers from the rusty tubes inside the machine that dispenses it — yes, it comes in a machine, which pours it out like a bad case of the runs — but who cares? If we stopped to complain about every dispensing machine out there and how they seem to be expelling our food out to us, we wouldn’t be eating anything.

Back to the minerals this OJ is full of. Apart from rust — I mean iron — there’s also calcium, that ever-so-valuable substance we need for healthy bones and memory, which accumulates in the form of plaque around the dispenser’s inner hydraulics. Hard water, you see, from which the drink is made of.

Then there’s the arsenic, again from the low-grade hard water the juice is made with. I’m not sure if arsenic is a mineral, but it’s definitely worth mentioning. You didn’t know? There’s low doses of arsenic found in a bunch of processed fruit juices.

Then there’s the powder and artificial flavors and colors the juice contains. They give it the zingy flavor we love so much. Especially kids. Kids love that taste!

And if you don’t like orange juice, you can try any of the other four juices on offer — apple, cranberry, grape, beet — all of them readily available, care of the juice machine — not the juicing machine, where fresh fruit are squeezed or mashed, but the juice machine where plastic bags containing juice concentrates are hung from tiny hooks inside metal chambers, sagging like IV fluids with opaque catheter tubes carrying their contents to the holes situated under the flashy buttons, up front, where, when you press with your finger, a valve opens and the juice runs into your cup, drip by dripping drop, the first of which is always that last drop that never fell when the previous guest served himself, the drop that’s been sitting there for god knows how long, drying up around the mouth of the valve.

Doesn’t it all sound mouth-wateringly delicious? Machine-dispensed juice, eggzema, sausage and tarp-bacon, tar-coffee, putty bread, runny syrup, radioactive cereal . . . Honestly now! Would anyone in their right mind turn down such a fine, delectable breakfast, especially when it’s free?

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