Antonio Aiello

Antonio Aiello is the online editor for PEN American Center where he co-authored and edited PEN’s Handbook for Writers in Prison. His most recent work can be read at or on his web site, He lives in Montclair, New Jersey with his wife and two children. See all of Antonio Aiello's contributions to Revolving Floor here.

Rare Groove: Breaking it Down
Essay & Film
Tiki Island Grace

It all started with a fried egg. One egg, fried in bacon grease in a cast-iron skillet—bathed really—the yolk runny, the whites blistered and bubbled, the edges crispy. The best way to eat a bacon-fried egg was on white toast slathered with mayonnaise, piled with bacon, and doused in Worcestershire sauce. This is how my dad liked his eggs before he found out he had high cholesterol. The fried egg sandwich was cheap and filling and satisfying enough to be eaten for any meal. But it was also indulgent and dirty and served with the unspoken knowledge that despite being so undeniably good, it was a little bad—artery clogging bad—so there would be no seconds. This is the egg of my childhood, my primordial egg, my platonic form of egg, the egg that defines who I am. It’s also the egg that marks my dark years of