Hey everyone. I finally finished All the King’s Men and I started reading a book of plays by Sam Shepard. These two books along with Invisible Man have really influenced my writing sample, which I am more than half way through the first revision in. I’m also about half way through Leaves of Grass, which I’m still reading just about every night before I go to sleep. I’ve been wanting to read Great Expectations for a while now, but I also have a book of short stories that I wanted to break into as well. I’ll eventually figure it out.
Anyways, I came up with a story idea. I don’t remember where I got it from. Either a movie or an article in the New Yorker. It’s pretty straight forward. Hope you enjoy.
I’m brought to the dining room and the first thing I notice is her: the one that got away. My nerves are on overdrive and I consider leaving, but just as quickly as I was about to leave, my anxiety turned into anger. Next thing I know, I’m confronting her, really telling her off, treating her as if she isn’t human, and she just sits there. What surprised me more than her actually being there was her motioning for me to sit. I look at her glass and I think about spilling it while leaving in dramatic fashion, but my mind apparently had other plans. I sit down and watch her stare at me.
“Why are you here?” I ask.
“Who’s bright idea was this?”
“What do you mean yours? Mine? How could it be mine?”
“You didn’t have to sit. You could have just left. You still can, if you want.”
“That doesn’t answer my question,” I try to explain.
“You’re here because you asked me to come, to make amends, and I said that would be nice.”
We just broke up, I thought. Why would I want to make amends? When I break up with a girl, they’re out of my life for good. There’s no second chance. I’ve told her this multiple times. Does she think she’s special or something? Because she isn’t, if that’s what you’re wondering.
“That’s bullshit. You know how I do things.”
“Were you drinking again?” she asks sarcastically.
“When?” I respond genuinely.
“The other day.”
“Jesus Christ, come on!” she suddenly yells. Everyone around quietly glances over their shoulders, wondering what the commotion is.
“What?” I ask, even louder. “What did I do?”
“How often are you drinking?”
“What’s it to you?”
“I’ll just assume you were drunk then.”
I notice how less than five minutes into the night, we’re arguing like we used to. I apologize, because I honestly didn’t mean to play with her emotions like this, and tell her I’m going to leave. As soon as I go to get up, a waiter comes by, serving us dim-sum.
“What is this?” I ask the waiter.
The waiter looks at me and gives me a nod of approval. I ask for two, because I don’t want to eat alone. I try a bite and an explosion of savory pork bursts in my mouth. The sweet bun keeping it all together compliments the pork perfectly.
“It’s good, right?”
“I’ve never had anything better. Are they coming around again?”
“Yes, but with different stuff,” she explains.
“I don’t know, shrimp and stuff.”
“What kind of stuff?”
“I don’t know.”
“Haven’t you been here before? You should know?”
“What does it matter? I thought you were going to leave.”
She was right. I was, and I should. As soon as the next waiter comes, I’ll tell him we’re done. They’ll understand.
“Yes?” asks the waiter, pointing to the plate of shrimp, wrapped in a clear translucent wrapping. I look across the table, seeking approval, and she nods her head. I nod mine to the waiter and ask him what it is. He says it’s called Har Gow. I try to remember, but once I took a bite after dipping it in the hot pepper sauce and soy sauce, I instantly forgot.
“Good?” she asks again.
There are no words to describe this food. Again, I nod.
“You were about to say something before, I think.”
“Me?” I ask.
“I don’t remember.”
“Of course you don’t.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” I ask with food still in my mouth.
“Are you still hung up about your mother’s? Look, I told you that I had a long week and–“
“Bullshit. You know you were with someone else. We aren’t together anymore, so you might as well be honest for once in your life.”
“Alright, I was with someone else. Does that make you feel better?”
“What the fuck!” she yells. The sound of silence overwhelms the entire restaurant. I gesture to everyone that we’re okay and silently apologize. She goes to get up, but another waiter comes by with potstickers. I recognized these immediately, and begged her to stay, so we don’t cause a bigger scene. She reluctantly agrees and I nod to the waiter.
“Good?” I ask, after a couple moments of silence pass between the two of us.
She looks up and her face is glowing, like it used to when we used to make love, but she just says they’re alright, still trying to pretend that she’s mad.
“How could you?” she asks.
“Cheat on me? Was I not good enough?”
“This isn’t the time or place.”
“We’re over. What does it matter?”
“Do you enjoy making me feel worthless?”
“What kind of question is that?”
“I bet you do.”
“It was the fear of getting caught,” I blurt out.
“I didn’t want to get caught, which made it more exciting.”
“Explains why you couldn’t get it up when we were doing it ourselves.”
Again, I try to get up, but another waiter comes by with more food. All of this food is so new to me and again, I forgot about the girl sitting across the table and ordered for the two of us. This time, we got these little deep-fried balls of dough filled with pork fried rice. Each bite made me forget less and less about the past. I look across the table and at first, I saw nothing but heartache, but now I simply don’t care who she is or was to me.
“You know you could have just watched porn or something. I know I’m not the freak you wanted me to be, but you knew I didn’t have a problem with you watching it.”
“I did watch it,” I explain nonchalantly.
“You realize some girls view watching porn as a form of cheating, right?”
“And that still wasn’t enough for you?”
“No, I guess not.”
“You’re an ass. Goodbye.”
She gets up and storms off. I try to calm her down, but to no avail. It’s a cold winter day and I realize I forgot my jacket inside. I tell her to wait outside and not to go anywhere. I apologized again and it looked like she actually forgave me. I run in to get my jacket and the waiter standing at the table with another round of food asks if everything’s okay. I tell him I’m fine and then the smell of the food hit me. I had to ask, so I did. Roasted duck, with a soy-ginger glaze on top. I take my time eating it, enjoying every bite. While I was eating the duck, the pork buns came back out and I couldn’t ignore them.
Everything was so good. I ate until I was stuffed. I felt disgusting and inhuman. There is no possible way anyone or anything could eat as much as I did. On the walk home, I wonder how I ended up there in the first place, but the amount of food I ate, which could probably feed an entire African village, was too much for me to handle. My main focus was to get home alive, and fall asleep for the rest of the day. I also promised myself I’d go back as soon as possible.