Is It Racist?

This post, as the title implies, might stir some feathers. Probably not. I’m not a racist. I know that’s the trademark thing racists say about themselves, but anyone that knows me knows I’m not (another thing racists usually say). Just trust me. I’m just pulling you into the post, getting you on the edge of your seat.

This is a short story I wrote with my new Lamy fountain pen that I got for Christmas. I hope you all had a very happy holiday, by the way! I, as a writer, am apparently in the wrong century — a fountain pen and typewriter at my disposal.

Anyway, I know this is the first post in a while, so I’ll just jump right in.

Is It Racist?

Nothing would have pleased the man from Great Neck more on this blustery, winter day than a bowl of seafood tom yum. The spicy, sour broth would warm him up from the inside.

Knowing the dish even existed outside the realm of lemon chicken, clay pot pearl noodle soup, and chicken satay should have been a giveaway to the waitress who took the man’s order with too big of a smile on her face.

The man noticed every table in the restaurant had a set of disposable wooden chopsticks except his. Large families sitting at the circular tables in the middle of the floor passed around a metal tea pot filled with what smelled like jasmine tea, which was also missing from his table.

The food smelled delicious when it came out. The waitress smiled at the man. “I’m surprised you like this dish,” she said. “I’ve ordered this before,” the man replied. Embarrassed, the waitress left the man silverware and rushed back to her friend behind the counter near the front of the restaurant.

The man wanted to grab the waitress’ attention and ask for chopsticks, or to tell her off, but didn’t know how the situation would turn out. He was reluctant to start anything unless he felt confident he knew the outcome.

Was it right to play it safe and bite his tongue? He finished the rest of his soup, left a tip slightly less than the usual twenty percent, and went back out in the cold — to go home this time, unable to determine what could have been done differently.

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