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Chinese Take-Out Loneliness

May 28, 2006

There is a great Chinese restaurant literally a two-minute walk from my apartment. And it is great. It is well reviewed and the prices are reasonable. The food is always hot, spicy, fresh and there is free tea while you wait. I always get my order to go and pay with my credit card. The first time I went in there, a little Chinese woman took my order of House Chow Mein and Fried Wantons and then I handed her my credit card. She looked at my card and said “Thank you, Nick.” I was happy. Because it has always been my goal to have my favorite restaurants know me by name. She then went on to say “There is hot tea for you Nick.” I poured myself some tea, grabbed a Seattle Weekly and sat smittenly until my food was ready.

She comes over and hands me my bag of food and asks “How many chopstick do you need Nick?” And I replied, just one. A few weeks pass and I have a craving for the House Chow Mein again. I go in and order it and hand her my credit card. She looks at it and goes “I remember you Nick, chopstick for one!” Defeated, I replied, “Yes chopstick for one.”

Every time I go in there she mentions that I only need chopstick for one. Utterly embarrassing. Now, I feel like I need to get a girlfriend not for my own well-being and happiness, but to tell her that I will have the House Chow Mein with chopstick for two.

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