Shh! It's a Chinese Restaurant

Shh! It's a Chinese Restaurant

A Poem by Lola Nation

It’s Martin Luther King Day.

Which, doesn’t really matter to me

because I am unemployed,

every day is off right now.

 

I am at Po’s Chinese Restaurant.

I order the King Series 103 tea, as usual.

I review the menu and make the same

selection I make every time I come.

 

Rita, the co-owner and head chef,

comes to greet me at my table

and does what I believe is called

“Hul-a-baloo” around me before going back

into her searing hot cave (the kitchen).

 

The waitress is a thin, short-orange haired lesbian

with huge eyes like a Keane’s portrait (circa 1970s).

She apologizes at every opportunity

whether it is to take my order,

refill my water glass, or bringing rice, -

whatever the case " she apologizes.

 

I open my book as is the norm.  I begin to read.

Rita comes through the swinging kitchen doors,

and tells me how nice it is the way I come in and

write a little and then read.  I tell her that I am

very comfortable here.  She says that is nice and leaves

me to my book.

 

The waitress takes this as a landing signal and arrives

in front of me, asking what I am reading.

 

I am embarrassed, it’s not intellectual, it’s part of the

Oprah Winfrey book club collection and I only

picked it up for a short read.  I bet this never

happens to my friend Ryberg, he’s always reading

something that screams academic like Plato or

philosophy-of-some-s**t.  Or my boyfriend, when

someone approaches him, all he has to do is say “sci-fi,”

an instant conversation dead-end for random reading interruptions. 

But no, I’m at a loss for words.

 

I tell the waitress it’s nothing really worth talking about.

She tells me she wishes she read more, her favorite book

was junkie " did I read junkie?  Yes, I tell her, I did.  It was a good book.

She should go up the street to Prospero’s bookstore, I tell her,

and get herself a book to read, it’s a great store, I say awkwardly.

 

I continue to read the book about a southern girl

without a proper home, thinking that her last

name was really Foster because that’s what her family

was called, when I am interrupted again,

by the Chinese waiter who is a student at the local college,

who also asks me what I am reading.  I show him the book

languidly.  He asks me what it is about.

I tell him that I’m just trying to get through it,

I’m not really sure, it’s a southern-out-of-date-thinking

type book that won some prize for crossing racial barriers. 

He tells me he just read a book

after seeing the movie - Wind Talkers.  I nod and refer him to the bookstore

for more books-gone-movies or vice versa.

 

It isn’t until I am home and in my bedroom that I finish

the book, ironically enough, craving an interruption

that never comes to bed until the wee hours

long after I have turned the last page and pulled

the sheets over myself, in a deep sleep.

 

 

 

 

 

 


© 2011 Lola Nation



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Featured Review

Maybe, 'Sorry, it's a Chinese restaurant' :-)

I loved reading this... it flowed along beautifully and captured the ambiance and interest of the restaurant with the hilariously apologetic lesbian waitress and the other empty interrupters... and the final uninterrupted close was a brilliant touch...

I'm so glad I found it... Sorry to go on about it LOL What are you reading now? :-)

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

Maybe, 'Sorry, it's a Chinese restaurant' :-)

I loved reading this... it flowed along beautifully and captured the ambiance and interest of the restaurant with the hilariously apologetic lesbian waitress and the other empty interrupters... and the final uninterrupted close was a brilliant touch...

I'm so glad I found it... Sorry to go on about it LOL What are you reading now? :-)

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

The title is open for discussion...

Posted 6 Years Ago



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Added on January 21, 2011
Last Updated on January 23, 2011

Author

Lola Nation
Lola Nation

Los Angeles, CA



About
Please find my work on these two sites. For poetry: http://insult-to-injury-poetry.blogspot.com/. For short stories: http://make-it-short.blogspot.com/ ABOUT ME: I am originally from Venice Be.. more..

Writing
Careened Careened

A Poem by Lola Nation