Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Yen King

by Phil Ginsburg

One summer in the city I wanted to end it all
I was so depressed I didn't even have the energy to kill myself
The only thing that kept me alive was a new Chinese restaurant being built
Across the street from my hotel

I decided I would go opening day
It would be my last meal, much like you give a prisoner on death row
The night of his execution

I waited about three weeks for the place to be built
And then came the big day when they put out the red, white and blue flags
On a string

I got dressed in a sport jacket
I wasn't ready to eat in public so I ordered take out
Bringing back a noodle dish, fried rice and egg drop soup to my room

The plan was to eat and die
I wasn't even going to open the fortune cookie

The food was awful
Salty, greasy and the soup carton leaked
I had prolonged my useless life for three months just for this moment

I started to laugh
The first laugh in a year
And then I laughed more and more and soon I was laughing so hard I was crying
And there was fried rice and noodles all over me and I didn't care

After that I decided life was better than death
Two weeks later I moved out of the city for about three years

When I moved back I discovered the Yen King was still there
The red brick facade now the color light soy sauce

I stopped at the door and thought of peeking in and telling the owner
How his lousy food once saved my life
And how grateful I was to him and his staff

But I reasoned that these people had to deal with the strange characters
in the Cantonese language everyday

They didn't need one more coming into their restaurant.

1 comment:

  1. HA,HA...too Chinese restaurants as well...but you have to go to China town...for the best one's. Glad you're still here....hope you have better Chinese restaurants where you live now!