i still remember: spinning the lazy susan like it was a gameshow wheel, cracking open fortune cookies as if they were a prize and picking the tiniest morsel of food on my plate with chopsticks. there was something magical about going to eat at chinese restaurants, which we did all the time as a family when i was growing up, and there still is. it’s the noise, and the smell, and the shine of the place.
last night, i filled everyone’s cups with tea and scooped spoonfuls of rice on their plates. i went for firsts and seconds and thirds, spinning the wheel ’round and ’round, bumping glasses with spoons, shifting the plates around, then giving it another spin. the restaurant was nothing like the holes-in-the-wall my parents discovered, but the food was good and the company was better.
when the fortune cookies were passed around, i grabbed the first one my hand touched, my silly superstitious way of ensuring that i get the one meant for me. “you will inherit a large sum of money,” it read. i laughed at the thought that it might actually happen, then slipped it in my pocket just in case it does. it’s as if that tiny slip of paper holds the hope and i don’t want to let it go.