Saturday January 11 2014

Illustration by Steve Dressler.[i]

Waking up at 10:50 a.m.

Strawberry Honey Bunches of Oats with Almond Milk.

All day shift at China Wok.


Just another day on the job – bagging the fried noodles, restocking the counter, prepping takeout bags, etc.

Egg Salad Sandwich with Tomato. Lentil Chips. Honey Black Tea.

Enriching myself with recently downloaded podcasts from This American Life and Radiolab about a frozen body found perfectly in tact in the Alps that's over 5,000 years old and an interesting research into whether or not pig rectum is being used as imitation calamari.

PB&J Chocolate Bar.

At the restaurant after returning from a delivery I watch Janice beg Cecily to jump rope with her, as far as I can figure. But her mom is unamused and doesn't want to be disturbed. Janice begins to whine and bursts out in shocking tears after her mother reprimands her and slaps her. The phone rings and I answer but I can barely hear the customer on the other line because of the little girl's screams. I have never heard before such deafening cries come from a child. Cecily starts yelling ferociously at Janice to shut up. It appears to be borderline abuse. This is no place for a child where work stress intertwines with family relationships.

Honey Crisp Apple.

After 8 o'clock I'm waiting at the intersection of First Colonial and Laskin when I hear an alarming melodic sound. I look over and there's a trumpet player on the corner blowing out familiar pop tunes. It's probably the most appropriate instrument you can play on this street because the volume supercedes the sound of cars rushing by. It's not like he can collect any kind of tip so it would seem he's doing it for his own enjoyment and to brighten everyone's evening from the drizzly windy weather.

Fried Chicken with Broccoli, Onions, Carrots, Garlic Sauce, and Rice.

Off work and back home. Stephanie and Ana are throwing a 2014 Kickoff Panda Party, which was supposed to be in honor of Amanda Paramore but she is absent. I don't spend much time downstairs mingling. I'd rather decompress in my room.


At some point Darren enters my room seeking solace and quiet. He sits down in the corner by the book shelves where Ana normally sits and talks about the question marks bouncing around in his mind.

I offer Ana my assistance in the kitchen for her Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies. The first batch comes out a little wet. Adding a little flour to the next batch makes it better. A few new faces appear, some old friends of Ana's and other people from around town. I sip on a Hard Cider and chitchat with the crowd.

I'm terribly tired. I resign in my room despite the lingering commotion downstairs. Turning the lights off and turning up the speakers to nostalgic bedtime music, the purpose being to overpower the noise outside the room so I can relax. Eventually, Ana joins me under the covers.

[i] Illustration by Steve Dressler.

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