8. The One
You’re a dreamer with a stable income. You call from an inside space sheltered from weather and traffic noises, where reception is flawless. You say “Hello” before starting to order the chicken with broccoli, but then pause mid-sentence, and ask, “Actually, do you have any favorites?” Upon recommendation, you choose the spicy bamboo shoots with a side of dan dan noodles. You run about five minutes early, but insist that there is no rush. You pay with exact change and then stand off to the side, allowing other customers to ingress and egress. When the food is ready, you open the bag and fish out the fortune cookie, which you eat on the spot. You ask for help pronouncing the Chinese characters on the back of the fortune. The pronunciation is way off. You laugh, blush, try again. Before turning away for the door, you take another menu from the counter. For next time.