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Grand Chinese Kitchen

Grand Chinese Kitchen

by Christopher Linforth

The TV couple come in every night to the restaurant. They order water, then set up their portable TV on the edge of the table. Mr. TV tunes the channel to sports, the Indians game. Mrs. TV waits for her husband to order his chow mein. Then she flips the channel to a rerun of a daytime soap. She basks in the doctor’s affairs, his flirting with the nurses and the lonely housewife. Mr. TV flirts with me, so his wife angles the TV her way. I put in their order and observe the TV couple from the kitchen doorway: their hands tangle on the channel knob. There’s a snarl, a clatter of silverware on the floor. I bring the TV couple their egg drop soup. The wife is crying at something on the screen, and the husband is watching her.

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