Spoons at the Ready

Today is the day.

I walk into the darkly lit room, excitement filling the air. I pretend to look at the menu as if I do not know exactly what I want so as not to look too eager. The person in front of me has finished paying.

My time has come.

My order is memorized and the I know exactly what to do.

I step up, smile and immediately say, “I will have the chili pepper ramen, original toppings with beef please.”

The rest is a blur. I pay, grab my order marker and utensils, and then head to the back table with my friends.

This is our tradition. Every few weeks we head over to Republic Ramen on university and get ready to feast. We always get the same thing each time, and we have never been disappointed. There is some small talk while we wait, but mostly we are watching for the waitress to come out with those gloriously huge bowls.

It is time.

She walks towards me and makes eye contact. She quickly looks away and changes her course to the table next to us.

Disappointment.

A few minutes later she returns, this time heading straight for me. She sets the bowl down on the table and I know it is mine. The sensational smell of the garlic mixed with chili fills the air. I am tortured by this smell as she delivers the rest of the bowls to my friends, slowly but surely they arrive.

As soon as the final bowl hits the table we all make eye contact, spoons at the ready.

We dive into the warm deliciousness of our bowls, not to resurface for at least a few minutes.

What a time to be alive.

Another audio version of the story can be found here.

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