IÂ dart around the corner, sure I’d get there first this time. Dropped my bag in the place where we drop our bags. Run down steps, almost losing my balance. Turn left again, slipping on the slick surface. Making sure I don’t crash, not because I don’t want to get hurt. Because I’m in the library. And if I crash, It’ll make a lot of noise, and I’ll get in a lot of trouble. I’m a kid, and the last thing I want to do is get in trouble. I see the seats. Still open. Surely I’ll get there before Tommy.Â Tommy alwasy beats me. He’s the teacher’s pet. Well, not the teacher, the lady that reads us stories. He always manages to sit right in front ofÂ her. He can see the pictures the best when she turns the book around to show us. Stupid Tommy. I’m almost there. Four rows back. Two rows. Almost there. NO! Not again! That rat!
Like when I was at the donut shop the other day. I always buy the same donut from the cute Cambodian girl that works behind counter. Chocolate with chocolate frosting with pink and white sprinkles.Â Cute AND delicious.Â Not today, as soon as I walk in, I see another customer. He’s taking MY donut! Does he have any idea? There aren’t any left. What to do? I can’t just stand here. Maybe I’ll go talk to her. Strike up a conversation. Ask her something. Maybe about Cambodia. Then she’d wonder why I’m here. I need to buy someting. I hate this. When you don’t know what to do. Confused. Bewildered. Perplexed.
The same thing happened at the chinese restaurant last week. I drive to the shop, the whole way eating Kung Pau Chicken in my imagination. You know how you can really imagine something, right? Someting you really want. Like you can just see it in your mind?Â I get there. I walk in. No Kung Pau Chicken. Only a few left over pieces of moo shoo pork that looks like it was cooked last week. In a microwave.
Why does this alwasy happen to me? Why do I alwasy get the leftovers? It seems like the more I focus on something, the more it moves out of my reach. Maybe I’m focusing too hard. Like when you really want something bad, and you can’t see all the good stuff around it. Like when you try too hard to do one thing, you neglect to do the important things.
As I contemplate this, I see the cook walk in from the back. He has a freshly made pot of Kung Pau Chicken! Lord Have Mercy!
“I’ll take the three dish combo please…uh, Kung Pau Chiken, and , uh, Kung Pau Chicken, and uh, um, yea, Kung Pau Chicken.”Â All it took was a little patience.
And not only that, while I was thinking of something to say to that cute Cambodian girl, she recommended their apple fritter. “Are these new?” I ask. “No,” she said giggling. “There always here.” I try it. I like it. In fact, I’ve gotten it ever since. Who would have thought? And while Tommy was gloating because he got to beÂ story readersÂ pet and look at all the pictures up close, I got to sit next to the new girl. Debbie.
Funny how things work out.