He peered into his egg drop soup. He tried not to get his snot in it. It came with the combo meal that he got from the 5′ 2″ fresh-off-the-boat Cantonese girl he thought was cute. She never judged him for getting for getting Chinese food four times a week. Chopsticks, right?, she’d say seeming like she had marbles in her mouth, happily laying two in the bag for the overweight fuck. He was eating alone. Again. He was simply another customer, and she could barely hear his pathetic murmurs through her knock-off airpods. T-thanks!
The pint of egg drop soup was what he needed. Growing up, partially out of parsimony and partially out of poverty, his family never went to see the doctor. What was the point? Doc would tell you that you are sick. Here’s some antibiotics. Now go pay the co-pay. The true doctor was in egg drop soup and the ultimate sugary cure – orange juice. Tropicana, extra pulp. Drink a whole fucking gallon. 300 grams of sugar, fresh from Florida™. You’ll be fine.
The egg drop soup loomed on the table. It was filled with dirty dishes, PBR cans, an empty Brita filter that beeped red. The piss color soup looked back at him. He candidly made a whirlpool out of it. Pushed his chopsticks through the broth thicker than an Instagram PAWG. In the soup he saw a reflection of himself. The bits of dubious egg in the oleaginous broth looked like the way mosquito-spawn swim in stagnant water. Looming like flotsam. Dropped by the ship’s crew into the water to offset ship weight. Chunks of the cure, just floating away. This is what I needed.
The doctor isn’t for you. He lied to himself. Symptoms. Coughing. Green plbem. Spit. Spit in anything around you. On the Bernie 2016 t-shirt. In the PBR can. In the cup. Spit like an underpaid pornstar just trying it out. More soup. More orange juice. The voice of his father rang in his head. Suck it up, you’re going to school tomorrow. Symptoms. Chest pain. Headaches. Need some head-on. Apply directly to the head.
With sickness came the fever dreams, the laying awake, the waking up at ungodly hours. He finished his pork fried rice and boneless BBQ spare ribs. When he spoke the Cantonese girl on the phone he left out the articles too. Pork fried rice egg roll. Phone number now. No need for the extra space. It was a waste anyway. He left soup out. Laid on futon. Pidgin English made sense.
The days drew by. Congested chest down to a stuffy nose. Blow it out on a t-shirt. I’ll be good tomorrow. He hadn’t showered in four days. He didn’t care. All he wished he had was that acne-ridden Cantonese girl from the Chinese restaurant. She’d smell like the uncleaned fryer. They’d have little spawn. Like the mosquito larvae in the egg drop soup. You’ll be fine.