Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Empty Fortune Cookie

Oh God said to Abraham, "Kill me a son"
Abe says, "Man, you must be puttin' me on"
God say," No." Abe say, "What?"
God say, "You can do what you want Abe, but
The next time you see me comin' you better run" - from "Highway 61 Revisited", Bob Dylan

Chocolate Fortune Cookies, Lychees, New York
Sitting in a restaurant on East 55th Street with my American friend Sol. "Lychees" - American Chinese food.

I knew it was American Chinese when, after our "appetizers" (first course), the waiter picked up our dirty knives and put them back on the linen tablecloth, to be re-used for our "mains". Or as they call the main courses in the US,"entrées".

A pleasant evening. And at the end, the obligatory fortune cookies.

"Oooh they are chocolate!" my friend Sal exclaimed. Ho hum, what did I care? After the culinary delights of my home town of Melbourne, chocolate fortune cookies were just SO-uninteristing. 

Still I smiled and started to unwrap mine.

I stared aghast. My cookie was empty. I checked the two halves -  I held one in each hand. Empty shells. No sliver of paper with a trite message. Just darkness. Nothing. Rien.

A void. A complete nothingness.

"Look!" I showed my friend. "I have no fortune! I am no more! I am empty. There's nothing here. I am a blank."

He laughed. "I never saw an empty fortune cookie before - a true abscess!" he said.

Well, as I said, he is an American friend. Still, amidst my horror and despondency I corrected him.

You mean an "abyss," I said.

"Sure," he replied.

I sat there, staring at my message-less fortune cookie. Looking at the blankness, the abyss. The nothingness. Deadness.

American-like, my friend called the waiter."My friend has no future," he explained. "Can you get her another cookie?"

The waiter obliged.

Resigned, I accepted. The new cookie had a message. Something unmemorable. I can't remember what it said. My mind was fixated on the prior nothingness fortune.

We paid the bill. Evening over.

As my friend and I parted, each going our different ways on 55th Street, he said, "Text me tomorrow if you are still alive."

"Sure," I said.

And stared into the abyss that is New York.


Peter Green said...

I "stared into the abyss that is New York".

My friend has been in America too long. I correct her.

You mean "abscess", Kate.

Anonymous said...

You ranking on us illiterate Yanks again, Kate? ;-)

chinamonty said...

A fortune cookie that is empty! It is telling you that "No news is good news"!

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