Saturday, September 25, 2010

Roger's Back!

In 1987 I married a woman and she had a daughter and the 3 of us plus Brad were all addicted to Chinese food, more specifically House Special Chicken, number 14. We lived around 32nd St. and Cactus and there was an old Bonanza Stake House converted to a China Village, which is a Chinese restaurant, not a village. We ate there for several years until one day it closed, due to poor attendance. Another astute observation was that many of the same people that worked there occasionally worked at other Chinese restaurants across the valley and they were all one family. They had locations at 90th St. and Shea, 27th St. and Indian School and the 32nd St. location already mentioned. At some point I became addicted to number 14, House Special Chicken. Our waiter Roger was a constant at the 32nd Street place. One day, it and he were just gone. I think that was around 1990. Roger would come to our table and even though he had nothing to say, he'd just stand there. At first I thought he was attracted to my cute step-daughter, but he would do it when just Brad and I were there too. It's just how Roger was.

Friday I had an appointment to get iron infusion and Eugie called me Friday morning and asked me if I wanted to have lunch. I did! I told her that I needed to be somewhere at 2 PM and she said she be happy to go with. I asked her if she liked Chinese food and she said YES! I was almost overcome with emotion. I cannot for the life of me, find anyone that likes that Chinese restaurant but ME! When she agreed to go, tears formed in my eyes. I hadn't been to that place for almost a year and my mouth watered all the way there. I talked Eugie into trying number 14 and she agreed. Guess what? She loved it. I may have found a partner to eat House Special Chicken with.

During the feast, I looked up and you'll never guess who was walking towards us with our egg drop soup? Twenty years had gone by and it really pissed me off that Roger did not have one gray hair and a full head of jet black hair. As he approached our table, you could see the slow recognition and by the time he got near us, he had this big shit eating grin on his face saying with his heavy accent, "I lemember you"! Well, I remembed Roger too, as he parked himself just smiling for an uncomfortable amount of time, saying nothing. I kept saying, "It must be 20 years", "Time sure flies" yet Roger wouldn't budge, just kept standing there nodding and smiling.

We headed for the doctor's office so I could get my iron. I sure do take my dates to nice places, huh?


Jules said...

No comment, as I am not allowed.

Anonymous said...

Well, I think I'll comment. "Been there, done that, got the t-shirt and I hate it." NMS

PS: So glad you and E enjoyed it though...Now they have TWO customers!