Some people in Cedar Park held a candlelight vigil for Lucky’s, the Chinese takeout joint that closed when their rent was doubled. I saw the stories and tributes circulating on Facebook. ‘Where else am I going to get fried tofu at 2 a.m.?’ Tim posted. Five years ago, when I lived across the street from Lucky’s, I wrote a poem about the owner.
When I entered he rose up from his dinner and went behind the plexiglass to take my order. ‘One egg roll,’ he repeated, slashing pictographs onto a piece of cardboard. His dull limbs awaited my next move. ‘That’s it?’ ‘That’s it,’ I said. He turned stiffly in the direction of the kitchen and squinted. The smuggler’s fee, the store, the green card, the wife and children, naturalization. Was it worth it? Standing behind a plexiglass wall fourteen hours a day seven days a week dropping egg rolls singly into boiling oil?
the 'singly' really gets me