Monthly Archives: May 2014

A NIGHT AT THE PARLOUR ROOM

Hollywood

“Where are you from?” she asked.
“San Francisco,” I told her.
“No, I mean — where are you from? Korea, Japan, China…?”
Oh.
Oh.
Oh.
I see now.
Where am I from.
Where
am
I
from.
I searched her face.
Hispanic, late 20s, early 30s.
Seemed smart.
Maybe not.
A smirk on my face.
“Guess,” I said.
“Well, your face has angles and it’s not that round, so you can’t be Chinese. You’re drinking beer and you’re out on a Saturday night so maybe you’re Korean. You look Vietnamese though. Your eyes, they look kind of dangerous. I mean, except for your glasses. So I would say, Vietnamese.”
I looked around the bar for a mirror.
There was one to the side, reflecting the flickers of candlelight drowning in the shadows of the bar. With my slanty eyes given to me by my parents from Hong Kong, I glanced at it for a second. It mirrored back the girl sitting next to me in the tight black pants and beret.
Who was she?
Where was she from?
Did I even care.
“So, Vietnamese… Are you sure? Is that your final answer?” I asked.
She smiled.
She brushed her hair back underneath her beret.
“Yes, you are Vietnamese. Final answer.”
I nodded.
“That’s a good guess. You are very perceptive,” I said.
“I knew it! My friend dated a Vietnamese guy!” she screamed as she almost fell off her stool.
I looked at my beer bottle. I scratched the blue label. The corner came clean off.
“How was he?” I asked.
“He was kind of a jerk. A little bit of a mommy’s boy too. But he brought her flowers every Sunday. And he took her to Angels games. She’s a big Angels fan. He was all right.”
“So you’re into jerks too,” I said.
“No!”
She hit me with her hand. She slurred a little. “That’s my friend. I like nice guys.”
“You like nice Vietnamese guys,” I said.
“Oh yeah,” she said. “Where I’m from, Irvine, there are a lot of Vietnamese people. It’s cool. I get along with them.”

I looked over as a blonde walked by.
Words came out of my mouth:
“We Vietnamese do love baseball. And we can be dangerous. Especially on Saturday nights, near closing time.”
She laughed. “You are so funny!” Her thigh touched mine. “You’re probably a mommy’s boy too. It’s cute.”

I thought about a girl I liked from work. What was she doing right now? On this Saturday night near closing time?

She was probably in bed, after an evening of SNL and carrot sticks.

My paramour from parts unknown rubbed her leg into me some more.
“I wanna dance but my drink’s all gone and I feel shy,” she whined.
“Not only that, there’s no dance floor here,” I said.
She screamed with laughter and almost fell off her chair again.
I looked at her.
She was cute.

In Hollywood, this counts as a good night.

I motioned the bartender over.