The Restaurant

by Anthony Keers

The drink started to enter a later stage of its poisonous journey with in us. I noticed that Max's walk was quickly deteriorating; swaying from side to side he tried to maintain a straight line. He did indeed have some comparisons to an early Victorian Irish village drunkard. With these effects slowly worsening, we decided to line our stomachs with some Chinese food. Due to the fact it was half 12 at night, all of the Chinese restaurants in China town had long been closed, but as we made our way through the streets and alleys, I noticed a bright pink neon sign placed above a wooden door saying open. I turned to max and told him we've found the place. We walked inside and a huge flight of stairs leading to another wooden door lay before us. There must have been 30 steps in all. At the time I had no suspicions of anything strange until we reached the top. A paper sign, which looked like it had been soaked in coffee to gain an aged look, was stuck on the wall next to the door with an arrow wrote on it. It seemed to be pointing to a white and black doorbell. As drunk and hungry as I was, I happily rang the doorbell and waited.

A few seconds past before it opened and we were allowed inside. The room we entered was small and dimly lit. A reception desk stood a few steps in front of us. As we approached it, we looked around the room and noticed two red leather sofas to the left and right of us. On these sofas sat two mildly, appearance pleasing women (although, the dimness of the light may have played in their favour), dressed only in their underwear. They casually smoked cigarettes as if they were at their own home. These scantly dressed women in front of me didn't alter the fact that I still believed this was a Chinese restaurant.

We approached a middle aged Chinese woman who sat behind the desk. Without a hello or any kind of greeting, she went straight to the punch line, "blow job or fuck?". I responded in the most childish, high-pitched voice possible,

"Can I have some lemon chicken please?"

Like a comedy show at a theatre, the small room suddenly irrupted in huge laughter. Sat behind the woman was a huge figure of a man; dressed in black from his t-shirt to his shoes. I assumed he was the bouncer. He affected me the most, as his deep low laughter held such a belittling tone to it. I knew that it would continue, whenever he told his huge, bald headed bouncer friends at his local public house about me.

"This isn't no Chinese restaurant!" she answered in her broken English.

I then knew she was right. I smiled and said sorry, informing her that my stupidity was down to myself being intoxicated. Max, however, throughout the situation had kept sensibly quiet. He had been eyeing up a bowl full of sphere, white mints placed just in front of the woman. He casually reached over and attempted to take one. With this act, the woman's hand lashed out and slapped him on the wrist.

"Those are for clients!" she said, in a now changed tone.

"Ah please? I'm really hungry" Max replied.

With his question, she backed down and allowed him to take two. He gave me one and we made our way out. Only once the mint was in my mouth and slowly dissolving did I think to myself, how many dirty, hairy handed men had reached in that bowl, most probably unwashed from the fiendish act they had just partook in a few minutes before, and fondled those mints? To late to spit out, I accepted this thought and headed to another bar.

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