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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 13, Number 2, June 2019
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Cherie Hunter Day
Menlo Park, California, USA


Just the Kind of Pretty You Can’t See

This is the church of umami: dragon roll, futomaki, and a stack of lighter-than-air mixed vegetable tempura with a side of extra wasabi. Only the booths are full during the weekend lunch hour. Snippets of conversation permeate the corner nearest the exit. One customer is louder than the rest. He is seated across from a beat-up cardboard box that he dragged in from the parking lot. Unfamiliar with the menu, he asks the server to explain the salmon teriyaki lunch special for $8.99. Is it special rice? The explanation of medium grain sticky rice seems to satisfy him for the moment. While waiting for his meal he makes a dozen calls on his cell phone. Hello, the reason you haven’t been able to reach me is I’ve been in jail for seven weeks…I did nothing wrong…I was held without bail, so a million bucks wouldn’t have made any difference…I’ve done time before. Now, my landlord wants to evict me. She put all my stuff in the carport…My sister said that I violated the restraining order…My dad says he’s afraid of me especially since there’s only one door on his apartment…Yeah, I’ve been in jail for seventeen weeks. I’m thinking compensation for lost salary, here…The guy in the cell across from me stabbed his girlfriend nineteen times…No wait, don’t hang up. Listen, no, I know you probably don’t want to talk to me. Listen! You owe me that much.

candy bowl
near the cash register…
the search for sour apple

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