Christmas Eve dinner

by mandaceehb

so this is what it spirals down to

Christmas Eve dinner in a Chinese restaurant

unabashed to be playing Chinese New Year music

45 minutes of a car ride late

a messy fight breaks

grandma has it the worst,

straddled between two sons and

their families

she has done up her hair today

gleaming string of pearls around her neck

it is terribly awkward and unprecedented

looks like this was not the extravaganza she

dolled up for

i come back from the restroom

to 8 stoic silent countenances post-quarrel

i rehearse my poker face,

having missed the entire show

i wonder what the other diners thought about us

i wonder what the waiters and waitresses thought about us

we are seated at a long table

but it cuts perfectly down the middle

we order dishes separately

pay bills separately

talk in imaginary divides

grandma wishes us ‘Merry Christmas’

and hands us red packets the same shade as her blouse

we whisper thanks

it is terribly awkward but eventually inevitable

every auspicious element has been pulverised

we are in a Chinese restaurant

where one of the most promoted values is family

it is terribly ironic and bitter