This is part of a series, “Scene from a memoir I haven’t written yet.”
Photo by Team Dalog
That’s the Way the Fortune Cookie Crumbles
Each person cracked open the crisp, sweet cookie to reveal the fortune inside. Laughing, groaning, announcing connections to real life, the ritual circled around the table and drew closer to me.
Having Chinese food at my school on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving break, I knew that in a few hours, I would be getting a phone call telling me my real fortune: the lab results of the biopsy I had the day before.
I was on edge, getting through the day by not thinking about the biopsy. The one time I blurted out something about it, I teared up. Holding anxiety at bay by not thinking about it, I wasn’t ready when the circle of fortune-seeking now came around to me.
Faces expectantly looked, waiting for me to crack open my cookie.
I hesitated, worried about my reaction in front of everyone, but I reminded myself that I wasn’t superstitious and cracked it open.
I looked on both sides, before I read, “Learn Chinese.”
“No,” they laughed, “that’s not the fortune!” They thought I didn’t know how to read a fortune cookie.
I dutifully flipped it over. “Made in the USA.”
I was the only one who didn’t have a fortune. What does it mean if you are waiting for bad news and you don’t get a fortune in your fortune cookie? Good thing I wasn’t superstitious.
I knocked on wood just to be safe.