A Story From Real:Put Down, Pick Up

A Story From Real:Put Down, Pick Up

Date:Jul 22, 2020

On the evening of July 20th, a barbecue food market near Xianglong West Road in Changsha County was waiting for guests at table 6. Recently, a guy ordered a barbecue here for 10 days and waited for his beloved. Photo / Reporter Zhang Yunfeng

At night, Changsha's major restaurants, night snacks, bars and other places began to lively. They not only welcome a group of people who expect to spend a happy time, but also open a door for those who are looking forward to passing away their depression, making them feel that this place can accommodate their loneliness and accompany them to wait for the unknown future.

In this city, at every table, there are people with stories. Those restaurant, supper, bar owners may have seen and heard countless sad and sentimental stories. Ms. Zhang, the proprietress of a barbecue restaurant near Xingsha Xianglong West Road, recently met such a special guest.

Every time I come, I sit in the corner, and I’m lost in two bites.

"Every time he comes in, he sits in that position and sits for two or three hours before leaving. This lasted 10 days." Ms. Zhang told reporters.

"That location" is a corner of Ms. Zhang's barbecue restaurant. Her shop opens at 5pm and closes at 3am. The warm yellow light and the aroma of meat and wine make up the warm look of a "late night canteen". A week ago, a thin male customer who was always alone and wearing glasses caught her attention.

Ms. Zhang noticed him on the 7th day of his consecutive visit, July 13. After the male customer came, she asked him "how many people" as usual. He didn't say a word, made a "2" gesture, and walked straight to the least crowded table in the store with no air conditioning. Sitting down to order, he pointed his finger at a few signature dishes on the menu, such as fresh abalone and garlic prawns, beef skewers, grilled yellow croaker, etc. There was more than enough for two people.

In the flashing room where the menu was retrieved, she remembered that it seemed that this male customer had appeared in this position for the seventh day, from 6:30 to 8:30 every night.

The unnamed male customer, about 20 years old, dressed casually and had a small build. After I came, I sat on the side of the corner chair with the back of the hall, with a dull expression and thoughtfulness, ordering, eating, and after two bites, I started to fall in love, only occasionally looking at the phone. Strangely, the person he was waiting for had never been there, but he had been waiting.

This male customer ordered a table for 7 days, but ate alone alone. Unable to restrain her curiosity, Ms. Zhang decided to ask him why. At half past six, the restaurant had not yet entered the peak dining period, and it only took about 20 minutes to prepare the dishes. Ms. Zhang brought the freshly fried lobsters, set aside the dishes, and asked him "Why are you here alone? Are you waiting for someone?".

The man froze for a moment and said, "I'm waiting for a girl." As for what kind of girl, what happened between the two, did she agree to meet at this barbecue restaurant but did not show up, Ms. Zhang looked at him expressionlessly , I didn’t ask much. I can only guess two points from his persistence and loneliness.

On the 10th day, the lady boss said "You are not worth it"

"Every time he comes, he orders the same dishes, enough for two people. For example, there are about 16 lobsters for two catties in our family. He eats three or four lobsters. He also orders two bottles of beer, not necessarily all. He ordered the girl's favorite food, and has been waiting for her to eat with him.

Since Ms. Zhang noticed that the male customer had been sitting in that fixed position and waiting, she helped him reserve a place. "I can't do anything else, just leave this table to him. If a customer wants that place, they say someone has already reserved it."

This situation continued until the 10th day, when the man wearing a black T-shirt and blue jeans came to the old place in the shop, ordered a good meal, and sat without a clear expression. After serving the dishes, he moved two mouthfuls and stared at the dishes in a daze.

Finally, Ms. Zhang couldn't help stepping forward, before he thought about how to talk, he suddenly raised his head. Ms. Zhang couldn't bear to say to him, "You wait here every day, but the girl hasn't appeared, so I think you are not worth it."

After hearing these words, he had no expression, lowered his head, and did not react at all, so Ms. Zhang had to leave awkwardly.

From the 11th day, the man never appeared again

On the eleventh day, Ms. Zhang kept the table until after nine o'clock in the evening, and did not see him come, and did not show up after that.

He has figured it out, and he no longer uses endless waiting to fill up and paralyze himself.

Ms. Zhang left a table for him to give the watchman in the restaurant a fixed breathing space, creating a harbour for escaping from reality and self-paralysis in his helplessness without hope. And the words that reminded him of doing "useless work" ended his waiting.

He just didn't know what those words were, for him, it was redemption, relief, or driftwood overturned in the turbulence.

Like everyone in the city at night, carrying the burden of life and walking in the feasting and feasting, they have their own unspeakable secrets, which are stored in a corner that is cold or warm, or no one cares about, or is cared for.



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