In the fifth-floor apartment of a building with no elevator, he was old and alone now because his wife had died first. One of his children lived nearby and arranged to have bento delivered to his door four times a week. Three times a week they had him over. Used to be three times bento and four times over when there were two of them. He didn’t mind the new arrangement. He’d rather not eat at someone else’s table, especially his daughter-in-law’s. He never did like her cooking and his wife berated him every time he asked for pork fluff to go with his rice. She said if someone was going to have them over and feed them, especially their daughter-in-law, he should just be thankful and eat what was on the table. Now that he was old and alone because his wife had died first, he ate boiled broccoli for breakfast, doctor’s orders. With each floret he added pork fluff right out of the bag. Sometimes fish fluff. He figured he would eat a whole plate of boiled broccoli if it meant he didn’t have to sit on the toilet for a long time and be sore. He figured that was important in case there were more years left than necessary.
Tiffany Hsieh was born in Taiwan and moved to Canada at the age of fourteen. Her fiction and poetry have appeared or are forthcoming in Cosmonauts Avenue, Gordon Square Review, Juked, The Malahat Review, Passages North, Poet Lore, Room, Salamander, The Shanghai Literary Review, and others. Her work has been nominated for Best Microfiction and Best Small Fictions. She lives in southern Ontario.
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