The daily serial fictional based on Chicago's Boystown neighborhood: Boystown series by Danny Bernardo

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12. Chinatown

Charlie was all hugged and kissed out as he and Eddy waved goodbye to their parents as they got in a cab to O'Hare. "You'd think the last place they'd want to go for dinner after a week in Beijing would be Chinatown," said Eddy, placing the leftover dim sum in the fridge. "Nom, nom, nom," said

12. Chinatown
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Charlie was all hugged and kissed out as he and Eddy waved goodbye to their parents as they got in a cab to O'Hare.

"You'd think the last place they'd want to go for dinner after a week in Beijing would be Chinatown," said Eddy, placing the leftover dim sum in the fridge.

"Nom, nom, nom," said Charlie, munching on a sesame ball with red bean paste.

Eddy crashed on the couch and turned on the TV. "I am MSG'd out." Charlie plopped down next to her.

"I could use a drink."

Eddy looked at him, concerned. "Are you sure that's such a good idea? You JUST got out of the hospital." Charlie pulled the same pouty face he'd used since he was a kid.

"Just one?"

"You sure you ready?"

"Ed, I was in a coma for a week. I almost died. I may not be a hundred percent, but I'm back. So let's go out and live a little life." Charlie pulled her off the couch and they headed to Roscoe's.


"I'm starting to feel woozy," said Charlie after his second shot of Jameson. He closed his eyes for a second and swooned, gripping the bar before he fell. Eddy immediately caught him around her shoulder.

"Alright, we're going home."

"Just kidding sis, geez!" Charlie said, bursting out into laughter. He stood up fully. "See look! No hands!" She shoved him.

"I should know better. There's no such thing as ‘one drink' with you." A hot red head in a slinky red dress came up, trying to sidle up between Charlie and Eddy.

"Hey," said hot red head Megan Fox-lookalike.

"Hey," Eddy flirted back.

"It's been a while. Why haven't you called me?"

Charlie saw immediately that Eddy didn't know who the fuck this chick was. "Hi," he said, offering his hand. "I'm Charlie, Eddy's brother."

"Dawn," said hot red head.

"I guess I'm to blame for Eddy being M.I.A. I've been sort of in a coma for a week."

"Right," said Dawn. "You know, if you didn't want to see me again, you could've just said so. Seriously? Getting this guy to make up some shit about a coma?"

"Whatever," said Eddy. Dawn scoffed incredulously and left.

"Ok seriously, I'm in the hospital for how long and you're already hooking up?"

"Weren't you the one that just said we've got a lot of livin' to do?"

"Yeah... "

"So go live it. I'm putting you on a curfew. Ten more minutes, then you're in bed resting. Go find some random boy to make out with."

Charlie hated whenever Eddy put him on a challenge. The fire of sibling rivalry never burns out, no matter how old you are. He did a lap around the front bar then started to make his way to the dance floor. In the dimly lit back bar, he saw Tall Dark And Handsome getting a drink. Six minutes remaining.

"Hi," said Charlie.

"Hey," said Tall Dark And Handsome, his gaze averted to the Cute Blonde behind Charlie. Charlie stepped up to the plate once again.

"My name is... "

"Listen. I'm sure you're a nice guy and all, it's just... I'm not into Asians."

Charlie was taken aback. He had barely gotten five words out before this asshat rejected him. Tall Dark And Handsome brushed past him, hot in pursuit of Cute Blonde who had disappeared on the way to the front bar. Charlie stood aghast. Ironically, he was in the part of the bar right by the dance floor which he'd dubbed Chinatown with Tristan one night, for its magnetic draw to the packs of Asian gays. Maybe it's because he didn't have any other Asian American friends, but he had never identified with them. He always saw them as a bit to femme and FOBish for his own taste.

So there he was, feeling like an ass for judging them so instantly and harshly as he just was by this random guy. Charlie loved the diversity of his friends, he really did. He prided himself on being completely open to all cultures and having friends that represented that. So this snap judgment he'd made on a group of people felt even worse. Perhaps he was secretly jealous that they all found a kindred spirit with each other based on an aspect of his identity he rarely gave a second thought to. He approached a group of them, maybe to make friends, maybe his own self-racist redemption. They looked at him oddly, clucking to each other in a language he didn't understand, wrapping their arms protectively of their AARP candidate white boyfriends. He rolled his eyes and went to find Eddy.

"Come on," he said, dragging her off of some hot black chick with dreads that she was making out with. On the way out, they passed Tall Dark And Handsome trying to make time with an obviously bored Cute Blonde.

"That was quick," Eddy said as they went out the door. "Was it a successful mission?" Charlie shook his head, annoyed at the evening. He felt someone grab his shoulder, turn him around and kiss him. When he opened his eyes, he saw Cute Blonde looking back at the other side of the kiss.

"Hey," said Cute Blonde.

"Hey," said Charlie. Cute Blonde pulled out a business card as Tall Dark And Handsome sprinted out the door, looking for his prey and finding him in front of Charlie.

"You were on your way out and I have to get back to my friends but... call me?" He kissed Charlie once more before heading back inside.

"And that is time," said Eddy, checking her phone. "Well played lil bro."

Charlie hugged his sister and kissed her on the cheek. As they started walking off, Charlie could hear Cute Blonde tell Tall Dark And Handsome, "Sorry man, you're just not my type," as they went back into Roscoe's. He smiled the whole walk home.


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