Pasta, Pizza, and Dumplings

By A. Rogers

Pasta, pizza, and dumplings.

I feel as if I measure our life by how many pastas, pizzas and dumplings we’ve had.

Can a relationship be summed up in three things? If they can, this one would be pasta, pizza, and dumplings. 

You meet me at my work. 


Bowls of pasta in our tummy, it’s discounted, I work there. All different pasta: tomato, creamy, salami, salmon, pesto, cheese, and chilli. 

  1. I work five hours, maybe eight. Sometimes seven. 
  2. You drive to my work. 
  3. We eat pasta. 
  4. Go home. 
  5. Start a movie. 
  6. Watch twenty, maybe thirty minutes of the movie.
  7. Have sex.
  8. You stare at your phone, sucked into the eternal scroll.
  9. Sleep. 
  10. We wake up.
  11. You leave. 
  12. I lie in bed till I have work again.

How did we end up like this?

I am not old. We are not married. What is this rut? I swear we weren’t always like this. Do you still love me?

Pizza and dumplings. 

Yes, pizza and dumplings. We can’t ever decide. 

I always say, ‘Why don’t we just get one this time?’ 

But we can never ‘just get one this time,’ we must always get ‘both.’ 

We walk into the first restaurant. Both are a twenty-minute walk from your house or a five-minute drive. It’s a nice place with wooden floors, black tables, shiny cutlery, and little bowls for the Chinese food. 

Cute, with the seats neat in little rows along the wall. We walk past the few customers always dining there and straight to the counter and ask for our order. You pick out the little chilli and soy sauce containers even though we have both in large bottles at home. You grab plastic cutlery even though we both know they will go to the bin, and you drop it all into the little takeaway bag as I stare at the seats we stand next to. Sometimes the chefs’ kid is there, and he sits on the floor by the counter playing with a bucket of toys. When he’s not there, the toys are neatly placed into the bucket in the open cabinet where the spare seating cutlery is. 

‘Why don’t we ever sit at the restaurant?’

‘You don’t actually want that.’

Normally we split the cost. Tonight, I paid for the dumplings, and you paid for the pizza. 

Then we walk two hundred metres down the street, holding the dumplings bag, and into the Italian restaurant. It’s cosy with red walls and a big fiery pizza oven out the back. There are families seated in the restaurant and loud music. It feels busy and alive. 

The counter is at the front. 

‘Name for the order?’ 

You always speak. I can never be bothered. You also order on the phone in the car on the way here whilst I hold the phone. 

We live separately. 

When we stay at mine, it’s after I have work. When we stay at yours, it’s because I don’t have work. 

I like that you pick me up, though. That’s nice, helpful. 

I would really like a curry, or a taco though. Maybe a burger?



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