The Man Behind The Counter

I was at Temple Star the other night. Known for being a late-night munchie location and supposedly incorporating cat into their meals, Temple Star is quite the gem of a Chinese restaurant located at Broad and Diamond. As I stood there in line with my friends waiting to pick up my Sesame Chicken with Fried Rice, a thought came to my head. The man behind the counter, formerly the boy behind the counter, has been the most stable, consistent and reliable presence in my life for the past six years. I started my days at Temple U in the Fall of 2002- a season of promise and the start of my adulthood. I would spend my freshman year experiencing life, regret and love. Weekend parties almost deemed Temple Star necessary; a staple to our lives back then. We would drink, smoke and dance in random and grungy basements, and then waddle ourselves to the shiny yellow sign, guaranteed to always be open till 4am. Getting our chicken wings, fried rice and tub of ice tea, my friends and I would sit in our hallway and talk about everything until our eyelids said otherwise. Those were the days, and even years later, I’ve relied on Temple Star to end an amazing night. Friends have come and gone, whether that be my fault of theirs. Boyfriends and love interests have appeared and disappeared. I’ve grown up, grown down and stayed somewhat level all between, and yet throughout it all, the sight of the man behind the counter at Temple Star has remained consistent. Yes, his bright blonde highlights aren’t framing his face anymore and his glasses have morphed into contacts, but all in all, he was the same guy that used to deliver me my food. My friend asked me that night if I knew his name. “No, and I don’t really want to. Why would I ruin such a perfect thing and learn his name?” was my response. I think the overall realization I had that night was that things come and go in your life, but we need to start appreciating and loving all those little things. You make mistakes, you meet the wrong people, you meet the right people, you…just…live. But if you can start appreciating (not whining about) the consistent people, objects and moments in your life…well then, that’s what I call living. Capture the moments in your life that make you YOU and keep them stored in your pocket from now on. You never know when things can change, so maybe it’s time to start smiling about life rather than fearing it’s demise.

I left Temple Star with a glow in my aura. I don’t know when the next time I go get my late-night Chinese kick may be or even if it’ll still be open and running, but I do look forward to seeing the man behind the counter again.

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