This Is Why I No Longer Eat Chinese Food in November 

Paul Beckman

It’s 2 a.m. and since I’m a back sleeper the blood is dripping from my nose down my philtrum over my upper lip and into my mouth closing in on my uvula awakening me with a cough as I reach for the box of tissues.

This is day 18 of my nose bleeding and the reason I no longer eat Chinese food. It’s not the Chinese food per se but the fortune cookie that always comes true and this was from the last Valentine’s day that read, Be careful about November for your nose will bleed every day causing great discomfort from either your spouse or pet.

My spouse would be my wife, Elaine, and god knows I give her enough reasons to bloody my nose, and my pet is Harper, a Bichon Frise, who wants more treats than I’m willing to give her. My money’s on Elaine because she’s not into treats except if you call my not putting her down for a day a treat. Harper’s treat of choice is a piece of candy, but not any candy, she wants white nougat inlaid with Jujubes or a chunk of Fig Newton.

In any case, these nosebleeds will be over in thirteen days and that should give me enough time to catch the culprit. Then I’ll celebrate December with Moo Shoo Pork sans the fortune cookie but until then I’m keeping a close eye on both suspects.

Tired from a lack of sleep this November I bought a spy cam and turned it on filming me sleeping, sure to catch the culprit. What I caught was me shadow boxing in my sleep and punching myself in the nose starting the bleeding process while Harper sat in Elaine’s lap on the bed, and they watched me until the bloody nose started, and then they fell asleep. In the morning neither one would look at me, so I figured the shadow boxing of the night before was just an outlier and they were in bloody cahoots.

Paul Beckman’s latest flash collection, Kiss Kiss (Truth Serum Press) was a finalist for the 2019/2020 Indie Book Awards. Some of his stories appeared in Spelk, Connotation Press, Necessary Fiction, Litro, Pank, Playboy, WINK, Jellyfish Review, The Wax Paper, Monkey, and The Lost Balloon. He had a story selected for the 2020 National Flash Fiction Day Anthology Lineup and was short listed in the Strands International Flash Fiction Competition. Paul curates the FBomb NY flash fiction reading series monthly in KGB’s Red Room (Currently Virtual).