Dear Great Dragon,

The time has come for us to re-evaluate our relationship. I know; I quoted you directly as my favorite Chinese delivery joint and said that I would never tire of ordering. But this just isn’t working out anymore. You see, last night was really bad for me. It started out well enough with me, you and Jeff all cuddled up on the couch over hot sake and a movie. I even commented on how good mu shu is and why I don’t get it more often. Once I was asleep though, you fucked me over hard. Because of your food, I was ripped out of much needed rest by the most excruciating pain in my life. I ran to the bathroom, bewildered and sweating, because I really didn’t know what the hell was wrong with me. There was only pain. Then laying fetal on the floor and crying. Then more unlocalized pain. I thought my appendix was bursting! At another point, because I’m just that kind of panicked hypochondriac, I even thought I had a fistula. Not cool, man. Thankfully, it ended without an uninsured trip to the emergency room. That is why I won’t be calling you today and demanding my money back. In fact, I won’t be calling you ever again.

You’ve played a fundamental role in my relationship with Jeff. You were there the first night we hooked up. Ma-po Tofu for me. Spicy Chicken for him. Pot stickers for both of us. Cheap sake and “Sid and Nancy.” We’ll always remember how your perfectly crunchy vegetables led me to ask Jeff to turn up the TV because I couldn’t hear Gary Oldman over the sound of water chestnuts. He often says that’s the moment he fell in love with me, when not declaring that it was the minute I walked in the door. You nourished us over our first Chicago winter. You fed us when we were too tired to cook. You celebrated with us when we felt like a treat. It has to end though.

We admit that it will be hard to replace you. Avondale is not known for its accessibility to delivery beyond tacos and pizza. It isn’t posh like Lincoln Park or Lakeview. It isn’t trendy like Pilsen or Wicker Park. The neighborhood is a mottled collection of lower middle-income types and primarily Poles and Latinos at that. And we certainly aren’t moving; we love this neighborhood, more so now that the church has stopped its incessant bell ringing. However, I kinda saw this coming and started exploring my options before last night. Remember those pot stickers from the time before? The pork was undercooked.

To the memories, to moving on,
Ally and Jeff

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