Lin Page 4

atop a white linen shirt, a hint of sagging breasts underneath. Hair combed in sweaty strands across his forehead. His mouth bulges with a helping of sizzling pork.

He approaches Mr. Liu and bows slightly. Sorry I'm late. I'm C.J Wang.

Mr. Liu grunts in hello, extends a hand. The man's fingers are soft, stubby, baby fingers, and exert little pressure as they shake. The state of C.J.'s afflicted fingers has not been commented on. Typhoid Mary, he muses.

Thank you for meeting me, he continues. He takes care to speak slowly, methodically -- this is the only way to ensure his accent is flawless.

You're not Taiwanese, Mr. Liu says.

He holds himself back from wincing. That didn't last long.

I'm first-generation American.

You look it
, Mr. Liu says.

He seats himself as Mr. Liu continues to devour. The pork chop is chalk-white and devoid of character, coated with a filmy gravy that bubbles off the sides. On the far side of the plate are reddish chunks that resemble vegetables.

You're from the insurance company? Mr. Liu