Mr. Snowman by Malia Griggs

When I was younger (7 or so), my family used to go the same Japanese restaurant every Saturday for lunch, and towards the end of the meal I’d excuse myself for the bathroom, which was located across from the back of the kitchen. I made friends with the dish washer, a black man named Kenny who said I could call him “Mr. Snowman."

Mr. Snowman grew fond of me and started bringing me gifts – a white teddy bear in a white wicker chair, an Asian University of Georgia Barbie doll (not sure why this school), and a plastic-framed drawing he made for me of a young Asian woman cowering in the shadow of a fire-breathing dragon with the word “FEAR” scratched below her feet.

Then Mr. Snowman started showing me catalogs he was referencing to find himself a Filipino mail-order bride, which were magazines with page after page of grainy glamour shots of women who looked, uh, not unlike older versions of me but tanner.

At this point, my mother started accompanying me to the bathroom.