Intrepid Girl Reporter


Wednesday, 7/16: the mysteries of Mr. Bing
July 17, 2008, 2:10 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Once, when I was seven or so, I caught my grandmother trying to escape. She was living with us for the time being, maybe just visiting, and I came into the living room one day to find her sitting on the floor, surrounded by my sister’s toys, speaking entirely and rapidly in French on the phone. Afterwards she told me she was going to the airport. When I told my father he started grilling me: what did she say? Who was she meeting? What transpired over the course of that conversation? She said something about a friend, I told him. I don’t remember what happened after that, but she didn’t leave, at least not then.

Once upon a time there was a nice bourgeois Vietnamese girl who would grow up to run her own businesses and become a compulsive gambler and eventually conscript my younger brother into bringing her Newman-Os every day at three o’clock, at least during her visit. My father met my mother because he moved to Pensacola a year before she did, because his mother wanted to take advantage of the influx of boat people and start a shrimping outfit based on cheap labor. Now my grandmother is old, not as old as she looks and acts but old nonetheless, and she speaks in a strange and unique patois of English and French and Vietnamese and she can’t move around without a walker. My father and his siblings cleaned out the last apartment she lived in and found, among other things, two mandolins. She lived with my father’s youngest brother for a while after that before she decided to move out again. Now she has a boyfriend.

All of this happened when I was gone. I learned about it because Mr. Bing – it’s a nickname, his last name is Crosby – called our house tonight. The happy couple wants to visit, which is unfortunate, because no one is here but my brother and I. All sorts of things happen when you disappear for a year. Now I am learning my way around America again, and having everyone around me allude to the things that I missed. Apparently Feist’s “1234” was also used in an iPod commercial. Apparently my dog has learned how to use the back stairs now and my friends created a fictional morning show called “Good Morning, Topeka!”

I feel like I don’t even speak English.

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1 Comment so far
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Wow…I’m really apprehensive about finding out what’s happened in the interim.

Comment by grayshifter




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