written/non-written things by me (from 2005-2008)

Friday, February 03, 2006

"Hobbies" ke

“You like dance?"

"You do?! I dance at Dallas Ballroom. Since I odor no man likes dance with me.” She laughs at herself. “I too good. Too strong for them to be leader. But it's bor-ring with no partner. You just sit on chair. So I,” she laughs and begins to tap me after every sentence, “I bring best two or three girl with me. I leader!” Smiling, I repeat what she says adding a tinge of incredulity. “Yes, I always leader!”

Does your husband dance too? I ask in broken Chinese. She shakes her head as if shaking out confetti, her hair crazily batting her face. Then stopping, she looks me straight in the face and tapped me just once on the shoulder. “Hey,” as if I were not paying attention, then begins to tap me on the shoulder more pointedly, “Hey….Hey” And as soon as I begin to think I asked something I shouldn’t have, she smirks just slightly tilts her head plaintively, “Husband not same. Husband different…This correct? Different?”
Yes, different. “Husband does not like dance. He likes only sleep. He likes swim only at 24 ow-wa Fitness.” This I had already surmised. Apart from the rotary phone on the toilet, a mysterious assortment of plastic bottles filled with pale-ish liquid, the shower stalls and door knobs were draped with at least six small swim trunks and bright floral one-pieces. Seeing as this is the only room other than the pot plant crowded foyer I have seen of Cindy’s house, and the unruly and unmatched manner of its contents, I think it is safe to surmise a few things about the Chen’s, their a fairly typically suburban American middle-aged couple.
We sit shoulder to shoulder during our lesson in front of a huge window which over looks a busy residential boulevard and a Blockbuster Video. “You have so many clothes in closet, he says. Why you buy more. I think since odor he more Chinese. I more like American. I like to go shopping, find good sale. He only like save.” She snapped her hands on her lap as if giving up to the un-sameness of it all.
“When he young he like dance, tiao wu shr da….” She interrupts herself haltingly, points to the page of pinyin and we return the lesson….“Hobbies.”

My name is Hannah Pierce-Carlson