If Billy approaches her with his arms open
wide in obvious invitation, Seh will shout “Nooooo!!” and laugh
heartily. Or she may pick up her TV remote control, point it at him, and
start changing channels. She is certainly not interested in finding a
mate, not even in pretend.
“I open ev’ry daay” she will say. “I like mun-eee” and will
give a twinkling expression. Doing well in this small shop with a prominently displayed
TV, she watches her Asian soaps, and admirably, the
news. Following everything, everywhere, in any country, Seh is up to date
on current events. With a sharp mind, and her own
strong opinions, Seh is not afraid to express them.
On occasion, a deep worried frown will cross her brow and remain for
hours. This is when one of her cats is sick, and it is serious. Or perhaps
one of her refrigerators is not working properly, and she must pay to have
it fixed or replaced. These are issues of import, and for a woman alone,
it makes for a heavy mental burden.
A recent purchase was a clothes washer/spinner
combination. It was delivered in the back of the small shop where she
lives. I have never seen her so excited, so proud. “Ev’ry daay, I
wash, two ow-wuz, then go shop-ping for store. Now, easier!” She is
beside herself with joy, as she invites me into her home to take a look at
her new purchase.
There, in the semi open-air grouping of lean to’s, shelves and cement
rooms, proudly sits a teal colored plastic washer and spinner. “Man come,
make something to bring wa-tuh, and put…” as she wags her fingers at
the electrical outlet far away. I am thrilled for her. A real breakthrough
in her life of toil. I smile, laugh, make a big deal of looking inside the
machine while we both share in the wonder of the modern world. “Bee-yoo-tee-fuul”
I say slowly and with a thumbs up, so she knows I share perfectly in her
When I see Billy later that day, I let him know about the washer that Seh bought. He, too, is excited for her and we
immediately run to her store, so he can show her his support. Seh goes
through all the same English words she knows to tell him the costs, the
financial plan, how it will make her life easier every day.
Billy smiles enthusiastically, broadly, and says, “I bring lawn-dree
too-morrow so yoo wash?” She smiles widely back and says “Af-tuh
Mun-daay, I doo for yoo. FREE!” and laughs without restraint.
This is work, and Seh understands work. There is no hint of a
Husband being involved, so now we have a new, and "safe" game to