by Kelvin C. James
Okay! Now you first get it straight. This not about wife! She true and fine like rare silk. She soft of skin and gentle in voice! With every dignity she have me when I ready. Maybe for what going on, she only impressed. Yes. Maybe this I should believe. But I anxious like hungry lioness waiting for mister lion to feed first and satisfy belly after I make all the sweat of capture.
Yes! Maybe like female I only working for the man.
English teacher say I must get better strong words. Me! Strong words!! Me not with English so good! Mandarin maybe halfway, so I hold bold in Shanghai. Here no have common-man Mandarin. Here is only every man English. Teacher says this is big language with many words enough for all expressions.
No problem. Hey! I try everyday to hold them. Yes!
So now I share open mind and say I feel a woman’s woe. Maybe I so because I try more hard than any man! Yes?
Let me say problem. This man is tall, he cinnamon brown.
This trouble man, he soft in voice, he smile big with straight white teeth. I wish for teeth so. Big, even, and smiling easy.
This man smooth at talking like wave over mossy rock!
I watch the safety camera tape. I see wife smile for this man. She move fast when he enter store. She happy like new butterfly. She frisky like young pullet. Yes! Is clear she in thrills serving nice brown man.
I want find out why perfect wife move and smile happy for this tall man. One time I follow him.
Yes! Like empty belly tiger, I trail him to home den. I want see him in own space. He turn corner, meet and hug a woman. Big like barrel wide, this woman. At kiss on cheek, I see she happy smile.
Twenty more steps he greet young slim woman, black as coal, skin moonlight smooth. He lift woman with strong hug, she squeal like happy piglet. So it is. Before he enters fancy building, he sameway greet two more woman.
How much love is in this man? I cannot think.
Next week again he enter store. Is how he habit. Two times every month he buy Angostura rum. We make a happy profit on this rum. Before this man we not sell much. I come near to stopping that order. Now regular like golden half-moon, he come in and get this rum.
He a good customer! I not wish upset his habit. My wife is the worry. Yes! My good, faithful wife who family set for me since diaper days! They read stars; say all along we suit each other. I feel she true love. She dependable. She work hard too, and she understanding. I too feel this bond.
I take Teacher advice. Try always look for better explain words. But they all empty of true meaning when I think this problem and my wife. So I now say plain my worry about his hair.
It is main thing! I think maybe she weak for his hairstyle! Home in Shanghai everybody love that hair. They name it the dreadlocks.
It is all of a puzzle and confusion to those with straight as chopstick hair like we.
For one mystery, how they make it twist in every tiny strand? Eh! How they make it grow long and hang like snakes in vine, like many curly ropes? Eh, how!
In Shanghai streets we mob them. We try and sometimes win a touch of that strange, different hair. Maybe for my loyal wife it is this same desire. Maybe she got craving like that, eh? Maybe it is problem for pledge to remain true?
In this quick-quick place here, forever is a long, long time.
I ask English teacher. What I do now?
I depend on wife. I soft inside for she! Do I blow kiss from mouth to her face like he? Do I smile and buy my own rum two times every month? Do I turn my pale skin spice brown?
For me this big problem got one truth I understand! I keep that in front mirror of my mind. As younger man looking at that hairstyle, I too, did burn to caress the mystery of dreadlocks.
I very wanting ask English teacher. What now? Eh!