I should try to get out more. I rarely do anything except work in the studio, teaching dance all day. Even though my daughter, Marilyn is at the studio with me all day, I never see her. It isn’t healthy for her. She should be at the playground, running around with all of the other toddlers. But she can’t. I don’t have anyone to watch her. These are the disadvantages of being widowed and orphaned. You’re always on your own.
It’s not like I couldn’t make friends if I tried, but everyone avoids me. I feel like everyone looks at me and thinks ‘Run away, poor, overworked, immigrant!’ I’ve gotten used to it though. It’s just a part of my day. And, besides, I’ve got more important problems to ...view middle of the document...
I turn my head and sure enough, all of the trash from that vacant lot is cleared away, and in its place, a garden. I scan the faces. I notice Kim, a young girl who takes classes at my studio, Sae Young, a woman I deliver food to occasionally, and my other faces from the apartment complex across the street. I am suddenly stuck with an idea.
“Marilyn, do you want to grow some food?” I ask, knowing full well what the answer will be.
“Yes, momma,” she replies.
So we take off running for the nearest gardening store, and pick up a baby orange tree. My family was famous in our little town for our amazing oranges. After paying, we run as fast as Marilyn’s chubby toddler legs can go, back to the garden.
When we get there, I start looking for a spot to plant the baby tree, but every time I start to dig, someone yells, “Get away from there, those plants need full sun!” I begin to feel devastated. Maybe there just isn’t a place for me here, I thought. But then, just as Marilyn and I begin to leave, someone yells “Wait, over here!” I turn to witness someone calling me over, as opposed to chasing me away. She is a middle-aged, but a fairly chipper woman with a man in a...