Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Dinner with Claudine


Our deal is I help her with her DVD rental store; she takes me to dinner at a nice restaurant. To Lucia’s Seaside Lagoon Restaurant we go, me somewhat nervous about the coming evening. It is her first time ever to Lucia’s and my second time that day, earlier taking okra for the cooks to prepare.

She spills her banana smoothy. The staff whom I know and guests from New Zealand who I met during the day watch intently this unlikely couple. Claudine reveals her past as a top student; Goth, complete with pink hair, black nails, piercings, and bangles; and her conversion from Atheism to Mormonism. She explains why she is sending her 22 year-old sister to live in New Zealand, leaving her first born to the father’s parents and taking the second born with her. She wants her sister not to get pregnant again by her husband, and to become a Kiwi citizen. At 23 Claudine is the oldest of five children, aunt to four, mother of a two year old. Her dreams deferred as she assumes more responsibility.

As the evening progresses and she continues to talk non-stop, the questions I wanted to ask this ½ Samoan. ½ Chinese woman about how she lost her left forearm or who is the father of her son seem trite. I pay for the meal for the treat is mine.

1 comment:

Teri said...

Conversion from atheism, and now a Mormon? Goth in her background? Claudine sounds like an interesting person. I'd like to hear about that myself, especially after the enlightening conversation I had the other day with your grandson about the Goth contingent at the high school. A sign of the times, I think.

I've really been missing you lately, Daddy-o. Looking forward to your return stateside. Very much.