duckling, leaf, frog from Anne
Her American name is Jenny
but her Vietnamese name is "Nine."
I don't know how it's spelled
but it's pronounced with a lilt,
like you're smiling when you say it.
Not like how we say that number
with our frog voices. She tells me
it means Snow and I think that is
beautiful. She's my nail tech
and she's marrying Jimmy who
also works there. He's a sprite,
flitting around, joking with everyone,
a lost duckling searching for himself.
He's two years older than her but
much younger. I ask where they are going
for their honeymoon. She says they
have to work. "But we're taking Monday
off because Jimmy will be hung over."
I ask if it's going to be a big wedding
and it is because Jimmy has many friends.
She tells me he did all the planning. She
is so ambivalent I wonder if she really
wants to get married. "Well, Jimmy wants
this and I want to get married but I'm worried
because I don't want to hold him back." She
even converted to Catholicism for him.
My nails are done and I leave there
feeling sad. I want to tell her to run,
stop the wedding. They are as mismatched
as snow piling up on leaves in Florida.
But, it's not my place. As I leave I glance
over and there is Jimmy flirting with another girl.
Jenny is hunched over, long hair hiding
her face as she begins another customer.