By Deidre Yamanguchi
During these hard times, one would be lucky to get at least a stem of rose, a balloon attached to it, and a small card with beautiful roses etched on the side and signed with love. But hard times aside, those who are unfortunately without a significant other to go out of their way to order and have a flower or flowers delivered to either the office or the home are going to have to keep themselves busy and wait for this wind of “love” to pass. Alas, it will be like waiting for Godot for those who will receive a rose or two or a box of chocolate or what not will inconspicuously rub it in the faces of those who did not get anything. Ah, but one must prevail for Fortune’s wheel must turn at some point.
Day before Valentine’s Day:
Eakau: Kei, so, are they going to rent that huge Surangel truck that they use to give away candies on Christmas to deliver roses to you on Valentine’s Day?
Kei: Surangel truck? Roses? Eakau, the price of gas has gone up, there are kids who don’t eat lunch for the parents cannot afford to go on the School Lunch Program, Sonoma Lights has gone up by 5 cents, a bag of betelnut—if there is one or two “mekedols” in it, it is automatically $1.50 or more, our car runs on “E”, and you think I will get even a rose? A hibiscus flower that had not been eaten by insects will do for me.
Eakau: Kei, that’s what I am saying. Why don’t you quit chewing betelnut? You and your husband will save a lot of money and perhaps then you can get a flower from the flower shop, delivered to you at home and…
Kei: …and what Eakau? We pluck the bud and instead of asking: “He loves me, he loves me not” we pluck it and ask: “’Beldakl’ or ‘cheluit’”? If my husband quit drinking his six pack of beer every night, stop smoking cigarettes and chewing it, then maybe I can get one of those artificial ones that will get me through this economy crisis.
Eakau: Well, I think I am getting something on Valentine’s Day, I just don’t know what.
Kei: Well, good for you. We’ll just have to wait and see. If there’s oil in Kayangel then maybe I will not worry as much about anything?
Eakau: Are you from Kayangel? If there is oil, what are you going to get?
Kei: I don’t know. But they keep saying things will get better and I don’t know how it will get better or what will get better but just knowing things will get better is enough for me.
Eakau: I know I will get something on Valentine’s Day. What I don’t know and am not sure of is whether there is oil in Kayangel.
Kei: (on the phone) Well, Eakau, did you get something? What did you get?
Eakau: I’m still waiting. My husband went fishing and he didn’t say anything so I figured if he had the nerve to go fishing on Valentine’s Day and leave me alone at home, it could mean a dozen roses and maybe dinner at PPR.
Kei: Oh, you’re so lucky. I asked my husband where my rose was, and let me say that again, “a” rose, and he asked me what I was talking about. I said, it’s Valentine’s Day, Errang, what do you mean what am I talking about and he said, ‘A rose…a flower…dies, but my love for you will never ever wither and die.’
Eakau: You believed him? And then what?
Kei: And then he asked if I wanted the fish ‘beldakl’ or ‘cheluit’. Because it is either one of those or nothing and what he said about the rose dying and his love never withering and dying is from one of those Korean dramas that he is addicted to and never mind, I don’t need a rose.
Eakau: Fine then. I’m still waiting for my husband to get back from fishing. The flower shops are all closed so I don’t know if he put the flowers in his car and then he, himself will bring them when he comes home from fishing. I just know that I expect something.
Kei: Go and wait for your husband to bring you flowers from the sea. If you want some ‘beldakl’, come over.