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Jingo

A SHORT STORY

By Binney Paik | May 1990
Binney Paik is the mother of nine children. She lives with her husband and eight of their nine children in Tempe, Arizona.

When I was walking down all those long hospital halls, looking in every room for her, only half of my head was really thinking of her. The other half was thinking about being hungry, but not in my stomach.

I was still wearing a costume and stage make-up, of course. But that didn’t matter at all, because I know how to move so nobody thinks anything is strange — so it just looks like some usual guy walking up and down the hall.

Since I didn’t know her name, I couldn’t ask anybody where she was. I didn’t find her for almost 45 minutes, and if the hospital was any bigger it would have been a lot longer than that. Every room had a person in it, and flowers, or at least cards sitting around on the counters. Until I got to her room, that is. It didn’t have anything in it but her, in the bed, with all those beeping boxes leading to her, with tubes and wires and whatever.

The last time I’d seen her was just last Saturday. Out on the street where I work. And it was just like every other time. She held out a $20 bill where I could see it, but I shook my head slightly, like every other time, and she put it away. Then she turned around and left, and I could see she wasn’t very well.

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