Mail Order Bride

Mail Order Bride

I’m 19 next Wednesday and I’ve never used a tampon. Too scared to ask anyone. Not such big deal. I mean, for some people, but not me. No one ever tell me. I had no parents, at least not my own.

I’m Gulzina, now Tina. I’m from Kyrgyzstan. Never hear English until 12. Most of life I dodge bullets. Soldiers come after women. Young girls. I’m not sure how, was kind of like that game Vietnam prisoners played. I think, roulette.

Then, I wish I had gun, just one bullet in head. Would have done the trick.

I live in Oklahoma. Married to truck driver. His name Chip. How did I come here? Good question. I try to tell. They have ladies for purchase right? Like Tamika, at Sam’s Club. She’s a Tajikistan girl, from Pamir Alay Valley, near my country.  A mail order bride.

Yeah. Me too. Before, I had no address, or anything. Guess you don’t really need one.

First, when I come to U.S., we live in motel, the Chelsea Motor Inn. The owner’s buffalo lived in a field behind the motel. I stare at that beast. A woman, Mrs. Barlett, sit on bench. She wear curlers in her hair and have spotted hands. She smoke a lot, I remembered the men in Kyrgyzstan. She tried to talk to me, but I know so few English. I smile a lot.

I don’t drive. Tamika is my friend. She’s nice but she only know Farsi. She doesn’t want to study English. Okay, but I feel like I’m here now. I want to learn it.


About Robert Vaughan

Originally from NY, Robert leads week long National writing retreats at sites like Mabel Dodge Luhan House, Synergia Ranch, and EarthRise IONS. His poems and fiction are published in over 500 print and online magazines, such as Necessary Fiction, BlazeVOX, Los Angeles Weekly, Literary Orphans and Smokelong Quarterly. He is Editor-in-Chief at (b)OINK magazine and leads round- tables for Redoak Writing in Milwaukee. He is six times a Pushcart Prize Nominee and his fiction and poetry have won awards, including a Micro-Fiction runner-up (2012) and twice a finalist in the Gertrude Stein Fiction Award (2013-14). His books are: Microtones (Cervena Barva Press); Diptychs + Triptychs + Lipsticks + Dipshits (Deadly Chaps); Addicts & Basements (Civil Coping Mechanisms); RIFT, co-authored with Kathy Fish (Unknown Press), and FUNHOUSE (Unknown Press).
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8 Responses to Mail Order Bride

  1. Andrea says:

    Sad. A little too brief of the life back home (I’d like more back story). I’d really like too know how her current life is with “Chip.” Why doesn’t she have parents? Does/did she had siblings? Looking forward too more.

  2. david says:

    me want learn too. In my country we have many story like this. Is good no? Here you have many places in Supermarket for food for dog and cat. Lady in supermarket she cry. I say what wrong? I help, no cry. She say her cat die. I say It’s cat? We no let cat in house in my country. There is cat in street cat eat, cat make baby. More cat. Why cry? more food for cat here than people in my country. It’s good I learn more.

  3. Dez says:

    This story does feel too short for me, although great details and first memories captured as there are for any immigrant. I was just getting into her story then it ended. I know you are writing mostly short pieces, but I had some of the same questions as Andrea did: parents, what happened? The military being such a threat there- who, how and why? Was she actually in one of those camps like Darfur? Also, the language of the story tripped me a little. I know this “voice” I could never write, but still, at times she speaks almost perfect (?) English, then broken in other places. Possibly your intent? I would love to see this one flushed out. My wife’s family is not from America (originally, they are now). I think this story might be very relatable for many readers with some additions.

  4. Shari says:

    So sad, and made me think of all the unfortunate people who live in more dire circumstances than we do day to day, hour to hour. More information might be useful, but to pepper some humor into it could help too.

  5. Theo says:

    Loved this, and being from that part of the world, I think that for the most part, you nailed the lingo of someone attempting English. Way to go! I enjoyed reading your material over morning coffee.

  6. Don says:

    What strange topics you enjoy choosing, and where do you get your ideas from? And why have I suddenly become your interviewer?

  7. Angela says:

    She wear curlers in her hair and have spotted hands. For some reason, I REALLY love that.

  8. theprayerlady says:

    Alot of information and yet not enough, with the accent too, WoW ! That was impressive.
    Love Mom

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