Monday June 25, 2009
I’ve been a teacher since I met Malik Andrew Smith. He’s my boyfriend. I have six girls: April-Michelle, Abigail, April, Adina, Andrea, and Aqua Washington. They will be 8 years old. April-Michelle will be 11 years old. I met Malik at a Starbucks in Miami then at my book club meeting. I was in Miami for a teachers’ conference. I was standing up looking at the menu and Malik was behind me in line. I ordered a strawberry frappicino and realized I gave all my money to the girls for school. Malik pulled out forty dollars and paid for my strawberry frappicino and his cappuccino. I said my thanks and went down the block for my rented Ivory 4 door Mercedes Benz truck. I didn’t think that a man would have to pay for my drink. I grabbed my MAC laptop bag and my bag and got into the front seat of my truck. I pulled away from Starbucks into the Barnes & Noble’s parking lot, three blocks down from Starbucks. I got out, grabbed my Mac laptop bag, my blue Coach Messenger bag, my blue Coach Trench coat and 2 heavy bags and locked my truck and walked towards the entrance of the big full store that takes up the entire street, Barnes & Noble’s Bookstore. I had on a dark blue polo shirt, dark blue skinny jeans and 10½ size Dark Blue Coach sneakers on.
I hugged my best friend May Angie Whitestone, who is the owner of the Barnes & Noble’s here in Miami. She gave a paperback copy of Oprah’s new book named “Say You’re One of Them” by Uwem Akpan. Today was the Christian Book Club for Mothers, Family and Friends meeting that I became the president, last week. I know most of you say, Why do I have a book club in Miami and I live in sunny San Francisco, California? Well I love beautiful, hot Miami. I come every month for a few days to enjoy the wonderful and beautiful Miami, Florida and for our book club meeting. We have new members come to our meetings to listen and read some of the books. May had everyone put their name on the list to keep on in our members’ binder. I made a pitcher of lemon iced tea and May made coffee. I brought coffee cakes, 3 big pound cakes, and cookies as well.
Maria, our thirty six year old typewriter, handed out last month’s meeting and what happened. Everyone put their sheets in their binders. We have about 67 people that have been coming to the meetings every month. Then we have 8 people who have come today with some of the other people. Sister Adria bought her son: Malik to the meeting. I began having everyone take a seat. I pulled out my copy of the book we had been reading in May. A lady by the name of Angel, asked if we can choose on the different books that we read. I told her that we are a Christian Book Club for Mothers, Family and Friends. And we read the books from Oprah’s book club because we like learning about different cultures. I pulled out my attendance list and checked that each of our board members were there. Sabrina handed out copies of “Say You’re One of Them” by Uwem Akpan that we would have read before next month for the next book club meeting. First we talked about our book that we read prior to this one.
It was called “The Story of Edgar Sawtelle” by David Wroblewski. I had everyone pick their favorite part in the book. May handed out copies of the book. I spoke and said: “I would like to welcome you all to our second meeting this month. I would for all of us to go around and say our names. I’ll start first. Hi, I’ve been the Christian Book Club for Mothers, Family and Friends President for 2 months now. My name is Allison April Wong Washington. If you don’t like Allison, you can call me Ally. I actually live in San Francisco, California. I have six girls: April-Michelle, Abigail, April, Adina, Andrea, and Aqua. They will be 8 years old on Sunday. April-Michelle will be 11 today. I actually made this book club up with my two best friends: Sabrina and May. May had added Maria. Then Maria brought some of her friends and thus became this book club. We decided among us that we would read all of the books on Oprah’s Book Club.”
I continued “We have been to the Oprah show in Chicago two times last month. I was born September 13, 1974 to an African American mother and Chinese father in Tokyo, Japan. I am 35 years old. I’m a ninth grade science teacher in San Francisco, California. My mother made my father and me move from Tokyo to New York to Chicago to Miami. In New York, I met Sabrina and May at Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts located at 100 Amsterdam Avenue in Staten Island, New York. I also met Keith Brandon Washington, my ex-husband and my daughters’ father. I married him in 1985, when we were both 15 years old. We separated 9 years later, in 2004. We finally divorced in 2007, when our daughters were 3 years old. I’m looking for a man who can take care of me, take me out to dinner, have fun with me, and give me good loving when I need it. But mostly I’m looking for a guy to be my friend. Thank you!”
After the introductions, we talked about the book called “The Story of Edgar Sawtelle” by David Wroblewski. I started by saying “It was about a boy named Edgar Sawtelle who could not talk. He could hear but he couldn’t speak words. He learned sign language with a teacher. His teacher was born with both deaf parents. They could talk to her, but they couldn’t hear her say any words. So they had friends talk to her, and teach her so that she could use all her 5 senses. Then she was able to help students to use sign language to speak to others.” May jumped in and said “Gar and Trudy Sawtelle are Edgar’s parents. They own a farm with dogs. One dog named Almondine, stayed close to Edgar at all times. He fell once and began to cry, but no one could hear him, so Almondine began to bark and Gar and Trudy came out to get them off the road.” I finished and walked over to my seat at the end of the table. May talked, Sabrina talked, Maria talked, and then everyone else talked as well. I wrapped up our meeting by saying “I hope to see you all at our next meeting in 2 weeks. But most of you I will see you tomorrow for the horse race. Welcome to the Christian Book Club for Mothers, Family and Friends. Have a good night and a safe drive home!” Sabrina, Maria, May and I began putting the things away. I closed my MAC laptop bag; put my things in my blue Coach Messenger bag. I put on my blue Coach Trench coat. I hugged Sabrina, Maria and May and promised to see them for lunch before the horse race. I put my laptop bag and my blue Coach Messenger bag on my shoulder and proceed to walk to my car. I opened my Ivory 4 door Mercedes Benz truck, put my bags on the passenger seat, and got in, turned the key in the ignition and began to drive away. I was staying at the four seasons hotel in Miami. I parked and got out and went into the hotel upstairs to my 34th floor penthouse, climbed into my king-size bed and went to sleep. Good Night, All!
Allison “Ally” April Wong Washington
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