Elizabeth Gomez: My Life as an Engrish to English Translator. (As performed at Story Lab at Fillet of Solo Festival, 2014.01.18)

Drinkers with Writing Problems

EG GirlUnder my covers, I laid in my dark room listening. I could hear her yelling, but being only 9 years old, I wasn’t sure what I could do. We’d been here before, my mother and I. She was struggling, screaming. I pulled the covers over me tighter, “Riiiiiiiisa!!!! Riiiiiiiisa!!! You come here, Risa!”

My eyes widened as I left my sanctuary and I slumped into the kitchen. She stood there in her polyester bathrobe with a brown phone dangling in her hand. A sense of embarrassment flushed over me because I knew what I had to do, “Yes, Mom?”

“You! You speakie to him,” my mother said in her Korean accent.

“To who?”

“To this man! He no understanding me.”

Reluctantly, I took the phone from my mother’s hand, “Hello?”

“Hi, Ma’am, I’m trying to get the account number from your mother so we can help her. Can you get…

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