During research of my daughter’s American Indian heritage, I met Apple* through a friend who is a full blood living in town. I asked if she and I could meet sometime for a proper interview. She suggested the Bingo Hall on the North Side.
Fort Worth, TX
I’ve never been to a Bingo Hall, what do we do?
Start by picking up a Bingo sheet and buy a dauber.
I choose a sheet and pay the cashier.
Well, I’m playin’ ta win. It’s four for me, and a cover-all.
(She’s tall, dark red, and rough. Although the hall is packed, we find a vacant table).
My lucky table, she says, as I place the voice recorder between us.
Why meet here?
Too cold to find a date tonight, her reply, while searching her sheets for the called number.
When did you start tricking?
In high school, when I discovered boys like me. I may not be book smart, but I’m bright. I know what men like… they pay.
Where do you live?
Out on Midway Blvd. with mom and dad, and my younger sister.
And they know you make money dating?
Yeah, we don’t talk about it.
How do you find your dates? Do you have a pimp?
Naw, don’t need one… I need all my money.
I find dates by walking, in some places I know.
How old are you?
So, you’ve had your business a good 11 years?
Do you ever get a mean date?
Used to, now I can tell right off th’ mean ones.
Do you carry protection?
I’m packin’ now… but you’re talkin’ condoms, right?
It’s an option, but it costs more without a condom.
She wins the “four corner” game and cashes out …
As we head out the door I ask,
Can I drop you anywhere?
Sure, drop me down at the bank parking lot, 820 and I-35.
That’s nowhere near Midway Blvd and it’s cold out!
I’ve got my heavy coat; I’m good.
gravitational waves the half-life of blood
(One year later I am hired by the local school district as the Coordinator of the Indian Education Saturday program).
Fort Worth, TX
Apple walks in with her mom and dad, and proudly stands next to one of my students, a ten year old girl.
time/space continuum a parallel anomaly
*Not her real name – “Apple” is a term used in Indian Country for a full blood who has lost touch with his heritage. It is uttered as a lament, not a derogatory term.