Wimbledon’s playing on the TV in the living room. Dad and I are watching on the sofa.
In the kitchen, Mom cuts carrots and cucumbers with a long blade. She slices the vegetables one by one. Orange pieces. Green pieces.
I glance over Mom chops up the carrots and cucumbers without a cutting board, taking each long carrot and cucumber and slices it with precision, as though she’s a professional like the film with Natalie Portman and Jean Reno.
But she’s not a little girl and she’s not a Frenchman. She’s like a mix-in-between, like the asphalt in our driveway and the grass sprouting in between the cracks.
Dad is a computer engineer. He used to be an artist. Used to study technical drawing in a university in Saigon.
He met mom when he was working on a play. She was the lead actress. Shakespeare had said, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.”
He’s right, but right now I can’t tell what act I’m in. Dad focuses on the TV. Watches Federer and Djokovic, his eyes, darting from left to right like the mood of a young boy that crosses back and forth from light to dark, and back again.
Blade in hand, Mom makes longer and deeper cuts across the cucumber, cutting away the skin, leaving deep cuts in the vegetable. Dad turns his head towards her, his neck cracking like the forehand swung by Federer.
He clears his throat, softly, soft as gas leaking out from a stovetop from a studio apartment, like the scene in Fight Club, a match about to be struck.
Mom sets the blade down on the table, and bites her lip. Her nostrils flare. I press down on the couch arm, and stand up, my head bent, my eyes wandering to the doorway.