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Radioactive Christmas

Ma comes on the red eye and makes us wake up early to go to the farmer’s market that I never knew existed because I’m rarely out of the house at 8 am on a Saturday. We see huge artichokes and get stuffed full of marinated squishy things presented on toothpicks by the Korean Hippie. I make Ma dinner even though this is supposed to be the other way around and I’m back to working while Ma steps out the door bound for Target and goes missing for three hours. Occasionally my phone rings with questions like, “Do you have a cookie sheet?” and “What was I doing here again?” But we don’t need red and green and flower shaped sprinkles because Ma has brought them in a zip-locked baggie in her suitcase. Apparently you’re not supposed to eat the metallic silver balls. I may have been slowly poisoned by Christmas cookies over the last two decade. Huge artichokes remind Vol of the franken strawberries, big as beach balls, that appeared in the Belorussian fields after Chernobyl. You weren’t supposed to eat them but there was no viable alternative. Mikey says she sometimes glows in the dark.


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