Bingo Vivian by Mary Vigasin
Story of the Month contest entry
Vivian was sitting in a reclining chair with her feet up, a bottle of beer in her hand. Next to the chair was a TV tray full of prescription medication. "Can't go until I take my medsin."
She opened five of the containers, taking one pill from each one, shoved them all in her mouth at once and took a swig of her beer.
With her crooked smile, long black eyelashes and dressed in a bright orange pantsuit, Vivian looked like a plump pumpkin. Pushing herself off the chair, she walked toward the door and reached for her oversized orange pocketbook. "Wadda ya waiting for? Let's go."
I was taking Vivian to bingo at a local VFW post.
She had mentioned that years ago, she used to go with her husband Dan to bingo, so I thought it would give her a treat.
We arrived at a packed hall, and I bought each of us 2 cards and sat down at the only table with available seats.
Sitting across from Vivian was a large older woman in a blue and yellow flowered dress with thick glasses, white hair and clicking false teeth. Next to her, and across from me was a thin younger woman wearing a halter top, denim vest and she had heavily tattooed arms. Her platinum hair was short and slicked back.
Each of these women had a dozen cards in front of them. Having so many cards made it likely that these women played the bingo circuit. That is, they went each night to different sites to play bingo.
The game started and they began to call out numbers.
"What did he say?" Vivian asked.
"Hold on, hold on." Vivian yelled out. "Ya going too fast. Slow down." The numbers kept coming.
"Wadda ya doing. You're going too fast!" Vivian's voice was getting louder and louder as she kept on complaining.
"Will you shut up or get the hell out of here!" The flowered dress across from Vivian yelled. "I need to concentrate on my cards."
"Well, he's going too fast!" she yelled back, "and I ain't leaving.
I abandoned my own cards to help Vivian which lightened her mood.
She then started to enjoy the game and her surroundings.
While I was focusing on her cards, Vivian began talking to our tablemates. "Ya know I used to work in Harrison's and one time the foreman...."
"Will you shut up." Now the denim vest spoke up while the flowered dress glared at Vivian.
"I am just funning." Vivian grinning at her own inner joke, let out a loud laugh that hung across the room like a mushroom cloud.
Now I noticed others in the room were staring at her angrily while others were shifting in their chairs.
"How about a beer?"
Pointing to the sign on the wall. "No, Vivian, no alcohol at the table."
"And you call this fun?" Her voice seemed to reverberate across the room. As nearly everyone turned around, and the number calling stopped.
I envisioned a mad screaming mob of bingo players chasing Vivian with pitchforks and torches.
"Vivian let's go get a beer." I did not have to ask her twice.
She got up and her metal chair fell to the floor with a loud bang, the sound shuddering across the entire room.
We got outside, and I had to ask her.
"I thought you said you and Dan used to go to bingo a lot."
"We did. He played; I drank."
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