Becoming No One and Everyone at the Burbank Mall
I was just another teen with a hot dog pretzel.
The Secret Life of the American TeenagerCharlotte Russe at Burbank Mall. It was 2009. Naturally, we were in line to catch a glimpse of the cast and maybe get our picture taken with them. Sarah was the friend who religiously watched the show, and while I had never seen an episode, I was excited just to have somewhere to go after school that wasn’t immediately home. In the nearly five-minute-long video, we scooched along the mall’s floor as the line inched forward, joking and laughing and almost getting mad at each other just to laugh again.
An Uong is a writer, editor, and recipe tinkerer whose work orbits themes of pop culture, food, and Vietnamese-American womanhood. Her writing is forthcoming or has appeared in Catapult, Eater, Hyphen Magazine, Roads and Kingdoms, Bon Appetit, Taste, and elsewhere. Living between Los Angeles and Providence, Rhode Island, she’s always on the lookout for a good bowl of bún bò Huế. Find her online: @anuonganuong.
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I do not have flesh; I only have ghosts. In this story, the dead are only what I say they are. Does this make them less real?