Footnote to Youth

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NARRATOR: Dodong thought to himself he would tell his father about Teang when he got home. He was hesitant about saying it, but he wanted his father to know. DODONG: I will tell it to him. I will tell it to him.

Dodong thought of his age, seventeen. Dodong started homeward, thinking how he would break his news to his father. He wanted to marry, Dodong did. He had pimples on his face, the down on his upper lip already was dark--these meant he was no longer a boy. He was growing into a man--he was a man. In the cool sundown he thought wild dreams of himself and Teang. Teang, his girl. She had a small brown face and small black eyes and straight glossy hair. How desirable she was to him. She made him dream even during the day. It was dusk when he reached home. The petroleum lamp on the ceiling already was lighted and the low unvarnished square table was set for supper. His parents and he sat down on the floor around the table to eat. They had fried fresh-water fish, rice, bananas, and caked sugar. (Dodong eats rica, fish, and caked sugar. Then his mother goes out to wash the dishes while his father sucks on his diseased tooth.) DODONG: I will marry Teang.

NARRATOR: There it was, what he had to say, and over which he had done so much thinking. He had said it without any effort at all and without self-consciousness. Dodong felt relieved and looked at his father expectantly. His father looked old now. DODONG: I am going to marry Teang.

NARRATOR: Dodong was uncomfortable and then became angry because his father kept looking at him without uttering anything.

DODONG: I will marry Teang. I will marry Teang. I asked her last night to marry me and she said...yes. I want your permission. I... want... it.... FATHER: Must you marry, Dodong?. You are very young, Dodong. DODONG: I'm... seventeen.

FATHER: That's very young to get married at.
DODONG: I... I want to marry...Teang's good girl.
FATHER: Tell your mother.
DODONG: You tell...
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