one of the doors at work was jammed. who knows why it wouldnt open, but my manager taped a sign on the door to warn others of this unfortunate situation. it said:
it does not work
please use next door
me and my coworker laughed, but it was a loving one. because we love our manager for all of his hard work and for his little mistakes. He has a thick accent. he came from El Salvador. he spells american names phonetically. his mustache is usually curled up in a smile. he laughs a warm and full laugh. he accepts you. he shakes his head when youre late but does not scare you. his energy and face are naturally sweet.
Larry, a regular customer, is a middle aged man who always seems bitterly tired. He has the pocked face of someone obsessive. i guess he picks things apart, including his own face. i never see him smile. i never feel positivity from him. he never asks how i am. and i remember his name. his aura, energy, whatever you would call it, is not so repulsive i dread when he comes in, its just not pleasant, not something i want to surround myself in, its the equivalent of a gentle wince. but thats because i dont know larry. today though, i got to understand why i felt this presence from him. i heard him laugh and since ive never heard him laugh, i looked to find out why. he was reading the sign. i chuckled and said, "oh, yeah.." and then he said,
"Made in the USA, right? Am I in America?"
Oh Larry, you shithead.
I was startled by his response and couldnt think of anything to say in those few seconds after he said it, so he just left and i came up with things to say when he was gone.
are you in america? yes you are. it is a diverse place. the man who wrote that came from el salvador, did you know that? he came here because America, the shiny apple that it is, seemed to have more opportunity for him. in fact americans came to california because they thought things would be better there too. they came and squatted on mexican landowners farms until the owners were basically kicked off their own land. (thats a very brief history lesson) and we all know what happened to Native Americans. America is culture. America is undoubtedly crass, sure, but it is choice, it is options, it can be grammatically incorrect.