Every city has them, one of those suburbs where all the people look like they've stepped out of a prim and proper machine. You know, the kind where the most underdressed person is wearing designer jeans and suede flats, along with a blouse that looks as if it is fresh from dry cleaner after having been worn for the first time last week. The kind where women sit with their backs erect and place little pieces of lettuce into "on the side" dressing, then bring it to their perfectly pink lips. I'm sitting at a cafe in one such place. Needless to say, my brown sweat pants and thermal undershirt are a little out of place, as is my oversized body and face without makeup. But that's OK, because Esperanza is here, smiling at me, knowing that I'll talk to her a bit, even though we struggle to communicate in each of our native languages.
This particular suburb is knowing for its conservative attitudes and multitude of churches. It is filled with suburban mothers who carry their children to preppy cafes with WiFi access and force their equally preppy, glossy husbands with plenty of hair product to meet them for lunch, so that they can be gophers and bus boys and show their abilities as fathers.
Perhaps I'm judgmental of places like this because I secretly want to be one of these prissy people. Or perhaps I am observant because I'm thankful that I have no desire to be like them.
Either way, I identify more with Esperanza, who cleans the tables and smiles pleasantly, feeling different than the rest, but in some way happy to be here, watching.
5 months ago