Tag Archives: American

The Idea of Order Near the Exit to the Interstate

Photograph by Jose Padua

This morning when I got to my
local big chain coffee house I
ordered a breakfast sandwich
and the woman behind the counter
asked me my name and I said “Jose”
and she grimaced and said “huh?”
and I said it again louder, clearer,
prouder and sat down at a table to wait.
A few minutes later another person
behind the counter starts saying
“House. House. House!” and I realize
he’s trying to say my name, and
I pick up my sandwich, look at the
wrapper on which the word “Hose”
is written instead of “Jose” meaning
that the English-speaking person
behind the counter couldn’t even read
or say the English word “Hose” correctly,
and as I sat down to eat my sandwich
I thought about the long, slow day
ahead of me and all the beautiful
ways I fail to be more American.

-Jose Padua

Photograph by Jose Padua