A misunderstanding

I always flew home for Christmas break during college.

One year an ex-boyfriend whom I had stayed friends with called my parents house to see if I was visiting. He was home from UC Berkeley for the holiday, only for him it was Hanukkah.

We went out to T.G.I.Fridays for dinner and drinks.

Our waiter was friendly. When he brought the food, he looked at me with fascination. “Are you Indian?”

I was enthusiastic and chatty, “Wow! I am. Though he was born here in town, my grampa’s ancestors were Tarahumara Indian. I like the idea of it, and identify myself that way some, but no one has ever just noticed it before,” and on and on.

I figured I was overly excited. He said “cool” and left like I scared him off.

That night when I brushed my teeth I saw why he had asked. I had a big pimple right in the middle of my forehead. I must have scratched it open in the evening. It was as red as paint.

He didn’t mean American Indian.


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