“So, are you white trash or… What are you?”
“What do you mean?”
“It just sounds like you were white trash… Your neighbors didn’t like you, your house was really ugly, you didn’t have a lot of money, you say everything was always really dirty.”
“I… Don’t really know, I guess.”
“I went and visited Berkeley and I didn’t like the tour guide. She was talking about how students were protesting over a new building that would have to tear down a bunch of old redwoods, and I made this face like ‘AHH’ over people killing these poor beautiful 100 year old trees and the tour guide looked right at me and said, ‘Those students are obstructing progress!’ And then she talked about studying French and spoke a little and I’d taken French all my life in New Orleans and she was a senior in college and her French was SO BAD and I thought ‘If this is the best you can do, I don’t want to go here…”
“Yeah, Duke was the same way, when I visited I looked around the campus and was like ‘Oh my God, get me out of here.’”
“I went to MIT after Katrina and it was really, really nice…”
“I lived in Oslo…”
“I lived in South Africa…”
“I spent time in Laos…”
“I lived in Tanzania…”
“He installed solar panels in Jamaica…”
“I lived in Buenos Aires…”
“I lived in Brazil…”
His car is registered to his family vacation home in Mississippi.
Her car’s insurance rate is the same price as her monthly payment.
She has a car that is named Elsa, snow white and spotless, manicure shining on the wheel.
“It’s weird, I wouldn’t call myself white trash because we weren’t country, we didn’t have accents, but if you listen to my brother or talk to my Dad they’re… Simple people. I just… I don’t know, compared to other people we were a bit lower on the spectrum but my parents were good to us, I went to college. We weren’t trash.”
“What did you think about Boston? Oh, really…?”
“I studied abroad too… Beers were $20 in Oslo… I didn’t drink any.”
I sputter into the parking lot once a week in a borrowed car half hoping everyone can see me and no one can see me at the same time.