It’s not the first time I’ve been asked this. I get asked this more than anything else, but it never gets easier.
I try not to show it, my anxiety, as I say, “All of my life.”
“Well, let me tell you this much,” she says with a look of surprise, before winking, “I don’t detect any accent.”
This too, I’m told all the time. Somewhere between the relief and paranoia, I mutter my thanks.
I finish eating my broccoli and I go to put the spoon I used into the sink, which is filled with bowls and dishes.
My mother says, “Bring everything that needs to be washed.”
I say, “I have the bowl I had for the broccoli, but it’s okay. I’ll use it to microwave my chicken in a bit.”
She says, “Bring it here. It’ll attract flies.”
I say, “It won’t. Flies like fruits and onions. Broccoli isn’t sweet to them. They only land on sweet things.”
And I say, “Just like you do,” inducing laughter in her.