I wait for a ride to work in front of the local elementary school. The block is filled with children. I perch on low brick fence and listen to the novel Shanghai Girls by Lisa See, on my MP3 player. A very young man holds the hand of an older woman. Within steps of me he trips and falls to the ground. He makes an elaborate showing on rubbing his knee as the woman helps him up.
He gets up, takes a few steps and pauses in front of me.
“Did you get a boo boo?” I ask
He nods, and asks, What are you listening to?'
It is a story of a Chinese family that comes to America, I tell him. I do not tell him that writer recounts the terrible prejudice they encounter,
He would like to stay and chat, but his escort thinks it is time to move on. I do not understand the Asian Language she speaks, but I can guess the words that come out of her mouth are instructions to say good morning, because at the end he turns to me, bows and says, “good morning.” She has not understood a word of our exchange.
They move on. My ride comes. I am off to school.
We are all off to school.