We were gathered in a square of tables. It felt as if setting them up took half-an-hour. The girls, butting heads over where which table should go. “It needs to be moved over!” “We have one extra!” “This side should be against the wall!”
Then, we sat down. I hardly remember the first part of the serving of what Professor Lay referred to as “Festive Salad.” The worlds were a blur. I was too distrated typing up the late work for my screenwriting class on my phone to remember much before the arrival of the tablecloth.
“You need to have a tablecloth,” insisted several at the head of the room, Lay included. Then, she began mixing the salad and telling us of her heritage. Irish, Polish. Her grandmother never wanted to remember the Irish, since her family were starving before they moved to America. Her uncle took pride in the Irish, however, and the Polish side of the family was quite glad to display their heritage.
I talked with the classmate beside me, Dimitryus. We shared a film class together, also. He was from Florida, like my boyfriend. We talked about Florida. We talked about Cuban food. He said his family was Brazilian, and shared about some of his mother’s cooking. I shared about the cuisine of Buffalo, since my heritage is not so cleanly defined.
The salad was dolled out. I gobbled up the sweet, syrup-dressed leaves and crunchy nuts. I tossed out the plate, and went back to my screenwriting.
But I idly listened to the chatter around. It was very much like home.