Delia: A Long Way from the Mountains


I’m in a hurry, so I ask the waitress in my “just the facts please” voice: What kind of soup do you have today?

She replies: You could tell me what kind of a day you are having first. Or I could just act like an order taking machine.

Startled by her reply, I take the initiative. Why don’t you tell me your name.


And have you lived here in Reston all your life?

Yes, but my mother came from Peru.


To get a piece of the American dream.

And did she?

Yes. We are very comfortable and have a good life.

Are you a student?

Yes. I am studying biology and I hope to become a doctor.

Do you think you will go back to Peru when you finish your education?

No. I’ve never been there, but I am sure I don’t want to practice medicine there. I want to stay here in Virginia where I am comfortable.

I wonder why, when I look at here broad face and slanting Inca eyes that have never seen the mountains from which she came, I feel homesick for an unknown homeland.