Where are you from, young man?
I’m from Dayton, Ohio.
No, I mean where are you really from?
I must not be making myself clear.
Were you born here?
Yes, I was.
Hey, you! You’re Chinese?
Yes, I am.
I thought so, I could tell by your eyes.
My eyes are fine, they’re just like yours.
No, they’re squinty, that’s how I could tell.
I’m not squinting.
Look at me, stupid Chinese kid.
What are you saying?
Doesn’t that mean something in Chinese?
No, it doesn’t.
Whatever, hey, teach me some Chinese curse words.
No. It’s a beautiful language, I won’t befoul it.
What a loser. Typical Asian.
Let’s try again.
I hope we have no problems this time.
It’s only one question.
Where are you from?
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.