An American Mind

By Ellie Cartier

“Bonjour!” Rose said as she sat down across the diner table. Amy looked up from her coffee and smiled at her friend. She noticed there were dark circles under her eyes due to lack of sleep. But Rose’s smile showed that the minimum sleep she had during her trip wasn’t bothering her at all. “How ‘re zings in America?” Rose asked, her French accent thick in her English tongue.

Amy placed her mug on the cool metal table. “Oh yanno,” she shrugged. “Same old, same old. How’s France? Nice of you to visit me during your trip.” Around her, voices from other conversations in the diner carried through the air. The smells of hot, fresh food were strong and it made both girls even hungrier.

“I rarely get ze chance to come to Arizona, and it iz an even rarer chance to see you.” Rose gave a quirky smile. “But really, how ‘re zings going? You ‘ave a new president I hear?”

“Yeah, Trump or whatever his name is. He’s pretty cool I guess…”

“What ‘as he done in ‘is first months of presidency?”

Amy tried to think of anything she had read or seen in the news lately. All that came up was the latest ‘Keeping up with the Kardashians.’ episode and the news of Chris Pratt and his wife’s marriage troubles. “I mean, he’s done…stuff.” She said, trying to think of something to change the subject with.

Rose laughed and shook her head. “You know, ma amie, I ‘ave asked many of my friends ze same question I just asked you and yet no one ‘as given me an answer.”

“Yeah, well there’s a lot of stuff that happens here in America. You can’t expect us to remember everything, now can you?” Amy shot back, slightly embarrassed she couldn’t name anything at the moment. There was laughter heard from a group in the back.  The waitress came by with her coffee pot, asking for refills. Even though her mug wasn’t even half empty, Amy was grateful for the distraction and called the waitress over.

After she had poured them both a mug, she took their orders. “Such a shame about hurricanes going on right now.” The waitress, whose name tag read ‘Elizabeth’ said while she finished jotting down their orders. “I hope everyone can get out safely. It’s nice we don’t have to worry about that kind of stuff, I couldn’t even begin to imagine.” And with that, she closed her notebook and strutted off.

Rose peeked at Amy from the top of her coffee mug. “Hurricanes? Where ‘re those happening again?” She asked, placing her chin on her hands after setting her cup down.

“Uh,” Amy had just seen this on the news. Where were they happening? “Texas and Florida, I believe. Horrible really, but let’s talk about France.” She challenged. “Anything new?”

“Our new president just spent thirty grand on makeup in the pass… how do you ‘ay it? Un…deux…oh! Three months.” Rose said, shrugging. “Nothing new, our presidents ‘ave always ‘ad a zing for make up.” There was silence for a moment. “You watching that one show, what iz it? TMZ?”

Suddenly, Amy was filled with stories of who was with who, what this one person said about some other celebrity, and what was hot on the top 50 list in pop music. Because just like Amy, many Americans have no idea what’s actually going on in the world today. Unless it was on the cover of some gossip magazine or in TMZ, half of the world doesn’t know more than maybe one fact about it.

We often allow petty things like celebrity divorce hold more importance to us than the lives that are at stake in the hurricanes, or we don’t bother ourselves with knowing exact details of politics because Trump’s fake tan was more amusing than the actual plans he has for the U.S. So now, no one truly knows what they’re voting for these days. If we worked harder to actually understand the things going on around us, it would be easier for people to not only agree with but work alongside of each other. We would be more knowledgeable about other cultures and opinions people hold.