“So this is it,” Majar’jän Olêstadro said to himself as he lay in his straw bed next to the cows. “This is the day I finally move to America.” The sunrise shone bright through the window.
He had spent years enamored with American culture, taking English lessons, trying to lose his accent, learning about American pastimes like football, and even thinking of American-sounding names to give himself. It was all so much more interesting than the culture here in this country. “Perhaps when I move to America I could be called Bill, or Tim, or… Johnny!” He smiled at the sound of that name. But what would be his last name? Perhaps he should decide later.
He got out of bed and looked at himself in the mirror. “So this is what it’s like to be twenty-five!” He admired his skin, so young and smooth looking. His father had warned him many times that wrinkly, leathery skin ran in the family, and that one day Johnny’s would dry out as well, but that seemed an improbable future, one he need never actually face.
“I will go lift some weights before I get breakfast, ha ha ha” he announced as he walked over to the pile of rocks in the corner. He grunted as he lifted the largest one. “Have to work hard if I want to look like my favorite celebrity Fabio!” He caught another glimpse of himself in the mirror. He looked good.
While lifting weights, he passed the time by thinking of all the wonderful things that might await him in the land of opportunity. “Maybe I get great job at bank,” he said. “Maybe I marry beautiful wife, and buy beautiful house. Maybe I have kids with her, or at least adopt college student. And maybe everybody there love me, the stores call me favorite customer, my mother-in-law think of me as her son, the adopted kid think of me as real father, and maybe I have all the friends in the world.” Johnny wiped off his sweat and headed downstairs for breakfast. He was feeling unusually hungry.
“Yeah, can I have a plate of pancakes,” he said to his parents. “Four pancakes, half with blueberries and maple syrup, half with strawberries and regular syrup, light on the whipped cream, and can I have it served with a medium cappuccino, extra foam, and with a bendy straw, please.” His mother gave him a smile and a nod as she went to the stove.
“So our son is really going to America,” his father said as he put his hand on Johnny’s shoulder. His father’s skin felt rough and course to Johnny, like a stiff old leather couch. “Son, I want you to remember a few things before you get there. One, man is breadwinner. King of castle. Two, always be good to queen of castle. Treat her like princess. Buy her lots of nice things, and never let her leave the house. She then required to love you. If she doesn’t, she is bitch and sociopath. But she will love you, so don’t worry about it.”
“Ha ha ha,” said Johnny. “You always know right thing to say.”
His mother interrupted them to bring Johnny three pancakes with water and no syrup. “Raaaaagghhh!!!” raged Johnny as he hurled the plate across the room. “How could you do this to me???”