- The White Space
Luis De Leon
(describe career objective here)1
312 Summer Road, Framingham, MA 017012
email account and email address forthcoming*
Colegio Valle Verde
15 Avenida 3-80, Zona 7
tel: 2665-8741 / fax: 3664-0463
528 Boston Post Road, Sudbury, MA 01776
production supervisor 1976–Present
• Responsible for maintenance and production of machinery and products
• Provided support and addressed the day-to-day process challenges
• Communications specialist with Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking clients and workplace engineers
• languages: Spanish, Portuguese, English
• mechanical: Skilled in maintenance and repair of machinery (plumbing, electric, small home appliances)
• Landscaping, roof repair, window, wallpaper, rug, and tile installation7
[End Page 1]
It is ten o’clock at night on Thanksgiving at my parents’ house and I am ready to go home. As I hold leftovers in my hands and wear my black winter coat like a cape over my shoulders, my father asks if I can help him write a résumé—the first in all his 56 years. I squint at him. A fold crackles in the warm tinfoil mass wrapped in a Shaw’s plastic bag.
“What?” I say, without taking off my coat. Besides, I have been here seven hours—no, eight—and he asks me to help him as I am just steps from the door that leads to my car that leads to my apartment in the city and my life muted from the sounds of his disapproval.
“I need to make a résumé,” he says. He is slouched in his recliner in the living room.
I step back into the heart of the house, the kitchen, and place the leftovers on the oval wooden table, next to forgotten folded napkins with images of smiling turkeys and fall foliage. Smudges of cranberry sauce stain them.
“What do you need a résumé for?” I ask, slipping my arms inside my coat sleeves, threatening to leave.
It has been three years since he worked, since the cancer, since his emergency splenectomy when the surgeon told us the lymphoma had consumed his entire spleen, and thankfully, it is not an organ we need. Then the doctor told us the cancer had spread to his stomach and they had to clean that up and staple the rest. My mom joked that Dad had scored a free stomach stapling, and look how lucky he was. I suppose that was one way to look at the situation, even though his extra 20 pounds would never warrant such an operation.
“I need a résumé for this company that helps people get jobs,” my father explains, facing the television.
“Oh, a temp agency?”
He turns his neck, gives me a dirty look, and I wonder if he knows what a temp agency does. I immediately feel bad for throwing in an esoteric term.
“Can I do it tomorrow?” I’m good at this game. I make promises to my parents I never intend to keep. Oh, I’ll write Mrs. Kreiner a thank-you note for you this weekend, or, I’ll help you get that form notarized next week. Sometimes I do write the notes. Other times my procrastination pays off and they forget to follow up with me. My parents can speak English. They can write in English, too. Fluency in a second language, however, is about more than the ability to translate one word to another. It is an invisible, yet potent comfort in the culture of that language. It is why my father is asking me for help tonight. [End Page 2]
“I promise, I’ll write it for you tomorrow.”
“No,” he says softly and stands up.
I spot my silhouette in the bay windows in the living room. My parents’ house mirrors the other ranch-style homes along their suburban street, where homeowners take good care of their lawns even if they can’t afford landscaping services. Holiday lights and wreaths decorate doorways and one-car garages. The mailman always delivers an extra Value Pack coupon book per my mother’s request. Neighbors...