My first name is undeniably German, while my last name was Irish, Flood, had probably been anglicized at some point in our tumultuous history. My father told me I was German. German and Irish but the scales tipped toward Deutsch. I idolized my Vater. That idolatry created a sense of pride about my heritage that I’ve held dearly for about as long as I lugged around that fucking plastic pumpkin. If only I could spit into a tube and get a breakdown of my DNA, that would be interesting, you know, to know the truth.
A fascination, grown from bedtime stories and ancestral mythologies. I remember one gift was a book about Germany. It chronicled history, geography and cuisine for a person with a fourth grade reading level. The atrocities of WWII, the capital being Berlin and currywurst. My death row last meal originated in Hamburg, though it is disputed. I am American, but there are moments when I think I should be elsewhere. The notion that within my genealogy, maybe meant I was better suited for a specific place on this planet, somewhere beyond the reach of my father’s clunker or the worn out treads on the tires of my Mongoose. Knowing that there might be two other countries in the world that could feel like home was a glimmer of hope. Germany and Ireland might as well have been Mars and Jupiter. My understanding of distance, as well as my understanding of most aspects of life were severely flawed.
My whole world consisted of my little town of Whitestone and the surrounding neighborhoods in the mighty borough of Queens. Whitestone was what I knew but not always where I felt I belonged. Which is what made me not so different from my mother. Were we the only people who felt lost in our own backyard? I wondered all the time how life might be if I left Whitestone or if I had never grown up here. Would I have been raised in a normal family, or would it be the same shit but different accent, different language. There are always lots of questions. I wanted my name to be pronounced properly. I wanted to know the names of the streets in those towns my ancestors lived in before fleeing. Spin the globe and use your index finger to stop it. If only it was that easy.
In search of a place that is comfortable is a goal that I could never achieve. Comfort for me is impossible. The thought of ever meeting someone who would understand me is ridiculous. No woman could or would ever bother to really know me. I know that now because I’d fuck it up way before then. You can’t expect anyone to understand you when you don’t understand yourself. Saboteur. Self destructive. Unstable. They all apply.
The ability to think, and I strongly believe this, is an absolute curse.
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