Who were these people, these specially selected tenants? They were mothers and fathers and children. A dressmaker, a secretary, an inventor, a doctor, a judge. And, oh yes, one was a bookie, one was a burglar, one was a bomber, and one was a mistake.
But then it came to me that who I really am is a person who doesn’t need to know who he really is, in the usual sense. What does it mean, anyway – family background and so forth? People use it mostly as an excuse for their own snobbery, or else their failings. I’m free of the temptation, that’s all. I’m free of the strings. Nothing ties me down.
I wont stop working until my name become a Verb.
I felt like no one was really looking out for me, that I was marginal and incidental. I compensated by being spongelike, impressionable, and available to whatever and whoever provided the most comfort, the most sense of belonging. I was learning two sets of skills simultaneously: adaptation – linguistic and aesthetic – in order to fit in, but also, how to survive on my own.
We fluff them and fold them and nudge them and enhance them and bind them and break them and embellish them beyond measure; then, as we drive them up to the college interviews that they’ve heard since birth are the gateway to the lives they were destined to lead based on nothing more than our own need for it to be true, we tell them, with a smile so tight it would crack nuts, ‘Just be yourself.
Motherhood is still the great unknown. For some, it brings incomparable happiness and enriches their identity. Others manage as best they can to reconcile contradictory demands.
When was it exactly that I became… this? By small degrees, I suppose. One act presses hard upon another, on a path we have no choice but to follow, and each time there are reasons. We do what we must, we do what we are told, we do what is easiest. What else can we do but solve one sordid problem at a time? Then one day we look up and fine we are… this.
Being gay is not just what I do, but who I am. It is part of how I choose to live my life even if I never chose.
To ask who we are represents a primary reflex in human consciousness. Every person seeks to understand him or herself and reach a verifiable and cohesive image of his or her own identity.
I fall in love with Paraíso. It’s like a giant playground where I’m never scolded for running around recklessly, where I’m almost overwhelmed with the amount of attention and love I receive from Mami’s family. In New York, I’m invisible.