I grew up in a white neighbourhood in a white city, yet I became fast friends with the one boy on my street who had cerebral palsy and brown skin. My other best friend was a nerdy mathematician and half Mohawk. One of my first girlfriends in high school was Japanese.
I’ve always been drawn to oddities. What makes you odd? My lack of sovereignty makes me odd. You see, I have a graveyard, but I can never remember where I’ve buried myself. This amnesia forces me to the edge of existence, where I stand against the silence smoking a cigarette. When the cigarette is done I get down on my hands and knees and crawl back toward the centre, feeling the surface for the old bones of my darkness.
When I was a kid I got teased about my last name. This never bothered me too much because even from an early age I knew that things could always be far worse than what they were.
Sometimes people ask me if I’m Jewish. Sometimes I’ll respond by saying that I’m not circumcised and that I can show them if they want proof. Great nights and even some great relationships have started out this way. I like Jewish people.
William Shakespeare and Samuel Beckett helped me acclimatize to the absurdity of life. There are other writers that I could have mentioned, like Duke Miller for instance, but Shakespeare and Beckett are the two names that came to mind. Fame has its virtues, I suppose.
Not too long ago I buried the most recent version of myself, said a few words by the side of the grave, turned my back, and walked away a writer.