Dis Claimer

I grew up in a 99% white neighbourhood in a 99% 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 mathematical genius and half Mohawk. One of my first girlfriends in high school was Japanese. I always felt different from other kids, right from a young age, and this difference was deep inside me. I still have this difference, this burial ground where everything goes to die. Ideas and people and dreams and love, it all dies here and decays here and then one day the bones break the surface like snakes to shed their skins of truth and taste the air with their tongues. As a kid I used to get teased a lot about my last name. But this never bothered me too much because I knew that it could have been far worse; I could have been called Harry, Jack or Philip. Sometimes people thought I was Jewish and for the most part I was okay with this. To me, Jewish people were smart and artistic. I grew up and accepted the humour in my name when I discovered that Shakespeare was right: life was sometimes tragic, but mostly it was a farce. Aaron Louis Asselstine became a name so apropos it was almost surreal, and to this day it remains so, thanks to the slightly indecorous reputation I have acquired. In fact, there are still people out there who grab the low hanging fruit off the trees of supposed truth. There are those who present themselves as pillars of decency, when really they are snakes in a burial ground.

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3 thoughts on “Dis Claimer

  1. I think no matter what your name is, kids will try to make fun of it. I had a fairly “normal” last name but it got man-handled every which way. (PS – my German teacher in HS was named Herr Assmus and he was a dead-ringer for Ichabod Crane.)

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