Tuesday, January 24, 2012

AN ESSAY

My great-great-grandfather’s name was Isaac or Jacob or something. And he was from one of the Eastern European countries, the ones with a lot of Jews, probably with like a hard name to pronounce. His mom had a sweet blue apron that was all faded and his dad was a butcher or something cool. This was their homeland, and in the summer there were all these warm breezes smelling faintly of lavender that would shake this tree that my great-great-grandfather would sit under with his girl, whose name was Rose, and who died of some awful disease when she was young.

Anyway Jacob or Isaac or whatever came over to the United States on a big boat, or maybe his son did, regardless it doesn’t much matter. He came over and when he got here he got off the boat and said, “yes, America! This is such a nice place that I am now, better than that place I was in before that has that name that’s hard to pronounce.” Except he said it in broken English and his hat was like they had in The Newsies. And also he was so wrong about America! It is not like those things he said it was, it was really hard. For instance he was robbed as soon as he got off the boat, like right after he said how good it is here, and the robbers hurt him real bad and he went to the hospital, but then when he got to the hospital he was robbed again by the doctors. They took the gold Star of David he wore around his neck, and he said, “no, that was given to me by my girlfriend Rose, who died of some awful disease when she was young.” And the doctors were like, “yeah, whatever,” And they put him back onto the streets, which were now dark and it was raining too.

So my great-great-grandfather did a lot of stuff including inventing some stuff and meeting my great-great-grandmother, and they had babies and the babies had babies and eventually we got my mom, Ellen. She grew up in Brooklyn in a Jewish area though she often skipped Hebrew School to play at the arcade across the street. One time she was pushing a doll in a stroller and her sister pushed her and the stroller and she fell flat on her face and her nose got a little flatter, which is actually a symbol for her malleable feelings towards tradition and culture. They were so malleable that she married my dad, Dan, who came from Troy, New York and who was a Christian and who used Miracle Whip, which is also another symbol for how gross and weird his family was to my mom, who used mayonnaise like a normal person. But anyway they got married.

I was sort of an immigrant too, like my great-great-grandfather, except my immigration was from one suburb to another suburb and it was not an immigration at all really. I mean it was from Poughkeepsie, New York to Wayne, Pennsylvania, so come on. Those cities are very different in several substantial ways, for instance in my new house we did not have an above-ground pool which I am told was awesome. I say “I am told” because I only lived in Poughkeepsie for one year, specifically until I was one. Memories then were foggy like London fog gently rolling over London, which I say in the interest of providing beautiful imagery, etc.

When I was five we moved from Wayne to Belgium for a little bit for my dad’s job. My main memories from this period was showing my class the wooden sword I had for show and tell and also the time I smashed my teeth on the hard wood of the dining room floor when my stupid babysitter let my sister and I grab hands and spin in circles. My teeth were not a symbol for anything, though, and plus they were fine. I mean I never even got braces, which was probably not a result of that accident but you never know I guess. We moved home eight months after, which was good because I got to see all my kindergarten friends again except now we were in first grade.

School went on for a while and I found it pretty boring because I was intelligent but not very hard-working, and because of this my grades were bad and my parents and I fought. Doors were slammed, cars were crashed, urine was tested. Eventually I realized how much I love my family and we stopped fighting, though in the interest of not providing too much of a cliché ending on that front my mom and I fight still very rarely in a healthy way but I love her still, or possibly we never fight but our relationship is still not perfect, or maybe she got me the wrong color car for my most recent birthday. Also in middle school once someone called me ginger-balls and it was my first encounter with the racism I would face throughout my life but eventually I learned how to be proud of my heritage from someone significant like my dad.

My family would be best explored by examining one of our yearly traditions which is Christmas. Even though we are Jewish we still celebrate Christmas because my dad grew up Christian and we like presents. We used to go to my grandmother’s house for Christmas – I mean the one on my father’s side, we used to go to her house – but eventually we stopped liking her maybe so we started celebrating Christmas with my mom’s side. They are all Jewish though so they don’t really know what to do, like for instance we usually get a tree on Christmas Eve and then get rid of it on December 26. We don’t like it sitting around my house because my cousin is allergic to pine. We should really get a fake one but we are all pretty lazy. Two years ago I got a Wii, it was so sick, but also it is about family togetherness and stuff like that.

Anyway yeah and stuff, this is all about how I'm the same as my great-great-grandfather probably. You probably need to read more into the symbols or whatever.

38 comments:

Jesse said...

This is fantastic.

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