Fathers and sons

I was born a mind in the wrong body, in the wrong town, in the wrong country. In medical terms I am what psychologists call a transnationalist. Sociologists categorized me among the culturally displaced persons. Although many people consider me mental perverted, I do not but remember myself as knowing I did not belong where I belonged, or at least people told me I came from. This deviated perception of my self originated nor within myself nor within the outer world, but I grew up to consider it an unfortunate play of circumstances and nature, or perhaps better so, a misfortunate play, because my misfortune I only understood much and much later, when I already misunderstood myself, or rather had learnt to understood myself.

I was born in a small family, typically with a socialist father from Rotterdam and a catholic mother from a provincial town in the west of the northern Brabant. As I was only two weeks old I was already uprooted, barely having moved into my parental home for a few days, and we moved to the deep south of the Netherlands, a culturally retarded area, although many people that I grew up with always defined this backwardness as highly refined, which is in general and tragically the case in the human branch of the monkey specimen.

This is not the place to elaborate on my misfortune nor to speculate on the justifications for such a grave fate. I grew up however as most children in an unnatural predisposition, thinking that my unhappiness, my severe misfortune, and I have seen but more fortunate souls, was all that life offered. I later saw Afro-American children in the ghettos of the United States speak of similar experiences, but what these lucky children do not realize is that they lost their names and cultural inheritance many generations ago, they never experienced the tragedy of loss, only the much sweeter tragedy of not belonging. This sweeter tragedy of not belonging is salvation in comparison with the much greater sadness that I was struck with. The black souls I spoke, no matter how traumatized, always shared their fates, they never were without the support of a community, and they never were alone. However, my tragedy is much graver, and much darker!

But now, after 34 years of solitude and disquiet, I am sent into exile. Now, for most people this prospect is one that sends shivers all over their spines simply imagening such destiny. But only someone who tasted the salt of the earth, who walked along the field of skulls, understands immediately, that it beholds no terror, it beholds no fearsome hopes, but happy horizons. Finally, the land of my fathers, the idea of a home, yes, the idea itself! The idea, a shadow of what most people have grown to believe is their right of birth, the foreshadow, the glimpse of hope, no, no, hope I do without, but the glimpse of hope! What delight, to catch a glimpse in one’s heart! Alas, I know, I know the approaches of drunkenness, of patheticness and simplicity that people use to define the passion of a heart, strange to their own, and to remain distant from it, preserving their steady, civic natures of normalcy. Don’t think I am a stranger to that nature.

In six days, a country strange to me, to whom I am but an anonomous visitor to, will open itself through the means of bureaucracy, and welcome me in absolute silence. My arrival will be not that of a king, such deliverance nor grace I do not bring. On a donkey I will enter the city, a city that knows so much wealth that I will never carry it. So I bring humility, and if I arrive in good omen, with a sense of humanity, but these are my greatest treasures, dull as can be, in a city that glitters like Vega, whose nights are bright like the moon itself.

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