Where I’m From

I am from broken asphalt sidewalks, from Nutella and graham crackers.
I am from the biggest house on the block, the parlor full of old ghosts, the playroom that flooded once so I had to run in recklessly to save my stuffed animals.
I am from the roses planted in the side yard by my mother and my best friend’s grandmother, who inhabited this space before any of us came along.
I am from Takacs’ and the West Side Market, from stubbornness and badly kept secrets, from Zsabensky and Uchaly and names everyone has long forgotten.
I am from a clan of survivors, refugees who never put down their baggage.
From endearments whispered under rocking chairs and hours of adventures on monkey bars.
I am from guilty Catholics, who don’t know why they are what they are. Who can’t look the statues in the eyes in the opulent church of my childhood. Who only attend Mass because their parent’s did. A place I won’t venture unless someone has been born, or someone has died, or someone is being given to someone else.
I’m from the Upper East Side, the wrong side of the river, Hunky Town, a foreign country to anyone but the people who have their passes to get in and out. From too much garlic, too much paprika, from a fridge that always has lard in it.
From the callouses on my uncle’s feet, the weight he bears on his shoulders still from carrying my aunt across the border in the middle of the night, and the weight she bears on hers from the cancer in the marrow of our family bones.
I am from the intersection of Front, Consaul, Genesee and Paine. From the stifling parsonage attic, to the freezing third floor of the other house. The dark, unwelcoming basement of my childhood home. The tower room where I spent the last two years of my life.
That is where I am from.
That is not who I am.
~2/24/15
_____
A friend recommended this template to me. I enjoyed this immensely.

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