disappear in plain sight

Identity Piece in Reconstruction

Now you see me now you don’t. I’m lost to myself. Even I can’t see me. Where do I come from?

We came from Cuba. We came from Spain.

And I can’t track my family back any further than my two grandmothers: one came from Vigo (maybe, somewhere in Galicia seems certain) in Spain; and the other one was abandoned at a convent doorstep by a parent she hardly knew somewhere in (or near) Havana.

My two grandmothers had 6 husbands — and one child by each — 6 kids sired by 6 different fathers. So the invisibility took root.

Those roots were uprooted during the revolution and they all became invisible again in exile — a familial diaspora ranging from Chicago to Jersey City to Puerto Rico and Miami.

We all became invisible in a land that really didn’t want us.

The land that “bumper-stickered” me with: “Will the last American leaving Miami please bring the flag.”

(Blind-ass cracker mother fucker! I wrote somewhere some years later)

Now you see me… and now I’ll disappear in plain sight.

We came from Cuba. We came from Spain.

I also have an Arabic-rooted patronymic. Although I’ve been told that the man my father took his patronymic from wasn’t actually his father. It was my Spanish grandmother’s matronymic…

“Son of Álvaro;” I find… “alternatively, from Arabic al-faris, a knight or cavalryman, from which was derived the Medieval Iberian rank Alférez”

So just how far back do I travel to find the Arab in me? Was my father’s line the Moor, or the assassin of the Moor?

Neither… maybe. I just found it may be a Visigothic name. From the Visigoths “who ruled Spain between the mid-5th and early 8th centuries had a profound impact on the development of surnames.”

Whatever it was/is: we were killers once, and we always will be killers.

We came from Cuba. We came from Spain.

Now I’ll disappear in plain sight.

“The knowledge of cooking does not come pre-installed in a vagina. Cooking is learned. Cooking—domestic work in general—is a life skill that both men and women should ideally have. It is also a skill that can elude both men and women.”

— Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie / Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions

About istsfor manity

i'm a truncated word-person looking for an assemblage of extracted teeth in a tent full of mosquitoes (and currently writing a novel without writing a novel word) and pulling nothing but the difficult out of the top hat while the bunny munches grass in the hallway. you might say: i’m thee asynchronous voice over in search of a film....
This entry was posted in Writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s