I had a friend, while back. I used to obsess over him. Like really obsess over him. I was so happy that I’d found a black guy who liked listening to NPR and Tom Waites. And in the South, of all places. Now I know it sounds like stereotyping, but… Whatever.
Turned out, he was mixed. His mom’s a French Canadian broad, and his dad’s a negro. Good enough. But I’d always wanted to ask him about that. Did he feel like he was constantly trying to find out his identity? I figured this was worse because his dad wasn’t in his life, so he’s just surrounded by white family members. And his relatives are from Maine white. Like pasty white. And here he is, looking somewhat Arabic with a whole bunch of curly hair.
But I think maybe I was projecting a bit. I’m sure that he was comfortable with it. He’s had years maybe trying to figure it out. Or maybe he didn’t. And all of that is OK. I, on the other hand had struggled with existential crises since I started college. Every semester it was always something. Always a “Who am I?” moment. So I figured since I’m all tragic, maybe he was too.
Too bad I can’t ask.