10 August 2016The Wandering Child
I am the dispossessed. I have no home or homeland. I have many loved ones, much to love, yet I have always been and am and will be dispossessed.
The dispossessed are not unhappy, unfulfilled, drifters or vagrants. They are without root or fear of loss of it. It is beyond good and evil. Another word for dispossessed is a world’s citizen, except that has connotations of administration. The dispossessed are human nomadic.
I realised how I was unrooted when I was 6 years old. I went to Hungary with my parents to see my great grandpa and grandma; the desolation, the poverty, the happiness they had in dust. I plodded along held by some strange woman to eat porridge. It was nice… but this scrawny dog running across the sunset? No, this was awful. I rejected it with every fibre of my being. I went back to the US and realised then two years later, what it was to have a home for others. When Ray my best friend had to move, it was only him that kept me interested there. My parents would always be there for me wherever I went, but what of others? I looked at the pylons, the houses all with manicured lawns and made of wood. It was a wasteland to devouring eyes: at the time, a mind that could not verbalise that it had no culture or gripping feelings here. Why live if a wasteland be your life? Where is the danger that edifies and how do I find it!
This is the story of the wandering child, who seeks the answer to that question.
I was born quietly — me, not my mother or father — in a hospital of Baltimore, Maryland in the great old United States of Ammerrrrica. Who knew the things I would do then, at six in the morning, my father and mother looking down at me like every other parent blessed with children. I say it cynically only because it is so common and I was a common enough child, for a while. I adore and praise my parents, in a way most could never understand, but we will reach that later at my adolescence and early twenties.
Smacked into existence my eyes opened and I’d like to think I half resented where I was, but I’m sure I was dead happy about it. Better than born in a cauldron of fire or amongst rabid dogs. Nice, warm arms, smiling teary-eyed faces, everyone in light blue togas like the ancient Greeks. YES! oh YES! I was born in the greatest age, I thought! My father, a great senator, my mother a beauty laden in gold. Finally, in the higher eschelons of society, a life of ease, and I’d be growing up fondled by Socrates! What bliss.
I looked again. No no no no! Wait! Those aren’t togas. Those are — those are smocks and nurses! Oh fucking hell, the 20th century, are you shitting me! I’m going to live through the worst fucking period in history? Still it’s not all midwives so that puts it at post Great War, let’s see, very technical? This is the 80s judging from that machine for mommy. Better than being shot to pieces but fuck me, I see the clock: 1983. Matted hair and bold clothing, the 90s where it gets all so complacent then the millennium. Fuck, don’t get me started. It’s 150 years until something good… I better stay healthy as hell.
On I wailed. The smack hurt I assure you but the realisation when I’d been born into was worse. Still, I looked at my parents and wondered: please, please, whatever force of this universe spins my fucked up fate, let them be good ones…
Before the thought left my head, I was in a moshpit of love. Dad and Mom were all over me and I couldn’t breath for a second, let out a little yelp and they shared me. I was barely left alone in fact. For the brief period in sterilisation and viewing, they kept their eyes on me constantly, with tears streaming from their eyes and hugging each other. Awww, you must think, cynical or sacchrine. Well, fuck you — they are my parents and I loved them from the first moment. Weird thing love, it can happen fast or slow but once it does, you can’t get rid of the fucker.
This part is not what I remember but what I was told by them. The first memory I have is being in a Baltimore apartment two or three stories up as we were moving out, or in perhaps, but I don’t remember it at all. See, my father went to John’s Hopkins and my mother was at school too but it was too tight for students. Once they had their diplomas they cut like hell out of there, near the Baltimore projects, to Columbia: a sweet and idealistic suburb perfectly between DC and Baltimore. It even had forests and council actions against their use for residence or business! What a paradise.
by Mathew Abonyi