SO WORCESTER, IT HURTS…#8 by Steve Siddle
August 11, 2011 § 1 Comment
So Worcester, It Hurts…#8
by Steve Siddle
She said, “Wow, you’re so….domesticated.” I was floored. I’ve been called a lot of things in my life, but I never heard that before. I stood there perplexed in my Pierce jersey and my grease stained cargo shorts and a snubbed blunt tucked in my ear, and tried to think of something clever to say.
Jessie and I had just met. Her cousin had brought her by the cookout I was throwing for my brother last week. I suppose if we had met at a bar, or at the beach or at some after-hours party somewhere in the wee hours, she would have seen me differently. She would have seen me the way I had grown accustomed to seeing myself. Instead she met while I was dishing out the corn and black bean salad.
It’s always shocking when someone recognizes something in us that we have blinded ourselves to. When we are reminded that, despite our desperate machinations and our subtle schemes to control our image, “who we are” is subject to interpretation, we don’t have as much control of how others see us as we would like to believe.
As thrilling as it can be when we are recognized in some positive way, it can be as disheartening when someone looks and sees only trouble. I suppose that’s why so many young men and women leave their hometown. When you live in the same village you grew up in, you are forever recognized for they way you once were. Or at least, it can feel that way sometimes.
I am writing you this in the courtyard of the Boston Public Library. My Oxford shirt is tucked in and my glasses are on. There is a beautiful girl sitting in front of me and two more by the fountain. Birds skip between the azalea bushes and marble steps. I could be anybody to these strangers, I could be from anywhere.
But it still feels like I’m from Worcester.
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