Wednesday, September 12, 2012

name a hero, explain and thank them for it

Steve Martin is one of my heroes, not for his fiddle playing or even his stand-up, but because  the first time I ever saw The Jerk, which he co-wrote and starred in--it resonated.  I had finally found somebody who understood my inability to belong in any place that I actually fit. He nailed the ambivalence of foster care and my alienation from a crazy family before that. It wasn’t just that I was black on the inside and white on the outside, at least sometimes, but that I was a variation of white, black, brown, yellow and red on the inside- from all my families- even if the outside never seemed to match up.   

“Ashy-white thing.  Four-eyed, buck teeth and your momma wasn’t a glassmaker.”  Turns out my momma was a glassmaker, an hour-glass maker, anyway.  

Thanks for being alive, Steve and putting your misfit characters into the world.  It made me darkly-optimistic at eleven that I could find my place to be.

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