|Above it all!|
The ladies themselves could have been any old American mélange like the rest of us there listening, except for our French friend, Simone. She was an American citizen, but not very American. Though female lineage is apt to be surrendered with the last name, in confrontations with Americanness, Frenchness somehow prevails, as water puts out fire, fire burns paper, and paper soaks up water, and so Simone had not surrendered Frenchness to her American husband, she’d added Americanness on. Are roots arbitrary after all, or adopted?
|Big waters mid-continent|
Girls were never shanghaied, but it took me a long time to understand that this romantic fate wasn't likely to be mine; there was nothing to lend desirable drama to my future. In my gender-neutral imagination, I was the protagonist, in my hammock or on deck when the pirates were spotted on the horizon, or when the rough mate with his eye patch went amok on the bridge. ... The books in childhood are the ones that can point your life toward something, and though, in the case of a puny midwestern girl, becoming a pirate was not a realistic goal, it took a long time for me to relinquish that hope.
|Flyover country between Detroit and Chicago|