Keeping a diary was never a thing that occurred to me growing up and it was never my style to share my thoughts with anyone; not even privately to myself on paper. Instead, I would conjure up other lives on storyboards using my own art and words with any tools that I could get my hands on.
My story, like all others, started in the womb. The ones who conceived me were in love and their lives untouched by the mistakes that would produce me as I am now. She was an innocent and idealistic twenty-six year old virgin when she met him. Her mother’s family hailed from Georgia with roots nestled deep into the history of this confused country. We still do not know if the tribe of our ancestors was Choctow or Cherokee, but we do know that one of the nations has records of their existence. Her father’s family lived in Minnesota but hailed from Germany and originated from the Netherlands. She grew up in a household that was infused with religious segregation and violence. A mother that was catholic and a father that is mormon, a father suffering from PTSD, a sick mother who was a retired RN that needed tending to, a verbally and physically abusive father to all those around him. This was her home.
He was an illegal immigrant from Egypt that crossed over by himself. Working odd jobs in New York City and finally finding his niche as a line cook, he paid for one of his brothers to join him in the city. The brother that was able to study pharmacy crossed over on his own by way of scholarship grants offered to him because of his profession. His father was a strict man that built one of the first foundations that would turn the small farm village into a decent sized town and died young from liver disease. The paternal last name was changed due to his grandfather being a revolutionary from Cairo that moved to the countryside for anonymity during the Sadat era. His mother taught math to middle school children. The same violence and abuse pervaded his home demanding obedience from all present.
They met when she walked into the diner where he worked in Minnesota for a time and he said to himself, “that’s the one, that’s my wife.”