what are we?


I think a lot now about my childhood. First off, it was awesome and beautiful and probably no different than any other child out there in the 80s, meaning, for a majority of us it was our crazy ass parents trying to fit into the new constructs of the world.

The most beautiful thing was hope and still is.

When I look at my father and my mother and our pictures, ones where we are holding up star wars figures on Christmas morning, or morning eyed on Easter with chocolate bunnies and wrist rocket cars, there is hope in my mother’s eyes, there is joy in mine, there is tomorrow in Erin.
Mostly the pictures consisted of three. My mother, me and Erin… later the pictures were of four, my mother, me, Erin and Laura. My father was always the one taking the pictures. And why wouldn’t he? He loved us and our skin was so perfect and young and my mother was so my mother and his wife, like a goddess of sorts. He would go away and away and when he came home it was absolutely amazing for us and for him. Now I get this.


Our parents were sending us back every summer, back to our relatives. We had left Long Island and we had moved out to the west side of San Juan Island. Out house was amazing and filled with sun with rabbits and deer of our lawn and orca of our ocean every morning.
I love my parents for them, I love my parents for this, the roughest most beautiful years of our life.
We were like little capsules of joy landing upon our grandmothers, our grandfathers, aunts and uncles. Now looking back at it, I don’t think knew what we were doing, but they enjoyed the freshness of it. Us flying in with our youth and teeth and blond hair, fresh from a small little town in Washington.
We were hope
An Escape.
Most likely, generationally “escape” comes at a cost. I wouldn’t know but if we look at it historically, the Jews, Russian, Germans, Irish, Germans. All went through this generational transition. The chaos.
Move, move, move some more. Our DNA pushing us from the Basque regions of Spain, meddling different Norse girls in the original melting pot of Ireland. This DNA now in us, has to move, we move, we move to from the exodus port of Cork and Bang ourselves into entry Ellis New York. Changing our names. Some establish early and give up, perhaps rise to dominate. Who gives a shit, because we need to move.

My father now moving us out to Friday Harbor. My Irish mother’s road blocks of constancy just saying over and over again to us men, “for fucks sake slowdown” we want to raise these kids, we want to make friends we want to have a community.
But it doesn’t work that way. To work that way doesn’t exist, to live that way doesn’t seem to exist. It might for the few, who flipped a coin and got lucky but for us.. us, we are different.
Seriously, what does that mean?
That is a very good question, for the most part I think it might come down to some genetically construct… we are Gypsies
You are not a Gipsy
Then what am I?
I don’t know but you are not that.


We are many things.
• Catalan: Gitano
• French: Gitans, Tsiganes (or Tziganes),
• Galician: Cigano
• Italian: Zingari
• Portuguese: Cigano
• Romanian: Țigan
• Spanish: Gitano

James you are not