I am the line

25 Jun

I stand on a line, I can see my feet walking on a tight rope. To either side I see a different world. This line I want to break at my feet, it blurs, it bends, but there is nothing I can do to break it. I resent the line, I hate it, but again I love this line, this line becomes me even if it cries at me. The worlds at either side contain different versions of who I am. I can see them. If I trip and I fall I am not the line. I forget the line.

On one side I am the filial daughter who died when I was adopted. She half exists as a ghost of my former self. The thing is that I am that ghost, and I can claim her, but people never will see her as her. I can wear her name, her grown face, but people will say that I am not her. And perhaps I am not. She who would have been an actress, not a writer. She who would have spoken fluent Korean in a dialect that some Koreans disrespect anyway. She who would have been majority and not known what real love looks like because she never knew the line.

This version of me could blend in perfectly, she could know all the cues, be struggling with English and be married with kids, wondering on what treasures of America. She could have been popular in school because she hits all the traditional parts. And she might have ended up popular with friends. But I’m not her. I can never be her because she died.

The other side I am a fake. I’m taking the place of someone that could have been. Te daughter that my mom wished for. The white daughter who was Jewish. The one that was a mirror. I want to be her, but she is a ghost of someone who never existed in the first place.

Maybe she would have been more science minded… not stunted with math, have no interest in art, become a graduate at an Ivy League school like my adoptive parents did. Maybe she would have looked like them and had the same kind of health issues. She would speak fluent English, in the particular way that my mom taught me English. She could have been a scientist. She could have fulfilled my mom’s dreams as she repeated her behavior on that daughter too. Because she never existed, I can’t become her. I am the fake version of her.

I am the line. I am not the line. I don’t belong in either world. Free from it all, free from this room where people point and label and say what I am and what I am not, I find myself.

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