One of the weirdest things about this trip is the peek it gives on how I could have turned out.
I’m a bit of a celebrity here, because I’m the only one of Flint’s children who made it to his sister’s funeral (the big man himself was explicitly uninvited, and was smart enough to stay away).
Of course, no one here really knows me. They know a part of my story, or what I was like when I was eight or ten or fourteen. (One aunt refuses to refer to me by my name, she calls me “the genius” instead, like I’m from a different world.)
I’m asked a lot why I never moved back to montreal, why I’m not moving back now. There’s opportunity abound (this cousin just bought a fido store on a whim, that uncle runs a very successful new media firm, etc.) and it’s difficult to articulate my reasons in ways that make any sense to them.
The stories shared over drinks (congac that I could never afford, let alone appreciate) are equally alien: turning Bill Gates down for an opportunity to invest in Microsoft in ’73, trying to call a cab to a family-owned factory in the heart of Compton at 4AM, or paying off a hit on a brother to save their life (and then telling them years later how much they regretted it).
More to come as I get the chance to post it.