This is a journal of displacement, documenting my decision to leave behind a place and life I loved in search of something different and somehow better. Not because I wanted to, but rather because it was necessary.
The rationale is simple: to stay alive I need medicine and access to doctors. To get that, I need health insurance, money, or to live in a country with socialised health care. One foot followed another from school, to marriage, to England.
Concerns like love, familial devotion, friendship, and intellectual curiosity have never taken precedent. Why? Because I could not afford them.
Just like any other poor kid growing up rough, I did my best with paltry resources. Desperation breeds innovation, though never the socially appropriate sort. I followed the rules with ruthless persistence, other people break them, but we are all criminals by definition - because we are pursuing what is not allowed.
So, just like any other poor kid who kicks it, I have obvious and stereotypical problems with the consequences of surviving. If you grow up hungry you never feel full.
Here on the other side, safely ensconced in the life it took thirty-nine years to find, I haven't been sleeping much. I am massively freaked out not just by what I have lost, but also by what I have gained.
The couch in the living room, the bookshelves, the flat itself, the fact that I can help my kid pay for university - it is all equally painful and exhilarating. I don't want to talk about it, I don't want anyone to know, yet at the same time I want to shout - look at this!
Because it isn't just about owning something, but being seen to own it. The objects are the visible manifestation of success, and my interest in austere architecture is no different than another person's thirst for Cristal. Like Biggie Smalls says Get a grip motherfucker. . .Yeah, this album is dedicated to all the teachers that told me I'd never amount to nothin. . .
Though more critically he goes on to sing Born sinner, the opposite of a winner.