I know, I cannot believe it either.
One of my tackier interests is genealogy. Genealogy, if you haven’t heard, is the ability to delude yourself into thinking that, even though you hate all your living relatives, your dead relatives were fascinating. Every three or four years, I sink into a genealogy K-hole, emerging two weeks later covered in dust and full of boring facts. Last month was one of those times.
Unfortunately, I’ve gotten a little too good at research: and now I know that my great-grandfather was born in Alabama! Ask me where his father was born. Alabama. I can go on. Ask me where his father was born. Alabama. How about his mothAlabama.
I don’t know if you know me, but if you don’t, I am from the North. Not even the wussy North (e.g., Philadelphia is not the North). I am a New England Yankee. I eat pie with every meal, vote for George McGovern, officiate at gay weddings, listen unironically to Jonathan Richman and the Standells, say “wicked” and drop my r’s (when I’m in the mood), drive on Route 128 like a psychopath, go to town meetings, reinforce the existing class structure, curse, and take salvia at Dispatch concerts. I would’ve gone to Harvard except I was too stupid. Most of my ancestors were drunken Irishmen, and I am fine with this.
Let me tell you, I’ve never even been to Alabama. I haven’t set foot in South Carolina. When my plane touches down in Florida, I head straight for the deli and don’t speak to anybody until I leave. One time I went to Texas, but I threw up for 24 straight hours afterward. (True!)
What am I going to do? Well:
- I am going to drive to Alabama, to my ancestral home.
That’s an actual photo, from the actual town where my actual family is actually from.
- I am going to spend 18 minutes talking to people, then get pissed off and sweaty.
- I’m going to play that Bob Dylan song that has the line “I’m going back to New York City, I do believe I had enough” with the windows down.
Then it will be over. Holy fuck, Alabama. I voted for John Kerry, goddammit!