WHERE YA FROM? WHAT DO YOU DO?

small talk — polite conversation

So you’re new to this scene. You’re getting some coffee in the break room at work, waiting for yoga class at the gym, standing in the buffet line at a party . . . . you’re gonna ask, or maybe someone will ask you: “Where ya from?” The accent, or the dialect, gives you away. Maybe your clothes do; maybe it’s your haircut. I have lived in so many places, been in so many more — it’s really hard for me to answer, when someone asks where I’m from. I was born in Enid, but only because it had the hospital closest to Waukomis. We moved from Waukomis to Quay, but I remember visiting Vera and Happy in Waukomis from time to time. We visited them in August one year; I climbed a tree in their yard, fell out, broke my arm, and started first grade with a cast. My laterality has been forever skewed. I guess you remember the traumas, huh?!? Does being born in Oklahoma mean anything regarding who I am, and how I am? Maybe something. It’s kinda hard to say. Maybe I should go back — and see how it looks to me now, after all these years of roaming around.

“We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring 
Will be to arrive where we started 
And know the place for the first time.”

T.S. Eliot “Little Gidding”

http://www.columbia.edu/itc/history/winter/w3206/edit/tseliotlittlegidding.html