People ask me about my name, colleagues at school, baristas, people at parties. They throw out guesses about its origins, almost with desperation. Greek? Russian? Italian?
I say American. And I’m American born, with a Russian doll of roots. Middle Eastern, Midwestern, Irish, German. How do you explain that?
But I feel like I’m legitimizing something unseemly. Holding onto the first safe thing, giving legitimacy and shape to darker forces.
Are people curious? Or does curiosity hide something? I try to dissect starched smiles and vocal inflections.
At least shame reveals herself on command.