Despite all appearances, I’m pretty sure that Julia, who was born in 1969, was either a black or latino man killed in Vietnam in her previous life. I’m guessing she drove a hoopty car before she went abroad, and had the Virgin Mary in a bathtub (her words, not mine) on her front lawn (such as it was). Tonight she told me that she would eat salami sandwiches every night if left to her own devices. I don’t think that’s true: I think she’d spend many nights in front of the tube with a bowl of popcorn and a plate of nachos. Right now, while I’m in here with my blog machine, she’s in her livingroom, blasting Joe Cocker’s version of “With a Little Help From My Friends” and rummaging through a decade’s worth of stuff that she pulled from her closets three weeks ago.
So when I was twelve, sad and curious, walking around Central Park by myself taking pictures of freaks, Julia was a grown man, and a soldier. Or maybe, come to think of it, a terrified wife sitting on her fold-out bed among her keepsakes, waiting for her man to come home.