“Hey wait! Is any of you Dutch? You are Dutch right?” She raised from her makeshift bed on the wooden bench of the fifth floor of the New York Art Academy, and pointed her finger at me, as if she cursed me, “You Judas!”
I, the condemned, answered by pointing the finger on to the Irish bloke I was with. “He!” I denied three times.
“Are you Dutch?”
I bend over and whispered the phonetic answer in my friend’s ear: “Ja.”
“Ja,” he emphatically repeated in a syrinxian debasement of his natural tone, but surprisingly correct.
She started laughing… endearingly, admitted. We started talking, her friend, the American girl who always looked smutted in all colors of her palette, had mentioned me, that there was a Dutch guy in the other class, and Dan our teacher, a portrait artist with an honest claim to be gifted and talented, and the son of a NYPD police sketch artist who drew composite drawings of suspects all his life, had not failed to single me out either. But the blood on everybody’s hands was but vermillion.
You see, I denied, although I am not the most likely suspect to deny the truth, neither the truth as it is shared by all, that of reality, nor the truth of my inner heart and worse, that of my undeliberated thoughts, I denied. Why? Because I hate this sense of compatriotism that follows immigrants around wherever they move. It reminds me of the automatic sympathy that touring musicians share with each other, most of whom I disliked, or of the gravity of race that attracts ethnic minorities to remote corners of the mess hall. You see, I am alone in this world, a wandering atom in the radiant light of a winter morning, where the particles of dust crash into one another like unforeseeable explosions. This Brownian effect is my Virgil that leads me through the world that is hell.
But honestly, my sympathy resurrected with her smile. I recognized a glimmer of absolute honesty that lies within many Dutch people, and yes, the truth is often rude and inconsidered of those who seek it or stumble upon it, and it is often present in youth whose wills are strong and uncontrollable enough to burst before they blossom, and which is often lost in the weaker persona, whose masks offer shelter from the harshness they face, or molded by the manyfold squeezes of society whose culture and demands require us to agree. But agreement is not a Dutch trait, and the only I cherish! Now you will probably feel repulsion at this innate stone that lies within my heart, but this kind of truth bolsters and warms up in the light of knowledge within some, while in other it feels like the eagle picking at one’s liver. Now, she smiled and ran back to class but it is proof that I have not hardened, but can easily be overwon and nailed to a cross of friendly accusations as long as the sacrifice beholds a promise greater than superficial reason.