Fish Out of Agua: My Life on Neither Side of the (Subway) by Michele Carlo

By Michele Carlo

A voice from the loudspeaker blared, "Will the kin who introduced the little redheaded white woman to the Puerto Rican Day parade please come to the bandstand to select her up." I appeared round. Wait a minute. i'm on the bandstand. i'm that misplaced girl!Michele Carlo, a redheaded, freckle-faced Puerto Rican raised within the Polish portion of the Bronx, grew up as an enduring outsider. Too white for her proud, Spanish-speaking kinfolk and a secret to her schoolmates, Michele braved a look for id that used to be an extended, tough and tumble experience. . .By turns heartbreaking and funny, she remembers the relatives calamities, fumblings of past love, and the entire humans and occasions that formed her. From her "playground battlefield" within the not-so-wholesome summer season of '69 to many adrenaline-fueled, graffiti-filled afternoons and her emergence as an artist with a special and welcoming voice, Michele's tale is an homage to a brand new York urban passed by. . .and an iconically American, unforgettable portrait of transforming into up. "Warm and insightful. . .Michele's tackle existence as a Latina is the main unique i've got ever seen." --Linda Nieves Powell, writer of loose Style"Michele's humor, heart--and each candy and razor-sharp observe of her writing--reach some distance past the perimeters of this island."--Dan Kennedy, writer ofRock On"Poignant, humorous, and authentic." --Janice Erlbaum, writer of GirlbombMichele Carlo is a author, performer and comedic storyteller who has lived in 4 of the 5 boroughs of latest York urban and recalls whilst a slice of pizza fee fifty cents. Her tales were released in chook Soup for the Latino Soul, misplaced and located: tales from long island and Smith journal. She has usually seemed with The Moth and different NYC storytelling groups. Like virtually any other author in NYC, Michele is a Brooklynite (since 1988) with out plans of leaving every time quickly.

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Now after three years of eating little else than rice and beans, which, to put it bluntly, even she was damned tired of, there was a Real American Thanksgiving tied up in her kitchen. Grandma Izzy was truly grateful, not only for the promise of meat, but also for the chance to show up the a quién qué tu crées (who do you think you are), blanquitos (white people) who lived on the ground floor below. Who did they think they were, those Blanquitos? That, of course, wasn’t their name. That knowledge has, alas, been lost to the ages, but according to my father, these “Blanquitos” were the last Irish family left on the block.

There weren’t as many people walking in the street, and no one was playing dominoes or leaning against the walls in front of the buildings, drinking out of brown paper bags. We crossed the street and walked along a long block of apartment buildings lined up side by side. Where were we going? Were we going to visit someone? I went through my entire family in my head, but couldn’t think of who it could be. I looked at my father. He’d stopped whistling and looked like he was thinking very hard about something.

The surprise is . . ” We went back downstairs and down the block to an ice-cream parlor under the El. It was wide and bright, with dark polished wood, shiny green marble, and gleaming brass. We sat at the counter on red stools that twirled around, which I did until my father stopped me by gently placing one of his hands on the top of my head and shaking the index finger of his other. He looked as if he was about to tell me something, but a man wearing a white jacket and hat appeared and smiled at us.

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