Monday, August 5, 2019

A country of unbelonging

I live in what I suppose is the first
country to identify itself without a
name, but only with a system. The U-
nited States of America does not dis-
please one for eschewing any mark of
ethnicity, however, but it does des-
cribe a container of no substitute
definition - which may also be all to
the good, given the options available
throughout her history. Now she finds
herself in a conspicuously brittle 
custody battle, in which a vain impa-
tience to define the place is merely,
if sadly, a festival of aggressions.

We are reminded of Truman Capote, on 
a species to which not everyone is
domestically drawn:

She was still hugging the cat. 
‘Poor slob,’ she said, tickling his 
head, ‘poor slob without a name. It’s 
a little inconvenient, his not having 
a name. But I haven’t any right to give 
him one: he’ll have to wait until he 
belongs to somebody.’

I offer this posting to my friend, a
painter who writes and lives with a cat.
Who defines, who possesses, whose reli-
gion determines their relationship? If
they knew, would it ever be the same?

Truman Capote
Breakfast at Tiffany's
Random House, 1958©

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