What I wish I’d said to her that day:
There’s a switch in my brain, and sometimes it gets flipped. I don’t know which English will come out of my mouth when that happens. At least I’m more or less assured it’ll be English, which my mum can’t say.
When that switch flips, I’m stuck and it’s piss-my-pants embarrassing to try and flip it back. If I’m caught out. You know, by nosy parkers who want to know where I’m from. Which is a question I can’t actually answer in one sentence anyway. Back before the first Gulf War, the one you probably weren’t even born for, people were deployed to places they could bring their families. Could even raise them. So it’s sheer misfortune that my dad, two years before he retired, got his ticket back here, where I was born but couldn’t remember. We’d all have been happier staying put in Bavaria. We had a good thing going there, and nobody seemed to care that I was different.
All my life here I’ve only ever felt different and it’s questions like “where are you from?” that make me wonder whether I should hand in my passport.
Now piss off back to Miami, you brainless wanker.