In 2008, a high school friend of my father’s who was living in Paris, sent him the Le Monde obituary of Milton Wolff, author of Another Hill. Wolff had just died in Berkeley. The following year Robert Colodny, another Lincoln Brigade veteran Wolff surely knew, and who had rented a room from my grandmother during graduate school, published a memoir on the Spanish Civil War, and of course many people from Spain I knew as a child, and at least one of my professors, had fought for the Republic. I am keeping the Le Monde clipping. And it turns out that one of the Civil War veterans I knew as a child, had been a friend of Vallejo.
Perhaps all of this is part of why I don’t fit in and don’t do well. Wolff was the only one in his group who volunteered, and I am like that. Things a friend said yesterday were: “You an animator, and it is a very necessary, but very marginalized role in academia,” and “Love is like oxygen.” (He meant like, being in an oxygen bar.)
Why I don’t do well. I have spent so much of my life and energy trying to prove to my parents that I was a human being and moreover, not an inferior one, nor one trying to connive against them. That and trying to assuage their pain have been the main projects of my life. I wonder if I can stop that now. Love is like oxygen. I thought it was a tube attached to your heart that drained your blood to feed another heart, in need, in pain and voracious.