The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
There was the initial euphoria of finding himself alone at college, free of everything, completely on his fucking own, and with it an optimism that here among these thousands of young people he would find someone like him. That, alas, didn't happen. The white kids looked at his black skin and his afro and treated him with inhuman cheeriness. The kids of color, upon hearing him speak and seeing him move his body, shook their heads. You're not Dominican. (126.96.36.199)
And then Aldo decided to be cute. I knew he was getting unhappy with us but I didn't know exactly how bad it was until one night he had his friends over. His father had gone to Atlantic City and they were all drinking and smoking and telling dumb jokes and suddenly Aldo says: do you know what Pontiac stands for? Poor Old Nigger Thinks It's A Cadillac. But who was he looking at when he told his punch line? He was looking straight at me. (188.8.131.52)
Before there was an American story, before Paterson spread before Oscar and Lola like a dream, or the trumpets from the Island of our eviction had even sounded, there was their mother, Hypatía Belicia Cabral.
a girl so tall your leg bones ached just looking at her
so dark it was as if the Creatrix had, in her making, blinked
who, like her yet-to-be-born daughter, would come to exhibit a particularly Jersey malaise—the inextinguishable longing for elsewheres. (184.108.40.206-220.127.116.11)