New York, 1978
As a new and better part of yourself is born from the ashes of the past like a phoenix, does everything you ever were before that moment instantly die, never to come back again? That's what my father had thought and hoped for, as the new and improved person that he now was walked proudly along the streets and avenues, under glittering skyscrapers and clear summer skies. In his head echoed the words of Emma Lazarus.
Give me your tired, your poor,
your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
He wasn't tired, he wasn't poor and belonged to no huddled masses, but he was desperately yearning to breathe free. For all of his life he had dreamed of this moment, of this city and its lack of discrimination, judgment and envy. And for the first time it was real, he was actually there, he could touch the buildings, lie down on the pavement, smell the flowers in Central Park.
He was finally free, his dream was a reality and his reality was a dream, and no one would ever again tell him that he needs to stop fantasizing about things that will never be and start facing them as they truly are. He had made his own truth, and those bastards that held him back for so long were on the other side of the Atlantic, stuck in a miserable and pointless existence until the day they would die.
He wanted to smile at that final thought, if he could only stop shivering.