The bald eagle

The bald eagle.

A symbol of a solid country that keeps growing steadily despite the temperamental paradoxes. A symbol of pride, belonging, intrepidity, but above all a sense of resoluteness and determination.

A symbol of a solid identity that is tacitly approved all over the world, a one-way identity that built a huge and self-confined empire and that claims independence for itself more than for others. A symbol of fierce excitement, joyous separation, but above all a sense of bold yet naive disregard.

Above all.

Above all, the American passport.

Every time I see it I feel someway jealous. Maybe because of its variety of colours or for the writing “We the People … Of the United States,” with the appropriate initials in capital letters that awards emphasis on the sense of being part of a cohesive community, a piece of a puzzle that needs all of its units to be totally completed. And no one is ever left behind. 

Ever? Well, I won’t really know what it feels like.

Unfortunately, my experience as an “American citizen” didn’t really last long nor did it end positively. Thing is though, once you have a taste of the American lifestyle’s flavour there’s no going back: you get addicted and I truly did!  

Above all, food! Food everywhere, at any time…in enormous supplies! Diners, milkshakes, giant burgers, pulled pork, fries, cheesecakes. Sport! Basketball, football, baseball – my best moment was devouring a fat hod dog at a baseball game. And more. Long distances, breathtaking landscapes, amazing cities, super crowded pubs, welcoming people and – why not – beautiful girls! 

My cousin Louis – American by birth, Italian by heart and almost perfect bilingual – and I were chit-chatting in a small nice pub in Baltimore. We would likely be guessing about how to literally translate Neapolitan sayings (the dialect from Naples, my hometown) to English.

We seemed to catch the attention of the two blond girls sitting on the stools by the opposite corner of the bar; they understood we were not speaking English, and that was our bait. After winking at each other for a while, one of them would stand up and come to sit next to me – she had a gorgeous smile! Blond-haired, blue-eyed and tipsy, she asked: “What’s that accent from?” I go: “Italian! I’m here on vacation, I’m visiting my cousin here Louis and family.”

She: “Italian? Oh man, this is so cool!!! I think I know a bit of Italian…BONJOUR!”

Oh boy…!

I don’t blame the pretty Jess for mistaking French with Italian, she’s just from a stronghold-country that is not entirely separated from the rest of the world but apparently very (very!) far away. As a matter of fact, when most of the interactions happen in your home-country why would you ever learn any other language?! Why would you make an effort to understand others when all others make an effort to understand you?

Above all, the point is what a wise man told me once: when you own an American passport the whole world eagerly becomes your own theatre. A theatre where Americans can act as stars while others just open and close the curtains.

And like eagles, Americans can see and fly the distance, over any border with unlimited freedom.

I wish I was a bald eagle. I wish I was American.

Above all.

Jim
The Britalian Post

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