Sunday, September 26, 2010

Le Locomotion



My dad had a secret sister who plunged to her willful demise from a NYC subway platform back in the 60's. Secret in the sense that no one spoke of her, and I didn't even know she existed until recently. This little nugget of family history has infected my mind like an unrelenting virus. I've probed my mum for information, but my dad's mum on the subject. He's not a talker to begin with and in our culture, we suppress a lot of things and don't talk about things that're embarrassing or shameful.

I just want to know everything about it. Who was there? What was she wearing? What was she like? What did she do right before that moment? How did my dad find out? How old was she? How old was he? What made her do it? Did she have any friends? What was her favorite color? Movie?

How utterly dramatic and tragic and traumatizing for all.

11 comments:

  1. I can empathize somewhat, being strangely intrigued...I recently found out my dad has a brother he has never met in England that was fathered in WWII when my grandfather served over there...life is weird

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  2. wow. i would totally be probing that situation.

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  3. My God - that must have been a shock. I can understand why you want to know everything.

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  4. hmm. my best friend was named for an uncle of his - his mother's brother - who committed suicide when he was a young man. i'm not sure he knows much about him, either.

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  5. ditto. we had a similar family member who just recently surfaced in conversation now that i'm old enough for "adult discussion." so weird.

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  6. wow grace. that is sad, but also very intriguing. if i were you, i would do some sleuthing on my own. with the internet, information about basically everything is only a click away. good luck and let us know what you end up doing!

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  7. Woa. Totally understand being intrigued and saddened.

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  8. Many families (especially Asian) have these dark secrets. You could don a scarf and some Jackie O glasses (or just your regular clothes) and head to some basement archive in a NYC public library to search through reels of microfiche and find an article about the incident. Or you could use the internet like @lisa suggests.

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  9. Yikes, I would be completely obsessed if it were me.

    I don't *think* my family has any secret relatives but each of N's parents has a secret ex-spouse that we're not allowed to talk about and his grandad has a couple of secret brothers, one who killed himself. Crazy town.

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  10. holy shit, that's intense.

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The divine PB&J in me, salutes the divine PB&J in you.