The advantages of an American citizenship were very tantalizing. How could I pass up the chance to be part of the country that produced Hot Shots? Twice?
Dunkin Donuts financed my trip back home. I told my school in my best Arnold impression that I’d be back. Maybe. After two to three months of waiting, filling out dozens of forms and complying with requests for photos showing 3 quarters of my face (seriously) I heard the sweet satisfying thud of a stamp:
All that meant though is you get a green card -which means you can get sent to Iraq or Afghanistan, but you can’t vote for the people who choose to send you there. Also, you’re signed up to stay in the States for a certain number of years to prove your commitment to an American life – but can now safely work in a non-Dunkin environment and pay taxes like the rest of the population.
I flew back and found my school had dismissed me for failing to show, so I hopped on a Chinatown bus to New York and crash my brother’s pad and apply to some of the great local universities in the Big Apple. I got into school again but the long subway treks lead me to find far more about New York City than what I learned in stuffy class rooms. Soon I was making good money as an IT manager of an upscale gallery in SOHO, and living in the gentrifying edges of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. I embraced new friends, hours exploring endless amounts of a never-ending city, secret boat parties & drugs & alcohol until winding down on a rooftop, drinking in a perfect sunrise framed by the iconic skyline. From my little corner, this was as American as it could get.
Part Three: After hi-jinx and hilarity, the path to citizenship is clear…