Eventually I would come back to the city, Summerville was a transitional place. To realize that a place, childhood really, was transitional, to be followed by something else, something that casted its shadows ahead but could not readily be identified yet – that was an immense insight to me. No matter how I would resolve this particular situation I found myself in (and I still had the confidence that I eventually would figure it out), no matter how I longed to be back in my old neighborhood, in the city, I would outgrow the life I once had had here, in my old 95th Street neighborhood, I would quickly outgrow my new life in Summerville and then I would be on my own. Decisions had to be made that were much bigger than my science project – and yet this project had something to do with it.
When asked what we wanted to be when we grew up, we kids usually had ready-made answers. Most of us were influenced by our parents’ preferences. There was not one future plumber among us but many (soon to be famous) writers, lawyers, dentists, psychologists … or so we thought. We had no idea – and I realized this that very day. We had no idea how narrow the gap between us and this strange tomorrow would be where we had to be something, someone to count. But what impressed me even more that moment was the sudden if still vague suspicion that the adults who asked us these questions did not seem fit to make more than a very few stereotypical suggestions … dentists, lawyers, writers indeed.

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