I wrote this, elsewhere, three months ago:
I am a stranger. I am estranged. I am a person without a country, without people, without kin.
I rely more often on the kindness of strangers than the loyalty of friends. I watch those I love and loved and lost create lives in which I play no part. I am apart.
This, I think, describes the primary challenge of a Caribbean expat (exile?), genus young, gifted and alone.
It is the very definition of an existential crisis.
The last time I went to Tobago, and upon checking in to Toucan Inn & Bonkers, I proffered a Trinidadian drivers’ license [accepted nowhere in Manhattan as a form of ID], a UK credit card and a US address.
My tax lawyers disagree as to my country of residence, a question I dither over every time I am confronted with the question on immigration forms.
Trying to renew my passport, I am stymied because I don’t know anyone here who fits the criteria for a “recommender” [sic]: has known me for three years, is not a close relative, is an “accomplished professional.”
Need to renew my US visa – easier to do that in the UK than in Trinidad, where I will be asked to demonstrate my “strong ties” to the country [the better to prove I am not a potential illegal immigrant]. Which I can’t prove I have – no Trinidadian bank account, no property in my name, job based overseas.
So it go.