US “Skins” recap (1.02): Leave The Gun, Take the Cannoli

 
 

Mad Mao Le Dong is waiting for Tea when she gets home, way more sinister than I remember. He calls her a dyke and grabs her arm. Tea counts it off in her head “3 … 2 …” and Keith Mars is in his underwear again on the front lawn with his hands crossed over his chest like Popeye the Sailor Man, like he’s about to f–k a twatter up.

Tea can’t sleep, so she plods into Nana’s room and asks to sleep with her. She couldn’t look anymore innocent if she was dragging a blanket behind her. Nana says, “Did you get scared?” Tea nods, and Nana pats the bed beside her. She crawls in beside her grandmother — this free spirit, this wild thing — and pulls the covers up to her chin. Nana starts in again on American presidents, Eisenhower this time, but it’s not the same.

President Eisenhower let me down. Some kind of war hero. He can kiss my ass. (“He can kiss my ass, too, Nana.”) I told her, ‘This is a free country; no one can hurt you now. We got no ghettos here, Marta.’ Eisenhower should have helped us. He should have put a stop to it — but it was on the radio every day. I guess they thought between us and the communists we were going to tear the place down.

They even gave us a name, so every body knew what to hate — Lavender. I told her, ‘It’s a sweet flower; how can a flower hurt anyone?’ But people visited. They said that wasn’t the way Jewish people behaved. And Marta got so scared that they knew we loved each other.

I heard she married a farmer in Wisconsin. Everybody’s most particular there.

Shame on you, Mr. President! Shame on you!

When it happens, this is how it happens: A woman you’ve never not known is telling you a story you think you’ve always heard. It’s political, because it’s always political. But in a moment of uncommon lucidity, it’s personal too. More personal than anything has ever been or will ever be. And you understand, for the first time, the words inked permanently onto your skin:

here is the deepest secret nobody knows

(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud


and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows


higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)


and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

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