Into the Sicilian-American lives of Sadie and Frank Scherma came a cute, bouncing baby boy: me! I am a child of Brooklyn and I cannot escape my roots. As a teen I wanted to be a man’s man, so I joined my high school football team; Sadie objected, but I got Frank to sign the permission slip. I tried my best but really, it was not a good fit. Then I studied to be a Roman Catholic priest for about four years and after Frank had a religious revival and Sadie got used to the idea, I left to become a Latin teacher in the Public Schools of New York City [uh huh]. I went on to become a guidance counselor, a college adviser, and then a psychologist. At present I have a practice with adults in Greenwich Village.
When I was embarking on a new graduate degree, Sadie would ask me plaintively, “Don’t you know enough yet?” I replied, “Oh Sadie, I have so much to teach you and Frank.” I took them through my religious phase to my spiritual and from my straight relationships to my gay ones. “When does it stop?” Sadie inquired. I said, “Never.” I was always trying something new even though it was not my nature to do so. I went off to Fiji to find God, off to the Seminary to find Jesus, off to loving men and women so that I could be simply who I was.
And the journey is not over….
A 2010 article from Newsweek made international news with the headline, “Pakistan is the World’s Most Dangerous Country.” Growing up in Pakistan, I rarely experienced moments of panic. Pakistan could be dangerous—like when a bomb went off near my school—but I felt safe in my suburban neighborhood. When I decided to move to the United […]
Sitting in the sunset in the middle of Central Park, the unfamiliar boy and I huddled together in the growing chill of late October, using the excuse of needing bodily warmth to search for some other, more abstract warmth of feeling. We had spent the whole day exploring the Met Museum, and afterwards walked around […]
My father took me to the Coney Island Freak Show every summer growing up. My artist Dad seemed unfettered from his day job as a social worker, sketching subway riders on the hour train ride from the Lower East Side, where we lived surrounded by junkies and prostitutes wandering derelict streets. On the boardwalk, he […]