I get this question a lot.  No matter where I am.

Today, while getting my 4-mile walk in on the edge of the ocean in Long Beach, New York, I noticed the water was a peculiar shade of brown.  Wastewater brown, to be precise.

In summertime, the reward I give myself for completing my mileage being a play in the ocean, I wondered if it was safe to go in.  Looking around for someone in the know, I squished through the sand to one of the lifeguard perches, and looking up the makeshift hill at the teenaged kid standing there, I asked the lifeguard if she knew why the water was brown today.

She pulled a stereotypical New York face with her reply.

“That’s the color of our water here.”

And though she didn’t add, “asshole,” to the end of her sentence, trust me, I knew it was there.

I threw New York back at her.

“No it’s not.  I live on the beach, it’s never been this color before.”

To this, her face exuded pity, as if I were a Wannabe New Yorker.

My parents moved me from my beloved New York when I was 15, and every place I’ve lived since then I’ve always had the same question asked of me.

“Where you from?”

For Kansas City, the moment I responded that I was from New York, their different, though still pulled face, told no lies.  The comprehension blooming there saying what their Hiding Behind Nice words never would.

“Oh.  No wonder.”

So I’m not from Kansas City, and apparently I’m no longer from New York.  I’m telling you, this is a tricky non-place for a homebody to be from.

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