Sometimes the universe tickles itself into laughter at the expense of this sensitive soul; 08/08/08 @ 8a.m. I appeared at the Eastern District Court in Brooklyn to pledge my allegiance to the United States. I was to become “naturalized!” Frankly I was in a foul mood because it seemed absurd to wake up @ 6:10 in the morning on a day I did not have to work… but at last I had spent an excess of a $1000 to raise my right hand in a courtroom, to denounce my country of birth-a country that embodies the ideals of revolution, a country of people who are survivors and hustlers, prophets and freaks, a country I physically said goodbye to twenty plus years prior. Four hours would pass before the ceremonious “pledge.” In the meantime anxiety pervaded the courtroom. In total 500 stories sat in silence anxious to speak I’m sure, but perhaps too, regretting the price paid! Upon entering the courthouse the security guards barked at us in the name of safety. They BARKED so intensely an infant accompanying his dad shook until the next round of orders came and shook again and again, even I, a jaded New Yorker was rattled and wondered what is natural about this?