“I’m undocumented. You want to deport an undocumented person, start with me, because I’m an undocumented person.” – Andrew Cuomo, April 2018
“As a New Yorker, I am a Muslim. As a New Yorker, I am Jewish. As a New Yorker, I am black, I am gay, I am disabled, I am a woman seeking to control her health and her choices because as a New Yorker we are one community.” – Andrew Cuomo, January 2017
As a New Yorker, I am many things. I am a bodega sandwich. I am a subway rat. I am a milky puddle of viscous substance leaking onto Eighth Avenue. I am a Louboutin. I am a chicharron. I am a mosque between a taxi depot and a wholesale wig shop. I am the lonely fainting goat in the Binghamton Zoo. I am the curious darkness that descends on a daytime street when the sun falls below the skyscrapers. I am a singing waiter belting out today’s specials. I am a sawmill outside Schenectady. I am the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the streets at dawn looking for an angry fix. I am a confident strawberry blonde with an unabashedly leftist platform who refuses to define her sexuality. I’m also me, Andrew Cuomo.
I’m an undocumented immigrant whose father was definitely not a three-term governor of New York. I am lichen creeping up the gorges of Ithaca. I am a bloodstain – or am I a pee stain? – giving off a dismaying odor on the L train. I am the indefinite delay of that very same L train. I’m a chihuahua carried in a Birkin bag. I’m the bombed-out skeleton of a Catskills hotel where Elizabeth Taylor once got married. I’m a riot of blackberries in high summer in Mattituck. I am the thorns on the berry bushes. I am the bright blood mingling with the berry juice. I celebrate myself, and sing myself, with the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus and a sleepy Baptist choir in the Hudson Valley alike. I was recently bat mitzvahed. I look great in a hijab. I am every single Adirondack, and every lake in the lacelike lattice of lakes that stretches all the way up to Canada, and every drop of water in each lake, and every catfish growing to immense and terrifying size deep in the northern muck. I have never heard of Cynthia Nixon.
I am every icicle softening towards spring. I am the zephyr that heralds the clover. I am each improbable bit of moss urging its ineluctable way through the cracks in the sidewalk. I am patched asphalt. I am a Serbian Uber driver. I am singing Cardi B in the back seat on my way to get drunk in Williamsburg with my gal pals. I am a pane of glass in a new condo in Bed-Stuy, and a single mother of three displaced by gentrification. I am the New York City Housing Authority, and a bulkie roll smeared with mayo. I am Le Bernardin and Papaya Dog, Blue Hill at Stone Barns and Chick-fil-A. I am a Times Square Elmo keeping my previous sexual assault arrest on the DL. I am selling Lewis Vuitton knockoff bags in Chinatown. I am the rough and endless sanguine surge of the Hudson against any barrier that would contain me save the sea. I am a rainbow in an oil slick. I am the baroque geological drama of Chimney Bluffs. I, too, lived, and Brooklyn of ample hills was mine. I am Andrew Cuomo. Vote for me in the gubernatorial primary.