I’m reading Meet Me In The Bathroom right now. It feels like talking to friends, partly because I am the same generation as the people in the book and came of age to their music, partly because I responded to the siren song NYC transmits, and partly because I have friends who were here when all this stuff went down.
I read the 9/11 chapter between Sunday and yesterday. I had to put it down and take breathers. I experienced it from afar. But now I’m hearing first person accounts from people who went to Union Pool that night and stood on Williamsburg rooftops. They talk about the smells and inhaling concrete and bone dust. Fuck, man. That’ll do things to you. There is no going back to the way things were before. Trajectories get changed.
Everyone’s a dirtbag in the book, which I get. I loved Tucson when it was dirtbaggy. When it started looking slick and monotone, I felt betrayed. At least when it was dirtbaggy, it was authentically Tucson. Now it’s just trying to be Scottsdale trying to be L.A. Tucson is such a copy of a copy of a copy it doesn’t even know how derivative it is. Even if NYC is a cliché, it’s self-aware at least.
At the same time, Brooklyn can be too much. We all have to talk about critical race theory and class warfare and environmental hazards and trans pronouns. None of this is bad. I’m so grateful that these discussions exist. I just don’t want another single lecture from someone who listened to a podcast about this stuff and now wants to school me about it. I didn’t get my information from two comedians with a mic between them. I have an actual substantive education in social justice, these issues impact my life in non-theoretical ways and I’ve actually worked in the field.
It gets pedantic and it stops the actual exchange of ideas because we never get past the superficial.
If I could make my Lego happy place, it would be a place where people don’t have too much or not enough money, where you can walk to places to catch a movie or dinner, where the water is clean, where people aren’t worked to the bone, where healthcare and quality of life reign supreme and where communitarian values persist but don’t stifle individuality.
Name the place and I’m there. I don’t know that it exists. I need NYC snark. But I also need wholesomeness. I need excess and austerity. I need noise and quiet. I need anarchy and order.
Maybe the answer is back and forth between two worlds…the functional equivalent of sleeping with one leg uncovered.
Unrelated, but generally related in theme, is that I need to find a new muse to get the words flowing.