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"The Thing About I May Destroy You, Trauma, and Failure" is live at The Big Smoke. 

· The Big Smoke,Failure,I May Destroy You,Trauma,Creativity

Yeah, I May Destroy You made me feel a lot of things, and thoughts on failure and trauma were among them. Creativity too though. I don't want to overlook that. If you want to read "The Thing About I May Destroy You, Trauma, and Failure" you can do so here and if you want to imbibe on some excerpt you can do so below. Cool? Excellent.

"I awoke to a message from an old friend who can only briefly visit with his dying mother because of the pandemic.

"I’m texting with my mom.

"I’m listening to Phoebe Bridgers.

"I’m reading about Michaela Coel, I May Destroy You, and creating one’s own fictions.

"I burst into tears.

"I’ll come back to that.

~~~

"Let’s start again.

"I’m drinking my first cup of coffee of the day, one hour after getting out of bed to ensure I’m awake before the caffeine hits my brain. There is a splash of cinnamon on top to juice my metabolism, already clumpy and molded to the ice cubes and the side of the cup. I’m journaling. Rested. The skies outside of the window grey. No sun at all. It’s the day after September 11th. My father has been dead for 20 years this fall. I have a son who started college and is on lockdown, fighting COVID and his own fears around this next phase of his life. Another son is starting high school at home and in his room, attending Zoom classes all-day, somehow making friends, I hope. My wife and I watched a movie after work the night before, Class Action Park, it was brutal and surreal, like most everything now. Then we drank, played cards, and went to bed at a decent time. I woke up. I checked my text messages. I put on some music. I’ll soon run despite the rain.

First though, I sit down to read about I May Destroy You and trauma.

"I burst into tears.

"I’ll come back to that.

~~~

"It was a good day. Spring. A Friday.

"Plans for dinner at Benny’s Burritos in the East Village and live music at some long-forgotten jazz club we had somehow never quite made it to loomed.

"It was the early 1990s and not the greatest time to live in New York City. The 1970s were something, Warhol and the Ramones, and I suppose the 1980s too, with Haring and Basquiat, though maybe every era before was the greatest as well, depending on your experiences, proclivities, and privilege.

"Maybe given all of the death of New York City pieces lately, the ’90s were actually the last great time to live there?

"Though to say that requires acknowledging how poorly people of color were treated, stop and frisk, broken windows, the constant neglect of the underserved, homeless individuals sleeping in parks, HIV/AIDS still largely ignored, the crack epidemic, no conversation about #metoo or anything like it, the stink around the handling of the Central Park Five still redolent in the air.

New York City was still dirty and angry though in the ’90s, and that was part of the allure.

"I would have lived in New York City at some point no matter what. My parents were from the city, The Bronx, my grandmother lived in Queens, there was Broadway and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Knicks and Yankees.

"We were always there.

"It was reading The Basketball Diaries as an adolescent that made the City feel real, necessary, and urgent, however. It was all raw nerve endings and pulsing, and that’s what I wanted to be. "Electric and alive in some amazing way.

"Creating.

"Something.

"Myself.

"I’ll come back to that."

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