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show goes on

August 2022

2022 starts with a low thud. A full-hearted attempt at a good old-fashioned fireworks show muffled by heavy haze off Florida’s left coast. The bombs bursting in air, obscured by refraction, pulse sanguine and obtuse. Sand beige and gritty scrapes between families’ toes; that failure in the distance decidedly someone else’s problem affecting ma and pop only as much as their children’s disappointed with a gap between promised and delivered. Show must go on, kiddo.

And so, it does—2021 ends with neither bang nor whimper but performative gasp. Somehow, it all felt appropriate.

August now, and this year remains nearly void of fantastic displays; tired clouds hang in my mind, obscuring whatever starry night shines above. I don’t want to go out. I don’t want to stay in. Therapists will call this depression—they will be right, and I will say it is also and besides and yet. Other have said more, said it better, and needing to say more better is at least part of the difficulty.

New Years resolution: Choose your own adventure in 2022. Here, the truth is and has always been whatever you believe real hard. Nothing new, not even amnesia. Toto Frima knew well what she was doing in ’85; her nude self-portraits today, at €2500, and will be bought by only fans. Take pictures to remember. Take pictures so it’s okay to forget.

Therapists will say regret is another symptom of depression, and one in six Americans is taking medication for depression. Most in West Virginia, fewest in Hawaii. Find correlation to the disappointed crowds in stretched hoodies that ripple along this bitter coast. Don’t ask if this country will leave you no more.

A queer weather in our queer city blows whichever way makes your ex a felon. Don’t put it on the line, babes: Every phoneme is content and ever content subject to a shot of wireless dopamine. Reward, motivation. Gross, oversimplification. Black-and-white sticker on rusty blond wall of a shipping container said “SCROLLING KILLS”, so I took a picture with my phone and strolled past.

Every generation since knowledge has been work has thought their progeny are lazy. Shall comfort be found in nothing novel? Photography really shook transmissions to their polymer core, and we ain’t never been good at really sayin nothin bout since prose was prolix. Small comfort in the penumbra of uncertainty. New Years Resolution: Embrace being a fool.

Another low thud on this cold night busts in phase with those indifferent waves. Quiet year, 2022. Come September, I’ll be back here to watch lollipops and sunburns dance for at least a few minutes at a time without a care in the world—time given for stolen time that can never be replaced. Dance as the rising tide touches their little paradise.

Umbrellas and coolers, sunscreen and snacks, jewelry and crumbs among broken shells, soggy cardboard tubes, and spent rocket motors. Slowly, the shoreline approaches. Thuds, long echoed, replaced by pink noise of a translucent line that collects and washes away imperceptibly until it’s too late. I hope they laugh in the waves. I hope it gets their phones.