The heat is evening breaking, though the air is thick with coming rain and the usual Bushwick grit blows on the wind.
A reedy-voiced hipster is tinkling the ivories through the Elton John songbook. He is the sort of person I immediately distrust—cut-offs held up with clip-on suspenders, going barefoot in a neighborhood of factories. He sounds every bit as white as of course he is, sometimes new-growth bearded gruff, sometimes warbling like a hamster, a teenager in heat (sex organs slaked across a chalkboard), but his spindly fingers are contributing a certain charm to this our semifinal night of summer.
We moved back yesterday, to this place we now call home (for one more year). It’s every bit as scrappy as it always was—dirt slick concrete, crumbling walls, unfinished wood—and every inch clotted with dust. It’s about a hundred degrees in there; a sun-baked kiln, but we’ve got every fan in Christendom whining and ticking in hopes of circulating air. The shower’s still broken—though at least for now the lack of water heater isn’t vexing anyone—and there’s a distinct smell of dead thing somewhere in some wall, but it is home.
And so, we threw out spices in their sticky jars. We sorted a summer’s worth of mail and magazines. We beat the rugs. When all was done, we had a beer, and it was worth it, being together, being here. We’ve got philosophy from floor to ceiling, baby.
Today it’s back to tricks, writing in this coffee shop of half-shaved heads and unironic outfits, miniskirts and ankle boots. The hipster has switched to his guitar, singing city-country songs to those who drink martinis from a Mason jar. For all my hipster hatred, I am complicit in this world. Young and underfunded, a kitchen full of patchwork dishes, book stack for a night stand.
The heat will break. Winter will come. Year two begins.