I recently was told East Williamsburg Bushwick is the epicenter of culture.
I’m not sure whose – there are so many.
Every six months, I like to live in a different neighborhood, and, of course, East Williamsburg Bushwick was one of them, years ago.
One time, a friend, a political friend – I only believe in political friendships; makes folks the most accountable – picked me up in his convertible to take me to have surgery for my gout.
“Dewey?! What is this?! Where are we?! Why are you living this way?! Did your parents cut you off?!”
“We can’t all live between Park and Madison – what are you talking about?”
“Must you be an, um, artist that bad?! Can’t you just get a real job and become culturally deprived and a cubicle philistine? Your parents spent $525,453 of their hard-earned money on you throughout your life for you to move to Soweto?”
“You’re funny. There’s culture here. I learn salsa at the barbershop. Every kid under the sun goes to the school across the street.”
“That?! P.S. Soweto?!”
“We have the best pick-up lines. Dude rolled up on Shorty, and said: ‘I may not be the handsomest, I may not be the smartest, but I want you the most.’”
“That sounds like gentrified sex. Two inches of squirrel thrust.”
“We have the best quotes on wall murals graffito written in chalk on industrial buildings: ‘And, with the courage of a desperate lover, he built a bed from the bare earth.’”
“There’s sweetness everywhere, friend – if you look for it.”
“I like my myopia. It helps me climb. It helps me to get to where I need to go. And, even you, Dewey, know nothing tastes better than success.”
I got quiet and still.