conflict is when u want to Make Content bc ur thirsty desperate ass requires validation but also when u dont want to Make Content bc u know that u won’t get notes bc ur a small blog and bigger blogs that have Even Bigger Mutuals to rb their stuff and seeing that comparison will make u feel even shittier and dejected
i didn’t expect to be back here today. but i was in the west village and found myself drawn back to stonewall like i was lost and it was home. walking there down 7th ave., i passed the szechuan restaurant where my wife and i got engaged three years ago on a night a lot like last night, yet completely different. that night, over a thousand of us had converged outside stonewall in celebration of the overturning of doma and prop 8; last night, thousands more came together in mourning of an enormous loss. yet both events left me with a similar unmistakable feeling of community despite it all.
i didn’t know until i passed it today, but the restaurant closed suddenly late last year after 30 years in business when it was faced with a 500% rent hike, in what has become one of the most expensive neighborhoods in the city. so it goes.
at stonewall, i stood with a small crowd taking in the memorial in the full light of day. we leaned against the police barricades still there from the night before. we tried to ignore the several groups of cops posted nearby, almost outnumbering us and armed with assault rifles, reminding us a little too viscerally of our reason for being there.
the pile of flowers and mementos was so big, much bigger than it looks in pictures. the street was stained with wax from overflowing candles. a chalked rainbow on the sidewalk, already worn by so many mourners’ footsteps, read “We are BRIGHT.” it was impossible not to be humbled, and we stood in silence, strangers sharing this moment of grief and awe. when i started crying, a woman turned to me with concern and put her hand on my shoulder, which normally would have bothered me but somehow, in that second, felt comforting.
eventually, i pulled myself away and went home to my little apartment and my sweet wife. i still felt so sad, but i felt lucky too, to be part of something so much bigger than myself. and to know that whatever has happened, whatever will happen, we’ll still be here. we are bright, and our light can’t be put out.