Saturday, May 1, 2010

Bathroom Monologue: Born Elsewhere

“No one should be born in this city. No one should grow up with all these museums, this food, these hospitals and cabs to take you everywhere. There’s always traffic, but you can get anywhere faster here than in a dirt town in the middle of nowhere. No child should grow up thinking this is the way it is in the rest of the world, or this is the way it should be everywhere, or that in some way they deserve this. They should grow up in Kansas or an Ottawa suburb or a Brazilian lumberjack village. Anywhere but here. Fix everything out there, but make them grow up there. Let them come here as adults, with dreams and strong bodies. Let them work for everything. Let them intern and temp and struggle to make purchase in the concrete jungle. Let everyone earn this place and it will be a miracle. Let them grow up here, grow poisoned and drunk on luxuries uncommon in the rest of the world, and no one will believe in miracles.”


  1. Funny. I would say let them be born there and have to fight for survival in the concrete jungle, then come here and realize what a miracle really is. ;)

    Interesting write. Thought provoking for sure.

  2. Laurita makes a good point. I haven't followed you blog for long, John, but IMO that's one of the best things of yours I've read.

  3. I agree wholeheartedly. A wonderful piece.

  4. I agree with so very much of it, John... thought-provoking, indeed...

  5. Some very kind words. I try to change up what I write for the blog. Versatility is very important to me, so they can't all be jokes about dragonslayer armor. I'm very flattered, Alan, at you saying this is one of my best. It is a bit of a departure for me and I have fewer of these things in me than I do jokes; the grave stuff tends to gravitate into place in short stories and novels.

    Laurita, you have a very good point. There are certainly people who leave very busy places and find what they want elsewhere. I've had plenty of friends leave NYC and be legitimately dumbstruck at all the visible stars in the night sky. I don't think the speaker of this monologue has those kind of people in mind, though, and is very concerned with how indigenous and foreign attitudes affect life in his city.

    Cheers, all!


Counter est. March 2, 2008