What an American City Sounds Like
It’s a space where language is manipulated and contorted and pulled and borrowed. It sounds like everywhere and anywhere else.
I told the guy I didn’t mean it. He told me he didn’t mean it. We shared an awkward pat on the back, which turned into an even less graceful hug, and it felt like a metaphor for something else.
Bryan Washington’s debut collection, Lot, is forthcoming from Riverhead Books. He has written for the New York Times, the New York Times Magazine, Vulture, BuzzFeed, The Paris Review, Boston Review, Tin House, One Story, GQ, FADER, The Awl, and Catapult. He lives in Houston.
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Montrose was unofficially codified as the nexus of queer life in Houston. If you held a map to the wall, I could tell you how we came to be on those streets.
There will be as many different iterations of this storm, and the ones to come, as there are Houstonians. And we have to hear them—they’re what will determine our map for the next one.
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You’re in the city, but you aren’t. You don’t have to spend any money. No one’s asking about your documentation. You don’t have to do much at all except for exist, and open your eyes.