This is a snapshot of what life is like for one — and representative of many — Chinese takeout restaurants in New York City. This is in an area where crime is high — Mott Haven, Bronx — and people in the restaurant, and people outside of the restaurant, may not have the opportunities to get out, move, make choices.
My Fault (though a lot of them do say, often, “Don’t say sorry, it makes you sound weak). But I’m not 15, not in jail, not caring terribly about image of weak or strong, and didn’t mind when the Dixie Chicks talked.
However, I should and will just shut up and write (Dixie Chicks Shut Up and Sing reference…) It’s 4:34 pm in NY, my computer says 10:34 (Albanian time) — I will change that and shut up and write the damn/darn/fug-n story: The end and the beginning of Albanian Transnational Crime.
Was, is a litte hard to concentrate, get motivated, but today I just Googled something (yeah, I just Googled something, I Googled my fu–) and found this reporter editor Mike Dang had me on a site, I think Bundle.com and/or LongReads and/or a Tumblr site called Dang and he said about a story I wrote (Chinese Take Out Story), “This was a terrific read” and there were 44 Notes/retweets/likes.
Yo, I’m so easy, that’s all it takes. Means so much. I worked hard on that story and it was appreicated — so here goes, back into isolation, let me write this Albanian story, bust my ass and go into my own world and act like this is the most important thing in the world, type until my finegers get clawed out and my calves get swollen (too much information) and my back hurts (every writer’s back hurts) — but hey, as Kershis told me in 5th grade about fighting or about smashing your closed fist into n a tree when you’re prone, on your stomach, zipping down a hill on an old school sled with the navigation handle up front controlled by your hands and you have to go between those two trees (of course we had to go between those two closely positioned trees and of course I hit my almost frozen fist on that tree one time) — he said the pain goes away, it alway goes away. He was right.
So, good-bye, the next time you hear from me will be when I publish (knock on wood) this article on Capital New York. Hopefully it will be alright and I’ll do a good job. So bye, back into lonely writer, drinking coffee and zero sugar Monster energy drinks world.
I don’t mind. It’s a privilege really. Shoot, I’ve worked in boring factories and done jobs that were atrociously boring — sand papered newly hung and taped sheet rock for hours and hours — practiced writing pieces of prose on the sheet rock to take a mind break, prose that I sand papered over and away, so I shouldn’t be complaining — it is a privilege to be able to write and to be listened to, have to remember where I came from, where so many others are — so here goes, bye for a while, wish me luck.
Kevin Heldman (reporter with literary aspirations/believer in hard work/heart on sleeve wearer/damaged but not broken by roughish life guy)