Not only is there an "I" in team, there's a team in I. We can no longer fool ourselves into looking for new singularities. Rather, we must commit ourselves to recapturing a fragmented multiplicity. As long as mental health is seen as something to be cured, we will never be able to reconnect with our true selves. Today, mental breaks are typically managed than corrected, but we must never blind ourselves to the inherent creativity required to both control and harness the power of madness that lurks within each one of us while letting go of the myth of a unified ego. Rip it up and create a village.
I first met Kamco Rayden, the performance artist known as the Psychic Masseuse, one late winter night earlier this year when he suddenly appeared in my bedroom while I was mixing, a digital friend I was meeting IRL for the first time having invited the Mafia Cowboy over to my tiny, record-stuffed bedroom. Now, while I try to enjoy a fluid nightlife in which connections can be made with people I wouldn't otherwise encounter during the day, I'm also a pretty private person when it comes down to it--yes, the irony of that statement is not lost on me. Still, any reservations I had about a second stranger being in my inner sanctuary seemed to dissipate in a matter of minutes as I was instantly struck by the calm but impassioned wisdom emanating from this twenty-seven year-old man's mouth. As is usually the case when I meet someone I find genuinely interesting, I was soon ranting at a mile a minute in between blending records, touching on everything from my whiteness to my queer demisexuality to the annoying hotness of Chris Hemsworth (when he's in his Thor costume, obvs).
It's funny how long it takes one to realize what seems like the most obvious aspects of one's being. A couple years back, I found myself articulating to one of my best friends that I was coming to understand that I truly valued those friendships from which I continually learned while admitting to myself that there were those where I had ceased doing just that years ago. Still, it's easier to fold in upon oneself than to seek out those souls who will genuinely challenge you to be a more mindful, empathic, and considerate human being, especially when everyone seems to be wearing multiple masks these days, often all at once.
Kamco has one of the most earnestly real hearts I have ever met with eyes that are portals not just to his own being, but my own as well. Though he was fairly forthcoming about his schizophrenia, the trauma of the various episodes he's experienced over the years can be seen in the spiritual scars that criss-cross his eyes. To be honest, it feels cheap to even mention that about Kamco because while it certainly has shaped the person he is today, it's not something I ever find myself thinking about when talking with him unless he makes mention of a past episode or incident. Having touched the fringes of insanity myself more than a couple times, it's only in those moments where I must admit to myself how little I truly know what it's like to have voices speaking to me or to have my mind construct complex fantasies which I then enact. Yet it's in conversing with the multiplicity of voices that emanate from his mouth that I start to better understand my own inner plurality.
Rayden is someone who possesses the type of mental dexterity formed from a life of living in between, a true mental nomad. Mentions of trauma will quickly transmute into stories tinged with hope and what might start off as an ardent disagreement will soon access an arena of adament accord. The following transcript is the first part of a conversation that started on the topic of the racism Kamco has experienced and seen on gay hookup apps like Grindr, but quickly veered into far more personal and stripped-back territory. This is the first part of a longer dialogue, so I hope you'll enjoy reading this as much as I did and come back in a few days when I have the rest up.
All media has been selected by or created by Kamco, save for The Warrior Queen and Cam'ron tracks. That was all me;) Oops<3.
Z: The first time you experienced racism….
K: I was living in the Bronx with my mom at the time and I was in high school, probably in ninth grade. And there was this boy I really liked and we would have phone sex because we couldn’t go to each other’s houses because we were too young.
Z: Were you out at this point?
K: No, I wasn’t out. He wasn’t out either. He was out I guess to his friends but I’m not sure if he was out to his family or not. But I really liked him and I was like, “Hey, I wanna date you. Can you be my boyfriend?” And he was like, “I have to ask my friends.” And I was like, “What are you talking about?” He said, “I have to ask my friends if it’s OK or not to date a black guy.”
Z: Was he white or black or…?
K: He was Latino. So that was my first time experiencing racism.
Z: Oh. [Stunned silence] Huh...what….
K: It showed me that there are people out who, prior to even being judged for their skin color by white people, belittle others for their skin color while not being comfortable in their own flesh. And it’s like, you felt comfortable enough to talk intimately to me behind closed doors but you didn’t feel comfortable being out with me outside in public, you know?
And growing up in the New York City nightlife scene and being relatively popular, whatever that meant at the time being in high school, I never chilled with anyone from my high school. I chilled with a bunch of scene kids in Union Square and getting into hardcore music. Coming from a pop and R&B background growing up and then in college getting into dance music and getting into the club genre was really intense. And I came out of high school being really confident in my performance coming from being a very shy person in highschool coming from a theatre and computer science background and then I got to college and I saw other people perform and I was like, oh I gotta step it up now.
No one at the New School [where Kamco attended college] was necessarily racist but I never understood why the black kids would be like, “There’s not enough visibility for us at this school.” Because I didn’t know what racism was because that’s not how I grew up in my family.
K: I mean, I ate every day when I was growing up. I went to school. And I never had problems in my family or my neighborhood with racism.
Z: It was never…
K: It was never anything in our house...we didn’t need to talk about it.
Z: Your race wasn’t thrown in your face every day.
K: Yeah. Because in New York you grow up with all kinds of people. And it wasn’t as gentrified as it is now. So like for me, white people were the 1% in my neighborhood in Harlem where I grew up. I was mostly with Spanish kids and black kids and Asian kids.
Z: But even amongst them there was still a stigma about being black…
K: Yeah, even in communities of color. Like, it wasn’t talked about in my school because no was really racist there because everyone else was a person of color. So it was really shocking when this boy that I liked told me he asked his friends if it was okay to date a black guy.
Z: And what did they say?
K: They said “No,” and that “It would be really weird.”
Z: Do you know why?
K: No. I don’t know why.
Z: OK. Jumping ahead to the dating apps (Scruff and Grindr) we were talking about earlier. Do you feel you face that same kind of racism now?
K: I just feel like there’s a lot of secret racism in these apps. Like I know I’m a beautiful person. But what I choose to go for is still taboo
Z: What do you go for?
K: I like white boys.
Z: Oh, I know you do….
K: And I don’t like a lot of people who might remind me of my past predators in my life. They’ve all been black men. So I associate…
Z: Could you explain a bit more, please?
K: One was my step-cousin. I was a kid and he made me suck his dick. And I got sick the next day from I guess his semen and I was throwing up. And I don’t know if he had fear about me being sick in the house after what happened the night before and how I could have told everyone right then and there. But I was too scared to be outted as a gay person growing up.
Z: How old were you?
K: I was like probably ten or eleven years old. I was attracted to penis but that doesn’t mean it should have happened then.
Z: No, of course not. I don’t want to go into details, but the number of friends of mine who have been sexually assaulted and/or raped by childhood friends is truly staggering.
K: I don’t receive a lot of visibility in the black community and I’ve been called weird by a lot of black people.
Z: Even though we’re in the ‘age of the black weirdo’....
K. Yeah, I’ve been called "weird." But they also just don’t seem to like me and I don’t know why. Like my first time hooking up with a black person again, I met this person at a club. He was forty-five and I liked that he was older. He had more knowledge and it just felt right, you know? I was also really scared.
Z: How old were you at that point?
K: I was like twenty-four, maybe. And I was also really scared of him too and I thought he might do something to me that I didn’t want to do in my house. But I also had another friend there in the living room so I felt safe. Like, a lot of the time, black people do not choose to make me feel safe unless it’s my family. And they tell me that they’re there for me and that they have a platform and a voice for me to be myself. But they never want to work with me and I have to put out [social media] statuses to be like, “Hey guys, I’m disabled. It is hard for me to work a regular job, to wake up in the morning, and go. I need a lot of time to myself and I need a lot of time to sleep.”
So I have a big problem because I’ve always been a sleepy person. And that’s why I didn’t like going to school growing up because I was always never wanting to get up in the morning. So I felt like I got enough rest growing up and now I’m resting a lot and I don’t feel like i can mix that with this go-go-go culture. And everything is about being seen and people seeing your work to validate what they feel about themselves and what they feel about you. I feel like my dance work and performance work has been a little bit respected, but like I do a lot of digital art and writing. And only with my close friends tell me they want to work with me.
Z: Well, I remember one of the last times we talked a month or two ago and you saying that you basically had to confront your friends and let them know you didn’t feel seen…
K: And a few of them, like my friend Brian, he’s really good at that and he’s a good friend who’s always super positive. As soon as I said something about me wanting to collaborate with more people, he may have not commented on it when he first saw it online. But he told me, “Hey, maybe you can do the door at this place or maybe you can do this and you can work for me too.”
Z: When someone is willing to do that, it’s such a small act but it means so much, or at least it has for me when I express a similar frustration and a friend immediately responds with actually helpful advice.
K: It’s like, yeah, I see you. And even if it’s not what he’s maybe working on right now, he’s always trying to make sure I feel I’m included. He’s a great friend and I love him a lot.
Z: Yeah, you mention him a lot I feel.
K: Really? I also have this friend Charlie Shields who I love a lot who’s a great artist, dealing with his trauma, putting his work out there…
Z: What trauma?
K: I wouldn’t want to put that out there. It’s personal trauma, it’s his story. He’s like, I’m going to go to Brown [University] and I’m going to make sure you have a platform to speak. I want my community to come up and feel like they have a platform. He’s like, if I’m getting this opportunity at Brown, I’m taking all of you with me. He got a scholarship and money to go there…
Z: What does he do?
K: He does textiles and he’s a writer. And he’s really good at it.
Z: What does he write?
K: Mostly poetry, I think. He writes poetry on his textiles and colors and little tablets. But what I’m getting is that I feel like if I’m not doing something that’s radical, I’m not going to be “seen.”
Z: Why do you think that is? That you need to do something radical just to get attention.
K: It’s the culture. Everyone is so in your face about seeing their art and if you’re not doing something intentionally radical than they’re going to be bored. It’s the culture.. And I feel like I’m doing something radical.
Z: But you’re also not doing something just for the shock value.
K: No. I do not like shock value. I don’t like it. And I feel like when I perform and when I dance, I’m not performing for you. It is my story that I want you to see me in.
Z: But at the same time, when you’re performing, it does seem like you want people to feel something, to connect with you in some way.
K: Yes, totally. I want to show you that you have the space. If I have a space, you have a space. Rico Nasty is so lit right now. She has a line, “If I’m getting money, you know we all got a plate.”
Z: Well, and that’s always been a trope of so much music that is born from a real community. But then I also think to exploitative rap entrepreneurs like Dame Dash who I’ve had the misfortune of meeting quite a few times and at the end of a banging Cam’ron song that got deaded a few years back through bad business decisions, he’s like “I’m a from Harlem. When I eat we all eat.” Or something like that. And he doesn’t seem to be feeding anyone but himself and his young girlfriends.
K: But it’s like, how easily can we point out black people who are living independently for themselves. I believe everyone should take care of each other no matter what skin color you are. It sucks to say, but a lot of white people have just learned to take care of each other in this community.
Z: It’s pure and unfettered racial nepotism.
K: Yeah, and a lot of people of color are trying to create safe spaces by people of color for people of color because white people are not giving us the space. They already had it from the day they were born.
Z: This is something I feel I’ve been thinking about but not necessarily doing much about since moving into The Silent Barn in 2007 and quickly feeling alienated from living in a DIY space in a predominantly non-white neighborhood. I found myself reaching out to people from the community and had drug dealers coming in to sell weed, but that also got a bit uncomfortable.
K: Well, there’s nothing wrong with drug dealers trying to make a living. It’s stupid to think just cuz you’re a drug dealer you’re going to kill someone.
Z: God no! But they were also acting in a predatory manner towards the younger women…
K: Hmm-mm. Yeah…
Z: ...and that was where I was like, this doesnt feel like I’m creating a space for everyone to feel safe within.
K: Yeah, I’ve seen [guys like that] before.
Z: Just that gut feeling of, “This isn’t ok.”
K: I’ve been accepted in my community recently by two friends I just made. One’s name is Tiki and the other’s is Doc. They’re into each other and dating, I guess, and they’re both in their forties and they still come out and party and whatever. And they’re just so nice to me. And I’ve never experienced that from another black person growing up. They’ve all either been White, Asian, or Latina people that were nice to me and these are two first two people from my mom’s generation…
Z: Why do you think they’re so nice to you?
K: I don’t know! Everyone loves them! Like one time, we were all lit at Happy Fun [Hideway] and just for the hell of it, when Tiki and Doc went into the bathroom for a long time, when they came out everyone started cheering--(Kamco starts laughing while recounting this) and I was like, “Yesssss Doc!” And he was like, “Thank you thank you thank you.” (In humble, gentle tone)
They’re just so funny and they don’t judge me for being gay or a queer person. And last night, I actually hung out with them at the projects with a bunch of other guys and surprisingly, none of them were judging me or trying to come at me which usually happened growing up to me because of my appearance. They were all quiet and didn’t say a word to me, but at least they weren’t mean. And that’s what I always get afraid of. That since I’m gay, they’re going to be mean to me.
Because if I was straight, then they would like me.
K: No, they weren’t gay. Those were Doc’s friends. Maybe they could have been gay but they didn’t make the effort to talk to me.
Z: OK, well, that actually feels like a good place to pivot back to the topic that got me to start recording this, even though we’ve been talking for twenty minutes and haven’t even touched on it.
But you mentioned earlier to me about how infuriating you find gay hook-up apps like Grindr and Scruff, which I admittedly am not familiar with. Could you expound on that?
K: These freaking apps...I get so nervous that I’m not pretty when I’m on those applications.
Z: Well, you know I don’t use dating apps or date really, but I’ve seen Grindr at least and it was just seemingly a barrage of buff white circuit dudes with their shirts off.
K: Yeah. Even when I had a “better” body, I was always afraid to show my skin and my body. Like, when I was a kid, I would always get a rash from this copper belt buckle I wore and thus was always scared to take my shirt off. And in middle school, the girls were always like, “The other boys are always showing us their abs, why don’t you show us yours.” And I was like, “Cuz I don’t want to.” Don’t look at my body. It’s wrecked, you know?
Z: That’s how I felt in middle school and high school and college cuz I had body dysmorphia--and surely still do in some way--but, yeah…
K: Yeah! It sucks! I always have felt like my body isn’t good enough for the gay community and the queer community. And I get scared that I’m going to get rejected every single time but I still try, you know? But some boys I do get, some boys I don’t. The boys I do get are amazing so maybe it’s for the best that I get more selective boys other than some random strangers who won’t relate to me.
Z: Fuck and run baes…
K: Yeah...so Scruff is another app…
Z: So what is Scruff?
K: I feel more comfortable on Scruff because it’s bigger boys and scruffier boys and they’re not as clean-cut as the boys on Grindr.
Z: Yeah, while I was familiar with the ‘Grindr type’ for a while, it wasn’t until the past year that a close friend of mine who's been in the gay community in NYC for two decades identified those ripped, GBH-downing sexbots as Circuit boys, Chelsea boys, white guys with money basically...
K: Or they appear to have money at least… I message a lot of white boys on the app and a lot of them don’t say a word to me. And I’m like, “Is that racist or is just me, you know?”
Z: Or it's both.
K: Or maybe it’s both. You can look at my list of Grindr messages; a lot of white boys I message never write back.
Z: Have you talked to other people about…
K: I’ve never talked to anyone about this. I feel maybe other people do feel the same but they don’t talk about it.
Z: But what you were saying earlier to me, it sounded like this was more of an issue with Scruff.
K: Yeah...no! More with Grindr because I’m not clean-cut enough for “those people."
Z: Are there black guys on Grindr?
K: Yeah, there are. I’m just not initially attracted to them. I see them more as family members than sexual partners.
K: Yeahhh...so it’d be weird cuz I’d feel like I’m having sex with my family.
Z: As hard as I find that to understand, I also don’t cuz I just need to see any woman with curly hair of a certain type and it’s like, all I can think about is my sister…
K: Yeah, it’s weird. But that culture is so derivative of what gay people love, which is sex. There are so many things that gay people are into, of course. But sex is like the one, like so many gay guys are really sexual. It’s all about going to the gym, having nice bodies, and not even living a healthy lifestyle, but it’s about having a nice body. If you have a nice body in the gay community, it will take you far, which really sucks to hear for myself but I know it’s true.
Z: My gay clubbing experiences are pretty limited though I’ve essentially switched to attending mostly gay events in the past year. But I don’t see you at these parties. Which is why I wanted to bring you to [redacted.] And still do….
K: It’s my fault too. I just didn’t want to go. (laughs) Also, I have a lot of really traumatizing memories from that area [where that party is held.]
Z: Traumatizing how?
K: From having [schizophrenic] episodes on the street. Like one time I thought I had to kiss the ground cuz I thought god finally accepted me on this earth. And I did that walking home from the train one night. No one was really around, but I kissed the cement. I thought I had to thank god for coming to me and being there for me in spirit. And I felt like I was heavily tested and I’ve gotten to a place where I do feel god and Jesus within me. And whatever spirit that is, it makes me feel amazing, it makes me feel happy, and it make me feel like I have a trusting guardian or something that is guiding me somewhere. When you feel like you have no purpose, all you have is hope.
Z: And it’s tough, man, not believing in God. I just feel like….yeah, the idea is just so comforting. But…
K: I don’t believe in everything in the bible necessarily, but I do believe in the spirit. I believe in Kali, Hanuman, a lot of the other Indian gods too. One time I had a dream where I was a Timecop and I had to arrest Kali because she had sent her soldiers to kill me. She was a giant and I had to put her in the golden chains to arrest her. And I saw the whole thing in my head like it was today. Those dreams I used to have were just too intense. I would be exhausted when I woke up.
I don’t get those dreams anymore, thank God. But a lot of my education is not centered around the focal point of skin color and I’m not talking about my skin color and I’m not talking about any problems I had as a child because I dealt with those myself. I don’t need to put my baby problems on anyone.
Z: Your baby problems?
K: My baby problems. I don’t need to put my adolescence on anyone else and I stand up for other people who have the confidence to do that.
Z: Yes, you fucking do.
K: And I don’t like when white boys lie and shade you because you’re a person of color or don’t fit their aesthetic criteria.
Z: Could you expand on that?
K: I feel like I have to be really out there for people to pay attention. A lot of people tell me I have real good energy and I just try to get a lot of rest. And if I’m not well-rested. I’m just not there. I feel award and I feel off. My disability has gotten to the point where I need so much sleep when I go out. That’s its whole own ritual.
And so I’ll be sitting on my stoop, having a cigarette and juice after the whole process that trying to and getting enough sleep brings with it, just trying to begin my day, watching the cute white boys walk by. I wonder why the white people I’ve met have not been attracted to me. And it makes me hurt because even the black boys aren’t attracted to me, even the Latino boys. At the same time, only white boys have been nice to me. I’m also not looking for white validation, I don’t need them to validate me. I just wanna have sex with them.
I like how their bodies look, I like how their skin looks and I’m not afraid to admit that. And maybe I am exoticizing them and maybe I’m not. But can white people be exoticized, you know?
Z: That’s a great question.
K: I feel like maybe I do exoticize white boys
Z: I mean, I can say with my own quiet, un-acted-upon attraction towards black men and women and, well, everyone, I do find myself wondering, what am I exoticizing here? This is, what I believe to be, just straight-forward desire, though I’m sure there’s plenty of social coding shaping how I perceive everything.
K: It just feels real.
Z: Going back to why we started this whole interview, you just radiate something I find truly compelling that is genuinely missing from a lot of small talk I find myself engaging in…
K: You can tell I love thinking through things.
Z: Well, this is why we’ve become fast friends.
K: That white boy you were talking about…?
K: You’re indirectly talking about that white boy you had that crush on recently...
Z: Yeah...I guess. I mean…(long pause)...I guess it took me way longer than I would have thought to admit to myself that I’m panromantic. Just seeing and knowing more trans people within the past few years than I ever did in the preceding thirty years of my life and realizing, oh, I would 100% date a trans person and not think twice about it. Or going to more gay clubs and finding myself drawn to certain cis boys but also cis women as well...but also realizing within the past year that the attraction I do feel to women, is that just a reflex? Is that just how I was indoctrinated and thus didn’t know any better? I know this isn’t true for everyone, but a close friend of mine who came out as bisexual around the same time I came out as demi, I said to him, “I’m realizing that for myself, desire is rewritable.” And that really struck a chord with him in a way that made me feel more confident in my own emergent desires.
At the same time, I’m not actively chasing anyone. Going back to my middle school days, asking a bunch of girls “out” and getting rejected across the board...that imbued a fear of rejection I still struggle actively with, just from a two-month period of getting shut down by thirteen-year-old teenage girls. But once I started to date and I was dating people I was actively attracted to, I soon realized that there was a love of affection, of commitment, of normal relationship stuff I just couldn’t return. And that’s why I get deeply uncomfortable when I realize someone is attracted to me, while also just wondering, “Why?” I’m a hot confused mess! You do NOT want to get involved with this! It feels deeply disempowering. But it’s also more complicated than that!
K: But it’s like your dysmorphia….
Z: I don’t know what it is…. It just felt so liberating to admit to myself that in going out, sex was not the goal…
Z: Like, being raised in a heterosexual white capitalist patriarchal culture, that seemingly was what you went out to do…
K: That’s why I wrote in my essay, “The Economy of Dance” and the relationship between time and doom, and “The Unconscious Uncanny”...and how we go out to have these spaces of territory where we feel comfortable and that’s to be ourselves. And so we have those spaces and we’re going to be building up a lot of pain and tension because our voices are not being heard. And things that we want are not being made and thus we have to make them ourselves...and continue to move forward as these political stances so willingly adopted by others, as you wanna say, are not. They are very political…
Z: Political and classist…
K: Political and classist! I never felt like I was out of my class growing up. I mean, my family may not have had a lot of money, but at least we all had a place to sleep.
K: And whether it was the lower-upper class or the lower-middle class, I don’t ever feel like I was lost and struggling growing up because I had my family taking care of me and they always have. And now being older, they expect me to take care of myself…
Z: Yeah, of course…
K: Cuz that’s what Americans do. And it hurts because they don’t understand that I’m disabled. And if I wanted to get a job...like, one time I applied to a job and I got wicked anxiety when they wrote back to me….
Z: Ohhhhhhhhhhhh...cuz you didn’t know what to do.
K: I was like, I can’t do this, I’m going to fail right away.
Z: I’ve found myself in office environments, I become another person I don’t recognize. Everyone loves to talk about how they give no fucks, and I’ve always laughed at that because I know they have no clue what it means to not give a fuck about what other people think--not that it doesn’t affect me, of course. But if I spent my whole time thinking about what other people think of me--which is very easy for me to do--then I would have gone insane.
Given my past 9-5 experiences, it just scared the shit out of me because I just felt like all I was doing for at least eight hours a day was just fighting to hang onto my job. And that’s what everybody else around me was doing. The quality of my performance truly felt as about inconsequential as it possibly could. And I thought that people were always talking about me; I got neurotic and paranoid in a way I didn’t even know I could, which is saying something! I was truly delusional. I would go home every night from work expecting to have an email waiting for me from my boss or supervisor expressing disappointment in my performance, even though I knew this was just a paranoid fantasy, but one I was enacting on a daily basis.
K: I remember with the last job they sent me a two-page essay to read and homework without even having come close to getting the job yet. And I was just freaking out because I literally couldn’t read the words. I felt my eyes tearing and burning up. I was so sad because I couldn’t see the computer and read the words because I was like so baffled that I was going to fail. It was fucked up. I’ve tried LinkedIn, I’ve tried everything I know about, but you need degrees for so many of these positions. And I had to leave school during my third year due to my psychosis.
I thought the world around me was playing a trick on me. And it was scary, but I’ve kind of made it through that for right now. I’m not in that place anymore. I’m not wandering the streets late at night. And I’m not confused because I’m taking my medicine.
But that’s also a big part I would love for people to know, to not fear the hospital, to not fear doctors when they’re there trying to help you. The doctor is not your enemy.
Z: As long as they don’t have some agenda.
K: Well yeah, as long as it’s not some sociopathic killer doctor…
Z: I’ve just had experiences with small-town doctors where I’ve realized their medical advice is refracted through a Judeo-Christian ideology and it’s like, this isn’t medicine, this is belief, this is dogma masquerading behind the assumed objectivity of science.
K: If I had that, I’d probably still be lost. If everyone in the hospital was like, “Pray to Jesus Christ,” my paranoia would be like, “Something weird is going on.” And it would make me think there was some alternate agenda if doctors were like that around me.
Z: That’s good.
K: So I try not to think about them in that way. A lot of people don’t like hospitals and clinics and it’s a drag. But the doctor is not there to harm you.
Z: Right. But somehow, I forget that sometimes...or all the time.
K: Huh. That’s scary.
Z: It’s easy to see…
(Both pause to listen to people yelling intensely on the street)
K: Does that freak you out?
Z: No. I kinda like it.
K: (Bursts into laughter) Noooooo…’I kinda like it?’ Noooooooo. (Continues laughing in a loving manner)
Z: It just reminds me of...well, humanity for lack of a better word. I feel all day long people try to hide their humanity and when I hear such unadulterated expressions of passion and angst like that, it’s weirdly comforting. And it punctuates my own self-inflected loneliness. I love the sound of the streets and when I’m back in Ohio, the silence is deafening to me. I always laugh watching movies from the 80s when you have displaced New Yorkers and they bring with them recordings of street noise as it’s like, yes, that’s my soothing white noise.
K: One of my friends has a site called Traffic City Lullaby and she lives on 42nd street with a balcony so the city was all around her, she was like “I love the traffic city lullaby.”