there’s a lot of queer history to be explored in these working-class communities, but it’s not as simple as finding the gay bar in Red Hook they all went to. And because these folks were poor and queer, they rarely had the opportunity to write their own histories, so I often find myself reading "against" an official source, trying to ferret out information about queer life from an arrest record, or a medical report, or an angry jeremiad written for a newspaper by a straight person.
Midway through award-winning author Rabih Alameddine’s new novel-in-fragments, The Angel of History, his narrator Jacob compares AIDS to a river that drowned everything he knew but him. “I thought I had triumphed,” he says, “only to discover years later that the river’s persistence, it’s restlessness, trickled into tiny rivulets that reached every remote corner of my being.”
I was reminded of a radical faerie credo Mac had intoned early in the evening: We don’t worship the noun, but the verb. We don’t worship the artist, but the making of art. We don’t worship the creator, but the act of creation. That night, we had become the noun and the verb, the artist and the art, the creator and the creation. We were simultaneously acting in the show, watching the show, and being forged into something new by the show.