Skip to main content

Essays

Recent Issue

Both Everywhere and Somewhere

There are endless ways to lose your sense of place. A common one goes something like this: You call an Uber to get across town. You track the driver’s arrival on your phone and, once in the car, answer texts and watch a video on YouTube. You aren’t exactly disconnected—you’re attuned to some version of reality—but you’re oblivious to physical geography. You are not alone in this behavior

Illustration by Lauren Simkin Berke

Mutations

Is it possible to understand the persistent lag in vaccination rates as a function of failed metaphor? That is to say, as a failure of language—the language of data, the language of science, the language of political rhetoric (to name just a few vocabularies)—to meet individuals at their particular coordinates on the social map? The virus and our national response to it has been figured and refigured.

VQR Online

Attending

December 3, 2020

I can’t tell you why I rented the theater downtown, other than that it was inevitable, like the notes of a song. Facing the rows of empty velvet seats, I felt the thrust of potential. At night, doctors stood on stage telling stories—not of helicopter rides and loss of blood, but of waffling, of wanting, of grappling with themselves. The audience arrived like spirits, craving not entertainment but something more fundamental and urgent. I sat backstage, eyes closed, living and dying in every pause, every ripple of laughter. This—a live storytelling event by those in health care, for those in health care—was the first thing I had ever originated, one that came from the roiling place inside of me and not a script.